Christian finance guru and best-selling author Dave Ramsey is being sued by former followers for $150 million over his endorsement of a failed timeshare exit company that defrauded customers out of millions of dollars.
According to Religion News Service, the lawsuit alleges Ramsey paid up to $30 million from 2015 to 2021 to endorse Timeshare Exit Team, a Kirkland, Washington-based firm that collected $200 million from clients, including Ramsey listeners, and promised to release them from their timeshare obligations. The promise also included a money-back guarantee.
Timeshare Exit Team previously faced legal trouble after Reed Hein & Associates LLC, which did business with the company, paid $2.61 million to settle a misleading business lawsuit by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The firm eventually went out of business.
During a 2018 segment of The Dave Ramsey Show, Ramsey told listeners about the Timeshare Exit Team and spoke positively about the company.
“I never could find anything until I found this company called Timeshare Exit Team,” he said at the time. “About three years ago, we started endorsing them, and I’ve had so much fun pissing off the timeshare people.”
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit said they trusted in Ramsey’s support of the Timeshare Exit Team, even though he has criticized timeshare companies in the past. Despite the company’s legal troubles, Ramsey remained steadfast in his endorsement and accused government officials, reporters and the timeshare industry of conspiring against them.
“Instead of acknowledging the deception, Ramsey recorded a nine-minute radio segment in which he lashed out at anyone he felt to be responsible for Reed Hein’s woes,” the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit also highlights the firm’s deceptive practices, such as telling customers who signed their contracts to no longer pay their timeshare fees and fabricated fake property deeds in order to convince those customers they were free of their timeshares.
“When customers finally discovered the schemes and demanded their refunds, Reed Hein fabricated excuses not to honor the promises or stopped returning their calls,” the complaint noted.
The lawsuit also alleges Ramsey of continued support of the Timeshare Exit Team as far back as 2016, even though the Better Business Bureau warned about the company to customers. Additionally, courts found that the company acted fraudulently.
Happy Hour Media Group was also named in the lawsuit after allegedly endorsing Timeshare Exit Team. Brandon Reed, who co-founded Happy Hour, also co-founded Timeshare Exit Team.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Anna Webber/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.