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Credit rating

justav

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I'm glad to have found a site on timeshares that doesn't seem to be out to deceive people.

My wife and I went against our instincts back in 2006 and bought into a timeshare in a sales environment we were not ready to handle. It was our first family vacation coupled with the fact we were just getting on out feet financially and being a young family who was still oblivious that many people will make a buck off you at no end made us prime targets for a high pressure sales pitch.

I really do feel we were deceived by the timeshare company, during the presentation and tour we were under the impression we were getting one thing and got another. All our questions were directed to the belief that we were getting a particular unit and much more flexibility than we actually have and we only learned about all the true costs that we were told were inclusive once we tried to use the timeshare well past the grace period to opt out of a contract.

When it came time to the contract I know we made the mistake of taking their verbal affirmations and signed a contract that was very different from what they told us. I know we should have read it, lesson learned, but I don't believe it is OK to prey on people in this way.

So we've tried to make the best out of a bad situation and have gone on two more family vacations with the timeshare, but after being scammed again by timeshare-support / timeshare-answers / Integrity Marketing I've had enough of the industry.

I've removed pre-authorized charges from the timeshare company for my monthly payments and have fallen behind by one payment and am now being phoned every other day by the company to arrange payment.

I know it isn't good for my credit rating, but if I continue to pay my other debts will my credit rating be so ruined that I won't be able to secure a mortgage in the future?

Also can the company or a collection agency acting on their behalf take payments directly from my bank account or seize any assets (my house)?

Thanks in advance for your input on this and thank you to Brian Rogers and his TUG team for making this site where you can have legitimate sales, rentals, trades and most valued to me advice from people who understand the timeshare industry.

PS Our timeshare is in Florida we are located in Canada.
 
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persia

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Well I'll give you an answer based on experiences in the USA. Canada is often better on consumer fraud than America, so I suggest you contact a lawyer in Canada to see if they can help.

They likely already have dinged your credit rating and you'll feel it for around 7 years. Can they get a court to garnish your wages? Yes. Will they? Maybe. I'm not sure how aggressive lawyers are in the timeshare industry. I know of people who walked away owing a few thousand on Wyndham timeshares and from "Discovery Program," all had their credit ratings drop substantially for a few years but none of them ended up in court. My guess is that there are too many people walking away to chase them all in court.

You can send them a letter demanding that the phone calls stop and legally they have to do that. Eventually the debt will be resold to credit agencies successively lower on the food chain until you reach the bottom feeders who are nasty, nasty folk. The only good thing about the bottom feeders is that they often don't reply to credit agency requests and you can possibly get the bad marks removed a couple years early.

But be aware this is going to haunt you for several years, any mortgages, credit cards, car loans you take out afterwards will likely have higher interest.
 
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frenchieinme

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Tuggers by and large are great, knowledgable, caring individuals whom may or may not give you good advice in this situation. Because this deals with your financial well being, my advice to you is to place your financial interests in a knowledgable person, i.e., a lawyer, and pay this person to get good legal advice.

Tuggers can state their opinion but can not, unless they are lawyers, legally advise you in such a way their opinions would stand in a court of law.

TUG is a fantastic venue to gather a wealth of information on the topic of timeshares. However, they are just that OPINIONS. You know what they say about opinions, uh? They are like rear-ends, we all have one. :ignore:

Get yourself a lawyer as you are dealing with something that will be an albatross on your back potentially for many years. Based on your post, you were just getting on your feet financially. I would think you would not want to jeapordize that.

frenchieinme :hi:
 

justav

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Thank you so much Persia. I honestly have tears in my eyes. You are the first person who isn't trying to take advantage of me in regards to timeshares.

This has been a burden for a few years already, but it has felt like a bottomless pit. I know I can shoulder another seven years.

Moving forward I don't plan on ever buying anything other than a house on credit. I don't even carry a credit card anymore. I am going to ensure my children learn this lesson too. I will instill in them and show them from now on the only thing they can consider buying with loans and credit are a house and education. Everything else needs to be paid with cash and if we don't have the cash then we learn to save up or learn to let our wants pass.

If I just walk away, would the timeshare debt be inherited by my children?

