Friday’s Letter from America: Timeshare Tipping Point

Welcome to another article in our Letter from America series, once again Inside Timeshare would like to thank our stalwart contributor Irene Parker for organizing this week’s article and those who have helped. This week we look at Timeshare Talks, which can be found on YouTube, but we will let Irene explain.

Timeshare Talks Guests – Past, Present and Future

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Hosts John Raymond, Resort Reseller

Wayne Robinson, Everything About Timeshares 

Irene Parker, TIMESHARE TALKS Coordinator 

June 25, 2021

TIMESHARE TALKS Library and Schedule

Goals: #1: To Educate and promote a viable secondary market 

#2: To be a bridge between developers and timeshare members and owners

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel as that helps our efforts and might help someone buy a timeshare that is just perfect for their family! 

Our most recent guest was Ron Roberts of Legacy Solutions International. Ron talked about the reluctance of some HOAs to allow a responsible timeshare exit and how onsite or offsite sales centers can reverse negative trends.

Next week Jake Bercu, a Tahoe Beach and Ski Club HOA Board Member, will talk about an HOA board that is doing things right. 

Our guest this week was Inside Timeshare Contributor Tiffany Renee who talked about proposed timeshare changes and how her family was affected by unfair and deceptive practices. The proposed changes are being presented to lawmakers, regulators and the Federal Trade Commission. Timeshare Sales are #7 on the FTC’s Top Ten Scams list this year and Timeshare Resales (Fake buyers) #10.

Tiffany’s parents were convinced to give up their two deeded timeshare weeks that they loved for years, and buy points believing they would transfer the timeshare liability to their children if they didn’t convert to points, and that maintenance fees could increase from $2,000 a year to over $6,000. They agreed after 11 hours. The result – fees increased to $6,000 and they were forced to default on their two deeded weeks and lost $34,000 buying points they didn’t need and could not afford.    

Proposed changes and in red how Tiffany’s parents experienced this: 

1.   Consumers are routinely told they will not be attending a sales session and/or that the meeting is mandatory when it is not. Tiffany’s parents were told they would be charged $400 if they did not attend. It was a timeshare exchange, so the meeting was not mandatory, 

2.    A disclosure warns the buyer that they are not allowed to show a proposal to anyone outside the company. This is unfair, especially for those who may be of diminished capacity. Tiffany’s parents do not read well. The contract was read to them. 

“Distribution of this information to unauthorized persons, including but not limited to persons not employed by agents of the company, or to persons not listed on this option, is strictly prohibited and subject to penalty.” 

3.    A recorded closing (signing) session is used against the buyer. Tiffany’s parents were told they sounded fine on the recorded QA (after 11 hours). Tiffany researched her parents’ QA agent and learned that he had spent four years in jail after burglarizing seven homes, some while occupied. 

4.    If the recorded closing can be used against the buyer, the buyer should be allowed the opportunity to record the sales session. Tiffany’s parents would not have known how to do this. The buyer must check to make sure recording without the other party aware being is legal. It is not legal in Florida.

5.    If disputing a contract, the buyer should be allowed to listen to the entire recorded closing without obtaining a subpoena. Tiffany was offered the opportunity to listen to “snippets” of the recording, which is like listening to Dr. Fauci say on a snippet that it’s not necessary for people to wear masks.  

6.    It should be disclosed if the QA agent is incentivized. (Not applicable to Tiffany’s parents)

7.    An additional purchase should be identified on the contract as an “Incremental Purchase” instead of “Additional Equity” as use of the word equity is misleading. (Not applicable to Tiffany’s parents) 

It was explained that we could reduce our monthly payments by getting a HELOC through US Bank using our “additional point equity” of $240,040 which the agent highlighted in green. He provided an ad and assured us a rep from U S Bank would call us after five days (the contract cancellation period). We would only have to pay $1,349 for January and thereafter $649. The purchase price was $288,300 less “additional equity” of $240,040 = $48,260 for 7,000 points.

8.    The state-mandated Public Offering Statement (POS) (Disclosure Statement) should be presented by the closing agent during the recorded closing, not by the sales agent. Tiffany’s parents could not have comprehended a POS and didn’t know about contract rescission periods.   

9.      The buyer should be allowed 24 hours to consider their purchase. Tiffany’s parents were demanded to buy the same day after 11 hours.  

10.    The buyer should be provided access to the booking site prior to the end of the contract rescission period. Buyers don’t even know what they bought because availability is not part of the contract. (Not applicable to Tiffany’s parents)

Upcoming Scheduled TIMESHARE TALKS Guests 

(Subject to change)

July 1: John Kushman, with Timeshare Specialists, gathered the names of more than 117 Timeshare Exit Scams. Retired Canadian Police Officer and timeshare Volunteer Earl Sharpe, Faith and Raven join the talk. Scam Hotline:

July 8: Jessica Burke Crosby, a Virginia timeshare broker associated with Timesharing 2000 talks about the benefits of renting timeshares

July 15: Irene Robert, TARDA board member, talks about the Public Offering Statement and why buyers need to review this state-mandated document before they buy a timeshare

July 22: Mike Kennedy and James Burbridge, KOALA, an alternative to II and RCI, talks about their rental platform.

YouTube #12, July 29 Karen Levins, of Ontario, Canada talks about how their group of determined volunteers, raised funds to retain an attorney, to challenge  Wyndham’s Carriage Hill and Carriage Ridge Resort that did not allow a responsible exit under any circumstances. Less than 13% voting to keep the resorts a timeshare prompting the sale of both resorts.

YouTube #13 August 5 Bernadette in Oklahoma her petition hoping developers will acknowledge deceptive timeshare sales are part of the problem so they must be part of the solution.

Frank and Betty Lusk were sold $150,000 in timeshare points at ages 88 and 89 

August 12: Guy Hart Protecting our Elders

The Rachel Ramos YouTube illustrates how easy it is to be scammed. Guy will talk about fake arbitration and other arbitration pitfalls

August 19: Beth Roller, who worked as a front-line Covid nurse at the height of the pandemic talks about how believing a timeshare sales agent negatively impacted her life.

Archived Guests and Articles 

May 27, 2021 – John and Irene Introduces TIMESHARE TALKS 

Why is the resale value for timeshares so low? 

May 28, 2021: Wayne Robinson, author and former timeshare executive

Everything About Timeshare, Before, During and After the Sale  

Listing companies often inflate the price of the listing. There are no “comps” which is the first thing a traditional real estate agent shows you when you list a house. Check out the secondary market before committing to a same-day sale.  

June 2, 2021 – Earl, Faith and Raven, CRIMESHARE – “Your New Tennessee” Resale Scam caused by a Mexico timeshare scam

June 9, 2021 – Air Force Veteran Adam Siler June 9, 2021

Why Veterans and Active Duty Service Members Support Resellers

Adam’s ID: [email protected]

Adam talked about veteran outreach & active duty service member concerns, #2 of 3 FTC factors defining a “deceptive practice” of the Act is that the actions “cannot be reasonably avoided by the consumer.” Given Adam was given a written illustration of 7% financing, and an assurance from the sales agent that he had the means to assist in refinancing, it would have been difficult for Adam to have avoided the deception. 

Who’s Next?

If you have something you would like to talk about, or share an experience, good or bad about timeshares, contact John at Resort Resellers. The best defense against an albatross timeshare is consumer education and an informed buyer. Developers and members alike should support raising awareness about the oral representations clause and expectations about what to expect if the need comes up to sell or dispose of a timeshare. 

That is all for this week, at present no date can be set for the full return of Inside Timeshare, it is hoped that a partial return will begin in the next week or so. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

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