Can I Sell My Timeshare? 4 Resale Items Worth Considering

Can I Sell My Timeshare? 4 Resale Items Worth Considering

When it comes to timeshare travel, there are a number of reasons why consumers believe the purchase will be worth it in the long run. The problem is, most of their reasoning is actually misguidance as their reality rarely matches the presentation. Although the experience is not a disappointment to all fractional owners, many ponder reselling the timeshare at some point in time. So don’t worry, you’re not the only person wondering, “Can I sell my timeshare?” The way the product is described tends to give off the impression that the property will be an equity opportunity like buying a home. But is it really that simple?

After speaking with thousands of timeshare owners over the years, we’ve confirmed that a majority are completely misinformed on the way the resale market works. Some of our clients were even told that purchasing multiple agreements creates multiple revenue streams that’ll cover the purchase while allowing them to travel nearly anywhere. This is simply not true. Timeshares are one of the fastest depreciating purchases anyone can make. If you’ve asked the resort, “Can I sell my timeshare if I don’t like it,” and they told you “yes” – then you’re in for a big surprise. Just ask anyone that’s attempted the feat themselves.

A timeshare interval should never be viewed as an asset as it’s nothing more than a liability. You don’t actually own the property; only a shared period of time, a right-to-use lease or access through a membership. The single source of value you get out of owning one is allocated time – in the form of an 8 day visit every year. The product is the experience, and truth be told, it’s not always available.

This causes many to immediately consider resale.  But when the trip isn’t satisfactory to you, who do you think will want it? Some people are even told by online sources that it’s a good way to earn passive income from home. Listen, timeshares should not be purchased for the purpose of making a profit – whether it be through rental programs or resale platforms.

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Because of the misleading sales practices of most resorts, there are now timeshare sales laws in place to prohibit this type of language during presentations. At the same time, this doesn’t help the thousands of people who thought resale was an option. Deeded timeshares are perpetual agreements that are extremely difficult for any buyer to escape them. While the resort will encourage you to use their in-house resale programs, it’s hardly beneficial to owners. Keeping you under contract is their main priority. So before you go out of your way asking everyone you know, “How can I sell my timeshare,” consider the following.

1. Selling a Timeshare is Not an Easy Thing.

When you take the time to analyze the way timeshares are sold by development teams, you’ll realize an awful lot of persuasion and diversion is used to close the deal. In reality, most buyers know nothing about vacation ownership. So what’s that mean? It means people aren’t out shopping for one. Historically and presently, timeshares are sold by luring unsuspecting consumers into a pressure filled presentation with limited-time-offers and enticing gifts. Are you able to compete with this to sell yours?

Waiting for someone to find your offer on a listing site or rental platform is a pipedream. Without the predatory approach, it’s nearly impossible to persuade anyone to take on something you’ve found to be useless. Most people who take the time to research the purchase, don’t buy it. Owners that anticipate an ability to sell usually find themselves trying to offload the contract for $1 on eBay out of desperation. Some even offer to pay the associated annual dues two years in advance just to cancel. The fact of the matter is, if you’re selling to escape payments, you’ll continue incurring fees while you wait for a buyer. This is financially burdensome for most.

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One of our clients even did a video testimonial for us that touched on his frustration with resale. “I knew I couldn’t sell my timeshare, because I had tried years before. There’s no value in it. I’d be willing to give it away, pay for all the escrow fees and just give it away. Ironically, nobody wants them.He said. Unless you’re willing to stoop to the level of timeshare salesmen and shamefully talk someone into taking over your contract, selling it is not a smart decision.

2. Managing Resale Bookings is No Easy Task.

Utilizing a timeshare is a lot more complex than people think. It’s not something you can just purchase and teleport to every vacation. Sometimes, major hoops have to be jumped through just to gain access during ample times. Aside from the general unknown of usage, the commitment required and the conditional baggage the purchase carries can be quite overwhelming for most. This is why we do our best to warn unhappy owners when they tell us, “I can sell my timeshare on my own.”

While finding someone to rent or buy the timeshare is like finding a needle in a haystack, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Actually processing the transaction requires an entirely new bag of tricks. For the most part, advanced booking methods will be an essential cog during the process. Not only will you need to qualify those interested in the property, but you’ll want to avoid fraud and other timeshare scams.

Effective booking capabilities are also required in order to obtain desired inventory. With that being said, you have to set aside time to learn the programs on top of investing money to use them. If you don’t have a competent software, then potential customers will be distracted by the timeshare industry’s targeted ads. If it’s too difficult to book your condo – due to lack of cooperation from the resort or poor booking systems – then interested parties will move on.

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3. The Timeshare Market is Now Overpopulated.

Ever since the 1980’s, the timeshare industry has focused on expansion over sustainability. Instead of making the experience a priority, they’ve concentrated on building possibilities. What’s concerning about this approach is the simple fact the demand isn’t really there. While most businesses base their supply on needs or desires, timeshare developers establish the supply and solicit people to buy it. 

Even though the internet has become the prominent highway for connecting modern travelers with cheap and flexible options, timeshares have refused to adapt and compete. The timeshare sales concept was born decades before the internet ever existed and they’ve adamantly stuck to their old ways of new acquisition. They know that as soon as someone is locked into a perpetual agreement, residual income is inevitable. 

Instead of challenging travel advancements, the industry has learned how to survive at their owner’s expense. In order to extend their relevance in a digital age, resorts have become cunning at up-selling their products with “point based membership” programs. While it may seem like this wouldn’t hinder availability, it most certainly does. Long story short, there are a lot of people asking “Can I sell my timeshare,” right now.

When buyers use in-house timeshare programs to help them offload their contract, it normally involves an exchange that disadvantages them further. Moreover, the resort regains ownership, collects more fees and resells the same unit to another sucker. Because this cycle has been ongoing for quite some time now, the industry has created a bottleneck based on possibilities

The Manhattan Club specifically lost their license for selling points that exceed their actual availability. When flexible points are more appealing than the unit you no longer desire, this hurts you as a timeshare reseller. An assortment of options gives you a low to no chance at selling. Now that deeded exclusivity has lost its appeal, resorts are able to profit tremendously off of minimal availability. When all rooms are paid for, whether they’re being used or not, the revenue keeps rolling in.

