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TANGLWOOD TIMESHARE OWNERS' CONTRACTS VIOLATED, PREATE CHARGES

     TANGLWOOD TIMESHARE OWNERS' CONTRACTS VIOLATED, PREATE CHARGES
    HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers who spent up to $10,000 to buy timeshares at the Tanglwood resort in the Poconos are being illegally restricted in their access to the resort's major facilities, including a golf course, Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. charges in a lawsuit.
    "Lured by the promise that they could enjoy the use of the golf course, a clubhouse and other amenities for as long as they owned their timeshare, some 1,200 to 1,900 consumers bought timeshare interests in the Tanglwood resort community at Lake Wallenpaupack from 1983 through 1988," the attorney general said today.
    "Now those timeshare owners find that their access to those facilities has been cut back or eliminated.
    "Our investigation found, for example, that timeshare owners no longer are allowed to use the golf course on weekends.  Guests and co- owners are permitted to play golf only if accompanied by the principal owner of the timeshare.
    "A timeshare owner reportedly was barred recently from using the country club facilities with her 12-year-old grandson."
    The suit alleges that beginning in 1994, officials plan to bar the affected consumers from using the golf course and associated country club unless they purchase club memberships.
    The suit was filed last week in Commonwealth Court by Deputy Attorney General Dan Clearfield, director of Preate's Public Protection Division, and by Deputy Attorney General J.P. McGowan, attorney-in- charge of the Scranton office of Preate's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
    Named as defendants are a number of corporations and individuals, including Tanglwood Lakes Inc., Hawley, developer of the resort community; its current owners, Mr. and Mrs. John Taylor of Hawley, and Tanglwood Country Club Inc., Greentown, which operates Tanglwood Golf Course and Paupack Hills Country Club.
    The suit alleges that beginning in 1983, the defendants used high- pressure sales tactics to sell timeshare rights for prices ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
    Salespersons allegedly promised consumers that timeshare owners and their guests would retain full rights to use the resorts' amenities in accordance with specific rules and usage fees.
    Prospective purchasers also were told that the golf course and country club would be for the principal use of timeshare owners and Tanglwood associate members, according to the suit.
    The suit alleges that through a series of transactions between 1986 and 1989, the golf course, club house and other Tanglwood facilities have been obtained by Tanglwood Country Club Inc. and all of the stock of Tanglwood Lakes Inc. was transferred to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor.
    The suit contends that the defendants violated the original timeshare contracts by reducing or eliminating the timeshare owners' rights to use the resort's facilities.
    In some cases, the suit charges, the defendants failed to provide or stopped providing certain promised amenities, including an airstrip with take-off and landing rights, a health club, tennis courts and a marina.
    Preate said the suit asks Commonwealth Court to take the following steps:
    -- Require Tanglwood Country Club Inc. to return ownership of the golf course, country club and other amenities to the original owner, Tanglwood Lakes Inc., and require Tanglwood Lakes to operate the facilities for the principal use of the timeshare owners.
    -- Prohibit the defendants from selling any other facilities, restricting the use of the facilities or charging any fees for use of the facilities except as permitted in the timeshare contracts.
    -- Order the defendants to pay civil penalties for violations of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
    "We allege that the defendants have taken illegal actions that have crushed the dreams of consumers who made a major financial investment in the Tanglwood community," Preate said.
    /delval/
    -0-                     11/12/91
    /CONTACT:  Jack J. Lewis of the Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211, or, home, 717-657-9840/ CO:  Office of Attorney General ST:  Pennsylvania IN: SU: CC -- PH001 -- 3305 11/12/91 09:07 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 12, 1991
Words:646
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