The timeshare thing is confusing. You came to the right place for advice.
When you purchased your Pacific Monarch you were scammed. You gave your money to Pacific Monarch and got an ownership in Monarch Grand Vacation club. Pacific Monarch held all the assets. Monarch vacation Club held all the liabilities. Pacific Monarch filed for bankruptcy on October 24, 2011 with an agreement in place that Diamond Resorts International would take over the assets and be able to scam you some more but the agreement has not been approved by the court. Monarch vacation club did not file for bankruptcy, since they have no assets and no liability, just people like you, owners, who have deep pockets and are willing to pay for vacations thinking they own something. The California court has not approved the bankruptcy yet, and there are objections filed to the bankruptcy, none on your behalf. The main assets in the bankruptcy filing are the scam headquarters building in Laguna Hills and the Cabo Azul resort. Resorts Finance America, the main lender to Pacific Monarch is in on the deal with Diamond for ¼ billion dollars, but other banks that hold leans against the club properties are objecting to the deal. They also want to get in on the deal. Nobody is representing you and your interests in the bankruptcy.
Since you have proven to be susceptible to being scammed, other scammers are, and will be coming after you. You already got an email from one of them. You will not get your money back. There is nothing to get back. If you enjoy a particular resort, and you see value in your vacation there, continue using the club just as you have done before. Since you pay dues in advance for 2 years, try to use as many points up front because you never know when the next scam will come and try to separate you from your ownership. If the Diamond deal gets approved, Diamond will try to scam you again, so be ready and hold on to your wallet. Try to put a monetary value on your vacation experience so that you are ready to walk away when you have a choice to either walk away or pay up.
Apparently, not a happy timeshare owner or, someone who doesn't understand timeshare past the fact that developers, who have high overhead, charge a premium price for something that can be purchased on the resale market for less than $1,000. It's not a particularly helpful post to someone who already owns a timeshare and is concerned about their rights as an owner. Instead, it's more or less an op/ed piece.
This opinion would extend to all timeshare developers. They all have something to sell you. If they didn't sell retail, there would be no resale.
DRI has it's product that is called THE Club. Owners with PM won't see any changes to their ownership. They will, of course, be offered the opportunity to join DRI's internal exchange system to expand their options for internal exchanges. Some will find this beneficial to their needs, others will be able to pass and not see anything taken away from them.
As an example I'll offer up our personal experience:
We were owners with Polo Towers. Polo Towers was a stand alone resort that had no affiliation with any other system. Our options were to use our owned weeks or exchange through I.I. Not bad options for most people and we were getting effective usage from those weeks.
When DRI took over Sunterra, they offered us the option to join what use to be Sunoptions, now called THE Club. There was a price of admission. We could either purchase 5,000 additional points in the system or, pay a one time joiner fee of $2,995 (we paid the joiner fee). This allowed us access to internal exchanges through THE Club, gave us a corporate account with I.I., which some believe has stronger trade value and gave us options to use our timeshare we didn't have before like rental cars, American Airlines vouchers, use points to offset MF's, turned our fixed week into the equivilent of a floating week, allowed for a check in day any day of the week at most resorts, allowed for internal exchanges without any additional fee's, allowed for resort stays as few as 2 nights or as many nights as we had value to reserve et......
For us, the "scam" paid for itself in approx. 3 years. Now we're actaully spending LESS money and getting the same benefits PLUS a few more we didn't have to begin with. This worked for us, it wouldn't work for everyone. It largely depends on how someone uses the product they own. In our case, we were making a lot of exchanges, locking off our timeshares and even using the studio portions to reserve weeks but only staying 3 or 4 nights. When I did the cost comparison between what we had originally and what we were being offered, I was leaving money on the table under the orignal plan.
So, was I "scammed" out of an additional $2,995? According to you that answer would be yes. However, at this point in time, I've saved far more than the original buy in and I continued to save everytime I use THE Club to make exchanges.
Timeshare isn't a scam. It is a purchase. Many people feel scammed only because they made a very large purchase while they were uninformed. So is a scam when you spend $50,000 without thinking about what you buy or is it individual foolishness?
A scam, IMHO, is when one seperates you from your money under false pretences and doesn't provide the services they sold you. Trying to scare PM owners by using the word bankruptcy and telling them their ownerships are worthless is a lie and it's a scam. Timeshare developers have a contract and are obligated to provide what they offer and, you have a cooling off period where, if you're smart, you read what you've signed and if you don't like it, you can cancel and get your money back. The people trying to scare PM owners will just take their money and never be heard from again, providing absolutely NO value but emptying their pocket books......all under the pretence of a bald face lie. Now that's a scam!