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I think I may have been scammed.

Discussion in 'Buying, Selling & Renting Timeshares' started by brigala, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Grammarhero

    Grammarhero Official TUGBBS Rescission Master TUG Member

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    If you are not the legal target, you don’t need to pay an attorney to accompany you to the deposition. It will cost around $2,100 to do so (1 hr prep, 5 hr deposition, 1 hr debrief and analysis).

    If you feel you are the legal target (which would be a losing legal doctrine advanced by the resort), then you do need an attorney to accompany you to the deposition.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  2. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    I went through a nightmare when we purchased a lot on land at a Bluegreen development. The first lot sold at the new development was to a salesman, and it was one of the best lots. He offered it for sale about three years later and wanted us to meet him at a bank and he would sign a quit claim deed. We refused and ordered a title search. He was the owner but we discovered multiple liens on the property, failure to pay taxes, failure to pay maintenance fees. He owed more than we would pay. About three months later,we were notified the Liens were cleared up and we proceeded with the property purchase. from his proceeds, a check was written to bluegreen for over a thousand dollars of back maintenance fees. We Paid the fee thru the title company to bluegreen to transfer the property to our name.
    First small problem came when we got the property taxes, the salesman and bluegreen had signed a paper saying he had paid $40000 for the lot when he had only paid 20000. We were being assessed at way over what the lot was worth.
    But the big problem came several months later when we did not receive the maintenance bill. Bluegreen then said that he didn’t own the lot. They refused to recognize us as the owners, even though we had a deed in our name registered with the county and paperwork to prove he had been the owner and they had sold it to him.

    They had never cashed the two checks from the title agency, just put them in a drawer and ignored the transfer. They actually told the association president and the manager of the resort that we were stupid and didn’t do a title search when they had irrefutable proof that we did a title search. I am pretty sure that the salesman called the bluegreen office right after the sale and told them to put it in his father’s name.
    Eventually we worked it out, and got a grudging apology.
     
  3. sjsharkie

    sjsharkie TUG Member

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    This underscores the importance of a reliable, well-managed HOA. (I'm not sure what you mean when you say lot -- do you mean interval or a full 52-week usage lot? and was an estoppel ordered from bluegreen before closing? ...but that is not my point).

    As I have stated, title searches/insurance are rare because of the relatively small funds involved in a timeshare transfer. I also do what I call a poor man's title search when I buy resale to ensure that I can see no liens recorded on the timeshare interval I am purchasing from the seller -- it is not foolproof for sure, but if you have a well-managed HOA, they will provide you with an estoppel that will list any amounts in arrears including taxes if mfs include them. If they don't, you can (again a poor man's search) look up tax records most times for that APN to see if they are up to date.

    Title insurance won't cover you if there are no recorded liens for the back mfs/taxes that are owed. That is the responsibility of the closing agent (often times you since you are generally not using a closing agent as in a real estate purchase) to verify the estoppel and any back taxes that may not be recorded as a lien yet.

    Title insurance has its place -- for the amounts I am paying to buy resale, I am relying on a competent HOA that they have validated past transfers up to the current owner of record in their system. Again, things could go wrong but I think the risk is extremely remote for a well-run HOA.

    Glad you did it and it ultimately worked out for you in the end.

    ***DISCLAIMER*** I am not an attorney, and this should be considered conjecture and not legal advice.

    -ryan
     
  4. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    No I am talking about a subdivision with buildable lots. Not a timeshare, in fact no renting allowed. But bluegreen added to covenants that maintenance fee be paid to them. Fortunately they stopped running the board of the homeowners and the hoa would collect the fee and send to bluegreen, so new owners didn’t go through the hassle with bluegreen. Your conjecture is off the mark, because when I said lot, that is what I meant. Bluegreen did have many subdivisions before going solely vacation club. And many of the original buyers were able to turn in their bluegreen timeshare and got the price marked down equivalent to what they paid originally.
     
  5. sjsharkie

    sjsharkie TUG Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. When you said Bluegreen, I assumed timeshare.

    -ryan
     
  6. brigala

    brigala TUG Member

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    Update: I talked to the person who's acting as the resort manager - she is, if I understand correctly, apparently the chair of the HOA board filling in because they are managerless.

