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Dave Ramsey’s Worst Nightmare

A Tennessee court has ordered Dave Ramsey to answer the State of Washington’s questions about Timeshare Exit Team.

For the past several months, Dave Ramsey has attempted to avoid questions about his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

Ramsey’s efforts to avoid accountability have failed.

A Tennessee court has ordered Dave Ramsey to answer the State of Washington’s questions about his relationship with Reed Hein & Associates, a.k.a. “Timeshare Exit Team.”

Dave Ramsey efforts to avoid accountability have failed.

Dave Ramsey’s Excuses

In his attempt to avoid a deposition, Ramsey offered several arguments.

First, Ramsey argued that he had never personally endorsed Timeshare Exit Team. According to Ramsey, he had only promoted the endorsement of his company Ramsey Solutions. As his lawyer argued, “While Mr. Ramsey promoted the endorsements on [the Ramsey Solutions] website and online, he did so in his capacity as chief executive officer[.]”

Ramsey also argued that the person who is responsible for his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team is an employee named Brian Mayfield. Ramsey’s lawyer argued that “Mr. Mayfield and his team are responsible for the content of the endorsement pieces that Mr. Ramsey promotes on the radio program or online.”

Finally, Ramsey argued that he is too busy and too important to answer the State’s questions. Ramsey’s lawyer argued that Ramsey shouldn’t be forced to endure the burden of a deposition because “Mr. Ramsey is responsible for the oversight and management of the entire [Ramsey Solutions] enterprise, which generates hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue and employs over 1,000 people.”

Dave Ramsey Is Ordered to Answer Questions

In a court order dated September 8, 2021, the Williamson County Circuit Court rejected each of Ramsey’s arguments.

The court rejected Ramsey’s argument that a chief executives has the right to avoid accountability by offering a scapegoat to testify in his place. After finding that Ramsey had personally met with Timeshare Exit Team owner Brandon Reed, the court concluded that the law gives the State of Washington the “right to discover what Mr. Ramsey truly knows about [Timeshare Exit Team’s] business practices.”

The court also rejected the argument that Ramsey is entitled to avoid testifying because he is too important. The court noted that the State had offered to schedule the deposition during a weekend or before or after work hours, and found that “Mr. Ramsey should be able to find time in his schedule for his deposition to be conducted.”

Dave Ramsey Claims to Be a Steward

In his book The Legacy Journey, Dave Ramsey describes the lesson that he claims to have learned from his 1988 bankruptcy. According to Ramsey, he came to learn that the proper response to personal wealth is one of gratitude and stewardship.

It is worth quoting Ramsey at length:

The spirit of gratitude says that wealth is from God and belongs to God. this is where I want to be and where I want to stay. . . . The spirit of gratitude knows that “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” Psalm 24:1.

Psalm 50:10 says that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. And guess what? He owns the hills too! He owns everything, and He asks you and me to manage it. It’s not ours. We’re just His managers. . . .

At its core, the spirit of gratitude says, God, I’m going to manage this wealth and this stuff Your way — because it’s Yours. Thank You for trusting me to manage it for You.

Dave Ramsey’s words are nice.

Timeshare Exit Team is part of Dave Ramsey’s legacy.

Dave Ramsey’s actions suggest that he will never accept accountability.

Ramsey resisted the State of Washington’s deposition at ever point. Ramsey refused to answer the State of Washington’s questions until a Tennessee court ordered him to do so.

Ramsey’s actions suggest that he plans to take the same hard-line approach to his ill-gotten gains. Unless and until a court orders him to do the right thing, Ramsey apparently plans to keep the money that he took from Timeshare Exit Team’s victims.

Dave Ramsey’s Failure of Stewardship

If Dave Ramsey were genuinely committed to the vision of stewardship that he describes in The Legacy Journey, he would acknowledge his wrongdoing and embark on the path of repentance.

Repentance would require that Ramsey do the following:

  • Testify truthfully and fulsomely during his upcoming deposition.
  • Publish the deposition transcript and video-recording.
  • Place the money he took from Timeshare Exit Team into a trust account, for distribution to the company’s victims.

Hancock.Law

To speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Dave Ramsey Lies to His Followers

Under oath, Dave Ramsey says that he does nothing to investigate the companies that he endorses.

Dave Ramsey regularly promises his followers that he takes his endorsements “so very seriously.” Ramsey promises that he “personally” investigates each company that he endorses.

Under oath, Dave Ramsey has confessed to a Tennessee court that he was lying.

When he is under oath, Ramsey claims that other people are responsible for his endorsements, and that he does nothing to investigate the businesses that he endorses.

Dave Ramsey & Timeshare Exit Team

In a sworn declaration recently submitted to a Tennessee court, Dave Ramsey confessed that he endorsed Timeshare Exit Team without doing “any independent due diligence.”

Ramsey submitted the declaration as part of his effort to avoid the State of Washington’s questions about his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

In February 2020, the State of Washington filed a civil complaint against Timeshare Exit Team, alleging that the company regularly commits more than forty separate violations of the State Consumer Protection Act.

The State of Washington alleges that Dave Ramsey has enriched himself by endorsing a vast consumer fraud.

In April 2021, the State served Ramsey with a subpoena, requiring him to sit for a deposition and answer questions about his years-long endorsement of the company.

Ramsey has asked a Tennessee court to quash the subpoena. Ramsey has offered two main arguments: First, he argued that he is far too important to answer the State’s questions. Second, he argued that someone else is responsible for his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team. According to Ramsey, the person responsible is an employee named Brian Mayfield.

Dave Ramsey claims that the person responsible for Ramsey’s endorsement of a vast consumer fraud is Brian Mayfield.

Dave Ramsey Confesses to Lying

Under penalty of perjury, Dave Ramsey says that he does nothing to personally investigate the companies that he endorses, and that he does nothing to investigate the character of their leaders.

According to Ramsey, he endorsed Timeshare Exit Team only because employee Brian Mayfield told him to do so so: “I relied on Mr. Mayfield and his team to undertake the due diligence into Reed Hein prior to the endorsement relationship.”

Incredibly, Dave Ramsey even claimed that other people are responsible for the words that Ramsey himself speaks: “Mr. Mayfield and his team are also responsible for the content of the endorsement pieces that I promote on the radio program or online.”

Dave Ramsey claims to be Brian Mayfield’s puppet. According to Ramsey, he speaks the words that Mayfield tells him to speak.

Ramsey denied knowing anything whatsoever about the character of the man who leads Timeshare Exit Team: “I have had no contact with Reed Hein or its principals, other than brief, personal interactions with Brandon Reed before and after recording joint endorsement pieces, and social interactions at the annual Ramsey Christmas party for significant clients and similar social events.”

Most damning of all is that Ramsey confessed to knowing nothing about the value that Timeshare Exit Team delivers to consumers: “I have no direct insight into Reed Hein’s internal operations, representations to customers, or any other aspect of its business.”

Under oath, Dave Ramsey confessed that he knows nothing about the value that Timeshare Exit Team delivers to consumers.

Dave Ramsey Claims to Be Different

When Dave Ramsey is enriching himself by collecting endorsement fees, he promises followers that he personally investigates the companies that he endorses. Ramsey tells listeners that they can trust him to endorse only companies that are led by people of good character.

In this video, Dave Ramsey criticizes radio hosts who are willing to recommend “just about any product or service that you can imagine — for the right price.” Ramsey claims to find their behavior “disturbing.”

Ramsey promises his followers that he is different, and that he personally takes the companies that he endorses “so very seriously.”

Ramsey claims that he only endorses companies led by people of good character. “I trust these guys to steer you in the right direction — not just sell you a product,” he says. “That’s what’s important to me.”

“It’s not just about money,” Ramsey assures his followers.

Ramsey has made specific promises about Timeshare Exit Team, which he endorsed for more than five years. In this video, Ramsey assures his followers that he has been “very careful” with his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

Ramsey warns that other timeshare-exit companies use “illegitimate tactics” that leave a consumer financially responsible for ongoing timeshare payments.

His “friends at Timeshare Exit Team” are different, Ramsey promises.

Trust me,” Ramsey says. “It’s Timeshare Exit Team.”

Ramsey Refuses to Accept Accountability

Dave Ramsey’s behavior is shameful.

At every point, Dave Ramsey promised his followers that he personally investigates each company that he endorses, and that he endorses only companies led by people of good character.

Ramsey made these promises in Christian churches.

While speaking to followers seeking to improve their finances, Ramsey wrapped himself in the Bible and promised followers that he had investigated each of the companies that he was recommending.

While inside Christian churches across the United States, Dave Ramsey recommended Timeshare Exit Team.

Dave Ramsey claims that he is too busy to answer the State of Washington’s questions because he already has plans to further enrich himself by speaking at a Christian church in California.

Timeshare Exit Team is led by a man who has engaged in multiple sexual affairs with female employees, and who perjured himself when asked about sexual-harassment claims.

More importantly, Timeshare Exit Team is a vast consumer fraud that has cheated tens of thousands of middle-class and working-class consumers out of tens of millions of dollars.

Now that the State of Washington wants Dave Ramsey to answer questions about his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team, Ramsey is claiming that other people were responsible for investigating Timeshare Exit Team, and that other people are responsible for the words that he spoke.

Fundamentally, Ramsey is claiming that he was lying when he promised to have personally investigated Timeshare Exit Team and the character of its founder.

Dave Ramsey & the Bible

Dave Ramsey regularly quotes the Bible in his books and on his radio program.

Words and ritual are meaningless without a genuine commitment to justice and righteousness.

The Bible itself is clear on this point. In the Book of Isaiah, the Lord expresses disgust with wealthy leaders who cite scripture and follow all the rules of animal sacrifice — while building and sustaining an unjust system that enriches themselves and that oppresses the poor.

“What need have I of all your sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I am sated with burnt offerings of rams, and suet of fatlings, and blood of bulls; I have no delight in lambs and goats.”

“When you lift up your hands, I will turn My eyes away from you; Though you pray at length, I will not listen. Your hands are stained with crime.”

The Lord’s instruction is clear:

“Wash yourselves clean. Put your evil doings away from My sight. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good. Devote yourselves to justice. Aid the wronged.” Isaiah 1:11, 15–17.

Dave Ramey regularly wraps his financial advice to followers in scripture. Ramsey nonetheless claims the right to keep the millions of dollars he took for his role in a vast consumer fraud.

Dave Ramsey Takes the Easy Way

These are the facts:

Dave Ramsey took millions of dollars by referring his followers to a vast consumer fraud.

Ramsey claims to be unaccountable to law enforcement: He refuses to answer the State of Washington’s questions.

Ramsey claims to be unaccountable to his victims: He refuses to place his ill-gotten gains in a trust account — for distribution to the people whom he and Brandon Reed victimized.

It is easy to cite scripture. It is hard to do the right thing.

Dave Ramsey persists in his efforts to take the easy way.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

Wyndham’s Star Witness

Brandon Reed is helping Wyndham Resorts in its fight against consumer lawyer Mitchell Sussman.

Timeshare developer Wyndham Resorts has a new star witness in its lawsuit against consumer lawyer Mitchell Sussman.

On August 13, 2021, Brandon Reed testified in favor of a timeshare developer, and against a consumer lawyer.

Wyndham Resort’s new star witness.

Brandon Reed is the founder and chief executive officer of Reed Hein & Associates, a.k.a. “Timeshare Exit Team.”

Mitchell Sussman is the consumer lawyer who is responsible for delivering almost six thousand of the “timeshare exits” that Timeshare Exit Team claims to have delivered to consumers.

Brandon Reed thanked Sussman for his efforts by throwing him under the bus.

Wyndham’s Lawsuit

In December 2018, Wyndham Resorts filed a lawsuit against Timeshare Exit Team, its two owners Brandon Reed and Trevor Hein, its former chief operating officer Thomas Parenteau, and its advertising agency Happy Hour Media Group.

Wyndham alleged that Timeshare Exit Team committed tortious interference with contracts by instructing customers to break their agreements with Wyndham.

Wyndham sued (1) Timeshare Exit Team, (2) its owner Brandon Reed, (3) its owner Trevor Hein, (4) former chief operating officer Thomas Parenteau, and (5) Brandon Reed’s advertising agency: Happy Hour Media Group.

Wyndham also sued three consumer law firms to which Timeshare Exit Team referred cases.

It is unusual for a lawyer to be sued for tortious interference with contracts. Lawyers are well within their rights to counsel their clients, and it is entirely proper for a lawyer to counsel a client about whether to continue making payments to a timeshare developer.

According to Wyndham, lawyers who work with Timeshare Exit Team forfeit their protections as lawyers because they work to accomplish the illegitimate purposes of Timeshare Exit Team, rather than the legitimate purposes of their own consumer-clients.

Wyndham also sued (6) Mitchell Sussman, (7) SGB Law, and (8) Ken Privett. These consumer lawyers were sued for one reason — they accepted client referrals from Timeshare Exit Team.

Timeshare Exit Team Surrenders . . . Again

On June 24, 2021 — after two and one-half years of litigation that cost millions of dollars — Timeshare Exit Team surrendered.

Again.

Timeshare Exit Team’s strategy against timeshare developers is to (1) spend millions of dollars in attorney fees, and (2) wave the white flag of surrender.

Just like January 2020’s surrender to major timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club, Timeshare Exit Team’s surrender to Wyndham Resorts involved a confidential settlement agreement.

As part of the agreement, Timeshare Exit Team agreed to a permanent public injunction. Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team agreed to never again provide “timeshare-exit services” to any Wyndham customer.

Ken Privett had settled more than a year earlier earlier — in March 2020. Like Timeshare Exit Team, Privett agreed to never again represent a client against Wyndham.

SGB Law settled in November 2020.

It is true that Privett and SGB Law settled with Wyndham. Neither, though, has been shameless enough to testify in favor of Wyndham and against former co-defendant Mitchell Sussman.

That distinction is reserved for Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team.

In June 2021, Brandon Reed surrendered in his fight against Wyndham Resorts.

Mitchell Sussman Continues to Fight

Today, the only defendant remaining in the case is consumer lawyer Mitchell Sussman.

Sussman seems ready to fight.

Only days after Reed Hein waived the white flag of surrender, Sussman filed a motion for summary judgment. Sussman argued that Wyndham had named him as a defendant only because of his relationship with Reed Hein. Now that Wyndham had settled with Reed Hein, Sussman argued, the Court should dismiss Wyndham’s case against him.

In support of his motion, Sussman submitted exhibits demonstrating that he has helped hundreds of consumers terminate their financial obligations to Wyndham. In fact, Sussman’s exhibits demonstrate that he successfully secured “timeshare exits” for owners of Wyndham timeshares who were referred to him by Timeshare Exit Team.

Mitchell Sussman undermined his law firm’s success against timeshare developers by accepting client referrals from Timeshare Exit Team.

Sussman’s 5,571 “Exits”

For years, Mitchell Sussman had regular success against timeshare developers.

Sussman’s methods were crude: He sent boilerplate letters to major timeshare developers, announcing that his clients had resigned their membership. Sussman’s letters typically stated that his clients would be willing to sign an agreement returning their timeshares to the developers, in exchange for a release of claims.

If a developer sent him anything other than a notice of foreclosure, he tossed it into the garbage because he considered correspondence from a timeshare developer to be trash. When a timeshare developer sent a notice of foreclosure, Sussman sent the client a letter. The letter notified the client that his or her financial obligations to the timeshare developer had terminated.

However crude, Sussman’s methods were effective. For years, Mitchell Sussman regularly terminated flows of money from middle-class and working-class families to major timeshare developers. Then, Sussman met Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team.

Sussman began to accept referrals from Timeshare Exit Team in approximately 2013. By the time that Sussman stopped accepting referrals in 2016, he had received more than eight thousand customer files from Timeshare Exit Team.

According to Timeshare Exit Team’s own internal records, Sussman secured 5,771 “timeshare exits” for customers. None of the other consumer law firms employed by Reed Hein had similar success.

Brandon Reed Thanks Sussman

How did Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive officer Brandon Reed thank Sussman for his efforts?

By testifying against him, and in favor of Wyndham Resorts. Even worse, Sussman was named as a defendant in the first place only because he accepted referrals from Timeshare Exit Team.

Mitchell Sussman is responsible for almost six thousand of the “timeshare exits” that Timeshare Exit Team claims to have delivered to consumers. Brandon Reed thanked Sussman by testifying against him in court

Hancock.Law

Hancock.Law has never taken money from a timeshare-exit company.

To speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, click this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Oak Harbor Management

Granite Spire Law Group provides consumer debt collector William Weinstein with ongoing access to the confidential information of the firm’s clients.

Granite Spire Law Group is a consumer-rights law firm founded in Spring 2019 — for the purpose of representing clients referred to the firm by Timeshare Exit Team.

Unbeknownst to the firm’s clients, Granite Spire stores all confidential client information on computers and servers that belong to a consumer debt collector.

William Weinstein’s Delaware Re-Organization

In 2019, William Weinstein fundamentally re-organized his debt-collection empire.

Weinstein had operated a hedge fund that was focused on consumer-debt enforcement since January 2007. The hedge fund’s name was Ophrys, LLC, and it was a Washington company.

In February 2019, Weinstein changed the hedge fund’s name to Oak Harbor Capital, LLC. Weinstein also converted the hedge fund into a Delaware company.

In April 2019, Weinstein launched Oak Harbor Management, LLC. Oak Harbor Management was launched as a Delaware company.

In Spring 2019, William Weinstein converted his consumer-debt-enforcement hedge fund into a Delaware company.

Finally, in June 2019, Weinstein launched Oak Harbor Holdings, LLC. Oak Harbor Holdings was launched as a Delaware company.

When the re-organization was complete, William Weinstein was the owner of Oak Harbor Holdings, which was itself the owner of both Oak Harbor Capital and Oak Harbor Management. All three companies were domiciled in the State of Delaware.

In the midst of his re-organization of his debt-collection empire, Weinstein launched a consumer-rights law firm named Granite Spire Law Group. Granite Spire was founded on March 11, 2019 — less than two weeks after Oak Harbor Capital was converted into a Delaware company and less than one month before Oak Harbor Management was founded.

Within weeks of beginning a major re-organization of his vast debt-enforcement empire, William Weinstein launched a consumer-rights law firm.

Oak Harbor Management

William Weinstein testified in September 2020 that he launched Oak Harbor Management to provide “back-office support” to multiple different companies. According to Weinstein, back-office support includes information-technology services.

Weinstein testified that Oak Harbor Management provides back-office support to at least four different companies: (1) Weinstein & Riley, (2) Oak Harbor Capital, (3) the Better Business Bureau, and (4) Granite Spire Law Group.

Oak Harbor Management provides William Weinstein with ongoing access to information held by multiple different companies and organizations.

Weinstein & Riley is Weinstein’s debt-enforcement law firm. Weinstein & Riley represents many of the nation’s largest banks, credit unions, and other consumer lenders. It also represents Oak Harbor Capital. In 2009, Weinstein testified that Weinstein & Riley is “the largest firm representing creditors and creditor-rights matters in the United States.”

Oak Harbor Capital is Weinstein’s hedge fund. Oak Harbor Capital owns approximately $600 million in consumer debt. These hundreds of millions of dollars are distributed across more than twenty different investment funds — each of which is itself owned and controlled by Oak Harbor Capital.

