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[ 2012 ] Fairmont / Sunchaser / Northwynd official thread with lawsuit info!

htusa2002

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HI-does anyone know what the new program they are launching for the old time owners at Fairmont/Sunchaser villas for 2013? The woman at office says they will be doing some new program for owners that have been there a while right away?:)
 

spirits

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Hmmmmm

Do not own at Fairmount but everytime I get a new and improved program at work it either costs me more time and effort or it costs me money out of my pocket. This does not sound good either....good luck owners, I hope I am wrong.:D





EDITED BY MODERATOR
SINCE THIS POST AS OF JULY 2014 IS OVER 64 PAGES AND 1600 POSTS HERE IS THE BACKROUND
sunchasertimeshareowners.com/ said:
Background
Sunchaser Villas Timeshare

From the early 1990’s through to December 2012 approximately 15,500 people invested over $200 million to purchase timeshare interests in the Sunchaser timeshare resort in Fairmont, BC. In early 2009 the original developer of the resort became subject to proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”). As a result, the original Developer’s interest in the Sunchaser Resort was transferred to the Northwynd Resort Properties Ltd. (“Northwynd”) group of companies. One of Northwynd’s subsidiaries, Northmont Resort Properties Ltd. (“Northmont”) took over as the Developer of the Resort. Another subsidiary, Resort Villa Management Ltd. (“RVM”), took over as Property Manager of the Resort.

Prior to 2009 each of the timeshare interests was held as a forty (40) year lease allowing the holder to use the Resort facilities for a one week period providing they pay a prorated share of the annual operating costs and contribute to a reserve for replacement of furniture and fixtures. The timeshare “owners” were really lessees; the Developer acted as landlord and owned the residual interests and would have clear title to the Resort properties when the leases ended.

During the CCAA proceedings, a new program was introduced to encourage the timeshare owners to pay a substantial additional fee to join the RCI points program and extend their contracts in perpetuity. We estimate less than 1/3 of the owners chose this option; those that did have subsequently discovered that this conversion contract made them “co-owners” and also included a clause that Northmont interprets to mean they are responsible for a share of the capital improvements that may be required.

Documents that have been submitted to court proceedings to date confirm that at the time Northmont became involved with the Resort, they were aware of various issues of deferred maintenance at the Resort and that the Replacement Reserve had been depleted. We have now discovered that during the period from mid 2010 to December 2012, Northmont was spending monies from the Resort funds to investigate and prepare plans for a major refurbishment and upgrade for the Resort. The annual maintenance fees increased by over 22% from January 2010 to January 2013. During this period, none of the annual reports to the timeshare investors provided details re these plans and no financial statements were released to the timeshare investors. Initial disclosure of these plans to most timeshare owners came in January 2013 at which time Northmont indicated all timeshare holders (including those who were only leaseholders) would be invoiced for the full cost of the multi-year renovation plan. Further details of the plans were not provided until late April 2013 when most timeshare owners received invoices of approximately $4,000 for each annual timeshare week they held – $2,000 in each of 2013 and 2014. Those owners were also advised they could, as an alternative, surrender their rights under their timeshare contracts by paying a fee of approximately $3,000 in addition to all of the monies they had paid to date. Full details of this renovation plan have still not been made available to timeshare owners, despite ongoing and repeated requests by owners desperate to understand what is actually being done at the Resort and how it is in their best interests.

An association for the timeshare owners had never been formed despite repeated promises from the Developer to do so. Through the use of social media, some of the owners were able to contact each other and gradually organized to challenge the actions by Northmont and its associates and agents.

In April 2013, Northmont and the Resort Trustee filed a Petition in the BC Supreme Court seeking approval to unilaterally alter all the timeshare contracts at the Resort and give effect to its plans for the Resort. Approximately 800 of the timeshare owners filed responses to the Petition or retained one of several law firms to represent them in the proceedings. During the series of case planning conferences, the Court directed that a Special Case process would be used to address some issues, but there would be no consideration of the timeshare owners’ argument that Northmont had breached fundamental terms of the timeshare contracts. In November 2013, a decision was released that supported Northmont’s decision to invoice all timeshare owners for all the renovation costs.

