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Deed- no account

Rich S

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Hey everyone, during these trying times I hope you and your family are all doing well.

I have a situation and need some advice and / or guidance:

Last May I answered an ad giving away a free timeshare at Diamond's Lake Tahoe Resort. No money was to change hands, no fees, just assume the maintenance fees moving forward. The process was to be completed within 90 days. Several months passed by with sporadic correspondence inquiring whether or not I was still interested which I was.

In October, I received an email from the seller saying the deed was at the Recorder's Office and would take 8 weeks to be recorded but they would push to have it expedited. I wanted to have it done so I could pay my maintenance fees and book something for this year.

There was no communication from the seller or Diamond. On January 28th of this year I sent the seller an email stating that I wanted to end our transaction because I didn't feel comfortable with either company taking this long to finalize such a basic transaction. There was no response.

Monday I received a tax bill for the timeshare in the amount of $92.00 I called the Recorder's office and inquired about the bill. Apparently it was recorded in November of last year in my name. I called Diamond and they have no record of me in their system. That's why I never received a "Welcome" or maintenance fee bill. I said to them that "I guess I own a deed to nothing then huh?" They said maybe the transfer wasn't completed and to check with the seller.

I have soured on owning this property following this fiasco. Furthermore, I am hearing that weeks owners are having difficulties booking time at this particular resort. Preferably I would just walk away from it but I don't want to be responsible for paying taxes on something I can't use. Alternatively I don't want to own something paying maintenance fees for something I can't book.

How would you approach it? Any advice? Words of wisdom? Thank you in advance
 

theo

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Diamond would have no knowledge of a new deed until / unless someone actually provides a copy to them. Closing companies usually handle this detail, but it does not sound like your transaction involved any closing entity. In essence, apparently no one has ever provided a copy of the new deed to Diamond.

Interpreting the events that you describe above, it would appear that a new deed was officially recorded in 11/2019 and that's how / why you have received a 2020 tax bill from a County or city / town. Often (but not always) real estate taxes are included within maintenance fee bills. In other instances however (in Maine, for just one specific example) real estate taxes on timeshares are always billed separately by the town or County in which the timeshare is located.

If this interpretation of events is correct, you are the current owner of record and the deed is done (no pun intended). You will need to obtain a copy of that new recorded deed in order to do anything further, whether it be providing a copy to Diamond to use the ownership and make a reservation (and pay the current year fees), or sell or give away the ownership, or deed it back to Diamond (for their mandatory extortion fee after getting the maintenance fees current). It certainly seems that at present, only the County even knows of the existence of that new deed (although the original should have been returned directly to you as the new "grantee" by the County / city / town immediately after its' official recording).

Diamond almost certainly sent the 2020 maintenance fee bill to the previous owner (several months ago now), being completely unaware of any change in ownership. Just as surely, the former owner (if even bothering to respond to Diamond at all) would simply and correctly say "I am no longer the owner; a new deed was officially recorded for the new owner back in November, 2019".
 
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Ski-Dad

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This is not so much a Diamond issue as it is the seller/closing company that simply did not finish their job.

Having said this, this raises the issue of whether you are on the hook for MF. My thoughts are:
  1. If Diamond has no record of you, they cannot pursue you for MF or subsequently report you to a credit agency; but
  2. As the owner of record with the municipality, you are on the hook for taxes.
If you want off the hook, you could get a copy of the recorded deed. Have a quit claim deed prepared granting it back to the former owner, and register the deed with the applicable registry office.
 

Rich S

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Diamond would have no knowledge of a new deed until / unless someone actually makes the overt effort to provide same to them.
Closing companies usually handle this particular detail, but it does not sound like your transaction involved any closing entity.

Interpreting the events that you describe above, it would appear that a new deed was officially recorded and that's how / why you received a tax bill, which was of course not issued by Diamond but by either a County or city / town. Often (but not always) real estate taxes are included within maintenance fee bills. In other instances however (in Maine, for just one specific example) real estate taxes on timeshares are always billed separately by the town or County in which the timeshare is located.