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4. You’ll be Battling a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry.

Timeshare companies know how to leverage the terms of their contracts to ensure owners remain compliant – even when people are dissatisfied with the purchase. From perpetuity to 20-30 year right-to-use agreements, the advantage is theirs. Holding owners hostage is easy when they’re able to use the money they collect to control the marketplace. While plenty of people think they can sell their timeshare, there’s just no way to win here.

At the end of the day, resorts are known to push out their prime inventory to the general public instead of offering it to paying owners. For the most part, the interval you currently own will never compare to what’s being offered on platforms like Expedia or Priceline. Even if their  offers are too good to be true. Like we said before, no one is looking to buy a timeshare online. Because of this, resorts know how to take advantage of certain situations.

When they sell timeshare units through third parties as vacation deals, they aggressively solicit retail guests during their stay. Some are even required to attend a sales presentation upon arrival. When owners aren’t able to book certain dates and they allow family members use their interval, the same should be expected. Even complaints are viewed as opportunities to sell more. The sales machine that the timeshare industry has become is something you should never be naive to.

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You Can Try to Sell Timeshares If You Want, But..

So, for those of you asking, “Can I sell my timeshare,” the answer can be a bit cloudy. We understand there are plenty of resources out there that claim this feat is possible, but it’s important that you take the time to assess who’s filling your head with these possibilities. There is plenty of noise in the industry, but most of it is bias information geared towards a sale. 

While it might be difficult to believe a company that specializes in timeshare cancellation, we’re one of the few that’s been around for a while. Our goal isn’t to persuade you to cancel your timeshare agreement. We simply want consumers to be aware of what they’re getting themselves into. If you’re willing to pay an upfront fee to list a timeshare with no guarantee that it will rent or sell, then you’ll probably like what we have to say. 

Timeshares are not assets. They should not be bought for profitability reasons as you will spend a lot of time and money chasing a pie in the sky. Take the time to do your own research and determine what the best long term solution is for you and your family. Don’t allow yourself to be sold quickly and avoid all limited-time offers. Ask yourself if paying a “convenience fee” to travel to subpar accommodations is actually cheaper and more convenient than a retail vacation? Is the mortgage, maintenance fees, assessments and taxes worth it? Are you willing to continue paying these on top of listing fees while you await the sale? 

Timeshares ought to be purchased for the value in the vacations taken. Membership access should benefit travelers and routine vacations should create a sense of fulfillment. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. While it’s admirable to never give up hope, sometimes the logical decision is the hardest one to make. If you’d like more information on our attorney based process, you can always fill out a qualification form below or schedule a free consultation.

Online Timeshare Advice by Keyboard Warriors Isn’t Usually Valid

Online Timeshare Advice by Keyboard Warriors Isn’t Usually Valid

When you think about it, credible information online can be difficult to come by. In a world full of people that are vying for the consumer’s attention, it’s not surprising that most information is nothing more than an opinion. Although finding dependable resources is becoming more popular amongst the general population, most people still aren’t sure what is actually believable. This is especially true when it comes to reasonable timeshare advice. Since most communication within this industry is rather aggressive, consumers are essentially forced to trust what seems to be the most ideal.

The problem is, most advice in the timeshare realm is questionable at best. While you might assume we’re writing this to promote the agenda of our cancellation services, it couldn’t be further from the truth. At the end of the day, we want to help potential buyers and current owners make favorable choices regarding timeshares. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into and who might mislead you along the way helps you avoid the inevitable disaster that follows an uninformed purchase of this magnitude. Consumers deserve to know the truth and we’re eager to share the efforts we’ve invested in to prove our communication is sincere.

Keyboard Warriors Can Be Very Persuasive.

Assessing the types of online messaging that timeshare owners come across while browsing the internet can’t be done in one article. So we decided to focus on what we believe to be the loudest voice in the digital world, the keyboard warriors. Whether they’re logged into social media accounts, chatrooms, message boards or website comment sections – these people are extremely motivated to share their opinions on a number of topics. It always seems like they have excessive time to burn and rarely waiver from their stance no matter how much factual information is presented to them.

Considering timeshare advice from those that seem to be credible is flat out dangerous. If you’re uninformed and looking for guidance, keyboard warriors can be awfully persuasive. Because they believe in something (or someone) so strongly, they feel like they have to influence people to adopt their perspective. They also think they have the right to verbally destroy (or type to death) anyone in opposition. Challengers often walk away from these types of digital arguments due to a person’s ignorance or lack of open-mindedness during the conversation.

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Since a majority of remorseful buyers want to believe they can get out of expensive timeshare purchases for free, they tend to value the opinion of those who confidently spew timeshare advice. Especially when the resort hasn’t been helpful and they’re considering paying for exit services to avoid further penalties. Anything that encourages owners to remain optimistic, even if it’s inaccurate, clouds their judgment and causes them to avoid using logic.

What Kind of Timeshare Advice Can You Expect?

When seeking timeshare relief, owners normally have no idea where to begin. Most file complaints or join online conversations to share their story with users who’ve experienced similar misconduct. When complaints aren’t pursued to their satisfaction, they have no choice but to find someone who can advise them on what to do with their timeshare. Since many aren’t to the point of hiring a lawyer or cancellation firm, they ideally would like to find a way to work things out. The last thing they want to do is sign up for a scam or incur more penalties.

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Inaccurate Input Regarding Timeshare Relief.

When the answers they receive tell them they’ve been lied to further, it’s believable. For the most part, disgruntled buyers have been deceived throughout the entire timeshare experience. Responses that arrogantly inform them that, “The resort will just take back the mortgage” or “You don’t need to pay to get rid of your timeshare,” can be misleading to say the least. 

Those on the verge of legally terminating their agreement with a legitimate company can be influenced to change their mind when they’re told, “All exit companies are scams” or “You shouldn’t hire them if they charge upfront fees.” Even owners that have wasted money trying to sell their interval can be encouraged to keep trying by a keyboard warrior lacking substance. In reality, there is no resale market for timeshares. There’s no way around it.

