Timeshare Trap

Timeshares are one of the worst investments you can make. This journal is to inform people who are thinking about purchasing a timeshare not to do so and help those trying to get rid of their timeshare.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Getting Rid Of Your Timeshare Shouldn't Cost Thousands

Our Comments: It appears we have a new Timeshare scam developing and timeshare owners are so desperate to get out of their timeshares that they are paying people thousands of dollars to get rid of them. In the vast majority of cases it makes no sense to pay someone to get rid of your timeshare. Don't waste more of your hard earned money - give it to charity or try one of the other methods.


I just left a meeting where I was to get an "offer" on my time share from Timeshare Relief, INC. The long and short of it was they "offerred" to let me get my timeshare off my hands by giving them $3,495!

Even more astounding, in a room of approx. 25, I was the only to walk out! Have you ever heard of this company?


  • At 6:31 PM, Blogger Linda said…

    See my post below regarding Timeshare Collectors, Inc. We walked out, too, as did another couple.

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Burned Twice said…

    My dad and mom got roped into this same scam with Timeshare Relief, Inc. They were high pressured into signing some paperwork and forking over ~$3K to "get rid of" their timeshare. At the time they were about to make a trip which included a stop to visit me and indicated that they might want to sell the timeshare themselves or give it to me. The Timeshare Relief people told them that it was not a problem, that they would hold the paperwork until after the trip and that if they changed their mind, they could get all of their money back. Timeshare Relief, Inc is near my house in Torrance CA. My father called Timeshare Relief while on their trip and said he had chosen to cancel the agreement and would stop by at the end of their trip. I went over their with my parents and we requested the money back. That's when the story changed. They said my parents had signed a contract and they were keeping the money. We could however, choose to keep the timeshare. They had indeed signed a contract and it included legaleeze to the effect that they only had three days to back out of the deal. Talk about being doubley violated. Definitely a new scam.

  • At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I completely DISAGREE! I am a former Timeshare owner who NEVER could get to use my resort when I wanted. And you could forget trading/exchanging. RCI was a joke! I was just paying a yearly maintenance fee which was adding up. I think the real deal here, is that we have to realize that this isn't the scam! The scam was us forking over the money for the Timeshare in the first place! I really had to sit down and evaluate. I had already been scammed. These people were offering me a way out. And Timeshare Relief has to pay for someone to take the darn timeshares. I found the company and everything about it extremely helpful.

    Salt Lake City, UT

  • At 4:26 PM, Blogger savingadvice said…

    lol...completely disagree that paying thousands to get rid of a timeshare isn't even more of a scam than the timeshare itself. Not a financially smart thing to do...

  • At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Last week, we received the Timeshare Relief postcard. I have made an appointment to meet with them on this Sunday evening. I decided to google them today and am now horrified at the prospects of meeting with these people. I actually thought they might OFFER US something for our inherited timeshare. I feel so stupid. Is there actually any reasonable way to get out of a timeshare????

  • At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is it possible to set up a LLC. sell many property to the LLC for $1.00 Then let the LLC file bankrupt,

  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger rick said…

    Could you set up an LLC. sell many timeshares to the LLC. Than bankrupt the LLC.

  • At 6:36 PM, Blogger knute said…

    I have been a time-share owner for almost 20 years. The mainenance fees have ballooned out of sight. If you think you can legally get out of a time-share, good luck! Time-share owners have the maintenance fees for life - and beyond. If you believe you want to give it away, you can't. If you want to give a timeshare liability to your heirs, shame on you!

    I have heard of "tons" of people who want to sell them but no one to tell me that they have sold one for hard cash. The new govt. requirement which informs potential time-share buyers that this purchase is for perpetuity is scaring thinking people away.

    Would you sell a time-share to a friend? If you do you are not their friend.

    Think about how long it would take to rack up $3-$4,000 in maintenance, yearly RCI,and trading fees.... At the going rate for a one week time-share it will cost the average owner $8-$900 a year.

    Think about it. Times have changed with time-shares.

  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger knute said…

    I have been a time-share owner for almost 20 years. The mainenance fees have ballooned out of sight. If you think you can legally get out of a time-share, good luck! Time-share owners have the maintenance fees for life - and beyond. If you believe you want to give it away, you can't. If you want to give a timeshare liability to your heirs, shame on you!

