Vacation Program / Preditory Lending
My 20 year old daughter who is a full-time college student was informed that she "won" a vacation. Being young, inexperienced, and financially strapped, she mistakenly thought this was a good thing. Her boyfriend went with her to claim her "prize". Upon arrival they received a high pressure sales pitch and were told that they had to act immediately to receive this "today only, special price of $12, 000.00 for 32 weeks of vacation. They were also told that they did not need to be able to afford the entire package now because they could FINANCE IT!
Being only 20 and a full-time student this is the 1st time she ever took a loan out for anything except student loans. Silly me, I thought any finance company would recognize the fact that a full-time college student who does not even meet their companies eligibility requirements, should not be approved for a $10, 000.00 loan! The eligibility requirements that I'm referring to are posted on Sundance Vacations, Inc.'s website and state that you must be 21 years of age with an annual income of $25, 000.00/year. The kicker is that they put her boyfriend on the contract with her and they do not and never have even lived in the same city at the same time, therefore, have never shared an address.
Upon contacting Sundance, I was informed that my daughter must have shown them something stating that she was at least 21 years old and that they have been in business for a long time and have never had any problems. This statement on it's face is fraudulent since Sundance did have access to my daughter's SSN, should have run a credit report which requires entry of her date of birth, and should have verified her income. This as well as the fact that this website is filled with complaints about Sundance Vacations, Inc. proves the falsity of the statement made to me.
As if all of this was not bad enough she was given a copy of the contract with incomplete information and even areas where initials are to be present but are not.
While nobody should sign or except a incomplete contract, young adults can be ignorant of such facts, especially when the high pressure sales pitch is on. My daughter even informed me that she stated that she verbalized that maybe she should have her lawyer look over the contract prior to signing it and was told by the sales rep that she could do that but that the "special" rate would no longer apply if they did not sign up today. This is not only misrepresentation, since this price is initially offer at many of Sundance Vacations sales presentations, it is also predatory lending, and borders on blackmail.
As a licensed Real Estate Broker in the state of PA I am appalled at this companies business practices and apparent lack of moral ethics.
I was also informed by Sundance that they would have waived the eligibility requirement of being 21 years of age if my daughter would bring someone with her who was over the age of 21, ie: her boyfriend.
They have been paying for this "package" for over 1 year already and have not received any "services or material items" for their payments/"consideration". My daughter has even changed her debit card number in order to prevent Sundance from automatically withdrawing funds from her account. They are still doing so.
Paragraph 2, # 5 of her contact is suspect in itself since a legal contract must contain the elements of a legal form of consideration received in return for a legal service or material item. Stating that the traveler must make all payments required under this contract regardless of the use by the traveler is unlawful and is most likely one of the reasons for paragraph 12 of the contact which states that if any provision of this Contract is unlawful or unenforceable, such provision shall be without force and effect without thereby affecting any other provision hereof.
It just goes to prove that some people/companies would do anything to get a sale.
FYI-I'm sure Sundance Vacations, Inc. refers to this as a vacation package as opposed to a timeshare due to the fact that they would be required to hold a license and have to adhere to the PA Board of Real Estates, Code of Ethics, in order to sell a timeshare in the state of PA.