- Jun 6, 2005
- Reaction score
- Lake Tapps, WA
I think you're wrong, technically. TR is not VIN. TR has some sort of agreement with VIN where VIN takes any/all of what TR takes in. So TR does not 'sell.' TR make their money when the unhappy timeshare owner pays them. VIN assumes the risk of not being able to sell and they make money on eBay and kickbacks on closing. Oh yeah and they make money on reimbursement of MFs because they had to be paid up when TR took them from the owner, so it's BS that they should be reimbursed.
Everyone knows, I call ‘em as I see ‘em, and will continue to do so.
I got the post card, I called.
They do not buy or sell timeshares, they are a transfer company, and they have tax strategies that will get me a percentage of my money invested in my timeshare. Bring all my paperwork. Do you still use your timeshare? Are you the only owner?
OK, so I took the first appointment that they offered today and arrived 30 minutes early, the second or third to arrive. They had a table set up in the lobby. Filled out their Questionnaire, which wanted most of your personal info. People were scattered around the lobby at tables and on couches, etc. A representative then came around and read your questionnaire and asked you for your post card, wrote a big pink ‘G’ on it and gave me my GAS card. That was very upfront. Did they ever take the questionnaire away from me and file it, no.
I made the rounds, talking to couples that were waiting, talking about timeshares in general and outfits that want to pay you for your timeshare and sell you a vacation club. By the time I got to the second couple, they were on me like flies on honey, wanting to know what I was talking about, they’d been told that someone in the business was there to spread misinformation and disparage them. Couldn’t be me! See post #31. Most of the people were older as you would expect for a Friday morning, I expect the younger crowd to come on Sat/Sun.
At the appointed hour they ushered about 20 of us into a small conference room with video testimonials playing up front on the screen. Then Frank, a retired Marine, got up and told his personal story about how he owned timeshare and TR got him out of it, then he went to work for them. He introduced Sam who was the ringleader and a smooth talker, though he claimed to be an engineer by trade, like David MacMillan, one of the owners.
I took notes but I’m not going to bore you with the blah, blah, blah that you would expect them to talk about, besides when I exited I think I left my notes on the table. OK, they talked about your kids being stuck with it, your ever rising MFs, a couple special assessments every 10yrs, your exchange company dues, your exchange fees if you do use it, the repercussions if you don’t pay your MFs, etc, etc. They were all over the Timesharing Today article that’s been discussed at length, a Newsweek article by Jane Bryant Quinn, and some stuff off the Wisconsin Dept of Ag website.
I was most interested in the tax strategy that I was told about on the phone, where all the timeshares go, what the cost and mechanics of the transaction are.
Let me say that this company does not sell a vacation club at this presentation, they do have a link to a vacation club on their website, why, I don’t know.
Why Timeshare Relief was started: To provide RELIEF to dissatisfied timeshare owners. Not only do our clients NEVER receive another timeshare assessment or maintenance fee billing, they are also provided with a financial solution that saves them money allowing them to break free of the "timeshare trap". Title transfers are handled by a professionally licensed, bonded, and insured title agency.
This is what they do.
Tax strategy. When they started talking about this, I pulled out DaveM’s advice and laid it on my desk. Big red letters Income Taxes and Timeshares
Sam saw this but didn’t miss a beat. He came out upfront saying that this may be an aggressive strategy but was all legal. He filled out the Schedule ‘D’ right there on the screen as an example. It didn’t matter if you’d ever made any money off of it… if you bought it thinking it was an investment, with that intent, then you could claim your $15K loss, or whatever, including developer cost, Timeshare Relief’s fees, any other fees you’d paid to one of those dastardly upfront fee companies, any special assessments you’d paid, all deductible.
TCS is the company they use for closing.
Timeshares acquired by Timeshare Relief are used by an event planning company for corporate events(conventions, executive retreats, corporate training functions, etc.).
This is their cover story for where the timeshares go. This magical event planner makes his money by booking events for Fortune500 companies and makes money, not on the TS, but on all the catering, event stuff….
