According to a report from Paul Brinkmann of the Orlando Sentinel, a prominent resort developer is leading the charge in suing a group of attorneys and businessmen for “orchestrating a nationwide timeshare cancellation fraud scheme.”
As the Sentinel reports, a pair of lawsuits have been filed against Judson Phillips, a Tennessee attorney and senior partner at Castle Law Group – as well as several other individuals associated with Castle Law Group and a related company, Castle Marketing – for “interfering with clients and contracts at Westgate’s many resorts, and at Orange Lake Country Club.”
“According to both lawsuits, marketing companies obtained lists of timeshare owners around the nation and blanketed them with pitches to cancel their timeshare. These companies would then have the clients sign a retainer fee that seemed to be for Castle Law Group. Some of the clients were charged a $7,500 litigation fee, up front.
According to the Orange Lake lawsuit, no lawsuits were ever filed on behalf of any of its timeshare owners by Castle or related companies.
The Westgate suit says “lawsuits were never filed for some of these clients.”
Both lawsuits accused Castle Law Group of using the marketing firms to say that it could “guarantee timeshare owners relief of their timeshare obligations within one year or eighteen months.” The Florida Bar prohibits attorneys in Florida from advertising guaranteed outcomes.
Phillips is also accused of putting the Florida Bar Board Certified logo on the Castle Law website, under his bio, even though he is not licensed to practice law in Florida, according to the suit.”
As the Sentinel notes, Phillips is also known as “a founder of Tea Party Nation.”
Timeshare cancellation fraud is a major problem for individuals trying to find their way around the industry; in addition to fleecing consumers out of their cash, scams also pose a major problem for resort developers, who find their revenue cut into as owners stop making their payments, often falsely believing that their contracts have been cancelled.
For more on this developing story, including reactions from Phillips, we encourage you to read the full Orlando Sentinel story here.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.