Stop Paying On A Timeshare?
By: Adam Burns – TKO Timeshare Solutions
Article Credit – USA Today – Journalist Christopher Elliot
We dug up an article from 2018 from USA Today entitled: “Trapped in a timeshare? Here’s how to escape.” As discussed in numerous articles, timeshares are easy to get in and hard to get out. The sales presentation itself relies strictly on sales psychology and human emotions to close the deal. Almost half of the purchase price is already spent the minute the ink dries on the timeshare agreement. This is because nearly half of the purchase price is toward the sales commission, the presentation itself, and any giveaway. Other than timeshares, no product, as expensive as a timeshare, is worthless as soon you buy it. This is because no one researches the resale market before buying a timeshare.
For example, everyone knows that when you purchase a brand-new car, it loses some of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. It is certainly possible to find a vehicle with low mileage that is a year or two old, and the price could be 20 to 30% less than it was brand new. But, that is common knowledge with vehicles. You do not see a car with no value as you leave the lot. But, that is the case with timeshares. You could very well purchase a timeshare today in cash, use it once, decide it’s not for you, and try to resell it. Then you will find out that it is worth nothing.
Studies Show 85% of Timeshare Owners Are Unhappy!
A University of Central Florida study claims 85% of timeshare owners were unhappy and wanted out of their timeshare. Can you imagine trying to stay in business with a product 85% of your customers did not want or were unhappy with it? Of course not. They would immediately go out of business.
How did this charade last so long? Well, because it is still a goldmine for those with questionable integrity or are just downright not honest. The industry, by and large, still uses high-pressure presentations, high-pressure sales, and manipulative psychology tactics to potentially hook good people into a potentially terrible financial situation. If you are a consumer who does the homework, you won’t even attend, because it’s obvious what the one-sided (in their favor) sales proposition is.
Stop Paying the Bill?
The article discusses two separate people in a situation where they wanted out of their timeshare. The first, Kathie from California, had over $1300 per year in maintenance fees. The perpetuity clause in the sale agreement bound her to make payments for the rest of her life. She got to a point where she just wanted to give it away. The author of “Timeshare Vacations for Dummies” said that “getting out of timeshares is considerably more difficult to get again. However, it’s possible.”
Kathie wanted out. She initially started calling her timeshare every month, asking to give it back. As expected, the timeshare told her that it was hers for life, and they had no intention of taking it back. She told her timeshare she would never make another payment. She admitted this would eventually result in foreclosure and asked the timeshare if they would be willing to take it now to avoid any legal fees. She ignored the timeshares threats to “ruin” her credit and still stopped any payments. They eventually agreed to take it back. She immediately signed and had their buyback documents notarized. The timeshare was no longer in her name.
Another timeshare owner (with a property in the Bahamas) named Peggy did the same thing. She hired an attorney. This attorney initially asked the timeshare to buy it back. When they refused, the attorney offered to just give it back. When that didn’t work the attorney advised Peggy to stop paying the $1500 annual maintenance fees. The timeshare company eventually relented and took the unit back.
Stopping Payments May Be Your Only Option
These two examples indicate what every timeshare owner who wants to unload their property has to deal with. They bought a product that has zero resale value. They get to a point where they would rather give it away than deal with any future payments. But the timeshare company refuses and threatens their credit report if timely payments are not made.
This is really a horrible situation to put someone in, all in the name of fun, relaxation, and vacation. No one can know what the future may hold. Finances, health, and circumstances change. To hold someone hostage under a contract for the rest of their life is absolutely ridiculous.
There are various ways to try and rid yourself of your timeshare. If you have tried everything to rid yourself of your timeshare with no luck, certain things can be done to protect your credit rating if your only option is to stop making payments, as discussed in this USA Today article.