Although many lawsuits against timeshare companies don’t work out, the pursuit of justice can be worth it in the long run. At the same time, it’s important for those considering challenging a major corporation to understand what they’re up against. Timeshare companies make millions off of vulnerable property owners and know exactly how to deflect accusations. A lot goes into accomplishing a favorable ruling. While most of our articles surround timeshare contract cancellation, we wanted to start a series that shines a light on the reality of the timeshare industry. So, let’s kick things off with a former employee that took a stand against unethical activity and timeshare sales scams that targeted the elderly.
Former sales person Trish Williams, for Wyndham timeshare, was recently awarded $18.6 million by a California jury as a whistleblower against the corporation. The settlement was awarded for wrongful termination after Williams reported timeshare fraud on the elderly by Wyndham. They were basically executing timeshare sales scam that preyed on those that couldn’t really even take care of themselves. The court later reduced the amount to $12.8 million citing a mismatch for the compensatory damages, but made statements that Wyndham’s timeshare sales tactics were “highly reprehensible”.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff, Williams, reported shocking and abhorrent timeshare sales strategies that were used by the sales department of the largest timeshare company in the industry. Evidence presented in the month long court case documented that Wyndham employees were encouraged to lie, cheat, and do whatever it took to get the sale. Employees were also opening and maxing out credit cards without knowledge or permission of owners of the timeshares. The salespersons also made untrue statements regarding the values of the timeshares, as well as statements regarding easily selling those timeshares back to Wyndham at the owners request.
The most atrocious of these tactics included “Taft” days, when high pressure sales tactics of “Telling them any f’n thing” in order to get the sale. One employee was quoted, “I sold my soul to the devil. I can say whatever I want so long as I don’t put it in writing, that’s why Wyndham has good lawyers.” What really crossed the line was the targeting of the defenseless aging population. Companies and their employees were banking on people at the most vulnerable state of their lives.
Williams’ lawyer and legal team specified, “This was an epic battle against a well-funded army of lawyers that took us across the United States to obtain evidence and testimony demonstrating the fraud. This jury was deliberate and careful. In no way should this verdict be characterized as anything other than what it is: just compensation for Ms. Williams and a penalty of less than one half of one percent of this mammoth corporation’s net value.”
Williams herself addressed the reporters stating, “I am grateful a jury of 12 people exposed the facts of this fraud and confirmed that I was terminated for standing up to Wyndham on behalf of the elderly clients that they were ripping off. For six long years, I have battled the world’s largest timeshare corporation so that the facts showing their dishonesty would be revealed to an unbiased jury and the American public. I want to say to others that know people are being cheated by their employers: have the courage to stand up and protect others. It’s not easy, but it’s the right thing to do. I’d also like to thank [the multiple legal teams] who took my case and beat back the army of defense lawyers that Wyndham threw at us. We need more lawyers who will fight for what’s right.”
One of her lawyers also chimed in to her statement by saying, “This is a warning to [timeshare] corporations worldwide: do not steal from the elderly as you will be held accountable. Given the aging of our population, more and more elder financial fraud is occurring. Whistleblowers need to come forward, and they should be commended for their courage and sacrifice. If others in this industry, or any industry, see fraud, report it to any outside agency and make a protest to your company’s ethics line. It’s up to individual citizens, lawyers, judges, and juries to protect the vulnerable and bring the powerful to justice.”
If you’re currently experiencing frustrations with your timeshare company, don’t lose hope. Aside from resort employees realizing what they’re doing is wrong, there are plenty of timeshare owners who feel your pain. Do you feel like you’re stuck in a timeshare? Do you know someone or have an aging parent that might be paying thousands of dollars towards a timeshare they don’t use? We’d love to talk to you and explain some of the available options for finding relief. Whether you simply need some advice to negotiate with the resort or you’re ready to cancel your contract, our free consultations give you the answers you need More information about resort negotiations or how to legally cancel your timeshare is only a phone call away.
Purchasing a timeshare can be an exciting time for those that have dreamed about vacationing every year. It’s easy for most to commit to a monthly agreement that seems to be cheaper than spending money on one-time vacation packages. But, they soon find out that additional expenses and fees easily push them outside of their budget while expectations typically don’t match the presentation. Aside from maintenance costs catching new property owners off guard, timeshare assessment fees can be maddening. Moreover, they can be devastating. Getting out of a timeshare may be desired, but the financial burden can handicap their ability to cancel the contract when they need to the most.
