Important Update on Washington State vs. Gibbs

TTR has now been informed that the proper method to acquire timeshare interests that were transferred to asset-less entities and individuals as part of the Jonathan and Christine Gibbs operations is to submit a set of conveyance documents (typically a deed) to them. You need to provide whatever documents are necessary to record the conveyance documents for their signature. They will not prepare the documents but after verifying the original transfer, they will sign and notarize them. They will not act on any relinquishment requests that are not accompanied by the necessary conveyance documents. So, if you put in a request without conveyance documents, you need to resubmit. Your relinquishment requests and documents should be submitted to:

Erica Hilderbrant
855 Trosper Road SW #108-322
Tumwater, Washington 98512
email: Erica.h@summitmkg.com

NOTE: This address was confirmed by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office on March 18, 2014. According to the AGO, The P.O. Box, reported in the most recent Timesharing Today publication, is being closed.

TTR recommends that if you have any questions regarding how the conveyance documents should be formatted that you contact Ms. Hilderbrant prior to submission. To expedite verification, we suggest also providing a copy of the deed that was used to transfer the timeshare from the original owner to the asset-less entity or individual. Although this was not clear at the time, you should provide your own resort specific conveyance documents instead of the standardized form previously provided by TTR.

We received the following explanation from the Washington State Attorney General’s office:

The Consent Decree states “Defendants shall transfer title and/or ownership of every timeshare transferred by defendants to all timeshare resorts located within the United States, including those outside the State of Washington, with whom the defendants conducted timeshare transfer or lien release services if requested in writing by timeshare resorts.” 

It does not require the defendants to generate the transfer documents themselves.  The next section of the Decree that refers to transfers involving individual (non-business) transferees even states “nor are the Defendants or their designees under any obligation to execute any other documents other than the limited power of attorney as set forth in this section.”   I believe that both the defendants and the state anticipated that resorts would require that their own transfer documents be used.

The initial letter that went out to resorts perhaps could have used more instructive language.  For example, it seems the word “relinquishment” might be causing some confusion.  While I can appreciate that the letter from the defendants may be confusing to some resorts, it does ask that resorts “please mail the relinquishment/transfer documents identifying the timeshare intervals you want to take back together with a separate sheet of paper containing a complete legal description of the property you wish to transfer.”  

I would take “relinquishment/transfer documents” to mean whatever documents each resort uses to memorialize and complete the transfer of a timeshare property or interval.  I may be assuming too much to think that each resort has documentation it uses for that purpose.  But even if a resort does not have specific documentation of its own, then it would have to use whatever documentation would satisfy that resort’s legal, technical and practical requirements.

For more information regarding this case see  Complaint against Jonathan and Christine Gibbs and AG Bob Ferguson announces settlement of major timeshare scam case.