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Lake Okanagan Resort contract buyout

kevinjanny

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Has anyone else received their buyout letter? It's kind of short notice, giving owners only until January 15 to come up with the money, but we want out so it's a done deal for us. For our own peace of mind, we're taking it to our lawyer to look over. Any thoughts?
 
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My advice is don't pay it. You have to familiarize yourself with this management group's similar tactic along with their other sordit unsavory practises by skimming the Sunchaser thread on this website. Pour yourself a drink first.
 

kevinjanny

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My in-laws went through the whole ordeal at Fairmont. Unfortunately, we are well aware of their history. They also paid to get out of the whole fiasco, and have not regretted it. At one time, it was feasible to own it. Now it's easier and in some cases cheaper to rent from an owner on VRBO, and have no strings attached at the end of your vacation. Based on the condition of the resort the last time we were there, and the escalating maintenance fees, we want out.
 
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I can imagine everyone would want out. However, I wouldn't pay a dime for any reason. If you believe they've not been strictly faithful to their obligations in the contract, why be true to yours?

Oh sure, there's that being a standup person sentiment but, in the end, is being the only one playing by the rules the right thing to do? If you believe they've not lived up to their contractual obligations why feel obligated to honor yours? Fairmont, Sunchaser, Rafter Six, and now a buyout for Lake Okanagan gives them a consistent track record but, it's not one of either customer service or building value for their lease-holders. They are counting on the lease-holders taking the easy but expensive way out. It's that simple. What you'll save in time and frustrations, you'll pay for at an exorbitant price. Not to mention, how do you pay to get out of a contract that doesn't have a provision for such an exit?

I imagine at the right price they'll let you out. But, what if they lose any one of the coming legal challenges? If they let lease-holders out but there was not a provision in the contract to let lease-holders out? Those lease-holders might not be out.

As a caution, those who have paid to exit their Fairmont/Sunchaser Timeshare obligations may come to regret that decision. For an explanation read through the thread on that subject; and, you'll find paying to leave and the legacy for life options, may not be what those taking those options thought them to be.
 

Tacoma

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Call me nosy but I'm dying to know what they are asking to stay or to go. With Fairmont it all started (so they said) because of the pipes needing to be replaced in the units. They requested 3000 each week to stay or 4000 to go based on an annual ownership. What is the reason they need more money for this resort? I assume once more they didn't realize what they bought and so now you the lease holders are being asked to save the resort. If my count is correct they did this in Mexico, Hawaii, Fairmont, REIT investors, Rafter Six and now Lake Okanagan. Isn't anyone else curious what they have asked for this time?
 

kevinjanny

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Just under $4000 for us to get out. Glad to be done with it.
 

Tacoma

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Thanks for sharing the number. Once again 4000 x 50 owners per year(per unit) and they could almost rebuild the resort for that. I assume they had a number to stay too. At least you are aware that the courts are not ruling in our favor and will pay and move on. I am caught up in the legal nightmare. I just can't believe they get to do it again.
 

Lostmyshirt

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Owner at LOR for many years. It was my understanding it was bought out 3 years? ago by asian investors.............if so not the same company so who is sending letters for a buyout?? I have not received anything...makes you wonder if its old owners fishing for money?
 
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Sunchaser Vacation Resort at Fairmont BC
RESORT OWNERS? Lake Okanagan.

We are Time-Share Consumers at Sunchaser (was Fairmont). We were told your resort at Lake Okanagan was sold to Investors from China? Was this not true? Is it still Northwynd or Kirk Wankel et al.

The reason I am asking is that we are involved in the court case and refuse to give up. Our next hearing is May 1st at 9am in Edmonton Ab. The last appearance saw 267 of us who attended court (there are around 842 of us in Alberta alone). The Judge was kind enough to change court rooms so that we could all fit in and watch. There's a lot of international history with these guys and I wish we could afford or figure out a way to hire an investigator to properly dig it all up. Im sure it would have potential for a good news story on W5 and 60 Minutes! :)
 
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This looks like old news. I just received my buyout letter. Looks like 3 options: stay in with "double or more more" maintenance fee, move to new building for FIVE years only at current maintenance fee ( specified for 2019 only) then release all claim, or take buyout by paying about 5 years of current fees now and getting no use. All seem like poor options to me.
 
