Timeshares and Perpetuity

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Aaronson Law Group - Timeshare Recession and Cancellation Perpetuity (n):

1.  The state of continuing forever or for a very long time;

2.  Eternity;

3.  The quality or state of being perpetual <bequeathed to them in perpetuity>;

4.  The condition of an estate limited so that it will not take effect or vest within the period fixed by law. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perpetuity
 
The law generally does not favor things that persist with no foreseeable end. In fact,  there exists a formal  ‘rule against perpetuities’, which derives from English Common Law. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with timeshares. So how did that timeshare developer seem to trap you into something that cannot be gotten rid of?
           
There exists a provision in most timeshare purchase agreements reserving the right of the developer to ‘veto’ your attempt to convey the property. Obtaining the consent of the developer is often a frustrating exercise in futility. In the case of some of these companies, even finding a point of contact to address this issue is difficult or impossible. As you go through this process, you will become increasingly convinced that the developer simply doesn’t want to let you out of the obligation, even if there’s someone else who will buy it. 
 
Moreover, even if you could obtain the developer’s consent, you probably cannot find anyone else willing to purchase it, even if it is paid for. Why? Simply because a timeshare or ‘vacation ownership’ interest remains a net liability due to the maintenance fee obligations that persist indefinitely, year after year. These fees tend to be exorbitant, well in excess of what is necessary simply to ‘maintain’ any given resort interest. In fact, the developer has probably appointed itself as your resort property manager in most instances, circumventing your right, with other owners, to control management of the resort facilities. We have written about this extensively elsewhere. (See, e.g., or blog on  Timeshares – A Built-in Conflict of Interest).
           
Regrettably, this lack of a secondary market has not deterred many non-lawyers from masquerading as white nights, particularly online where there is a high degree of anonymity, where they will vow to relieve you of your timeshare albatross. And they will relieve you, but chances are it’s only your money they’ll be taking. They will typically charge several thousand dollars up front, and offer a money back ‘guarantee’ to broker some kind of closing with an illusive third party buyer. If anyone ever ‘guarantees’ anything legal, much less a non-lawyer, he or she is by definition a scammer.
 
In general, even the solicitation of a deed for execution by a third party is properly handled by an attorney. A lay person performing this function is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, and may well have criminal liability.
 
In addition, the execution of a deed will not absolve you of liability on the underlying debt unless is expressly consented to by the developer. So if you’re skeptical, perhaps you can request some express written consent to this transaction from the developer, solicited by the timeshare ‘broker’,   in advance of paying all of this money. Again, it has been our experience that the developers are often totally unresponsive to these requests.
 
For that matter, since when have you ever had to pay a real estate broker in advance to sell your property? The fact is that these are not even license realtors, much less attorneys. So whatever you do, hire a licensed attorney, even if it’s not us. And feel free to call to consult with us about legitimate legal options free of charge.

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