OLYMPIA, Wash. - Kirkland-based company Reed Hein & Associates must pay up $2.61 million to the state for a timeshare exit scheme affecting thousands of Washingtonians.
The Attorney General’s Office says the company, whose purpose was to help people exit out of timeshare arrangements, advertised a 100-percent money back guarantee. In reality, many customers did not get refunds, even after several years.
According to a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, more than 2,800 Washingtonians entered into contracts with the company, paying anywhere from "just under $3,000 up to tens of thousands of dollars" per timeshare exit.
Ferguson says many are still waiting for an exit from their timeshare years later.
Additionally, customers facing foreclosure or who were already foreclosed on would not get that refund, as Reed Hein considers foreclosure a successful outcome, said the Attorney General’s Office.
"Reed Hein deserves its F rating from the Better Business Bureau," said Ferguson. "Their dishonesty and reckless behavior had grave financial consequences for its customers. Thanks to my legal team, millions of dollars will be returned to Washingtonians who lost money because they believed Reed Hein’s deceptive promises."
A consent decree requires Reed Hein to end the deceptive advertising, end damaging exit methods, disclose certain business practices, more readily provide refunds to customers and several other terms.
If the company does not comply, it will have to shell out another $19 million in penalties.
The AG’s Office will reach out to Reed Hein customers to with a claims process to provide restitution for anyone affected by the timeshare exit scam.
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