If this interpretation of events is correct, you are already the new owner of record and the deed is done (no pun intended). You will need to obtain a copy of that new recorded deed in order to do anything further, whether it be providing a copy to Diamond to use the ownership and make a reservation (and pay the current year fees), or sell or give away the ownership, or deed it back to Diamond (for their mandatory extortion fee in addition to first paying the current year maintenance fees). It seems that at present, only the County even knows of the existence of that new deed (although the original should have been returned directly to you by the County / city / town immediately after its' official recording).


Theo, thank you so much for your input and reply. I already ordered a copy of the deed and will contact Diamond once I receive it to obtain more information and weigh my options. Since Diamond doesn't know about it and I am not in their program it appears that I am only on the hook for taxes ($92.00) this year.

At worst I will own a timeshare that I originally wanted anyway.
 

Rich S

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This is not so much a Diamond issue as it is the seller/closing company that simply did not finish their job.

Having said this, this raises the issue of whether you are on the hook for MF. My thoughts are:
  1. If Diamond has no record of you, they cannot pursue you for MF or subsequently report you to a credit agency; but
  2. As the owner of record with the municipality, you are on the hook for taxes.
If you want off the hook, you could get a copy of the recorded deed. Have a quit claim deed prepared granting it back to the former owner, and register the deed with the applicable registry office.

Ski-Dad thank you for your reply and input. These were my thoughts as well, although admittedly I didn't consider the quit claim deed. I will have to research that avenue as an option.
 

theo

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Have a quit claim deed prepared granting it back to the former owner, and register the deed with the applicable registry office.

Very bad advice. No one can unilaterally or lawfully "quit claim" a deed to an unknowing and unwilling grantee. There needs to be knowledge and acceptance for a deed to be valid. Otherwise, anyone could just pick random names out of a phone book and quit claim their unwanted timeshares to them. Any such deed would be void (and constitute a willful act of fraud by the "grantor").

The former owner is legally and permanently out of the picture, like it or not. OP objective should be to deal with the circumstances at hand in whatever lawful manner he deems best, bearing in mind that the former owner is on rock solid legal ground, having lawfully transferred ownership to a willing new grantee via officially recorded deed in November, 2019. The fact that the "loop" was not appropriately closed by Diamond then being provided a copy of the new deed is not the former owner's problem or responsibility.
 
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Rich S

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That's a good point. Which brings to question, can this deal be voided since it wasn't completed? I am not holding your reply as advice just opinion. Thanks
 

Rich S

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When you get the copy of the Deed send it to Diamond, pay the MF and move on. Otherwise you will be hassling with this ad infinitum...

George

Hey George, thanks for your input and reply. This was my initial feeling as well. However, since finding out about TUG, I have learned that it is best to get input from those who may have dealt with it before, before I make a rash decision. There may be a better solution or at least an alternative to the one I was thinking of.
 

theo

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Which brings to question, can this deal be voided since it wasn't completed? I am not holding your reply as advice just opinion. Thanks

The deal is done and lawfully completed. A valid deed between a willing "grantor" and a willing "grantee" was officially recorded in November, 2019. That is clearly a irrefutable fact. Period, amen.

The County should have returned the original deed to you and you in turn should have provided a copy to Diamond, but these post-recording procedural oversights do not in any way alter the validity of the completed transaction and its' associated recorded deed.
 
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Rich S

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When you get the copy of the Deed send it to Diamond, pay the MF and move on. Otherwise you will be hassling with this ad infinitum...

George

Hey George, thanks for your input and reply. This was my initial feeling as well. However, since finding out about TUG, I have learned that it is best to get input from those who may have dealt with it before, before I make a rash decision. There may be a better solution or at least an alternative to the one I was thinking of.
The deal is done and lawfully completed. A valid deed between a willing "grantor" and a willing "grantee" was officially recorded. Period, amen. The End.

