The Reality of Timeshare Maintenance Fees

The Reality of Timeshare Maintenance Fees

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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. 

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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 battle additional fees and a foreclosure-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 or financial 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 successfully gotten rid of their timeshare. Stop wondering if someone can help you eliminate your maintenance fees. Our ability to cancel timeshare contracts is unmatched in the industry and we stand by our promise.

Check Your Eligibility

Schedule a FREE consultation to discuss your timeshare maintenance fees or get started by filling out one of our qualification forms below.

Why Would You Want to Legally Cancel Your Timeshare Contract?

Why Would You Want to Legally Cancel Your Timeshare Contract?

Vacation Ownership Frustrations

There are plenty of elements of timeshare ownership that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and disappointed at the same time. Thousands of people aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to explaining their experience. From booking frustrations to being taken advantage of, they’ve seen it all. But, is it enough for them to see value in legally cancelling their timeshare contracts?

What most timeshare owners can relate to..

After speaking with thousands of timeshare owners, the most common disappointment seems to always surround regret. They can’t believe that after all this time they actually thought things were going to get better. That they would eventually be able to use their timeshare how they imagined. Plenty of travelers anticipate immaculate vacationing at their fingertips with the ability to “share” the benefits with close friends and loved ones. But, it just never transpires.

Over the last decade, more and more timeshare owners have realized their vision of vacationing is no longer feasible. Unless they’re able to escape the agreement they once signed, their ability to travel is hindered. There comes a certain point in time that they simply want to speak with someone that cares. They want to find a solution with someone that can genuinely help them eliminate the mistake they signed off on. But, the manipulation and sales tactics of the timeshare industry has them worried about where to turn – and rightfully so.

Why You’re Considering a Legal Timeshare Cancellation.

When you’re getting little to no return on an investment, it can be quite frustrating. The thing is, most timeshare owners don’t just want to get out of timeshare contracts – they have to. Some simply cannot afford the ever-increasing fees. The small timeshare purchase that sounded so amazing in the beginning has now turned into a carousel of forceful upgrades and broken promises. If you’re in this situation, you may want to legally cancel your timeshare contract, but another payment can be daunting. The thing is, the cost of continued ownership can take a far bigger tole on your finances.

Beware of Timeshare Resale Scams

What Might Happen if You Don’t Cancel

Contractual obligation forces many timeshare owners to make the most of their situation. So, after being led to believe you had to upgrade packages in order to make the property worthwhile, the heftier payments become disheartening. This is even less than ideal if the initial investment was too burdensome in itself. Unfortunately, timeshare companies could care less about the impact the timeshare has on your finances. They’ll continue to do their best to distract you with shiny objects as long as you continue making payments. Even when the mortgage is paid off, your hard earned money is still funneling towards an investment with no return. Small increases in maintenance fees or unexpected assessment costs are an added frustration that seem to only make matters worse.

The Resort’s ability to close you and cause you feel trapped allows them to profit immensely. What’s sad is your payments are covering the costs of their sales presentations and “giveaway” events. You’re really left with no choice but to take action. Even though you might really want to legally cancel your timeshare contract, selling or renting might seem like the better option. Why wouldn’t you want to try to recoup some of the money you’ve lost? The thing is, options that seem like obvious solutions can actually cause you to take a few steps backwards if you’re not careful.

“Obvious” Solutions May Add to the Problem.

Mike Cantrell, the co-founder of Vacation Ownership Consultants, has been studying timeshare tactics for a good part of the last decade. He understands the nature of the business and what it can do to people financially. He believes “the head of the serpent really presents itself when the owner tries to sell or donate the unwanted property and they realize they cannot.” Timeshare owners may believe that selling or renting their property is a no-brainer, but it can become a problem when they’re unable to find occupancy.

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Why Selling Your Timeshare is Difficult.

