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Get an Estoppel Letter!

DeniseM

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I am in the process of adopting a timeshare. The previous owner is a nice person, and very cooperative, however, he was reluctant to request an estoppel letter, which he may have had to pay for.

I nicely insisted that we needed one, and he did get one.

It was a good thing, because as it turned out, the deed he sent to the title company for the transfer was the deed to his HOUSE, which happened to be in the same city as the timeshare.

Without having the estoppel letter to compare to the deed, I might have become the proud new owner of his home! ;)
 

sjsharkie

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I am in the process of adopting a timeshare. The previous owner is a nice person, and very cooperative, however, he was reluctant to request an estoppel letter, which he may have had to pay for.

I nicely insisted that we needed one, and he did get one.

It was a good thing, because as it turned out, the deed he sent to the title company for the transfer was the deed to his HOUSE, which happened to be in the same city as the timeshare.

Without having the estoppel letter to compare to the deed, I might have become the proud new owner of his home! ;)

While I agree with getting an estoppel, you can't really fix stupid mistakes like this one. Even if the estoppel is not requested, the title company should be checking this against the purchase contract.

It is lucky that you are thorough -- although maybe he lived in Hawaii. Bye bye KBV, hello new vacation home! Haha.

-ryan
 

DeniseM

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The title company did catch it, but having the estoppel letter made it a lot easier to figure out.

*On the contract, all the seller put down as the description was his Wyndham number.
 

icydog

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The title company did catch it, but having the estoppel letter made it a lot easier to figure out.

*On the contract, all the seller put down as the description was his Wyndham number.


What a funny story. Had it been someone else he may have had to worry, but you're way too honest to claim someone's home. :hi:

As an aside, I had an estoppel that was wrong. It said I had a floating week when in actuality it was a fixed week. Even doing my due diligence I was a loser on that week. It, too, was an adoption lol!
 

Egret1986

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I'm working with a resort right now on an inaccurate estoppel

What a funny story. Had it been someone else he may have had to worry, but you're way too honest to claim someone's home. :hi:

As an aside, I had an estoppel that was wrong. It said I had a floating week when in actuality it was a fixed week. Even doing my due diligence I was a loser on that week. It, too, was an adoption lol!

Doing due diligence and having an estoppel are what one should have in order to have this best opportunity of getting what you think you're buying.

I am currently "fighting" with SPM Resorts on an estoppel. The estoppel did not indicate the week was in RCI Points. Guests showed up to no unit available a couple of weeks ago. Resort said that was because the unit was in RCI Points and wasn't reserved for 2015. Why wasn't that indicated on the estoppel? I was given some "hogwash" about that part wasn't filled in because all units are fixed weeks at the resort. "The RCI Points are an overlay purchased by the previous owner, so SPM Resorts does not fill in the RCI Points part." What?????? :eek: I was charged $1805 for accommodations to put my guest in. That answer doesn't wash with me.
 

DaveNV

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Wait, Denise... Was it a NICE house? ;)

Dave
 

icydog

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Doing due diligence and having an estoppel are what one should have in order to have this best opportunity of getting what you think you're buying.

I am currently "fighting" with SPM Resorts on an estoppel. The estoppel did not indicate the week was in RCI Points. Guests showed up to no unit available a couple of weeks ago. Resort said that was because the unit was in RCI Points and wasn't reserved for 2015. Why wasn't that indicated on the estoppel? I was given some "hogwash" about that part wasn't filled in because all units are fixed weeks at the resort. "The RCI Points are an overlay purchased by the previous owner, so SPM Resorts does not fill in the RCI Points part." What?????? :eek: I was charged $1805 for accommodations to put my guest in. That answer doesn't wash with me.

Wow, that's a horror story. RCI has terrible customer service. Over and over I'm amazed at how untrained their people are for the job they do. I'll bet you dollars to donuts this was an RCI mistake.
 

MuranoJo

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Doesn't sound like RCI to me.
I'm not an RCI Points expert, but I don't believe RCI is responsible for the weeks or RCI Points contract end of the situation. After all, RCI is just the exchange company.
 

tschwa2

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Different resorts handle RCI points differently. Some resorts turn over all reservation responsibility of points owners to RCI. So an owner would need to call RCI to reserve their home week. They would also be issued a guest certificate from RCI (no fee attached) if sending a guest to the home week reservation. Basically the resort still collect MF's but anything having to do with a reservation is handled by RCI. This is a service that RCI offers to HOA;s (for an additional fee, I would imagine) to resorts that switch to points. Other resorts still manage home week reservations. So to opt out of the points and reserve the home week or to add a guest name to a reservation the owner would call the resort directly. Only after the the 12 month home resort week period is over would the points auto deposit and from that point on RCI would take over. At still other resorts, points are never auto deposited, the owner would have to call the resort and specifically elect points sometime before 90 days prior to check in if they want points.
 