The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit entity that claims to “promote an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other.” Consumers regularly turn to the Better Business Bureau when deciding whether to trust a particular company.

Granite Spire Law Group is a law firm that was founded in Spring 2019 for the purpose of representing customers of Timeshare Exit Team. According to the firm’s website, Granite Spire represent consumers who have been treated unfairly by timeshare developers and debt collectors.

Weinstein is the sole owner of Weinstein & Riley and Oak Harbor Capital. He is one of two owners of Granite Spire Law Group.

Weinstein doesn’t own the Better Business Bureau. He is the organization’s lawyer.

Computers and Servers

Within weeks of its founding, Oak Harbor Management was the leaseholder of commercial-office space located on the third floor of a building located near Seattle’s Pike Place Market, at 2003 Western Avenue.

On June 1, 2019, Oak Harbor Management sub-leased Suite 345 to a consumer-rights law firm — Granite Spire Law Group.

Under the terms of the lease, Oak Harbor Management agreed to provide Granite Spire with more than office space. Oak Harbor Management also agreed to provide Granite Spire with “back-office support” that was defined to include “hardware and network support.” Oak Harbor Management specifically agreed to provide Granite Spire with “use of its computers, servers, and network architecture.”

Nothing in the lease agreement restricts the use or dissemination of the confidential client information that Granite Spire stores on Oak Harbor Management’s computers and servers.

Granite Spire Law Group uses computers and servers that belong to a consumer debt collector.

During a February 2020 deposition, Granite Spire employee Jeremy Wang identified the specific location of the computers and servers that Granite Spire uses. According to Wang, the computers and servers are located in a small room that is part of Granite Spire’s office space.

Wang also described Weinstein as having standing authority to enter Granite Spire’s office and to access the confidential information of Granite Spire clients. Wang testified that he had never been instructed to take any step whatsoever to prevent Weinstein from entering the firm’s office or from accessing a client file.

During his February 2020 deposition, Granite Spire employee Jeremy Wang identified the two doors that open into Granite Spire’s office space (Suite 340 and Suite 345). Wang also identified the location of the closet that contains the computers and servers that Granite Spire uses to store confidential client information.

2003 Western Avenue

Oak Harbor Capital and Granite Spire Law Group share office space — with each other and with Oak Harbor Management.

Oak Harbor Capital’s office address is 2003 Western Avenue, Suite 340.

Oak Harbor Management’s office address is also 2003 Western Avenue, Suite 340.

Granite Spire Law Group’s office address is 2003 Western Avenue, Suite 345.

Suite 340 and Suite 345 appear to be different office spaces. To a person standing in the third-floor elevator lobby of 2003 Western Avenue, the door to Suite 340 and the door to Suite 345 appear to open into two different office spaces. 

In reality, both doors open into the same office space. In reality, the door to Suite 340 and the door to Suite 345 both open into office space controlled by Granite Spire.

In reality, Suite 340 of 2003 Western Avenue in Seattle is a small closet-sized room in an office space otherwise occupied by a consumer-rights law firm.

Colin George is Granite Spire’s managing member. George claims that he “doesn’t know” why his consumer-rights law firm shares office space with a hedge fund that focuses on consumer-debt enforcement.

Access to Information

If it is true that Colin George doesn’t know why Granite Spire Law Group shares office space and computer servers with a consumer-debt collector, it is only because George has closed his eyes to reality and shut his ears to the truth.

Granite Spire shares office space and computers with a consumer-debt collector because the arrangement gives William Weinstein ongoing access to the confidential information of thousands of middle-class and working-class consumers.

Today, William Weinstein and Colin George claim that Weinstein can ethically own a consumer-rights law firm because Colin George is Granite Spire’s managing member. According to Weinstein and George, Weinstein has nothing to do with client representation. Weinstein claims that his role at Granite Spire involves nothing more than “strategic and logistical support.”

Debt collector William Weinstein explained why he believes that he can ethically operate a consumer-rights law firm in an October 2020 declaration.

Even if that were true — which it is not — Weinstein’s level of access to Granite Spire client information would be unchanged. Weinstein doesn’t need to participate in the representation of Granite Spire clients to secure their confidential information.

As the owner of Oak Harbor Management, Weinstein controls the company that provides Granite Spire with back-office support, which includes Granite Spire’s right to use computers, servers, and network architecture that belong to Oak Harbor Management.

The truth is that William Weinstein can secure the confidential information of Granite Spire clients simply by reviewing the files and other digital information that Granite Spire maintains on computers and servers that are under Weinstein’s direct control.

The reality is that Granite Spire was founded for the illegitimate purpose of providing Weinstein with ongoing access to the confidential information of timeshare consumers.

At the same moment in time that Weinstein founded Granite Spire, he also began and completed a fundamental re-organization of his debt-enforcement empire.

When the re-organization was complete, Weinstein owned a consumer-rights law firm that was leasing office space from a company that belongs to him, and that was storing the confidential client information of the firm’s clients on computers and servers that were under Weinstein’s control.

Granite Spire appeared to be an independent law firm that was operating independently of Weinstein — in Suite 345. Granite Spire’s office space appears to be under the firm’s exclusive control.

In reality, Granite Spire had made arrangement to store the confidential information of the firm’s clients on computers and servers controlled by William Weinstein — in Suite 340.

Granite Spire Law Group appears to be an independent law firm — dedicated to representing consumers who have been mistreated by debt collectors. In reality, the firm is something altogether different.

The Duty of Undivided Loyalty

This blog first discussed a lawyer’s duty of undivided loyalty to his clients more than one year ago — on May 24, 2020

To speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, click this link

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

William Weinstein & the BBB

The Better Business Bureau concealed Timeshare Exit Team’s wrongdoing from a federal court — thanks to the efforts of William Weinstein.

The Better Business Bureau says that it exists to promote “an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other.”

In the case of Timeshare Exit Team, the Better Business Bureau contributed to an unethical marketplace. The BBB concealed Timeshare Exit Team’s wrongdoing from the federal courts.

The lawyer responsible for the BBB’s concealment — William Weinstein.

William Weinstein used his position at the Better Business Bureau to conceal the wrongdoing of Timeshare Exit Team.

William Weinstein

In Summer 2019, a lawyer sent three notices of deposition to the Better Business Bureau. Each notice required a BBB employee to answer questions about a different aspect of the BBB’s relationship with Timeshare Exit Team.

On August 20, 2019, the lawyer representing the Better Business Bureau canceled the scheduled depositions. In the ongoing litigation between Westgate and Timeshare Exit Team, the lawyer wrote in an email message, the Better Business Bureau “had no interest in choosing sides.”

The lawyer who canceled the depositions is William Weinstein.

When Weinstein canceled depositions that would have required the BBB to disclose facts about its relationship with Timeshare Exit Team, he had a direct financial interest in Timeshare Exit Team’s ongoing success.

In the email message canceling the depositions, Weinstein failed to mention that he is the owner of a law firm that was taking approximately five million dollars per year from Timeshare Exit Team.

Weinstein also failed to disclose that he had personally discussed the issue of BBB accreditation with Timeshare Exit Team owner and chief executive Brandon Reed.

Weinstein, of course, is the same lawyer who has earned a vast fortune as a consumer-debt collector, and who operates a consumer-rights law firm while concealing his role in firm operations from the firm’s clients. Weinstein is the same lawyer who consulted with Dave Ramsey about launching a consumer-rights law firm to take referrals from Ramsey followers who had been abused by debt collectors.

William Weinstein interfered in federal litigation between Westgate Resorts and Timeshare Exit Team to prevent BBB employees from answering questions about Timeshare Exit Team.

Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive officer Brandon Reed, standing next to the company’s most prominent national endorser — Dave Ramsey

Brandon Reed is Timeshare Exit Team’s founder and chief executive officer.

Reed knew that Westgate Resorts had sent notices of deposition to the Better Business Bureau, requiring three employees to answer questions about the BBB’s relationship with Timeshare Exit Team. When William Weinstein canceled the depositions of BBB employees in August 2019, Reed knew that Weinstein was the lawyer representing the Better Business Bureau.

Brandon Reed claims, however, that he never spoke with William Weinstein about the depositions, and that he knew nothing about Weinstein’s efforts to prevent BBB employees from testifying about Timeshare Exit Team.

If you believe Brandon Reed’s story, you likely also believe Weinstein’s story that a he flew to Tennessee and drove twenty miles from the airport to Dave Ramsey’s recording studio — so that Dave Ramsey could tell Weinstein that he is a “good lawyer,” and for no other reason.

BBB Accreditation

The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit entity founded in 1912. Consumers regularly turn to the BBB when deciding whether to trust a particular business.

The Better Business Bureau claims that consumers can trust that a BBB-accredited business embodies integrity, which means that the company “approaches all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity, good faith, and the intent to do what is reasonably expected.”

According to the BBB’s Standards for Trust, the BBB issues its accreditation only to companies that are transparent and responsive, that advertise honestly, tell the truth, and safeguard customer privacy.

From September 2016 through December 2018, Timeshare Exit Team enjoyed BBB accreditation, and a grade of A or A-.

Until December 2018, consumers who trusted the Better Business Bureau had every reason to believe that Timeshare Exit Team was an honest and transparent company that conducted business with integrity.

For years, Timeshare Exit Team benefited from using the Better Business Bureau’s logo in company advertising and email messages.

During his August 2019 deposition testimony, Scott Loughran explained why the Better Business Bureau issued an accreditation to a company that suffered from the obvious ethical problems that have plagued Timeshare Exit Team since its founding

Loughran’s explanation was simple: Timeshare Exit Team gave the BBB lots of money.

According to Loughran, Timeshare Exit Team regularly purchased advertisements on the BBB’s website. Because of that money, Timeshare Exit Team expected special treatment: “If they want to continue to receive that money, then they should be treating us with the kid gloves that we expect them to because [the accreditation] was a big deal to us. It was important.”

Loughran and other executives were angry when the BBB finally revoked Timeshare Exit Team’s accreditation in December 2018. Loughran acknowledged that the BBB’s primary purpose is supposed to be as a consumer watchdog. For Loughran, nothing about the that purpose should have prevented from the BBB from being a “partner” to a “consumer-protection group” like “Reed Hein & Associates.”

Scott Loughran and other executives at Timeshare Exit Team believed that Timeshare Exit Team’s extensive advertising purchases entitled Timeshare Exit Team to special treatment from the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB revoked Timeshare Exit Team’s accreditation only after receiving notice that the company was being investigated by the Washington State Attorney General. In January 2018, the Attorney General served the BBB with a civil-investigative demand, asking for all consumer complaints that the BBB had received about Timeshare Exit Team. The BBB revoked Timeshare Exit Team’s accreditation by the end of the same calendar year.

By the time Timeshare Exit Team’s accreditation was finally revoked in December 2018, the BBB had received hundreds of consumer complaints about the company.

Today, Timeshare Exit Team has finally been stripped of its BBB accreditation and has an F grade.

Breach of Trust

Consumers trust that the Better Business Bureau only issues its accreditation to companies that act with integrity — just as consumers trust that a consumer law firm like Granite Spire Law Group is loyal to its clients, and that Ramsey Solutions endorses only companies that provide genuine value and that are led by people of integrity.

Each of those institutions — the Better Business Bureau, Granite Spire Law Group, and Ramsey Solutions — has proven itself to be untrustworthy. Each institution has deceived consumers who turned to it for the facts, and each has concealed information that consumers have a right to know.

To cheat tens of thousands of working-class and middle-class consumers out of tens of millions of dollars, Timeshare Exit Team has relied on its partners — Ramsey Solutions, Granite Spire Law Group, and the Better Business Bureau.

Hancock.Law

Law firms exist to serve clients — and lawyers enjoy extraordinary privilege because of the requirement that they place the interests of their clients before all other interests.

To speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, click this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Suite 340 & Suite 345

Granite Spire Law Group shares office space with a hedge fund that owns approximately $600 million in consumer debt.

In Spring 2019, Timeshare Exit Team needed a law firm to represent thousands of timeshare consumers. Granite Spire Law Group was founded.

Granite Spire shares its office space with Oak Harbor Capital — a hedge fund that manages approximately six hundred million dollars in consumer debt.

Granite Spire has two owners — William Weinstein and Colin George.

Unbeknownst to the firm’s clients, Granite Spire Law Group shares office space with a hedge fund that focuses on consumer-debt enforcement.

William Weinstein

William Weinstein has accumulated a vast fortune as a consumer-debt collector.

Weinstein is the owner of Oak Harbor Capital — a hedge fund that owns approximately $600 million in consumer debt.

Weinstein is also the owner of Weinstein & Riley — a law firm that focuses on consumer-debt enforcement.

William Weinstein is an unlikely consumer advocate.

Weinstein is one of two owners of Granite Spire Law Group — a law firm that claims to help clients “who have been treated unfairly by timeshare developers and debt collectors.”

Colin George is the firm’s other owner. George’s job is to conceal multiple facts from Granite Spire clients — including the role that William Weinstein plays in firm operations.

Weinstein’s Offices

William Weinstein controls more than two floors of prime office space near Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market.

Weinstein’s offices are located in two adjacent buildings: The first building is 2001 Western Avenue, and the second building is 2003 Western Avenue.

Weinstein & Riley occupies much of the third floor and the entire fourth floor of the first building. Weinstein & Riley’s office address is 2001 Western Avenue, Suite 400.

Oak Harbor Capital is located in the second building. Oak Harbor Capital’s office address is 2003 Western Avenue, Suite 340.

Granite Spire’s office is also located in the second building. Granite Spire’s office address is 2003 Western Avenue, Suite 345.

2003 Western Avenue and 2001 Western Avenue, seen from Seattle’s waterfront.

Judging from their addresses, Oak Harbor Capital and Granite Spire appear to be neighbors in the same building. To a person standing in the third-floor elevator lobby, the door to Suite 340 and the door to Suite 345 appear to open into two different office spaces.

In reality, both doors open into the same office space. A person can access that office space through two separate doors: the door to Suite 345 (Granite Spire), and the door to Suite 340 (Oak Harbor Capital).

Granite Spire employee Jeremy Wang created this diagram of the firm’s office during a February 2020 deposition. Wang worked at Granite Spire until June 2021.

Oak Harbor Capital

There isn’t a single Oak Harbor Capital employee who maintains a desk or office in Suite 340, nor anywhere else in 2003 Western Avenue.

All Oak Harbor Capital employees work out of the building used by Weinstein & Riley — 2001 Western Avenue.

Neither Weinstein nor George offers a meaningful explanation for Oak Harbor Capital’s decision to (a) receive mail using the office space of a consumer-rights law firm, while (b) conducting business using the office space of a law firm that specializes in consumer-debt enforcement.

When asked about the issue during his August 2020 deposition, Colin George proclaimed ignorance. “I don’t know,” he testified.

During his August 2020 deposition, Colin George used some variation of “I don’t know” approximately 150 times.

Mail Delivery

William Weinstein and Colin George agree that the postal carrier delivers mail addressed to Oak Harbor Capital to the office space where Oak Harbor Capital employees actually work — the fourth floor of 2001 Western Avenue.

The postal carrier somehow knows to deliver the mail addressed to “Oak Harbor Capital / 2003 Western Ave., Ste. 340” to an office on the fourth floor of an entirely different building.

Colin George knows less than nothing about Oak Harbor Capital’s mail-forwarding arrangement:”The mail doesn’t come to [Granite Spire]. I think someone told me at some point, ‘Oh, yeah, the mail carrier, they know to just send that over. It gets forwarded to 2001.’ But I don’t know who told me that, and I don’t know whether or not it’s true.”

Concealing the Truth

Granite Spire’s website claims that Granite Spire was founded to help people who have been treated unfairly by timeshare developers and debt collectors. The website identifies one lawyer as being responsible for Granite Spire’s founding: Colin George.

Colin George knows both statements to be false.

During an August 2020 deposition, George acknowledged the truth: His role at Granite Spire began as a middle man between debt collector William Weinstein and Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive Brandon Reed.

In Spring 2019, Brandon Reed’s lawyer requested a meeting with William Weinstein. Colin George facilitated the meeting. At the time, George was working as Weinstein’s lawyer.

At the moment of Granite Spire’s founding, Colin George was working to accomplish the shared purpose of William Weinstein and Brandon Reed.

At all times since Granite Spire’s founding in Spring 2019, Colin George has protected the interests of Brandon Reed and William Weinstein — by concealing the truth from Granite Spire clients.

Today, Colin George continues working to accomplish the shared purpose of William Weinstein and Brandon Reed — by concealing the truth about Weinstein’s role at Granite Spire from the the firm’s clients.

Granite Spire clients are told nothing about William Weinstein.

Colin George represents to clients that he founded Granite Spire to fight on behalf of consumers who have been treated unfairly by debt collectors.

In fact, Colin George works for a debt collector. George has decided that Granite Spire clients don’t deserve to know that their lawyer regularly enforces debt against consumers.

Colin George conceals William Weinstein’s ownership of Granite Spire from the firm’s clients.

Undivided Loyalty

Lawyers are supposed to be loyal to their clients — not to the companies that cheat their clients.

To speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Another Major Win for Consumers?

Timeshare Exit Team suffers another loss to another major timeshare developer. How long until the company issues another deceptive press release?

In January 2020, Timeshare Exit Team suffered a humiliating loss to major timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club, a.k.a. Holiday Inn Club Vacations. Days later, Timeshare Exit Team issued a press release in which company founder Brandon Reed described the loss as a “major win for consumers.”

On June 24, 2021, Timeshare Exit Team suffered another humiliating loss to another major timeshare developer — this time, to Wyndham Resorts. Timeshare Exit Team has yet to issue a press release claiming victory.

In January 2020, Timeshare Exit Team founder Brandon Reed described his company’s loss to Orange Lake Country Club as a “major win for consumers.” In June 2021, Timeshare Exit Team suffered another loss to Wyndham Resorts. Reed has yet to make a public statement.

Orange Lake — January 2020

Only days before a jury trial was scheduled to begin in a Florida federal courthouse, Timeshare Exit Team threw in the towel. Timeshare Exit Team avoided jury trial by (a) paying Orange Lake $750,000, and (b) agreeing to never again provide “timeshare-exit services” to any owner of an Orange Lake timeshare.

The settlement agreement unambiguously states that the Orange Lake timeshare owners who had trusted Timeshare Exit Team with their money got nothing from the deal. Paragraph 2 states that the agreement has no effect whatsoever on any claims that Orange Lake has against the consumers who had paid Timeshare Exit Team to end their timeshare obligations.

Incredibly, Timeshare Exit Team issued a press release describing the loss as a “major win for consumers.” The press release also claimed that Orange Lake had agreed to release 1,300 timeshare owners from their obligations.

Timeshare Exit Team’s press release claimed to have secured a “timeshare exit” for 1,300 owners of Orange Lake timeshares.

Timeshare Exit Team was similarly dishonest with Seattle’s King County Superior Court. In its answer to the Washington State Attorney General’s complaint alleging more than forty ongoing violations of the Consumer Protection Act, Timeshare Exit Team told the Court that the Orange Lake settlement was “another huge win for consumers — thanks to [Timeshare Exit Team],” and that the agreement included a timeshare exit “for more than one thousand owners.” Both statements were false.

