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After Reading "Tips to report Timeshare Scams and try to get money back!"

sjdanb

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I have been a timeshare (TS) weeks and points owners for many years. Basically, I have been happy with my points ownership but have wanted to get out of my three weeks' maintenance fees and one small amount of points ownership annual fees.

We got rid of one of our really good TS weeks by finding someone who lived very close to our TS resort and who wanted to have access to the anytime free use of the facilities. That person paid all of the fees for the transfer.

For the other two TS weeks, we should have known better, but to get rid of them we bought into a Travel Club (TC) which stated it would get rid of our two TS's in the process. For an initial TC purchase price of around $5K we hesitantly (and stupidly) entered into this deal. However, we had to sign numerous timeshare transfer agreement papers, notarized at a cost of almost $150., and pay $540. for each TS transfer to happen, unfortunately with no guarantees as to when and if the transfers would actually take place.

After around six months had gone by, I began to write many email letters threatening to do as your "Tips..." suggested. After some months of telephonic and email tag, the TC made an offer to reduce the purchase price (the balance of which we already had paid in full) by sending us a check for the upcoming maintenance fees of $1562. for the two TS's, with the provision that we would sign a letter agreeing that we had reached "a satisfactory resolution without the need of involvement of any governing bodies.." and that we would not "discuss this rebate... or this agreement becomes immediately void and customer will be required to pay the original balance plus any attorney or collection fees." I wanted to fight this, as your "Tips" suggested, but my wife just wanted to get it over with.

In a desperate mode we agreed to this letter, but I also sent an Addendum to the TC telling them that, if the TS's were not transferred within a 60 day period before our 2017 bookings, we intended to use the weeks still in our ownership and whose annual maintenance fees were paid.

With the check in the mail from the TC we also received an email telling us that the TC, in essence, is a separate entity from the timeshare wholesaler and not "in the business of timeshare resale/title transfers" and that we are under the contractual terms of the wholesaler and that "all weeks/points associated with the timeshares... must be made fully available to..." them, but that we would be guaranteed that "the transfer process will be completed no later than December 31, 2017 so long as all contractual terms are met..." and "all fees associated with the timeshares involved in the transfer process are kept current and the accounts are not in a delinquent status."

As I contemplate all of these proceedings from beginning to this point and the terms in these most recent letters, I get the feeling our situation is no better than it was at the start. How could we have been so dumb as to get involved in this situation. We didn't need the TC and we should have known better to have paid any upfront money to rid ourselves of our timeshares.

Do we have any leverages or legal recourse that can be used at this time? Can we use the booked weeks (one was booked for July, before we signed any transfer agreements and would be worth at least three times the maintenance fees as a rental; and the other one is not booked for this year)?

Would the timeshare resorts or companies involved know about the transfer process and perhaps be willing to keep us informed of the timing? If the timeshare wholesaler were able to sell either of the two timeshares, how much time would be involved from the initial offer to the conclusion of the sale? Since we have paid off the TC purchase price and don't intend to renew its membership, how liable would we be if we broke the "contractual agreement" we signed with the timeshare wholesaler? I would love to be able to broadcast my situation, using names and dates, to as many interested sources, as possible.


I am interested in your comments and especially if someone out there can give us some legal advice. Thank you.
 

theo

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This sounds like you've already dug yourself into a bit of hole. At this late juncture, I can offer only a few very generic observations and suggestions:

1. Knowing neither the particular state (nor even the country for that matter) involved here, nor anything whatsoever about all of the actual contract content, details or terms, any "legal advice" you might receive in these discussion forums would frankly be somewhere between woefully uninformed and completely worthless. You should perhaps consider seeking (and you may ultimately need to seek) legal counsel.

2. I assume (and that's all it is, just a purely speculative assumption) that you signed a Power of Attorney (PoA), authorizing someone associated with this "travel club" to attempt to find new ownership(s) for those unwanted (presumably deeded) timeshares. Unfortunately, their being authorized does not likely translate to their being legally obligated. In other words, you may very well remain on the hook for annual maintenance fees as the owner of record of those weeks until such time as a new deed is officially recorded in the name of a valid, new "grantee". The concern that I would now harbor if in your shoes is that you may now have overtly agreed to keep your timeshares, in exchange for merely accepting a years' worth of maintenance fees from the cash that you have ponied up previously, to pay the maintenance fee bills still (and possibly remaining, by your own agreement) in your name --- and remaining in your name hereafter. I certainly hope that is not the case.