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Owner at LOR for many years. It was my understanding it was bought out 3 years? ago by asian investors.............if so not the same company so who is sending letters for a buyout?? I have not received anything...makes you wonder if its old owners fishing for money?
The letter came from Lake Okanagan Resort P.O. Box 32625 Richmond B.C. Phone number 1.844.769.2656
There is a deadline added for options choice- until January 15 2019. Options are 1. Continue with your timeshare agreement ... be advised that Maintenance Fees will likely be more than double 2019 fees.
Opt 2. Terminate timeshare agreement immediately -pay $3350 to do so Opt 3. Vary your timeshare agreement by transferring your timeshare interest to Lakeside Inn, and your timeshare agreement will terminate Dec 31, 2023.
 
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RESORT OWNERS? Lake Okanagan.

We are Time-Share Consumers at Sunchaser (was Fairmont). We were told your resort at Lake Okanagan was sold to Investors from China? Was this not true? Is it still Northwynd or Kirk Wankel et al.

The reason I am asking is that we are involved in the court case and refuse to give up. Our next hearing is May 1st at 9am in Edmonton Ab. The last appearance saw 267 of us who attended court (there are around 842 of us in Alberta alone). The Judge was kind enough to change court rooms so that we could all fit in and watch. There's a lot of international history with these guys and I wish we could afford or figure out a way to hire an investigator to properly dig it all up. Im sure it would have potential for a good news story on W5 and 60 Minutes! :)
No, I don’t think Northwynd is involved or KW. LOR was bought by some Asian billionaire ( or Asian Resort Company ) in 2014. The letter we got said that LOR is no longer sustainable as a timeshare community and so they plan to terminate all leases by the year 2023. They have said that Maintenance fees will most likely more than double if you don’t choose option 2- pay immediately a fee to terminate ($3350 ) or vary your agreement by transferring your interest exclusively to Lakeside Inn, an old building in need of major work. Those transfers would be owners from the Terrace building, an even older unit that needs even more work. We own a 3 bedroom unit in condo buildings on the golf course, and we are asked to transfer to a 1 bedroom unit in Lakeside as well, which are worse than the 3 bedroom units we own. Our 3bedroom unit is also in need of a major overhaul. The whole place has gone down hill since we bought in 2002.
 

Tacoma

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Although Northwynd may not be involved directly this time their success in getting the timeshare lessees to pay to get out has set a precedent that is extremely scary to anyone that owns timeshares in Canada. It has given other companies the idea that they can use their leessees as ATM's. I still reel from the outcome of the northwynd fiasco to the tune of almost $24,000 to give back one week. The courts have allowed companies to charge their lessees to give back what they already paid for. It will always feel wrong. I certainly hope your outcome is better than ours (if you choose to fight) but my advice would be suck it up, pay the bill to get out and move on.
 
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Although Northwynd may not be involved directly this time their success in getting the timeshare lessees to pay to get out has set a precedent that is extremely scary to anyone that owns timeshares in Canada. It has given other companies the idea that they can use their leessees as ATM's. I still reel from the outcome of the northwynd fiasco to the tune of almost $24,000 to give back one week. The courts have allowed companies to charge their lessees to give back what they already paid for. It will always feel wrong. I certainly hope your outcome is better than ours (if you choose to fight) but my advice would be suck it up, pay the bill to get out and move on.
I totally agree. We also owned at Fairmont and paid to get out. No doubt LOR saw what Fairmont/Northwynd did and are following suit. We owned biennial at Fairmont and so the cost to get out for us was around $1400. LOR is asking for $3350 regardless if you have a biennial lease (which we have ) and so we are seeing our lawyer to see how to get out of this one for a cheaper amount. LOR is saying that they are no longer sustainable as a timeshare community and say they plan to terminate all timeshare leases by 2023. And they expect us to pay for them to terminate the leases! It’s incredible! And it also seems that they haven’t a clue what they are doing or haven’t thought it all out yet.
The courts are not on timeshare owner’s side for sure.
 
