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My DSister bought a timeshare
Old 03-25-2020, 04:45 PM   #1
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My DSister bought a timeshare

My sister is close to retirement, but with no savings, and no house.
She is single. She has been working since an early 30s divorce, and will get a reasonable SS and a small pension from working in a school system.


I give her occasional financial advice, but money goes through her fingers like water. I truly don't understand her thinking process.



In her defense, she has raised 4 children as a single mother, and she puts her children and grandchildren above her own self interests. She is a good kind person.



She went on vacation to Florida with her daughter, and came back with a timeshare. I didn't hear about this for at least a year, because she didn't tell anyone about it. So it is old enough that she can't just cancel the contract. She knows it was not a good financial move her, and wants out of the situation. Note: She lives paycheck to paycheck.



My questions:
- She is talking about just stopping the payments. Is this a good idea? What will the repercussions be? Bad credit rating? Can they go after her wages? She is talking about working two more years now. Can they go after SS? Pensions? 401ks?

- I've heard there are companies that help you sell these, but I've also heard they only want paid off ones, and most of these companies are just another level of the scam.

- Any other recommendations?

- There really should be clean legal ways to exit these contracts.



Thanks for your comment in advance. JP
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:52 PM   #2
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The companies that offer to take it off your hands charge a few hundred dollars, to a few thousand, and do nothing... That is how they make money.

Lots of things depend on what she bought, and how much it cost, and what was the downpayment ?

I had one, I had bought on Ebay for $1,500 after using it many years, I tried to sell it, nobody wanted it. Charities won't even take them.
The reason is, it's really a contract where you commit to paying the fee each year.

I was able to finally get rid of mine by calling the Time share company and asking if they would take it back for free ... nope but if I paid the $250 legal cost, they would take it back. So that is what I did.

Your DSister should at least use it each year while thinking about how to get rid of it.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:55 PM   #3
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Sounds like my MIL. So infuriating. They just agree to buy these things that are nothing more than long term liabilities and they have no way to pay them once they are retired on a fixed income.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:04 PM   #4
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Sunset,
Was that a paid off timeshare? I think I've heard you can get rid of those, but you won't get your money back.

She didn't have a down payment. She has been paying $70/month, or something like that.

She called to see if she could cancel it, and they just said no.



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Old 03-25-2020, 05:10 PM   #5
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My Dad fell for one of these about a year ago. It is painful. He ended up "selling" his back to the timeshare company for less than a penny on the dollar after only having it a few months and never actually using it.

I'm sorry your sister got caught. The options are not good.

Yes, she can stop the payments. They will probably trash her credit. They will likely call her and threaten her and possibly trick her into paying them even more money.
Depending on how much she was supposed to pay them, they could conceivably sue her and garnish her wages. I don't know about SS/pensions/401(k)s.

There are companies out there that help you sell them. Yes, most of them charge high fees (think thousands of dollars) and at least some are not any better than the timeshare companies themselves. I believe most want to be paid up front, in cash, with no actual guarantee that you can rely on.

Here are the categories of options I considered:

1. Legal options to cancel. Read the contract, examine relevant state laws to see if the contract can be voided.

2. Sell back to the timeshare company. This is what we chose to do, ultimately.

3. Sell it on the secondhand market. You'll get pennies on the dollar if you can sell it at all. See TUG (Timeshare Users Group).

4. Stop paying and eventually let them foreclose. See comments above. May work if your sister is smart and persistent and won't fall prey to anything further.

5. Keep it and use it.

6. Use a third party to exit contract. See comments above. TUG and one regulator I talked to generally thought these were all scams as well.

I also looked into filing complaints with various regulators. Bottom line for me there was that it wasn't an area that any regulator really cared to bother with doing anything more than taking reports of complaints and filing them away. I didn't bother; eventually my annoyance and frustration and anger dissipated.

ETA: For $70 a month, I'd consider just stopping paying them. Yes, it will trash her credit, and yes, they'll harass her. But my thinking is that they may not put much effort into tracking down that little income, especially if she demonstrates that she's firm in her resolve and they won't get any money from her.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:13 PM   #6
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Sunset,
Was that a paid off timeshare? I think I've heard you can get rid of those, but you won't get your money back.

She didn't have a down payment. She has been paying $70/month, or something like that.

She called to see if she could cancel it, and they just said no.
JP
Mine was a fully paid for time share, If you look on Ebay you will see there are many there , either free, $1, or $100 or so.

I paid $1,500 as the full price, including the legal fee to transfer it to me.
Originally they probably cost $15,000 -> $20,000.

