ATLANTA, GA (March 29, 2012) –– John Sours, Administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (“OCP”), has announced that the agency has entered into settlements with Safe Hands Transfers, LLC and Direct Transfers, LLC. The businesses, which are owned by the same principals, provide timeshare transfer and lien release services to consumers throughout the country, including in the state of Georgia.
OCP began investigating the companies after receiving complaints that they were employing a variety of deceptive and illegal sales and advertising practices. OCP’s investigation revealed that the companies were sending out postcard mailers to consumers implying that they would offer consumers money in exchange for their timeshares. Consumers who responded by attending a sales presentation were instead allegedly pressured into paying thousands of dollars to transfer their timeshare deed over to the companies or to sign up for the companies’ lien release services.
Consumers who agreed to the company’s lien release services claimed that they were not informed that this might have a detrimental effect on their credit score, could result in their being subject to collections or sued by creditors or debt collectors, and might lead to foreclosure.
The companies allegedly failed to inform consumers verbally or in writing of their three-day right to cancel their contracts.
To resolve these allegations Direct Transfers, LLC has agreed to refund consumers approximately $59,000 and to pay $37,500 in penalties and administrative costs. Safe Hands Transfers, LLC is required to pay approximately $29,000 in restitution to consumers and to pay $37,500 in penalties and administrative costs. The companies are also required to cease and desist from offering and performing lien release services in Georgia.
“Consumers have a right to fair and accurate information when entering into a timeshare transaction,” says OCP Administrator John Sours. “We’re committed to ensuring that timeshare resellers in Georgia play by the rules and that the victims of these acts find relief.”
For more information, contact Shawn Conroy, Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, at 404-656-3790.