Believing that all resorts have a “take back program” is also untrue. The fact of the matter is, most do not. Even when one does exist, it’s very difficult for owners to qualify. Aside from being forced to pay off the entirety of the mortgage, owners are usually required to cover the anticipated cost of maintenance and assessment fees for the next couple of years. Something usually goes wrong and they remain stuck in perpetuity with additional expenses that range in the thousands. 

None of this timeshare advice is credible. While there are ways to work things out with the resort, you will most likely be funneled through a continued sales cycle and encouraged to purchase more to resolve your issue. Even if you’re able to process an equity trade in or interval transfer, it’s highly unlikely that it’ll resolve your underlying complaints. Often times, buyers upgrade into more problems or find themselves stuck in multiple agreements. Although a good portion of exit solutions are scams, not all are out to steal your money. At the end of the day, researching options through credible resources yourself is the best solution.

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Refusing to Pay is Bad Timeshare Advice.

Although bias relief tips can prolong the process of actually exiting a timeshare contract, there are more serious ramifications that can result from listening to someone who has no business giving timeshare advice. If you’ve been told you can, “Just stop paying and walk away,” or that, “You can just foreclose on your own and nothing will happen,” guess again. In reality, the timeshare can come back and pursue you for a deficiency whenever they choose to. While the idea of telling the resort to kick rocks may sound good, not many decisions are worse.

An outstanding mortgage balance, interest, late surcharges, legal fees, court filing costs or past due maintenance and assessment fees will add up over time. The resort may not notify you right away, but they know what they’re doing. Just when you think you’re in the clear, they strike. If a judgement is filed, then you’ll have no control over how that money is taken. This gives the timeshare the right to forcefully collect from your bank account, garnish your wages or even enforce liens on personal property to settle dues. 

Are you okay with rolling the dice by calling the timeshare’s bluff? Is hoping for the best an ideal strategy when the resort is pursuing you for contractual default remedies? Even though some unhappy buyers ignore potential consequences, you should most definitely take the timeshare’s threats seriously. They have all the ammunition necessary to pursue contractual fees. Walking away due to displeasure isn’t going to win the battle that will transpire. And your choice to base this decision on a keyboard warrior’s comments is even more erratic.

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How to Assess Timeshare Advice by Keyboard Warriors:

If you want to make smart timeshare decisions and avoid irrationality, then you have to inspect the sources that influence you. In today’s digital-driven society, anyone and everyone can voice their opinion online as a keyboard warrior. Who you’re paying attention to can not only alter your perception of reality, but create quite a bit of grief. In order to help you with these types of investigations, we’ve come up with three questions you need to ask yourself before acting on the information you read from bold voices online.

  1. Determine where online users are getting their “information” from. The easiest way is to ask them detailed questions about their statements. Without challenging them, ask how they “know” or what type of evidence they have to sustain their claim. In most cases, another uninformed party told them this or they’ve believed in the resort’s  misleading promises themselves. Some people simply refuse to admit their purchase was a mistake and expect it to work out. The more people they can influence to join in on their ignorance, the better they feel about it. Others simply read one biased article and now strangely consider themselves an expert on the topic.
  2. Do they have unique professional experience, training or resources that make them suitable to offer advice? If you’re unable to get anywhere with the question method then all you need to do is research the person. If the online profile doesn’t even have accurate credentials (name, title, contact info), then it’s pretty obvious they’re online surfers without much cause. A majority of people spewing out timeshare advice only claim to be experts. Without confirmation, consider their opinion nothing more than that.
  3. Are you able to validate their information from credible/documented sources or is it more bogus information? This is much different than the first suggestion. While many keyboard warriors are unable to substantiate their stance, some are able to supply you with sourced information. But this doesn’t always mean what they’re referring is accurate. Inspecting their provided resources is key to any validation of truth. When you take the time to properly assess the entirety of your argument, you’ll be able to gain clarity on what you can actually pursue as a fractional owner.

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Most Online Input About Timeshares is Bogus.

Just because one person says that they walked away from their timeshare without any help or any penalty does not mean they are off the hook. On multiple occasions, we’ve received inquiries for help by owners dealing with 5-10 years of accrued fees. Like aforementioned, they don’t hear anything from the resort for years. Then out of the blue, they receive documentation that demands a lump sum within a certain amount of time, threatening legal action.

Uninformed people voice their opinions all the time online. We even ran into a situation on Facebook where a user was claiming to know the cost of our services. When another timeshare owner inquired about our pricing on one of our posts, our detailed answer was challenged by his errant remark. “Only $5000 up front,” he said. After looking through past correspondence with him, we confirmed we never even supplied him with a quote or had any correspondence with him to discuss our services. 

For whatever reason, he felt the need to provide this form of timeshare advice without any rhyme or reason. While we’ve yet to cross paths again, he more than likely received some industry quotes and felt his educated guess was valid. Maybe he didn’t like the idea of paying to cancel a timeshare and wanted to encourage others to be fearful of the expense. Either way, his efforts weren’t necessary nor valuable. While he didn’t deter the unhappy buyer from proceeding, these types of comments play a huge role in the decisions timeshare owners make.

Find a Real Expert for Timeshare Advice.

If you’re interested in “no strings attached” timeshare advice, any of our consultants will be more than happy to address your concerns and aid you in relief. Sometimes, our attorney based service isn’t the best option. Our integrity is important to us and we’d like for you to be able to trust our insight and the guidance we provide. In the end, there’s no better feeling than helping previous and current timeshare owners enjoy their vacations.

How Timeshare Refinancing Actually Costs Buyers More Money

How Timeshare Refinancing Actually Costs Buyers More Money

Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken a deep dive into the reality of borrowing money for a timeshare purchase. If you’ve been following along, then you’ve become well aware of just how costly the expense can be. At the same time, the general population knows little about the financial pitfalls of timeshare travel. Even the smallest bit of information can save most from buyer’s remorse. While the unexpected fees, liabilities and lender rates of a mortgaged property can alone be devastating, the burden usually compiles when buyers decide to pursue the peril of timeshare refinancing. 

