LARGO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A lawsuit has been filed against Bluegreen Corp. alleging that the resort developer engaged in unfair consumer collections practices when it reported delinquent accounts of its timeshare owners to credit agencies as foreclosures. The lawsuit also asserts that Equifax Information Services and Experian Information Solutions violated federal law when it reported delinquent installment loan accounts as foreclosures.
The suit, Best, et al. v. Bluegreen Corp., et al., case no. 14-cv-80929-JIC, was filed July 14 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.
The plaintiffs purchased memberships in Bluegreen’s timeshare plan known as Bluegreen Vacation Club. The memberships did not include ownership in any real or tangible property. A trust agreement between Bluegreen and the plaintiffs stated that 120 days after owners defaulted on their obligations, they would be deleted from the trust estate. The trust agreement did not reference foreclosure nor did it give Bluegreen any authority to foreclose.
The plaintiffs alleged that when they were approximately 120-days delinquent, Bluegreen sent them letters advising them that they had been deleted from the Trust and reported the status of their accounts as foreclosures to the credit agencies. The plaintiffs alleged that their credit reports showed the Bluegreen accounts as foreclosed and that the credit reporting agencies subsequently reported the information to numerous third parties.
The complaint, which seeks class action status, alleges violations of Florida’s Consumer Collections Practices Act, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, defamation and slander of credit. The timeshare owners seek award of damages, costs, attorneys’ fees and other relief.
Michael D. Finn, managing member of Finn Law Group representing the plaintiff and the potential class, stated, “Bluegreen did not undertake any form of foreclosure action. Intentionally categorizing these defaults as foreclosures virtually insures that these former buyers, who had abandoned their property interests and forfeited all funds paid will not be able to either refinance or purchase new homes necessitating a mortgage for about five years. This result is unjust.”
The Finn Law Group, which has offices in Florida and Michigan, represents consumers in timeshare and related real estate matters. For more information, contact Michael D. Finn by calling 855-346-6529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.