Even as fully paid for timeshare, it's still hard to get rid of it. Because it's an obligation to pay the maintenance fee for the rest of your life.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:18 PM   #7
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Even as fully paid for timeshare, it's still hard to get rid of it. Because it's an obligation to pay the maintenance fee for the rest of your life.
Even after the rest of your life. When I read my Dad's contract, there was language in there that tried very hard to make it an asset of the estate that would have to be inherited by someone (and yes, the maintenance fees continued on to the beneficiary). Blech.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:37 PM   #8
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Go here it has lots of information and help.
Do not pay someone to get rid of a timeshare. Never buy direct, buy resale and pay cash with money you have allocated for vacation.

https://tugbbs.com/forums/
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:23 PM   #9
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My FIL seems to fall for most of these scams. He bought into a campground timeshare that allowed you to try different resorts (if there were openings). He paid thousands, and for many years, also paid the yearly maintenance fees ($200+), and hardly used it until my DW, and I used it a few times. He tried to sell it to us, but we saw the scam in it.

He ended up paying a big fee to return ownership.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:55 PM   #10
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http://timeshareexitteam.com

cheaper than the fees and may take a while.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:04 PM   #11
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What does the timeshare entitle your sister to? What property is it, and how many days is she entitled to?

Most timeshares are essentially worthless when time to sell, but if the property is desirable enough it may have some value.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:26 PM   #12
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I know a fellow who was left a timeshare by a deceased relative. He had to notify the executor that he refused the gift. Nobody else wanted it.

I know two people who have a timeshare and love it. One has a summer week at a lovely spot on the Oregon Coast. She uses it herself of lets a family member use it.

The other has the last week of the year (think approximately Christmas to New Years Day) on a beach front unit on Kauai. IIRC, bought it on a lark, when he was on vacation during their pre-Grand-Opening sale. Needless to say he has no problem renting it that week for a tidy sum.

Two winners, but so many more losers. Not so good.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:47 PM   #13
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http://timeshareexitteam.com

cheaper than the fees and may take a while.
So they take a fee and you are still stuck with the timeshare.

I bet they won't work on commission, as they know they cannot get rid of it.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:04 PM   #14
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So they take a fee and you are still stuck with the timeshare.

I bet they won't work on commission, as they know they cannot get rid of it.
no. they get you out or no charge.

Timeshare Exit Team guarantees that we will find a way to get you out of your timeshare or will give you a complete refund, on the terms and conditions as detailed in our contract. We stand behind our 100% money back guarantee.

https://timeshareexitteam.com/resour...-25100127-5f3a
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:11 PM   #15
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no. they get you out or no charge.

Timeshare Exit Team guarantees that we will find a way to get you out of your timeshare or will give you a complete refund, on the terms and conditions as detailed in our contract. We stand behind our 100% money back guarantee.

https://timeshareexitteam.com/resour...-25100127-5f3a
That would be good as long as it wasn't like one company tried to sell me, which was pay them $5,000 to give away my timeshare.

So they just pay somebody $3,000 to take the timeshare, and take a $2,000 fee for that.
I quickly figured I could pay someone $4,000 to take it away and save
But I found a cheaper way.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:17 PM   #16
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you, obviously, know best.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:13 AM   #17
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I remember the sales pitch at a gorgeous Kaanapali beach resort was it a Westin property? (Yes - The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka'anapali) it was gorgeous! And very nice location. We were curious and wanted to see the rooms in case we tried a one off rental. And OMG the condos inside were just fabulous if you didn’t mind a high rise.

They were sure trying hard, but they just didn’t understand that we weren’t a match for their typical buyer - no kids, already retired, not interested in returning to the same place at the same time every year, not really interested in other resort properties. Points, etc, just rolled off our backs as we knew that was fake money so to speak (i.e. captive with major strings attached),

I think their big league “closer” who went over the numbers kept looking at the sales girl as to “why did you bring me these people?” as we were obviously not motivated and not interested.

Ultimately, all I could see was the lock into forever obligations on annual maintenance fees.

And from what I see, people do rent them.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:26 AM   #18
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Need more info. Does the $70/month include fees or is it the fees? Are there additional payments required?

Is it a specific week a year or points?

Sounds like the $70/month is just for the timeshare and that there are fees on top of that. Just wondering what her all in annual cost is and if she might recover it by renting it out.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:30 AM   #19
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She went on vacation to Florida with her daughter, and came back with a timeshare.
Your sister might enjoy the classic 2012 documentary The Queen of Versailles, which provides a look at the timeshare biz from the developer perspective. Recommended!
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:23 AM   #20
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Need more info. Does the $70/month include fees or is it the fees? Are there additional payments required?

Is it a specific week a year or points?

Sounds like the $70/month is just for the timeshare and that there are fees on top of that. Just wondering what her all in annual cost is and if she might recover it by renting it out.
This reminds me of another thing that was buried in my Dad's timeshare contract: assessments. If there is a hurricane that rips the roof off the timeshare in Hawaii and you "own" a timeshare there, then they have the right to assess you proportionally to your points your portion of those roof repairs/replacements. With no upper limit. So you might owe $30,000 to help replace the roof on "their" building.
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