Unlike vacation rentals or travel deals, timeshare ownership leaves many feeling trapped. Once they sign the contract, they’re obligated to adhere to the terms they agreed to – even if the details weren’t ever made clear to them. As we’ve mentioned in other articles, far too many interested consumers are distracted by the value propositions of owning a timeshare and overlook the actualities that come with a purchase of this magnitude.
Know the Details Before Signing the Contract!
For whatever reason, timeshare sales presentations are so persuasive that many travelers don’t even research the opportunity before spending tens of thousands of dollars into the property. If they did, they’d quickly realize most timeshares have zero resale value. A large percentage of timeshare owners aren’t even aware that their financial commitment can drastically increase when repairs, damage or acquisitions occur. Misinformation is common in the timeshare industry. But, pointing fingers at unethical sales practices isn’t going to solve the problem.
At VOC, we take pride in helping potential timeshare owners understand what they’re getting themselves into before making the purchase. Educating current owners on the terms of their contract also allows us to help them find the best way to cancel their timeshare for good. So, before you call the resort to complain about unexpected expenses, let’s discuss the major differences between timeshare assessment fees and maintenance costs. Knowing what to expect will help you better navigate the muddy waters of timeshare ownership.
What Are Timeshare Maintenance Fees?
As we discussed in our previous article, timeshare maintenance fees are annual charges that go towards maintaining the resort and the operational costs of the property. If you’d like to see the resort invest more money in laundry services or to update the carpet, then the cost of these “upgrades” will eventually come out of timeshare owners’ pockets. For example, properties with excess greenery or golf courses use yearly timeshare maintenance fees to spread out landscaping costs. The amenities and elements of the resort that initially caught your eye during the presentation aren’t necessarily included in your mortgage.
Unexpected Maintenance Fees Are Unpredictable.
What’s worse, is that these yearly fees fluctuate every year depending on what the timeshare claims as maintenance. There’s no questionnaire that goes out to property owners asking for their opinion or input on decisions about the premises. At the end of the day, they can basically bill their occupants for whatever they want. What’s more concerning is that yearly timeshare fees continue to rise. A 10-year mortgage for $20,000 can easily become a $30,000 expense when you factor in maintenance fees. Keep in mind, this isn’t even including your interest rate (15-19%) and unexpected timeshare assessment fees.
What Happens When You Pay Off the Timeshare Contract?
Do you still think owning a timeshare is cheaper than your family vacation for four? What many don’t realize is that they’ll still be on the hook for maintenance fees once they’ve paid off their timeshare mortgage. Contracts don’t become expendable once payments are complete. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. As long as you’re under contract, you’re responsible for your share of property expenses. This is when a good number of timeshare owners begin thinking it might be a good idea to dump the timeshare altogether.
What Else Can Increase Maintenance Fees?
You’ll typically see a large increase in timeshare maintenance fees when an acquisition takes place. If the resort decides to transform the location into luxury suites, property owners are expected to quietly foot the bill. Similar to a new property management company gutting an apartment complex, the acquirer will say major changes need to take place in order for the resort to be profitable. In other words, they justify the increase with a few open ended promises.
Unfortunately, most don’t improve anything about the property and simply spread out acquisition costs through maintenance fees. A $500 increase for 100 rooms with 50% occupancy can generate them a quick $1.3 million in the first year. While maintenance fees can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, timeshare assessment fees can be substantial.
Explaining Special Timeshare Assessment Fees
Unlike maintenance costs, timeshare assessment fees are not annual expenses that you can anticipate (or save up for) every year. In most cases, these unexpected fees are sent out to timeshare owners after a natural disaster or extensive damage occurs to the property. Hurricanes, wildfires and volcanic eruptions have led to several recent lawsuits regarding timeshare assessment fees.
Instead of rolling out damage control or resort improvements over an extended period of time, most timeshare companies give their owners a few months to pay them hefty sums of money. Unless you’re up to date with everything going on at the resort, you’ll more than likely get blindsided by timeshare assessment fees. Some vacation owners are forced to hand over the deed to the property due to their inability to pay the fee on time. Losing the timeshare can be a punch to the gut, but dealing with collection agencies and a damaged credit score can be even more devastating. Failure to pay timeshare maintenance fees and assessment costs can even result in a foreclosure if you’re not careful.
What Can Impact Assessment Fees?
With an increasing number of owners legally cancelling their contracts or defaulting on payments, timeshare assessment charges have been used as damage control. When there is less money coming in, the resort needs to make up for the difference. The costs that timeshare companies deem “billable” isn’t going to change when there are less timeshare owners in the building. It simply costs every remaining owner more money to keep their share. At the end of the day, the resort’s board of directors has total control over what they charge their timeshare owners for.
