Why hire a Timeshare Attorney?
If you’re considering hiring a timeshare attorney, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, timeshare attorneys practice in a niche area of real estate law. As a result, they are often very well-versed in the ins and outs of timeshare contracts and can help you navigate the complexities of these agreements.
Second, you’ll want to make sure that the attorney you hire is experienced in all forms of vacation ownership, including timeshare, vacation membership programs, and travel clubs. An attorney who is not familiar with the various types of vacation ownership may not be able to provide you with the level of service and expertise you need.
Third, while many timeshare attorneys offer free initial consultations, you’ll want to be aware that some may charge an hourly rate for their services. Make sure to ask about this upfront so there are no surprises later on. Other forms of legal services are generally fixed-fee or contingency fee agreements depending on the issues related to your specific timeshare matter.
Finally, keep in mind that hiring a timeshare attorney is not a guarantee that you will be able to get out of your timeshare contract. While an attorney can review your contract and advise you of your legal options, ultimately it is up to you to decide whether or not to continue with your timeshare ownership.
Timeshare agreements are complicated and full of legal jargon, making it difficult for the average person to understand their legal options. A timeshare attorney must review statutes that control the interpretation of these contracts as well as the contract itself to provide you with an accurate analysis.
When it comes to the various legal matters concerning a contract dispute, a licensed timeshare attorney is a consumer’s best bet over timeshare exit companies who often make bogus claims, shadowy scams, and backroom deals. The steady hand of a legal professional is an invaluable asset to a timeshare owner.
When a consumer signs on the dotted line with a developer, they enter into a legally binding agreement. Though they may not like it, they have entered into a contract that is completely enforceable and which will, indeed, be enforced, unless fraud can be proven. It’s a legal question, a legal issue – and so you’ll need a lawyer when it comes time to dispute, exit, or nullify that legal contract after the rescission period has ended.
In addition to legal knowledge of the timeshare industry, access to various negotiations and remedies, retaining an attorney offers other advantages to consumers seeking relief, which a private organization or third party exit company simply cannot provide. What do we mean?
A Timeshare Lawyer Can Help You Exit Your Timeshare
If you’re looking for a way to exit your timeshare contract, a timeshare lawyer can help. Legal representation goes a long way toward protecting consumers first from debt collectors who may be dispatched to settle these obligations. A timeshare attorney can help consumers seek to exit their timeshare obligations due to high maintenance fees, interest payments, or other associated costs.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (or FDCPA) stipulates that third-party debt collectors are legally prohibited from directly contacting a debtor (such as a timeshare owner withholding a resort payment) if that debtor has retained an attorney. Instead, the debt collector must contact your attorney; they may only continue to contact you, the consumer, if granted permission, or if the “attorney fails to respond to the debt collector within a reasonable period of time,” as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) explains.
This protection is a huge asset for a number of reasons! First, it can go a long way toward ensuring your peace of mind and financial stability in the short term. Even more importantly? Historically, outside debt collectors have been valuable tools for resorts and developers; if these agents are repeatedly hamstrung by the lawyer’s representation and return the file back to the resort, the consumer suddenly has the benefit of leverage for a attorneys to begin a walkaway negotiation.
A Timeshare Attorney Has Leverage
And on the subject of leverage, it’s important to remember that the ability to pursue litigation – offered only by legal professionals, and not by private or third-party exit companies – is a big deal. An attorney can also provide vital services and guidance if you’re dealing with a developer who is not willing to let you out of your contract. In many cases, developers are only willing to negotiate a timeshare exit with owners who have an attorney representing them. Rightly so, developers outright refuse to recognize any communications of an exit company as they have no legal authority. While class-action lawsuits against the timeshare industry, in particular, don’t always have the impact that consumer protection advocates would like, the option of litigation is a powerful one; at the very least, as our Michael Finn wrote recently, litigation “will continue to serve notice on the timeshare development community that someone out there is paying very close attention to them, and that can’t be a bad thing!”
As Michael Finn noted, Finn Law Group…
“… has successfully initiated multiple pieces of class action litigation against timeshare resort developers. In one concluded case, over eleven thousand former timeshare owners saw foreclosure entries on their credit reports deleted, and another over two thousand owners received extended vacations for no cost.”
The most important thing to remember? It is only a licensed timeshare lawyer who can offer you, the consumer, the various powers of legal protection, and the avenue to pursue litigation, should there be a viable case. Private companies, in the end, care for their bottom line; while an attorney has a fiduciary, a legal obligation, to put their client’s interests first. An ethical, experienced lawyer’s duty is to pursue justice for their clients, and their clients alone.
If you’re considering hiring a timeshare attorney, contact our office to schedule a free consultation. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and advise you of your legal options.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in consumer timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.