After speaking with thousands of unhappy timeshare owners, we’ve been able to develop a solid understanding of the fractional owner’s perspective. At first glance, many see the purchase as an opportunity to go on vacation for a low monthly cost that fits within their budget. Even when they attend the sales presentation without a single intent to buy, the product intrigues them. After hours of pressure filled sales pitches and distracting incentives, many attendees truly believe they can’t let the opportunity pass them up. 

The problem is, when consumers are sold on possibilities instead of realities, they find themselves chasing expectations throughout their tenure as owners. When expectations don’t transpire, they’re forced to cough up more capital to make the expensive decision worth it. Since they’re stuck in a perpetual agreement, they don’t have much choice. You see, the resort doesn’t want them to know companies like ours actually know how to strategically get out of timeshare contracts.

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When buyers are at the mercy of the timeshare, it presents a bundle of revenue opportunities for the resort and its partners – most of which are lenders. They could care less when owners continue to make costly mistakes as long as they remain under contract. This tempts buyers to engage in anything that gives them any type of hope for reducing the burden. Unfortunately, a majority of the solutions presented to owners aren’t favorable.

Should I Refinance My Timeshare to Cut Costs?

Most owners are eager to refinance their timeshare because they’ve been battling high interest since making the purchase. Like we’ve mentioned before, timeshare presentations do a great job of misleading potential buyers. Many would have never signed the agreement had the timeshare salesman not told them they could revise their borrowing rate shortly after signing. Once they realize banks don’t offer timeshare refinancing, they tend to exhaust their efforts to bring the interest rates down.

Whether they restructure their financial obligation with the resort or upgrade into a new contract with lower rates, rarely is either option advantageous. This causes owners to continue revisiting the idea of restructuring timeshare loans with third party lenders – even if it entails unsecured lending or secured lending on assets they own. Once owners make a string of poor decisions, all they can do is hope for some sort of financial relief. But what ends up happening is, buyers find themselves in a whole lot of debt without ideal resources to help them.

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So if you’re thinking about timeshare refinancing to shave a little off of your monthly payments, we encourage you to rethink your strategy. Especially if you’re close to paying off the mortgage. While financial hardship might be staring you in the face, you have to remember that the timeshare prefers that you’re at their mercy. Acting out of desperation can be costly. Telling them that you’re considering bankruptcy or threatening to walk away only gives them ammunition. They’d rather talk you into temporary bandaids that enhance their profits over time. 

Timeshare refinancing is the type of solution that fits right into their “MO.” When you think about it, it’s pretty discouraging to know the resort wouldn’t help you out with a lower interest rate because you couldn’t prove the salesman told you so – but they’re willing to do what it takes to keep you under contract once the purchase completely overwhelms your bank account. But you’ve come this far and there’s no need to keep giving your money away. Restructuring once you’ve paid a whole lot of interest is a bad move. 

The Reality of Restructuring Timeshare Mortgages.

In case we weren’t clear before, refinancing a timeshare mortgage is not a solution to financial hardship. If you look up the definition of solution, it means to solve something. If you’re completely in over your head with a weekly interval or point membership, then restructuring payments will only further your problems by adding even more lender fees. In other words, you’re essentially solving nothing. While you may have some strong reasoning to support your stance, allow us to paint the picture for you.

Say you have a loan with 5 years left on the repayment schedule. If you’ve been paying $359 per month for 5 years already, then you’re probably pretty close to putting a dent in the principal balance (close to $6K of the original $20K loan). Since a typical 10-year term that’s paid within this time frame normally carries $23K in interest, about $15K should be taken care of. While this may be eye opening to most of you, it’s the hard reality of borrowing money with an enormous borrower’s rate. Any large purchase with similar financing (nearly 18% on average) would turn out the same way.

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When timeshare owners allow the resort to sway them into restructuring a timeshare mortgage, they’re basically enabling the money scheme to continue. When they show they’re desperation, timeshare companies have been known to forcefully upgrade them into new contracts and extend the loan back out to 120 months (10 years). Although the “result” is a more “affordable” monthly payment, the buyer now has to cover additional principal. Most aren’t aware of this or they wouldn’t agree – similar to their initial decision to buy.

Timeshare refinancing resets the buyer’s obligation to pay lender fees, even if 65% of the interest on the original loan has been paid. On top of that, 80% of the new loan’s payments will go towards the reset interest, not the remaining principal balance. Imagine paying tens of thousands for nothing, only to start all over again and extend the burden. If you want to lower your monthly costs then you’re better off cutting back in other areas of your life. As you can see, restructuring your loan with the resort only gives them more of your hard-earned money (in the form of interest) with zero added value to your vacations.

Another Example of Poorly Restructured Timeshare Loan.

One of the best ways to explain this is to compare the decision to that of a refinanced car loan that has almost been paid off. Negative equity in the car is created when you pay additional interest on a depreciating vehicle that you can’t even afford anymore. While the overall cost may seem fitting, you have to consider maintaining the car, out-of-warranty repair costs, upgrades, speeding tickets, insurance rates and even gas. At the end of the day, the borrowed amount of the car loan itself isn’t exactly the problem.

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The clear takeaway here is that the best option for the car owner is to give the car back and cease payments altogether; instead of trying to make it work. But it’s not that simple for timeshare owners. Even donating the purchase isn’t always fruitful. Timeshare cancellation services might not be ideal either if you’re worried about additional costs. At the same time, fractional owners know that dragging out unwanted payments just to avoid another purchase else to get rid of the timeshare for you?

Don’t Let Refinanced Timeshare Mortgages Handicap You.

The more consumers allow themselves to be trapped in longer mortgage terms and further contractual agreements, the harder it’s going to be for them to find peace and joy. We’ve helped hundreds of buyers who didn’t even know secondary timeshare loans or resort branded credit cards (backed by Comenity Bank and Barclays) were in their name. The deceitfulness behind the sale of a timeshare can lead you to believe you’re making smart decisions, but you’re really digging yourself into a deep hole. Timeshare refinancing only digs the hole deeper.

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If you feel like you’re being forced to look into personalized lines of credit, unsecured loans or HELOC secured loans against your home to create a rewarding experience, something is wrong. Don’t let the mistake of the purchase cloud your judgement. Take advantage of your consumer rights while thoroughly analyzing every method of payment you involve yourself in. In most cases, there was something presented to you along the way that provides you with leverage to escape the clutches of your agreement. 