Are Timeshare Assessment Fees Related to Maintenance Costs?
Similar to maintenance fees, people under contract really have no choice but to pony up the cash for timeshare assessment costs. The only time the two charges are related is when “special” assessment fees are issued because the revenue from maintenance fees wasn’t an ample amount. Whether fees are considered “required” upgrades (like a new pool during the offseason or improved telecommunications) or uncovered costs, timeshare companies will find a way to distribute the expense. Unfortunately, they have every right to do so.
By ignoring contract details during signing, many timeshare owners end up being held hostage by their agreement. Fees can end up doubling or even tripling their anticipated annual expense. This makes it easy to understand why ownership turnover is so high. A timeshare sold for $20,000 can realistically cost consumers $40,000+ over 10 years. Not everyone has this kind of money laying around. Either way, the timeshare profits at the consumer’s expense. Although some scams are obvious enough to lead to class action lawsuits, not all timeshare owners are presented with ample relief options.
Once disgruntled owners start to consider timeshare cancellation, hundreds of predatory agencies and con artists await their desperation. Attempting to find an affordable solutions more than likely puts them even further in debt. What seemed to be a small investment towards a great time can become a headache with no end in sight. Although many are stubborn about the purchase, a good number know what they have to do.
How to Get Rid of Timeshare Fees Altogether.
Whether your timeshare contract is paid off or you still own a mortgage, unexpected fees can be a nuisance. Most of our clients decide to finally get rid of timeshare obligations when the value of ownership doesn’t add up to the cost. Maintenance and assessment fees getting out of hand makes it easy to look for relief. The problem is, many wait until they’re in the hole financially to take action. It makes it very difficult for them to do anything at all.
This is why we provide eligible timeshare owners payment options for our services, like $0 down and 0% financing. At VOC, instead of preying on desperation and over promising, we actually take the time to understand your situation. Paying for a timeshare cancellation service after spending thousands to own the timeshare may sound crazy, but the long term benefit is evident. In order to eliminate the fees associated with owning a timeshare, it’s important that you realize time is not on your side. The longer you put off getting out of the agreement, the more fees you’ll experience over time. Money saved is money earned when it comes to getting out of a timeshare.
If you think you are ready to legally cancel your timeshare contract we’d love to schedule a free consultation with you. Give us a call or fill out our form today to get the process started. We aren’t going to ask you for your credit card to simply answer your questions and have agents standing by to educate you on how our process works. There’s no need to worry about pressure sales or broken promises anymore. Take control of your situation, eliminate your timeshare assessment fees and become contract-free with VOC!
In order to make an educated decision on purchasing a timeshare, understanding the fees associated with timeshare ownership is a must. The problem is, hundreds of thousands of consumers don’t. Like many great sales organizations in the travel industry, timeshare presentations intentionally leave out the details regarding fees and accessibility while distracting attendees with “what ifs” and “free” rewards. They know exactly how to tap into desires by using misleading benefits that persuade listeners into making long term agreements. Their goal is to get you excited about vacationing with them, not necessarily what can hinder your enjoyment. This leaves many feeling like they’ve been taken advantage of when their experience doesn’t match the presentation. Getting billed annually for timeshare maintenance fees and assessment costs (on top of their monthly expense) normally adds insult to injury.
But, before we dive into some of the bothersome details, let’s talk a little bit about what maintenance fees actually entail. Every property management company occurs management and maintenance costs that need to be paid for. If you look at the fine print, every timeshare contract includes a section detailing timeshare maintenance fees and assessment costs. Although this might bother some timeshare owners that assume this is accounted for in their payment plan, they don’t have to look far for an initial roadmap. Similar to residential mortgages, homeowners have additional expenses that they’re responsible for.
What Are Timeshare Maintenance Fees Similar to?
The most relevant example of timeshare maintenance fees would be the HOA (Homeowners Association). If someone is considering buying a home in an HOA neighborhood, they’re required to pay the annual fee. At the same time, most home buyers understand that this type of cost isn’t included in the mortgage. Moreover, they tend to value an added expense that preserves the quality of the entire neighborhood they’re paying for. In other words, HOA fees are accepted and approved by the residents that choose to live there.
What Does an HOA Entail?
