FOUR(4) RULES TO FOLLOW WHEN “SELLING” YOUR TIMESHARE
1. Never send money to anyone, ever.
2. Never send money to anyone, ever.
3. Never send money to anyone, ever.
and most importantly;
4. NEVER SEND MONEY TO ANYONE TO SELL YOUR TIMESHARE, Ever!
One last suggestion,sellers. If you are asked to send money to anyone, don’t do it.
If you are thinking about sending money to anyone, FORGET IT!
SENDING MONEY TO A STRANGER FOR SERVICES “NOT YET RENDERED”(not sold/transferred) IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!
——————————————-GET IT IN WRITING!————————————————-
The latest internet and national advertising campaigns that may border on the “dark side” are the efforts by some so called “timeshare exit” companies that promise to get you out of a contract by representing themselves as experts on the process, especially for those who may have unpaid mortgages AS WELL as the monthly fees or dues that are necessary for routine maintenance, repairs, utilities, insurance, taxes, etc. They’re all over the internet, on TV and even sponsor radio shows which in turn endorses them as “good folks to trust and work with”(they do sponsor the show but of course that doesn’t in any way influence the endorsement, does it!). Their fees, PAID UP FRONT in full or with down payments and monthly installments, can RUN INTO THE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS causing you more heartache and financial difficulties. While the “100% guaranteed refund” line they use may sound tempting and give warm fuzzy feelings, you should know that in many documented cases these firms consider a foreclosure as having satisfied their contract with you and DO NOT give refunds in such cases. So underneath that warm fuzz could be a wolf with a pocket full of your money.
IF YOU STILL OWE ON A MORTGAGE, AND ARE THINKING ABOUT USING ONE OF THESE “EXIT” COMPANIES, THE MOST LIKELY END RESULT IS DEFAULT AND FORECLOSURE, which is what happens if you stop paying. You don’t need to pay someone for this kind of “help”, and they wont give a refund if it ends this way. IT’S BETTER AND ADVISABLE TO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ATTORNEY if you are thinking about not paying a mortgage. They can advise you on how it would work and what the credit consequences could be and possibly mitigate any possible difficult outcomes.
IF YOU DONT OWE ON A MORTGAGE, there are opportunities for getting out of your timeshare at NO cost and maybe even netting you MONEY but you won’t know unless you CALL US FIRST! We may not even be your best solution. If not we may advise you of where to seek help or from whom to seek help.
We urge you to check out anyone who represents themselves as having the ability to cancel and separate you from your timeshare obligation IF, especially IF, you still have an unpaid mortgage. It now appears that in timeshares with an unpaid mortgage, the process of cancelling your contract often involves directing you into a contract default and a subsequent foreclosure with all the credit rating implications to follow. AGAIN, the advertised 100% guaranteed refund DOES NOT APPLY when you are foreclosed with damaged credit. They promised you would be out of your timeshare even if it means a default on your part and foreclosure. Was this made clear to you that the process could end in a foreclosure AND no refund? If so, was it IN WRITING?
If you are thinking about using one of these exit strategy firms, use DUE DILIGENCE. Look for complaints on the internet, check with the BBB. Ask questions about how the process works BUT FIRST ANSWER THIS; DO YOU OWE A FINANCED BALANCE (MORTGAGE) ? If no, then call us first to maybe not only save you money but get you money instead.
If you do have an “UNPAID MORTGAGE”, then ask your “specialist” these questions;
1. Will there be any damage to your credit rating? (Probably yes, but will they volunteer this bit of information?!!)
2. Does their contract state that a “FORECLOSURE” is in fact NOT an exit option and if it does end in a foreclosure will you get a FULL REFUND!!!
3. Do they do ANYTHING beyond sending out a “Cease and Desist” form letter? While this type of letter sounds impressive, very legal and important, they don’t even require a lawyer to write and are pretty much worthless in that they usually only stop collection phone calls and letters from third party collectors(collection agencies), not the primary creditor to whom you owe money. In many states this letter DOES NOT require the creditor to whom you directly owe a debt to cease contact with you and do NOTHING to stop a foreclosure proceeding against you which WILL damage your credit rating. In fact a Cease and Desist letter can actually hasten a lawsuit against you and a resultant foreclosure. You’re not getting out of an obligation, you’re telling them to go ahead and drop a “credit rating” bomb on you!
A Cease and Desist letter, just by itself, can be a waste of time and money if you paid someone to send it and may even work against you.
4. Check with your resort first. If the mortgage is paid in full, they may be willing to let you just deed it back to them, with NO COST! The “timeshare exit” company wont tell you this but will take credit for the “give back” and have you convinced they earned every nickel of those thousands of dollars you just dropped in their lap, FOR NOTHING.
5. Check with a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the LTRBA. Instead of giving it back, or paying someone to get you into a default, there may very well be some money coming your way with a good chance to actually sell it. How can you trust someone who tells you what its worth and if it can be sold? Well, because WE DONT GET A FEE UP FRONT. If it is not sellable why would we waste our efforts and your time if it cant be sold. We can only make a commission if it can actually be sold and we indeed sell it. If it cant be sold, we can tell you this and not waste your time nor ours and make suggestions that can help you. But you may not know this unless you call us or a member of the LTRBA.
6. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, if they tell you something that SOUNDS good, HAVE THEM PUT IT IN WRITING; INCLUDE IT IN ANY WRITTEN CONTRACT. Verbal and oral information given to you is of no use and cant be proven.
THE WRITTEN CONTRACT IS THE ONLY WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF if a dispute arises at some future date in regards to what happened and what you may have been told. Its your word against theirs. If they tell you something but refuse to put it into a contract, don’t sign it and end the discussion. THEY wrote the contract and they can change it. IF IT AIN’T IN WRITING THEN IT DON’T EXIST!! (pardon my grammar)
_______________________BEWARE PAYING FEES UP FRONT, BEFORE A SALE!_________________
Are you or have you been contacted by someone who claims to buy and sell your timeshare now or quickly? Please read your contract over carefully as you will be sending money to companies who claim to be selling timeshares “just like yours”, selling often and for much more than anyone else is telling you. Does a contract have EVERYTHING written into it that was discussed on the phone? If not then it cant be enforced and unwritten promises are just wishes on your part. Can you find any references to “advertising and marketing” or “administrative” or “closing” as part of a contract? If so, you aren’t paying fees to actually dispose of your timeshare; you are merely signing an advertising contract WITH NO GUARANTEES THAT IT WILL BE OR CAN BE SOLD FOR SOME OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS OF VALUE!! It could be nothing more than being charged thousands of dollars to do nothing more than place an ad on their website.
In short, look for these key words; advertising, marketing, closing, administrative, etc. And write down everything you were told in a phone conversation and check to see if its written into their contract before you sign and send money (remember what I said at the top of this page about sending money?). If its not written into the contract then its just as if it was never said, never offered and never promised. You may be buying a very, very expensive small ad on a web site. And if its listed for $25,000 when you see others on different websites or even the same site just like yours for $2,500, well, which one would you buy!
We have been warning folks not to be fooled by anyone charging you ANY FEES whatsoever before a sale. In fact, in almost all cases, as a seller you should NEVER have to pay fees at any time. WHY? Because in most cases, though resale values are low in the timeshare industry, there is still some value in them for an owner. You should stipulate that any fees that you have AGREED to pay are to be deducted from the sale proceeds before remittance to you. No need to pay anyone upfront, as a seller, because the buyers’ money should be in an escrow account waiting to be disbursed to a listing firm for their commission and the remainder to the seller. Pretty much like closing at your local title company when selling your home.
Ever hear of a local real estate agent asking for their commission to sell your house BEFORE ITS EVEN LISTED? Or how about getting a new roof on your home and offering to pay the construction company up front, before the work begins. Of course you haven’t. Selling your timeshare should work just like selling your home; no sale/closing, no commission. Right?
The newest twist on up front fee companies is CLAIMING to be a “no up front fee” company and prominently display themselves as such on their website. Then they proceed to attempt to differentiate their “up front fees” from those other unscrupulous guys by saying we ONLY charge for our services, like marketing, closing, administrative, blah blah blah and ONLY after these “honest business services” have begun. So…..what they are saying is “yes we get fees up front(before a sale and closing) but ours are different because they just are”.
Do they call their fee a “closing fee”? The buyer normally pays the closing costs or its something you can negotiate if necessary. Why would you pay for a closing THAT HASNT HAPPENED…BECAUSE IT HASNT BEEN SOLD YET! Do they call it a marketing fee? That’s what the commission is suppose to cover, at closing/transfer!
NO…..any charges BEFORE a sale/closing/transfer, call it what you will, is STILL AN UP FRONT FEE because you paid money while the timeshare is still in your name, you are still liable for the maintenance fees, and you are still liable for any unpaid mortgage. You are asked to pay something not at the end of a sale, but UP FRONT. Ridiculous and with dishonest intent!
I can’t stress this enough but here goes……IF YOU ARE THE SELLER AND YOU KNOW OR HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THERE IS VALUE IN YOUR TIMESHARE, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO SEND MONEY TO A STRANGER ???? You worked for your money, now make them work for their money ONLY IF IT SELLS…RIGHT?
Its really this simple……..if you have money coming to you at closing….JUST TELL ‘EM TO DEDUCT ANY FEES/COMMISSIONS YOU HAVE AGREED TO PAY FROM THE MONEY THEY TOLD YOU WOULD BE SENT TO YOU AT CLOSING!!!!
If there truly, honestly is a buyer for your property, they will have already been required to place all or a large percentage of their money into an escrow fund account. Believe me, its easier to transfer money from an escrow account to pay their fees than ask you to “wire transfer” or send them a cashier’s check.
By the way, did you know that agreeing to pay anyone by wire transfer or cashier’s check ROBS you of your best, quickest chance at recourse? Your money is gone; the bank can do nothing because you authorized your bank to do this for you. The only thing left is legal action and realistically it would cost you more in legal fees than you lost, in most cases. And worse of all, the only written document you have is a contract WRITTEN BY THEM!!
So in closing, be alert to ANY request for payment for ANY services in regard to selling your timeshare. Cold calls to you, unrequested emails, postcards or letters in the mail that you didn’t ask for….ITS A RED FLAG, a Warning to hang up !!!