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MuranoJo

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Thanks for the explanation, tschwa2.
 

Egret1986

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I was hoping the resort/SPM would be responsive to this situation.

I have again emailed the Regional Manager that oversees this resort at SPM. He assured me that he would follow up with me after he spoke to his RCI Rep. I finally have an RCI Manager working with me on my RCI Points account and she is willing to assist me on determining where the problem lies with the week 32 issue. I'll probably never see that $1805 back. So, my focus is ensuring my 2016 week. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere fast with this.

I'm just wondering how I would protect myself in the future to keep something like this from happening again. If the Estoppel doesn't indicate that the ownership is in a Points program and the owner or seller doesn't indicate that it's in a Points program; what should one do when purchasing?

I still believe it should have been indicated on the Estoppel, but the SPM Regional guy says "no."
 

DeniseM

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Is this a fixed week, and you assumed that the reservation was available, based on the info. you had?

Did you call the resort directly to confirm that they had the reservation?
 

tschwa2

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I hate to say this but buying any week that is also in RCI points and you don't personally know the owner and/or can get screen shots of their RCI account and then use that in conjunction with the other usual steps or having a closing agent willing to go those extra steps can lead to these problems. Buying from a PCC type seller who has a POA and no direct contact with the owner or limited contact with an owner so desperated to get rid of what they own and probably doesn't know what they own leads to these problems.

The solution would be don't buy a week that has any potential to be in points if you don't want it in points. You won't find out until you are the owner and try to deposit the week into your weeks account.

The other solution, which probably won't work either with most ebay sellers is to have the contract explicit about the availability of the first two years of usage and the reimbursement and corrective actions to be taken if it is not as specified in the contract.
 

skimble

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I hate to say this but buying any week that is also in RCI points and you don't personally know the owner and/or can get screen shots of their RCI account and then use that in conjunction with the other usual steps or having a closing agent willing to go those extra steps can lead to these problems. Buying from a PCC type seller who has a POA and no direct contact with the owner or limited contact with an owner so desperated to get rid of what they own and probably doesn't know what they own leads to these problems.

The solution would be don't buy a week that has any potential to be in points if you don't want it in points. You won't find out until you are the owner and try to deposit the week into your weeks account.

The other solution, which probably won't work either with most ebay sellers is to have the contract explicit about the availability of the first two years of usage and the reimbursement and corrective actions to be taken if it is not as specified in the contract.

I did not get an estopel letter when I made my latest purchase. I was supposed to get 2014 RCI Points and 2015 points. Fees were current.
Luckily, the fees were current; I did not get the points. The management company did not honor the transfer of points.
I don't know if I would have found this out in an estopel.

(I did not get totally screwed... I own a 2 bd unit in a prime location, and I booked prime for 2015. If I rent it for anywhere near the going rate, I will have made back all my investment.)

I'm curious though.... the points that I would have gotten in this deal were pretty sweet on the point/fee ratio. About how much would it be for me to convert this week back to points? And, do I need to sit through a presentation to do so?
 

DeniseM

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Converting to points costs thousands - common wisdom is that it isn't worth it, since you can buy/adopt a timeshare that's already in points for little or nothing.
 

Egret1986

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Fixed week. I first became an owner at this resort in 1984.

Is this a fixed week, and you assumed that the reservation was available, based on the info. you had?

Did you call the resort directly to confirm that they had the reservation?

Yes, I assumed that the reservation was available since first use was 2015 and I was billed for the 2015 maintenance fee. Owners can't deposit their fixed weeks with an exchange company until the maintenance fee is paid for the year of deposit. I usually do more follow-up and I dropped the ball by not confirming my vacation and it definitely came back to bite me.
 

Westnick

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Why is it so difficult to get an estoppel letter. I have bought 5 resale units. Every time I have had to request several times to the owner or title co. to get one. The main reply is that it is the title co. job to make sure everything is correct and paid. That I don't need one.
 

tschwa2

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I did not get an estopel letter when I made my latest purchase. I was supposed to get 2014 RCI Points and 2015 points. Fees were current.
Luckily, the fees were current; I did not get the points. The management company did not honor the transfer of points.
I don't know if I would have found this out in an estopel.

(I did not get totally screwed... I own a 2 bd unit in a prime location, and I booked prime for 2015. If I rent it for anywhere near the going rate, I will have made back all my investment.)

I'm curious though.... the points that I would have gotten in this deal were pretty sweet on the point/fee ratio. About how much would it be for me to convert this week back to points? And, do I need to sit through a presentation to do so?