Although the city may have some say in regulations, the subdivision is normally maintained according to the requirements of the community’s development team. The biggest contrasting factor is the simple fact that HOA residents are able to attend routine meetings and even play a role in what transpires with their funds. When it comes to assessing HOA costs, they normally derive from management salaries, community swimming pools, parks, landscape and other features. Payments are placed in an escrow account and used for routine maintenance, when repairs come up and during strategic developments for the residential community.
The Difference Between the Two
Timeshare companies validate maintenance fees by making similar claims. The thing is, they get to decide where money is spent and how much you pay them. Aside from the fee being quite larger than an HOA, they also hold the power (or right) to increase the maintenance costs at any time. When it comes to fee increases, there isn’t really much clarity behind why they’re charging you more and where it’s going to be spent.
Timeshare companies don’t need your input in order to deem something repairable – they just do it. They make it a point to remind you that you chose to purchase a share of their resort and it’s your responsibility to maintain their premises, that you signed up to enjoy. The biggest difference between HOA costs and timeshare maintenance fees is transparency. It’s hard to really know where your money is going.
Are Timeshare Maintenance Fees Being Used?
What can be troublesome for most timeshare owners is the fact that some resorts aren’t properly staffed and the upkeep is unacceptable. Even if you feel like your experience is being hindered due to poor maintenance, they’ll point you to the contract. This causes many owners to complain about timeshare maintenance fees and demand that something be done. They feel like the money they’re spending isn’t matching their expectations.
Do you think resorts are interested in your opinion on financial planning when they’re cashing in? Do you think they’re going to do anything about your dissatisfaction when they know it’s nearly impossible for you to get out of a timeshare contract? It’s not their first rodeo. Timeshare owners have been caught off guard by maintenance fees for years. Unlike an HOA, the timeshare company isn’t held to a certain standard and has no obligation to provide anything outside of the bare minimum. Be careful when you complain because the resolution could end up including a hike in your fees.
The Revenue From Timeshare Maintenance Fees
When analyzing timeshare maintenance fees, it’s easy to understand how they can be used to build a new pool or repair one. It’s easy to understand that the landscape needs to be maintained and employees need to feed their families. It’s understandable that an emergency plumber is needed when the entire building is backed up or the hot water isn’t working. It’s even more understandable when renovations are required to improve guest safety. New bedding, upholstery, appliances, furniture, cleaning supplies, kitchenware and the little mints at the front desk cost money. We get that. But, does the amount charged align with the amount needed?
Timeshare owners should be less worried about what their fees go towards and more concerned with how much of their money is actually being used. Although timeshare maintenance fees have increased since Statistica completed their report, the average fee per interval for a U.S. vacation timeshare (in a beach resort) was $860. Looking back to 2012, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) reported that the average cost for maintenance was $660.
How Much Do Timeshares Make on Maintenance Fees?
In order to create some simple math, let’s aim low and assume each resort charges every timeshare owner $500 per year for maintenance. According to the ARDA, the average timeshare consists of 131 units. This gives the timeshare 6,681 weeks to sell, while 1 week per year is dedicated to maintenance of the unit. If they’re able to fill 50% of these weeks with a timeshare owner (3,340), they could potentially cash in on $1.7 million annually. How much do you think it costs to manage and maintain the resort? One can’t help but wonder how much is being pocketed by the resort.
Instead of getting upset that $350 was added to your yearly maintenance fees for a pool renovation without your consent, realize the timeshare just deposited upwards of $1,192,100! I hope the pool now has a diving board and an option to swim with dolphins. Many timeshare owners are currently experiencing annual fee increases due to acquisitions. In some cases, maintenance fees are tripling even though nothing is being done to the resort. They’re simply covering the acquisition costs so they can get out of the red faster. Once you sign the dotted line, there isn’t much you can do to put a halt to the greed behind the timeshare industry.
Understanding the revenue focus of timeshare companies is normally enough for unhappy timeshare owners with unwanted properties to get rid of the contract altogether. Just remember, if you can’t sell the timeshare, you’re still going to be on the hook for monthly payments. Once you’ve made the decision to get out, make sure you’re allocating a reliable option.
The Long Term Cost of Owning a Timeshare
As aforementioned, most people buy into the whole timeshare ownership mantra without really considering the details. Timeshare companies know how to persuade people into believing that $250/month is ideal – Especially when vacations for a family of 4 have an average cost of $4,580 ($382 monthly cost per year).
