Over the years, we’ve seen how difficult fractional ownership can be. Whether owners are forced to deal with limited availability or unexpected fees catch them off-guard, none of them deserve to be trapped in a costly, disadvantageous agreement. While it’s easy to assume regret would only haunt first-time-buyers, plenty of current owners experience buyer’s remorse on their 2nd or 3rd timeshare purchase. Nobody expects to spend this much money on a bad result. But when the property isn’t what it was thought to be, disgruntled buyers usually want to know how they can get out of fractional ownership. Over time, some are ready to simply give away timeshare intervals just to be able to walk away from the burden.
For many owners, the thought of getting rid of the financial obligation never even crossed their mind. A good portion of buyers are commonly distracted by the anticipation of going on vacation once per year at a discounted rate. Even when inconvenience or uncertainty occurs, optimism remains. Because they’re nurtured by sales teams, buyers never really even think to look at the contract to gain a better understanding for what it entails. It’s mind-boggling how people will haggle over the details of a car purchase or home renovation but they rarely think twice about a $20-40K timeshare mortgage. Well, until they realize there’s a problem.
The problem is, perpetual timeshare contracts include a rescission (or cancellation) period that rarely exceeds a week. While the time frame was recently extended in the state of Arizona, it’s still not a lot of room for buyers to truly garner a feel for the timeshare experience. Unless they immediately review the terms or attempt to book their condo, they aren’t really given an opportunity to change their mind. Because of this, grief surrounding the purchase usually doesn’t build up enough momentum for the owner to take action until after they’ve paid a hefty sum to the resort. Sadly, many owners spend an awful lot of money trying to make it worthwhile.
A Timeshare Purchase Can Change the Buyer’s Perception.
Like we mentioned in last week’s article, the journey of finding satisfaction or relief as a timeshare owner can be an adventurous one. The overwhelming number of bait and switch tactics, not to mention the flat out lies, can leave fractional owners frantically seeking a solution that doesn’t devastate them financially. Unfortunately, it can even cause them to delve into some misconduct themselves. Either way, a majority are desperate to find a way out of their timeshare.
While affordable options may seem like the only ones, they normally end up bad. When sales pitches seem promising, they normally aren’t. As soon as you feel like you’ve found light at the end of the tunnel, it quickly dims. We know it can be tough and easy to give up hope. Being victimized over and over tends to cause people to act irrationally. While abandoning a timeshare may benefit you in the long run, there are some ways it can work against your goals.
Should Buyers Give Away Timeshare Agreements?
Before you go all-in and try to donate a week to charity or give away timeshare obligations, try to think as logically as you can. Nothing in the timeshare industry is as easy as it seems. Making an informed decision is a lot better than desperately off-loading a timeshare to anyone that will take it. With that being said, here are six things to consider before giving it away.
1. The Decision to Dump is Only Step 1.
When it comes to canceling your timeshare, there are a plethora of options for owners to choose from. Making the decision to give away timeshare contracts can be a tough one when there are hundreds of sales pitches flooding your inbox. Every offer is going to cause you to second guess your decision. You have to realize that no matter what you decide, hesitation will occur because of what you’ve already been through.
Psychology aside, giving away a timeshare isn’t as easy as signing over the title to a car. In case you didn’t know, timeshares are listed for $1 on eBay right now because tens of thousands of people don’t want them, and no one is bidding. Not only do most charities now avoid accepting timeshare donations, but most organizations are skeptical of them. The perception of the industry isn’t doing too well right now and hasn’t been for awhile. If you think you’re the only fractional owner willing to give away timeshare obligations for free, you’re in for a big surprise.
Like many buyers who dabble in resale, the waiting game can be costly. So before you get excited about dumping the property for nothing, realize it’s going to be tough to get someone to take it on. If you’re not prepared for this, it can be another devastating blow that wasn’t expected.