You have your whole life ahead of you. There are plenty of better things you can buy with the money saved from eliminating fractional ownership. If the idea of timeshare refinancing is your only hope then we’d love a chance to explain all the options available to you. While it can be hard to trust any timeshare solution these days, we take pride in making sure you qualify for cancellation before we even discuss our services. If you’d like to learn more, simply schedule a free consultation or proceed with the qualification form below.

How Timeshare Financing Alters the Actual Cost of the Purchase.

How Timeshare Financing Alters the Actual Cost of the Purchase.

When people stumble into a timeshare presentation uninformed, the idea of the purchase can be riveting. But like many travel deals, there’s more that meets the eye. Once buyer’s realize it’s nothing like they imagined, they realize fractional ownership is actually a liability. Although the lackluster amenities and over-hyped possibilities are often disappointing, the cost itself is what inevitably knocks the wind out of consumers. So, in order to help consumers avoid grief, we decided to talk a little bit about timeshare financing and all it entails.

Borrowing money to buy something expensive that you know little about it extremely risky. At the same time, beating yourself up for swallowing the hook, line and sinker doesn’t do you any good. You’re not alone as thousands of people regret their decision. The problem is, unlike other expensive purchases, you can’t just submit a refund request or resell the property to recoup your losses. Aside from the mythical resale market, the timeshare system is set up to trap buyers in perpetuity. In order to escape, you’re going to have to jump through some hoops and put forth some serious effort.

So before we get deep into the topic of timeshare financing, ask yourself if continued payments is something that’s really worth your while. No matter what you do, understand that you’re not going to be able to negotiate a lower cost obligation with the resort. If you’ve already surpassed the rescission period, you’re pretty much locked in for a while. 

Uninformed Signs Ups Can be Extremely Costly.

At some point in time, you’re going to have to realize that whatever you were promised during the timeshare presentation is questionable at best. To the timeshare, it never happened if you can’t prove it. You’ve signed an agreement and they’re going to do everything in their power to collect the payments you already acknowledged – whether you agree or not.

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While you may not see the picture clearly yet, this blog series will most definitely open your eyes. Financing a timeshare purchase isn’t as straightforward as you think. Thousands of people have attempted to revise repayment options or use lines of credit to cover unexpected costs, only to find themselves in a financial pit of despair. One bad decision can be devastating. 

So before you make a drastic decision to become an owner or relieve yourself of the burden, do everything you can to understand the purchase first. In case you’re unsure of where to start, here are some facts about timeshare financing that’ll make you think twice about your next move.

No Lender Will Mortgage Your Timeshare Property.

Most people attending timeshare presentations have no intent on making the purchase. They’re usually only interested in the free gifts (travel packages, tickets or other forms of entertainment) that lured them in. But timeshare companies know how to get their attention and usually drag out the pitch until the consumer finally agrees to try it out. The primary goal of the pitch is to sell the experience while avoiding disclosure.

Although numerous techniques are used to persuade attendees, the way salesmen counter concerns is what eventually closes the buyer. Crafty, premeditated answers normally eliminate the initial drawbacks people have once they’ve reviewed the agreement. One of the most common concerns are the high interest rates that expand the cost of the timeshare significantly – and rightfully so. Most people are relieved to hear a salesman tell them they can easily find another lender to mortgage the timeshare. It’s too bad this just simply isn’t true.

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We’ve spoken to hundreds of owners that exhausted their quest for lower interest rates. Many of them tell us they never would have signed the contract if they would have known new timeshare financing wasn’t going to be available. Instead of temporarily enduring high interest rates, they were forced to cope with long term payments they couldn’t afford. If you know anything about mortgages, this can really add up over time.

What Does Timeshare Financing Really Cost Buyers?

On average, fractional ownership comes with a 17.9% interest rate and can be upwards of 20% when your credit score is mediocre. If you thought something like 5% was obtainable, then you’re talking about a big difference in payments. While the average cost of a weekly interval is roughly $20k, plenty of people spend more. If you happen to buy a $60k timeshare, then being locked in a high interest rate can be devastating over a 120 month term (average).

Keep in mind that the interest for timeshare financed loans is always front-loaded. Like most large purchases, when you’re making minimum payments, very little is applied to your principal balance. Since most buyers sign up for affordable repayment options (because they can’t really afford it), they end up paying more than double their original principal amount. Like we’ve mentioned before, $20k timeshares are actually $40k liabilities because of interest. This total doesn’t even include annual fees, taxes and other travel expenses required to vacation at the condo.

By the time buyers see the cold reality of the expense, there’s not much they can do to eliminate their obligation to pay the resort. Many aren’t sure how to approach the burden of timeshare financing when the resort is only interested in pointing to the contract they signed. Like we’ve described on many occasions, finding relief is a burden in itself. Since many owners are told timeshare cancellation isn’t even an option, they’re often at the mercy of the resort.

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One of the ways timeshares continue handicapping buyers is by persuading them to use in-house “solutions” for relief. The problem is, owners are never actually relieved of the obligation. Even before they can transfer the purchase to another owner, the mortgage balance needs to be paid off. Even when you pay the contract in full, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll find a willing party. In fact, it’s highly uncommon that you will. 

What’s even more troubling is that owners usually involve themselves in further timeshare financing just to satisfy their mortgage balance. It can be quite demoralizing to borrow even more with the hope of garnering a return, only to realize you’re unable to get out of the contract. Most buyers don’t know that a timeshare depreciates faster than any other purchase. If they knew it was worthless, then they probably would have never said “yes” – let alone pay more for nothing.

Undisclosed 3rd Party Timeshare Financing.

When it comes to financing a deeded timeshare or point memberships, the loan terms and repayment options aren’t the only borrowed elements worth noting. A majority of new owners don’t even know that additional lines of credit were opened under their name on the day of the signing. The reason they’re oblivious to this transaction is because the timeshare does not hold this finance note. It’s typically included in the paperwork as a conditional offer by a 3rd party.

