Timeshare Deceit!

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Aaronson Law Group - Timeshare Recession and Cancellation

Google the word “timeshare donation” and the top pick on the list is Donate for a Cause. Below the banner depicting a retired couple celebrating their newfound freedom and philanthropy is a notice pursuant to a court order and informing the public that Donate for a Cause is permanently barred from preparing, advising about, and marketing charitable tax deductions in relation to timeshare donations. You can read the order, but for a more candid depiction of the facts underlying the case you need look no further than the first page of the original complaint, which describes the defendant’s operation as “an elaborate – and bogus – tax scheme.

Essentially, Donate for a Cause would encourage owners to pay the company to locate organizations willing to purchase their timeshare units with the promise that the owners could deduct the fee on their tax returns. According to the complaint, Donate for a Cause severely overvalued the units, resulting in overcharging clients and causing more than $19.4 million in improper tax deductions.

A recent Forbes article on the case depicts the unfortunate story of a Donate for a Cause customer referred to in the complaint as Client 1. C1 purchased his timeshare for around $10,600. Donate for a Cause valued the property at $8,740 and billed C1 $2,800. The actual sale price was $81. To make matters worse for C1, the IRS disallowed his $2,800 deduction.

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It’s unfortunate that individuals who have entered into onerous timeshare agreements often find themselves stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Either they can incur the stress and expense of litigation or they can continue to make payments indefinitely on a property that they will never use. Not surprising then that plenty of persons on the Internet offer various self-help options. But as the case of Donate for a Cause makes clear, in these murky waters, there be sharks.

The Huffington Post recently offered five tips to rescinding your timeshare contract, which while technically feasible, failed to address the reality of the situation.

Many developers refuse to take back timeshare units, or, if they will, do so for pennies on the dollar. The resale market is not much better. Type “timeshare” into Craigslist or eBay and you’ll find lots of timeshares selling for just $1. The unfortunate truth is that buyers are unwilling to take on the financial burden of timeshare ownership, especially if the unit is encumbered by pre-existing debt. As for renting the unit out, many purchasers discover that online booking prices are substantially cheaper than what the owner pays for reserving the property.

For those considering a D.I.Y. option for exiting your timeshare agreement, remember that creditors will try to enforce your contract obligations. If improperly performed, the unfortunate owner opens himself up to personal liability, credit damage, and a more complex – and likely more costly – legal problem.

At Aaronson Law Group, we appreciate the importance of the decision to hire counsel. It’s necessary to review the unique facts of your case and consider your options before taking any major action. To speak to one of our representatives at no cost and discuss your situation and legal options, please call 407-644-1336 or leave a message on our homepage.

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