Timeshare Exit Team tried to conceal the truth about the loss from its own customers and from the larger public, arguing that the settlement amount was a “trade secret.” In July 2021, the Court rejected the argument, and Timeshare Exit Team was finally forced to reveal the truth.

In reality, Timeshare Exit Team suffered a humiliating loss to Orange Lake Country Club, and Timeshare Exit Team customers got nothing from the deal.

Wyndham Resorts – June 2021

On June 24, 2021, Timeshare Exit Team settled a lawsuit that had been filed against it in December 2018 by Wyndham Resorts. Once again, Timeshare Exit Team entered into a confidential settlement agreement. This time, Timeshare Exit Team also agreed to a federal injunction.

The Court’s injunction is a public document. The injunction forbids Timeshare Exit Team from providing any timeshare-exit services to any Wyndham customer who has an outstanding balance on his or her “timeshare mortgage.” The injunction lasts for a period of ten years, and Timeshare Exit Team agreed to pay one thousand dollars per day for each violation that it commits.

After two and one-half years of litigation, Timeshare Exit Team has once again surrendered to a major timeshare developer.

Once again, Timeshare Exit Team is keeping the details secret — from the public and from its own customers.

So far, Timeshare Exit Team has yet to issue a deceptive and dishonest press release about the Wyndham settlement. If history is any guide, the lies and deceptive statements will start soon.

Timeshare Exit Team’s strategy —  waive the white flag of surrender.

What Is the Plan?

Years have passed since major timeshare developers filed the first of multiple federal lawsuits against Timeshare Exit Team and its founder Brandon Reed. Apparently, Timeshare Exit Team’s strategy remains unchanged — (a) pay millions of dollars in attorney fees, (b) settle the case before trial, (c) accomplish nothing for customers, and (d) conceal the truth.

Hancock.Law

If you are a Wyndham timeshare owner represented by a lawyer who was paid by Timeshare Exit Team, you should ask that lawyer some hard questions about his or her loyalty. 

For example: Did your lawyer know about ongoing settlement negotiations and fail to inform you? If so, why?

If you want to speak with a lawyer who will tell you the truth, click this link. The consultation is free. 

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

The Debt Collector & Timeshare Debt

Colin George “doesn’t know” whether William Weinstein collects timeshare debt.

In Spring 2019, Timeshare Exit Team founded a law firm — Granite Spire Law Group. 

Granite Spire’s owner William Weinstein is a debt collector.

The firm’s manager Colin George “doesn’t know” whether Weinstein owns timeshare debt.

The Shocking Facts

Granite Spire Law Group was founded in March 2019, for the purpose of accepting client referrals from Timeshare Exit Team. 

Granite Spire has two owners — William Weinstein and Colin George. 

William Weinstein is a consumer-debt collector with approximately $600 million under management. 

Colin George “doesn’t know” whether Weinstein collects timeshare debt.

Brandon Reed selected consumer-debt collector William Weinstein as the ideal lawyer to represent thousands of consumers against timeshare developers. Colin George “doesn’t know” whether Weinstein owns timeshare debt.

Debt-Collection Empire

William Weinstein is an unlikely lawyer to represent thousands of consumers who are in debt to timeshare developers. 

Weinstein is the owner of Oak Harbor Capital, a hedge fund with $600 million under management and a “primary investment focus” on consumer debt. As the owner of Oak Harbor Capital, Weinstein purchases and enforces consumer debt.

Weinstein is also the owner of Weinstein & Riley, a law firm that represents some of the nation’s largest banks and consumer lenders. Weinstein & Riley also regularly represents Oak Harbor Capital. As the owner of Weinstein & Riley, Weinstein represents creditors against consumers. 

Finally, Weinstein is the owner of Granite Spire Law Group, a law firm that represents consumers against timeshare developers and debt collectors. As the owner of Granite Spire, Weinstein represents consumers against creditors.

As a lawyer, William Weinstein has a duty of “undivided loyalty” to the consumers represented by Granite Spire Law Group — and to the creditors represented by Weinstein & Riley.

Oak Harbor Capital

Oak Harbor Capital manages twenty-four separate investment funds. Each investment fund is organized as a separate company, and each has a primary investment focus on consumer debt. Together, the different investment funds own consumer debt with a combined value of more than $600 million.

Oak Harbor Capital’s assets are distributed unevenly among the different funds. For example, Oak Harbor Capital NPL VII, LLC controls almost $160 million, whereas Trifera, LLC controls less than $1 million.

Granite Spire Clients

None of Granite Spire’s clients chose William Weinstein as their lawyer. Weinstein was chosen to represent consumers by Brandon Reed, the founder and chief executive of Timeshare Exit Team.

Weinstein actively conceals his role in firm operations from Granite Spire clients: Granite Spire’s website fails to disclose that Weinstein is the owner of Oak Harbor Capital and Weinstein & Riley.

In fact, Granite Spire’s website fails to disclose that William Weinstein is involved in the firm in any way whatsoever.

Granite Spire’s website identifies one lawyer as being responsible for the firm’s founding — Colin George.

Colin George

Colin George claims to be Granite Spire Law Group’s “managing member.” As the manager of a law firm, George has a duty to eliminate all undisclosed conflicts between the interests of (a) any firm lawyer, and (b) any firm client. 

George doesn’t appear to take his responsibility particularly seriously. In August 2020, George testified that he “doesn’t know” whether any of Oak Harbor Capital’s different investment funds own timeshare debt. 

Colin George used some variation of “I don’t know” more than one hundred times during an August 2019 deposition.

Stop and let that sink in:

Colin George is the managing member of a law firm that claims to be dedicated to representing consumers who have been bullied by debt collectors and timeshare developers. George conceals from his clients the fact that his partner William Weinstein has accumulated a vast fortune as a consumer-debt collector, and he “doesn’t know” whether Weinstein owns the securitized debt of major timeshare developers.

Timeshare Exit Team

Timeshare Exit Team contributes to the problems in the timeshare industry. 

In Spring 2019, Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team founded Granite Spire Law Group for the purpose of representing thousands of consumers against timeshare developers. William Weinstein was chosen as the firm’s leader. 

Timeshare Exit Team referred thousands of clients to Granite Spire. Timeshare Exit Team concealed from them that they are being represented by a lawyer who manages a vast debt-collection empire.

Timeshare Exit Team “protects consumers” by referring them to a law firm led by a consumer-debt collector.

Dave Ramsey

Timeshare Exit Team facilitated a meeting between Dave Ramsey and William Weinstein.

Ramsey was planning to launch Collection Bully, and he wanted to form a law firm capable of accepting the tens of thousands of consumer referrals that Collection Bully was sure to generate. 

Thanks to the introduction of Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team, Dave Ramsey planned to generate referrals among consumers who have been bullied by debt collectors — and to refer those consumers to a law firm managed by a consumer-debt collector.

Dave Ramsey needs to start answering questions about his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team — and about his relationship with William Weinstein.

Hancock.Law

If the lawyer representing you was paid by Timeshare Exit Team, and if that lawyer has concealed from you the information on this blog, you should ask that lawyer some hard questions about his or her loyalty. 

If you want to speak with a lawyer who will tell you the truth, click this link. The consultation is free. 

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

William Weinstein

Timeshare Exit Team chose a debt collector to represent thousands of consumers who are in debt to timeshare developers.

William Weinstein

William Weinstein is Brandon Reed’s lawyer of choice to represent thousands of middle-class and working-class consumers across North America.

Starting in May 2019, Timeshare Exit Team referred all customers who required legal services to one law firm: Granite Spire Law Group. According to Reed, Granite Spire’s only owner is William Weinstein.

Granite Spire’s website nowhere mentions William Weinstein. The website says that the firm’s only founder is a different lawyer — Colin George.

William Weinstein

William Weinstein is an unlikely consumer advocate.

Weinstein has made a vast fortune as a consumer debt collector

Weinstein is the owner of Weinstein &  Riley, a Seattle-based law firm that represents many of the nation’s largest banks, credit unions, and other consumer lenders.

Weinstein is also the owner of Oak Harbor Capital, LLC — a hedge fund that manages approximately $600 million in assets, and that has a “primary investment focus” on consumer debt. 

Granite Spire Law Group

William Weinstein and Colin George founded Ardent Law Group in March 2019.

They changed the name of the firm to Granite Spire Law Group in January 2020.

During a December 2019 deposition, Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive Brandon Reed testified that he met William Weinstein in Spring 2019, after he requested that his lawyer find “an attorney that could really help us and really buy into what it is that we do, and that can really help our customers, and that had experience.”

According to Reed, his lawyer recommended the services of William Weinstein.

Starting in May 2019, Timeshare Exit Team began referring all customers in need of legal representation to Granite Spire. According to Reed, Timeshare Exit Team referred four hundred to five hundred files per month to Granite Spire, and paid Granite Spire somewhere between one-half million dollars and one million dollars per month in attorney fees.

At all times, Brandon Reed understood Granite Spire to have one owner: William Weinstein.

Colin George

Colin George

Granites Spire’s website gives all the credit for the firm’s founding to Colin George.

According to the website, “Colin founded Granite Spire Law Group in 2019 to provide the highest quality legal representation to consumers who are the victims of unethical timeshare developers.”

Incredibly, Granite Spire’s website says that the firm was founded to help people who have been treated unfairly by debt collectors, and other companies that have harmed working families.

Nowhere does the website mention William Weinstein.

Nowhere does the website mention that Weinstein has accumulated his vast fortune as a consumer debt collector.

Nowhere does the website mention that Weinstein’s law firm Weinstein & Riley regularly represents some of the nation’s largest banks and other consumer lenders.

Nowhere does the website mention Weinstein’s hedge fund Oak Harbor Capital, nor the fact that Oak Harbor Capital manages investment funds with consumer-debt holdings of approximately $600 million.

Brandon Reed

During his December 2019 deposition, Brandon Reed discussed the level of care he exercised when selecting a lawyer to represent Timeshare Exit Team’s tens of thousands of customers:

  • Cummings: Are you familiar that [Weinstein & Riley] is what we call a debt-collection firm?
  • Reed: Yes.
  • Cummings: Okay. Isn’t that a little incongruent for [Timeshare Exit Team] to use a debt-collection law firm when it used to refer to itself a consumer protection firm?
  • Reed: I don’t think so, no.
  • Cummings: You don’t have a problem being associated indirectly with a company like that?
Brandon Reed chose the lawyer who represents thousands of consumers across North America.
  • Reed: Not at all.

Questions

(1) Why did Brandon Reed select William Weinstein as the ideal lawyer to represent thousands of consumers across North America?

(2) Why does Granite Spire Law Group’s website fail to discuss William Weinstein’s role in the firm?

(3) Why is Colin George identified as Granite Spire’s only founder on the firm’s website?

(4) Why was Dave Ramsey meeting with William Weinstein to discuss Ramsey’s Collection Bully program?

Hancock.Law

This blog first discussed a lawyer’s duty of undivided loyalty to his clients on May 24, 2020.

To speak with a lawyer who knows the relevant facts — and who is loyal to his clients — click this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Dave Ramsey’s Word Is Worthless

Dave Ramsey continued to endorse Timeshare Exit Team even after he knew about the company’s many problems.

Until March 5, 2021, Dave Ramsey enthusiastically endorsed Timeshare Exit Team on his company’s website.

Today, Ramsey says that Timeshare Exit Team took customers’ money in exchange for a service that it will never provide.

Why did Ramsey conceal the truth from his followers until March 2021? What does he have to say to a Ramsey follower who gave Timeshare Exit Team thousands of dollars — if not tens of thousands of dollars — in February 2021?

Ramsey’s Endorsement

Until March 5, 2021 Ramsey’s website told readers that the only way to terminate their timeshare obligations is to “work with a trustworthy company like Timeshare Exit Team.” The website described Timeshare Exit Team as a “reputable company.”

Readers of Ramsey’s website could complete a form that sent their contact information directly to Timeshare Exit Team — all from Ramsey’s own website.

This form appeared on the Ramsey website until March 5, 2021.

Ramsey Changes His Mind

On June 3, 2021, Dave Ramsey flatly criticized Timeshare Exit Team.

Ramsey also confessed that he has known about the company’s problems for a long time.

Ramsey said that the company is struggling financially — to the point that it cannot afford to advertise on his program.

Ramsey said that Timeshare Exit Team regularly failed to return customer telephone calls and provide updates. Finally, Ramsey said that Timeshare Exit Team is an imperfect company that “did not do a stellar job.”

Ramsey also said that he has known about Timeshare Exit Team’s problems for a long time. He said that Ramsey Solutions regularly received complaints about the company’s poor customer service, and that he spoke with Brandon Reed about the company’s failures. In fact, Ramsey said that his company provided leadership training to Timeshare Exit Team executives.

Dave Ramsey and Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive Brandon Reed

Ramsey’s criticisms followed a May 20, 2021 rant, in which he said that Timeshare Exit Team is “running out of money.”

Ramsey’s Word

If a consumer had reviewed Dave Ramsey’s website on March 4, 2021, he or she would have seen that Ramsey endorses Timeshare Exit Team, and that Ramsey described the company as “trustworthy” and “reputable.”

At the time Dave Ramsey was vouching for Timeshare Exit Team, he knew that the company regularly failed in basic customer service. He knew that the company was “imperfect,” and that it did a “less-than-stellar job.”

Ramsey knew about Timeshare Exit Team’s financial difficulties — assuming that “leadership training” involves a discussion of books and records.

Ramsey also knew that the company had been sued by the Washington State Attorney General in February 2020, for multiple ongoing violations of the State Consumer Protection Act.

Dave Ramsey Is Untrustworthy

Dave Ramsey has promised his followers that they can trust his recommendations, and that he personally takes an endorsement “so very seriously.” Ramsey says that he would never recommend a company to his followers unless he would recommend the company to his best friend.

Ramsey says that he only recommends companies led by people of good character. “At the end of the day,” he says, “it’s character that matters.”

In fact, Dave Ramsey recommended that his followers give their money to a company that he knew to provide poor customer service, that he knew to be in financial difficulties, and that he knew to stand accused by law enforcement of cheating its own customers.

Presumably, Ramsey also knew about Brandon Reed’s inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.

On these facts, the conclusion is unavoidable — Dave Ramsey is untrustworthy, and Ramsey’s word is worthless.

Accountability

Dave Ramsey will have to answer for his words.

The State of Washington is currently demanding that he answer questions, and Ramsey is trying to avoid the accountability that comes with a deposition. Ramsey has even gone so far as to argue that he has never endorsed Timeshare Exit Team, and that he isn’t responsible for the words that he speaks on air.

Earthly law is imperfect, and Ramsey is wealthy and powerful. His attempts to avoid legal accountability might work.

Ramsey cannot avoid accountability forever.

The Book of Revelation describes the day of judgment: “[T]he books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12 (emphasis added).

Dave Ramsey regularly quotes the Bible when giving financial advice to his readers and listeners.

Hancock.Law

When a lawyer knows facts that are relevant to the interests of his clients, he has a duty to inform his clients of those facts.

If you want to speak with a lawyer who takes seriously his duty of undivided loyalty to his clients, click this link. The consultation is free.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

Dave Ramsey’s Distractions

On Thursday, June 3, 2021, Dave Ramsey made an announcement that shocked the world. 

“Timeshares are bad,” said Ramsey. 

In shocking news, Dave Ramsey announces that a timeshare is an unwise purchase.

In other news, water is wet. 

There are twenty-four hours in a day. 



The Reason for the Distractions

Dave Ramsey is desperate to talk about something else — something other than Timeshare Exit Team, Brandon Reed, and William Weinstein

Dave Ramsey stands credibly accused of conspiring with Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team to cheat tens of thousands of middle-class and working-class consumers out of tens of millions of dollars, and he is currently refusing to answer the relevant questions of the chief law-enforcement officer in the State of Washington.

Dave Ramsey is desperate to change the topic.

Lisa Guerrero

Lisa Guerrero’s arm after an encounter with a Ramsey employee

Dave Ramsey wants to talk about Lisa Guerrero.  

Guerrero says that the bruising on her arm is evidence that she was assaulted by a Ramsey employee. Ramsey says that the hotel’s surveillance video footage demonstrates otherwise.

If Dave Ramsey has video evidence in his possession, he should produce the evidence.

If Inside Edition and Lisa Guerrero have additional video evidence in their possession, they should produce the evidence.

Whatever happened, this fact is undisputed: Lisa Guerrero suffered bruising while trying to get an answer to a simple question — Why does Dave Ramsey endorse Timeshare Exit Team?

Timeshare Developers

Ramsey wants to talk about timeshare developers, and about Diamond Resorts and Mike Flaskey. 

Dave Ramsey really wants the world to know that he dislikes Diamond chief executive Mike Flaskey. In this photograph, Flaskey tells people that Diamond really dislikes Timeshare Exit Team

Dave Ramsey argues that Timeshare developers are uniquely corrupt.

So what?

What does that have to do with Timeshare Exit Team? 

More than one year ago, Hancock.Law filed the first consumer lawsuit against Timeshare Exit Team, on behalf of Gordon and Cheryl Edgin. Mr. and Mrs. Edgin had paid Timeshare Exit Team $38,222.91 for a “timeshare exit” that the company failed to deliver.

Mr. and Mrs. Edgin’s demand for arbitration anticipated that Timeshare Exit Team would make the same argument that Ramsey is making — “Timeshares are bad, so we must be good.”

Their demand states the following:

Gordon and Cheryl Edgin were recently profiled in a newspaper article published by Religion News Service.

Throughout a December 2018 deposition, Brandon Reed cannot describe any meaningful plan to terminate a consumer’s timeshare obligations, and he fails to describe any value that the company delivers to a consumer who has waited years for a timeshare exit.

Rather than address his company’s failings, Brandon Reed employs the tired tactic of changing the topic. Again and again throughout the deposition, Reed argues that timeshare contracts are inherently unfair, and that timeshare developers are uniquely corrupt.

Reed is correct on both points. It is true that timeshare contracts are inherently unfair: Consumers spend tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a product that often cannot be re-sold for even one dollar. It is also true that timeshare developers are uniquely corrupt: Timeshares are sold during high-pressure face-to-face sales presentations while a consumer is on vacation, with a commission-based compensation model. Under this incentive structure, misrepresentations during the sales process are all but guaranteed.

Reed is wrong to think that Timeshare Exit Team is anything other than part of the problem.

Brandon Reed uses the same technique that Ramsey is employing: Distract. Blame the timeshare developers.

Mr. and Mrs. Edgin’s demand for arbitration should also end any argument that timeshare developers have filed lawsuits against Timeshare Exit Team because of its effectiveness: Mr. and Mrs. Edgin paid $1,700 per month to their timeshare developer throughout the eighteen months they were customers of Timeshare Exit Team. They made the payments on the advice of Timeshare Exit Team.

Mr. and Mrs. Edgin stopped using the vacation lodging for which they were paying — on the advice of Timeshare Exit Team.

Gordon and Cheryl Edgin’s timeshare obligations ended a few months after they retained Hancock.Law.

The Questions Remain

Dave Ramsey stands credibly accused of conspiring with Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team to cheat tens of thousands of middle-class and working-class consumers out of tens of millions of dollars, and he is currently refusing to answer the relevant questions of the chief law-enforcement officer in the State of Washington.

