Third-Party Timeshare Exit Company
Many timeshare owners turned to third-party timeshare exit companies to negotiate their contract cancellations only to be left frustrated and desperate. In the past two years, BBB St. Louis has issued news releases warning consumers about timeshare exit firms. This study by the BBB takes a more in-depth look at timeshare exit companies – what they claim and what many of their clients say about them. Their report details problems in the timeshare exit industry and looks at possible solutions. Below are excerpts from the full report on the The Timeshare Exit Trap.
The Timeshare Exit Trap
- Some timeshare exit companies have played on owners’ concern that timeshare ownership – and associated financial responsibilities – will transfer to their children after their deaths, burdening family members with expenses for vacation properties they don’t want and can’t afford.
- In past years, timeshare owners often were victimized by scam artists who set up bogus “companies” promising to sell or transfer their timeshares for fees usually ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.
- More recently, timeshare owners have been turning to what appear – on the surface, at least – to be more legitimate, traditional businesses offering to rid them of their timeshares in exchange for upfront payments usually totaling between $3,000 and $4,000 per property.
Timeshare Exit Study Conclusion
Consumers across the U.S., many of them senior citizens and many on fixed incomes, are falling victim to timeshare exit companies at an alarming rate. Many of these companies either do not have the expertise or the ethics to follow through with promises to extricate their clients from often burdensome lifetime timeshare contracts.
Timeshare Exit Study Recommendations
- Any consumer considering a timeshare purchase for the first time should understand that they are buying real estate that is likely to depreciate, often dramatically, almost immediately upon purchase.
- Listing timeshare properties for sale, either on your own or through third-party marketing companies, has had mixed success.
- If you do decide to contract with a third party for timeshare relief, beware of making upfront payments for the work.
- BBB warns that written guarantees from timeshare exit companies may not offer the protection consumers expect.
- In addition, BBB suggests that consumers be wary of offers to trade out their timeshares for vacation clubs or programs with low costs.
- BBB also strongly encourages anyone paying for timeshare exit work pay by credit card.
BBB urges federal authorities to look at whether timeshare exit companies should be treated similarly to businesses claiming to specialize in credit and student debt relief. Similar regulations to restrict upfront fees for timeshare exit work would appear to make it more difficult for inept or unscrupulous timeshare exit firms to collect large sums of money from clients without doing promised work.
Full Article By Bill Smith, Investigator, BBB.
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