Feeling Victimized By Your Timeshare Developer?
Aaronson Law Firm, September 18, 2017: You open your timeshare statement with dread, the stress welling up within you until you feel it grip your heart in a vise lock of fear and trepidation. Will your fees be higher this year? You can hardly afford the monthly mortgage and fees now, plus you find that you are unable to use your timeshare as advertised. The pangs of financial oppression tug at your very being until you want to scream in frustration. How did it come to this?
First came the timeshare sales presentation. They had promised you that it would only take 90 minutes of your time and then you would be free to enjoy the facilities, along with the great prizes and free gifts that would be yours simply for attending. That sounded good, but 90 minutes turned into four hours or more. Every time you tried to say “NO” and leave, they were there with another tactic or another wonderful offer to keep you in your seat. Multiple sales agents worked with you, tag-teaming you with many hard-sell sales techniques which left you dazed and not sure of where the truth lay. Your kids were sequestered elsewhere, being entertained until such time as they could be brought back in, tired, cranky and wanting desperately to leave. But still the hard-sell continued.
Many offers were made, each sweeter than the one before. Promises were proffered, so many that you couldn’t remember them all. Perhaps alcoholic beverages were served to you during the presentation. And then came the financial incentives. A wonderful investment in your future, they cried. Something really tangible that you could pass on to your kids. If there ever came a time when you had to sell your timeshare, as much as you would hate to, you could easily sell it or even rent it to cover your costs while you were not using it. When it came time to determine how to pay for your timeshare, a credit card sponsored by the developer was issued in your name, even though you didn’t think you would qualify to receive one.
After hours of hard-sell, you were tired, worn down emotionally, and above all else you wanted out. Before you knew it, you were saying “YES” just to physically escape the room! Then came the paperwork – document after document was shoved under your face with the words “sign here and here and here” ringing in your ears. You weren’t allowed to read them. If you tried, an agent would simply reply, “Don’t worry about this document – it just means this and that.” Reluctantly you signed, hoping that the process would soon be over.
And soon it was! You received your free baubles, surprised at just how cheap they seemed. Perhaps you received a cruise that you were never able to book. Or theme park tickets which carried with them many restrictions. No matter – you were free of the presentation. Now what? State laws mandate a period of time, known as the rescission period, where you have the opportunity to change your mind and cancel your timeshare contract. This period can last from 3 to 15 days depending upon the state where the contract was originated. There’s my out, you think, relieved. But you can’t find the paperwork that the developer gave you to execute the rescission. Or, you find them, sign and send them in, only to realize as you look over your first statement that they were never received or, indeed, ignored. Perhaps the developer failed to tell you about the rescission period at all and you find out about it only after it has lapsed.
Now you are stuck with your timeshare and so you try to move forward and use it to your benefit. The first time you try to book a time with your timeshare unit you hit a wall of unavailability. There are no openings available and you are left with a property that you cannot use. Perhaps there is time available at a different property for which you had no previous interest. Then you discover that you do not have enough points to book time at what you thought was the resort of your timeshare. For additional fees, you could book the time that you wanted, only to find out that you could have reserved the same time on the open market for less than it is costing you through your timeshare ownership.
When the statements begin to arrive detailing what you owe for your timeshare, you find that your head is swimming in anxiety. What are all of the fees that you see listed? Why weren’t you told about the yearly maintenance fees? “In Perpetuity” you read, meaning that they go on forever, never ending and seemingly always increasing from year to year. Special assessments, monthly mortgage for your timeshare, credit card bill where your down payment resides. It is all beginning to add up to a financial nightmare! And then you determine that fees, such as maintenance fees, can be passed with the timeshare to your heirs!
Enough is enough! You begin to explore ways to divest yourself of your timeshare albatross. You look for avenues to sell your timeshare, perhaps on ebay or craigslist, only to find a great many timeshares there already, being sold for $1.00. Why would someone sell out for $1.00, you wonder. That’s when begin to understand that timeshares are just not worth much. Can you give it away? Charities would have the same problem as you have in liquidating the asset, so they are unwilling to accept it. So you look to a timeshare reseller, one of the myriad resellers on the internet who purport to sell your timeshare and recoup your money. However, they want a lot of money for their service and quite often leave you short many thousands of dollars and still holding your timeshare. You try to vet them properly but nothing seems to add up. Your level of frustration grows exponentially.
Do you recognize yourself in any of the scenarios of this cautionary tale? Perhaps, after all of this, you are left with an overwhelming urge to divest yourself of your timeshare property. You are definitely not alone. Maybe you have already tried without success to use a timeshare reseller and have been scammed out of your hard-earned money. Perhaps you have tried to give your timeshare to a charity, only to find out that they did not want it. Consider retaining the services of a reputable timeshare attorney to help you cancel your timeshare contract. This is a very viable and attainable outcome. The attorneys of the Aaronson Law Firm stand ready and able to bring the appropriate level of pressure to bear upon your timeshare developer and, if necessary, bring litigation on your behalf. It is not too late…