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Some help needed

Discussion in 'Mexico Timesharing' started by Peter R Leighten, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Peter R Leighten

    Peter R Leighten TUG Member

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    My wife and I recently (less than month/more than 5 day rescission period) were bullied and bamboozled into an expensive upgrade at Vidanta PV Grand Luxx Residence unit. Of course there were MANY misrepresentations/lies. We signed credit card promissory notes totaling over $46,000 as a down payment, plus traded in our paid in full Grand Entertainment Collection time share. Vida also supposedly gave us "equity credit" for our other two timeshares.

    We failed to qualify for a US bank equity loan large enough to pay for the balance we owe (and could never afford loan payments from the resort at 11.99%!) So, at this point, we're not seeking a refund (research indicates impossible to obtain). Instead, we are e-mailing Salesperson, Member Services guy and Customer Support asking them to understand our dilemma (we purchased something we can't afford to pay or obtain loan for). We propose they
    keep everything they already have (down payment, plus previous fully paid Grand Collection), and release us from contract. Will they be likely to accept this and not bother with other efforts to squeeze more out of us? Our only other alternatives are to default and face the consequences, or strip our entire IRA's to pay the balance and be broke for the rest of our lives. We are both seniors, I have health issues, my wife is retired, and I don't have many years of (self employed) work left.

    What the default consequences would be varies depending on what you read: Threats. Collection agency. Ruin of credit. Foreclosure (on what, contract?). Court costs. Pursue breach of contract in U.S. court and obtain lien against your property. Are any or all of these true/likely? If they are going to cancel contract through foreclosure, why pursue when we will voluntarily turn it over?

    Finally, is the "Timeshare Resale Market" legitimate? This is the company Vidanta works with when they give equity for your existing timeshares against your upgrade or purchase. The contract with the resale market states that for the one time up-front fee of $1879 each (!!) they will rid you of the timeshares. We have read this is a scam and you end up still owning the timeshares and responsible for the maintenance fees.

    PLEASE ADVISE ON ANY OF THE ABOVE! We are losing sleep and incredibly stressed.
     
  2. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    First - DO NOT GET AN EQUITY LOAN FOR A TIMESHARE
    Second - Companies charging an upfront fee to get rid of your T/S are scams.
    Third - Do not strip your IRAs to pay for a TS

    Push comes to shove, worst case scenario, you can usually negotiate for pennies on the dollar IF you have to settle.

    If you decide to default, don't let any summons go unchallenged. Do you have a family lawyer? Find one that is knowledgable in defending debt cases, not a "we'll solve your credit problems 'shop'".

    I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Please do your own research.
     
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  3. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    This is awful
     
  4. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    Agreed

    The biggest issues is dealing with the CC company. Can you reveal which bank(s) are involved? You might want to net a new account which affords you more anonymity.
     
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  5. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It's unlikely they will take you upon your 'offer'. They will also bluster you with collection threats, but since there is no deed there is nothing to foreclose. Since you are close to the end of your career, consider how important a high credit score is to you going forward. If you basically tell them to pound sand. Block their access to your accounts, and concentrate on maxxing out your retirement assets instead of paying off a timeshare that has exactly ZERO value, won't you be better off? They might come back with some counter offer for you to pay even more to get out. Remember, 'pound sand'. Tell them they are getting nothing. Zilch. Nada. Any negative report to a credit agency can be answered, and I suspect your past good credit carries more weight than a Mexican timeshare. I suspect a default will make a minor ~100ish point dip that will rebound over time.

    Good luck. Don't sign up for any 'get you out' outfits. They only want your money and will basically do the above.

    Jim
     
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  6. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    Agreed

    The concern would be if the promissory note is with a national bank with aggressive collection policies. Citibank and Capital One (What's in your wallet - their hand) come to mind, they can be bulldogs.
     
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  7. Peter R Leighten

    Peter R Leighten TUG Member

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    Thank you for these informative replies DrQ and Passepartout. It helps a lot. We intend to pay the credit card companies, so that's not a concern. What do you mean by block their access to our accounts? How do they have access? Do you mean bank and credit card accounts?
     
  8. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    You're welcome. I was referring to them having access to your bank and/or cc accounts so they can simply help themselves to your money. They are MUCH more apt to want to negotiate about closing the account if they can't get your money. If they are being paid, they have no incentive to end your relationship with you.

    Oh, Welcome to TUG. Thanks for being a Member.

    Jim
     
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  9. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    If they have any of your banking information, you need to get the account numbers changed.
     
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  10. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    First - Try working very hard with Vidanta Member Services - ask for your Grand Entertainment Collection back
    and perhaps some forfeiting of a modest deposit amount .( if some was already billed to a card )
    Tell them you really want to be a happy Vidanta owner & misunderstandings (ie ) - misrepresentations & lies caused this mistake .etc.
    Be polite & be firm.

    Tell the credit card their were misrepresentations & try to cancel the card etc

    There is a lot of info in the TUG Mexican forum about the ability to collect on RTU Mexican timeshares.
     
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  11. Peter R Leighten

    Peter R Leighten TUG Member

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    What do you mean by "don't let any summons go unchallenged."? Would this be in a US court or Mexico court? By "unchallenged" is just a written response or what? When needed, we will seek legal help.
     
  12. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Peter, In all the years I've been sort of keeping a watch on potential repercussions of defaulting on Mexican timeshares, I can't recall anyone coming back and saying that they've been summoned to any kind of legal proceeding or had any judgement levied against them.