When questioned directly about how they take title and how it gets out of my name, Monica said that title is taken by tadaa….. VIN Inc – Vacation Innovations Network Incorporated. Now we all know what VIN Inc does with them, don’t we?
I purposely put down one of my worst timeshares on my Questionnaire, one I’d paid $26 in 2003 from VIN Inc or maybe eMidSouth. I said there's no way an event planner could use this property. When questioned directly, Frank said that the event planner may not use my timeshare directly but turn it into ‘points’ to book a lot in one place. Oh, so the magical event planner has PFD and then breaks RCI’s rules using them for commercial purposes. Frank didn’t know anything about that. But Monica told me that VIN Inc takes title, they sell them on eBay, Frank didn’t know anything about that.
What about these tax strategies, I don’t believe them (While I don’t agree with DaveM about everything, like whether an HOA offering of Red weeks for an admin fee of $50 is ‘free’ or not, I do respect his opinions and agree with his tax advice). Frank said that TR would be glad to have their CPA talk to my CPA.
Let me see, aggressive tax strategies, shady event planners, and one other thing… they insinuated that the developer had some deed where they could go borrow money based on some sort of ownership of the resort and that my deed to real estate wasn’t really real estate because a bank wouldn’t lend me money on it. We all know why a bank wouldn't lend me money on it.
Near the end, Sam didn’t like me talking to the person next to me while waiting for one of their representatives, presentation was over. Six representatives had to cover ~20 people. He again said that he was on the lookout for this company insider, he flipped out this hardcopy Post#31 from Spence and said that this guy was coming to make trouble, see he’s a Founding Member of Sunterra, he started the company. I read the paper diligently and said I didn’t think that was the case. Well, he’s got 1417 posts on the internet, he must work in the industry. OK, have I made any trouble for you, the answer was no.
I’m not happy, obviously with their event planner story, is there an event planner, I bet there is. Tax strategy, yeah. These guys remind everyone about the bad stuff.
Do they turn around and sell them? No, not directly. Are they in bed with VIN Inc, what is their contract with VIN Inc?
What do they charge? If you have one TS, they charge 7x MF or $3495 whichever is lower. If you have more than one TS, lets talk.
I was there for quite a while, waiting and asking questions. I saw many people sign the paperwork and cough up their credit card, even the couple I first talked to in the lobby, what were they getting rid of? December OC, MD and July Barbados. The other couple I talked to left as soon as the presentation was over. The woman I sat next to didn’t have money or a credit card with her, she was negotiating her 182,000 FF points when I left.
I have a copy of all their contracts and paperwork and am glad to share, email me. Would I do business with them? Probably not.
Do they provide a service and is the service they provide legit? I believe it is. BBB rating. Their contract relieves you of your MFs immediately provided that everything was paid to date with nothing outstanding.
Do I agree with their premises, no. They claimed 4000 happy customers since 2002, website says 5000. It's gotta be more than that based on how many people signed this morning and the fact that they have four to five teams out every weekend. Normally four, but the response in the DC/MD area was so big that they had to add a day (Sun) and field another team to cover Charlottesville because of that. This team was Sam, Frank, Monica, and about three others. I asked whether Cindy or David, the owners hit the road anymore, and the answer was no. They must not be the only outfit that has a contract with VIN Inc. based on the number of eBay auctions.
If you look through the tenacles of these postcard companies, common ownership of different entities is frequent. Sometimes they even own the closing company. What evidence do you have that VIN and TR are owned by different people? If you look close enough, I would bet that you would find that they are just different sides of the same coin.
That report was filed last Fall in a thread that was started last Summer.Thanks for the report, Spence. Very interesting. I have a question.
Assuming that the two timeshares those people were paying to give away could not be deeded back to the resorts--would they be sellable on eBay?
I figure the Ocean City, MD, timeshare, in December, would be difficult to sell. But how about the July Barbados unit? That's sellable, isn't it? There are people who want to go there in the summer, aren't there?
I would be curious about the dross-to-gold proportions they're getting at these presentations.