Many timeshare owners don’t realize that listing and selling a timeshare is very difficult. They assume it’ll work out in their favor. Even after they make the decision to list their timeshare, they have to deal with the reality that they’ll be lucky to recoup 50% of their initial investment. (Most are around 20-30%!) Keep in mind, these numbers only speak for timeshare owners that were actually able to get rid of their timeshare. There is no guarantee that renting and selling platforms will work. If you take the time to do your research, you’ll find that there isn’t much of a reseller market after all. Resellers will gladly take your listing fees without mentioning closing probability is extremely low.

The reoccurring fees that timeshare owners experience is normally enough to persuade them that any return on investment is a win at this point. But, the timeshare industry is a well-oiled machine full of misleading tactics and strategies. Inevitably, most timeshare owners land right back where they started. Doesn’t this alone make you want to legally cancel your timeshare contract?

Mike goes on to explain how “many timeshare owners pay thousands of dollars to ‘listing agencies’ or realtors, only resulting in more lost money and further disappointment.” Once again, timeshare owners place their trust in another sales focused process that leaves them feeling like they’re being held hostage. At the end of the day, most of them watch 5 more months (or even years) go by only to be charged more fees with less vacation time.

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One of our clients went as far as describing selling as: “throwing good money after bad investments.” If there’s a high probability this happens to you, why wouldn’t you want to at least consider legally canceling your timeshare contract? You might think your situation is different or that it can’t happen to you – but, thousands are burned during this phase of timeshare ownership. The obvious solution might seem like the answer to all your problems, but the risk of digging a deeper hole should weigh on your decision here. Do yourself a favor and dig into the facts surrounding the services you’re considering. If you’re sold on taking this route, try to avoid impulse decisions and cheap options if you want to increase your chances.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

Aside from resale scams, there are plenty of ways resorts, attorneys, realtors and other agencies try to milk your initial timeshare purchase. Even if you avoid one scam, there are plenty of others lurking in the background. Mike’s knowledge here is unmatched in the industry. “The federal government has shut down hundreds of these predatory agencies looking to scam thousands from desperate timeshare owners seeking a solution to their liability.” This is good for companies like us, that value helping you legally cancel your timeshare the right way – but it shows how severe the problem really is.

If you’re looking for a company to assist in timeshare relief, then start by reviewing their reputation. Tons of companies change their branding and business name once timeshare owners catch onto their lack of competency. If they’ve been in business for 4-5 years then they’re probably doing something right. Read between the lines of presentations and do your best to research the companies offering you solutions. If something isn’t adding up, don’t believe the hype.

Legally Cancelling a Timeshare Starts with Quality and Integrity.

Although the reality of timeshare ownership may seem overwhelming, Mike wants you to know change takes time. “Over the course of the last few years, many lawsuits have been filed against these massive conglomerates for deceptive practices and fraud. Certain attorneys have managed to prove their cases against the billion dollar organizations and have pioneered ways for owners to eliminate the unwanted property without requiring them to sell or donate the property.”

In other words, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully this discourages similar tactics in the future and eliminates the unfortunate scenarios many timeshare owners experience. We understand that many timeshare owners view relief programs as the enemy – and rightfully so. But, we want you to know that changing this perception is a priority at VOC. Over the years, we’ve stayed true to our ethical approach because helping you legally cancel your timeshare contract requires a high level of integrity and customer service.

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We don’t want you to be nervous about next steps or worried things won’t work out in your favor. We want you to be comfortable with and confident in every step of our cancellation process. Since 2014, we’ve taken the necessary steps to qualify each of our clients before moving forward with action plans. In the end, this has allowed us to exceed expectations and satisfy our guarantees with 100% success rates. Taking the time to thoroughly research the companies you do business with will allow you to experience a fruitful resolution in the near future. If a suggestion seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Don’t overthink the process and always lean towards the quality, reputable solution.

How We Legally Cancel Your Timeshare Contract

Getting out of a timeshare contract requires a lot of diligence and organization. That’s why we encourage you to exhaust all options before attempting to legally cancel your timeshare contract. Whether you use our services or not, we want to ensure you don’t put anymore capital into a wasted investment. If you find yourself continuously running into problems, it’s probably time to team up with an experienced consultant.