Dave Ramsey will keep trying to change the subject. This blog will stay focused on the financial harm Timeshare Exit Team has caused to tens of thousands of families across North America.

This blog will continue to ask this question:

(1) Why should Dave Ramsey get to keep the money he took for playing the role of the pitch-man in a vast consumer fraud?

And these questions:

(2) How much money did Dave Ramsey take from his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team?

Dave Ramsey is refusing to answer the questions of Washington’s chief law-enforcement officer.

Will Ramsey deposit that money in trust, for the benefit of the company’s victims?

And this question:

(3) Who is William Weinstein?

Why was Ramsey meeting with him?

Accountability

One of the first themes in the Bible is humanity’s failure to accept accountability.

When God asks Adam whether he had eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam immediately blames someone else: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:12.

Eve blames the serpent: “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:13.

When God asks Cain for the location of his brother Abel, Cain tries to avoid responsibility: “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9.

Dave Ramsey regularly quotes the Bible when giving financial advice to his readers and listeners.

Accountability is difficult, and no person is perfect.

Not even Dave Ramsey.

Hancock.Law

If you want to speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, click this link. The consultation is free.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

Dave Ramsey & Character

Dave Ramsey is willing to ignore extramarital sex and perjury — so long as he benefits financially.

According to Dave Ramsey, one of the core values of Ramsey Solutions is righteous living, which means that “character matters — all the time.”

Because of this core value, Ramsey Solutions claims the right to fire a long-time employee who became pregnant while unmarried.

That core value doesn’t prevent Ramsey from endorsing Timeshare Exit Team — a company led by a man who has had extramarital encounters with multiple female employees.

One of Ramsey’s fourteen stated core values.

All the Time?

If character matters all the time, and if people of good character never engage in extramarital sex, Dave Ramsey should explain to his listeners and readers why he has continued to do business with Brandon Reed — the founder and chief executive officer of Timeshare Exit Team.

After all, Ramsey has regularly assured his followers that he will only endorse companies led by people of good character. “At the end of the day,” Ramsey said, “it’s character that matters.”

Dave Ramsey promises that he only endorses companies led by people of good character.

Brandon Reed

Brandon Reed stands credibly accused of cheating tens of thousands of working-class and middle-class consumers across North America — many of whom turned to Timeshare Exit Team for help because they trusted Dave Ramsey.

Character matters: Brandon Reed and Dave Ramsey.

Brandon Reed also stands credibly accused of having multiple extramarital affairs with female employees. In 2018, Reed settled a sexual-harassment case with his former director of human resources.

On these facts, Ramsey Solutions should worry less about the private sexual behavior of administrative assistant Caitlin O’Connor and more about the greed of company founder and president Dave Ramsey.

Dave Ramsey Endorses Extramarital Sex

According to his own sworn testimony, Brandon Reed has engaged in extramarital sex with multiple female employees. In fact, Reed impregnated a female employee. Reed testified during a December 2018 deposition:

  • Epstein: On how many occasions did you develop a personal relationship with employees? Female employees. 
  • Reed: Yeah, I would say a handful, a few. 
  • Epstein: And there was one occasion where you fathered a child?
  • Reed: That is correct.

Dave Ramsey Endorses Sexual Harassment

Timeshare Exit Team’s former director of human resources Tanya Freeman filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit against Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team in August 2017. She alleged that Reed sexually harassed her and other employees, and that Reed’s pervasive sexual harassment created a hostile work environment.

According to Freeman’s complaint, Brandon Reed had sex with approximately five female employees (by 2016), and he regularly gave preferential treatment to the employees who accepted his sexual advances. Pregnant employees were particularly offended by Reed’s behavior, Freeman alleged, because they were forced to witness the preferential treatment received by the employee who was pregnant with Brandon Reed’s child.

Dave Ramsey Endorses Lying

In July 2018, Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team settled Freeman’s lawsuit — on terms that required a confidential settlement payment.

In December 2018, Reed testified — under oath — that he had never been sued for sexual harassment:

  • Epstein: Did any of those women sue the company?
  • Reed: No.

. . .

  • Epstein: There was never any sexual harassment or hostile work environment or that type of claim that resulted from that?
  • Reed: No.
Five months after paying money to settle this lawsuit, Brandon Reed testified that neither he nor his company had ever been sued for sexual harassment.

Caitlin O’Connor

Dave Ramsey fired Caitlin O’Connor because she had sex with her committed partner while in the privacy or her own home.
Brandon Reed had extramarital sex with multiple subordinate female employees; he received Dave Ramsey’s enthusiastic endorsement

Caitlin O’Connor worked at Dave Ramsey’s company for more than four years — from February 2016 through June 2020. She was an administrative assistant in the information-technology department. She had sex with her committed partner while in the privacy of her own home, and she became pregnant.

On June 18, 2020, O’Connor sent an email message to the company’s human-resources manager, informing him that she was twelve weeks pregnant and requesting information about medical leave.

She wrote the following: “I need to let you know that I’m twelve weeks pregnant. I understand that being unmarried and pregnant is frowned on here, but the reality of the situation is this is what I’m walking through right now. This is obviously uncharted territory for me so I’m not sure what my next steps are regarding sharing the news with my leader[.]”

Members of the Ramsey leadership team circulated the email message amongst themselves. One member criticized O’Connor’s email message as “totally classless.” O’Connor was required to attend a meeting with company leadership to explain her behavior. Two days later, she was fired.

Character Matters?

When a four-year employee of Ramsey Solutions reached out for help because she was pregnant, she was promptly fired. Presumably, Ramsey left her without the health insurance she planned to use for pre-natal care, and without the income she planned to use for the support of her child. In the Tennessee community in which she lives and in which Ramsey exercises enormous influence, she was labeled a  person of low character

  • What motivations does this create for an unmarried woman who becomes pregnant while working at Ramsey Solutions?
  • Doesn’t this make it more likely that a future employee who finds herself in O’Connor’s circumstances will terminate her pregnancy?

Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team have benefited from Dave Ramsey’s endorsement for more than five years. During that time, Brandon Reed had extramarital sex with multiple female employees. He created a hostile work environment for other female employees. He lied under oath about allegations of sexual harassment.

When the State of Washington accused Brandon Reed of cheating tens of thousands of working-class and middle-class consumers across North America, Dave Ramsey rushed to his defense. Without conducting any type of meaningful investigation into the State’s allegations, Ramsey insisted to his listeners and readers that Timeshare Exit Team was deserving of their trust.

  • What message does this send to the leaders of the other companies that Ramsey endorses?
  • Why wouldn’t they conclude that Ramsey is willing to conspire with them to cheat his own listeners and readers — so long as Ramsey gets paid?

The Measure of Character

Far more troubling than the sexual behavior of Ramsey employees while they are in the privacy of their own homes is Dave Ramsey’s endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team — a company that has cheated tens of thousands of middle-class and working-class consumers out of tens of millions of dollars.

Dave Ramsey will likely regret having judged his employees so harshly. “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:2.

If the punishment for extramarital sex is loss of employment and social exclusion, what is the punishment for enriching yourself by cheating tens of thousands of working people out of their money?

Dave Ramsey regularly quotes the Bible when giving financial advice to his readers and listeners.

Ramsey should publicly explain the measure by which he intends to hold himself accountable.

Loyalty to Clients

If you want to speak with a lawyer who knows how to terminate a consumer’s timeshare obligations and who is loyal to his clients, click this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Dave Ramsey & the Debt Collector

Dave Ramsey referred consumers who have been bullied by debt collectors to a law firm managed by a debt collector.

Dave Ramsey says that the State of Washington shouldn’t have the right to ask him any questions about Timeshare Exit Team because the State can get answers to all its questions from lower-level Ramsey employees.

In an April 5, 2021 letter and again in an April 23, 2021 email message, Ramey’s lawyer argued that Dave Ramsey lacks “unique personal knowledge of any relevant facts.” 

Respectfully, that isn’t true.

The truth is that Dave Ramsey has unique personal knowledge about the Collection Bully program that he and Timeshare Exit Team were preparing to launch in 2019–2020.

Ramsey also has unique personal knowledge about his dealings with the lawyer whom he and Timeshare Exit Team founder Brandon Reed chose to represent consumers being harassed by debt collectors. 

The lawyer’s name is William Weinstein — and he is a debt collector

In 2019 and 2020, Dave Ramsey and Timeshare Exit Team were collaborating to build Collection Bully — a program for consumers being harassed by debt collectors. Today, Ramsey’s website nowhere mentions Collection Bully; it has been tossed down the memory hole, like his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

William Weinstein

William Weinstein has earned a vast fortune as a consumer debt collector.

William Weinstein is an unlikely consumer advocate.

Weinstein has made a vast fortune as a consumer debt collector

Weinstein is the owner of Weinstein &  Riley, a Seattle-based law firm that represents many of the nation’s largest banks, credit unions, and other consumer lenders. In May 2010, Weinstein testified that he believed Weinstein & Riley to be “the largest firm representing creditors and creditor-rights matters in the United States.” 

Weinstein is also the owner of Oak Harbor Capital, LLC — a hedge fund that manages approximately $600 million in assets, and that has a “primary investment focus” on consumer debt. 

In a 2021 SEC disclosure form, Oak Harbor Capital describes its “primary investment focus.” A “consumer receivable” is money that a company is due to receive from a consumer.

Collection Bully

Weinstein described his involvement in Ramsey’s Collection Bully program during a September 2020 deposition.

According to Weinstein, Dave Ramsey is a “self-styled consumer advocate,” and Collection Bully was designed to help consumers who have been the “victims of predatory lending and abusive consumer-collection activity.” 

Weinstein testified that he consulted regularly about Collection Bully with the chief executive of Happy Hour Media Group: Chris Holcomb.

Happy Hour is owned by Brandon Reed, the same person who owns Timeshare Exit Team. Happy Hour handles Timeshare Exit Team’s advertising — including its relationships with paid endorsers like Dave Ramsey.

Dave Ramsey, with Brandon Reed (left) and Chris Holcomb (right). William Weinstein says that he met regularly with Chris Holcolmb to discuss Dave Ramsey’s Collection Bully program.

According to Weinstein, the plan was for Dave Ramsey to handle Collection Bully’s advertising and marketing, and to refer cases to a law firm. Holcomb proposed that Weinstein launch a law firm for the purpose of accepting Ramsey’s referrals, and Weinstein met with his lawyers to discuss the possibility.

Think about that: Dave Ramsey intended to generate referrals from among consumers who feel bullied by debt collectors — and to refer them to a law firm managed by a debt collector.

Quite frankly, Ramsey’s choice of Weinstein as a consumer lawyer is a far more important story than is Ramsey’s offensive treatment of reporter Lisa Guerrero.

William Weinstein regularly consulted about Dave Ramsey’s Collection Bully program with the chief executive of Happy Hour Media Group — Timeshare Exit Team’s advertising agency.

Weinstein & Ramsey

William Weinstein remembers speaking with Dave Ramsey. 

Unfortunately, Weinstein cannot remember what he and Ramsey talked about, except that Ramsey told him that he understood Weinstein to be a “capable lawyer.” 

Weinstein remembers that he flew to Tennessee, and that he drove approximately twenty minutes from the airport to the Ramsey Solutions headquarters. He remembers that he watched Ramsey record an edition of his radio broadcast, and that he and Ramsey spoke briefly. Weinstein cannot remember anything else about their interaction.

Weinstein summarized the extent of his memory in September 2020:

  • So your testimony is that you drove out to this broadcast studio that was in a somewhat remote area twenty minutes outside of Nashville for the purpose of meeting Mr. Ramsey, and that he told you that you’re a good lawyer, and that you’ve never communicated with him since. Is that your testimony today?
  • That’s my testimony today.
William Weinstein cannot remember much about the conversation he shared with Dave Ramsey. Hopefully, Ramsey has a better memory.

Ramsey’s Knowledge

Hopefully, Dave Ramsey has a stronger memory than William Weinstein. 

If the State of Washington wants to know what Ramsey and Weinstein discussed during Weinstein’s visit to the Ramsey Solutions headquarters, Ramsey has “unique personal knowledge of the relevant facts.”

The State may also want answers to deeper, more fundamental questions: 

  • Why did Dave Ramsey plan to refer consumers being harassed by debt collectors to a law firm managed by a debt collector?
  • What steps did Ramsey take to ensure that Weinstein would be loyal to the consumer-clients referred to him by Ramsey, rather than to the creditors and debt collectors that he typically represents?
William Weinstein owns Weinstein & Riley, a law firm that has represented “many of the nation’s largest banks, credit unions, consumer finance companies, and other credit lenders.”

Accountability

To begin the process of accepting accountability for his role in the vast consumer fraud that is Timeshare Exit Team, Dave Ramsey should do the following:

  • Disgorge into a trust account all money that he received for endorsing Timeshare Exit Team. The funds should be distributed to Timeshare Exit Team’s victims. 
  • Sit for a deposition and answer the State of Washington’s questions about his relationship with Timeshare Exit Team, and publicly release the transcript of the deposition.
  • Explain why he and Brandon Reed decided that the best lawyer to represent consumers who feel bullied by debt collectors is William Weinstein.

In short, Dave Ramsey should accept accountability. He should provide a full and complete accounting of his relationship with Timeshare Exit Team. He should be fulsome and honest with the larger public and with the people who have suffered harm because they trusted him. 

Today, Ramsey’s website recommends that consumers tell debt collectors to “go away” if they are being harassed because they cannot pay their obligations. In 2019–2020, Ramsey planned to refer consumers to a law firm managed by a debt collector.
Why the change?

The Bare Minimum

If Ramsey persists in his refusal to answer questions, he should explain to his followers why he is choosing to stay silent about his endorsement of a company that cheated tens of thousands of middle-class and working-class consumers out of tens of millions of dollars.

If Ramsey persists in his refusal to disgorge the money, he should explain to his followers why he gets to keep the money that he “earned” by referring consumers to a company that cheated them out of their money.

By staying silent, Ramsey implicitly acknowledges the truth — There is no good answer to those questions.

Hancock.Law

This blog first discussed a lawyer’s duty of undivided loyalty to his clients more than one year ago.

To speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, and who knows the facts about Dave Ramsey, William Weinstein, Brandon Reed, and Timeshare Exit Team, click this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Dave Ramsey’s Debt

Dave Ramsey seems to think that he gets to keep the millions of dollars he took by endorsing a vast consumer fraud.

Dave Ramsey owes tens of millions of dollars.

To tens of thousands of creditors.

Right now, Ramsey seems to be taking the position that he will fail to honor his financial obligations.

Ramsey Takes Credit

On Friday, May 21, 2021, Ramsey announced to the world that he is the person responsible for introducing Timeshare Exit Team to consumers across North America. “To say that their business exploded — when I came on the air and told people that Timeshare Exit Team will get you out of your timeshare — is an understatement,” Ramsey said.

Dave Ramsey claims the credit for introducing tens of thousands of consumers to the vast consumer fraud known as “Timeshare Exit Team.”

Ramsey said that Timeshare Exit Team was only a small regional company before he endorsed the company on his radio program and at Financial Peace University.

Incredibly, Dave Ramsey is saying that most of Timeshare Exit Team’s victims only heard about the company in the first place because of his efforts. Dave Ramsey is taking credit for his role in a vast consumer fraud that will leave tens of thousands of working-class and middle-class people cheated out of tens of millions of dollars.

Thanks to Dave Ramsey, Timeshare Exit Team has victims across North America.

Ramsey’s Definition of Success

Dave Ramsey described Timeshare Exit Team as “successful.” Ramsey also said that Timeshare Exit Team is “running out of money.”

Dave Ramsey’s definition of a “successful company.”

Ramsey explained why (a) a successful company (b) finds itself without any money:

Ramsey says that Timeshare Exit Team inflicted so much pain on the timeshare industry that major timeshare developers fought back against the company.

Think about that: Dave Ramsey is arguing that Timeshare Exit Team’s failure is the fault of the timeshare developers — because they resisted Timeshare Exit Team’s efforts. Timeshare Exit Team founder Brandon Reed made the same argument.

How did Dave Ramsey and Brandon Reed expect timeshare developers to react to their efforts? With warm thanks? With hugs and kisses?

In January 2021, Timeshare Exit Team claimed to have secured a “major win” for consumers against major timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club. Dave Ramsey surely knows that Timeshare Exit Team actually suffered a humiliating defeat.

Ramsey’s Massive Debt

Dave Ramsey explicitly claimed credit for the vast sums of revenue Timeshare Exit Team has generated. Ramsey said that after he endorsed the company, Timeshare Exit Team’s revenue “sky-rocketed.”

Timeshare Exit Team has one source of revenue — advance fees paid by consumers. Under Timeshare Exit Team’s business model, consumers pay before receiving the promised service, based on Reed Hein’s promise that the company will earn the fee by delivering the service over time. If Reed Hein cannot deliver on the promised service, the company offers a one-hundred-percent money-back guarantee.

Dave Ramsey announced to the world that Timeshare Exit Team is “going out of business” because it is “running out of money.” If Timeshare Exit Team goes out of business tomorrow, it will close its doors without having earned the fees it charged to tens of thousands of customers. Those customers will have paid a fee for a service that Timeshare Exit Team failed to deliver.

If Timeshare Exit Team runs out of money tomorrow, tens of thousands of customers will be left with a one-hundred-percent money-back guarantee without any money to back it.

For the consumers cheated by Timeshare Exit Team, the questions are obvious:

  • What happened to the money they paid?
  • Who else benefited from this scam?
What is the value of a “money-back guarantee” without any money to back it?

Ramsey Got Paid

Immediately after taking credit for Timeshare Exit Team’s “success,” and then saying that Timeshare Exit Team is “running out of money,” Dave Ramsey said that he is sitting in a building that is worth three hundred million dollars, which he owns free and clear.

Ramsey bragged that he is “neck deep in cash.”

Dave Ramsey says that he has enough real-estate equity and cash to make whole all the people whom he victimized by endorsing Timeshare Exit Team.

Dave Ramsey got some of that cash from Timeshare Exit Team.

Ramsey constructed some part of that building, and purchased some part of the land beneath it, with money from Timeshare Exit Team.

Victims of Timeshare Exit Team paid for this building.

By predicting that Timeshare Exit Team will go out of business — while it owes tens of millions of dollars in one-hundred-percent money-back guarantees to tens of thousand of consumers — Dave Ramsey just gave a working definition of vast consumer fraud:

The faces of a vast consumer fraud.

vast consumer fraud: (n) 1. A company that charges its customers an advance fee for services, only to declare bankruptcy while owing tens of millions of dollars for undelivered services. 2. Reed Hein & Associates, LLC, d.b.a. “Timeshare Exit Team.” See also Ramsey, Dave; Reed, Brandon.

Right now, Dave Ramsey seems to be taking the position that he earned money by endorsing Timeshare Exit Team.

Ramsey should explain his position: Why should he be allowed to keep the money he received by referring his followers to a vast consumer fraud?

Because Lisa Guerrero is low-class?

Because Mike Flaskey was mean to Ramsey on twitter?

Because timeshare developers are bad?

Accountability for Dave Ramsey

Happy Hour Media Group is a marketing company owned by Brandon Reed — the owner of Timeshare Exit Team.
Court filings suggest that payments for Ramsey’s endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team were made by Happy Hour Media Group.