The County should have returned the original deed to you and you in turn should have provided a copy to Diamond, but these procedural errors or oversights cannot and do not alter the validity of the completely transaction and its' associated recorded deed.

Ok fair enough. But I guess my question is, what is the remedy for the consumer if the process isn't / wasn't completed? You buy / assume the timeshare and it is put in your name on the deed but you are not granted access to the timeshare because the developer wasn't notified. Do you go after the seller to complete the process? It is out of their name so what is their incentive to comply?
 

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Hey George, thanks for your input and reply. This was my initial feeling as well. However, since finding out about TUG, I have learned that it is best to get input from those who may have dealt with it before, before I make a rash decision. There may be a better solution or at least an alternative to the one I was thinking of.


Ok fair enough. But I guess my question is, what is the remedy for the consumer if the process isn't / wasn't completed? You buy / assume the timeshare and it is put in your name on the deed but you are not granted access to the timeshare because the developer wasn't notified. Do you go after the seller to complete the process? It is out of their name so what is their incentive to comply?
The deed is done, it’s yours. You just need to let the Resort system/HOA number so they can get you into the system. Have the transfer completed and enjoy the new timeshare.
 

theo

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But I guess my question is, what is the remedy for the consumer if the process isn't / wasn't completed? You buy / assume the timeshare and it is put in your name on the deed but you are not granted access to the timeshare because the developer wasn't notified. Do you go after the seller to complete the process? It is out of their name so what is their incentive to comply?

Remedy??? With no offense or disrespect intended, it was ultimately your personal responsibility to notify Diamond, in the absence of any professional closing entity involved in the transaction paid to do so on your behalf. It was / is not a grantor responsibility --- and Diamond (for which I have no use whatsoever, btw) cannot somehow just magically "divine" that an ownership change occurred.
 
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Rich S

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Remedy? With no offense or disrespect intended, it was ultimately your personal responsibility to notify Diamond, in the unfortunate absence of any paid closing entity being involved in the transaction to do so for you. It is not a grantor responsibility and Diamond (for which I personally have no use whatsoever, btw) cannot somehow just magically "divine" that an ownership change has occurred.

Hey Theo, no offense or disrespect taken. Not at all. The reason I started this thread is because I realize that something was wrong and I know that I don't have all the answers.

I may not have been clear. I am not saying Diamond has any responsibility in the matter... they didn't / don't know. My question in this respect is what is to prohibit / prevent a seller from not completing the process once it is out of their name? If they are in arrears and transfer the deed without Diamond knowing it that doesn't seem right. They would be no longer responsible, Diamond would not get their fees, and I wouldn't be responsible for the fees that I have not incurred.
 

Rich S

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The deed is done, it’s yours. You just need to let the Resort system/HOA number so they can get you into the system. Have the transfer completed and enjoy the new timeshare.


Sorry CPNY, I didn't see your post. Thank you for your input and reply. I have a feeling that is what ultimately will happen once I receive the deed, I just want to make sure I don't make any mistakes moving forward.
 

vacationtime1

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Ok fair enough. But I guess my question is, what is the remedy for the consumer if the process isn't / wasn't completed? You buy / assume the timeshare and it is put in your name on the deed but you are not granted access to the timeshare because the developer wasn't notified. Do you go after the seller to complete the process? It is out of their name so what is their incentive to comply?

The seller has done everything the seller agreed to do: the seller signed a deed.

YOU -- or your escrow agent -- failed to deliver a copy of the recorded deed to Diamond. That is not a legal reason to rescind the transaction, especially when it is still within your ability to complete the transaction. Once you send a copy of the recorded deed to Diamond, you will have received exactly what you contracted for -- a Diamond timeshare.

This really sounds like buyer's remorse.
 

