People buy timeshares hoping to get a regular place to vacation each year and to invest in real property that will grow in value over time. After purchasing, though, many timeshare owners discover a different reality.
Along with paying for the timeshare itself, many have to pay maintenance and other fees, which can be thousands of dollars a year. Hoping to get out of their commitment, some timeshare owners turn to timeshare exit companies, like Wesley Financial Group.
What is Wesley Financial Group?
Wesley Financial Group describes itself as a leader in the timeshare exit or cancellation industry. It’s been operating since 2011 and currently has more than 400 employees at its offices near Nashville, Tennessee and Las Vegas, Nevada.
The company claims to have helped more than 15,000 clients and that more than 4,000 people contact it weekly to get help. According to the company, the demand for its services is so high that it needs to turn away more than 40% of the individuals who want to work with it.
Chuck McDowell, a former timeshare salesperson, founded Wesley Financial Group. The inspiration for the company’s name came from a quote by John Wesley, a minister who founded the Methodist Church. McDowell attended Sunday School weekly as a young boy and recited the Wesley quote there.
Given his past experience in the timeshare industry, McDowell is familiar with the often shady tactics used by many timeshare companies, including misrepresentation and in some cases, outright fraud. He started the company with the desire to help people get out of bad situations.
Wesley Financial Group promises to help anyone it takes on as a client get out of their timeshare. If it can’t help clients, it provides a money-back guarantee. So far, the company claims to have succeeded in helping 97% of clients, eliminating more than $200 million in timeshare debt.
How Wesley Financial Group Works
When a timeshare owner contacts Wesley Financial Group, what happens? The company’s process looks a bit like this:
The first step is for a timeshare owner to complete the consultation form. On the form, they provide basic contact information, including their name, phone number and email. They also list the location and name of their timeshare.
Once a person submits the consultation form, a representative from the company will contact them to gather more information. During the free consultation, the representative determines whether or not the timeshare owner is a good match for Wesley Financial Group and if the company can help them.
According to the company itself, it can be difficult for potential clients to move past the consultation. Wesley Financial Group claims that it only wants to take on clients it truly believes it can help.
For around 40% of people who reach out to the timeshare exit company, the process stops at the consultation. Either they or Wesley Financial Group decide not to move forward.
For the majority of contacts, though, the process can continue. Their information gets passed to a qualification specialist. The qualification specialist sets up a file for the new client and begins the review process.
Once the review process is complete, the client’s file moves on to the resolution department. There, a so-called cancellation expert will work with the client to cancel the timeshare and eliminate any debt.
Wesley Financial Group isn’t particularly forthcoming about how it handles the resolution or cancellation process, at least on its website. A review of the company published in TravelMag notes that Wesley Financial Group uses a process it calls the “advocate model.”
With guidance from Wesley Financial Group, timeshare owners are encouraged to call their timeshare companies or write letters to them, arguing for release from their timeshare commitment.
The advocate model is in contrast to the legal model. A company that uses a legal model most likely has a team of lawyers that will take a timeshare company to court to get a client out of their obligations. It doesn’t look as though Wesley Financial Group has any lawyers on its team, fighting for the rights of clients.
Wesley Financial Group Pricing
Although Wesley Financial Group doesn’t publish its pricing on its website, a look at some of the reviews of the company reveals that it typically charges clients several thousand dollars.
According to reviews and complaints about the company, it charges both an upfront fee and a monthly fee while a person uses its services. Some of the complaints filed against the company note that they were required to agree to a contract lasting several years.
The company is confident enough that it will successfully help its clients that it offers a money-back guarantee. The guarantee is in writing, which seems designed to make people feel more assured of the effectiveness of Wesley Financial Group’s process.
Wesley Financial Group doesn’t offer clients an escrow option, though. With escrow, the timeshare exit company deposits a client’s payments into a separate account. The company doesn’t get access to the funds until they do what they said they would do to help the client.
So far, the timeshare exit company claims to have succeeded in helping the vast majority of its clients, 97%. It refunded $1.8 million to the 3% of clients it ultimately couldn’t help.
Wesley Financial Group Qualifications: Who does Wesley Financial Group Work With?
Wesley Financial Group is upfront in stating that it doesn’t work with everyone who owns a timeshare. In fact, it claims to turn away more than four out of 10 of the timeshare owners who contact it.
The company uses a variety of criteria when deciding who it can help. While it doesn’t list the names of timeshare companies it works against, the company’s website seems to imply that it isn’t qualified to help owners of all timeshares.
The factor that might matter the most when determining whether or not Wesley Financial Group will take on a client is whether the timeshare owner has been defrauded. Timeshare companies are notorious for misrepresenting certain facts during their presentations or for not giving owners the full details about the timeshare.
People have left reviews of Wesley Financial Group on third-party sites such as Yelp, Google and the Better Business Bureau. It also has a testimonial page where people share their experiences with the company.