The recent BC Court of Appeal decision has overturned the November decision and recognized that the “validity and enforceability of the Agreements was in issue” and that the timeshare owners had been required to proceed “without having had an opportunity to contest the enforceability of the underlying Agreements”. It further concluded that the lower court proceeding “failed to give proper effect to…the rights of the time share Owners. This proceeding did not favour access to justice – it precluded it.”

We believe that all of the timeshare owners who signed contracts for specific term leasehold interests have no responsibility for the cost of capital improvements at the Resort, and that even the timeshare owners who have signed contracts that include the term “capital improvements” are insulated from paying for these improvements as the Developer, by his actions, has breached fundamental terms of the timeshare contracts.

We believe that Northmont and its associated companies have failed to “manage and maintain the Resort in a prudent and workmanlike manner” as they are required to do pursuant to the timeshare contracts. We contend that:

1) The Property Manager has failed to carry out required maintenance activities at the Resort and allowed it to go into a state of disrepair even though the annual budgets provided adequate funds for this maintenance.

2) The Developer failed to construct certain buildings to acceptable standards and used substandard materials in construction. The previous Developer recognized this obligation and completed certain repairs at its cost. Northmont has failed to carry out their cost obligations, even though our understanding is that they were directed to do so as part of the CCAA proceedings.

3) The Developer has failed to provide proper accounting for its proportionate share of the maintenance fees for units it controls.

4) The Developer and Property Manager have failed to provide a full accounting for monies paid from Resort funds to the associated companies, thus failing to provide assurance to the timeshare owners that they are receiving proper value for monies paid.

5) Portions of the Resort are registered as a separate Strata Plan (Riverview Building 8100 which was completed in 2004) that is subject to the requirements of the Strata Property Act of BC. The Developer and Property Manager have failed to maintain segregated accounting records and to establish required reserves for the strata portions of the Resort as required by the Strata Property Act and are not properly licensed to act as a Strata Property Manager under the Real Estate Act of BC.

A recent update provided to the timeshare owners by Northwynd indicates the Developer and Property Manager intend to pursue collection of the renovation project fees in full, ignoring the appeal ruling that overturned the court order it relied upon as justification for charging these fees to all timeshare owners.

A different update was sent to investors in the REIT which owns the residual interests in the Resort through a subsidiary limited partnership. That document provides a chronology of Northwynd’s involvement with the Resort, including its several unsuccessful attempts to sell its interests in the Resort since 2010, and notes the success in generating substantial cash flows from cancellation fees relating to the Resort Realignment Plan.

Our group of timeshare owners has determined that the most appropriate course of action is to commence a Class Action that claims damages from Northmont and their associates on the basis they have breached fundamental terms of the timeshare contracts. Our goal is to ensure that Northmont and its associates are held accountable for their failure to manage the Resort in the best interests of timeshare owners.
 
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Quadmaniac

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HI-does anyone know what the new program they are launching for the old time owners at Fairmont/Sunchaser villas for 2013? The woman at office says they will be doing some new program for owners that have been there a while right away?:)

TRANSLATION
: We extracted money from you years ago and haven't had the opportunity to get more from you, so we're creating a new "program" so we can get more of your money. Since you were naive enough the first time, you will probably still be now and we're going to try to get as much as we can from you.

REALITY : No matter what program they offer, "benefits", it is going to cost you thousands $$$ for something that will still be worth basically nothing even after buying into the new "program", no matter how "special" it may be.

JUST SAY NO and save yourself $$$$$

I still have a Golden Season Annual, that was "upgraded" to RCI points (owners paid $35K) that was given to me for free. Don't fall into that trap. No upgrade is worth any amount that they are asking for.
 
