Imagine taking a vacation at a lovely resort. The waves gently lap at your toes, the sunsets are magnificent to watch, and the alluring sea is always nearby for a quick dip. Everything is peaceful and calm, but best of all, you need not lift a finger to set things in order. Someone does it for you and it’s just pure bliss.
You and your family fell so deeply in love with this place and the lifestyle. You wish to stay forever. You find out it’s possible. Here! Just invest in some timeshare from the resort. Voila! You own a property in your dream spot where someone looks after you, your family, and your guests.
It sounds logical to invest in this dreamy place at first. After seeing the nth maintenance bill and the increasing ongoing costs under the familiar glaring lights of your home, you realize your timeshare is bleeding you dry.
You open your spreadsheet, do number crunching, and then find your timeshare is not actually an investment. Investments offer earnings, but instead of earning from your timeshare, you’re losing money.
People rarely read the fine print when investing. They usually rely on the information provided by consultants, friends, colleagues, or family members. Buying timeshares are usually spur-of-the-moment decisions. Before jumping in, it’s important to ask yourself these questions. How many times will you visit this resort? Is this a place you want to visit every year (or more frequently)? Are you financially stable enough to pay for this luxury? Do you have a back up plan if tragedy occurs in your life and you don’t have the same income in the future?
Timeshares are not investments, they depreciate over time. Consider your long-term goals and financial capability first before buying to the debt that comes with a timeshare contract.
What happens when you don’t read the terms and conditions? You get misinformed. Were you aware timeshare contracts last for 10 years (or more)? Considering all the computations before plunking down your money, may have avoided any regrets later on. Buyers run financially short because they did not expect to be paying continuously for 10 years for a vacation space they rarely visit.
Not everyone can afford to pay for the maintenance fees of properties for the rest of their lives and beyond. Sometimes, life throws a curveball and your plans get shattered. Calamities, sickness, accidents, and even relationships, (or the demise of one), happen and can definitely disrupt your plans.
Not sure what to do when you’re caught between a rock and hard place with your timeshare contract? Here are a couple of tips from the experts.
Negotiate with the developers or resort managers. Try to talk with the developers or the managers first. Sometimes timeshare holders negotiate with the developers to either sell their shares back to the company or come up with a better deal. Reselling your shares back to the developer is possible, but it doesn’t happen all the time. One case even mentioned that they paid for one to two years’ worth of maintenance bills while the company searched for a new buyer. If you do walk this path, you’ll need a little bit of luck, and a lot of patience.
Resell your shares yourself. Reselling timeshares on your own is also possible. You can either tap groups of timeshare owners or find reselling companies who can help you. A word of caution: when dealing with groups or companies you need to be extra careful. A lot of reports have shown how resellers were scammed by the company they approached. If you do re-sell, just be sure you have a legal counsel in tow.
But what if you’ve tried to do these already, and you still came home frustrated and worse, scammed? What do you do?
First, never ever walk away. You may want to give up and just walk away from your problem. Never do this. Walking away will result in penalties, a potential lawsuit, and harassing calls from creditors. Your credit rating will also go down if you ignore your bills. Remember your next of kin will inherit both your assets and liabilities. You may get away with avoiding this responsibility in your lifetime, but your successors will definitely pay for this mistake.
Find a consumer expert or timeshare specialist. Unknown to some, a thriving industry specifically committed to helping time sharer owners end their contracts or find remediation that champions consumers is slowly growing. Israel (Izzy) Sanchez Jr., cofounder of Primo Management Group, Inc. (PMG) notes the value of the timeshare exit strategy they provide, stating: “They hire us for relief. For a small fee, we eliminate a monthly debt and obligation that continues for the contract period (most commonly 10 years) and annual maintenance fees that continue in perpetuity.”
PMG has been serving consumers since 2015. Consumer reviews praise the team for stellar results. What sets them apart is their high regard and adherence to transparency and integrity, ethics, while guaranteeing to rid consumers of timeshare burdens.
In cases like this, it is always important to heed the counsel of reliable consultants. To avoid any problems like this in the future, remember to do prior research on things you want to spend your money on. Never let your emotions get the best of you when deciding high ticket items such as a timeshare. Never forget that it is always better to err on the side of caution. However, if you get stuck, know there’s timeshare exit help.