Timeshare relief is an industry that has sprung up in response to a number of factors. As the pandemic continues to limit travel and leave people with limited disposable incomes, many timeshare owners are looking for ways out of their lifetime commitments. The solution is usually to hire a company that promises to help them get out of their contracts. Some of these companies are resale firms that claim to be able to sell their customers’ timeshares, while others promise to release them from the contracts and annual maintenance fees. Many of these companies, however, do not deliver on their promises. They can often be found on the Internet, where they use convincing advertising and high-pressure sales tactics. They can be especially persuasive to seniors who are already feeling financially stressed.
In some cases, these firms take large upfront payments from consumers, only to fail to deliver on their promises. Consumers should never make any upfront payments to a timeshare exit company without thoroughly reviewing the contract, and if possible, running it by a lawyer. BBB files are filled with complaints from people who still own their timeshares, even after paying thousands of dollars to these companies.
A legitimate legal firm that specializes in this area is Sussman & Associates, which has worked for years on behalf of distressed timeshare owners. Attorney Mitchell Reed Sussman has become the face of the Timeshare Relief industry, and he has had success in getting out timeshares for his clients. He has also been a pioneer in the field, leading the way for other law firms to follow suit and offer their services to timeshare owners.
While a timeshare may seem like a good idea at the moment, it can quickly become a burden. In addition to the annual maintenance fees, there are other costs associated with timeshare ownership such as taxes and insurance. Moreover, if the property is not used, it can become depreciated. As a result, it can be difficult to recoup the initial investment.
There are some legitimate timeshare resale and relief firms out there, but they do not come cheap. It can be expensive to hire a reputable attorney and the process may take years. As a result, some people are turning to less expensive but unscrupulous “timeshare relief” companies.
A legitimate timeshare relief company should be a licensed, bonded and insured legal firm that offers a reasonable monthly consumer rate. It should not charge an upfront fee or require a credit check. It should also not attempt to circumvent the developer by transferring the interest to a third party, or by selling the unwanted timeshare for a profit.
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is working to protect owners from unscrupulous companies by forming the Coalition for Responsible Exit and promoting legislation that will better protect consumers. In addition, ARDA and its member developers are offering their own solutions to owners seeking relief from their timeshares. Wyndham Destinations, for example, has a program called “Wyndham Cares” that allows owners to call with any questions or issues and provides safe and vetted options to get out of their timeshare.