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RandRseeker

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I just reserved my 2013 week and there was no mention of a new program....hmmm.

All I know is my maintenance fees just keep climbing and I'm sure by next year (2014) they'll be over $1000 for my two bedroom lockoff. This up almost 30% over the past four years. Add that to the lock off fee, II membership and exchange fees, I wonder if it's even worthwhile to timeshare anymore.

I wonder how these maintenance fees compare to other timeshares?
 

Quadmaniac

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Depends what time share, but many of timeshares I have are similar in MF. There are still cheaper ones, but not sure what the quality of the resort/unit is.
 

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Fairmont Renovations

With Sunchaser's last mailing you will now realize what the "new program" is all about. Their planned renovation is estimated to cost from $28 million to $38 million. They have not disclosed what it will cost on a unit basis, but one can try to estimate. The unit cost is about $900 for the $9 million 2013 maintenance budget. Therefore we would be looking at somewhere from a $3000 to $4000 special assessment spread over two years. There is no question that the Hillside/Riverside complex is badly in need of a renovation. My question is - is this a voluntary assessment? I'm not sure the lease allows for a special assessment like this. Perhaps, those that wish to bail out, can do so. Defaulting on this assessment does not appear the same as a default on maintenance fees.
 

RandRseeker

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I also just got the brochure showing the "exciting changes coming to the resort". While the renovations look very nice and some improvements are needed, to ask owners to contribute upwards of $3000 per unit seems like way too much to me.

Do owners have any say in this decision by management? I have always been a believer that timeshare owners should not be able to simply walk away from their maintenance fees, leaving the other owners on the hook to pickup the revenue shortfall, however, I'm not sure a renovation of this magnitude is something I can support.
 

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New Program

Just received the new program info as well. Have a lease at Hill/River bought on resale market 8 or 9 years ago. It is a bi-annual 2 bdrm lock off purchased by original owner in 1995 so has 22 years (11) remaining. Fees have doubled since we purchased and now looks like we are going to be hit for major reno costs. One requirement of the lease is to be provided an annual audited Financial Statement each year by I believe the end of March of following year, This has not happened since 2009. Two years in breach of clause. Hard to trust these guys. Right now it is almost impossible to give away the timeshare. Advice to anyone thinking of buying a timeshare is run as fast as yopu can away.
 

Meow

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I believe this could be the final straw for many lessees, the defaults will cascade and the property goes into receivership. Then someone picks it up for 10 cents on the dollar. Sort of a 'deja vu' all over again. Can we be sure the assessment funds actually go into a trust account as they allege? Reinvesting in the property at this time seems a little risky to me.
 

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New program

Hi, I am not 100% for sure but. The new thing they told me about that may happen is not renos, but rather if you are a long term owner with a lease and want out maybe you'll be able to pay to get out early. I don't think they know if it's a go ahead yet, but you can call and ask about this. Either way learning this stopped us fom buying a resale property last month because we didnt want to buy into a place where people are paying to get out of leases......doesn't sound too good. Again I am not 100% sure so call and ask them.
 

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“The New Sunchaser” document has a section called “Deficit”. There’s no indication of the magnitude of it and there’s been no financial statements for the last couple of years. Not releasing financial statements is a serious problem. If it’s in the agreement to get them in a timely fashion then I think we have grounds for a complaint to the province. Do we have a lawyer to collectively get advice from about this concerning default / buy back options?
 

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Sunchaser Fairmont new deal

There is a clause in an agreement I have seen requiring audited Financial Statements to be provided by March 31 of each year. This has not been done. In light of the most recent communication re deficit it is of major concern. Has anyone who posts here sought legal advice? Would be nice yto hear.
 

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I am just returning from a family Christmas vacation and have already requested information from Sunchaser regarding the total per unit cost for the renovations.

I am concerned that the timing of the assessment will force everyone to pay their 2013 maintenance fees before they have any idea of the magnitude of the assessment. Also, I worry that the assessment will be more like 3 to 4,000 in 2013 and 2014.

