4 Signs of a Timeshare Exit Scam
Timeshare exit firms are conscious that those seeking their help are in a fragile state. The emotional and financial difficulties caused by the timeshare developer have left them eager to terminate their contracts using any means possible.
However, these exit companies take advantage of this situation and overcharge these already-burdened timeshare owners for their services. It’s important to recognize the indications that an exit offer may seem too good to be true.
1. They Won’t Reveal Their Process
It’s important for a timeshare exit company to be transparent about their process and be willing to discuss their plan for helping you. If a company cannot or refuses to explain how they intend to assist you in terminating your timeshare contract, it’s likely that they won’t be able to provide effective solutions.
2. They Offer to Get Your Money Back
Rewritten: Have you ever wished that you could recover all the money you’ve spent on your timeshare? Consider all the expenses you’ve incurred, from the initial purchase fee to maintenance fees, club dues, and special assessments. Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to expect to recoup all of these costs, and no reputable timeshare exit company should make such a promise.
Some timeshare exit companies may claim that they can recover a portion or even all of the money you’ve been overcharged by your timeshare developer. However, such claims should be viewed with suspicion, as no legitimate law firm or timeshare exit team can guarantee a refund. They must first analyze your case and familiarize themselves with your developer’s policies before determining whether a timeshare cancellation case is feasible, and even then, it is uncertain if you will receive any money back.
The reality is that most people who exit their timeshare will not receive any reimbursement. Timeshare exit companies that claim you’ve been overcharged are likely participating in a scam because they don’t have access to this information. They should never make promises or mislead clients into believing that they will receive a refund, as refunds are rare.
When canceling your timeshare, your goal should not be to obtain a refund for excessive fees. Instead, focus on exiting your ownership successfully and returning to a more financially stable life.
3. They Promise to Get You Out of Credit Card Debt
If you’ve attended a timeshare sales presentation, you know how persistent salespeople can be in convincing you to sign a contract. They offer free incentives, show you around luxurious resorts, and relentlessly convince you that owning a timeshare is affordable. Timeshare companies offer various financing options to make it seem more feasible, such as taking out a loan from the developer or using a credit card to pay upfront costs.
However, if you can no longer keep up with loan payments or if your credit card starts accumulating timeshare maintenance fees that you can’t afford, things can quickly become unmanageable. On top of that, timeshare companies make it difficult to terminate your contract, which only adds to your debt.
Timeshare exit companies claim to offer a solution to the financial burden that many timeshare owners face. They even promise to eliminate your credit card or loan debt in addition to canceling your contract. But the reality is that your money problems won’t disappear by using an exit company. Regardless of whether you financed your timeshare through a payment plan with the developer, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or have accumulated credit card debt that the developer signed you up for, exit companies cannot resolve these issues. Their promise is a misleading one that is ultimately fraudulent.
The reason why exit companies cannot help you eliminate your debt is that credit cards are typically issued by third-party lenders. As a result, it’s challenging to prove that your timeshare company is responsible for your debt, and the exit companies do not have the means to get rid of it.
4. They Claim to Sell Your Timeshare
If you’ve been struggling to sell your timeshare, chances are you’ve explored online resale markets such as eBay or Craigslist. In your search, you may have encountered several listings from major timeshare providers like Wyndham or Diamond Resorts at outrageously low prices, leaving you wondering how you could possibly compete with those selling for $1 or less.
Without the industry knowledge and marketing skills to distinguish your timeshare from the competition, it’s understandable to consider delegating the task to a more experienced party. This is where timeshare resale companies come into play. They make a living by exploiting people looking to sell their timeshares, using telemarketing to claim they have a potential buyer for their unwanted property.
This sales tactic is particularly effective with people who have been unsuccessfully trying to sell their timeshares for years and are unaware of how to go about it. Resale salespeople will assure you that their company will take care of everything and remove the property from your hands for a straightforward upfront fee.
If you’ve been tempted to contact a resale company or have even been solicited by one without your consent, proceeding with it puts you at risk of a timeshare resale scam. These companies may claim to have an interested buyer already but will not disclose their identity. They may also promise to sell your timeshare within a specific period or even claim that it’s already been sold.
Many of these resale scammers are based in Mexico and have ties to cartels. They may suggest that you can receive the money after paying taxes on the property or a one-time fee. These are all classic red flags of a scammer that you should avoid if you’re serious about cancelling your timeshare.
Unfortunately, the truth is that, regardless of what these companies tell you, timeshare resales are almost impossible to achieve. They make it appear that reselling will be hassle-free or that you’ll even earn money from the sale, using the same high-pressure sales tactics that your timeshare company used to convince you to buy in the first place.
If you’re wondering whether there is a legitimate timeshare exit option that isn’t a scam, it’s unlikely that you’ll find it through a timeshare resale company.