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Has anyone else received their buyout letter? It's kind of short notice, giving owners only until January 15 to come up with the money, but we want out so it's a done deal for us. For our own peace of mind, we're taking it to our lawyer to look over. Any thoughts?
We received a letter, and I posted here, UnhappyCustomer has spoken to a lawyer in Penticton, I am willing to start a class action, everyone needs to look at their contract and see if there is a limit to the amount that they can increase your annual/bi annual fees. Apparently contracts from around 1995 to 2003/4 have them. If so we may have a chance, if not the lawyer seems to have recommended that we pay to walk away. If you are wanting to form a class action claim, (lawyer said would be about $3350) please try to find others in the same position and lets get together, my number is 250-640-2119 Barb M.
 
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No, we spoke to our Lawyer in Alberta. The Facebook group (Lake Okanagan Resort Timeshare Termination 2018- look it up and request to join) have spoken with a lawyer- Neil Wyper from Penticton. 11 or so folks sent him their Timeshare Agreements and he was surprised to see how many different contracts existed. Not everyone has the CPI Maintenance Fee raising restriction, so those that do can question LOR and refuse to pay higher Maintenace fees, other than the CPI allows. I will post his response below.
 
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No, we spoke to our Lawyer in Alberta. The Facebook group (Lake Okanagan Resort Timeshare Termination 2018- look it up and request to join) have spoken with a lawyer- Neil Wyper from Penticton. 11 or so folks sent him their Timeshare Agreements and he was surprised to see how many different contracts existed. Not everyone has the CPI Maintenance Fee raising restriction, so those that do can question LOR and refuse to pay higher Maintenace fees, other than the CPI allows. I will post his response below.


I'm surprised by how many variations of leases have been used. I've seen, I believe, 11 agreements so far.
Of those 11, the ones dated before January 1995, do not have a restriction on the increase in annual use fees. Unfortunately, one from September 1994 doesn't have a limit, but yours in January 1995 does.

Then, by 2004, a whole new agreement doesn't have a limit.

Here's where things get even more complicated. There was a dispute at a very similar timeshare at Fairmont Hot Springs. The owners had leases that were almost word-for-word the same as the one lease I saw from 2004, and the company wanted to drastically increase the annual fees. The owners fought the increase, and didn't pay their annual fees while the case worked through the courts. In the end, they lost, had to pay their lawyers and the company's legal fees, had to pay their annual fees plus interest, and were still stuck in the leases.
For anyone with a recent lease, probably anyone after 2004, they should do whatever they can to buy out of the lease. Fighting is very likely to be unsuccessful, for them.
For anyone with an old lease, probably anyone before January 1995, even though the language is quite different than the Fairmont case, they're unlikely to successfully fight it, for the same reasons that the Fairmont owners lost.

That leaves the handful of people between 1995 and about 2002-2004, whose agreements say specifically that the annual fees will not increase by more than twice the annual consumer price index.
For this group, I think the options are to demand that your annual fees do not increase faster than you agreed to, but you still do not have a right to terminate the agreement before its time is up.
 

ecwinch

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On a positive note, at least you are getting some reasonable legal advice. His note pretty much summarizes the legal issues that were ruled on in the Fairmont actions, and the risks associated with continued litigation. Especially the final paragraph.

Because spending $3k+ to join a class action sounds too much like the path (or ride) that Fairmont's lawyer took those owners on. The key thing to remember is that there is only one guaranteed winner in any lawsuit - the lawyer racking up billable hrs. There is even a joke along those lines in the legal circles.

And I would agree with the posts above. The clarity offered by the courts rulings on Fairmont is the driver in these recent actions.
 
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ecwinch

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Doubling back after reading the outcome of the Northmont appeal that was posted yesterday.

