Over the past few years, we’ve published a lot of content that warns consumers and vacation owners alike of the pitfalls in the timeshare industry. For decades now, many buyers have experienced similar setbacks, disadvantages and unexpected costs. But today, some are considering cancellation for the first time. Because of this, we want to do our best to ensure you’re not exiting your timeshare alone.
The Pandemic Is Impacting Timeshare Owners.
Oftentimes, vacation owners make irrational decisions once they’ve realized the product has placed them in unfavorable situations. The recent pandemic is a prime example of this. But for the most part, timeshare resorts have been able to keep owners at bay. The promise of future possibilities has bought many of them time. Ironically, this is the same tactic used during the initial sale of the product.
With that being said, it’s only a matter of time before the limitations of travel restrictions reach a tipping point. For example, how will timeshares make up for the paid vacations that were unavailable in 2020 and 2021? Since buyer’s remorse hasn’t been given much aid (or thought) in the past, owners shouldn’t expect this to change.
Learning From Years Past Will Help Owners Today.
Although a new band of disgruntled owners may add momentum to the steady complaints of aging ones, it doesn’t exactly eradicate the risks of getting out. Feeling trapped or limited by the contract is nothing new. In fact, multitudes of buyers have given up on their efforts to get out.
This is why slighted timeshare sales reps and fraudulent operations love speaking to owners that haven’t experienced disappointment before. Most eventually fall for an upgrade before funneling money into resale efforts and other exit programs with no prevail.
Without exhausting the point, exiting your timeshare alone is a risky concept. If you barely have enough money to keep up with payments, it’s important that you know what you’re up against. One slip up can place you in a financial crisis – no matter how savvy you think you are. The industry is well-oiled in manipulation and stubbornness or desperation rarely bodes well.
What Can Happen When Exiting Your Timeshare.
Whether you go through the resort or call a third party, the devastation of an unsuccessful escape plan is real. You can’t believe everything you hear. Although it’s important you think for yourself, finding a trusted resource is almost essential. One little seed of bad advice can grow into a number of misleading possibilities.
One of the biggest dangers of exiting your timeshare alone is failing to obtain a free and clear release. Since the devil is in the details, we thought it’d be a good idea to list the potential outcomes of this scenario. Regardless of how you feel about it, every failed measure only adds baggage to your timeshare obligation. So, be logical in your decisions and methodical with your approach.
Failed Timeshare Releases Increase the Burden.
For the most part, vacation owners experience a similar pattern when they are unable to garner a release on their own. Once the timeshare ceases its attempts to round up money owed (which almost always includes threats), buyers can expect harassment from collections agencies. Even if a collector calls it quits, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. A signed contract may make lawsuits and judgements a strong possibility.
In other words, silence from the timeshare isn’t always a good thing. For all you know, they could be watching the fees rack up on their books while documenting your refusal to pay. At any given point in time, a credit hit could be crippling. So, if you’re exiting your timeshare alone, you better make sure the obligation is gone before acting like it is.
Prematurely Living Timeshare Free is Foolish.
One of the biggest mistakes we see vacation owners make is an ego based decision. Whether they walk away from payments and never look back or hire an established, reputable cancellation service to assist in washing their hands clean; many try to live as if the obligation doesn’t exist anymore. A sense of being wronged usually creates a desire to stick it to the resort. But rolling the dice in this way is a recipe for potential financial disaster down the road.
If you have not been fully released from the timeshare and your budget is thin, you should never reallocate the funds elsewhere. If the contract is unsettled and the timeshare were to come after you at any point – they may wreak havoc. While an unhappy buyer may be able to temporarily enjoy their hard earned money, the decision to prematurely live timeshare free could be devastating for years to come.
What Happens When Timeshares Pursue Owners?
Owners driven by emotion or anger are usually very stubborn. Their “out of sight, out of mind” approach can be blinding. But without an effective release of the ownership, timeshare contract obligations are pretty straight forward. Many timeshare agreements may state something along the lines of, “choose to sue for the unpaid balance hereunder [or] pursue any other remedy allowed by law” or similar language.