Rich S

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The seller has done everything the seller agreed to do: the seller signed a deed.

YOU -- or your escrow agent -- failed to deliver a copy of the recorded deed to Diamond. That is not a legal reason to rescind the transaction, especially when it is still within your ability to complete the transaction. Once you send a copy of the recorded deed to Diamond, you will have received exactly what you contracted for -- a Diamond timeshare.

This really sounds like buyer's remorse.

Robert thank you for your reply and input. Please don't misunderstand, there is no buyer's remorse on this end.

The seller's agent contracted to have the deal done within 90 days. It was not. Eight months later I informed them that I was not comfortable with the amount of time that it was taking to get this done and I was out. There was no reply. I found out on Tuesday that the deed had been recorded in November. The only way I knew about anything was that I received a tax bill.

If it is the responsibility of the seller's agent to have done that, that's what I would expect. Is that unreasonable?

Having found out about this the way I did raised red flags for me so I came to the TUG community (who's opinions I value) for their knowledgable input.
 

theo

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My question in this respect is what is to prohibit / prevent a seller from not completing the process once it is out of their name? If they are in arrears and transfer the deed without Diamond knowing it that doesn't seem right. They would be no longer responsible, Diamond would not get their fees, and I wouldn't be responsible for the fees that I have not incurred.

The seller / grantor responsibility is in fact fully completed when his / her valid, signed deed as grantor is officially recorded. Done.
It was your responsibility as new owner (not the seller, not the seller's agent) to provide Diamond with notification of your new ownership after a new deed was officially recorded. You seem to want to assign this responsibility / blame elsewhere, but t'aint so. The County / town may have failed to provide you with the original deed after recording, but it was recorded nonetheless.

As far as unpaid past maintenance fees go, this is a valid concern and precisely where estoppels come into play. However, there appears to have been no professional closing entity involved in your transaction and hence, no request for an estoppel from Diamond (which would reveal current owner account status at date of estoppel issuance), as well as no later notification to Diamond (via copy of recorded deed). A competent closing company would have handled these details. Unfortunately, without a competent third party "closer" to review the purchase and sale agreement, obtain estoppel from the resort / developer --- and later provide a copy of the new recorded deed to the resort / developer, there are several potential "cracks" through which important details can easily fall (but none of them invalidate the recorded deed making you the new owner). I sincerely hope that you do not belatedly learn that the former owner was already in arrears on maintenance fees, particularly if you have no signed purchase and sale agreement addressing that detail.
 
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Rich S

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The seller / grantor responsibility is in fact fully completed when his / her valid, signed deed as grantor is officially recorded. Done.
It was your responsibility as new owner (not the seller, not the seller's agent) to provide Diamond with notification of your new ownership after a new deed was officially recorded. You seem to want to assign this responsibility / blame to someone else, but t'aint so --- except perhaps that the County / town may have failed to provide you with the original deed upon it being recorded.

As far as potential unpaid past maintenance fees go, this is a valid concern and precisely where estoppels come into play. However, there appears to have been no professional closing entity involved in your transaction and hence, no request for an estoppel from Diamond (which would reveal current owner account status at date of estoppel issuance), as well as no later notification to Diamond (via copy of recorded deed). Any competent closing company would have handled these details.
Unfortunately, without an objective third party to review the purchase and sale agreement, obtain estoppel from the resort / developer --- and later provide a copy of the new recorded deed to the resort / developer, there are several potential "cracks" through which important details can easily fall. It would seem that your situation is a perfect example. I sincerely hope you will not belatedly learn that the former owner was already in arrears on maintenance fees, if you have no formal purchase and sale agreement at all.


So true! Theo your replies have been very helpful and reasonable. Thank you

Out of curiosity, what could the outcome have been had I not found out about this the way I did since I am not in their system? I own it but I am not in the system. Just pay the taxes each year?
 
