Police warn people not to get caught by timeshare property scam

Greater Manchester Police have issued a warning to people who may have been approached by fraudsters offering huge cash returns if they invest in luxury timeshare properties. Incredibly fraudsters have been claiming that people can become property millionaires if they invest some of their hard-earned cash. It is not clear how fraudsters have been able to get hold of peoples personal details, however they have urged people who already own timeshares to be extra vigilant as they are more likely to be singled out and targeted.

Police have issued the warning after a number of complaints were made by members of the public, stating that they were contacted out of the blue and invited to attend a presentation and they would receive a free gift in return. People who attended the presentations were then held for hours on end and pressured into signing contracts there and then. People who attended the presentations were being sold timeshares in properties that did not exist and made to pay large upfront fees before the sales could go through.

Timeshare owners are particularly vulnerable to these sorts of scams as fraudsters are aware of the victim’s personal details from previous investments which gives them false credibility. Because of this often victims are persuaded to part with large amounts of money which is then hard to trace and virtually no chance of getting back once the sale has gone through.

Greater Manchester Police issued the following tips to protect yourself against this type of fraud:

  • Be very wary of letters, phone calls or emails from companies you do not know offering you business deals out of the blue
  • If you are contacted by phone, do not continue the conversation
  • Do not pass on confidential information to people or companies who say you have been chosen especially, or that you have won something
  • Never make investments without thorough research. Check into the company and ask for several references
  • Never agree to anything on the spot. Refuse to sign anything there and then. Take the documentation home with you and sleep on it
  • Make sure a lawyer reads the contract before you sign it. Make a note of all the verbal promises you were given and ensure they are in the contract. If they are not, refuse to sign
  • Ask about your cancellation rights and get them in writing
  • Remember, you can always walk out of the presentation. No one can make you stay, no matter what the salespeople may try and tell you
  • Think of buying a timeshare in the same way you would consider buying any other membership – is it worth the money? Research the market and discover the property values

The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these types of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between. People who enter into timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with timeshare exit schemes.

Before agreeing to any timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with. If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a timeshare or a ‘holiday points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.

Judge orders timeshare resort to close down

A judge in Toronto has ordered the closure of two timeshare properties managed and run by Wyndham Vacation Clubs. The resort has 250 units spread over 2 locations situated in a major ski and golf resort with 11,000 timeshare owners owning units there.

Following a survey which was ordered by the judge investigating the case, found that the majority of owners wished to get out of their contracts as the properties had not been maintained to an acceptable standard and had fallen into disrepair. In addition to this the timeshare contracts were ‘in perpetuity’ meaning they were lifelong agreements and upon the event of the owners death, the timeshare and any debts and bills associated to it would be passed on to unwilling family members.

The judge concluded that following the survey and so many owners expressing concern that the timeshares were no longer fit for purpose, the properties should be sold and handled by liquidators going forward. The properties will now be put up for sale, however, timeshare owners are unlikely to receive any money from the sale but will be allowed to exit their contracts free of charge.

Following the announcement the resort would be sold, timeshare advocate for owners at the resort Karen Levins told MSN News “Many owners have been saying for a long time that the resorts are past their prime and that timeshare ownership in Ontario has not been a good model, especially because for these particular resorts there was a contractual in-perpetuity clause that bound owners to pay their maintenance fees forever. Even after they die, the responsibility to pay those maintenance fee transfers over to their heirs, so even death doesn’t get you out of your timeshare commitment.”

Do you have a timeshare contract in perpetuity?

Terminating a timeshare contract is difficult for a reason, simply put resorts do not want you to stop paying maintenance fees, that is why it is so difficult for you to surrender your ownership.

A perpetuity clause essentially means that you will own your timeshare forever and your children and their children will be liable for the fees when you pass away. This is a scary thought for many people who have likely been through the timeshare turmoil mill for some time and do not want to pass the burden on to their loved ones. You can’t simply give up your timeshare either, if you have an in perpetuity contract, Very few companies let you do that as losing you as a member means they will lose out on management fees. Even if this is an option with your resort, bear in mind that any financial investments you have ever made during your ownership will be lost and you cannot get your membership back if you change your mind.

You may be able to make a claim!

Many Timeshare owners who have been trying to get out of Timeshare for years are just happy to be free from the crippling maintenance fees and an inflexible holiday system, however making a claim is still possible under certain circumstances. Timeshare Finance Claims are the leading provider of regulated timeshare claims in the UK. Contact us today to be considered for a claim.

Judge rules against Timeshare resort!

A judge in the U.S has ruled against one of the biggest timeshare giants despite their repeated attacks on the timeshare termination attorney.

A federal Judge in the U.S has ruled in favour of timeshare exit attorney Mitchell Reed Sussman. The resort had been accusing the firm of falsely advertising timeshare exit services, a tactic that most large resorts have been employing of late.

Following a battle in the courts, the judge ruled in favour of the firm, stating the resorts accusations were without merit and the firm were acting within the law and any statements they made on their website about being able to help people in the U.S end their timeshare contracts were “literally true”.

During proceedings, the judge heard from timeshare owners who explained how resort representatives had lied and went to extraordinary lengths just to make a sale. Several witnesses also described how once they were converted to a holiday points system, there is no limit on how many points a resort can sell, so when an individual tries to book they will often find no availability for vacations and what they paid for.

In a statement on their website Sussman writes: “Timeshare developers have been bullying people into signing contracts they don’t want and can’t afford for years.” Sussman claims that these tactics are just another example of the economic divide that exists in our country with mammoth corporations taking advantage of the little guy. “Luckily, the courts are beginning to see what the developers are trying to do.”