In the heat of an emotional moment, it seemed like a great idea. Now, if timeshares could crumble and turn to dust, that’s what you wish yours would do. Between ongoing payments, ever-rising service fees and the possible headache of trying to rent it, there’s only one way out of this. You’re going to have to sell.
It’s probably the best solution. Just don’t let your eagerness to dump it make you fair game for timeshare scammers.
Easy to Gain but Hard to Unload
Although they may look attractive enough when you buy them, timeshares are notoriously difficult things to get rid of. Despite your most dedicated efforts, finding someone to purchase yours may soon seem nearly impossible.
If a timeshare reseller happens to call with news of an interested buyer, the chance to finally make a break might seem too good to pass up. At this point, you’d do anything to get out from under what has become little more than an albatross. When the reseller demands that you pay him a sizable fee upfront before matching you with a buyer, it could seem like a necessary evil toward the greater good.
You pay that fee. You sit and wait. Sadly, the chances are better than good that you’ll never hear back again. That’s because there never was a buyer. The reseller is a crook. Your money has taken a permanent hike, and you’re still the proud owner of a timeshare.
Protecting Yourself from Timeshare Scammers
Not every timeshare reseller is dishonest. There are reliable ones around. However, their methods are quite different. A legitimate timeshare reseller:
- Will never ask for a fee up front. Scammers, on the other hand, always will. Be especially suspicious of those who will accept nothing more than a money order, wire transfer or cash.
- Will never contact you out of the blue or attempt to snare you via mailer.
- Will not produce an interested buyer until after you have signed a contract for his services.
- Will charge you a brokerage fee only after he has sold your unit.
- Will hold any prepayments you might make ahead of time in trust until he has earned his fee.
- Will have a legitimate business address and a 1-800 number.
- Will be happy to meet with you in person.
Beware of the resale broker who refuses to consult with you personally and tries instead to do the entire deal from somewhere behind the curtain. No legitimate timeshare broker will conduct business in this manner. A scammer, on the other hand, may have no business address at which to meet if he wanted to, and of course he doesn’t.
Checking the Person’s Identity
It helps to be aware of something else. The person with whom you’re dealing may have stolen the identity of a legitimate timeshare broker. To eliminate that possibility, have the person who contacted you provide the name and address of the company for which he claims to work. Then, search online for a genuine phone number for that place of business. Call the number and ask to speak to the person who originally contacted you. You should know right away whether the two people are truly one and the same.
While you’re at it, check out the company online with the Better Business Bureau. If anyone else has had a problem, they may have posted a complaint. Don’t do business with any company, legitimate or not, that has racked up more than its share of unflattering online reviews.
Get It All in Writing
At that first face-to-face meeting, the accredited timeshare resale broker will likely offer you a contract. Do not be too quick to sign it. Take it home first and read the fine print. You want to be sure that everything the broker promised you at that meeting also appears in the contract. It never hurts to have an attorney review it and all other related documents when possible.
What Sort of a Crime Is It Really?
Clark County, Nevada, recently indicted six individuals for fraudulent timeshare resale activity over an 11-month period. This group had scammed more than 15 people over the age of 60, and the charges they currently face include deceit, theft and fraud with fines and jail terms a likely outcome.
Numerous consumers have fallen prey to timeshare resale scammers. Don’t let yourself be one of them. O’Grady Law Group has helped many timeshare owners like yourself divest themselves of their holdings. Call our office today and let us help you for once and for all to get out of that timeshare contract.