The problem is, the $22,000 purchase price quickly turns into $40,000 after 10 years with 15-19% interest (most rates are higher than 17%). Not to mention the annual timeshare maintenance fees! The limited-time-offer that once seemed promising can eventually turn into lifelong regret and a lot of debt. These situations cause many people to make irrational decisions. When timeshare owners become desperate to find a worthwhile solution, they’re often bombarded with pressure sales pointed towards upgrade options. This is the last thing they need to do.
Owning a timeshare can be devastating when you aren’t aware of what you’re getting yourself into. Even when you pay off the contract, you’re still on the hook for timeshare maintenance fees for life. Many people wonder what happens if they simply stop paying for the fees. Unless you’re prepared to battleadditional fees and aforeclosure-type-situation, we wouldn’t recommend it. What’s worse is that many timeshare owners seek relief only to be scammed. This only adds salt to the open wound that has yet to heal.
It’s hard to overcome the scars orfinancial ruin of timeshare ownership – but it can be done. If you’re struggling to keep up with payments or you’re tired of being held hostage by your contract, we’d love to help. We understand how resorts and predatory agencies take advantage of vulnerability and we take pride in providing a permanent solution that makes sense. Every single one of our clients have successfullygotten rid of their timeshare. Stop wondering if someone can help you eliminate your maintenance fees. Our ability tocancel timeshare contracts is unmatched in the industry and we stand by our promise.
Owning a timeshare property can be extremely frustrating when you feel trapped in your contract. Regret and an inability to get out from under the timeshare can be a difficult road to navigate. As we discussed in previous articles, many timeshare owners are misled by enticing offers that promise simple solutions – but never pan out. Being taken advantage of time and time again forces victims to admit their mistake and start looking into legal resolutions. Once the deceit of the industry is clear to them, taking legal action is easily seen as justifiable. At the same time, suing the timeshare has its own set of disadvantages. In order to help navigate this desire for justice, we wanted to touch on the major differences between companies that claim to have timeshare cancellation lawyers and our attorney-based solutions.
When it Comes to Timeshare Cancellation Companies
Viable resources and quality timeshare cancellation services are unfortunately viewed as last resort options. This is understandable because the cost of a guaranteed termination can be a lot more intimidating than a company promising empty guarantees for “minimal fees.” It’s a shame that so many companies are OK with misrepresenting this verbiage in order to drive a profit. Over the years, we’ve found it to be extremely difficult to position our value when predatory agencies know exactly how to manipulate vulnerable, desperate timeshare owners.
Instead of investing in aggressive sales strategies ourselves, we decided to educate consumers on how we help them get out of timeshare ownership. While other timeshare cancellation services file for bankruptcy, we’re able to deliver on our promises and maintain a reputation that leads the industry in success rates and client satisfaction. So, before you go “all in” on hiring a lawyer to cancel your timeshare, let’s take a look at what you can expect from the legal process.
Not All “Timeshare Lawyers” are Actual Lawyers.
Most timeshare owners are filled with euphoria after they initially make the purchase. The sales pitch seems so promising that they normally don’t even read the contract until they get home. Unlike other large purchases, consumers are easily led to believe what they’re told instead of what’s in writing. When they search for leverage, the actual legalities are never really in their favor. This is why a lot of vacation owners turn to law firms when their attempts to cancel fail miserably. The problem is, presenting a lawsuit isn’t necessarily a safe bet when getting out of a timeshare.
The most common misstep during this approach is the timeshare owner’s failure to research the law firm. Aside from being burned by predatory cancellation agencies, phony “legal teams” also prey on desperation. If you’ve already experienced a scam, then you know very well how these types of businesses can manipulate with words. Using legal jargon to persuade is no different and it can be dangerous if you’re not educated on legal terminology or fail to do your research. Unfortunately, thousands of timeshare owners assume businesses with legal titles are trustworthy. Eventually, they’re victimized by fraud and end up right back where they started.
Weaving through the nonsense and finding a legitimate timeshare cancellation lawyer can be exhausting – but worthwhile. It’s important that you do everything you can to avoid submitting your contact information to sales focused agencies lacking legal credentials. If you do, expect to be bombarded with sales pitches pertaining to timeshare ownership. Remember, unethical companies are either working together or they’re one in the same. At the end of the day, they specialize in taking people’s money – not helping you legally cancel your timeshare.
Hiring a Lawyer For Your Timeshare Troubles
Today, there isn’t a true law firm on the market that solely specializes in timeshare litigation. Legal teams tend to offer timeshare exit plans as a side dish while focusing on more evidence-based lawsuits. Their experience lies in cases that normally involve divorce, accidents, medical claims or bankruptcy. Before you invest in a lawyer to cancel a timeshare, it’s important that you act slowly. Irrational decisions normally create devastating blows to your bank account. There’s a big difference between reacting and taking legal action.
