1. Get Your Money Back and Give the Timeshare Back!
The pie in the sky option, but always highly sought. Timeshare purchasers particularly offended by their experience will insist on even further compensation for their time and inconvenience, and to cover their attorneys’ fees. Those are significant demands, of course, that most timeshare purchasers should not expect such to be agreed to by the timeshare company upon request absent an audio recording of the timeshare salesperson lying to them during the sales presentation.
The South Carolina Timeshare Act provides for a full refund of all monies paid pursuant to the contract for violation of the same, but nothing further, only a full refund. Recovery of further monies would require a successful showing under alternative theories such as fraud or violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act. In my experience most timeshare companies will not honor a timeshare purchaser’s election, as is their right in their sole option, to cancel the contract and obtain a full refund of all monies paid thereunder for violation of the timeshare act, namely verbal misrepresentation or failure to disclose a material fact. The South Carolina Real Estate Commission also fails to take any action regarding allegations of verbal misrepresentations of timeshare salespeople, in my experience. A stern letter from my law firm will sometimes follow with a lawsuit.
Proper representation in your communication with the timeshare company and in any lawsuit or arbitration is important. Naert & DuBois have represented hundreds of timeshare purchasers in South Carolina with disputes with timeshare companies, both informally and in lawsuits in State and Federal Court. You should consult with an attorney to learn your legal rights and options, and use that information to make the best decision for you and your family.
2. Sell It
Also a top option. Timeshare purchasers often refer to their equity, meaning the amount of money they have paid towards the purchase price of the timeshare. It is certainly confusing when the timeshare representatives also refer to it as equity, and we think of it in that way for our primary home. But timeshares are not investments, and as most timeshare owners know, the timeshare resale market is starkly contrasted by the monies paid to the timeshare developers for purchase of the timeshares.
A lot of Hilton Head timeshares will sell on eBay of $1.00, or will not sell at all. There are people that call my office every day desperate unload their timeshare, willing to pay many thousands of dollars to someone to take it off their hands. People get taken advantage of by timeshare resale and exit companies that charge upfront listing fees or transfer fees, but the timeshares don’t sell, and when they don’t transfer, how do you get your refund?
Selling it is often not a real option. If able to be sold, I believe the best outlets are the Timeshare Users Group, Redweek, and eBay. Do not expect much in return. I have often referred to www.sharket.com, though I do not know the accuracy of the information reported. I have no affiliation with the website. Many timeshare companies also charge transfer fees ranging from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, so that fee must be paid by someone in the transaction and must be accounted for. Presumably you would want to involve an attorney to do the deeding and possibly even draw up a contract between you and the timeshare purchaser. My office does not get involved in the buying and selling of timeshares. I have never known a timeshare purchasers to be able to successfully resell a timeshare on his or her own that I can recall.
3. Give It Away
See above with selling the timeshare. Same concept, but you’re not charging anyone. In fact, if you could offer someone money to take it, or list it on eBay and offer to pay the $1,600 transfer fee or what have you, that would be something. I had a big old cabinet that some use but I needed it gone and I don’t have an automobile big enough to transport it, so I had to list it on the internet and ultimately offer to pay someone $20.00 to come take it. I think of timeshares in just this same way.
I do hear and read of timeshare purchasers getting involved with timeshare donation scams where the timeshares are improperly valued for tax write off purposes, or with timeshare transfer companies who charge many thousands of dollars to transfer timeshares into the names of deceased people, to people unknowingly, or defunct businesses or corporations who then default on the timeshare which is later foreclosed on by the timeshare seller or the owners’ association.
Giving it away is a hard task as well. It is certainly difficult to find someone to push a timeshare off onto, practically and morally I think. Sometimes peoples’ children will be inquiring about the timeshare, and the timeshare companies will often waive the transfer fee if it’s a transfer between family members, but that’s not actually a resolution either. The timeshare is still owned by your children, and they are now obligated to pay for the ongoing maintenance fees and special assessments.
We certainly cannot advise that anyone default or fail to uphold their end of the bargain under the contract, but many timeshare purchasers do ultimately choose this option. South Carolina timeshare purchasers can be in default by failing to pay the purchase monies for the timeshare, assuming they purchased with the timeshare company’s in-house financing, or by failing to pay the maintenance fees or special assessments for the timeshare.
Timeshare purchasers often want to know what precise action a timeshare company or owners’ association might take upon default, but the answer is always that we do not know. We cannot predict the future, nor is it up to us what action these various entities may take upon default. Will they make negative credit reports? Will they pursue a traditional or non-judicial foreclosure under the South Carolina Timeshare Act? Will they pursue monies owed for the purchase price or maintenance fees? Will this affect your credit score or your pending purchase of a home? We do not know what any timeshare company or owners’ association will do upon any default.
If you have a South Carolina timeshare and would like to know your rights relating to any timeshare matter, namely disputes with timeshare sellers over sales misrepresentations, hardship and exit options, and owners’ association disputes, contact us now to schedule your free consultation with Zach Naert or Joe DuBois to learn your rights. Our principal office is located at 22 New Orleans Road, Suite 1, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928. We also maintain a satellite office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and represent timeshare purchasers with claims throughout the entire State of South Carolina.
Please do not consider any of the information in these blogs as legal advice. Every claim is unique and requires specific consideration by an attorney. Do consult with an attorney at your earliest opportunity. There are time requirements related to legal claims, such as statutes of limitations which state that a claim must be brought timely and otherwise you risk forever losing your rights, so it is critical to immediately consult with an attorney to protect your rights from being prejudiced or lost forever.