The most obvious question for Dave Ramsey to answer: (1) How much money did he receive from Timeshare Exit Team?

Ramsey should include all money he received from Happy Hour Media Group in his answer. He should provide the information by year, as part of a full accounting of his relationship with Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team. Ramsey should be fulsome and honest with his followers.

The next questions are equally obvious:

(2) Will Dave Ramsey disgorge into trust — for the benefit of Timeshare Exit Team’s victims — all money he received from Timeshare Exit Team?

(3) If not, why not?

Employees relax in a comfortable and luxurious building that Ramsey purchased with money that Ramsey took by participating in a vast consumer fraud.

Those three questions really amount to one question: Will Dave Ramsey accept personal accountability for his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team?

Ramsey will answer that question soon enough.

Loyalty to Clients

Since January 2020, this firm has been fighting to hold Timeshare Exit Team accountable.

If you want to speak with a lawyer who takes seriously his duty of undivided loyalty to his clients, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link. The consultation is free.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

Dave Ramsey Throws a Temper Tantrum

Dave Ramsey enriched himself by cheating tens of thousands of consumers. Now, he is angry that people are demanding accountability.

In a temper tantrum that he claims to have been viewed by more than twenty million people, Dave Ramsey responded to a question that was apparently posed to him by reporters associated with the nationally syndicated television program Inside Edition.

Ramsey has refused to answer the questions of the State of Washington’s chief law-enforcement officer. He has refused to sit for an on-camera interview with a journalist. He has refused to address or even acknowledge the questions posed to him on this blog.

On May 21, 2021, Ramsey finally responded to one question posed by one reporter.

First, though, Dave Ramsey threw a temper tantrum.

Accountability to Others

Dave Ramsey is very mad that reporter Lisa Guerrero “ambushed” him in a hotel in Dallas to get some answers. “You ought to know better than that,” Ramsey whines in the video below. “That was so low-class.

Dave Ramsey attacks the people who dared to demand answers about his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

What question did Guerrero ask Ramsey? Did she ask him low-class questions about his religious convictions or family life? Did she ask a scummy question about Ramsey’s private sexual behavior?

No, of course not. More than one year after the Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Timeshare Exit Team alleging that the company regularly cheats Ramsey’s own listeners and readers, Lisa Guerrero had the unmitigated gall to ask Dave Ramsey the following question:

Why do you endorse Timeshare Exit Team?

Reporter Lisa Guerrero had the nerve to ask Dave Ramsey why he endorses a company that has cheated his listeners and readers out of tens of millions of dollars. According to Ramsey, she is therefore “low class.”

Evidence

After labeling reporter Guerrero low-class because she asked him to explain his endorsement, Dave Ramsey resorted to two tactics that he and Timeshare Exit Team will deploy again and again: (1) Attack the personal integrity of the person asking questions. (2) Attack the timeshare industry.

According to Ramsey, the State of Washington filed its lawsuit against Timeshare Exit Team because Attorney General Robert Ferguson was paid by timeshare developers. Ramsey also alleges that Inside Edition produced its segment on Ramsey because Lisa Guerrero was paid by timeshare developers.

When the State of Washington goes to trial against Timeshare Exit Team, Robert Ferguson and his deputy attorneys general will produce evidence of consumer fraud. When Inside Edition airs its report about Timeshare Exit Team, the program will produce evidence of consumer fraud.

This blog has produced evidence that Dave Ramsey conspired with a debt collector to cheat his own followers.

If Dave Ramsey has evidence to support his allegations, he should produce the evidence.

Decisions & Consequences

It is entirely unsurprising that reporters and law-enforcement officers are demanding answers from Dave Ramsey.

Dave Ramsey enriched himself by cheating the very listeners and readers who trust him. Some Ramsey listeners took out second mortgages on their homes. Some readers withdrew funds from their retirement accounts. Many of Ramsey’s victims are vulnerable adults.

Now, Ramsey is attacking the personal integrity of a reporter because she dared to ask him a simple question?

In his books, Ramsey regularly quotes the Book of Proverbs.

King Solomon warned of consequences for those people who pretend that evil is righteousness: “He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him[.]” Proverbs 24:24.

Respectfully, what did Dave Ramsey think would happen when his listeners and readers learned that he and Brandon Reed had cheated them out of their money?

Dave Ramsey regularly quotes the Bible when giving financial advice to his readers and listeners.

They are going to be angry — and they are going to ask questions.

Ramsey should start giving answers.

Loyalty to Clients

If you were cheated by Timeshare Exit Team, you need a lawyer who is loyal to his clients. If you want to speak with a lawyer who takes seriously his duty of undivided loyalty, click this link. The consultation is free.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

Dave Ramsey & the Memory Hole

Dave Ramsey is trying to pretend that he never endorsed Timeshare Exit Team.

Judging from the Ramsey Solutions website, Dave Ramsey has nothing to do with Timeshare Exit Team.

Take a look: There isn’t a single mention of Timeshare Exit Team or Ramsey’s endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team. Judging from the website, Dave Ramsey doesn’t endorse Timeshare Exit Team today, and he didn’t endorse Timeshare Exit Team in past.

Timeshare Exit Team is no longer among Ramsey’s trusted providers. Ramsey’s blog posts about timeshares no longer end with an endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

All information about Timeshare Exit Team is gone from the Ramsey website — tossed down the memory hole.

The Ministry of Truth

In other news, chocolate rations are going up, and Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

In George Orwell’s novel 1984, Oceania resident Winston Smith works as one of the many faceless bureaucrats at the Ministry of Truth. Winston’s job is to erase certain facts from the historical record and to substitute other “facts” that are more convenient for the Party. After Winston makes the necessary substitution, he throws the old, inconvenient facts down the memory hole.

Winston Smith works at the Oceania Ministry of Truth — under the constant supervision of Big Brother. In this clip, Winston “corrects” past newspaper articles to say that the Party had always anticipated a reduction in chocolate rations.

Winston’s job is to “correct” newspapers and magazine articles from the past:

As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a “categorical pledge” were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grams to twenty at the end of the present week.
All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.

Big Brother supervises Winston’s work.

It is that easy.

The Ministry of Truth has built a system of pneumatic tubes throughout the building, and all of them lead to a furnace in the building’s basement. To forever erase a fact from human history, Winston just opens a tube and places a scrap of paper near the opening. The air pressure does the rest.

Winston and his co-workers call the openings memory holes.

A Reputable Company?

On February 4, 2020, the Washington State Attorney General filed a complaint charging Timeshare Exit Team with forty-two violations of Consumer Protection Act, nine violations of the Debt Adjusting Act, and five violations of the Credit Services Organization Act.

For more than a year after the State of Washington alleged that Timeshare Exit Team was regularly cheating tens of thousands of working-class and middle-class consumers across North America, Dave Ramsey continued to recommend the company to his listeners and readers.

Until March 2021, Ramsey’s website recommended Timeshare Exit Team as a reputable company.

When Dave Ramsey described Timeshare Exit Team as a reputable company, the Better Business Bureau had given the company an F-grade and stripped its accreditation. The Washington State Attorney General had filed a lawsuit against the company.

In what world is that a reputable company?

Personal Responsibility?

A few months ago, Dave Ramsey erased of all mention of Timeshare Exit Team from the Ramsey Solutions website.

Ramsey didn’t apologize to the people who have lost money to Timeshare Exit Team. He didn’t explain why he had continued to endorse the company after the appearance of multiple red flags — especially the State of Washington’s lawsuit. He didn’t identify any particular event that had finally caused him to re-evaluate his relationship with Timeshare Exit Team.

Ramsey didn’t offer any explanation whatsoever.

Ramsey didn’t even announce the change.

Apparently, Dave Ramsey thinks he can just toss Timeshare Exit Team down the memory hole.

An employee of Ramsey Solutions — working under the constant supervision of Dave Ramsey — edits the company website to eliminate all reference to Timeshare Exit Team and Brandon Reed.
Oops. My mistake: This is another clip of Winston Smith — working under the constant supervision of Big Brother — at the Oceania’s Ministry of Truth.

Loyalty to Clients

When a lawyer knows facts that are relevant to the interests of his clients, he has a duty to inform his clients of those facts.

If you want to speak with a lawyer who takes seriously his duty of undivided loyalty to his clients, click this link. The consultation is free.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

Dave Ramsey Confuses Consumers

Dave Ramey’s name appears throughout complaints filed by consumers with the Office of the Washington State Attorney General.

Dave Ramsey never endorsed Timeshare Exit Team.

Dave Ramsey “promoted” The Lampo Group, LLC’s endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

Because Ramsey was speaking only in his capacity as the chief executive officer of The Lampo Group, he shouldn’t have to answer for the words that he spoke.

At least, that is the argument offered by Ramsey’s lawyer.

Your eyes must be deceiving you: According to Dave Ramsey, he never endorsed Timeshare Exit Team.

In an April 5, 2021 letter and again in an email message sent on April 23, 2021, Ramsey’s lawyer argues that Dave Ramsey shouldn’t be forced to answer the Washington State Attorney General’s questions about Timeshare Exit Team — a company that Ramsey has endorsed for years, and that today stands credibly accused of cheating tens of thousands of working-class and middle-class consumers across North America.

Consumers Must Be Confused

On July 22, 2020, I requested public records from the Washington State Attorney General. I requested “copies of all consumer complaints filed against Timeshare Exit Team in 2020.” The State produced more than eighty complaints.

In just the first seven months of 2020, more than eighty consumers complained that Brandon Reed and Reed Hein & Associates had cheated them out of their money. Many of those consumers mentioned Dave Ramsey by name.

Dave Ramsey’s name appears throughout the consumer complaints. A few examples:

On February 14, 2020, a consumer filed a complaint alleging that he had paid Timeshare Exit Team more than twenty thousand dollars, and that the company had done nothing for him. He wrote that he had given his money to Timeshare Exit Team because Dave Ramsey recommended the company as “the only company he trusts to get people out of their timeshares.” Ramsey had offered the recommendation during a seminar at the consumer’s church.

Four days later, a consumer filed a complaint alleging that she had paid Timeshare Exit Team forty thousand dollars. The consumer noted that she had given her money to Timeshare Exit Team after seeing on the “Dave Ramsey website” that Timeshare Exit Team is a “reputable company.”

Consumers regularly say that they trusted Timeshare Exit Team because of Dave Ramsey.

On April 16, 2020, a consumer alleged that Timeshare Exit Team had cheated him and his wife out of more than ten thousand dollars. According to the consumer, more than two years had passed since he and his wife had paid Timeshare Exit Team’s fee. Every time he asked for information about the work being done on his case, he got the same answer: “We’re working on it. This takes time.” The consumer singled out Ramsey for criticism. “At this point,” he wrote, “I would give about anything if we had never put our faith in Dave Ramsey’s glowing recommendation.”

On May 2, 2020, a consumer alleged that Timeshare Exit Team was ignoring his requests for a refund of the five thousand dollars he had paid to the company. He listed three reasons he had trusted Timeshare Exit Team with his money. (1) He desperately wanted out of his Wyndham timeshare; (2) the company offered a money-back guarantee; and (3) “the endorsement of Dave Ramsey.”

On July 13, 2020, a consumer alleged that multiple timeshare developers and timeshare-exit companies had cheated her and her husband out of tens of thousands of dollars. Anxious and depressed because of mounting bills, her husband started listening to Dave Ramsey. The consumer explained why she and her husband turned to Timeshare Exit Team: “My husband trusted Dave Ramsey’s opinion.” She also described their experience as customers of Timeshare Exit Team: “LIE. LIE. LIE.”

Not a single consumer alleges that he or she trusted Timeshare Exit Team because it was endorsed by The Lampo Group, LLC. Not a single consumer describes Dave Ramsey as having “promoted” The Lampo Group, LLC’s endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team. In fact, the word “Lampo” nowhere appears in the approximately eighty consumer complaints filed against Timeshare Exit Team during the first seven months of 2020

Instead, consumers regularly complain that Dave Ramsey recommended the company that had cheated them out of their money, and that they had trusted the company because of Dave Ramsey.

Character and Leadership:
Brandon Reed and Dave Ramsey — the founders and chief executive officers of (a) Reed Hein & Associates, LLC, a.k.a. “Timeshare Exit Team,” and (b) The Lampo Group, LLC, a.k.a. “Ramsey Solutions.”

One of two things must be true: Either (1) consumers are confused about who was endorsing Timeshare Exit Team, or (2) Dave Ramsey endorsed Timeshare Exit Team, and he is now trying to use his money and position to avoid personal responsibility for his choices.

Justice & Punishment

The Washington State Consumer Protection Act entitles a consumer to triple damages and attorney fees and costs, so long as the consumer establishes that he or she was harmed by a business’s deceptive act, and that the deceptive act negatively affects the public interest.

The ancient Israelites lived by a similar rule. The Israelites stored their wealth in herds of animals, and a person caught stealing livestock was subject to a penalty that exceeded the harm he caused: “If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.” Exodus 22:1.

Secular law and biblical law are in accord: Both impose strong consequences on a wrongdoer who purposefully harms others in a way that negatively impacts the public interest. Under the law, the word for that disproportionate punishment is justice.

Dave Ramsey regularly quotes the Bible when giving financial advice to his readers and listeners.

Presumably, Dave Ramsey agrees.

Loyalty to Clients

If the lawyer representing you was paid by Timeshare Exit Team, and if he or she has concealed from you the information made available to you on this blog, you should ask that lawyer some hard questions about his or her loyalties.

If you want to speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, click this link. The consultation is free.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

Dave Ramsey Blames Others

Dave Ramsey refuses to answer the questions of the State of Washington’s chief law-enforcement officer.

Dave Ramsey never endorsed Timeshare Exit Team.

When he told his loyal listeners and readers that they should trust Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team with their money, Dave Ramsey wasn’t endorsing Timeshare Exit Team. The Lampo Group, LLC was endorsing Timeshare Exit Team.

Dave Ramsey was only promoting The Lampo Group’s endorsement. When Dave Ramsey assured his followers that he had “personally vetted” Timeshare Exit Team, he was speaking only in his capacity as the chief executive officer of The Lampo Group.

Dave Ramsey’s lawyer argued to the Washington State Attorney General that Dave Ramsey never endorsed Timeshare Exit Team.

At least, that is the argument made by the Tennessee lawyer who is currently trying to prevent the State of Washington from forcing Ramsey to answer questions.

Ramsey Passes the Buck

President Harry S. Truman famously had a sign on his desk stating “The Buck Stops Here!” At Dave Ramsey’s workplace, a similar sign apparently sits on the desk of . . . someone other than Dave Ramsey.

If the the State of Washington has any questions about Lampo’s endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team, Ramsey’s lawyer argues, the State should speak with the Lampo employee who was “responsible” for the “content of endorsement” that Ramsey himself read aloud, on-air.

That is a remarkable confession: Dave Ramsey’s position is that someone else is responsible for the message that he communicates to his millions of loyal listeners.

That is also a remarkable approach for Ramsey to adopt toward personal responsibility: Ramsey argues that he isn’t personally responsible for the words that come out of his mouth.

Ramsey vs. Ramsey

In the video below, Dave Ramsey criticizes those radio hosts who will say “just about anything” about “just about any product or service,” so long as they are paid “the right price.” He describes their conduct as “disturbing.”

According to Ramsey, his company is “constantly bombarded with ads that promise big things but don’t deliver.”

Ramsey assures his listeners that he will never promote such a company. “I personally take the companies that I endorse so very seriously,” he says.

Dave Ramsey criticizes radio hosts who endorse companies that fail to deliver on their promises.

Ramsey ends the video by extolling the importance of character. He claims that he endorses only people of strong character: “We all know at the end of the day, it is character that matters.”

Straight Talk

Dave Ramsey said that he “personally takes the companies that he endorses so very seriously.”

Based on his lawyer’s arguments, it seems that Ramsey’s listeners should interpret his statement to mean the following:

“While acting in my capacity as chief executive officer of The Lampo Group, LLC — and without assuming any personal responsibility or offering my own personal endorsement — I promote The Lampo Group’s endorsement of companies, by reading aloud words that my employees have composed for me to read.”

I personally take my reading assignments so very seriously.”

Ramsey should clarify to his listeners and readers. When he told them they should “trust his friends at Timeshare Exit Team,” was he speaking in his personal capacity? Was Dave Ramsey “endorsing” Timeshare Exit Team?

Or, was Ramsey speaking in his professional capacity and merely “promoting” the endorsement of The Lampo Group, LLC?

To be accurate, this ad should say, “Trusted by The Lampo Group, LLC.”
Instead of “Hear it directly from him,” it should say, “Hear it directly from the chief executive officer of The Lampo Group — speaking only in his professional capacity and without offering an endorsement of Reed Hein in his personal capacity.”

Accountability for Words

The Bible makes it clear that each person is responsible for the words that he or she speaks.

“I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. / For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:36–37.

Dave Ramsey regularly quotes the Bible when giving financial advice to his readers and listeners.

In my copy of the Bible, Jesus didn’t continue to say, “except insofar as thy words are spoken in thy professional capacity.”

Loyalty to Clients

If you want to speak with a lawyer who knows the facts about Dave Ramsey and Timeshare Exit Team — and who is loyal to his clients — schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call (206) 785-7019 or click this link.

Dave Ramsey Refuses to Answer Questions

Dave Ramsey refuses to accept accountability for his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

Dave Ramsey cannot be held personally responsible for his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

At least, that is the argument made by the Tennessee lawyer who is trying to prevent the State of Washington from forcing Ramsey to answer questions about his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

Dave Ramsey Is Too Important

Dave Ramsey found the time to pose for this magazine cover in May 2019.

On April 5, 2021, Ramsey’s lawyer wrote a letter to the State of Washington’s chief law-enforcement officer, stating that Dave Ramsey will refuse to answer questions about Timeshare Exit Team unless a Tennessee court orders him to do so.

After taking millions of dollars for endorsing a company that today stands accused of cheating tens of thousands of working-class and middle-class consumers across North America, Dave Ramsey says that he shouldn’t have to answer any questions.

Ramsey’s position is that his time is too valuable to be spent answering questions about Timeshare Exit Team. According to his lawyer, Ramsey shouldn’t have to answer questions because Ramsey “hosts a nationally syndicated radio program,” and because he “travels extensively for speaking engagements and other events.”

Because Ramsey is so important, his lawyer argues, requiring him to answer questions about Timeshare Exit Team would be an “undue burden.”

In the past, Dave Ramsey found the time to interview Brandon Reed. Today, Ramsey says that he is too busy to answer questions about whether he helped Mr. Reed cheat tens of thousands of consumers across North America.

The State of Washington Wants Answers

In a recently filed motion, the Attorney General reports that it has hired a Tennessee lawyer to secure the necessary order to compel Ramsey’s testimony. The State of Washington is willing to fight.

In the same motion, the Attorney General reports that it has encountered difficulties scheduling the depositions of two other important witnesses: (1) Brandon Reed, and (2) Chasity Porter.

Today, Dave Ramsey and Brandon Reed are too busy to answer questions. This picture was apparently taken when they both had more free time.

The Truth

If Dave Ramsey has done nothing wrong, he has nothing to fear.

If Ramsey has taken millions of dollars by endorsing a company that has cheated tens of thousands of working-class and middle-class consumers across North America, he cannot avoid accountability forever.