In reality, the decision to sue the timeshare company is essentially an emotional one. Although it seems like a no-brainer, most timeshare owners know nothing about their right to sue – let alone class action lawsuits. Moreover, they don’t really understand what they’re up against. Even though every experience they’ve had leading up to this point proves the timeshare is worthless, many people believe their property still holds value. For some reason, they believe leverage is in their favor.
It’s important that you understand you’re going up against a billion dollar travel company and all of their fancy lawyers. The probability of you coming out on top with a minimal investment is slim to none. This is why it’s important to do everything you can to leave the emotions out of your pursuit of happiness. No matter what you think, the resort is very much in the driver’s seat.
The Reality of Lawyers Cancelling Timeshares
Believing that any lawyer will eliminate your timeshare troubles is like expecting a mechanic to fix your plumbing. Although both are tradesman, they specialize in different fields.Think about how long it would take for a mechanic to get up to speed with what’s going on inside of your toilet. Would you be able to trust their ability to keep human waste from overflowing into your home? The same can be said about lawyers and their experience with timeshare cancellations. They’re going to apply the same processes and procedures that they typically provide for all of their other cases.
Instead of already understanding what you’ve been through, legal teams are going to use up your $500-$1,000 retainer just to understand your angle. From here, they’re going to ask for an additional investment to research similar cases in order to outline potential outcomes. In other words, they perform tasks that you can easily do yourself. Before your case has even been presented, you could already be in the hole a few thousand dollars. The worst part is the simple fact you don’t know if they’re even going to take on your case. As we already mentioned, going up against a powerful organization that knows how to beat the system is extremely difficult. Once the law firm realizes they’re in over their head, do you think they’ll refund you for the “research” they did?
Timeshare Cancellation Lawyers Focus on “Evidence”
When you think about court rulings, the side with the most evidence normally prevails. When you’re prosecuting someone, it has to be clear that your claim is evident. Hearsay, perspective or misinterpretation isn’t going to hold up in the courtroom. When you hire a lawyer to represent your case, they’re going to be solely focused on the evidence you have against the timeshare. Unless you’re able to prove you were victimized during signing (documentation of misleading sales pitches or false promises) the odds are going to be stacked against you.
Most legal teams don’t specialize in real estate or consumer protection laws and it’s going to be difficult for them to advise you on how to move forward with your claims. This is normally where they realize they’re in over their head. It may seem like they’re scamming you like previous agencies have – but they’re simply unequipped and not qualified to help you get out of timeshares. Most importantly, they know it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to win the lawsuit by yourself. The thing is, it can cost you a pretty penny to find out what you probably already know. Let’s take a look at why most timeshare fraud lawyers shy away from pursuing your rights as a consumer.
Typical Legal Tactics Lack Leverage.
When it comes to fighting for what you deserve as a timeshare owner, you must understand that the resort’s sales team has taken the necessary steps to protect their manipulative measures. Every step of the sales process is carefully crafted to benefit the timeshare. What many new timeshare buyers don’t know is that they were recorded as they were signing the dotted line.
Even if they were agreeing to what was verbally being exchanged (and not necessarily what’s written in the contract), most are unable to prove it. Not only are timeshare companies able to show the contract being signed, they’re able to claim it was thoroughly explained on the date of the purchase. This typically discourages lawsuits because the prosecutor lacks evidence and is unable to prove otherwise.
The Disadvantage of Hiring a Lawyer for Timeshare Cancellation
Preparing to combat consumer claims is what well-oiled sales operations do best. If you’ve taken the time to research the timeshare industry, you’re already aware of the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the misleading tactics of timeshare companies. It shouldn’t surprise you that they have a plan in place for every accusation or dissatisfied customer.
This is why it’s extremely important that you find a competent company that can actually help you legally get rid of your timeshare property when you’re ready to take action. Just because lawyers normally represent victims or accusers during lawsuits, it doesn’t mean they know how to get rid of a timeshare property legally. Understanding the meticulous steps required to regain leverage is the only way you’ll be able to cease your agreement with the resort. Otherwise, your efforts aren’t going to be considered as a serious threat. Legal teams do a good job of persuading you they have your best interest in mind, but if they’re unable to fully get rid of your timeshare, it can be extremely costly. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re having cold feet prior to handing over retainer fees.