I was actually able to dig up the original contract for our timeshare purchase. As far as I can tell there is no specific reference to refurbishment and special assessments.

I have no problem with renovations that are required to keep the buildings up to date but I do have questions when the Sunchaser document is silent on what the assessment will be and their assumption that they can receive 15% of the refurbishment budget as their "management" cost.

I will be trying to reach a lawyer upon my return from my vacation as I don't want to lay out funds for maintenance fees if I can walk away from the whole mess. I think at $900 a week, the cost for Sunchaser is getting close to unreasonable. Having to essentially re-purchase the timeshare unit, makes it impractical to continue to own at Sunchaser.

BTW did anyone notice how the newsletter glosses over the RCI conversion. Something along the lines of "last year this cost $6,000 but now it will only cost $2,000). I feel really sorry for people who spent the cash.
 

Phew

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Fairmont Deal

I have talked to some other lease owners who have the same sentiment re getting legal advice. Does anyone know of an effective way of contacting owners - maybe social media is the way to go. I don't know much about that so if there is a group already going that information would be usefull.
 

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maintenance fee

Hi-just wondering but most 2 bedroom lock offs for gold crown/silver units are actually around $800 to $1000 in maintenance so not sure why everyone thinks this is too high?
 

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Renovation

I called them up this morning and chatted with a nice women about the upcoming renovation project. She told me we don't have a choice about paying the renovation cost which in my case will be between 3000 to 4000. I asked her if they would buy my unit back and she said they don't do that. I suggested just giving it back and she said they don't want them back. My reply to her was that the units must be worthless or you would take them back. I also got into a discussion of what is going to stop them from doing this later if I give in and pay. Did not have a good response, meaning she implied that they can do what they want. I asked her if we could vote on any of this and she said no. I mentioned to her that when we bought our timeshare in 97 that I was told if we didn't like what was going on we as owners could vote to change things. She didn't know if that is correct or not. She also mentioned there was a survey sent out and the majority of the owners wanted the change. I don't know if I can agree with her on. Thinking about getting out! Suggestions?
 

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Maintenance fees are now at $950 a year up another $60 over last year alone. If the assessment is $3000 per week assuming 50 weeks per year usage 2 for maintenance the cost per unit is $150,000. That must be some renovation they are planning!

I have no problem with a reasonable special assessment to upgrade units. However you could build new for what they are asking. Also the fact that they never produced financial statements for at least 2 years is a breach of their contract.

They tried to extort more money by having people pay to get RCI and when that didn't work they came up with this new plan. I agree that we need legal advice before we give this company any more money. What's the percentage of people defaulting on maintenance fees? Is sunchaser going to pay their share of the renovation or just the current maintenance fee paying owners? What happens to the weeks that aren't having their maintenance fees paid? Is sunchaser renting these out to the general public or just letting them sit empty? There are way too many questions to pay a special assessment that big and trust that they will use the money prudently.

They haven't been able to get enough cleaners to have all rooms ready for check in time so how will they find the workers in the valley to do that much work? The BRMR upgrading was supposed to be done in 3 years and my best guess is that it took 6 years. I do not want a repeat of that.

I just checked out of a hillside unit on Friday and the unit was not all that bad. I know Riverside is in worse shape so I understand that section needing to be done but again I'm not sure any one unit needs $150,000 in renovations. The cost of the special assessment an Point of Poipu in Hawaii was $5800 and that sounded like it was a complete redo due to water intrusion.

I will join any group that wants to find out more before we pay this company any more dollars. I'm worried they won't let me use this year's week (already paid for) unless I have agreed to or have started paying the special assessment.

Another point is a friend of mine who owns an EEY golden season tried to book in June last year and was told he was too late to get anything. I don't know how flexible he was and I understand how all units could be booked but since there is only one golden week before July it does seem unlikely that that happened. He has been saying for at least six months he's going to sue them for not putting out financial statements.