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theo

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So true! Theo your replies have been very helpful and reasonable. Thank you

Out of curiosity, what could the outcome have been had I not found out about this the way I did since I am not in their system? I own it but I am not in the system. Just pay the taxes each year?

Maintenance fee bills would continue to be sent to the former owner, who would (appropriately) just ignore them or return them.
If the seller chose to instead forward those bills to you, it would presumably have prompted you to contact Diamond, which would in turn reveal that Diamond is completely unaware of any ownership transfer or new deed in the first place. However, seller would have absolutely no obligation (and little or no motivation) to do so. Moreover, seller may not have retained your name and address these numerous months later --- and, of course, might very well harbor the belief "Yeah, I'm done with that timeshare, thanks". :shrug:

I cannot speak to (or speculate upon) what might have occurred next, but once you get yourself into the Diamond system by, albeit belatedly, providing Diamond with a copy of the new recorded deed once you acquire it, speculation is of no real value anyhow.
 
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vacationtime1

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Your situation is neither unique nor unusual. The problem was that neither party to the transaction understood all of the necessary steps and there was no transfer or escrow agent to facilitate the process. Fortunately, the process can still be completed without any loss to anyone; buyer lost 4-5 months during which he could have made a reservation, but it is difficult to impossible to quantify any economic loss.

I am assuming that 2019 MF's and taxes were paid; buyer gets to pay 2020 under the contract terms. But if 2019 was not paid, seller loses out. But that loss would be a result of the lack of an estoppel from Diamond showing that those fees were unpaid, not the delay in providing Diamond with a copy of the recorded deed.
 

Rich S

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Your situation is neither unique nor unusual. The problem was that neither party to the transaction understood all of the necessary steps and there was no transfer or escrow agent to facilitate the process. Fortunately, the process can still be completed without any loss to anyone; buyer lost 4-5 months during which he could have made a reservation, but it is difficult to impossible to quantify any economic loss.

I am assuming that 2019 MF's and taxes were paid; buyer gets to pay 2020 under the contract terms. But if 2019 was not paid, seller loses out. But that loss would be a result of the lack of an estoppel from Diamond showing that those fees were unpaid, not the delay in providing Diamond with a copy of the recorded deed.


Here is the language in the contract that I am referring to:

TIME IS OF ESSENCE: When a pre paid maintenance fee is available for the Buyer(s), it can only be used if the timeshare transfer is completed in the appropriate time for the Buyer(s) ot obtain ownership and make a reservation as a new owner(s).

CONVEANCE: the parties hereby designate Udeed as their Title Transfer Agent. The property shall be conveyed to the Buyer(s) with warranties free and clear of all liens and encumbrances.

The Buyer(s) shall receive a fully executed Warranty Deed (or other similar evidence of transfer if not a deeded interest) conveying the Timeshare Property to Buyer(s).

Timeshare Transfer Period will be approximately 30-90 days. During the Transfer Period documents will be delievered directly to the Buyer(s) after the recordation of the deed.

There was a transfer company, there was an understanding, it was not completed per their stipulations. It was recorded in my name and that's where we are at this point.
 

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If there was a transfer agent and if the transfer agent screwed up, your remedy would be against the transfer agent, not the seller. And your only loss is the late reservation.
 

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If you look at the Udeed website, you won't see any reference to timeshare transfers. All they seem to do is title transfers for real estate. There are a fair number of companies that specialize in timeshare transfers, which include dealing with the contractual relationship between the owner/deed grantee for the timeshare usage period and the home owners association or whatever entity is running the resorts. The transaction you accomplished seems to have only changed the real estate ownership side of the relationship, not the contractual side for management of the resort. The seller may have continuing obligations under the contract, but that's between him and Diamond to deal with; your problem, IMHO, is that you need to have that aspect of the transaction completed.
 

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If there was a transfer agent and if the transfer agent screwed up, your remedy would be against the transfer agent, not the seller. And your only loss is the late reservation.


Got it, thanks!
 
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