As with any online reviews, it’s useful to take what people say about Wesley Financial Group with a grain of salt. Read closely into the positive reviews to make sure that people are fully describing their experience with the company, not simply mentioning the sign-up process.
Better Business Bureau Rating of Wesley Financial Group
Wesley Financial Group has what looks to be a complicated relationship with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of June 2021, the company has an A+ rating with the BBB.
The BBB uses several criteria when determining a company’s ranking, including the volume of complaints received, any government actions against the company, the company’s age and its industry. It doesn’t use reviews left on the BBB website to determine the rating.
The BBB also accredits companies. As of June 2021, Wesley Financial Group is not BBB accredited. The company lost accreditation with the BBB in 2019 for participating in activities that didn’t uphold the BBB’s standards. To qualify for accreditation, a company needs to build trust with consumers, advertise truthfully and respond quickly.
Consumers who’ve worked with Wesley Financial Group can review it on the BBB’s website in a few ways. They can file a complaint with the BBB if they feel the company has wronged them. As of June 2021, there are 33 complaints against the timeshare exit company and 722 reviews.
The 33 complaints against the company have all been resolved and date from within the last three years. A common complaint is that Wesley Financial Group failed to help a client get out of their timeshare while collecting thousands of dollars, in upfront and monthly fees, from the client.
For the most part, the company resolved the complaints against it by offering to refund the money paid by the client. Most of the clients accepted the resolution but many noted that they had yet to receive their refunds.
Reviews of Wesley Financial Group on the BBB’s site are largely positive. The company has an average rating of 4.87 out of 5 stars.
The many positive, five-star reviews of the company are relatively vague, with clients saying that Wesley Financial Group helped them but not providing much detail about what the company did. Few reviews mention how long the process took.
Many of the negative, one-star reviews of the company noted that it charged thousands of dollars, upfront, for something the clients could have done on their own, for free.
Other Online Review Sites
There are reviews of Wesley Financial Group on several other websites, as well as on the company’s Testimonials page. On Trustpilot, the company has mostly five-star reviews with several one-star reviews sprinkled in.
Google reviews of the company are similar. The company’s average on Google is 4.6 stars. Similar to the negative reviews on the BBB’s website, the negative Google reviews stress that people ended up paying thousands of dollars for something they could have done on their own, for free, if they had reached out to their timeshare developer directly.
The company’s presence on Yelp is a bit more interesting. It has just a handful of reviews on the site, six as of June 2021. The reviews range from five-star raves to one-star cautionary tales.
What’s particularly interesting is that there are 18 reviews not recommended by Yelp. You need to click through to see them. Of the not-recommended reviews, most give five stars. There are also several reviews that Yelp took down for violating the company’s terms of service.
Based on online reviews, people’s experience with Wesley Financial Group seems to be largely positive. It’s a good idea, though, to read the reviews closely to make sure you understand what people are saying. The negative reviews, for the most part, note that the company charges exorbitant amounts for something a person can do for free.
Wesley Financial Group Lawsuits
Wesley Financial Group and Chuck McDowell have been sued twice, both times by big names in the resort/vacation club and timeshare world.
The first lawsuit was in 2012. McDowell, along with the owner of another timeshare advocacy group, Sean Austin, were sued by Wyndham Vacation Resorts.
Wyndham claimed that McDowell and Austin violated the Trade Secrets Act and were trying to interfere with its business relationships. The Nashville Post reported that the jury in the case sided with McDowell and Austin, and the judge ultimately dismissed it.
More recently, in 2020, Diamond Resorts, another vacation ownership company, brought a suit against Wesley Financial Group. According to a press release, the lawsuit alleges that Wesley Financial Group makes misleading claims to its clients, promising to get them out of their timeshare obligations.
To do so, the suit alleges, the company tells its clients to breach their contracts with Diamond Resorts, by ceasing to make payments to the resort company. The suit also alleges that employees from Wesley Financial Group call Diamond Resorts, impersonating timeshare owners.
Who is a Good Fit for Wesley Financial Group?
Wesley Financial Group stresses that it works with clients who were misled by timeshare companies and who purchased a timeshare under false pretenses.
It doesn’t divulge what it considers when evaluating a potential new client on its website, nor does it provide a list of the timeshare companies it works with.
Pros and Cons of Wesley Financial Group
If you’re stuck with a timeshare that’s costing you an arm and a leg, is it worth your while to work with Wesley Financial Group? Review the good and the bad of the company before you make your decision.
- Money-Back Guarantee
- Strong Track Record of Helping Timeshare Owners
- Owner/Founder has History in the Industry
- Provides Tools on Website to Help Owners See True Cost of Timeshares
One of the best things about Wesley Financial Group is that it offers all clients a money-back guarantee. It puts that guarantee in writing so clients have proof of it, should they need it.