Those that stop making payments, or falsely believe a 3rd party has relieved them, are usually in for a big surprise – like we mentioned before. Pro-business states, like Florida, tend to side with local businesses and entities that benefit the economy, especially those that pour large amounts of money into lobbying and politics. Although you may not be a resident, a large amount of timeshares are sold and contractual venues are governed here.
Owners that are hit by unexpected timeshare lawsuits often hire a practicing attorney in the state where the resort is located, where they are being sued. While there may be ways to negotiate around the problem (Ie: possible fixed income statutes), it’s pretty clear the pursuit of an owner’s obligations can cause quite the inconvenience – even if a judge were to rule in their favor.
What Can Happen to a Vacation Owner’s Credit?
Once a timeshare gets the attention of a fleeting owner, much of the damage has already been done. Credit scores, for example, can get out of hand quickly when an owner is unable to get their account back in good standing. Procrastination or general avoidance may only increase the damage and further limit more favorable outcomes. Aside from unexpected frustration, minimal purchase power can really take its toll.
Credit damage is one of the main reasons buyers eventually seek cancellation assistance. In fact, a number of exit teams claim to be able to reverse, prevent credit marks or improve overall scores. But this is almost always simple fabrication used to close the deal. In reality, credit reporting is signed off on by the timeshare who’s holding a signed financial obligation. So if you’re exiting your timeshare alone, be aware of false statements that only add to your disappointment.
Fear Can Eventually Drive the Overall Experience.
Most people that try to exit a timeshare alone are often met by an overwhelming amount of uncertainty and skepticism. Once you experience deception in a number of ways, it’s hard to trust anyone regarding relief. In turn, some owners learn to endure the purchase – as if it’s now ingrained into their life. Because of incurred costs, they don’t even want to think of cancellation anymore – even when a competent exit solution comes around.
This is exactly what timeshare companies want. It encourages buyers to make the most of the product with them – while they control the narrative. But truth be told, an effective termination may be the only way to break the routine. If you really want to exit your timeshare alone then you have to be willing to fight for it. This means, taking the time to research those making promises.
You could spend thousands of dollars simply trying to enjoy the purchase or resell it. After 2-3 years have passed, buyers often find themself $15K more in the hole when a fraction of the cost could have bought them effective assistance with a proper cancellation. So make good decisions from the get go and things will never get to this point.
You Don’t Have to Exit Your Timeshare Alone.
While there are a number of options available to timeshare owners, finding a favorable solution usually includes some sort of assistance from experienced experts. Outside of personal motivation, exiting your timeshare alone just doesn’t give you much leverage. For example, we go above and beyond to ensure our clients don’t have to navigate a process proven to be difficult in an untrustworthy industry alone.
Both parties have even been known to find a way to come to mutual agreement with assistance. Sometimes, it even involves a monetary settlement or a release with no monetary amount owed. Deed in lieu foreclosures to eliminate past, present and future obligations are also a possibility. The point is, finding effective help is tough – but it’s not impossible.
If you want to cancel your timeshare for good, then you can’t go about it alone. Unless you’re an attorney, you may not even know about your rights as it relates to credit resulting from actions by your timeshare. While timeshares may choose to report default amounts, a recovery to satisfy debts can be more favorable than defaulted agreements or outstanding balances.
Effectively Exiting Your Timeshare Is Possible.
If you’re serious about getting rid of all timeshare obligations, then we hope this article helps you avoid some of the pitfalls along the way. No matter what anyone tells you, an effective release can prove to be a more favorable outcome to eliminating the stress of uncertainty and mounted obligations without resolve.
Avoiding upgrade attempts, potential assessments and dealing with collections is no simple task when exiting your timeshare alone. The risks can definitely outweigh the reward.
Just remember, no matter who helps you, make sure you get everything in writing. At VOC, we take the time to ask questions and listen before making any suggestions. Not every contract, position or owner’s desires are the same. No matter what you’re looking to accomplish, we want to help you navigate the rough waters of the exit industry to find the resolve you seek.
To date, our genuine approach has been well received. The last thing we want to do is tell owners what to do – so we do our best to show we care. Buyers that are able to get ahead of risks often have a much more enjoyable experience.