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How do I file a lawsuit against Wyndham Resorts?

Wyndham Resorts operates Club Wyndham, which is one of the biggest timeshare companies around. They also operate a number of regular hotels, which may confuse people somewhat about the brand. And various related companies can be involved in the timeshare sale even if it’s all under the Wyndham brand. For example, if you bought a Wyndham timeshare, your contract might be with “WorldMark, the Club,” with Wyndham Resort Development Corporation, or with Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc., depending on when and where you bought.

Wyndham’s timeshare arm, Club Wyndham, gets very different complaints from the company’s general hotel arm. That’s not surprising, because the timeshare industry doesn’t exactly have the greatest reputation around. Some customers have filed lawsuits against Wyndham alleging various omissions or misrepresentations during sales presentations. If you’re having a problem with Wyndham and need an attorney, call us at 657-845-3100 or e-mail us at contact@kneuppercovey.com. We may be able to help.

For example, a lawsuit in Delaware, Kirchner v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc., 580 F. Supp. 3d 57 (D. Del. 2022), alleged that Wyndham doesn’t tell people:

1) that “they will rarely be able to use their timeshares to stay at their desired locations,”

2) that “they will need to book up to thirteen months in advance,”

3) that “their timeshares will have limited, if any, resale value,”

4) that “Wyndham regularly offers better availability to non-Owners on whom it seeks to earn more money by selling them timeshares instead of making space available to existing timeshare Owners,”

5) that “they will not be able to rent out their timeshares to cover their maintenance fees,” and

6) that “annual maintenance fees will increase significantly.”

In another lawsuit filed in Tennessee, Barbu v. Wyndham Vacation Owernship, Inc., No. 3:20 -cv-01045, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 235839 (M.D. Tenn. Dec. 9, 2021), the plaintiff alleged that a Wyndham sales representative made various misrepresentations during the presentation, including that owners could use “points to cover all of their maintenance fees,” that “they would be able to refinance their purchase at a lower rate of interest through their preferred bank,” and that “their timeshare purchase and payments were tax deductible.”

If you were lied to in a sales presentation or were made promises that Wyndham didn’t keep, you may actually have a legal claim even if their contract says you don’t. It depends on what state you bought the timeshare in and what law applies, because there are many defenses to contracts, including fraud. And many states have laws that protect consumers and can’t be waived at all. For example, California has a provision in their consumer protection statutes saying that you are not legally able to waive your rights by signing a contract even if you wanted to. Another approach is Texas, which lets you waive your consumer rights, but only if you have your own lawyer with you when you’re negotiating the contract. Lots of states follow this rule – the idea is big companies shouldn’t be able to take advantage of regular people with fine print in a contract.

There are lots of legal reasons you might be able to get out of a contract with Wyndham, but one important thing to know is: you actually have to get a legal decision for them to be valid. Some companies called “time share exit companies” and even some lawyers have made businesses out of telling people that you can just write a letter and then you’re out of your time share. That’s only true in the “rescission period,” which is a cooling off period of a few days to a week in most contracts. Unfortunately we can’t just write a letter or do a legal trick and get you out of the timeshare. We also can’t make any guarantees. What we can do is pursue any legal claims you have in court or in arbitration, and if you have solid claims, you have a good chance of winning or getting a settlement.

Do I have to arbitrate against Wyndham?

One big question is whether to file in court or whether to arbitrate. We’ve seen some Wyndham contracts with provisions that require you to go to arbitration. An arbitration is like a shorter version of a lawsuit, and you do it in front of an “arbitrator,” who is a lawyer who decides the case just like a judge would. When it’s over, you have a decision which you can then take to a real court and turn into a legal judgment.

The idea is to let companies save money by avoiding going to court. Unfortunately the U.S. Supreme Court has made it very hard to stop these clauses from being enforced, so you might have waived your right to have a jury hear your case. The upside, however, is because it’s shorter, it’s cheaper for you, too. Legal fees don’t cost anywhere near as much for an arbitration as a full court case would. Sometimes we can even recover your legal fees as damages, but again, that’s not a guarantee, and it depends what state you bought it in.

In public court documents sometimes Wyndham makes people arbitrate and sometimes they don’t. They have contracts going back 20 years or more, so some people may not have these clauses. It will all depend on your contract. But you might actually prefer arbitration because of how much less it costs to do.

If you’re looking for a lawyer to help try to get you out of a Club Wyndham timeshare, call us at 657-845-3100 or e-mail us at contact@kneuppercovey.com. We may be able to help.

Contact Kneupper & Covey

Kneupper & Covey accepts consumer protection cases across the country, with licenses to practice in California, Georgia, and Texas. We have physical offices to meet you in California and Georgia.
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