For the most part, these undisclosed forms of timeshare financing are usually in the form of credit cards through Barclays or Comenity Bank. Without your actual consent, the timeshare company utilizes the unsecured line of credit for down payments as well as monthly and annual auto-debits. As you can probably guess, the borrowing rate for these compounding interest lines of credit aren’t low either. It’s highly unfavorable to pay off borrowed money with borrowed money.

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When consumers aren’t conscious of the actual amounts their spending because fees are being paid without their knowledge, things can spiral out of control quickly. Many buyers don’t even know they’re going to be billed $1,200 for maintenance fees every year. So you can imagine their reaction when they receive an unknown credit card statement for costs they didn’t even know existed.  

Sadly, far too many timeshare owners are forced to eat the costs in order to avoid penalty. Their contract essentially holds them hostage here. But because so many people could never really afford the $20k purchase to begin with, they can’t even pay the cards off. They have no choice but to continue using these 3rd party lines of credit to make payments. Especially when special assessment fees catch them off guard. 

Before timeshare owners know it, they’re drowning in debt due to something they can’t even use the way they envisioned. It’s hard to look at timeshare financing as a whole and argue that the resort and it’s sales teams don’t know buyers are set up for failure. If you have cash on hand, they know you’re forced to use it. If you don’t, then you’re at the mercy of the resort. Either way, it’s a win for the timeshare industry and another reason why profits continue to climb.

Get Out of Timeshare Financing for Good with VOC.

If you haven’t noticed, timeshare travel isn’t exactly the affordable escape it’s said to be. While the baseline cost of the purchase can be appealing, the conditional expenses and add ons are what really set people back financially. Before even considering fractional ownership, you need to understand what you’re getting yourself into.

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You can’t treat a timeshare like a used car that you bought and resold for a few hundred dollars less after you’ve driven it for a while. It’s not even like financing a new car and selling it for the depreciated value a few months later. While you may be able to own those mistakes and stomach their losses, a weekly interval can leave you with nothing to show but a lot of debt.

If you or someone you know is burdened by timeshare financing, there’s no need to continue digging a deeper hole. While the resort wants you to believe terminating your agreement isn’t feasible, we’re here to tell you it most certainly is. You just have to decide which is more worth it: canceling the contract or trying to keep up with payments at the expense of your quality of life. To learn more about our attorney based process, you can always schedule a free consultation or proceed with our qualification form below. 

Timeshare Loans and the Unexpected Reality of Ownership.

Timeshare Loans and the Unexpected Reality of Ownership.

When it comes to most major purchases, borrowing money is a common way to get what you want. The ability to easily do so in today’s culture is the main reason why so many people are in debt. Things that used to be out of reach can be had for “affordable” monthly payments. Since many consumers base decisions like these on how much they make per month, financial setbacks and urgent needs can quickly make a large purchase regrettable. Timeshare loans are no different and it doesn’t take long for buyers to realize they’re in over their head.

Unlike other expensive items with similar price points (car, boat, home renovation, college tuition, etc..), buying a timeshare is usually an impulse decision. When you think about it, this is extremely odd. Most people know little about fractional ownership. In fact, it’s safe to say most of the general public knows more about vehicle features and state colleges than vacation intervals. Consumers spend hours researching vehicles online before even contacting the dealership. Why is it that we’ll spend multiple weekends test driving boats before buying but we’ll sign off on a $20,000 timeshare without much thought?

The answer lies in between the lines of consumer reasoning. With most of these purchases, people know what they want and what to look for. They won’t go to the dealership until they’re ready because the aggressive nature of a car salesman is expected. They want to be prepared so they can call out bluffs while countering intuitively and intelligently. Since the purchase and its value is clearly understood, the desire to enjoy it is already there.

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How Consumers Get Stuck in Timeshare Loans.

If you analyze the sale of a timeshare, you’ll realize most people attending presentations are there for the perks. For the most part, they agree to show up because they’ve been incentivized to listen to something they could care less about. They feel the exchange-of-time is worth it because they have no intention or desire to buy. Rarely do they expect to be intrigued. But low and behold, many consumers are dazzled by once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to travel and take out unfavorable timeshare loans to make it happen.

What fails to meet the eye is the simple fact that timeshare presentations, are run by commissioned representatives that make car salesmen look like boy scouts. Since most people don’t anticipate the hard sale, they tend to believe it. Even though pertinent details tend to be left out during the pitch, the strategic excitement and vague possibilities of a new frontier leads consumers to believe they’ve struck gold. But if you’ve bought a timeshare before, you know this is usually short-lived.

Once the reality of the purchase sets in, many come to realize they can’t even book the condo. They figure out the total cost is quite more than they expected and a resale market doesn’t even exist. After seeing the amount of interest that timeshare loans carry, they begin to view the purchase as a burden. All of the jubilee quickly turns bitter and buyers despise what once was seen as a unique opportunity to escape reality in style.

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The Psychological Element of the Timeshare Sale.

The timeshare purchase itself is a lot more complex than consumers being in less-than-ideal sales environments with the wrong people. Timeshare companies know how to put people in unknown situations that isolate them, making it easier to persuade. Anyone in the psychology field knows the best way to sell someone on something is to somehow nurture them into believing the decision is theirs. This is exactly what the resort does to close people on timeshare loans.

A dosage of “what ifs” blended with an element of pressure creates a sense of urgency for potential buyers. The perks and capabilities that have yet to be experienced paint a picture of an improved quality of life alongside endless possibilities to create new memories. The idea that the purchase is “affordable” forces them to seriously consider the offer and make a quick decision before it goes away.

Many of our clients talk about the appeal of buying. How they felt like they never went anywhere with their spouse or family. That they barely even went out for dinner, not to mention vacationing anywhere worthwhile. When the purchase was presented in a limited fashion, it encouraged them to take advantage of an ability to spend more time with loved ones and family. Many feel as though the purchase fills a void in their life that they hadn’t previously recognized on their own.

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This is why timeshare companies target certain types of households for ownership. They want to pitch people who don’t exactly have the budget to travel lavishly. They want to be able to tell them that they can by persuading them that their dreams are actually within reach. Salesmen are trained to come off as empathetic friends, simply handing out travels deals to help people experience life to the fullest. If consumers knew the real intent behind the sale, they’d never agree. In short, closers reap high commissions.