It also seems that Wesley Financial Group follows through on its guarantee. While there are 33 complaints against the company on the BBB website, they have all been resolved. In cases where clients weren’t happy with the service they received, they were offered a refund by Wesley Financial Group.
Strong Track Record of Helping Timeshare Owners
According to the company’s own claims and the testimonials published on its website, Wesley Financial Group does have a steady track record of helping timeshare owners get out of their contracts.
In February 2020 alone, the company helped nearly 700 timeshare owners cancel their timeshare contracts. Since it was founded in 2011, Wesley Financial Group has supposedly eliminated $200 million in timeshare debt.
Owner/Founder has History in the Industry
The CEO and Founder of Wesley Financial Group, Chuck McDowell, has a long history in the timeshare industry. He’s been on both sides of the fence, as he started out selling timeshares. During his time selling timeshares, he became wise to the many tricks and deceptions used by the industry to get people to buy.
McDowell is also a pioneer in the timeshare advocacy and termination industry. He was the CEO of a timeshare advocacy organization before he started Wesley Financial Group.
Provides Tools on Website to Help Owners See True Cost of Timeshare
One issue many timeshare owners struggle with is understanding the true cost of their timeshare. The ongoing cost of the vacation property is typically skimmed over during timeshare presentations, leaving many owners with surprising annual expenses once they do commit.
The Wesley Financial Group’s website offers a maintenance fees calculator, which lets timeshare owners see for themselves how the annual cost of the vacation property adds up.
- No Escrow Option
- High Fees
- Vague Process
- No Guarantee They’ll Work With You
No Escrow Option
While Wesley Financial Group does offer a money-back guarantee, it doesn’t offer its clients an escrow option. With escrow, the money a client pays upfront gets deposited into an account held by a third party.
The timeshare exit company only gets the money if the client is successful in canceling their timeshare agreement. Escrow offers an additional layer of protection to a client. They can rest assured that the timeshare cancellation company only gets paid if it succeeds.
Wesley Financial Group doesn’t publish its fees on its website, but a look at the reviews left about the company suggests that it charges a lot. Many reviewers note that they paid somewhere in the range of $4,000 to $5,000 upfront, before Wesley Financial Group even did anything.
Then, the reviewers note that they made monthly payments, usually around several hundred dollars. Some reviewers have said that they paid the company well over $10,000.
How does Wesley Financial Group free people from their timeshares? It doesn’t exactly say on the company’s website. There is a blog post that argues against hiring an attorney, which seems to suggest that Wesley Financial Group doesn’t use lawyers or the legal system when working for its clients.
Many of the complaints against the company have noted that its process, which might just be calling or writing to timeshare companies, is something clients can easily do on their own.
No Guarantee They’ll Work With You
Wesley Financial Group seems proud of the fact that it gets requests from around 4,000 potential clients weekly and that it turns down 40% of those who contact it.
While being in demand can be great news for the business, it can be challenging for a timeshare owner who’s in desperate need of help and who really wants to get out of their timeshare.
Final Verdict: Is Wesley Financial Group a Legit Timeshare Exit Firm?
Wesley Financial Group appears to be a legitimate timeshare exit company. Its founder has a long history in the industry and it has a track record of helping thousands of people.
That said, it’s a good idea to tread cautiously before agreeing to work with the company. Although it does guarantee a refund if things don’t work out, there is a risk that a timeshare owner will be out thousands of dollars while they wait for results.
A better option might be to reach out to a timeshare developer directly to see what the process is for canceling. If the developer doesn’t help, then a timeshare owner can look for help with a third-party timeshare exit company.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Wesley Financial Group?
Chuck McDowell is the owner and founder of Wesley Financial Group. He has a history of working in the timeshare industry and working as an advocate for timeshare owners.
Where is Wesley Financial Group located?
The company has two offices. Its headquarters are in Franklin, Tennessee, near Nashville. It also has a “West Coast” branch located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
How is Wesley Financial Group rated online?
Wesley Financial Group has many positive reviews online, at the BBB website, Google and Trustpilot. On Yelp, it has a 2.5-star average. While the BBB has given it an A+ rating, it revoked its accreditation in 2019.
Is Wesley Financial Group Worth It?
Depending on a timeshare owner’s situation and budget, it might be worthwhile to work with Wesley Financial Group. There is the risk of spending a lot of money upfront and waiting a while to see results, though.
How long does the process take?
Wesley Financial Group advertises a quick, four-step process to help timeshare owners get out of their contracts. What it doesn’t mention is how long the process takes. Based on comments and reviews from others, it looks as though that process of timeshare cancellation can take anywhere from six to 18 months.
Is Wesley Financial Group a scam?
Wesley Financial Group doesn’t seem to be a scam but it might not provide the results a timeshare owner wants. It’s important to review all the details with the company before agreeing to work with it. Timeshare owners should find out the upfront cost, the monthly fees and what they can expect to get from the company before they sign any contracts.