In People of the State of California v. Welk Resort Group, Inc., a Stipulated Final Judgment was entered after the Attorney General of the State of California, et. al, for a Complaint against Welk Resort Group, Inc., in San Diego, California. The lawsuit sought to enjoin Welk Resorts from making untrue or misleading statements or omissions, and to obtain mandatory civil penalties for such violations.
Defendant is also the developer of Welk Resorts Platinum Program. As the developer, Defendant offers, sells, develops, and promotes timeshare interests and/or timeshare plans in the State of California, with a multi-state plan for a heavily restricted “points” booking system.
In advertising, promoting, and offering for sale the Platinum Program, Defendant made or caused untrue and/or misleading statements and omissions to consumers in California, including statements and omissions that violated California’s Vacation Ownership and Time-share Act of 2004, (“VOTA”). Plaintiffs relied on Defendant’s untrue and/or misleading statements and omissions when deciding to purchase the Platinum Program. These timeshare interests cost tens to over a hundred thousand dollars in high-interest mortgages and further obligated consumers to pay ever-rising and perpetual maintenance fees.
Defendant’s untrue and/or misleading statements and omissions were including but not limited to misrepresentations regarding:
- being sold as an “asset” in a real estate transaction vs. valueless “points,”
- the nature and quality of the timeshare interests being sold as real property,
- the current or future availability of a non-existent Welk Buy-Back Program,
- an illusory Welk non-existent Rental Program,
- invented market re-sale values and tax benefits.
Defendant also committed or caused to be committed other violations of VOTA, including failing to inform certain prospective purchasers of their right to request cancellation of a timeshare interest purchase within the rescission period mandated by California law, as well as failing to inform consumers of the procedures necessary to effectively cancel a purchase.
Although Welk denied any wrongdoing, they agreed to pay restitution to the class and civil penalties in the amount of TWO MILLION DOLLARS to the Attorney General (AG) and the District Attorney’s Office (DA) in San Diego, CA. In the end, this Civil Investigation coordinated with the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Real Estate and brought justice to at least one set of timeshare victims.
Shortly after the settlement, Welk Resorts sold their resort chain to one of the world’s top three timeshare resort conglomerates, Marriott Vacation Club, for a whopping $430 million dollars! They will be rebranding the resorts as “Hyatt Residence Club” and the multi-billion-dollar resort will continue to sell vacation ownership options under the guidance of this flagship.
The Abrams Firm is a Consumer Protection Law Firm which can help you confront the timeshare industry and its illegal practices. We are an actual law firm of licensed attorneys – not a company of former timeshare salespeople. The Abrams Firm has been assisting timeshare “victims,” (which is what you are if the resort breaks the law), for over 18 years and has successfully assisted more than 8,000 clients to get out of their timeshare.
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