It sounds great on the face of it: the closest you will ever get to having your own personal vacation spot. In fact, you might continue basking in that hopeful glow until the awful moment when you realize you’ve made a terrible mistake.
As thousands of older-but-wiser purchasers will tell you, it’s best to walk, not run, from the timeshare trap. Before you do something that you’re likely to regret, consider these seven reasons you should just say no to the timeshare hard sell.
1. It’s Going to Cost You More Than You Think
That seemingly attractive purchase price will be only the start of an endless money drain. In the fine print of most timeshare contracts, you’ll find mention of special assessments, maintenance fees, property taxes and utility costs. Sellers will gloss over these items, hoping that your eyes aren’t strong enough to focus on the tiny typeface. Nevertheless, these charges exist, and your signature legally binds you to pay them.
2. A Timeshare Is Not a Good Financial Investment
As he points out the swimming pool, the mountain view or the sparkling sandy beaches, the salesman is sure to mention the timeshare’s remarkable resale value. Don’t believe him. Timeshares are surprisingly hard to sell, and even if you do manage to get rid of yours, you’re sure to do so at a loss that is highly unlikely to be tax deductible.
3. The Odds of Renting Your Timeshare Are Slim
Not all timeshare contracts will permit you to rent the unit to others, but if yours does allow the practice, you can be sure that the salesman will mention the possibility as part of his pitch. Do not count on being able to do this. The rental market is long on timeshares but short on people who care to take advantage.
4. Timeshares Can Be Difficult to Sell
As quick search on the internet will show you in a hurry, timeshares are notoriously hard to unload, with numerous disenchanted owners willing to sell for as little as $1. As your monthly and annual expenses mount up, desperation might tempt you to join their ranks. There goes your great investment.
5. Timeshare Resale Scams Are Rampant
As you try without success to dispose of your timeshare, you will find that there are some companies willing to help you do this. Many of them are legitimate. Unfortunately, not all are on the up-and-up. The scammers will often contact you directly. They will tell you that they already have an interested buyer, and for a nominal fee, they’ll be glad to step in and broker an agreement. Don’t be fooled. That supposedly nominal fee will be higher than you think, and the buyer will not exist. These con men will never sell your timeshare, and if you later try to track them down, good luck.
6. The Risk of Foreclosure Is Real
A timeshare purchase is the same as any real estate investment. If you take out a mortgage to buy one and fail to make the payments, you can expect the lender to foreclose. Only wait: There’s more. Those additional fine-print costs that the seller glossed over are also subject to foreclosure. If you value your credit rating, beware. These unexpected legal snafus can seriously harm it and ruin your future ability to obtain any loan at a favorable rate.
7. Deficiency Charges Are Another Potential Threat
If the state in which you live allows them, the mortgage lender who foreclosed on your timeshare can later hit you with deficiency charges. These amount to the difference between what you still owe on the loan and the price at which the lender was eventually able to sell the timeshare. Not all states allow for timeshare deficiency judgments, but in those that do, the timeshare lending company will do whatever it can to recover the difference. It can legally attach your bank accounts, garnish your wages and make use of any other tactics commonly available to creditors in your state. It may also choose to take the matter to court.
If You Need Help in Dumping Your Timeshare
Hopefully, we have already convinced you to steer clear of timeshares altogether. If you or someone you know already regrets having taken the bait, O’Grady Law Group may be able to help. Call today to learn whether you can legally cancel that timeshare contract once and for all.