Bryan Cohen Jan. 9, 2014, 3:29pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) - Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper announced a lawsuit on Tuesday against multiple entities operating a timeshare and membership vacation club that allegedly used deceptive techniques to market the operation's products.

The lawsuit against the entities operating Festiva alleges the operators used fraudulent and deceptive telemarketing and direct mail tactics to lure Tennesseans into attending high-pressure sales presentations to buy vacation memberships. Festiva allegedly misled consumers into believing they won or were selected for a valuable prize, but the company failed to disclose multiple requirements, including the lengthy sales presentation.

In December, the states of Louisiana and Maine also filed suit against Festiva.

"If you are tempted by a travel or vacation company that uses high pressure sales, it's probably best to take your time and do your homework before you pay thousands of dollars and commit to paying maintenance fees and special assessments," Cooper said.

Festiva also allegedly used confusing terms and conditions to make membership to the vacation club difficult to use and to sell more products, made it almost impossible to book a vacation at Festiva resorts and surprised consumers with bills for increasing maintenance fees and special assessments.

The lawsuit, which was filed under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and the Federal Telemarketing Act, named multiple associated businesses, affiliates and principal operators as defendants in the lawsuit.

The defendants include Escapes! Inc., Escapes Travel Choices LLC, Etourandtravel Inc., Festiva Development Group LLC, d/b/a Festiva Adventure Club, Festiva Real Estate Holdings LLC, formerly known as Festiva Resorts LLC, Festiva Resorts Adventure Club Members Association Inc., Human Capital Solutions LLC, formerly known as Festiva Resort Services LLC, Resort Travel & Xchange LLC, also known as RTX, formerly known as Festiva Travel & Xchange LLC, also known as FTX, Patton Hospitality Management LLC, formerly known as Festiva Management Group LLC, Zealandia Capital Inc., formerly known as SETI Marketing Inc., Zealandia Holding Company Inc., formerly known as Festiva Hospitality Group. Inc., Donald Clayton, Herbert Patrick and Richard Hartnett.

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