At VOC, we actually care more about your end result than your money. We know that every satisfied client (whether we consult them or cancel their contract) adds to the reputation we pride ourselves in. Mike Cantrell is passionate about creating this type of culture for his employees and clients. He knows that he has to invest in the best people in order to provide the best service. While unethical companies have been manipulating the system, we’ve been steadily improving our ability to relieve timeshare owners.

“VOC is proud to have the world’s most successful timeshare litigator on staff to represent our clientele,” says Mike. He and Jeremy Russo’s commitment to building a quality team with ethical standards has allowed them to scale and grow their company. “By using a proprietary law that protects consumers from abusive timeshare contracts, we’ve been able to help thousands of owners forever eliminate this burden.” Mike understands that there’s fulfillment in helping people get rid of something that’s causing them grief.

We’d love to schedule a free consultation with you just to see where we can help. In the meantime, feel free to learn more about our legal cancellation process by reading how it works or listening to some of our client’s stories.

Check Your Eligibility

View our eligibility form below to inquire about our qualifying for our timeshare cancellation program. This is the first step of learning how to legally cancel your timeshare contract.

How Our Timeshare Cancellation Company Got Started

How Our Timeshare Cancellation Company Got Started

A Brief Introduction to VOC

Mike Cantrell and Jeremy Russo have become known as the first entrepreneurs to develop a timeshare cancellation company that legitimately terminates paid off contracts as well as mortgages. Their empathy for timeshare owners sparked a movement that resulted in an entire industry geared towards eliminating unwanted timeshares.

Today, owning a timeshare can be a roller coaster ride. Over the years, we’ve heard thousands of stories that have given us a far greater respect for what timeshare owners actually go through. It’s been a constant reminder of what we stand for and what we initially set out to accomplish. Developing and sustaining our timeshare cancellation company has been a roller coaster ride in itself. We’ve been forced to adapt, simply to combat the same frustrations owners have been experiencing.

Since introducing the first attorney-based solution in 2014, we’ve seen hundreds of unethical companies ruin the perception of the timeshare cancellation industry. Not only do these predatory agencies hinder desires to get out of timeshare agreements, they’ve made it harder for timeshare owners to see the value in our commitment to them. So, in order to shed light on our sincere approach, we decided to tell you more about our story at Vacation Ownership Consultants.

The Need Behind Timeshare Cancellation

In the mid-2000’s, before Mike Cantell and Jeremy Russo were owners of VOC, they both worked as consultants in the vacation rental industry. They began to notice the high turnover rates of timeshare investors. Month after month, this trend continued while timeshare sales tactics intensified. They couldn’t help but wonder why.

During this time, the vacation market became flooded with alternative options to timeshare ownership. Resorts shifted their focus to upgrading current property owners in order to maximize revenue. Clients that didn’t want their current timeshare were sold on a different one – or another option perceived as “better.” When owners grew tired of being manipulated, new companies preyed on their hopelessness by offering phony transfers, exchange programs and selling platforms. As more “solutions” emerged, more frustrations surfaced.

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Realizing the Reality of the Timeshare Industry

As time passed, these organizations began to face challenges. Timeshare owners became so unhappy that they refused to try anything else until the unwanted burden was eliminated. As skepticism grew, Jeremy and Mike scrambled to find reputable options to help their clientele. Instead, they discovered a world full of fraud and deception. After listening to stories from hundreds of timeshare owners about their experiences, they realized there was a serious problem.

As each day passed, they were exposed to more and more unethical practices by timeshare companies. Even back then, timeshare owners had a hard time accessing the inventory they were promised when they made the purchase. Not only were they unable to access the week they needed for their yearly vacation, they were forced to pay mandatory, ever-increasing maintenance fees. Timeshare owners also quickly realized there was zero resale value whatsoever for their investment. This prevented families from going on vacation while handcuffing their ability to save money for a replacement vacation rental.