Personally, I would recommend that you bring all of your contract documents and correspondence to a licensed attorney who routinely works with contracts for at least an initial consultation. This discussion forum is not the appropriate venue to obtain clear, accurate and definitive legal answers regarding the details (and potential liabilities) of your particular contract situation, however much we would like to help you. :shrug:

P.S. Bring the letter to which you unilaterally "inserted" an "addendum", as that "addendum" (and whether or not it is even legally binding) will likely be a focal point of discussion in your attorney consultation. I wish you good luck.
 
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sjdanb

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This sounds like you've already dug yourself into a bit of hole. At this late juncture, I can offer only a few very generic observations and suggestions:

1. Knowing neither the particular state (nor even the country for that matter) involved here, nor anything whatsoever about all of the actual contract content, details or terms, any "legal advice" you might receive in these discussion forums would frankly be somewhere between woefully uninformed and completely worthless. You should perhaps consider seeking (and you may ultimately need to seek) legal counsel.

2. I assume (and that's all it is, just a purely speculative assumption) that you signed a Power of Attorney (PoA), authorizing someone associated with this "travel club" to attempt to find new ownership(s) for those unwanted (presumably deeded) timeshares. Unfortunately, their being authorized does not likely translate to their being legally obligated. In other words, you may very well remain on the hook for annual maintenance fees as the owner of record of those weeks until such time as a new deed is officially recorded in the name of a valid, new "grantee". The concern that I would now harbor if in your shoes is that you may now have overtly agreed to keep your timeshares, in exchange for merely accepting a years' worth of maintenance fees from the cash that you have ponied up previously, to pay the maintenance fee bills still (and possibly remaining, by your own agreement) in your name --- and remaining in your name hereafter. I certainly hope that is not the case.

Personally, I would recommend that you bring all of your contract documents and correspondence to a licensed attorney who routinely works with contracts for at least an initial consultation. This discussion forum is not the appropriate venue to obtain clear, accurate and definitive legal answers regarding the details (and potential liabilities) of your particular contract situation, however much we would like to help you. :shrug:

P.S. Bring the letter to which you unilaterally "inserted" an "addendum", as that "addendum" (and whether or not it is even legally binding) will likely be a focal point of discussion in your attorney consultation. I wish you good luck.

Thanks Theo for your reply to our situation and all of your comments and suggestions. My wife and I should have known better, but we were somewhat desperate and certainly made a hasty decision.
We live in California and I have copies of all the forms and emails connected with our situation. Our money paid to the travel club certainly is lost, and certainly our money paid for transfer fees.
We do plan to check with an attorney to see how legally trapped we are. Unfortunately, we did get a number of pages notarized, giving our permission to the timeshare wholesaler to have control of the transfer of our timeshare ownership of our two timeshares; and we did sign the letters to the travel club, with our addendum, then followed with their retort.
I wish I could be sure of being able to use both 2017 timeshare weeks or to rent them (especially the one valuable booked week we have) without putting us or the renter in limbo. I am going to try to communicate (and perhaps negotiate with the company).
Please let me know if you have any more helpful comments or ideas. Thanks again for your reply.
 

theo

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We do plan to check with an attorney to see how legally trapped we are. Unfortunately, we did get a number of pages notarized, giving our permission to the timeshare wholesaler to have control of the transfer of our timeshare ownership of our two timeshares; and we did sign the letters to the travel club, with our addendum, then followed with their retort.

Personally, I can't offer any additional input. At this late juncture, you really need informed advice from a local, fully informed, licensed attorney who has the opportunity to examine all of the documentation pertaining to this matter and provide his or her guidance and advice from there.

I will just point out that "notarization", in and of itself, really constitutes nothing more than signature verification. In other words, you can't now (or later) hope or attempt to credibly claim that someone else forged your signatures on those notarized documents. The issue of importance and substance here is the content and validity of the contract documents and any and all subsequent written correspondence relating thereto. Although it's an irrelevant aside at this point, I'm unclear about why (or to whom) you had to pay $150 to get signatures notarized; most local banks I know of will perform this simple exercise at no cost if you are a customer.

You now indicate that you are "going to try to communicate and perhaps negotiate with the company". While certainly your prerogative, I respectfully submit that this may not be a good idea at all. I recommend (once again) that you seek legal counsel with all related documentation in hand first. Any "help" you are offered by calling will almost certainly be accompanied by some contrived need for more of your money, yielding uncertain results (or no results at all). I recommend that you do not call or independently create and send off any more self-prepared correspondence entirely on your own and without first obtaining some well informed legal advice. With no offense or disrespect intended, you are now likely "marked" at the other end as being a cash cow to be milked. Accordingly, you should now be very wary of any such milking attempts.

Will Rogers said "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging". Sage advice to consider before next picking up your shovel (or phone, or pen). Good luck.
 
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