The owner reported receiving an unsolicited phone call with an offer to buy her timeshare. She was told that there were no upfront fees and the the broker earned a commission at closing. She was sent a sale contract (see a copy of another contract from this group posted HERE) that looks very legitimate and professional.
She states that she questioned the agent, Frank Winters, that the contract states several times that West Palm Resale Brokers will try to find a buyer, and that she was told that a buyer was already in place. She was told that everything would be handled by the closing company.
Later, she received a call from the "closing agent" who told her than there was now a "tax" that must be paid for timeshares in Mexico prior to the release of escrow and asked her to send a payment of $1,600. immediately before escrow could be released. The "closing agent" tried to pressure her into sending money immediately, or threatened that the buyer would cancel.
The owner was still hesitant (she had heard all the warnings about never paying any type of upfront fee) and called her resort.. Needless to say, they told her that there was no such tax, and that this group was simply trying to scam her.
I tried to locate business licenses or a real estate license for either West Palm Resale Brokers or Frank Winters and was unable to do so. I also attempted to call to give the company a chance to respond or to provide the license number of a broker of record, but the calls were directed to an automatic response system which stated that no voicemail could be left. Finally, the website for the "company" states that West Palm Resale Brokers has been in the timeshare business for twenty years, but the earliest documentation I have been able to find about them is a website registry dated Sept 2, 2010. Because of these issues, I urge all consumers to take the utmost care before engaging into any type of real estate transaction with this company and to insist on receiving and verifying license information about the "brokerage" as well as the "title company" handling these contracts.
The timeshare owner is filing complaints with the Florida Attorney Generals office, as well as with the State of Florida
Department of Business and Professional Regulation for unlicensed activity. (The complaint form can be found HERE!)
If you have been contacted by this organization, or feel that you have been scammed by an unlicensed con artist- please take the time to report the crime to help stop these scams from victimizing others!