Analyzing the Opportunity in the Timeshare Industry

From Mike and Jeremy’s perspective, this strategy defeated the entire purpose of owning a timeshare. As they continued to investigate, they found hundreds of fraudulent companies preying on timeshare owners who were desperate to sell their property. For the most part, a majority of these agencies were attempting to persuade owners to list their property on a bogus website with the promise of major resale opportunities. The Better Business Bureau put out a warning about resale scams.

Once Jeremy and Mike realized what was going on, they knew there was a bigger opportunity for them to solve a problem that had gotten out of control. They knew their integrity, experience and reputation in the travel industry would help them establish a sustainable business model. They finally decided to pursue their passion for helping frustrated timeshare owners was an easy decision.

After growing tired of hearing the sob stories, they set out to develop a service that actually delivered on it’s promises. From that point on, they committed to building a viable, reliable timeshare cancellation company that surrounded actual guarantees and customer empathy.

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Setting the Timeshare Cancellation Standards

As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, it’s been a roller coaster ride since the early days of our company. Although our concept was originally formulated in 2008, we’ve seen our fair share of challenges. For example, as we prepared to launch almost a decade ago, America was experiencing a major recession.

Aside from the economy working against us, hundreds of competitors sprouted up to undercut our genuine approach. Just like the predatory agencies in the selling realm, these companies began prioritizing sales tactics and revenue over service. Moreover, history was repeating itself and timeshare companies started developing schemes to combat our ability to cancel timeshare contracts effectively. They’ve spent a lot of time distracting people from our exit strategy in order to position their own initiatives. It’s a shame..

In the meantime, Mike and Jeremy knew they had to bolster the company’s value by adding experienced consultants and attorneys to their staff. Even though they were losing business to scamming organizations, they were committed to building their brand the right way. After years of research into the legalities of the timeshare industry, they officially launched Vacation Ownership Consultants, LLC. in 2014.

Not only has our company focused on terminating timeshare contracts, we’ve always been committed to helping timeshare owners allocate the best solution when they don’t qualify for our services. Before explaining our cancellation process, we make sure timeshare owners complete the necessary steps. Over the years, we’ve been able to sustain and scale our business by upholding these standards and over-delivering on our promises.

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Staying True to Company Standards Amidst Scams

Our founders knew that in order to stand out, integrity needed to be at the forefront. It’s been difficult for them to watch competition pour excess amounts of money into misleading advertisements, deceptive celebrity endorsements and sales techniques. For whatever reason, these companies believe that getting to timeshare owners first eliminates the need. They believe that leading them back into the timeshare sales funnel will persuade them to keep spending.

In reality, it’s simply made timeshare owners more skeptical and less likely to invest. Jeremy and Mike knew that their reputation would eventually speak louder than the empty guarantees timeshare owners are growing tired of. They knew their patience and diligence over the years would pay off – for the company as well as timeshare owners.

By staying true to our standards and providing an ethical, trustworthy approach to timeshare cancellation, we’ve been able to stay atop the industry while other companies fade. To date, VOC is the only company with cancellation guarantees that are backed by 100% success rates!! Investing into the company hasn’t always been financially friendly, but Mike and Jeremy know that consistently putting clients first will eventually prevail.

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Why Consider Our Timeshare Cancellation Company?

The facts surrounding timeshare ownership have been well documented by a handful of financial professionals, such as Dave Ramsey. There are plenty of advisory sites that encourage those considering a timeshare to invest wisely. Although not all timeshares end in a bad experience, we understand there’s always a way to enhance the satisfaction of your purchase.

We also believe that unhappy customers should have a choice. Responsible people that make poor investments should be given an opportunity to eliminate their obligation – especially when the timeshare industry works against them in almost every way. Hopefully our story helps you see the commitment we’ve made to addressing this epidemic.

We’d love to learn more about your situation so we can work together to find the best solution. Feel free to request a free consultation below or download our ebook to learn more!

Check Your Eligibility

View our eligibility form below to inquire about our qualifying for our timeshare cancellation program. This is the first step of learning how to get out of a timeshare contract.

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