After reading it, I realize that there is one difference between the two situations that is material. At the heart of many of Northmont's claims was the issue of misrepresentation. However given how the Northmont owners presented their case, the court has ruled many times that their lawyers effectively waived those claims in an early proceeding. To the extent that raising them again in other cases and on appeal, was an abuse of process.

Here that is not true. So litigation on the basis of mis-representation is not impacted by the rulings in Northmont. It is likely still an uphill climb on that issue, but Northmont has no bearing on it.

Unlike the substantive issues of law that the court has ruled on - i.e. ability to terminate the lease, responsibility for increased operating expenses from defaulting owners, responsibility for capital expenses, etc.
 
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On a positive note, at least you are getting some reasonable legal advice. His note pretty much summarizes the legal issues that were ruled on in the Fairmont actions, and the risks associated with continued litigation. Especially the final paragraph.

Because spending $3k+ to join a class action sounds too much like the path (or ride) that Fairmont's lawyer took those owners on. The key thing to remember is that there is only one guaranteed winner in any lawsuit - the lawyer racking up billable hrs. There is even a joke along those lines in the legal circles.

And I would agree with the posts above. The clarity offered by the courts rulings on Fairmont is the driver in these recent actions.
Your words “ there is only one guaranteed winner in any lawsuit-the Lawyer..” is so true! Taking them to court will cost way more than paying the termination fee unfortunately, and if you lose you are still stuck with the timeshare. In the LOR case, we all got a letter saying that all Timeshare agreements will be terminated in 2023 though. So I’m wondering how they are going to do that for those of us who refuse to pay to get out now, and who have the the clause re restriction on raising fees beyond CPI. We are planning to wait it out and see.
 

ecwinch

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I would equally concerned about what happens if you win. It sounds like the resort is in decline, and a victory in a court is not going to reverse that. So I would really press any lawyer who is advocating a lawsuit, for a very candid assessment of what a “win” means.
 
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I would equally concerned about what happens if you win. It sounds like the resort is in decline, and a victory in a court is not going to reverse that. So I would really press any lawyer who is advocating a lawsuit, for a very candid assessment of what a “win” means.
Yes, a win is not what we want, and no lawyer so far has advocated for a lawsuit. We want out of the timeshare agreement for the very reasons you stated. The place is in decline, and so we are waiting to see what LOR will say to us 3 bedroom unit owners who have not paid to terminate, or agreed to transfer from a 3 bedroom/ sleep 8 unit to a 1 bedroom/sleep 4, on a 5 year contract. There was a deadline given to accept the termination option, or the transfer option ( Jan 15) so I won’t be surprised if they try to get more money from the folks that decided to wait and ride it out. But , they have said that they plan to terminate ALL timeshares by 2023, which they can’t do legally! So hopefully by then, if what they are saying is true, they will let us ,who are still there , walk away with no fee! Might be wishful thinking on our part.
 
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Also, with Fairmont, they were continuing on as a timeshare community, so owners had the choice to terminate or pay to stay. LOR is saying they can’t sustain a timeshare community, so they want rid of the timeshare owners. So that is totally different! They can’t make us pay to terminate our agreement, when they want to be free of timeshare owners, and not continue on with units that are timeshares.
 

ecwinch

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The place is in decline, and so we are waiting to see what LOR will say to us 3 bedroom unit owners who have not paid to terminate, or agreed to transfer from a 3 bedroom/ sleep 8 unit to a 1 bedroom/sleep 4, on a 5 year contract.
Are you in the group mentioned above (1995-2004) that has explicit language regarding a cap on m/f increases? If not there is a lot of risk you are taking on.

Because you are correct that they cannot unilaterally terminate your contract, but they have a fair amount of latitude to raise the m/f's and assessments to make it more expensive to wait it out. Because the option for you to pay to cancel the lease is at their discretion. They can terminate it at any time or even jack up the costs to do so significantly.
 
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Yes- we have the clause which says they can’t raise our fees more than the consumer price index. So we figure why pay them a termination fee? If they really are going to terminate the leases , then we will willingly give ours up, without paying them any money.
 
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