Dave Ramsey Endorsed Timeshare Exit Team Closes Its Doors; Leaving Paying Customers High and Dry

For years, Dave Ramsey touted, endorsed, and advertised Timeshare Exit Team’s services as a trusted company that his followers could turn to when they no longer wanted their vacation ownership. “Timeshare Exit Team, it's the only people we endorse for getting you out of your timeshare because it works!” Ramsey said. They charged most people an upfront fee between $3,000 and $9,000 and offered a 100% money-back guarantee. It seemed too good to be true, and it was.

After a lawsuit by the State of Washington, an Inside Edition investigation, a Better Business Bureau “F” rating, and hoards of complaints, Timeshare Exit Team has closed, taking outstanding cases and people’s hard-earned money with them.

Dave Ramsey, Timeshare Exit Team, and a Lot of Unhappy Customers

In 2012, Brandon Reed and Trevor Hein, at the time rain gutter salesmen, formed Reed Hein and Associates, LLC. They began selling “expert” services to end vacation ownership contracts as Timeshare Exit Team despite never working in the industry.

They began advertising with Dave Ramsey’s media company in 2015, and their business exploded. “When we went from radio and local endorsements to Dave Ramsey, it's like poof, the roof. We went from thousands to tens of thousands of customers,” Rein Hein said in court documents.

Timeshare owners felt comfortable handing over thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars to Timeshare Exit Team because they trusted Dave Ramsey’s recommendation. Unfortunately, the Washington State Attorney General’s stack of consumer complaints tells a tragic story of Dave Ramsey’s followers repeatedly regretting their decision to trust this company.

One owner of a Branson timeshare filed a complaint with Washington State after they gave $11,000 to Timeshare Exit Team and two years later still had their timeshare. They hired these services because they “…put {their} faith in Dave Ramsey’s glowing recommendation of the company.” But, because Timeshare Exit Team said they were still working on the case, they insisted the money couldn’t be refunded.

A May 2020 complaint report outlined another similar tale. “My experience with Timeshare Exit Team has not been a positive one. I signed with them on 1/28/2018 and paid $5136.15 for their services. Three reasons I used Timeshare Exit was I desperately wanted out of my Wyndham Time Share, the money-back guarantee, and the endorsement of Dave Ramsey,” notes from the filer explained.

Despite what their advertisements said, Reed Hein had no expertise in ending timeshare contracts, and customers eventually figured this out. But, according to Washington State’s lawsuit, since 2012, they have “unfairly and deceptively contracted with more than 32,000 consumers looking to be rid of their unwanted timeshares, and have collected millions of dollars in upfront fees from consumers in the process.”

Dave Ramsey Tries To Explain His Endorsement

Despite Timeshare Exit Team being at one time listed under the heading of “Dave Recommends” on his website, he didn’t personally research the company and its services.

“I have had no direct insight into Reed Hein’s operations, representations to its customers, or any other aspects of its business,” Ramsey said in court documents. “Again, others on my team are responsible for the details of the endorsement relationship, and I act based on their recommendations and advice.”

That's a very different statement than the quote he provided in a 2015 press release announcing the endorsement. At that time, Dave Ramsey said, “After years of being asked how to get out of timeshares, I'm excited to announce that we finally found a company I trust to help my listeners get rid of this horrible product. Timeshareexitteam.com has a 100% guarantee that they will get you out or you get every bit of your money back! These are the folks that I trust.”

So if you don’t own a timeshare, but do listen to Dave Ramsey’s advice, you might want to think twice about using the services, companies, and products he recommends.

Don’t Pay For Something You Can Do Yourself: 4 Ways You Can End Your Timeshare Ownership

Approximately 850,000 owners are looking to get rid of their timeshares, and unscrupulous companies are taking advantage of people, especially seniors. According to the Better Business Bureau Institute’s Scam Tracker, travel/vacation/timeshare scams were again the riskiest situation for people 65+ in 2020.

“While there are timeshare exit companies that claim success in their marketing, there are many exit companies that are the subject of criminal and civil investigations that take money from consumers without providing any services and that have shut down, leaving consumers high and dry,” said Robert Clements, vice president of regulatory affairs at ARDA-ROC. “That’s why we’re committed to continuing to raise awareness about this issue and work to ensure owners can get information and support about how they can safely pursue an exit from their timeshare while avoiding scams.”

So How Can Someone Get Out of a Timeshare without being scammed? Just like other timeshare owners interviewed in the lawsuit and the Inside Edition investigation who ended up securing their own exit, this is something you can do yourself.

1. Use the Cooling off Period

If you just bought a timeshare and have second thoughts, you can cancel your timeshare contract and get all of your money back if you’re within your rescission period. Depending on state law, you have 3-15 days to contact the resort and file a letter of rescission to cancel your timeshare. Timeshare Users Group (TUG), the oldest and largest owners group and advocacy organization, reports that people, on average, save $18,000 by writing a letter and sending it to the timeshare resort during this window.

2. Take Advantage of Deedback Programs

If you own your timeshare free and clear, many timeshare resorts and chains will allow you to deed it back to them. Why pay a company thousands of dollars when most owners take care of ending their ownership themselves with a phone call. Get started at the Timeshare Industry Association Safe Exit website that guides people through the deedback process.

3. List It on the Resale Market Without a Realtor

There are trusted, reputable resale marketplaces to list paid-off timeshares for as low as $15. You can research the current market value of your timeshare ownership, list it for sale and find a buyer all in one place.

TUG and Redweek.com are highly rated by The Better Business Bureau and millions of timeshare owners. TUG alone has successfully sold or rented $55 million worth of timeshares since they opened their doors in 1993.

If you’re an owner looking to exit a timeshare because you can’t currently use yours but would like to continue owning, there are short-term options available to get you through this difficult pandemic period.

Consider renting your timeshare out to others, banking your week with an exchange company to save it for another vacation 1-2 years from now, or trade your week for another vacation at a resort closer to your home.


More Articles by the Wealth of Geeks Network:

How Do Timeshares Work with 11th Hour Change of Plans? Proven Solutions to Get Value for Your Week

The RCI Resorts Near 44 U.S. National Parks: A Free Exclusive Guide

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Monica Fish helps her fellow adventurers live a financially savvy life so they can travel and explore our beautiful world no matter their budget. She writes about smart timeshare ownership, vacation tips and tricks, NYC Metro Area trips and activities, and frugal, yet rich, living at PlannerAtHeart.com.