Bill McCollum (R)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - A lawsuit and request for an emergency injunction has been filed by Attorney General Bill McCollum against two related South Florida timeshare resale marketing companies.
Universal Marketing Solutions, Creative Vacation Solutions, and owner and manager Jennifer Kirk are alleged to have collected more than $4 million in marketing fees on a monthly basis but rarely, if ever, marketed, advertised or facilitated sales of the timeshares for owners who had contracts with the companies.
The requested injunction requests that the companies cease doing timeshare business while the lawsuit is pending.
The attorney general's Economic Crimes Division's investigation into Kirk and her companies revealed that marketing fees as high as $2,500 were charged for timeshare resale advertising services.
The companies solicited hundred of consumers nationwide through the internet and aggressive telemarketing calls that allegedly carried empty promises and misrepresentations that a consumer's timeshare would be actively matched with a prospective buyer.
The lawsuit alleges that the companies made no effort to match prospective buyers who contacted them with sellers who had contracted with the companies to sell their timeshare, making the advertising and marketing claims completely false.
Additionally, the companies are alleged to have boasted of "superior marketing tools" that included marketing events, presentations and seminars. Kirk and her companies are alleged to have claimed that they could sell timeshares within a certain period of time and that buyers were waiting with approved financing to buy timeshares.
Consumers also received verbal assurance of contract terms during telemarketing calls but were then furnished with contracts that contained entirely different terms for the resale services.
Kirk and her companies are alleged to have also charged consumers' credit cards or cashed consumers' checks without or before obtaining a signed written contract from the consumer delineating terms and conditions of the services to be provided.
Complaints by consumers to the attorney general's office reported that, following the companies' failures to perform their promised services, the companies were not able to be contacted for refunds. As many as 400 victims are believed to have been affected by the deceptive practices of the two companies.
The attorney general's lawsuit seeks an injunction to prohibit the defendants from engaging in any timeshare resale business while litigation is pending. The suit also seeks full restitution on behalf of all victimized consumers, civil penalties and reimbursement fees and costs related to the investigation.