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"We are a group of individuals dedicated to providing the absolute best outcome to timeshare and vacation ownership owners who have been misled into purchasing their ownership," said Tim Hurley, the VO Financial senior specialist in the Nashville office.

There’s a need for this kind of advocacy, Hurley said, particularly for tourists who have never attended a timeshare sales presentation or purchased a vacation ownership unit to begin with.

And that’s also why, Hurley added, VO Financial is unlike any other company in the timeshare industry. As the firm noted in a recent news released, they are “the first ever timeshare consulting firm committed to helping victims of timeshare fraud with honesty, integrity, and respect.”

There are certainly other agencies that say they’re working to repair the damage done to this vacation and hospitality industry by criminals who set up fake timeshare resale firms. Their telemarketers typically call people who have a timeshare on the resale market, and claim they have a buyer lined up for their unit – if they first pay an up-front fee, often for thousands of dollars. Once that fee gets paid, the seller never hears from the firm again.

Timeshare companies that do not have consumer complaints filed against them say they’re working hard to maintain a good image for this industry, and to promote the honest sale of timeshare units, and to promote the benefits of owning one.

VO says its focus is also on assisting the industry – by weeding out the frauds and crooks who prey on unsuspecting victims. VO Financial's website has a list of what it says are the many misrepresentations that typically get made during timeshare sales presentations.

“VO Financial employees hear daily horror stories from families who owe over $100,000 to a timeshare developer, largely due to the sales tactics used by the representatives,” the site notes. “VO Financial believes in the notion that all consumers deserve full and fair disclosure during all aspects of a timeshare transaction. Many timeshare owners don't have the knowledge needed to navigate through the sea of debt and deception that oftentimes comes with the purchase of a timeshare. At VO Financial, the ultimate goal is to ensure that every client reaches the ownership outcome that they want, deserve, and is financially obtainable.”

VO Financial says it helps victims of timeshare fraud or predatory lending practices by offering specialized retail installment financing options. The firm claims that to date, it has helped more than 9,000 clients in the United States and Canada. They cite testimony from one owner, Dawn of Pennsylvania, who wrote to the company to complain about how one sales presentation turned out to be a big financial mistake for her family.

"We got in over our heads by attending owner meetings, and before we knew it we were signing on the dotted line to purchase more timeshare,” Dawn wrote to VO. “Instead of looking forward to retirement in two years, I was looking forward to working 10 more years -- with possibly needing to get a second job to pay for this! We are not experienced in dealing with financial obligations of this size, and before we knew it we were in over our heads financially!"

VO Financial consulted with Dawn and her husband, and helped the couple eliminate $70,000 in timeshare debt. VO notes on its site that afterwards, Dawn wrote back to the company, saying "VO Financial was wonderful to work with. Very kind, considerate and very helpful. They all feel like family now. They essentially gave us our financial freedom back."

Next: Port St. Lucie Man Sentenced in Timeshare Fraud case

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