Bob Massi is a legal analyst for Fox News Channel, and is known to millions as the “Property Man” of Fox Business Network. When he speaks, he’s got a massive audience ready to listen – and so we applaud Mr. Massi for turning his attention to “the hidden truth about timeshares” in a recent piece.
Available here, Massi’s article acts as a decent entryway for consumers curious about timeshares, as the analyst runs down some of the key factors that often turn “the perfect vacation solution” into “an unpredictable and frustrating exercise.”
So, what does he single out?
For one, Massi points to the confounding nature of timeshare points. As he illustrates through the story of retirees Don and Irene, it is not and all uncommon for weeks or deeded interests to be converted to a fixed points system; as Massi notes:
“while you can’t make a week shorter than seven days, fixed timeshare points can lose value… you may find yourself pumping more and more money into your vacation account for the exact same vacation.”
The author also wisely notes that “once you’ve bought, you’re in for life,” as timeshare interests can be notoriously difficult to exit, thanks to an anemic resale market that is notoriously fraught with scam artists looking to make a quick dollar on the backs of frustrated owners.
Because of these factors, Massi is right, in our opinion, to point out that “a timeshare isn’t an investment property,” and that “if you are looking to sell your timeshare,” you should “be prepared to take a loss on your investment.” Indeed, in our experience, it is not uncommon to see timeshares listed on eBay or Craigslist for as little as $1, with the seller even offering to pay any closing or transfer fees.
We’ll let the writer of the article have the last word:
“Like any major purchase, you’ll be happier if you do your research up front, hold out for the exact type of resort you want, and have an exit plan if you find that the timeshare lifestyle no longer works for you or your family.”
In many cases, that “exit plan” may include consulting with an attorney specializing in negotiating with resorts and developers on behalf of consumers who feel trapped by the dense language – and rising fees – associated with their timeshare obligation.
That’s where we come in.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in 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.