I plan to challenge the company as well, go out fighting so to speak but I'd like to avoid my children being affected in their adult lives. At this time I can't afford legal services.
 

chalee94

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If I just walk away, would the timeshare debt be inherited by my children?

as far as the timeshare loan itself - in the US - i believe your bad debt goes away after 7 years. it would not go to your children.

not sure about canada, though. hard to believe it would be that different but i don't know.

to the extent that you owe annual dues/maintenance fees on the timeshare and don't pay, the other owners at your resort will be stuck with that obligation.
 

theo

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My $0.02 worth...

I know it isn't good for my credit rating, but if I continue to pay my other debts will my credit rating be so ruined that I won't be able to secure a mortgage in the future?

Also can the company or a collection agency acting on their behalf take payments directly from my bank account or seize any assets (my house)?

First, know clearly that no one voluntarily offering their input here on TUG has any interest in scamming you or in any other way taking advantage of you. That's not at all what this site is about and any such parasites would be very promptly just driven off and banned from future participation on this site.
Contributors here are generally just other timeshare owners and users, with no hidden agenda.

It is not entirely clear to me whether you financed the purchase (i.e., whether there is a loan involved).
If not, your first step should be to contact the resort directly (...now) to at least ask if they will take a "deedback" (meaning, accept your deed in lieu of foreclosure). If they will accept your deed in lieu of foreclosure, you will obviously lose whatever deposit (and other monies) you have already paid to date, but you can end the current (and prevent the future) unwelcome financial pain.

If there is financing / a loan involved, your predicament is considerably more complex and daunting, particularly since there may be a third party entity (i.e., a lender external to the resort) involved in the financing. A third party lender is highly unlikley to terminate or "forgive" the loan.

The resort and / or lender can (and surely will) turn the matter over to internal collections and/or to a contracted collection agency. Your goal for right now, although it's certainly an uphill climb, should be to actively request and pursue a mutually agreed termination before you get to the foreclosure stage. There will be no real credit report danger until then and unless the lender already has authorized access to your bank account (via your signature), they cannot take any funds from said account(s) without your expressed prior authorization and consent (...time to read your contract documents very carefully and very closely).

Foreclosure, if it ever gets to that point, will definitely impact (negatively) your credit report and rating, irrespective of your residency. For now, focus on making direct inquiries to the resort / lender to hopefully avoid getting to that point.

There is little or no "precentage" in trying (...years after voluntarily executing the purchase contract) to challenge the veracity or verbal claims of the sales weasels. Only the written contract content matters --- not whatever verbal garbage was spewed forth by the sales weasel(s). That was just emopty, meaningless "background noise floating around in the air" --- both back then and right now, several years later.
Like it or not, the written contents of the contract you signed prevails over all else. Lying and deceitful hungry sales weasels have been the toxic and despicable bane of the timeshare industry for decades.
In the end, only the written content of the signed sales contract means anything.
 
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rickandcindy23

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Timeshare salespeople are scum. Developers are scum, too. Upfront fee companies are scum, too. It's a dirty, rotten industry, with liars and schemers who lack consciences. Seriously. If they had consciences, they couldn't sleep at night. Jiminy Cricket is not there, when they sleep on their mattresses stuffed with money.

It's important that you do not pay anyone else to "help" you with this burden.

We were a young family and bought into a timeshare in Colorado. We regretted buying it right away, the next day. We tried to rescind but were told by the developer that we could not rescind, because this was a purchase made on their premises. Had we purchased it from a person sitting at our house, it would be different, and we could rescind. That was 30 years ago. We have no idea if there were rescind laws and the guy was lying about it, or if those laws went into place a few years later. They should have let us back out of the deal, but they didn't.

The moral of the story: We learned to live with our purchase, paid for it via the payment plan of ten years, and now we are glad to know about timeshare. It was an expensive lesson. We bought better units on eBay for pennies on the dollar (and less).

We also sold that $7.2K timeshare for $1K a few years ago. Now we couldn't get a nickel for it, because the economy is worse than it was back then. But we did get two additional weeks at this same resort during high season for nearly zero.
 

justav

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Thank you Frenchieinme, I realize I cannot get anything more than opinions on TUG, I'm just hoping to learn from other people's experiences here and share with others my experiences.

Get yourself a lawyer

Thank you for this advice. I am going to have consultation with a lawyer, though I can't afford keeping a lawyer but I'd at least like opinion.

