Homeowners allege deception by resort operator at Pickwick

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

IUKA – Dissatisfied homeowners at the Pickwick Pines Resort contend that the resort owner and his associates use unfair and deceptive trade practices to lure buyers to the resort.
Members of the Pickwick Pines Association of Homeowners are seeking judgment against Pickwick Pines Resort and owner David McMeans for violating the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act.
The attorney general’s office filed the complaint in Tishomingo County Chancery Court in January on behalf of the homeowner group, which took its concerns to the agency more than a year ago.
The complaint also asks the court to stop Pickwick Pines Resort from continuing what it contends are unethical practices, but no hearing date has been set.
McMeans and associates will have time to file responses to the court, said Corinth attorney Wendell Trapp, who represents the homeowner group.
A key complaint of the homeowners is that the annual required membership fee has risen from $500 in 2003, to its current $1,800 per year, and they are not receiving the benefits they pay for.
The resort owners also have said annual membership is likely to increase $300 per year.
The fees are meant to cover services such as staffed security, planned activities, access to public areas, daily garbage pickup, paved parking pads, and paved roads and street.
The attorney general is asking the court to order Pickwick Pines Resort to provide an accounting of how it is using the homeowners’ annual membership fees and assess the maximum civil penalty of $10,000 per violation of the consumer protection act.

Contact Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.