Joan
 

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I think you should all get out of your contracts. For that price of renos you can get a free timeshare from someone anywhere and just trade it into II or Rci

I bought Grand Canadian in canmore summer week for cheap. maintenance fees $875 and yes we had to pay the cost of all the defaulted people, but still it's a good trader for the price.
 

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Out of contract

Htusa or anyone else,

If I wanted to get out of my contract do you know how I could do it
 

RandRseeker

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I called them up this morning and chatted with a nice women about the upcoming renovation project. She told me we don't have a choice about paying the renovation cost which in my case will be between 3000 to 4000. I asked her if they would buy my unit back and she said they don't do that. I suggested just giving it back and she said they don't want them back. My reply to her was that the units must be worthless or you would take them back. I also got into a discussion of what is going to stop them from doing this later if I give in and pay. Did not have a good response, meaning she implied that they can do what they want. I asked her if we could vote on any of this and she said no. I mentioned to her that when we bought our timeshare in 97 that I was told if we didn't like what was going on we as owners could vote to change things. She didn't know if that is correct or not. She also mentioned there was a survey sent out and the majority of the owners wanted the change. I don't know if I can agree with her on. Thinking about getting out! Suggestions?
I don't remember a survey - anyone else?? If I had seen one, I sure wouldn't have agreed to any renovations with a price tag of $28 million plus!!
 

Tacoma

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I do not remember a survey either. If we agreed it must have been the generic questions like would you like to see more amenities to which everyone answers yes because it never mentions you'll have to pay for this. Thanks for the link I should have looked there.

I hate to try and "give this away" to an unsuspecting victim. But because of that I'll either have to pay $3000-4000 or potentially destroy my credit. At least I have golden season. I have never traded this does it trade well in II or RCI?

I also noticed the common barbecuing areas. I imagine that means no more barbeques at individual units. Alhough I believe that this keeps maintenance fees down it is a serious downgrade to what we own now. Also this location lends itself to doing a lot of cooking and let's face it the weather doesn't always lend itself to being very far from your unit.

I'm really worried that they will never raise the funds and the project will stall. Those who pay will never see the project completed. Or are they using this as a way to take back a lot of units and resell them?

I'm going to try and find out when the AGM is and attend if I can. I will also see if I can get the minutes from the last AGM to see when this was first raised.

Still looking to hear from a lawyer about this since I know they did not produce financial statements for at least 2 years. If nothing else I would like to see this broken into 2 projects one for Riverside and the other for Hillside with the funding being in two sections. Only after the first upgrade is done would we be responsible for the second. I don't trust them.

Still have not told my husband or friends about this. That will make for an interesting conversation for this weekend. I didn't want to spoil our vacation last week.

Joan
 

konno

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When did SVV or Northwynd take over?

We are bi-annual members and are due to use our week this year. In 2011 we paid our maintenance fee and used our interval (we did not buy the deed) and we are trying to understand if we paid SVV or FVV the maintenance fee.

What constitutes consent to a maintenance agreement with SVV? Paying your maintenance fees? We never did sign anything with the new developer.

We are concerned the request for funds will never end and do not trust them one bit. We are thinking of giving away our interval with full discloser. I know this does not help the other owners but I don't want to keep on putting money into a sinking ship!
 

Quadmaniac

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You don't have to sign anything as the new company took over all the obligations of the previous, so they don't need to get your signature.

I called and they are planning on bringing the assessment out in about April, so I am going to get rid of my last one before that. In fact I am going to try to give it away on Kijiji pretty quick here for free.
 

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There are a good number already on Kijiji and also a large number listed with the realtor in Invermere - some as little as 1$. My biggest concern is we as lease owners have no idea what the financial situation is because they have not provided audited financial statements for two full years and will soon may be in breach of that requirement for 2012 as well. How can we trust they are not hiding a worse situation than we are told.
 
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