Like all industries in the world today, timeshares are plagued by various scams that come and go, with new schemes popping up all of the time. Many are not actually against state laws, but are simply unethical, based on half-truths and inflated data, preying on the vulnerable.
Just as store clerks and cashiers need to be experts on genuine currency to avoid accepting counterfeit money, timeshare owners and potential owners need to be fully educated to avoid the pitfalls.
Some of the Myths (the Not-100%-True-Information) out there;
1) Purchasing on the resale market does not get you all of the same benefits as paying full price from the developer
2) Your timeshare isn’t worth anything
3) Your kids will be mad at you after you die if you leave them your timeshare and its annual fees
4) There is no way to get rid of the timeshare without paying an attorney thousands of dollars
Myth #1 – Purchasing on the resale market does not get you all of the same benefits as paying full price from the developer
If you purchased from a developer, you probably paid more than the property is selling for on the resale market today. Many are reselling for $1.00. If you had known that, you also could have purchased for $1.00 and not had to make burdensome loan payments. True, some are worth more, but few retain more than 50% value on dollars originally spent. Some resorts and points programs do indeed have “grandfathered” in benefits that do not pass on the resale market, such an internal exchanges, bonus time, etc. but more resale buyers simply join an exchange company and have many of the same perks and ability to use other resorts by “banking” their week, and exchanging for another. Salespersons are VERY high pressure, they have spent a lot of $$ and offered you freebies to get you in the door to the presentation, they do NOT want to let you walk out that door without purchasing. Educate yourself by reading up on sites such as Redweek.com and Tug2.net BUYER BEWARE! Remember, if you are paying more than $1.00 for a timeshare ownership that is flooded with internet listings, it means owners cannot get rid of them, and you will be stuck also.
Myth #2 – Your timeshare isn’t worth anything
True, your timeshare may not be worth much on the resale market, but why pay thousands to “unburden” yourself, or upgrade to an expensive travel club, why not check with a licensed real estate broker first? He may tell you that there is in fact a demand for your unit/week/ownership type (especially if it is a Hilton, Marriott, Starwood/Vistana, Hyatt, the upper echelon ownerships), and EVEN IF HE GETS YOU A BUYER THAT PAYS $1.00, YOU ARE NOT PAYING ANYONE THOUSANDS! Most brokers have reasonable commissions. Buyer pays closing costs. NOT SELLER! At least 90% of the time, depending on how you structure the agreement.
There are many brokers out there who will list and sell your unit for NO MONEY UP-FRONT! $0.00 advanced fees. You still come out ahead, you have not spent more of your hard-earned cash.
We keep a database of the companies that are out there, what they are saying to timeshare owners, and if they are backing it up. The stories we hear! Sometimes the lies! Check with us before opening your wallet! We love to help folks to NOT GET SCAMMED! We do it for free by the way. We only make $ when there is a REAL Buyer who pays us to handle the ownership change coordination.
Myth #3: Your kids will be mad at you after you die if you leave them your timeshare and its annual fees
You need to ask your kids if they want the timeshare after you are gone. Be sure they know that there is an annual fee, that means every year for more timeshare ownerships. If they do the research and are interested, we can help you ADD THEM TO YOUR DEED now (with the help of our attorney), in order to avoid probate issues later. Then they have rights of survivorship. If your kids are not interested, how about a nephew? A friend? Paying a couple of few hundred dollars for deed prep, recording, and resort change (additional fee) to add them on your account is STILL way less $ than paying some company to liquidate.
Myth #4 There is no way to get rid of the timeshare without paying an attorney thousands of dollars
The problem with many companies who supposedly use an attorney to legally rid you of this responsibility is that few of them are legitimate. What is their Better Business Bureau rating? Is there an actual person’s name and phone # on their website? The legit attorneys can actually help you but retainers are expensive! They are few and far between (I know a couple and I can refer you if you have tried unsuccessfully to sell or gift and cannot locate a human being to relieve you of this ownership).
However, with MOST of these fly-by-night companies, THEY DO NOT GET IT OUT OF YOUR NAME PROPERLY! Then you are still liable for maintenance fees. I have seen many of those companies in my local paper, here in Branson, Missouri, under Public Notices, Trustee Sales, Foreclosures. Why? Because they deeded your property to an LLC then that company (which is also them) ditched out on paying maintenance fees, and they will eventually let the LLC dissolve, because they personally have LIMITED LIABILITY. So they did not do what they told you, when you paid x number of years’ maintenance fees ahead. They pocketed your money, bought a new boat or car, and drove off into the sunset. Oh and by the way, when they tell you they will TRY to get you out of your loan (AFTER they take your $$), THEY CANNOT GET YOU OUT OF YOUR LOAN! You are stuck making payments, upside down, but now they are not returning your call for the refund they promised.
These companies prey on the uneducated yes, but especially the elderly. Mrs. Widow lost her husband, he handled everything to do with the timeshare, and now some actress is telling her she to pay $xxxx.xx to get that monkey off her back and be free from that pesky timeshare. But that “counselor” is a paid liar! Okay maybe she doesn’t know she is lying, because she is making a decent paycheck and chooses not to see the truth about what she is selling (which is lies).
TIP: Do your homework, educate yourself, do not fall for high pressure sales pitches, save the trouble and stay home. Even renting the unit out is better than nothing.
Leave your credit card in your wallet. Do not pull it out! Call us. We help sweet timeshare owners every day.