King Solomon expressed this basic truth three thousand years ago: “He who lives blamelessly lives safely / But he who walks a crooked path will be found out.” Proverbs 10:9.

Of course, Solomon himself succumbed to the sin of greed, and suffering befell his people because of his failures.

Some things, apparently, never change.

Dave Ramsey regularly quotes the Bible when giving financial advice to his readers and listeners.

Loyalty to Clients

If you want to speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Reed Hein Blames the Opponent

Brandon Reed blames Timeshare Exit Team’s failures on timeshare developers.

In December 2018, Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive officer Brandon Reed was asked to explain the value that Timeshare Exit Team delivers to its customers.

Mr. Reed explained that Timeshare Exit Team cannot deliver value to its customers — because timeshare developers refuse to cooperate.

You can read Brandon Reed’s five minutes of rambling nonsense at this link.

Later during the same deposition, timeshare lawyer Richard Epstein openly mocked Mr. Reed — by asking him to explain the basic economics of the timeshare industry.

  • Epstein: Have you ever read Art of War, by Sun Tzu?
  • Reed: No.
  • Epstein: The first rule: Know the enemy. So, you don’t know the economics of the timeshare industry that you’re attacking here?
  • Reed: I know enough. I know enough to — Yeah.
Richard Epstein represents multiple timeshare companies in litigation against Timeshare Exit Team.

Brandon Reed explained to Mr. Epstein that Timeshare Exit Team would successfully deliver value to its clients — if only Mr. Epstein would stop fighting back.

Brandon Reed’s “Expertise”

Brandon Reed is the founder and chief executive officer of a company that claims the ability to “force” a timeshare developer to “take back” a timeshare, and that guarantees a “timeshare exit” that is “safe and legal.”

Mr. Reed and his company have failed to deliver — to thousands of customers who have paid tens of millions of dollars.

Brandon Reed refuses to accept responsibility for his company’s failures. According to Brandon Reed, the real victim is Timeshare Exit Team — because timeshare developers fight back.

Round 1 – Orange Lake Country Club

In January 2020, Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team surrendered to timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club. On the eve of jury trial, Timeshare Exit Team paid Orange Lake $750,000.

After waving the white flag of surrender, Timeshare Exit Team issued a press release, in which Brandon Reed described the loss as a “major win for consumers.”

Timeshare Exit Team’s plan of attack against Orange Lake: (1) Wave the white flag of surrender. (2) Claim victory.

Round 2 – Westgate Resorts

Timeshare Exit Team’t jury trial against Westgate Resorts is currently scheduled to begin in July 2021.

Timeshare Exit Team customers should hope that Brandon Reed has a better plan than waiting for Westgate to stop being mean. After all, Westgate is represented by . . .

. . . Richard Epstein — a lawyer who knows his enemy.

Timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club extracted $750,000 from Timeshare Exit Team — without risking anything at trial. Timeshare Exit Team’s next scheduled trial is against Westgate Resorts in July 2021.
Will Brandon Reed and his company put up a fight this time?

Value to Clients

At Hancock.Law, we have a plan to deliver value to clients, and the plan doesn’t involve waiting for timeshare developers to start being nice.

Schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Reed Hein & Customer Privacy

Timeshare Exit Team regularly hands over customer information — including audio recordings of telephone calls — to timeshare developers.

Reed Hein’s latest explanation for hiding the facts is the best yet: Reed Hein is refusing to disclose the names of its customers because . . .

. . . Reed Hein respects customer privacy.

In a pleading asking the Court to prohibit the Attorney General from publishing the names of five customers, Reed Hein argued that the customers may consider the publication of their names to be a “violation of their privacy.”

Reed Hein claims to be worried that timeshare developers might even use the names to locate and harass the five customers.  

Florida — Westgate v. Reed Hein

Chasity Porter has worked at Reed Hein since 2014.

Timeshare developers already have Reed Hein customer information.

They got it from Reed Hein.

Consider Westgate Resorts. On October 7, 2019 — as part of litigation between Reed Hein and Westgate — Reed Hein disclosed more than eight hundred pages of customer information. Reed Hein executive Chasity Porter filed a declaration with the Court that contained hundreds of pages of customer names and email messages. According to Porter, the hundreds of pages were just the tip of the iceberg.

Porter testified that Reed Hein had handed over more than one million documents that Reed Hein had received from more than one thousand families.

Lawsuits and Subpoenas

Westgate used the information to send subpoenas to hundreds of the customers, compelling them to answer hours of questions about their relationships with Reed Hein. 

David Siegel is the CEO of Westgate Resorts. Reed Hein gave him the private information of 1,386 Reed Hein customers.

In another case, timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club used the customer information that it had secured from Reed Hein to file lawsuits against eight customers

Keep checking this blog. If Reed Hein explains why it is protecting the privacy rights of five customers in a Seattle courthouse — after giving Westgate more than one million documents relating to 1,386 customers in a Florida courthouse— we will let you know. 

Hancock.Law

Reed Hein’s security measures for customer information.

The law requires Reed Hein to give customer information to timeshare developers for the same reason that the law forbids Reed Hein from giving payment advice: Reed Hein is not a law firm.

Hancock.Law is a law firm, and the attorney-client privilege protects client privacy.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Reed Hein’s Vacation Club

Brandon Reed used money given to him by Timeshare Exit Team customers to build a “vacation club” — which he planned to sell to Timeshare Exit Team customers.

Dave Ramsey warns his listeners to stay away from vacation clubs, which he describes as nothing more than timeshares in disguise.

Ramsey also tells his listeners that they should “trust his friends at Timeshare Exit Team” if they want to terminate their timeshare obligations.

Mr. Ramsey should answer a few simple and straight-forward questions:

  • Why does his friend Brandon Reed own a vacation club named Salt & Sky?
  • Does Brandon Reed still plan to use the Timeshare Exit Team customer list to sell memberships in Salt & Sky?
Dave Ramsey meets with Brandon Reed — the owner of vacation club named Salt & Sky, and the owner of Timeshare Exit Team.

Vacation Clubs & Timeshares

In a July 2020 blog post, Dave Ramsey’s company Ramsey Solutions harshly criticizes vacation clubs — even going so far as to compare them to timeshares. “As bad as timeshares are,” Ramsey says, “vacation clubs aren’t any better.”

Members of vacation clubs pay an annual fee to get discounts on travel and lodging. It is a terrible deal, Ramsey warns: “By the time you get done paying the fees, there’s not much of a ‘discount’ left.”

Ramsey warns that some vacation clubs sell memberships by promising to get consumers out of their timeshares. “Don’t fall for it!” he says. “These clubs are just timeshares with slick new packaging and more traps to fall into.”

Dave Ramsey says that Timeshare Exit Team is “the best, most ethical company” in its industry. At Hancock.Law, we respectfully disagree.

Brandon Reed’s Vacation Club

In February 2018, Brandon Reed launched Salt & Sky, a vacation club that “believes in the restorative power of vacation.”

According to the club’s now-defunct website, Brandon Reed planned for Salt & Sky members to receive discounts on hotels, cruises, and flights. Members could also participate in a timeshare-exchange program.

Salt & Sky was a vacation club, with a black membership that cost $4,995.

Salt & Sky is a vacation club owned by Brandon Reed. Its “black membership” cost almost five thousand dollars.

For several months in 2018, former Timeshare Exit Team executive Scott Loughran was told to devote more than two-thirds of each working day to Salt & Sky. He was paid by Timeshare Exit Team.

The plan was to sell memberships in the club to customers of Timeshare Exit Team.

Scott Loughran worked at Timeshare Exit Team from 2015 through 2019.

That’s right. In exchange for a promise to terminate a consumer’s timeshare obligations, Timeshare Exit Team (a) took the consumer’s money, (b) used the money to develop a vacation club, and (c) planned to sell the consumer membership in the vacation club — for more money.

Dave Ramsey’s Explanation

Dave Ramsey warns his listeners and readers to stay away from both timeshares and vacation clubs, and he offers a specific warning about buying a membership in a vacation club based on a promise that the club will end a consumer’s timeshare obligations.

Sending left-to-right are (1) Thomas Parenteau, the former chief operating officer of Timeshare Exit Team, (2) Brandon Reed, and (3) Dave Ramsey. (4) Chris Holcomb is the director of Happy Hour Media Group, a marketing company owned by Brandon Reed.

The questions are obvious:

  • Why does Dave Ramsey endorse Timeshare Exit Team — a company that is owned by the same person who owns Salt & Sky Vacation Club?
  • Does Dave Ramsey know about Brandon Reed’s plan to use Timeshare Exit Team’s customer list to sell memberships in a vacation club — for five thousand dollars?

Value to Clients

At Hancock.Law, we are loyal to our clients — and only to our clients.

When we work with other law firms, we require a certification that the firm’s lawyers don’t have a financial interest in any timeshare developer or in any company that enforces timeshare debt.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Timeshare Exit Team Fears the Facts

Timeshare Exit Team continues to hide the truth from its own customers and from the public.

The Washington State Attorney General’s case against Reed Hein & Associates grinds on, and Reed Hein remains committed to the same strategy it has used at all points in the life of the company— (1) Hide the truth. (2) Blame timeshare developers.

Reed Hein has more “trade secrets” than a pharmaceutical company.

The State recently filed a motion asking to disclose multiple documents that Reed Hein considers confidential, including information about lawyer Mitchell Reed Sussman’s representation of Reed Hein customers.

The State wants to disclose certain documents. Reed Hein wants to keep them secret. This all seems familiar.

In June 2020, the State wanted to disclose the settlement amount that Reed Hein paid to timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club. Reed Hein argued that the settlement amount was a trade secret, like the recipe for Coca-Cola. Reed Hein told the judge that knowledge of the settlement amount was top-secret, and unknown to other timeshare developers.

Reed Hein’s argument was utter hogwash: Every timeshare developer knew exactly how much Reed Hein had paid. Reed Hein wanted to keep the settlement amount secret because the truth was embarrassing to Reed Hein.

This is the truth: Two days before jury trial was scheduled to begin, Reed Hein paid $750,000 to a timeshare developer.

This baby remains shocked to have learned that “Timeshare Exit Team” gave customer money to a major timeshare developer.

$750,000!

To a timeshare developer!!

Two days before trial!!!

It gets worse: Days after backing down to a major timeshare developer by agreeing to pay a tribute of $750,000 to avoid jury trial, Reed Hein issued a press release.

Did Reed Hein founder and chief executive Brandon Reed confess that he was in over his head? Did he announce plans to dissolve the company? Of course not.

Brandon Reed described the settlement as a “major win for consumers,” and Reed Hein took credit for “shining a light” on the abuses of the timeshare industry. Because of course they did.

Round 1 — Mitchell Reed Sussman

Reed Hein — fighting for consumers.

Among the documents that Reed Hein wants to keep secret is a summary of the “process” that California lawyer Mitchell Reed Sussman used when he represented Reed Hein.

Mitchell Sussman’s process is hardly a secret.

In 2019, Judge Roy Dalton described in excruciating detail the “timeshare-exit process” used by “the Weasel.”

Yes, that’s a quote. Throughout the order, the judge actually referred to Mitchell Sussman as “the Weasel.”

According to the judge, Mr. Sussman started each client’s representation by sending a letter to the client’s timeshare developer — accusing the developer of fraud and misrepresentation. He sent the letter before speaking with the client or learning anything about the facts of the client’s timeshare sales presentation.

Each letter ended by informing the developer that the client planned intended to stop all future payments and instructing the developer to send all communication intended for the client to the Law Office of Mitchell Reed Sussman.

According to the judge, Mr. Sussman then sent a letter to the developer announcing that the client had “resigned” from timeshare membership. On other occasions, he secretly filed a deed at the county recorder’s office, transferring ownership back to the timeshare developer. And on other occasions, he transferred ownership to an employee of his firm — whom he instructed to default on the payment obligations.

Timeshare developers responded to all his methods by invalidating the transfer and continuing to send bills. The only change was that they sent the bills to Mr. Sussman’s office.

Mitchell Sussman — the Weasel.

When Mr. Sussman received a bill addressed to a client, his “filing process” was simple and straight-forward: Having decided that all timeshare bills are “trash,” Mr. Sussman “threw them in the garbage can.”

Mr. Sussman considered his “timeshare-exit process” complete on the day that the timeshare developer sent a notice of foreclosure.

“Congratulations,” he wrote to clients. “Your timeshare was taken back as a result of our efforts and your steadfast refusal to pay. This is precisely the result we were hoping for.”

The judge rejected Mr. Sussman’s attempt to claim protections given to lawyers when they engage in the practice of law: “Mr. Sussman’s instructions that clients stop payments — breach their contracts — are not privileged by his status as an attorney.”

The judge explained why not: “Because the context in which he gives the statements makes them fraudulent.”

These are the facts: Reed Hein referred thousands of its customers to Mitchell Reed Sussman, a.k.a., “the Weasel.” The customers received fraudulent advice, and their bills were thrown in the garbage. When they received notices of foreclosure, the Weasel sent them letters of congratulations.

The facts about Mitchell Reed Sussman are embarrassing to Reed Hein.

The facts aren’t secret.

Mitchell Reed Sussman’s filing system for timeshare bills.

Round 2 – Ramsey Scripts

The Attorney General wants to disclose two “commercial scripts” that Reed Hein prepared for Dave Ramsey. Reed Hein wants to keep the scripts secret.

Whether the scripts are secret or not, they almost certainly contain information that Reed Hein considers to be embarrassing.

Check back for updates.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Dave Ramsey & Timeshare Exit Team

Dave Ramsey says that his followers should trust his endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team.

Dave Ramsey delivers a speech to a gathered crowd at Minnesota’s Eagle Brook Church in April 2019.

Dave Ramsey tells his listeners and readers that they can trust Timeshare Exit Team to get them out of their timeshares.

“Exiting a timeshare is not easy,” Ramsey says. “That’s why it’s so important that you make sure that you’re talking to the right folks.”

Trust me,” he says. “It’s Timeshare Exit Team.”

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey’s millions of loyal listeners and readers put great weight on his advice — in some part because he regularly describes the advice in moral and ethical terms. Ramsey’s radio program and books often make explicit reference to the Bible.

When Ramsey writes about the danger of earning money dishonestly, for example, he quotes the Book of Proverbs: “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers with labor will increase.” Proverbs 13:11.

Timeshare Exit Team

In February 2020, the Washington State Attorney General filed a complaint against Timeshare Exit Team, alleging that the company regularly commits forty-two separate violations of the State Consumer Protection Act. The State is asking the Court to permanently shut down the company.

According to the State Attorney General, “virtually every step” of Timeshare Exit Team’s timeshare-exit process is “unfair, deceptive, and outright false.” Particularly troubling is the allegation that Reed Hein’s money-back guarantee is an “illusion” that is “seldom-honored.”

The majority of Timeshare Exit Team’s victims have lost sums of money between $5,000 and $10,000. Some customers, though, have been charged as much as $50,000 for the company’s “services.” To pay Timeshare Exit Team’s fee, some families have withdrawn from their retirement accounts.

Broken Trust

According to Brandon Reed, when Dave Ramsey learned about multiple lawsuits filed by timeshare developers against Timeshare Exit Team, he responded by encouraging Reed to “keep doing what he is doing.” Reed says that the lawsuits only strengthened Ramsey’s commitment to Timeshare Exit Team.

Incredibly, Dave Ramsey continues to endorse Timeshare Exit Team today.

Dave Ramsey is right that the Bible is a source of wisdom. Indeed, the Book of Proverbs offers a stark warning to anyone who has grown rich from endorsing Timeshare Exit Team to working-class and middle-class families:

“Food gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth shall be filled with gravel.” Proverbs 20:17.

Value to Clients

At Hancock.Law, we are are familiar with the Book of Proverbs.

We don’t presume to give religious advice. We stick to the law.

If you want to speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Reed Hein Harms Consumers

Orange Lake Country Club filed lawsuits against eight families for one reason — they were customers of Timeshare Exit Team.

By enlisting the help of Timeshare Exit Team, a dissatisfied timeshare owner increases his or her chances of being named as the defendant in a lawsuit.

That’s right: By signing up with Timeshare Exit Team, a customer makes it more likely that he or she will be sued.

Timeshare Exit Team and timeshare developers both treat clients as pawns in their chess match against each other.

Timeshare developers and Timeshare Exit Team see themselves as playing a game of chess, and they consider themselves to be the kings on the board.

They consider their customers to be mere pawns.

Eight Clients — Paragraph 12

Paragraph 12 of the Orange Lake settlement contains the names of eight Timeshare Exit Team customers who were sued by Orange Lake Country Club.

Orange Lake sued the customers in January 2021, as the case with Timeshare Exit Team was nearing trial. As part of the settlement, Orange Lake agreed to dismiss the cases against those customers.

Think about that: Orange Lake filed lawsuits against real people, for the purpose of securing an advantage in their fight against Timeshare Exit Team.

Timeshare Exit Team responded by giving Orange Lake $750,000.

Like Orange Lake, Welk Resorts had also filed lawsuits against its own customers — in the hopes of securing victory against Timeshare Exit Team.

This wasn’t the first time that a major timeshare developer had sued customers of Timeshare Exit Team because they are customers of Timeshare Exit Team. Welk Resorts had used the same tactic a few years earlier.

Welk Resorts & Thomas Breen

Lawyer Thomas Breen works at a reputable Seattle law firm that used to accept client referrals from Timeshare Exit Team. He led the department that handled the timeshare-exit cases.

According to Mr. Breen, timeshare developers are willing to use their own customers as pawns to defeat Timeshare Exit Team. He described his experience working against an attorney representing Welk Resorts.

  • I was negotiating with their — one of their general counsels, Dominick Peterson, and we were doing the ordinary work lawyers do every day in this country.
    And then at some point, at — Mr. Peterson changed how he addressed me and started asking me odd questions, asking me to prove I represented my clients. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked before by a lawyer “show me your engagement letter,” these kinds of things.
    And then he asked me if I was going to continue to represent the client if this matter needed to be litigated. And I told him I was a litigator and I would litigate if it needed to be litigated.

Mr. Breen described Welk’s response:

  • The next thing you know, he filed five arbitrations against our clients.
    And I — I viewed it as Welk using these individuals as pawns in some kind of competition he was having with Reed Hein.

Mr. Breen was right: Timeshare developers are willing to punish their own customers to deny a victory to Timeshare Exit Team.

The Orange Lake settlement demonstrates that nothing has changed: Timeshare developers continue to treat their customers as pawns to be sacrificed in pursuit of their ultimate goal — the defeat of Timeshare Exit Team.

Clients as Pawns — My Experience

I worked briefly at a different Seattle law firm that accepted referrals from Timeshare Exit Team. During my time there, I came to conclude that the firm’s relationship with Timeshare Exit Team was harming clients. I explained my reasoning in a memorandum that I wrote a few days after my departure:

  • In response to our letters, the developers are doing two things: (1) throwing the letter in the trash can, and (2) placing the client in the category of those individuals whom the developer will never release from any contractual obligation under any circumstances.
    The developers are using our clients as pawns in a fight against Timeshare Exit Team, and we insist on placing them on the chessboard.