You have to realize that timeshare companies receive hundred of letters scrutinizing their tactics on a daily basis. Many of which are from law firms making threats they can’t back up. Even if your timeshare lawyer sends a letter with an intent to litigate, it doesn’t mean the resort will take it seriously. To be honest, we’re pretty sure every last one of these cancellation letters are laughed at and thrown into the trash can – literally. This isn’t their first rodeo and they have enough resources in their back pocket to call your bluff.
Legally Shutting Down Litigation
Even when you’re able to initiate prosecution, timeshare companies are willing to pay their legal team to intentionally drags things out. This inevitably causes many to exhaust all of their financial resources and eventually bail. They know exactly what to do and the inexperience imminently catches up to timeshare owners and their lawyers. To give you an example of how much actually goes into a successful class action lawsuit, consider the recent $6.5 million settlement made with the Manhattan Club Timeshare (August 2017) that was executed by the New York Attorney General. It took thousands of complaints and mass amounts of evidence to finally confirm false promises and high pressure sales tactics were being used ripping off consumers.
Although hiring a lawyer to cancel a timeshare can create a domino effect that’s eventually beneficial, it could take years and tens of thousands of dollars to get to that point. Unfortunately, many timeshare owners simply don’t have the capital to proceed with prosecution while paying a timeshare mortgage with a 19% interest rate. Take a second to think about the amount of money that can be wasted on an unwanted timeshare purchase. The interest and maintenance fees easily turns a $20k purchase into a $40k+ expense. Cancellation attempts can cost a consumer anywhere from $5k-10k and litigation expenses can surpass the $20k mark. Why go through all of that heartache when you can eliminate the purchase altogether for a fraction of the price?
The Effectiveness of Our Attorney-Based Process
Over the years, thousands of timeshare owners have come to VOC after throwing away thousands of dollars with no resolve. It’s really a shame when legal teams take on these cases without considering the impact it can have on the financial well-being of the timeshare owner. Especially when they know they don’t have the experience to adequately help them. It’s easy for them to say they’ve done “everything they can” and move on. In reality, they’re simply disinterested because their specialty isn’t really focused on consumer protection or timeshare exit strategies like ours.
What many timeshare owners don’t know is, we actually have arbitration agreements in place with a majority of timeshare companies. Our highly skilled team of litigation specialists have already successfully sued major timeshare corporations and implemented an amicable release that’s clear for both parties. We’re also in the process of reaching agreements with smaller timeshare operations that have yet to see the value in avoiding the legal costs of a class action lawsuit with us.
Legally Getting Out of Timeshare Contracts
Our legal team enforces the law while fraudulent companies take shortcuts led by greed. We don’t need to research your timeshare and review similar cases like timeshare cancellation lawyers do. We don’t need to write letters claiming we’re going to take action. Prominent resorts already know that our timeshare cancellation company means business. Our track record is known due to the success we’ve had in previous class action suits. Our exit model is proven, our intent to litigate is valid and we’ve never lost a case.
The point is, we’ve already done the work for you. Why attempt to sue your timeshare company when you can easily cancel the agreement and move on? Why wouldn’t you consider the only timeshare cancellation company on the market with a guarantee of service that’s backed by 100% success rates? There’s no need for us to aggressively persuade you with an incentivized sales team because our reputation speaks for itself.
If you’d like to learn more about our $0 down, 0% interest options, feel free to contact us below – or give us a call at 1-800-614-5288 for a FREE consultation.
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As you’ve been able to see, getting out of timeshares can be a lot more difficult than expected. After multiple attempts to work things out with the timeshare company, vacation owners are typically tired of the “run around.” The disillusion has left them with an urge to immediately find an effective solution. What most of them aren’t aware of is that fraudulent organizations and scam artists feed on this desperation. Similar to the sales strategies of resorts, they know exactly what to say to persuade timeshare owners quickly. Although we’ll discuss the warning signs of predatory agencies in another article, we want to provide you with an overview of what to expect once you move on from the timeshare company.
“I encountered Vacation Ownership Consultants here in Tucson in October of 2016. I was skeptical as I had wanted to be rid of my timeshare for a number of years but found only “fake” businesses. I was impressed with what they had to say and, in the long run, they did exactly what they said would. By October of 2017 we were free and clear of our timeshare.”