    According to her:

    The guy who sold me the timeshare was in fact the manager of the resort at the time he sold it to me, but quit just a few days later.

    She was very concerned about the fact that I paid the manager a few days before he signed the week over from the resort to himself, and also because the QCD from the previous owner to the resort hadn't been filed with the county until after I'd paid the manager. Somehow she seems to think this means the sale could be considered invalid. BUT - she says the resort is going to honor the sale and has us down as the owners.

    She does not want me to contact the guy I purchased from again. In fact she begged me not to. Apparently there's a whole lot of sh** with the situation. She seemed to think I should try to get my money back from PayPal but I pointed out there's no way to do that without getting him involved, and as far as I'm concerned, if the resort isn't going to contest the sale then I got what I paid for and it's not really my problem if he kept the money and ran. She hadn't thought of it that way but agreed.

    The QCDs are in order, from the previous owner to the resort, from the resort to the manager (and he had the authority to act as the resort's agent at that time) and the manager to me.

    Is there anything I should do to secure my situation legally? Maybe I should visit with a real estate lawyer once we actually get to Montana next week.
     
  7. andysnovel

    andysnovel TUG Member

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    I always opt for full title insurance, and a indep. 3rd party, arms length closing title company, worth the extra money to avoid messes like this, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure lol
     
  8. Grammarhero

    Grammarhero Official TUGBBS Rescission Master TUG Member

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    Yep. It’s lawyer time. Though I wouldn’t spend anything on an attorney beyond a consult. A retainer would suck up a lot of funds.

    The resort can always sue the hubby/wife pair or report them to the MT AG. Don’t be surprised if the manager goes back on her word that she will recognize you as the owner. Can you get something in writing? Though if the manager contests, it’s a losing argument since the manager was the resort’s agent.


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  9. Gypsy65

    Gypsy65 TUG Member

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    Maybe I missed something in this whole story
    But it seems as though someone sold the TS and that being the owners from let’s say a year ago correct?

    That person evidently was paid so maybe the funds this guy took from you simply passed through him or reimbursed him for what he paid them and maybe with a profit??

    If it didn’t come from the resort directly the why would they care where the money went and I would doubt they’d have any claim against it for they never owned it

    Again

    Been reading this story a little here and there so maybe I have it all wrong??
     
  10. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    I agree. Plus the acting manager questioned validity but doesn’t want it mentioned to the person who was the previous manager. Why not! And yes, get something in writing.
     
  11. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    I disagree. IMO there is no need to stir the pot further. Use your Week and while you are there have a casual talk with whoever is running the show at the Resort. My guess is that you will be satisfied that the Week is yours and that the issue is between the prior Manager and the Resort. Sometimes letting things play out is better than engaging an attorney and prolonging them...

    George
     
  12. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Not sure why, it sees the OP is getting what they paid for and the resort will honor their ownership interest in the week. What is there to fight for?
     
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  13. Grammarhero

    Grammarhero Official TUGBBS Rescission Master TUG Member

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    The reason why I said to consult (NOT retain) a MT attorney is that all choices come with legal consequences. Unless we are MT attorneys, NONE of us equipped to answer questions regarding choices. I’m a N.Y. (but not MT) attorney.

    If OP pulls back money via PayPal, she loses the TS. OP’s revoking the sale. I’m sure the TS manager underhandedly knew that, but not OP.

    If she does nothing, the resort supposedly honors the ownership, but there’s no written guarantee so far. Legally, I’m 90 percent sure the legal transfer is valid. But only a MT attorney can answer that.

    The resort is somehow claiming the sale is invalid by pointing out timing of QCD or transfers. At least by NY laws, said are valid if:
    1) offer by valid agent, with no mental or emotional incapacity;
    2) offer acceptance with no mental and emotional incapacity;
    3) consideration (ie money)
    My legal instincts say it’s a losing argument for resort to claim invalid sale, but only a MT attorney can tell the OP for sure.


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  14. sjsharkie

    sjsharkie TUG Member

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    Certainly your right to do so. However, in the OP's case, unless your closing agent was also the title agent, title insurance would do nothing to cover you. It is the closing agent's responsibility to verify that everything is proper in the closing of a real estate transaction -- the title insurance would cover past defects, but they are generally not responsible if the deed transfer goes wrong in closing (which happened here).