I think you bought at HICV Desert Club (at one point they were summerbay but they were purchased by Holiday Inn Club Vacations). Those weren't RCI points they were HICV points that transfer to RCI at a 2:1 ratio. 2 HICV points equal 1 RCI point. All HICV enrolled weeks revert back to fixed weeks upon resale with the exception of 3. You will have to do a seach to find out which. Off the top of my head I think Vermont, SouthBeach, and Gatlinburg. They have to be in a separate RCI account paid through club dues. I believe the going rate to enroll in HICV is around $4000 or you can buy $10,000 or so in new points and then they will enroll your current week either for a reduced rate or for free.
 

bogey21

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Why is it so difficult to get an estoppel letter. I have bought 5 resale units. Every time I have had to request several times to the owner or title co. to get one.

I probably bought over 50 resale units over the years and never requested an estoppel letter. I did my own due diligence and never had a problem.

George
 

DaveNV

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Why is it so difficult to get an estoppel letter.


My guess is because when the deal is through a third-party reseller, they don't have direct contact with the seller, so have to take extra effort (and probably spend money) to get an estoppel from the parent resort. If the reseller is a PCC or similar, that cuts into their profits, and they'd like to avoid doing one iota more work than necessary. When dealing with an owner, getting an estoppel is an easy thing.

In my personal experience, (having bought and sold a number of units over the years), the only times I've ever had an issue was in the cases where I didn't have an estoppel. One deal, a transfer of an undeeded RTU unit, took more than eight months to close, because nobody knew who was doing what. The reseller was two levels away from the seller. I put that down to bad management on the reseller's part, but it would have all gone smoother with an estoppel. (Since when does a reseller require title insurance on an undeeded RTU timeshare?)

The other one that comes to mind was when I tried to purchase a Southern California deeded week from a major reseller. After several months of giving me the runaround, the reseller finally said the deal had been withdrawn due to unpaid state taxes. I was pretty annoyed over that one, because it had dragged on for so long, and I'd passed up other deals at the same resort because I had every expectation my own deal would close. If I'd had an estoppel on that one, the tax issue could have been handled up front, (or the suspected lie from the reseller could have been avoided), and it would have saved everyone a lot of time and trouble. Lesson learned.

Now I won't move forward without an estoppel. I don't care how much extra hassle it is - if they want me to buy it they need to prove to me what I'm getting.

Dave
 
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Egret1986

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Curious, Dave, do you have an opinion on my estoppel situation?

Now I won't move forward without an estoppel. I don't care how much extra hassle it is - if they want me to buy it they need to prove to me what I'm getting.

Dave

The estoppel for my purchase said it was a fixed deeded week. I was told on the day of check-in for the 2015 week "Sorry, the week was in RCI Points and there's an RCI Member in the unit. Your guests can't check in. The 2015 week was not reserved." SPM Resorts did not indicate this ownership was in RCI Points on the estoppel. I think SPM Resorts had an obligation to indicate that the ownership was in RCI Points on the estoppel. A representative says that's not true. A lot is hinging on this for me. Possibly $1805 for the accommodations that I was required to purchase so that my guests had a place to stay and also trying to secure my use for 2016. It's a mess. :wall:

I've brought this up in a couple of threads. No one has commented in either one on the lack of info provided on the estoppel by SPM Resorts. Usually, someone has an opinion on TUG. No one has shared theirs. Yes, it should have been on the estoppel. No, it shouldn't be expected and why. I'm sure there's been lots of folks who've bought resale at SPM Resorts. I'm sure that some of those had to be in RCI Points. However, no one has commented that "yes, I bought and it was indicated on the estoppel" or "no, I bought and nothing was indicated on the estoppel that my ownership was in RCI Points."

When I asked if there was something I could do in the future to avoid this type of situation, a suggestion was to not buy at resorts that are in RCI Points. Surely, that's not the only solution. :shrug:
 

DeniseM

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Maybe the only thing you can do is call the front desk directly, and see if the fixed week reservation is in place.
 
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Egret1986

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Do you have an opinion, Denise, on the estoppel missing information?

Maybe the only think you can do is call the front desk directly, and see if the fixed week reservation is in place.

Resort says that they do not have 2016 loaded up in their system yet.

I guess tomorrow that I'm going to go ahead a try to sort things out with the aid of the RCI Manager. I have all of her direct information. I really had hoped the SPM Regional Manager would get back to me as he said he would. Perhaps, they are still investigating the situation. A quick answer to my emails letting me know that would have been appreciated.

I guess it's not all about me. :(
 

tschwa2

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I gave my opinion. In general info on Estoppel about RCI points (or not points) for points resort is not reliable. To be sure one way or the other, you need to get a print screen of the current RCI account with the week in question shown in one type of account or the other before buying. Without that you need to have guaranteed usage in the type (points or week) specified in the contract.
 
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