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.

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 & 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.