When I wrote those words in October 2019, I was entirely unaware that Mr. Breen had used the same metaphor to describe developer tactics only a few months earlier.

In fact, I had never met Mr. Breen, and I didn’t know that he had previously represented timeshare clients — much less that he had been recently been deposed about his representation.

In any chess match, a player needs to be thinking several moves ahead.
At Hancock.Law, we believe that the moves that Orange Lake made in its struggle against Timeshare Exit Team were incredibly short-sighted. Orange Lake might have gained a brief advantage in the match, but it did so by treating customers with disdain.

The Duty of Undivided Loyalty

Timeshare developers might be within their legal rights to treat their own customers as pawns in their match against Timeshare Exit Team. Timeshare developers have never claimed to serve as a customer’s fiduciary.

A fiduciary, on the other hand, can never treat his client as a pawn. A fiduciary has a duty to treat the client as the king: A fiduciary can sacrifice everything else on the board, but a fiduciary cannot sacrifice the best interests of the client.

For a lawyer, the client is king.

A lawyer is a fiduciary, and a lawyer’s only duties are to the client. When a lawyer treats his client as pawns in some larger struggle, the lawyer breaches the duty of undivided loyalty.

Justice Cardozo explained the reason for two different sets of rules more than ninety years ago: “Many forms of conduct permissible in a workaday world for those acting at arm’s length, are forbidden to those bound by fiduciary ties. A trustee is held to something stricter than the morals of the market place.”

Value to Clients

In the hands of a competent chess player, a pawn can become a queen — the most powerful piece on the board.

At Hancock.Law, we take seriously our fiduciary duties to our clients, and we deliver to our clients a standard of loyalty “stricter than the morals of the market place.”

At Hancock.Law, we have a simple and straight-forward policy: If we know facts that are relevant to the legal interests of our clients, we disclose those facts to our clients.

If your legal interests have been sacrificed to protect the interests of Timeshare Exit Team or a timeshare developer, call us for a free consultation. We are confident that we can help.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Who Fights for Clients?

Major timeshare developers regularly punish consumers for becoming customers of Timeshare Exit Team.

In a press release, Timeshare Exit Team described the company’s settlement agreement with Orange Lake Country Club as a “major win for consumers.”

In a pleading filed with the King County Superior Court in Seattle, the company’s lawyers bragged that the Orange Lake case was “another huge win for consumers, thanks to Reed Hein.”

At Hancock.Law, we take the position that Reed Hein commits yet another unfair or deceptive trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act by describing its settlement agreement with a major timeshare developer in a way likely to create a misimpression among consumers.

Readers of this blog know the truth: The Orange Lake case was a humiliating loss for Timeshare Exit Team. The company threw in the towel only days before jury trial was scheduled to begin — agreeing to pay $750,000.00 to a major timeshare developer.

To a timeshare developer!

Timeshare Exit Team’s lawyers argued in court that the settlement pay-off was a “trade secret.” That argument failed.

Reed Hein — fighting to prevent timeshare owners from learning the truth.

What About the Clients?

In a blog post published on May 24, 2020, we asked the following question:

On the day of settlement, Timeshare Exit Team and Brandon Reed had lawyers at the negotiation table who were working to protect their interests.

Who was the lawyer at the table protecting the interests of the people who owned an Orange Lake timeshare and who had turned to Timeshare Exit Team for help?

Now, we know the answer: No one.

As part of the settlement, Orange Lake hadn’t agreed to reduce the liability of a single Timeshare Exit Team client by a single penny.

Paragraph 2 of the settlement agreement states bluntly: “Orange Lake’s release of Reed Hein does not include any claims Orange Lake may have against the individual owners of timeshare accounts.”

Orange Lake had waived its claims only against Brandon Reed, Trevor Hein, and Timeshare Exit Team. The settlement did nothing to reduce or eliminate Orange Lake’s potential claims against Timeshare Exit Team clients.

What About the Exits?

The press release and the court filing had both proclaimed that Reed Hein had secured “timeshare exits” for more than one thousand clients.

In reality, Orange Lake agreed to stop bullying Reed Hein clients. Orange Lake had an established practice of treating Reed Hein clients more harshly than other customers. Orange Lake agreed to stop that practice.

Paragraph 5 of the settlement agreement states: “Orange Lake will remove special handling procedures otherwise applicable to the accounts of qualified timeshare owners that have been implemented due to their status as Reed Hein customers.”

Orange Lake Timeshare Owners

Consider a hypothetical Timeshare Exit Team customer who owns an Orange Lake timeshare. A married couple in their early fifties, they bought an Orange Lake timeshare in 2016 for twenty thousand dollars. They pay a mortgage of $400 per month and maintenance fees of $1,200 per year.

They signed up with Timeshare Exit Team in July 2018. They paid the company $9,000. The sales agent told them that the company has a “proprietary timeshare-exit process” that would terminate their timeshare obligations safely and legally. Because the couple understood themselves to own the timeshare until the process was complete, they continued making timely payments.

Since July 2018, this hypothetical couple has paid $21,000 to Orange Lake and Timeshare Exit Team to settle an obligation of $20,000, and they now find themselves back at square one.

What has happened in the two years since July 2018?

The couple has made twenty-four monthly mortgage payments and two annual maintenance-fee payments. In total, they have made payments of $12,000 to Orange Lake Country Club. They made those payments on the advice of Timeshare Exit Team.

Having made those payments, the couple nonetheless renounced their right to use the vacation lodging for which they were paying — also on the advice of Timeshare Exit Team.

What did Timeshare Exit Team do with the $9,000 that the company received from the couple? Timeshare Exit Team used some portion of that money to (a) pay a settlement to Orange Lake, (b) pay for a press release trying to persuade the couple that the settlement represented a “major win for consumers,” and (c) pay a law firm in an attempt to prevent the couple from learning the truth of about the settlement.

Where is the couple today? Twenty-one thousand dollars poorer — and back at square one.

The hypothetical couple has now paid $12,000 to Orange Lake and $9,000 to Timeshare Exit Team.

Check Back

The Orange Lake settlement reveals fundamental problems with Timeshare Exit Team and the company’s entire representation model. On this blog, we will be discussing different aspects of the settlement during the next several weeks. Check back regularly.

Value to Clients

If you have questions about your legal rights, schedule time with a lawyer who knows the facts of this case and who discloses the facts to his clients.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

$750,000.00!

Timeshare Exit Team promised to fight for consumers. Instead, it gave their money to a timeshare developer.

Timeshare Exit Team paid Orange Lake Country Club $750,000.00 to avoid trial.

That is shocking.

Absolutely shocking.

This baby just found out that a consumer-advocacy group paid $750,000 to a timeshare developer — TO A TIMESHARE DEVELOPER! — on the eve of trial.

Reed Hein Refuses to Fight Back

After two and one-half years of litigation — on the eve of jury trial — Timeshare Exit Team folded. The company faced the prospect of a jury verdict requiring it to pay millions of dollars.

And nothing to gain. One of the many shocking things about this case is that Reed Hein never filed a counterclaim.

Reed Hein never alleged that Orange Lake unlawfully caused Reed Hein any type of harm whatsoever. On the eve of jury trial, Reed Hein had never asked to have the jury hold Orange Lake accountable to Reed Hein for anything.

During his deposition, Timeshare Exit Team founder Brandon Reed blamed timeshare developers over and over again for his company’s failures.

When Timeshare Exit Team’s lawyers and Orange Lake’s lawyers were preparing to tell their different sides of the case to the jury, Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team had accused Orange Lake of . . . nothing.

That is shocking.

This dog was shocked — SHOCKED — to learn that Timeshare Exit Team had failed to file any counterclaims against Orange Lake.
This dog knows that Timeshare Exit Team had the right to file counterclaims under Rule 13 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
This dog is a good boy.

High-Stakes Poker

In poker, you can only win the money that your opponent places in the middle of the table. If your opponent doesn’t bet the money, you cannot win the money.

Timeshare Exit Team allowed Orange Lake to sit at the poker table for two and one-half years, and never required Orange Lake to ante up.

Poker 101: Make sure that the other players are also gambling. If the other players have nothing to lose, you have nothing to gain.

Check Back

The Orange Lake settlement reveals fundamental problems with Timeshare Exit Team and the company’s entire business model. On this blog, we will be discussing different aspects of the settlement during the next several weeks. Check back regularly.

Value to Clients

If you have questions about your legal rights, schedule time with a lawyer who knows the facts of this case and who discloses the facts to his clients.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

A Question for Reed Hein

Since the company’s founding, Timeshare Exit Team has deceived consumers about its relationships with lawyers and law firms.

Timeshare Exit Team, errr . . . Reed Hein, errr . . . Reed Hein & Associates.

The full name of the company is Reed Hein & Associates, LLC.

Formed in 2012 as World Mark Travel, the company’s name changed to Reed Hein & Associates in 2013, when Brandon Reed and Trevor Hein decided to focus on “timeshare exits.”

Ever wonder why they chose the name Reed Hein & Associates?

Reed Hein & Associates is a consumer protection firm that represents clients and that charges a fee for its services.

“Consumer Protection Firm”

For the first several years of Reed Hein’s existence, the company used the website reedhein.com. The website described Reed Hein as a “consumer protection firm,” and said that “if you have reason to believe that you have been defrauded by a business, it is crucial to speak to a consumer advocate about your situation.”

The website said that Reed Hein “represents consumers,” and that “you can rely on our firm to deliver effective direction at each step of the way, answering your questions and preparing the strongest case for you.

Reed Hein — a “consumer protection firm” that has “associates.”
Not a law firm.

Timeshare Exit Team

From as early as 2013, Reed Hein & Associates did business as Timeshare Exit Team, and customer agreements as late as 2018 have the logo of both Reed Hein and Timeshare Exit Team.

Early agreements distinguished between Reed Hein’s “fee,” and other “costs,” and referred to customers as “clients.”

Starting in 2016, somebody inside Reed Hein decided that the word “client” might create problems. The company’s agreement changed. “Clients” became “customers.” The agreements also began to include a disclosure: “Reed Hein is not a law firm.”

Reed Hein had changed a few words and added a disclosure.

Reed Hein never really changed the way it does business.

Today

To this day, when a Reed Hein associate sends an email message to a client, the footer states that the email message “may contain confidential and legally privileged information subject to attorney/client privilege.” The footer also states that “email transmission is not intended to waive the attorney-client privilege or any other privilege.”

Why is Reed Hein telling customers that their communications with a company employee might be subject to the attorney-client privilege? Are company employees lawyers?

Under what circumstances are Billy Carter’s email messages to Reed Hein customers subject to the attorney-client privilege? Is Billy Carter a lawyer?

To this day, Reed Hein asks customers to sign a “special power-of-attorney,” in which Reed Hein embraces the “legal duty to act solely in the interest of the principal and to avoid conflicts of interest,” and the “legal duty to keep the principal’s property separate and distinct from any other property owned or controlled by the company.”

These are fiduciary duties, proper to lawyers. Why is Reed Hein embracing these duties in a power-of-attorney form?

Transparency & Clarity

On the one hand: Reed Hein & Associates is a consumer protection firm that prepares the strongest case possible for its clients. The firm charges a fee for its services, and the client may incur additional costs during representation.

On the other hand: Reed Hein is not a law firm.

Clear?

Value to Clients

In a previous blog post, we explained the position of Hancock.Law: Reed Hein violates the Consumer Protection Act by claiming the authority to engage in the practice of law.

If you have questions about your legal rights, schedule time with a lawyer who knows the facts of this case and who discloses the facts to his clients.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

“Reed Hein Is Not a Law Firm.”

Timeshare Exit Team isn’t a law firm, but it regularly engages in the unlawful practice of law.

Brandon Reed and Trevor Hein aren’t lawyers, and Reed Hein is not a law firm. It says so right in the company’s master service agreement: “Reed Hein is not a law firm.”

Brandon Reed wants you to know that “Reed Hein is not a law firm.”

Unlawful Practice of Law

In Washington, it is against the law to engage in the unlawful practice of law. A non-lawyer commits a misdemeanor if he or she claims the right to practice law.

What does it mean to practice law?

The State Supreme Court defines the practice of law to include the following:

  • giving advice or counsel to others as to their legal rights;
  • the selection, drafting or completion of legal documents or agreements; and
  • the negotiation of legal rights or responsibilities on behalf of another person.
Reed Hein is not a law firm. If you thought that people with wigs would be working on your timeshare case, you were wrong. Reed Hein is not a law firm.

Reed Hein & The Practice of Law

We know that “Reed Hein is not a law firm.” It says so in a disclosure contained in the company’s master service agreement. That still leaves the more important question:

Does Reed Hein unlawfully claim the right to practice law?

In a power-of-attorney form that Reed Hein asks customers to sign, the company claims the authority to do all the following:

  • Hire and fire attorneys on the customer’s behalf;
  • Direct all legal steps necessary to obtain a release from the customer’s timeshare obligations;
  • Have full and unfettered access to legal files prepared and maintained on the customer’s behalf;
  • Direct the negotiation of any binding settlement on the customer’s behalf; and
  • Prepare and file the documents necessary to accomplish the customer’s timeshare objective.
If you thought that someone wearing a wig was going to appear at court on your behalf, you were wrong. Reed Hein is not a law firm.

The Verdict

(1) A non-lawyer engages in the unlawful practice of law by claiming the right to “give advice or counsel to others as to their legal rights.”

Reed Hein claims the authority to direct all legal steps necessary to obtain a release from the customer’s timeshare obligations.

Count 1: Guilty.

(2) A non-lawyer engages in the unlawful practice of law by claiming the right to “select, draft or complete legal documents or agreements.”

Reed Hein claims the authority to prepare and file documents related to the customer’s timeshare obligations.

Count 2: Guilty.

(3) A non-lawyer engages in the unlawful practice of law by claiming the right to “negotiate legal rights or responsibilities on behalf of another person.”

Reed Hein claims the authority to direct the negotiation of a binding settlement agreement on the customer’s behalf.

Count 3: Guilty.

The verdict: Guilty on all counts.

The Attorney General

The Attorney General alleges that Reed Hein violates the Consumer Protection Act by “misrepresenting, directly or indirectly, or creating the deceptive net impression” that (1) ” Reed Hein is a law firm and/or Reed Hein performs ‘consumer protection’ services,” and (2) “Reed Hein employs in-house attorneys who perform services to terminate consumers’ obligations with respect to their timeshares.”

Respectfully, we think that the Attorney General can also allege that Reed Hein “misrepresents, directly or indirectly, or creates the deceptive net impression that (3) Reed Hein has the authority to practice law.”

Unfortunately for Reed Hein, the Office of the Washington Attorney General is a law firm, with hundreds of deputy attorneys — all of them authorized to practice law.

Check Back

Keep checking back at this blog to learn more about the Attorney General’s ongoing case against Reed Hein & Associates, d/b/a Timeshare Exit Team.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

How Much Did Timeshare Exit Team Pay?

Timeshare Exit Team is trying to prevent its customers from learning the truth about its settlement with a major timeshare developer.

We expect that the settlement price between Timeshare Exit Team and Orange Lake Country Club will be notional. The settlement price might be as low as one dollar, or one dollar per Orange Lake customer who signed a contract with Timeshare Exit Team.

The settlement price will somehow be tied to an idea — to a notion.

For Orange Lake, this case was never about going to trial and securing a judgment against Timeshare Exit Team. This case was about beating on Timeshare Exit Team for two and one-half years, and then claiming a symbolic victory on the eve of trial.

For Orange Lake, the point of the case was to kick sand in Timeshare Exit Team’s face for two and one-half years — and to then demonstrate that the “consumer advocates” at Timeshare Exit Team are afraid to go to trial. Orange Lake accomplished its goals.

Attorney Fees

In a blog post we published in May 2020, we asked the following question: How much did this case cost?

Look at this court docket! It goes on and on . . . and on and on . . . and on and on. This case surely cost each side hundreds of thousands of dollars — likely millions of dollars — in attorney fees. Timeshare Exit Team was represented by six different lawyers, from three different law firms.

After imposing all those attorney fees and costs on Timeshare Exit Team, Orange Lake walked away from the case.

At Hancock.Law, we think that Orange Lake required only that Timeshare Exit Team acknowledge the beat-down. We think that the case likely ended in a notional settlement — a settlement representing the idea that Orange Lake had won and Timeshare Exit Team had lost.

To settle the case, Orange Lake likely required only that Timeshare Exit Team acknowledge that Orange Lake had won, and that Timeshare Exit Team had been afraid to fight.

Orange Lake had used its litigation with Timeshare Exit Team to demonstrate to the world that Timeshare Exit Team is afraid of timeshare developers. Orange Lake had used the litigation to expose Timeshare Exit Team as a weakling that is afraid to fight.

What did Timeshare Exit Team accomplish with the litigation? According to company founder and chief executive Brandon Reed, Timeshare Exit Team had secured “another major win for consumers.”

Of course, the company is now fighting to keep details about its “victory” from its own customers and from the broader public.

Check Back

Keep checking back at this blog. As soon as the settlement amount becomes public, we will let you know.

We will also be exposing other secrets that Timeshare Exit Team would rather prevent you from learning.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Timeshare Exit Team Responds

To avoid a jury trial scheduled to begin only days later, Timeshare Exit Team paid money to a major timeshare developer.

Timeshare Exit Team wants to keep a secret from its customers and from the broader public.

The company doesn’t want anyone to know how much money it paid to a major timeshare developer.

Timeshare Exit Team has a secret. The company doesn’t want the world to know that it backs down from major timeshare developers.

The Facts

In January 2020, Timeshare Exit Team — a company that describes itself as fighting for dissatisfied owners of timeshares — paid money to a major timeshare developer as part of a legal settlement.

Unless Timeshare Exit Team has a source of revenue other than customer funds, the company took money from its customers and gave that money to a timeshare developer.

Stop and think about that.

The Secret

In a lawsuit filed by the Washington State Attorney General in February 2020, Timeshare Exit Team is asking a Seattle court to keep the settlement amount secret. You can read the Attorney General’s motion to disclose the settlement amount at this link, and you can read Timeshare Exit Team’s response at this link.

According to Timeshare Exit Team, the settlement amount is a “trade secret.” The company argues that other timeshare developers will use the information to gain an advantage in ongoing litigation.

Timeshare Exit Team argues that the settlement amount is a “trade secret,” like the recipe for Coca-Cola.

The Developers Already Know

Multiple timeshare developers have filed lawsuits against Timeshare Exit Team.

At Hancock.Law, we think that other major timeshare developers probably already have a pretty good idea exactly the amount Timeshare Exit Team paid to settle with Orange Lake.

Why do we think that?

The same lawyers work all the cases. Richard Epstein and Jeffrey Backman, for example, have appeared in all the cases except the Wyndham case. Mr. Epstein and Mr. Backman are partners at Greenspoon Marder LLP. Mr. Epstein conducted the deposition of Brandon Reed. See here, and here, and here.

Michael Gore, Glennys Rubin, and Alfred Bennington of Shutts & Bowen LLP are handling the Wyndham case. Shutts & Bowen also worked the Diamond case, side by side with Greenspoon Marder.

Michael Gore is a partner at Shutts & Bowen.

Unless Richard Epstein can divide his brain into fourths, Westgate, Diamond and Welk necessarily know how much money Orange Lake squeezed out of Timeshare Exit Team.

