The State of Washington last year sued a former advertiser of Dave Ramsey’s broadcast that allegedly used deceptive business practices to get consumers out of timeshare contracts, and this month a state judge in Tennessee, where Ramsey Solutions is based, granted a motion to compel Ramsey’s deposition in the matter.
Ramsey and his various businesses are not named in the Washington complaint, which was filed in February 2020 and alleged that Timeshare Exit Team, also known as Reed Hein & Associates, used numerous unfair or deceptive business practices related to services to “exit” consumers’ timeshares.
Ramsey began endorsing Timeshare Exit Team about four years ago.
Ramsey is beloved by financial advisers who do business with his organization by paying for potential client leads. A widely popular radio host who preaches the gospel of debt-free living, Ramsey on his website promotes a variety of financial services products, companies and professionals, including financial advisers.
Advisers pay the advertising fee and are part of a website directory, called SmartVestor Pros.
Ramsey and his attorneys in August argued that his deposition was not germane to the ongoing matter, according to court documents.
“I have had no direct insight into Reed Hein’s operations, representations to its customers, or any other aspects of its business,” Ramsey said, according to an Aug. 27 Tennessee circuit court filing, called a declaration. “Again, others on my team are responsible for the details of the endorsement relationship, and I act based on their recommendations and advice.”
“I recall a couple of occasions when I observed a spike in questions or complaints regarding Reed Hein from our listeners,” according to Ramsey’s declaration; he added that any issues were “promptly addressed.”
Washington, in turn, argued that Ramsey had spoken to the founder of Reed Hein on multiple occasions regarding its services and what was presented in those meetings was important to its lawsuit, according to the order.
A Tennessee circuit court judge, Michael W. Binkley, ruled on Sept. 7 in favor of Washington state, granting its motion to compel Ramsey’s deposition.
A spokesperson for Ramsey did not return messages on Monday to comment.
In May, Ramsey blamed the high cost of various lawsuits from Washington and the timeshare industry as the reason why Timeshare Exit Team, also known as Reed Hein, is no longer an advertiser with his show.
Indeed, the company has gotten more than 20,000 consumers out of unwanted timeshare contracts and, while hugely successful, is facing millions of dollars of legal fees and may be running out of cash, according to Ramsey.
Timeshare Exit Team “had to pull off of our show,” Ramsey said during a bromide about the timeshare industry. “They couldn’t afford to advertise anymore.”
A timeshare is shared ownership of vacation real estate and typically sold by the week. Timeshare-exit businesses have recently proliferated as many consumers look to get out of the contracts, and may increase due to consumers’ traveling less due to Covid-19 and looking for cash.
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Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.