The 2017 hurricane season will go down as one of the most violent, dangerous and tragic storm seasons in the past fifty years. Our own team in Ormond Beach was evacuated from our office, during Hurricane Irma, and the clean-up took weeks. When it comes to understanding the kind of damage that a hurricane can cause, we’re experts. We are also experts when it comes to timeshare cancellation, and understanding how resorts are already preparing to profit, by raising fees for their members in 2018. Because after all the damages sustained to popular resorts this year, timeshare fees are absolutely going up.
But at the same time as resort committees and shareholders are trying to determine how much they can increase fees, without creating a mass exodus of paying members, there is plenty of online talk about a rebounding industry. About billions in sales of timeshare inventory worldwide, and how mergers have made small and medium sized resorts more resilient.
So, we had a simple question: if timeshares profit billions annually, why do they ever need to increase membership or maintenance fees for their members? Or is it simply an opportunity to earn more profit, while increasing financial burden for it’s members?
Fewer Americans Own a Timeshare According to 2017 Data Reports
In the 1980’s timeshares enjoyed a sales and profitability surge; they were new, novel and everyone wanted one. The industry surpassed one million owners in America, and experienced a 400% increase in the number of resorts, and a 500% increase in overall annual revenues.
By the 1990’s, the industry was growing at a rate of 15% annually, and generated $1.2 million dollars on average, in sales within the United States alone. In 2005 the industry posts earnings of $10.6 billion dollars, and 1,641 resorts in America, with 4.7 million households owning a timeshare or interval vacation membership.
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA), reports that less than 6.9% of American households own a timeshare. According to the U.S. Shared Vacation Ownership Consolidated Owners Report (2016), about 9.2 million households in the United States, own a shared vacation product, including timeshare weeks, points, fractional or private residence club property. The 2016 U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were 126 million total households in America.
A Snapshot of Profitability and The Timeshare Industry
In a survey prepared by Deloitte for the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® in 2016, FICO scores for consumer loans held by medium and large sized timeshare resorts improved dramatically. Are you surprised to learn that the timeshare industry follows the average credit ratings of individuals who are paying off purchase loans with them? Don’t be. The financial performance of members and debtors helps determine what they can charge, while retaining most of their members.
A healthy FICO score for timeshare members, who are paying for purchase loans can indicate that the economy is recovering somewhat. That more people with disposable income and healthy credit scores, are participating as timeshare owners. That is one way to look at the data, but we see it as an indication that the cost of ownership is too high for low to medium income families. And that those families most impacted by rising fees and predatory contracts, may have taken drastic measures to cancel their timeshare contract. Less than 6% of households with a gross annual income of $50,000 or less, own a timeshare, while households earning more than $100,000 per annum, represent over 10% of timeshare owners.
In our opinion, those statistics bear the truth about timeshare ownership. Despite the classic sales pitch, that ‘timeshares are an affordable low budget way to enjoy vacations,’ most families will find them difficult to afford long term.
Only 20% of American households cumulatively earn more than $100,000 per year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2016 average household income in America (all sources and frequently two incomes), was $50,756.00.
Profit for the timeshare industry is an exact science, with revenue sources that go well beyond membership and maintenance fees. Lending, assessments and other services, sale and rentals and other onsite earnings make timeshares successful at making money, even at the expense of losing a few customers and canceled contracts.
The industry, is not embarrassed to announce their cumulative revenues; they are proud of it, despite thousands of online complaints from Americans who feel defrauded. Or financially exploited.
Keeping Consumers in The Dark About American Contract Law and Rights
Timeshares are not a fan of any organization, that helps consumers seek legal pathways to timeshare cancellation. For decades, they have mastered the stoic response of an iron clad contract, that gives consumers no recourse, or options, regardless of their circumstance. Whether a family member is sick, unemployed, or deceased the timeshare is determined to keep your family in the contract, and paying fees (no matter what).
In the United States, there are many laws that protect consumers from predatory contracts and sales agreements. Those laws provide options that some in the timeshare industry, would rather bury and deny, rather than provide information for consumers who need to exit their timeshare.
As you can imagine, our team (who has helped consumers since 2004) is not particularly liked by timeshare resorts or associations. They push back (hard) to try to prevent us from helping hundreds of clients cancel their timeshare contracts annually. But we know that the services we provide our clients are critical, to help them reboot, after finding themselves in a contract they can not comfortably afford.
When you hire our attorney guided team of timeshare cancellation specialists, we provide step-by-step consulting, instructions and help to navigate through the process of ending your contract. We are committed to helping families resolve problematic and fraudulent contracts, and get the fresh financial start they deserve.
If we cannot help you completely cancel your timeshare contract in 12-months or less, we will issue you a 100% refund of our administrative service fee. Period. We don’t win, if our clients do not get the results they need, unlike timeshares who seem to serially profit at the expense of their customers.
Start today by calling 1-800-587-EXIT to talk to one of our cancellation counselors about your contract. We’re ready to help you find a resolution with the resort, and cancel your timeshare for good.