Thank you to RickyandCindy, your wisdom has not fallen on deaf ears and realize that may be the fate of my wife and I also.

The other owners at your resort will be stuck with that obligation.
Thank you Chalee, I'd like to not pass on the burden to anyone else for my mistake, thank you for giving me that food for thought.

Thank you Theo for the solid advice. I will review the contract. It was bought on a loan, I'll have to check if the loan is with a third party or with Orange Lake, I am guessing it is with a third party.
 
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bizaro86

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Foreclosure, if it ever gets to that point, will definitely impact (negatively) your credit report and rating, irrespective of your residency.

Are you sure about that? The Canadian and US credit bureaus aren't the same due to privacy laws, even if they are run by the same companies. For example, I got a Macy's card in the US and paid it off in store (I thought). I got a letter 6 months later saying I still owed them $2.50 and they had filed against my credit, but it doesn't show against either bureau used by Canadian banks, I pulled them both.

Canadian banks only pull Canadian credit bureaus, so depending where/how they reported the foreclosure, it may not prevent you from getting a mortgage in the future. (assuming you plan to stay in Canada)

Where is the resort, and who is the loan from?
 
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Talent312

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A. Tell whoever holds the note for the debt that you are in no position to pay and will not pay -- stand firm and do not argue with them about this. But say that you are willing to deed-back the TS, in lieu of foreclosure. This has an advantage for each of you:

1 - They don't have to lay out attorney's fees and court-costs; and
2 - You don't suffer a judgment which puts a lien on all your assets.

B. If they won't accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure, that's gonn'a be their problem, becuz at the end of the day, even if they obtain a judgment, you may be able to protect almost about everything you own (including wages of the head of a household) under your state's "exemption from creditor" laws, or if need be, thru Bankruptcy. Typically, the only peep who are at risk of losing property and income from a judgment are those who (a) pony up 'cuz they don't understand their rights, or (b) have too many other unprotected assets and need to pay.

C. Look at (listen to) your caller ID. There is a reason why it was invented.
Also: Don't accept certified, signature required mail, and toss collection letters in a box.

D. So many folks are walking away from these deals that you may not be sued, but if you are served with a Summons 'cuz some fool of an attorney thinks he can make $$ off you, file a response. Don't let them take a default and shut you out of further court notices. Also have a Bankruptcy lawyer on speed-dial so you can deal with any effort to enforce the judgment.

Lastly, consult qualified legal counsel. What I and anyone else here has to say is nothing more than the musings of armchair quarterbacks with half-a**ed guesses about your situation, which may or may not apply to your case.
 
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persia

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I hadn't thought of that, but yeah the US Financial institutions would file against American credit bureaus which maintain separate records from Canadian. And of course US credit reports are filed by US Social Security numbers, which you wouldn't have. What kind of ID did you provide to the Florida timeshare?
 

bizaro86

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I did some further research, because I find this topic quite interesting.

Basically, there are two issues here.

1) The timeshare loan.

It would likely be a note held by a US financial institution. They can foreclose on you, but that won't cover the debt, since it's doubtful the TS is worth what you owe on it. Thus, they'll probably try to intimidate you into paying, and may go to court in the US (prob. Florida) and get a judgement against you for the money you owe them. Then, they'd have to enforce that judgement in Canada.

I found this: http://zvulony.ca/2010/articles/us-...e-enforcement-of-foreign-judgments-in-canada/ written by a lawyer in Toronto who works on foreign judgement cases. It seems like they could get the judgement recognized in a local court in whatever province you are in. (Unless it's Quebec, which operates under Civil law and has different rules). Then they could enforce that judgement against you locally, and you'd have to pay it or declare bankruptcy (not a great option). I'm unsure as to whether they would take the time to do all this, as the legal costs would be significant (2 courts in 2 countries) compared to the amount you owe them.

They could probably make you pay it, but it would be significantly more work for them. If you changed your address (moved) and phone number, I doubt they'd ever find you to enforce the judgement. It's a risk to not pay this, one you have to consider whether it's worth taking.

2) The maintenance fees

If you stop paying them, the other owners will have to make up the difference until the week is resold, and the HOA will try and make you pay. I doubt they could put a mark on your Canadian credit, and I would dispute anything they did put on it with the bureaus.