Unless Michael Gore never speaks about these types of things with Richard Epstein, Wyndham is also well aware of the settlement amount.

If Timeshare Exit Team isn’t trying to keep knowledge of the settlement amount from the developers and their lawyers, why does it oppose the motion?

Chutzpah

At Hancock.Law, we first wrote about the Orange Lake case on May 24, 2020, in a blog post titled Timeshare Exit Team and Chutzpah. We wrote that it takes chutzpah for Timeshare Exit Team and Brandon Reed to describe the Orange Lake case as a victory.

For the definition of chutzpah, we quoted from The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten: “Chutzpah,” Rosten wrote, “is the quality of a man who kills his father and mother, and who then begs the Court for mercy because he is an orphan.”

Keep checking back at this blog. We will post another update after the upcoming court hearing scheduled to occur on June 30, 2020.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Timeshare Exit Team Is Hiding the Facts

Timeshare Exit Team claimed to have secured a “major win for consumers.” In fact, Timeshare Exit Team suffered a humiliating loss at the hands of a timeshare developer.

The “consumer advocates” at Timeshare Exit Team are afraid that their customers will learn how much money Timeshare Exit Team paid to settle a lawsuit with a major timeshare developer.

A Major Win for Consumers?

In February 2020, Timeshare Exit Team released a press release celebrating a “major win for consumers.”

The company’s years-long litigation with timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club had finally ended. According to Timeshare Exit Team, Orange Lake had agreed to “take back” more than thirteen hundred timeshares from dissatisfied timeshare owners.

Timeshare Exit Team said that the case had “shined a light” on the unfair tactics of timeshare developers, and that Orange Lake had settled the case “in order to avoid an Orlando jury trial scheduled to begin that day.”

Timeshare Exit Team’s February 2020 press release describes the company as striking a blow for consumers against a major timeshare developer.

The Truth

Timeshare Exit Team paid money to a timeshare developer so that Timeshare Exit could avoid jury trial trial.

Timeshare Exit Team — a company that has described itself as having the capacity to “force” a timeshare developer to take back a consumer’s timeshare — paid money to a timeshare developer to avoid jury trial.

Unless the company has a source of income other than payments from customers, Timeshare Exit Team took money that frustrated timeshare owners had given the company to hold timeshare developers accountable, and Timeshare Exit Team then gave that money to a timeshare developer.

That’s right. After two and one-half years of litigation — having finally earned the right to hold a major timeshare developer accountable in a public courtroom — Timeshare Exit Team threw in the towel before the fight had even begun.

Timeshare Exit Team — fighting for timeshare owners

Then, the company tried to sell its beat-down that to customers and to the public as a “major win for consumers.” That takes chutzpah.

Hiding the Facts

On February 4, 2020, the Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Timeshare Exit Team, alleging that the company regularly violates the State Consumer Protection Act by engaging in forty-two separate unfair or deceptive trade practices.

On June 17, 2020, the Attorney General filed a motion asking the Court to authorize the State to disclose the sum of money that Timeshare Exit Team paid Orange Lake to avoid trial. The State takes the common-sense position that the public has the right to know how much a “timeshare-exit company” pays to avoid fights with timeshare developers.

The Court is scheduled to rule on the motion shortly after June 30, 2020. Check back at this blog for Timeshare Exit Team’s response.

The Attorney General is scheduled to deliver a knock-out blow to Timeshare Exit Team in August 2020. Check this blog regularly for updates.

Case Schedule

The Court will rule on the State’s motion to disclose the settlement amount sometime after June 30, 2020.

The State’s motion to shut down Timeshare Exit Team is currently scheduled to be heard on August 14, 2020.

Value to Clients

Firm founder David Hancock has been closely following the Orange Lake v. Timeshare Exit Team case since October 2019. Mr. Hancock knows the facts that are relevant to this case and to other cases involving Timeshare Exit Team and timeshare developers, and he uses his knowledge to effectively represent clients. See here, and here, and here, and here.

At Hancock.Law, we are loyal to our clients — and only to our clients. When we know facts relevant to the legal interests of our clients, we tell those facts to our clients.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Brandon Reed & Timeshare Exit Team

Brandon Reed cannot explain the value that Timeshare Exit Team gives to consumers.

In December 2018, Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive Brandon Reed was deposed by Richard Epstein, the lawyer for a timeshare developer.

Mr. Reed testified — under oath — that frustrated customers of Timeshare Exit Team regularly refuse to accept refunds. That’s right: According to Mr. Reed, frustrated customers regularly refuse to accept their money back, and they instead insist that Timeshare Exit Team keep their money and continue working on their behalf.

The Washington State Attorney General recently filed a Consumer Protection Act complaint against Timeshare Exit Team. The Attorney General’s complaint tells an entirely different story about the experience of dissatisfied Timeshare Exit Team customers. According to the Attorney General, the company’s “much-touted money-back guarantee” is an illusion that is “seldom honored.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson alleges that Brandon Reed and Timeshare Exit Team regularly deceive consumers about the company’s ability to deliver a timeshare exit and about the company’s willingness to make good on its “money-back guarantee.”
According to media reports, Mr. Ferguson is also an accomplished chess player. At Hancock.Law, we expect that Attorney General Ferguson will win his chess match with Timeshare Exit Team.

Deposition Testimony

Brandon Reed is Timeshare Exit Team’s founder and chief executive officer.
Based on a review of Mr. Reed’s deposition transcript, we at Hancock.Law believe that he is no match for the Attorney General.

When deciding whether to believe the Brandon Reed or Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Hancock.Law clients have the benefit of Mr. Reed’s deposition transcript.

During the deposition, the timeshare lawyer asked Mr. Reed to justify the exorbitant fee that Timeshare Exit Team charges to consumers. Mr. Reed offered the following series of answers:

  • Epstein: So let me ask you the question.
  • Reed: Sure.
  • Epstein: Somebody contracts with you on December the 13th, 2016, and it’s two thousand — It’s December 13, 2018, and they haven’t gotten exited yet.
  • Reed: Uhm-hm.
  • Epstein: So they — I paid you $5,000 on December 13, 2016, —
  • Reed: Yeah.
  • Epstein: — and I haven’t gotten anything from you. And I’m paying my mortgage, and I’m paying my maintenance because you say that’s what you tell people to do.
    How have I gotten anything of value from Timeshare Exit Team?
  • Reed: When you say they haven’t gotten anything of value from us, what do you mean by that?
  • Epstein: Haven’t been exited. I’m still paying my mortgage. I’m still paying my maintenance.
  • Reed: Oh.
  • Epstein: And I paid you $5,000 two years ago.
  • Reed: Right. So we communicate with the customer, and we let them know kind of what’s going on, and — 
  • Epstein: How much do you charge per word?
    Well, you said that’s all I’m getting is words. So I’m wondering how much do I pay per word that I get in these communications? Because that’s all I’ve gotten is words; right?
  • Reed: I’m trying to understand. So you’re saying because —
  • Epstein: I haven’t been exited.
  • Reed: Right.
  • Epstein: Okay?
  • Reed: Yep.
  • Epstein: And I paid you $5,000.
  • Reed: Right.
  • Epstein: I’m paying my mortgage. I’m paying my maintenance. And you say you’ve communicated with me. Communications are words, right?
  • Reed: Yes.
  • Epstein: Okay.
  • Reed: Okay.
  • Epstein: And so I’m paying per word for what?
  • Reed: I know, but you’re not — That’s silly. You’re not paying per word.
  • Epstein: What else have I gotten, other than words?
  • Reed: What you’ve gotten is you’ve got a commitment that we’re going to get you out of your timeshare, and we have — We’ve now paid a vendor. If that vendor couldn’t get it done, we went to another vendor, and we got it done, and — 
    But we’re also communicating — 
  • Epstein: You’re making me pay for those vendors, too.
  • Reed: Well, I want to — Can you let me finish? I just want to finish.
  • Epstein: Oh, go ahead. Please. I’m sorry.
Mr. Epstein said that he was sorry for having interrupted Mr. Reed.
At Hancock.Law, we doubt the sincerity of Mr. Epstein’s apology. We think that Mr. Epstein very much enjoyed this portion of this deposition.
  • Reed: So, you know, we communicate with our customers, and we let them know. I mean, they — We let them know what we’re experiencing. This — the industry, why has it taken two years now? It didn’t used to take two years. John Abrams used to get a mortgage done, you know, in a reasonable amount of time, but the industry has went — you know, and they’ve — They’re completely against exit, and so they’re the ones that have slowed it down.
    And I can tell you whenever I’ve talked to a customer, when — when — Because I got to the point I’m like, you know what, I want to talk to some of these customers. I want to hear from them. I mean, I know we’ve gone through growing pains. I know that we’ve dealt with internal issues and communication. I mean, we’re a — 
    We grew overnight. I mean, when Dave Ramsey hit, I mean we — Oh my gosh, overnight we grew. And I mean, ever since we opened the doors we’ve been growing like a wildfire. Obviously there’s a huge issue here and a huge need, but we — 
    I’m losing my train of thought. Take me back. Sorry.
While trying to explain the value that Timeshare Exit Team delivers to customers, Brandon Reed said that he had “lost his train of thought.”
At Hancock.Law, we think it is more accurate to say that Mr. Reed’s testimony is a train wreck.
  • Epstein: You were trying to explain to me exactly what I’ve gotten for my $5,000 —
  • Reed: Yes.
  • Epstein: — in exit fee —
  • Reed: Right.
  • Epstein: — and the mortgage that I’ve paid for two years and the maintenance fees that I’ve paid for two years.
  • Reed: Right. So — Oh, I was saying that when we — When we — When I’ve talked to a customer, okay nine and one-half times out of ten when I talk to the customer, I say, “Here it is. I know you’re frustrated that it’s been two years in some cases.”
    And I can tell you that the — We’re offered money back, said, “Here, you know, I’m really sorry we couldn’t get it done in that amount of time.” They don’t want —
  • Epstein: You told me only a couple hundred times, though.
  • Reed: I said there’s — Yeah, there’s — I don’t know how many times, but it was — There’s not that many. In terms of refunds?
    I think that’s what we were talking about.
  • Epstein: Yeah.
  • Reed: Then yeah, then that’s — That’s accurate.
    So — But I’m just saying I — When I’ve talked to customers it’s not because they wanted a refund. It’s because, you know, maybe they’ve posted something online. I hate seeing that. And so I wanted to talk to the customer. When I’ve talked to the customer, they’re just — They are — Yeah, they’re frustrated.
    Some of them they’re just frustrated because of our growing pains and, you know, the communication just — either they fell through the cracks for whatever it may be; but when I’ve tried to offer them a refund, they don’t want a refund. They don’t want a refund. They just say, “Listen, I don’t care if this takes — Just communicate with me. I don’t care if it takes another year. Get me out of this thing.” Like I’ve tried — I —
    There’s been multiple times when we’ve tried giving a customer their money back, and they just say, “Listen, I don’t want my money back.” I had someone walk into my office. This was probably three weeks ago. I happened to be walked out to go have — at a business lunch, and I ran into a customer. And I think they recognized my face and so they said, “Can I — Can we speak with you?” And I said sure. And we went into a conference room. I was late to my lunch meeting, but I — 
    You know, they were frustrated, but their frustration, as we were talking, they are frustrated with the resort. “Let me out of my freaking timeshare.” Like this is — And they were paid in full. I mean, it was just — 
    So I think again, I kind of got off there, but — 
Brandon Reed attributes much of his firm’s success to Dave Ramsey. According to Dave Ramsey’s website, Timeshare Exit Team is “the best, most ethical company in its industry.”
At Hancock.Law, we disagree with Mr. Ramsey’s assessment of Timeshare Exit Team. We believe that Mr. Ramsey’s endorsement has more to do with the millions of dollars that Timeshare Exit Team has paid to him and less to do with a good-faith assessment of Brandon Reed and the company he founded.
  • Epstein: Well, again, I’m still trying to — The question is simple. I’ve paid an exit fee two years ago. I haven’t been exited. I’ve paid my mortgage. I’ve paid my maintenance —
  • Reed: The value.
  • Epstein: — because you’ve told me I need to do that.
  • Reed: Yeah.
  • Epstein: What have I gotten? What have I gotten for the money I’ve been paying?
  • Reed: We have been working on their file for two years, I mean, it’s just — But because the developers play games, too, in terms of there are some developers out there that will exit our customer, but they won’t let the attorneys know, or they won’t let — Because they — They won’t communicate, but they’ll allow — They’ll let the customer out.
  • Epstein: All right. So —
  • Reed: So —
  • Epstein: — the answer is I haven’t — I as the consumer have gotten nothing for my money that I can — that’s tangible that I can see, and it’s the developer’s fault?
Richard Epstein asks Brandon Reed if he is seriously blaming timeshare developers for the failures of Timeshare Exit Team.

Value to Clients

This blog post quotes from only nine pages of Brandon Reed’s 450 pages of deposition testimony. 

At Hancock.Law, we take seriously our fiduciary duties to our clients, including our fiduciary duty of undivided loyalty and our fiduciary duty of disclosure. If we know facts that are relevant to the legal interests of our clients, we disclose those facts to our clients. Clients of Hancock.Law therefore have access to the entirety of Mr. Reed’s deposition testimony, along with multiple other court filings from the case that affect their legal interests.

This blog post isn’t legal advice.
To schedule a free consultation with Hancock.Law, call us 24/7 at (206) 785-7019.

Timeshare Exit Team, Revealed

Brandon Reed cannot describe Timeshare Exit Team’s plan to secure a “timeshare exit” for its customers.

In a video posted to the company’s YouTube channel in June 2016, Brandon Reed says that Timeshare Exit Team is a “consumer-protection group that specializes in getting people out of their timeshare contracts,” and he claims that company “gives a one-hundred-percent money-back guarantee.”

The State of Washington describes the company differently. In a complaint filed in February 2020, the State alleges that Timeshare Exit Team lacks the expertise to even determine whether a consumer’s “exit” is legitimate, and that the company regularly ignores demands for refunds from dissatisfied customers.

At Hancock.Law, we think that confused customers should review the December 2018 deposition testimony of Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive Brandon Reed. We are confident that the deposition transcript will resolve whatever confusion they might have.

In December 2018, Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive Brandon Reed was deposed by a lawyer for a timeshare developer. The deposition transcript tells you everything you need to know about Timeshare Exit Team’s plan to deliver value to consumers.

Deposition Testimony

  • Epstein: Does Timeshare Exit Team tell its customers to stop paying their mortgage and maintenance fees?
  • Reed: No, not at all.
  • Epstein: Okay. Well if they’re trying to get out of their timeshare, why would they keep paying?
  • Reed: Because we make it very clear to them that they’re financially responsible for their timeshare throughout the exit process.
  • Epstein: Okay. Does — Why would a timeshare developer want to take back a timeshare interest that they’re getting paid on?
  • Reed: Because we — You know, we still —Even though they’re paying, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be exited from their timeshare.
  • Epstein: But if the exit requires a consent of the timeshare developer, in other words, willing to take it back, why would they do that if they’re getting paid on it? How is that a smart economic move on the timeshare developer’s part?
  • Reed: Ask it again for me, please. Yeah, I’m slowing down.
  • Epstein: If the customer is paying their mortgage and paying their maintenance, what motivation does a timeshare developer have to take the timeshare interest back and relieve them of the liabilities that they’re paying?
Lawyer Richard W. Epstein conducted the deposition on behalf of timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club..
  • Reed: I’m just going to say that’s not — You know, for us I don’t do the negotiating, so it was for the attorney to deal with that. I just wasn’t —
    People do come in, and they stop paying. I mean, that doesn’t — Not because we’ve told them to stop paying, but people come in and they already are behind on paying. 
    And so, you know, have I heard in the past that hey, it’s easier if they’re not paying, but that’s not — that’s just not something we tell our customers. So it’s — We make it very clear that you are responsible for — for your maintenance fees and all — you know, and your mortgage payment throughout the exit process. 
    And so why the timeshare, why they would take it back even though they’re paying? It goes back to all the reasons why we believe that the developer, you know, should take these timeshares back. I mean, even just because they’re not paying — 
  • Epstein: I’m just wondering. I mean, you’re an experienced businessman.
  • Reed: Yeah.
  • Epstein: I guess you consider yourself an entrepreneur, probably rightly so. 
  • Reed: Uhm-hm.
  • Epstein: How does that business model work? You have a customer that is paying you —
  • Reed: Uhm-hm.
  • Epstein: — for the service or product that they sold you, and they continue to pay you for that, and come to you and said, “I want to give the product back and not pay you anymore.” Why would I do that? Why would I take it back and stop the stream of money that I’ve been getting up until now? How does that work?
  • Reed: I’m not the timeshare developer, so I don’t — I don’t —
  • Epstein: I’m asking you as a businessman. How does that work from a business standpoint?
  • Reed: Well, as a businessman — As a businessman if I was — First of all, I wouldn’t be charging these people 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 thousand or $150,000 for something that has — that’s not worth a penny. It’s not worth a penny the day they sell it. 
    So as a businessman I wouldn’t sleep at night if I did something like that. So I don’t — We don’t — You know, we don’t charge people for something that we can’t get done. And then we give a guarantee if we can’t get it done, then we give them their money back. So —
    So you’re asking me personally as a businessman —
  • Epstein: Just as a a businessman.
  • Reed: Yeah.
  • Epstein: Just opine upon that economic model.
  • Reed: Yeah. It wouldn’t — As a businessman I would not do that to the consumer. I wouldn’t take 20 or 30, or the average is a little over $20,000 at a 17.9 percent interest rate for a product that is really bad. I mean, the reality is that people that come into these — into these presentations, one of their biggest complaints are we can’t get to where we want to go when we want to go. You, we didn’t get what we were promised. 
    I mean, it’s — the timeshare product — it’s just — It’s an old model. Timeshares came out before the internet. You don’t have to be a timeshare owner anymore to even access their inventory. So as a businessman I wouldn’t do what they’re doing. I wouldn’t charge somebody something that’s worth nothing and charge them a bunch of money for it.
  • Epstein: Can we agree on something that you — what you said does not answer my question at all. It doesn’t even address my question. 
Epstein: What you said does not answer my question at all. It doesn’t even address my question.

Ouch.
  • Reed: I don’t — I don’t think so. I think I was answering your question.
  • Epstein: Okay. Well, my question was simple. 
  • Reed: Go back to it. I get a little —
  • Epstein: A businessman sells — I sell you a product, —
  • Reed: Uhm-hm.
  • Epstein: — and you agree to pay for that product over time. And you are paying me — 
  • Reed: Uhm-hm.
  • Epstein: — what I am due over time.
  • Reed: Yeah.
  • Epstein: Why would I stop that? Why would I take the product back and relieve you of the obligation to pay for the product? Why?
    How does that work as a business model? Forget about what the product is. How does it work as a business model?
  • Reed: I’m going to do my best to answer this. It’s just I’m — Again, if it’s a product that actually has value, I could understand. That wouldn’t make any sense.
    Like if I — I bought a car one time, and I regretted buying the Hummer after my wife left because it — The engine blew at 100,000 miles. Okay. I’ll never buy another — Hummers aren’t cool anymore, anyway. But I regretted that purchase, okay, but at least it drove. Okay.