    For most, the price of title insurance on a timeshare is not worth the cost/benefit of the risk you are covering. For me personally, it would depend on pricing of the insurance (which varies by state and obviously your title company) vs the cost of the transaction. See my post on poor man's title searches previously -- the title insurance is doing the same thing you can do via public records; they are more skilled at it obviously and that would be the expertise (and coverage) you are paying for.

    -ryan
     
  15. brigala

    brigala TUG Member

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    So, the story the resort's agent is giving me now is that the previous owner for whatever reason deeded the week back to the resort in December. She said probably the owner paid the resort a small fee to do so. I don't know why she didn't just try to sell it on eBay or something, because these are in demand, but whatever. The notarized QCD from the previous owner then sat in the drawer until March, not having been filed with the county, until the previous manager decided he was quitting. That's the point at which I contacted the resort and asked if they had anything for sale. I was told about the week, I sent the money to the manager via pay pal, and a couple days later the manager, acting as the resort's agent, signed the week over to himself with a QCD and had that notarized, and then in a separate transaction later that day he signed it over to me with another QCD. After all that was done, he took all three QCDs down to the county and had them filed. Approximately a week later, he quit his job and he kept the money (apparently).

    Not that it matters to me legally, but the previous owner did tell me (later) the reason he quit was because the resort ran out of money and he was not collecting a paycheck. I'm not going to even get into the can of worms of whether he had a right to keep that money to reimburse himself for back pay. Not my circus, not my monkeys; but I may very well run for the HOA board and see if I can help get things straightened out. If I'd known this before I bought in, it absolutely would have made me think twice; but hopefully a new manager will help straighten things out.
     
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  16. TheTimeTraveler

    TheTimeTraveler TUG Member

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    Want some free advice from Montana?

    Detail the entire situation on paper and send it to the Montana Attorney General and see if they are willing to provide an opinion on the legality of the entire transaction. Be sure not to omit anything.

    I believe the AG's office will be willing to provide you an opinion because the county (a State Agency) did the recording.

    If the transaction wasn't legal then they will scuttle it and you can make your strategic moves from that point forward.

    Keep us posted and wishing you the very best with this!





    .
     
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  17. Grammarhero

    Grammarhero Official TUGBBS Rescission Master TUG Member

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    That’s for the update. I’m about 95 percent sure that the sale is valid now, based on general legal insight. Again, only a MT attorney can tell you for sure. If you can get in writing that you are the new owner with a valid sale, then you wouldn’t need a MT attorney.
     
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  18. Grammarhero

    Grammarhero Official TUGBBS Rescission Master TUG Member

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    You can also leverage this. Tell the manager if you don’t get in writing within a week that you are the legal TS owner with a valid sale, you will contact the MT AG.
     
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  19. brigala

    brigala TUG Member

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    I don't think I will have any trouble getting that in writing from the resort, but if they hesitate on that I will definitely contact an attorney. I may contact one anyway for peace of mind.
     
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  20. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    I'll give my opinion one last time. If the Resort says the Week is OP's and he is able to use it, he should let it die. There is nothing to be gained and possibly something to lose by stirring this up unnecessarily. OP does not need to unnecessarily insert himself in a dispute between the Week's prior Owner, the Ex-Manager and the Resort. Let it be their problem...

    George
     
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  21. Grammarhero

    Grammarhero Official TUGBBS Rescission Master TUG Member

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    US: AZ, CA, DC, DE, IL, IN, KY, MD, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV
    On second thought I would say:
    1) ask for written confirmation of valid ownership and, possibly, sale. Let the resort know that if the resort does not send such in writing, you will go to MT AG. We Tuggers distrust what TS managers verbally say, which is generally not enforceable in court.
    2) once you get written confirmation, you can relax. No need to go to MT AG or MT attorney.
    3) if the resort still does not send such written confirmation, get an one-hour consult (NOT a retainer) with a MT attorney, in addition to MT AG.


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  22. Grammarhero

    Grammarhero Official TUGBBS Rescission Master TUG Member

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    But how many times have TS owners trusted what TS managers, salesmen, or saleswomen verbally say and gotten burned? OP is a she.


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