Ultimately there is some risk to not paying the loan, but it could be minimized (especially if you're a mobile non-homeowner). There are also ethical considerations to not paying money that you owe, offset against the fact that people who created those obligations may have lied to you. I'll leave that without comment, as ethics are quite personal.

Edited to add: Could you borrow the money owed on the timeshare from a personal LOC or relative and pay back what is probably a very high interest loan early, and then give away the timeshare if you don't want it? That would be a strategy to minimize your losses and let you move forward.
 
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artringwald

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Credit ratings are important in many ways. Even if you never apply for a credit card:
1) Mortgage companies may charge higher interest rates.
2) Insurance companies may charge higher premiums.
3) Employers may give preference to job applicants with higher ratings.
4) Landlords may give preference to renters with higher ratings.

http://www.lendingtree.com/credit-resources/advice/understanding-credit/how-bad-credit-affects-you/

It's important to resolve any issues that can affect your credit rating as soon as you can.
 

justav

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Thanks to everyone for giving me some direction on where to start with resolving this predicament I am in.

Here are what I see as my options, which I will consult a lawyer on but I am leaning towards the first option below.

1. If we pay the the balance on the loan the company will deed back the property.

2. Failure to pay maintenance fees are not reported on and so if I continue to make loan payments for now and not pay the MF it will not affect credit rating.

3. Pay nothing to them more moving forward.

I am not interested in having this linger over my life and household for another seven years if I can afford to cut ties with it clean and quick but if the legal advice I get determines that I likely won't get into much trouble if I just walk away I'd consider winning that battle for sure. But I will pray about the right course of action so that any pride and any ungodly sentiments are not of influence in my decision, since that is how we got into this mess in the first place.

One thing I will not consider is selling or giving to a friend or family member. I do not want my name to be attached to the timeshare whatsoever and I do not want to be the person to introduce someone close to me to this industry that is infested by parasites. Unless it is a TUG member who obviously knows how to navigate and discern the timeshare industry I wouldn't give the timeshare to anyone.

I will share my outcome for those that are interested and for those who maybe considering the same options above and for those who might stumble across this post in a google search to get out of the dark themselves on what their timeshare options are.
 

ace2000

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2. Failure to pay maintenance fees are not reported on and so if I continue to make loan payments for now and not pay the MF it will not affect credit rating.

Are you saying this only because you live in Canada? Otherwise, it can impact your credit rating.
 

persia

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Canada does not allow the abuse of their SIN the way the US does with it's SSN, so it may be hard for them to link the foreign debt to you in Canada. My best guess is that you can walk away without any effect on your credit rating. It is unlikely that they would go to court and even more unlikely that they would come to a Canadian court. Know your provinces statute of limitations on debt. In Ontario it's two years, but this may be complicated by the fact that it's foreign real estate.

First thing to do is to send the timeshare folks a certified letter stating that, in accordance with the US FCRA you do not wish them to call you anymore. That will at least silence the phone. Actually it might be a good time to consider ditching the landline, about half the population of North America already has.

And check BOTH credit agencies, Equifax and Transunion, regularly. If they attempt to get to your credit rating you need to be on top of it and challenge it immediately. Don't be shy about requesting it, legally they have to provide a written copy for each written request regardless of how many times you ask.

But again I am not a solicitor, I hold citizenship in Australia and the US and not Canada, so do not act on my word alone. Contact a solicitor in your province and run it by him/her.
 

Talent312

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Here are what I see as my options, which I will consult a lawyer on but I am leaning towards the first option below.

1. If we pay the the balance on the loan the company will deed back the property...

... meaning they will take it back, only if you pay-in-full?
Then they can resell it again at full price. IMHO, that's outrageous.

If you're going to pay the balance due, why not keep it and use it.

If you want to dump it, sell it here in the "Bargain Basement" or on eBay for $1.00 or whatever.
But Shirley, do not let these cretins get their hands on it to sucker some other joe.
 
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justav

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do not let these cretins get their hands on it to sucker some other joe, do you.

Good point.

We don't want to use timeshares. We are turned off timeshares, there are so many accommodation options we don't want to use a timeshare if we don't have to. I never want to directly give my money to these guys ever again once I settle our current situation one way or another.
 

e.bram

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Find somebody in a homeless shelter and deed it to them(give them a few dollars). Pay the MF for 1 year and let HOA pound sand for more.
 
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