FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 1999
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division entered into a settlement with a California finance company that had been charged with improperly collecting payments from members of a travel club that had gone out of business. Travelers Acceptance Corporation agreed to refund all payments made by consumers whose contracts it purchased from a company called Interlink Travel Network, Inc. Interlink was sued in January 1998 by the Division for committing unfair and deceptive trade practices in the promotion and sale of its club memberships, as well as for its failure to provide promised services, and was ordered on March 18, 1999 to return all of the monies it collected from consumers.
The Division sued Travelers after it learned that the company had purchased more than 100 of Interlink's contracts and continued to collect payments from consumers even though Interlink had gone out of business, was not providing any services to consumers, and had also been ordered to return all of the payments it had collected under its contracts. Travelers was charged with violating the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act and the Maryland Vacation Club Membership Law.
Under the terms of the settlement, Travelers denied any liability but agreed to refund all payments that it collected from consumers and all payments consumers made to Interlink under the contracts that Travelers purchased. Travelers also agreed to pay the Division's costs for its investigation.
"Consumers cannot be asked by businesses or their finance companies to pay for services that they will never receive," said Attorney General Curran. "These consumers will be refunded every penny that was improperly taken from them."
Consumers with complaints against Travelers Acceptance Corporation or Interlink Travel Network, Inc. should contact the Consumer Protection Division by calling (410) 576-6574.