One of the more popular ways to get out of timeshare agreements is to sell it. It’s easy for most timeshare owners to believe selling is easiest solution. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you weren’t gullible enough to accept a referral program (like the program we mentioned in part 2 of this blog series), then why would you take a step back and attempt to sell on your own? The persuasion of most resale companies overshadows the benefits of getting out of timeshares for good. The first thing you need to realize is that the timeshare resale market is basically non-existent. When you make the decision to sell the timeshare, you need to understand that you’ll be lucky to recoup 5% of your initial investment. If you factor in upfront fees and selling costs, the margin is minimal, if not in the red.
Timeshare owners that are willing to risk the loss just to get rid of the timeshare have desperation written all over their faces. Resellers know they want to get out of the timeshare contract fast and will say anything to persuade consumers that their platform will help them reach this goal. What they fail to tell you is that your property will probably sit on the market for a long time, like most do. They prey on your desperation and offer you advertising packages to increase the exposure. All the while, you’re still paying the contract and maintenance fees.
The same can be said when you list the timeshare as a rental. There is absolutely no guarantee that someone will take interest. The empty guarantees you received on the front end vanish. Conditional statements are scapegoats and the appeal of your property is to blame. Resellers know they have no obligation to make you money on the property. In the meantime, the timeshare company is ecstatic that you continued making payments while failing to sell the timeshare. Now they’re just waiting for you to call them back about the upgrade options they offered you a few months back. After all the time and money you put into reselling programs, you can easily end up right back where you started.
Transfer Companies Are Sneaky
Some timeshare owners get to a certain point where they simply despise the timeshare company. Once they realize they can’t sell or get rid of their obligations, they normally consider solving all of their problems by transferring the property. They contact an agency to help them with the transfer and eagerly await an opportunity to start fresh. But, many transfer companies are no different than any of the other predatory agencies. They know exactly how to use your desperation against you in order to get what they want – cash.
They’re able to scam timeshare owners by refusing to process a refund when the timeshare company rejects the transfer request. It’s one minor detail they forget to mention when processing your payment. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do in this case. That’s why it’s so important that you invest in researching your options once you realize there’s a common trend in the timeshare industry. No matter how good or different something might sound, you have to be smart and know how to recognize a bogus offer.
Timeshare Advocacy Groups and Phony Cancellation Companies
Intimidated by the thought of legal counsel or the cost of representation, many timeshare owners begin to look into “advocacy groups” for relief. Similar to resale options, these agencies easily set up a website and BBB profile to convey competence. They’re able to gain the trust of timeshare owners by offering “money back guarantees” and other false promises. You would think guarantees would be red flags at this point. But, many timeshare owners simply believe it’s impossible to be burned so many times. They want to eliminate this burden from their lives so bad that they’re willing to take a chance. It probably feels good to have someone on their side for once. All an advocacy group needs in return is the your patience during negotiations and a credit card on file.
Over the next few months, these agencies provide updates in order to manipulate “progress.” The timeshare owner doesn’t blink because they were already briefed that things may take time. After multiple attempts to contact the company, timeshare owners finally realize the company no longer exists. It’s really a shame because you could have seen this coming. Any company that’s only been around for a short period of time has no right earning your trust. Like we’ve seen throughout this article, every single solution comes back to over promising, deflecting, then under-delivering. Advocacy groups have no intention of bucking the trend here.
Getting Out of Timeshares Requires Understanding
Before we set out to provide an effective solution for people with unwanted timeshares, we made it a priority to understand every phase of the timeshare cycle. In order to gain the trust of timeshare owners and avoid being viewed as a scam ourselves, we knew we had to relate to their situation. There’s no need for us to oversell you on our exit strategy or genuine consultations. You’re not going to buy into legal resolution until you’re ready. This is why we’ve decided to take more of an educational approach when it comes to promoting our services.
Knowing what each timeshare owner goes through allows us to enlighten them on what’s been transpiring and effectively help them find them the best solution. Our ability to break down the sales tactics that timeshare companies and predatory agencies use helps us build rapport and credibility. It also gives us an opportunity to reiterate how getting them out of their timeshare contract is just as important to us as it is to them.
We want you to avoid any setbacks so you’re able to navigate your way towards an ideal outcome that’s ideal for your unique situation. If you’re not quite ready to “waive the white flag” and walk away from your timeshare, we totally get it. But, if you’re tired of the never-ending cycle that leads you right back to where you started, give us a call. We’d be happy to review your contract and help you find the best way to legally cancel your timeshare contract today.
Check Your Eligibility
View our eligibility form below to inquire about our qualifying for our timeshare cancellation program. We’re not your typically relief company and provide clients with ZERO money down and 0% financing for 6 months!