Whenever there is a large case legal case involving fraud and the timeshare industry, the incident usually involves consumers who were defrauded of fees paid to timeshare resale companies. Taking advantage of consumers who are in difficult financial situations, disreputable organizations have no legal defense for bilking thousands of timeshare owners out of millions of dollars, without providing the service that was promised and paid for.
The problem is complex, because selling a timeshare (when you are ready to end the financial obligation) is exceedingly difficult for owners of fractional vacation properties. But what is hardest is knowing that Americans who needed a real financial solution to the expense of timeshare ownership, were presented with no solution, that inevitably resulted in hundreds or thousands of dollars in additional fees, with no results.
How do consumers get inadvertently ‘taken’ by these types of services, and what does the opportunity to have someone sell your timeshare for you look like, when it is offered to a consumer? In this article we’ll talk about the problem with fraudulent timeshare resale companies, and provide advice to help consumers make a better choice, when it comes to real timeshare cancellation.
Timeshare Owners Are Vulnerable to Quick Sale Promises
One of the most unfortunate realities about unscrupulous timeshare resale companies, is that they understand very well, the legal implications of a binding timeshare contract. It is for this reason that so many fraudulent timeshare resale schemes have spread across the country, offering timeshare owners the often unrealistic option of selling their timeshare, and recouping value from the sale.
Our timeshare cancellation counselors hear from consumers, who have many legitimate reasons for needing to cancel their timeshare contract. For many, a change in financial circumstances makes a timeshare a luxury they can no longer afford. Situations like job loss and employment, or personal illness can impact household income dramatically, and threaten more important financial priorities like rent, principal resident mortgage payments, and other cost of living needs.
By the time an individual is willing to pay for timeshare resale services, chances are that they have already exhausted other options. Many timeshare owners try to sell their weeks and membership privately, only to find that sites like EBay and Craigslist have hundreds of timeshares listings, starting from only $1 to transfer ownership. Timeshare owners quickly learn that the monthly fees and costs associated with owning a timeshare (the same expenses that they no longer wish to carry), are unappealing to most consumers. The binding contract of timeshare ownership carries with it the same legal and personal credit implications that a long-term mortgage provides.
Competing to sell your timeshare, when demand greatly exceeds supply, is virtually impossible. Research indicates that less than 2% of timeshare owners are able to successfully sell their timeshare, either privately, or with help from a broker. It’s understandable that, after failing to sell the timeshare on their own, that owners would be willing to pay a company that promised to advertise the property and membership, for a quick sale. Particularly if there is an urgent financial impetus to get rid of the obligation of owning the timeshare.
A quick sale of the timeshare gives owners the hope of unloading a significant financial obligation. With assurances from the timeshare resale agency, they nurture the hope of a quick resolution to the financial strain. What timeshare owners typically experience instead, is more money ‘out the window’ without any results.
Timeshare Resellers Take a Fee but Rarely Provide Results
We have frequently discussed here, in our consumer protection blog, why timeshare resale has a low success rate, for families who simply want out of their contract. Our management team sees offers and advertising on a weekly basis that promise to quickly sell a timeshare at a low cost. At Aconsumercredit™, our attorney lead timeshare cancellation team doesn’t sell or buy timeshares. We advocate for the consumer, against the timeshare, to cancel the contract for good.
Taking a legal and scrupled approach to timeshare cancellation takes time, and legal administrative services have costs that the consumer must invest in, to successfully cancel their timeshare. Because timeshare companies are ready to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to keep their paying customers, the process of legitimate timeshare cancellation service can take on average, from 3-12 months. During this time, timeshare owners have the direct support of our team to write the necessary letters and documentation, following due process, to exit their timeshare contract without filing for bankruptcy or attempting to sell the timeshare.
Unfortunately, some consumers, when told about the duration of the process, seek what they perceive to be a faster alternative. It seems possible, particularly when the timeshare reseller gives assurances, to quickly sell a timeshare, and resolve the whole problem. But consumers who have tried unsuccessfully to privately sell or transfer ownership to another buyer, should remember that if they were unable to sell it, paying someone else to sell the timeshare will provide the same result. After they have spent between $500 to more than $2,000 in fees to the reseller, who offers NO GUARANTEE.
A timeshare reseller claims to offer superior marketing services, to place your timeshare under the nose of interested buyers. This service can include:
Listing the timeshare on sites like Craigslist, EBay, Facebook and other online marketplaces.
Limited advertising of the unit for sale. This can include website or print advertising, which usually directs consumers to the resellers website, where multiple timeshare properties are listed. You will be competing with other owners trying to sell their timeshare.
Promoting your timeshare to companies who wish to acquire them for vacation rental income.
Timeshare resellers can be professionals who have experience in selling new timeshares. This is meant to assure consumers that they have the skills required to not only sell your timeshare, but get a competitive price for it. The sales pitch from a reseller, according to an article by the Federal Trade Commission, can provide assurances like:
big returns on the sale of your timeshare, and profit
customers ready and actively looking to buy timeshare properties
promises that your timeshare resort is in high-demand, and it will sell quickly
no contract or up-front fees
a money-back guarantee
According to the FTC, fraudulent timeshare resellers do collect fees, despite their claims. And then many of them simply stop communicating with their customers. They do not provide updates or status reports, or a summary of how they are marketing your timeshare property. And when you ask for a refund of fees paid, after an extended period of time, the companies are difficult if not impossible to get a hold of by phone or email.
Advice for Consumers on Timeshare Resale
Timeshare owners are bound by a contract that is as legally actionable as signing a mortgage. This contract, whether it is for twenty, thirty or ninety-nine years of timeshare use, is difficult if not impossible for consumers to cancel, without legally counseled resources and a step-by-step approach that is proven to provide results, in twelve months or less.
Save your money, time and frustration. Don’t fight your timeshare alone. Aconsumercredit™ provides free consultation, and an action plan that fights to cancel timeshare that were sold under fraudulent pretenses. Consumers have rights, when it comes to contract law, and our trusted team is a national leader that provides real results.
You can be free of your timeshare contract, with the right help, and our team of timeshare cancellation experts is compassionate, experienced and effective. Our team will also advise you on the best methods of protecting the integrity of your personal credit during the process. Start today, and be free of your timeshare contract in 12 months or less, or receive a full refund of our service fee.