2. Give Away Timeshare Scams Exist.
The concept of giving away timeshare contracts hasn’t been around long but it didn’t take long for disinterest to grow. When you really take the time to think about it, expecting the burden of the purchase to vanish because someone else took over is pretty ridiculous stuff. But fraudulent operations have known that people have a desire to offload and walk away from timeshares. Like resale and exit scams, they know how to deceive owners and sell them on “donation services”.
Scams in the timeshare industry are dangerous because of the perpetual contractual obligation. Owners may believe they’re free and clear of this contract only to find out their liable for a boatload of fees at some point in time. Criminals know how to lead people on long enough to collect a nice amount of cash and disappear into another fraudulent operation. So if you really want to give away timeshare obligations, make sure you actually are. Taking the time to thoroughly research those offering you help can be invaluable in the end.
3. Failed Transfers and Donations Can Happen.
While finding a willing recipient can be challenging, ensuring they follow through can be a whole new ballgame. Aside from learning how to identify scams, you should also look into the process of a deeded timeshare transfer so you know how to properly execute one when the time comes. Since time sharing is already suspicious to most, you have to realize some potential recipients are going to get cold feet or change their mind. This is almost inevitable if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Some timeshare owners are able to use 3rd party companies to help them find recipients. While their contact list and experience might be superior to your capabilities, it doesn’t always mean they’re going to be able to help. If the resort blocks the transfer, then there’s not much you can do. It’s just like hiring a litigation attorney to sue the resort, only to lose the lawsuit. Although their intent might not be to scam you, you’re still left without resolve and more timeshare-related bills.
4. The IRS Might Have Some Questions.
For the most part, donations on your tax returns aren’t too much cause for concern. But when it comes to the timeshare industry, government agencies know how desperate owners can become. While the risk of being contacted by the Internal Revenue Service is higher when you give away timeshare contracts, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll accrue a penalty. At the same time, no one likes dealing with the IRS.
The point is, if you haven’t written off a donation before then you might be caught off guard during tax season. You might even experience some grief down the road once you’ve moved on – forcing you to relive the regret. If you’re going to give away timeshare weeks then make sure you’re taking the time to include all of the details on your tax returns. It‘ll be worth every second.
5. Some Timeshare Obligations May Still Remain.
One of the most unfortunate situations for timeshare owners is when they believe they’ve gotten rid of the property only to find out it was just the mortgage. Deeded fractional ownership comes with a number of additional charges that many aren’t privy to on the front end. If you decided to upgrade at some point during the process, giving away timeshare weeks may still leave you with some obligations.
Aside from unknowingly being responsible for multiple contracts, many timeshare owners aren’t relieved of their duty to pay annual dues. Maintenance fees and special assessments can really add up over time. Especially if the owner isn’t aware they’re still being charged. Often times, foreclosure is initiated before they realize the obligations are still in their name. Talk about deja-vu.
6. Legally Exiting the Agreement is a lot Easier.
If you’re truly on the fence about your timeshare property, that’s okay. No one should expect you to make uncomfortable decisions when it comes to getting rid of it. But, you do want to permanently exit the timeshare right? While hiring a cancellation company can be intimidating, the fact of the matter is: giving away timeshares is extremely risky. Even if you’re able to find someone to take it off your hands, they’re more than likely going to contact you when it doesn’t work out.
Research Your Options Before Giving Away Timeshares.
If you have a quality timeshare property that’s been good to you over the years then we encourage you to gift it. But if the purchase has caused you so much grief that you’re willing to do anything to escape the timeshare, then morally you really shouldn’t dump the burden on someone else. Even if other relief programs have burned you in the past, we’re willing to earn your trust. Our attorney based process has turned out 100% satisfaction ratings since 2014. We do things different at VOC.
While it might be tempting to give away timeshare obligations to a gullible party, eliminating your responsibility for good will give you a lsting peace of mind. Investing in a proven process will take the burden out of your hands and help you reach your goal of terminating ownership. If you want to learn more about our culture and the results of our clients, feel free to schedule a consultation or click on our eligibility form below.