Says, ‘Real Travel left consumers with unwanted timeshares and additional debt’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced a $2.6 million judgment against Real Travel, LLC, and the company’s founder Brian Scroggs. Real Travel, the now-defunct Bentonville-based company, through owners Scroggs and Bart Bowe, peddled its timeshare exit services to consumers nationwide. Scroggs and Bowe charged consumers exorbitant fees but did not deliver on their guarantees to help consumers transfer or cancel their timeshare property interests. In October, Rutledge received a judgment against Bowe requiring he pay $50,000 in restitution and $450,000 in suspended civil penalties. The lawsuit was filed under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act for their deceptive acts and illegal misrepresentations to consumers.
“Dishonest timeshare exit companies need to understand that they have no place in Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Instead of helping people, Real Travel left consumers with unwanted timeshares and additional debt. That’s why I made it a priority to hold them accountable for their inexcusable deceptive practices.”
Real Travel collected millions of dollars from consumers but never got them out of their timeshare contracts. Unfortunately, timeshare owners are popular targets for companies – like Real Travel – that solicit customers with free lunch and dinner seminar invitations, claiming they can release them from their timeshare obligations. Here, Real Travel convinced consumers through deception, high-pressure sales tactics, and a so-called “100% Guarantee” that it would liquidate, cancel, or transfer their unwanted timeshares. However, Real Travel failed to honor their agreements with consumers, leaving them burdened with the ownership of their unwanted timeshares as well as all the associated costs and fees and the additional unnecessary costs of Real Travel’s illusory services. During the investigation, the Attorney General’s Office discovered 88 consumers were impacted by Real Travel’s illegal acts.
Pursuant to the court order issued by the Benton County Circuit Court in this case, neither Real Travel nor Scroggs will be able to conduct any business related to timeshares or timeshare exit businesses in Arkansas.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has also filed a lawsuit against Scroggs and several timeshare exit companies under his control including Vacation Consulting Services LLC, VCS Communications, LLC, The Transfer Group, LLC, and Real Travel.
Consumers can file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling (800) 482-8982.