As we at Finn Law Group approach the beginning of our eighth consecutive year practicing our own branch of “specialty law,” representing timeshare-owner clients seeking relief from lifelong contractual obligations, I wanted my year-end message to reiterate our stance that we’ve maintained since we started our timeshare resort practice: “We have never, ever, left a client behind!”
Each and every client that has hired us from 2011, up to and including the present date, has received the benefit of a single fixed fee, which financed our efforts in having their resort contract terminated and/or still remains to this date open and active. This policy translates into having our attorney’s umbrella of protection from litigation and debt collection agencies from date-of-hire, all the way through to contract termination. We can’t say that no FLG client has ever been sued by their resort (although that number is extremely small), but we can proudly state that no client has gone unprotected or undefended, and we can further say that absolutely no client has ever suffered an adverse court judgement requiring payment of even a single penny!
Our job hasn’t gotten easier over the years; in fact, in some ways it has become more difficult.
As more and more timeshare owners have sought assistance with terminating their contracts, a number of other timeshare exit entities promising relief have sprung up; both attorneys and non-attorneys alike have joined the fray. Many of these “exit” companies have been started by former timeshare salespersons, and many of the lawyers have been hired by some of these non-lawyer timeshare exit companies. In what I would characterize as a ‘kneejerk reaction,’ rather than trying to understand why so many owners are turning to these third party companies for relief, the developers have chosen to cast the blame on these “exit” companies for interfering with their owner relationships, rather than examining their own less than friendly consumer practices, and have even taken to the courts to try to force these third-party relief companies out of business
Finn Law Group has managed in many ways to stay out of the line of fire. We are not a title transfer based firm, nor do we attempt to broker transactions between buyers and sellers; as we are aware that there is little to no resale market, we therefore know that that so-called attempted marketing strategy is a waste of time. We exclusively conduct our negotiations directly with the resort or property owners association utilizing time-tested legal strategies, existing case law, statutory interpretations, and our own detailed and specialized knowledge of the industry and its market challenges, to attain our goals.
Indeed, in some respects we agree with the developers’ ongoing attempts to put “exit” companies out of business. Many of these “exit companies” are very good at marketing escape plans to desperate timeshare owners who have come to realize they are trapped in their lifelong timeshare contract with no ability to resell, and no cooperation from their developers. Those exit companies are legally unrestrained in their ability to advertise and solicit customers, unlike licensed attorneys, who have significant professional restrictions on advertising and absolutely may never solicit clients, so the exit companies can easily initially obtain much larger numbers of customers than lawyers can.
The problem for them becomes: “OK, now what? We have all of these customers, now what do we do next?” If the developers refuse to cooperate, how can the exit company fulfill its contractual obligations to its customers? Unlike licensed attorneys, they’re simply unqualified to advise their customers as to what steps need to be taken to facilitate an exit strategy and the non-lawyer exit company is powerless to prevent collection agencies from constantly contacting and harassing their customers.
As lawyers, although we are constrained from reaching out to a multitude of potential new clients, we know how to get the job done through legal strategies, regulatory filings, and our ability to make our position stick via threat of multi-plaintiff and class litigation. All our resort based litigation is posted here on our website for all to see.
The bottom line? Relax and enjoy the holidays and bring in the New Year with peace of mind because we never, ever, leave a client behind!
Our very best wishes for a happy, healthy, and carefree holiday season.
Michael D. Finn, Esq.