Unfortunately, deception is a specialty of the greedy. The documentary, Queen of Versailles, shows how timeshare travel is really portrayed by those behind the scenes. Subconsciously, everyone wants to go on vacation, but not everyone can afford it. These corporations know that preying on people that want to travel, but can’t, is a lot easier than pitching those that don’t need a travel bargain. When an opportunity seems too good to be true, lower income households are a lot more prone to say “yes.” Especially when they can borrow money with seemingly “affordable” timeshare loans to experience what higher income families do.

How Misleading Are Timeshare Loans, Exactly?

When consumers make a large purchase, most of them aim to pay it off as quickly as possible. Although debt isn’t being taken as seriously as it should be in the 21st century, most people understand how interest works. But because of the lack of disclosure during the presentation, many timeshare buyers don’t anticipate the purchase costing double or even triple what was presented to them.

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In reality, agreeing to buy a $20K timeshare usually ends up costing around $45K over the term of the mortgage. Some of our clients tell us they knew the interest rates were high but they were told they could quickly refinance to lower costs. When they discover this was a lie, they find themselves stuck in a perpetual contract with zero wiggle room. Most refinancing options have certain qualifications that aren’t immediately attainable. Even if buyers restructure down the road, the principal balance remains the same because they’ve been paying off interest the whole time.

Annual fees that come in the form of maintenance and assessment costs also plague buyer’s pocketbooks. Every year, these continue to rise, placing quite the financial burden on buyers. Maintenance fees alone cost $1,200 per year on average. Even when owners pay off timeshare loans or mortgage balances, they’re still obligated to pay these dues every year. You could spend $45K on a 10 year term, and still face a $12K minimum obligation over the next 10 years. 

As you can tell, this amount is a lot more than what the initial sales pitch covered. But it’s not the only financial disadvantage that hinders buyer enjoyment. When the purchase doesn’t live up to expectations, many consumers spend more to make it worthwhile. Upgrades normally come in the form of additional contracts with separate timeshare loans and annual dues. What started off as a $20k borrow over 10 years for $167/month actually ends up being $354/month at 17.9% interest, resulting in a devastating financial blow that can surpass $100k over time.

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The Importance of Understanding Timeshare Financing.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to spend a lot of time focusing on the actualities of borrowing money for vacation ownership. Since many of our clients have experienced quite a bit of hardship, we’ve been able to conceptualize their stories and create valuable content that helps you understand the true expense of fractional ownership. 

Aside from breaking down travel financing in general, we hope to help you grasp the simple fact that a timeshare property is not an asset but a liability. Even when it comes to refinancing, lowering your interest rates isn’t as easy as it’s said to be. Knowing how timeshare lenders work and what to expect out of a mortgage (or a personal line of credit) will help you navigate the industry with confidence. 

At VOC, we know how discouraging the financial burden of a timeshare can be. Timeshare loans are not in the least bit consumer friendly. In addition to all of the other inconveniences buyers experience, the cost is what commonly compels people to get out of timeshare contracts. But you don’t have to feel trapped in your agreement. We hope this article provides you with perspective and helps you make the best decision for you and your family. Sometimes asking the right questions helps you avoid deceit altogether.

If you have any questions about canceling fractional ownership, you can always visit other blogs for more information. If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for, one of our consultants will be more than happy to see how VOC can help. If you’re set on getting rid of the purchase, feel free to proceed with a qualification form below.

7 Reasons the Future of Timeshare Ownership Looks Bleak

7 Reasons the Future of Timeshare Ownership Looks Bleak

Over the last decade, the timeshare industry has done little to keep up with the evolution of destination travel. While technology and online booking continues to advance, the tactics and value propositions of timesharing have essentially remained the same. The diminishing number of uninformed consumers has begun to work against new acquisition as many consumers have begun to lose faith in the purchase.

Knowing what timeshare ownership might entail is enough to persuade vacationers to pursue other travel options. Instead of waiting for timeshare companies to get with the program, consumers seem content with watching the entity fade off into the sunset. Unless the industry makes a hard right turn, it’s difficult to envision a mass recovery over a mass exodus.

Even if things were to change, will it ever be enough to overcome a half-century long reputation? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why we believe the future of timeshare ownership is looking bleak.

1. The Increasing Costs and Liability of Timesharing

Over the years, certain occurrences have caused vacation ownership to steadily rise in cost. Besides general inflation, developers didn’t properly assess demand during most of their expansion efforts. In the early years, decisions seemed to be based on opportunity instead of probability. When timeshare ownership wasn’t able to sustain its popularity (due to bad experiences and mistrust), resorts turned to current owners for the difference. What they didn’t realize was, this approach affected the perception of happy fractional owners.

Because timeshare companies are now left scraping the barrel for gullible consumers, expansion opportunities are ceasing to exist. This forces them to sell more aggressively while charging more per unit. Over the past few years, timeshare maintenance fees have been steadily rising at 4-5%. Surprise, special assessment fees have become more common. Resorts have found ways to recoup earnings when acquisition slows down.

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According to the ARDA (2016 AIF Owner’s Study), 66% of timeshare owners wanted to exit their contract because “the maintenance fees are too high.” Moreover, 46% of those that cancelled a timeshare mentioned annual fees as their primary reason. Small increases can amount to thousands of dollars over time. What makes this interesting is that resorts have notably avoided proper upkeep at some resorts. Not only are users not getting what they paid for, but they’re paying more for lower quality. The liabilities that come with these decisions are one of the reasons we believe the future of timesharing looks bleak.

2. There is No Resale Value for Timeshare Properties

Like we’ve mentioned in previous articles, a good number of new timeshare owners aren’t aware of the actuality of the resale market. Aside from the misspeak that timeshare sales reps use to persuade potential buyers, there are a ton of misleading options that take advantage of those looking to exit timeshare contracts. Once they realize that reselling isn’t ideal, it’s too late. Attempting to sell something that no one wants can be extremely costly. Throwing more money at something they don’t want and can’t make any money on can be demoralizing. Many of our clients talk about how they’ve spent thousands of dollars on resale platforms that didn’t provide a single lead.

