The latest verdict against a timeshare exit team arrived last week. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge ruled that Real Travel, Inc. and its owners were committing fraudulent acts against the timeshare owners they promised to help. The consent judgment found the defendant with charges amounting to $500,000.
Real Travel Timeshare Exit Scam
Bart Bowe and Bryan Scroggs are the two, and only, employees of what was Real Travel LLC. Like many timeshare exit teams and companies, Bowe and Scroggs made promises to owners that they would get them out of their timeshare.
Similar to other unscrupulous exit teams, Real Travel charged exorbitant upfront fees and offered a sparkling “100% Guarantee” that they would prevail in canceling your timeshare. The fees ranged from $5,000-$18,000. Not uncommon from companies like this.
Whether it was by selling, canceling or dissolving the contract, Real Travel committed to relieving owners of their timeshares. Unfortunately, Real Travel did not uphold its promises. Unsuspecting owners placed their trust and money into this company, only to be scammed. This is not an uncommon story, unfortunately. You can read about other timeshare scams here.
The Ruling: Bowe to Pay $500,000
Finally, the judgment was announced last week on October 21. In a press release from the Attorney General’s office, the details of the lawsuit and judgment were outlined. This case initially began last year, and just recently came to a close.
“The lawsuit, filed in July 2019, alleged that Real Travel sold timeshare exit services to consumers nationwide. In exchange for a fee ranging from approximately $5,000 to $18,000, Real Travel convinced consumers through deception, high-pressure sales tactics, and a so-called “100% Guarantee” that it would liquidate, cancel, or transfer their unwanted timeshares.”
“Real Travel failed to honor their agreements with consumers, leaving consumers burdened with the ownership of their unwanted timeshares, all the associated costs and fees and the additional unnecessary costs of Real Travel’s illusory services.”
As a result of the judgment, Bowe is forbidden from conducting business in Arizona related to timeshare or timeshare exit. Furthermore, the judgment also calls for Bowe to pay $50,000 in restitution and $450,000 in suspended civil penalties.
The promise of “canceling a timeshare” is an enticing one for some owners who are ready to move on. Unfortunately, companies like Real Travel utilize deceptive tactics to take owners’ money while providing no value in return. According to the AG’s investigation, 83 people were negatively impacted by Bowe and Scroggs’ scheme.
It is estimated that the pair obtained a near $140k from customers. Prior to the lawsuit, the Attorney General’s office had received numerous complaints about the company, due to its lack of follow-through.
You can click here to view the full release.
How To Exit Your Timeshare Safely
Deciding to let go of your timeshare can be a difficult decision. Not to mention, there are so many advertisements out there promising owners a way out. If you are looking for relief from your timeshare, we recommend connecting with your timeshare developer directly. They may be able to offer support.
Additionally, we strongly suggest visiting the American Resort Development Associations’ website for Responsible Exit. Undoubtedly, ARDA and its partners work hard to bring resources to owners in order to protect them from timeshare exit schemes. Click here for more resources for detecting timeshare scams and exiting your timeshare responsibly.