    That said, I agree with the poster above to get with Member Services. They have great leeway in resolving issues- including the ability of modifying contracts. That said, they are still an arm of Vidanta and want to retain you as a customer, so don't expect cancellation, refund, or answering to any of the falsehoods you took from the 'bamboozling' sales presentation.

    We wish you well.

    Jim
     
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  13. Papa P

    Papa P TUG Member

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    We feel so grateful to you for this honest response. We just sent off our letter to Vidanta customer service stating the facts and we'll see what happens next. You've lifted such a wait off of us, with some hope now for avoiding such a financial catastrophe. My wife is sending prayers of thanks to you and for you. There are other threads in the Mexico timeshare section that say Vidanta has so many lawyers and such "airtight" contracts that it is like "shoveling sand on the beach with the incoming tide" or "standing naked in front of a machine gun!" That is quite scary to read and I wonder why it is still up if it's not true? That is where the first mention of Breach of Contract or being sued is, so hearing from you that this doesn't happen in real life is such a relief. We don't know where this will lead, but again Jim, thank you very much because there is some hope now.
     
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  14. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    When you first talk to Vidanta Member services ,make sure you let them know that you plan to send a copy of all correspondence to Profeco , the Mexican Government Agency that oversees Timeshares . While Profeco has limited power ; Mexican Timeshare Developers prefer not to have the bad PR and if/when Vidanta Member services and you come to a resolution , I am sure Vidanta will want you to send a confirmation of your resolution acceptance to Profeco .
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  15. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    You could be the squeaky wheel on social media; here, redweek, twitter, anywhere else you can post about your situation. Vidanta monitors their reputation and has been known to resolve the problem somehow, with the complaining individuals then deleting the posts and boring that they had reached an agreement. I believe there was a fellow on here that used the username Russel Sun or something like that who was in that situation a year or two ago.
     
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  16. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Also, whatever you signed re: trading in your other timeshares was not a contract, but instead just smoke and mirrors. Lots of posts about those here.
     
  17. Peter R Leighten

    Peter R Leighten TUG Member

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    We wrote yesterday and the sales rep called, plus a letter of acknowledgement was sent from member services. We will speak with the rep later today....
     
  18. pittle

    pittle Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    You have received good advice and started the process. Quite a few people have been able to rescind their contract within the first month and I hope you are one. Vidanta has wonderful resorts, but the sales staff is brutal. Customer Services is more helpful, but you still need to hang in there and stress that you have discovered that you cannot afford it.

    Once you have spent the better part of a day being convinced that you are buying your own piece of Paradise with all kinds of bells and whistles, you are worn out. BUT, a lesson for everyone is to READ that contract before you leave and make sure every single thing they promised you is in there. My husband and I each go over ours in great detail and make notes about what was not in there that we were told would be. We go back over to the office and have it added the next day. We have more than one addendum on our most recent contract. We have learned that what is in writing is what you have and they will honor it.
     
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  19. Peter R Leighten

    Peter R Leighten TUG Member

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    It seems appropriate that I let you know that our problem was resolved by member services in a way that worked for everyone. We were so upset and scared by what "could" be done to us, but this was settled in a very friendly manner. We knew we couldn't get out of the credit card down payment, as we'd signed promissory notes for them, but it was the huge contract that we couldn't afford to go on with. We were very clear, very polite and brief when we wrote our email to Vidanta stating we couldn't proceed and hadn't gotten a loan. They decided to trade us a paid in full contract, for a lesser unit, but still an upgrade for us and that was basically that. We were willing to walk away with nothing at all, but they wanted us to have something for our money and just today that was all settled. All the same benefits were retained, no maintenance fees, just user fees when/if we decide to ever go back. What a relief! It was just a financial disaster before, but is now quite doable and not such a mental and emotional strain on us. I was surprised, pleasantly, that Vida was as willing to work with us as they were. Even though they are notorious for high pressure sales practices, they were really nice to work with in finding a solution for our problem. Now we owe them nothing at all and believe me, that's a world of difference to us.
     
  20. pittle

    pittle Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Thank you so much for letting us know! I am glad to know that something has worked out for you and everything is not lost. The Customer Services Department is not as intimidating as the Sales Department. While the Grand Luxxe is nice, so are the other levels. We have owned at most of them and loved many vacations over the years - actually our only disappointments have been when we went as exchangers! When we have gone as owners, we have been treated extremely well. :)
     
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  21. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    The reason Vidanta helped you is because it helped them more. Because Vidanta is a Mexican corporation they have no leverage on forcing payment for a membership. Credit scores are not reported internationally so they couldn't report the non-payment to the USA. They couldn't take you to court in the USA for a debt originating in Mexico so they wouldn't be able to get a judgement in the USA.

    I'm glad you worked it out !!!

    https://www.creditsesame.com/question/how-does-credit-score-in-other-countries-work/



    Bill
     
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  22. Papa P

    Papa P TUG Member

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    Yes, we realize that this still cut Vidanta's way, but we weren't left with an impossible debt or with nothing at all, so that seems like a win-win given the circumstances, except that we wish we'd never ever attended the sales pitch in the first place. Still, now there is peace in our lives again and we aren't in total jeopardy of losing our mental and emotional health or our home.
     
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  23. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Please Please : do go back and get use from what you paid for .

    Vidanta runs top notch resorts at all brand levels . Go and enjoy a vacation .
    The "hotel " management & staff are separate (from Vida sales)
    They just want you to have an enjoyable vacation that makes you want to return again .

    ( skip all presentations / no matter how nice the -"sign you up person " is / and no matter
    what they say about it being -"just a member update " etc )

    Very glad it worked out & you found TUG .
    Please visit TUG again as well .
     
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