Learning that you were lied to during the timeshare presentation and realizing the market doesn’t exist can be hard enough to swallow. On top of this realization, many timeshare owners underestimate the number of scams that cloud the resale arena. Just ask Darren Kittleson. When things aren’t working out and all hope seems lost, predatory agencies know exactly how to persuade you otherwise. They always have a meticulous agenda that uses disappointment and desperation to their advantage. Although platforms worth trying do exist, the overall uncertainty creates a bleak outlook for the industry as a whole.

3. The Timeshare Industry is Now Flooded with Scams

When it comes to timeshare fraud, the mischief doesn’t just dwell in resale. Victimizers also dabble in the buyer’s market from time to time. Claiming to have amazing deals in premier destinations, they lead people on long enough to collect quite a bit of cash. Verified Craigslist posts and Ebay listings have milked travel enthusiasts for decades now.

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At the same time, these are only a few examples of the consistent and ever growing misconduct in the timeshare industry. People are now being scammed before the purchase, during ownership, while they attempt to exit the contract and once they’ve terminated the agreement. If you’re already disgusted by the lies your timeshare company has fed you (to keep you under contract), realize this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Scammers know how trapped most timeshare owners feel and how desperate they’ve become. There are plenty of angles they can take to deceive you into believing their solution is worthwhile. From advocacy groups to legal representation, it’s difficult to know what to believe anymore. Anything seeming “too good to be true” normally is.

Some 3rd party agencies even work with resorts to ensure timeshare owners don’t make progress with cancellation. Not to mention that a large percentage of timeshare exit companies aren’t real. Thousands of dollars have been wasted on resolutions that don’t even exist. It’s a real shame, but only adds to the stigma of the industry. Even if you’re able to finally cancel your timeshare agreement, scams surrounding travel clubs, vacation rentals and advanced payments can flood your inbox – due to your online behavior. Since many consumers and industries refuse to touch timeshare with a 10 foot pole, the future looks bleak.

4. Today’s Travel Options Are Valued More by Travelers

Instead of waiting to see if timeshare companies are willing to overcome the reputation they’ve built (at the consumer’s expense), travel enthusiasts are now pursuing vacations that better suit their needs. Perpetual contracts just don’t make sense anymore as luxury vacation rentals and retail resorts are prevalent in today’s society. While scams do exist in other travel options, a number of platforms have established themselves as trustworthy entities.

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When timesharing first came about, most people were thrilled to be able to afford a vacation in a place they’d never dreamed of visiting. The ease of global travel has given consumers the unique ability to explore the world without being tied to one location. Although points and exchange programs broadened the horizon for timeshare owners, availability and quality was still a problem.

For the most part, today’s vacationing options consistently meet the expectations of travelers. The experience usually matches the presentation. Even if small inconveniences occur, the user isn’t tied to payments. They also have an ability to review their experience to order to warn future travelers or find resolve with the property. Timeshare companies have failed to value the user experience. Because of this, the future doesn’t look bright for timeshare ownership.  

5. The Evolution of E-commerce in the Travel Industry

Options for travelers is only one element of timeshare competition. Since fractional ownership is based on perpetual (or lifelong) agreements, retail travel makes more sense. One click bookings have taken the market by storm over the last decade. Consumers now flood to reputable sources for online vacation deals and packages. Travelers even have the option to schedule flights, lodging and a rental car in the same place. It’s very difficult for the timeshare industry to compete here.

Even online retailers are now pushing timeshare weeks without ownership. Air BnB, VRBO and HomeAway are currently dominating vacation rental. Because of the user experience, travelers now feel far more comfortable using consumer to consumer e-commerce sites for travel related bookings. Removing the middleman (Ie: timeshare company, rental and resale platforms) allows them to keep everything in front of them. Instead of believing in “promised solutions,” timeshare owners are now taking matters into their own hands. This alone should tell you how standoffish people are about the timeshare industry – whether it comes to perpetual agreements or retail access to their inventory.

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6. Timeshare Companies Have Been Overselling Inventory

Ever since the timeshare rush in the late 1900’s, developers have been selling non-existing products. As the points evolution grew, this became even more popular. It was a way for timeshare companies to, once again, keep buyers under contract. It’s almost as if they never saw the repercussions of doing so. Overpromising and under delivering has never really been fruitful. It’s just not sustainable when it comes to large purchases.  

In a recent article, we wrote about the ramifications Midtown Manhattan Club received for selling unavailable reservations. Although the property remained full, this rightfully angered their users. You’d think they’d at least limit the inconvenience when selling air. In the end, the NY Attorney General required them to pay $6.5 million in restitution, amongst other things. This goes to show that regulations are increasing and timeshare companies are no longer able to just get away with unethical sales practices. For this reason, the outlook of timesharing doesn’t look good.

7. A Consistent, Perpetuated and Tarnished Reputation

If you analyze each of the aforementioned reasons, you’ll realize that the timeshare industry has had every opportunity to redeem themselves. But the growing level of greed has basically clouded the entirety of experience altogether. Temporary solutions have sprouted up, but have failed to actually address the problems timeshare owners have. The thing is, it’s not like timesharing has only been around for a short while. For nearly 60 years, the industry has compiled substantial amounts of skepticism.

Every travel innovation experiences roadblocks. Even vacation rentals have endured some backlash from consumers. The difference is their willingness to make things right. The way the timeshare model is set up, there’s limitations on what they can do to overcome negative perception. They’ve already proven their unwillingness to decrease prices. High pressure sales and unethical tactics have remained consistent. Worthless incentives and non-existent service has been their achilles’ heel for a long time.

The best way to understand this is that they’re maximizing profits before the market runs out. Either way, the consumer continues to lose unless they’re able to prove misconduct in court. As we’ve discussed before, this is very difficult to do. Timeshare companies are banking on their ability to hold onto their fractional owners for life. A lack of interest in overcoming this perception and repaying those taken advantage of is the main reason we believe the future of timesharing looks bleak.

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If you’re interested in learning more about getting rid of your timeshare contract or what you’re options are, we’d love to provide you with a free consultation. If you believe you’re ready to pursue cancellation services, feel free to fill out a qualification form below.

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