If there is money to be made by cheating people out of their hard earned money, someone will be trying to do so. Timeshare fraud is no different.
Frauds or scams can be devastating for both financial and mental reasons. Recovering your assets and your peace of mind might take years, if ever, and can take an additional toll. If you have never been the victim of a timeshare fraud or scam, it is easy to underestimate the effect it can have.
If you take basic steps to protect yourself during the process you may be able to avoid being scammed. Timeshare cancellation is the easiest solution if you feel you are being defrauded, but it is a process that can be exploited by dishonest brokers and leave you liable for expenses that can be devastating. Sales people are also not averse to making false claims during the sales pitch. If they aren’t spelled out in the contract, they can claim that the purchaser misunderstood what was said or implied and that they are not responsible for anything other than what is written in the contract. Unless it is spelled out, they will not accept responsibility for it.
When you first purchased your timeshare, you will have signed a stack of documents that may not have made much sense to you. Many timeshare companies use high pressure sales pitches to get customers to sign the contract without giving you the opportunity to read everything. When you get to closing you are exhausted and the closing person knows this so they rush through the process hoping you don’t read anything or question the documents. This is when you should tell them that you want your contract reviewed by a timeshare attorney. As with any contract, there is language that is difficult to understand and you need to know your rights.
- Timeshares are an investment
- You can sell your timeshare and make a profit at any time
- You will receive rental income from renting out your timeshare
- You will receive priority when booking your stay over non-timeshare reservations
- Your timeshare interest will appreciate over time, making your timeshare more valuable
Most of these statements will be made during the initial sales pitch and will never appear in a contract. This makes them unenforceable and your “investment” becomes worth a lot less.
The timeshare presentation can have an almost circus-like atmosphere as these companies try to get you to sign using high-pressure and intensive selling techniques. This can cause major problems as the best method of selling timeshares appears identical to timeshare scams. The same methods are employed by both scammers and legitimate timeshare companies.
If you have already signed an agreement and need to know how to get out of a timeshare, your best option is to consult an attorney. It isn’t easy to resist the high-pressure selling techniques and free gifts and there are times we sign papers without completely thinking it through.
If you are outside of your rescission period and feel you were misled into signing your contract, you should consult with a timeshare attorney.
Tips to Avoid Timeshare Fraud and Scams:
- Get EVERYTHING in writing
- Never take the salespersons word for it, ask them to show you exactly where it reads “that” in the contract
- NEVER sign or initial your rights to waive verbal misrepresentations made by the sales staff
- If you proceed to purchase, at closing record your understanding of the transaction and repeat any of the assertions made by the sales team. Most timeshare companies record the closings, however no one repeats what has been conveyed earlier to them and it appears in the recording the XYZ Timeshare Company did every thing by the “book”
- Lastly, do not fall for this is a “today only deal or sale”, if sales were that good and demand that high why were you offered an incentive to listen to their sales presentation