    I have heard of "tons" of people who want to sell them but no one to tell me that they have sold one for hard cash. The new govt. requirement which informs potential time-share buyers that this purchase is for perpetuity is scaring thinking people away.

    Would you sell a time-share to a friend? If you do you are not their friend.

    Think about how long it would take to rack up $3-$4,000 in maintenance, yearly RCI,and trading fees.... At the going rate for a one week time-share it will cost the average owner $8-$900 a year.

    Think about it. Times have changed with time-shares.

  • At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was in the same position and then I found a company that I could Donate my Timeshare to. It cost me nothing (free) and I received a $4900.00 tax credit to boot. The Charity is a Wildlife Refuge and the Company that handled everything was www.trejesto.com. They were great and everything was done in a couple of weeks. I would highly recommend them.

    Cherry Hill, NJ

  • At 8:29 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Ann gives a good suggestion, but there is more to donating than what she states.

    The question is often, can you get a tax write off for donating your timeshare. The answer is YES!

    The first concern is where you live and what taxes you pay. Each country handles donations differently and don't expect anyone here to advise you on your place of residence. Beyond that, there is a LOT MORE to tax credit for donations than most people understand.

    First, there are a few things you need to consider.
    1. The write off is against your income like an other deduction, not a tax credit.
    2. You have to find a non-profit organization (NPO) willing to accept your timeshare.
    3. You have to be careful how your timeshare is evaluated.

    Let me give you a little background. I work with a NPO that does accept timeshares. So I have a fair idea of what I'm talking about.

    When you attempt to donate your timeshare you will often find that the NPO puts you together with a broker who actually sells your timeshare for whatever they can get for it. The NPO doesn't take title except at the very last second in a double closing so you are donating it to them while they are selling it to someone else. When that is done, you face a few hurdles. Some timeshares at some resorts NEVER sell and those will be rejected outright by the NPO. Until the broker sells it you continue to be responsible for all fees. When it is sold, a value is established which can't be argued with. "Your" timeshare was only worth what someone actually paid for it, therefore according to the IRS you can only deduct the amount that was actually received. Even if you have an appraisal, it doesn't matter. Even if the NPO takes title and holds on to the timeshare for awhile, if they do sell it, they are required by law to notify you if the sale price is different than the credit they gave you so you can adjust your future income deductions up or (more likely) down to coincide with the real sale price. If you have a $10,000 timeshare you could get only $1,500 in deduction credit.

    The NPO I work with does it differently and you may find some others that do this, also. The NPO takes title now and NEVER sells it. As such they are required by the IRS to find the Fair Market Value (FMV) based on one of three methods dictated by the IRS. 1.) What do the majority of similar timeshares sell for in the open market. Think about this for a moment. The majority are sold by the resort, therefore their sale price along with what you willingly paid for it establishes FMV. 2.) What is the rental income determine as an investment if it was bought for that purpose (doesn't apply here). 3.) What would it cost you to replace the timeshare on the open market. Again, think. You would probably have to go to the resort and pay their retail price. Therefore, if your unit is NOT sold, the FMV can be fairly and legally established as the price close to the retail price currently at the resort. That value is then your deduction. The difference can be literally thousands of dollars difference. This would give you $10,000 in deduction credit. In a 25% tax bracket, that's worth over $2,000 more in your pocket!

    One difference between the two (there are variations) is that the first may deduct the costs of closing and commissions from your credit but they don't usually charge you anything else. The second may charge you a fee or ask for an additional donation since they are NOT selling the timeshare. Consider what you get back at tax time to see which gives you more money. Both get you out of your further lifelong financial obligations.

    Two questions often arise. 1. How can the NPO take over the financial obligations and continue in business? That is a business trade secret, but I can tell you they often work our something with the resort to retire the unit. 2. Isn't there a $5,000 limit on timeshare donations? NO!! I've read this many, many places EXCEPT from anything from the IRS. Their only response is to review two publications - Pub. 561 Fair Market Value Determination and Pub. 526 Contributions. First of all, the $5,000 limit makes no sense. It's like saying your car isn't worth the same as one on the dealers lot because you can find it cheaper on eBay. Baloney, That's what Kelly's Blue Book is for - everyone and it's based on sales completed, not prices offered. Regardless of the difficulty, you have just as much right to sell at the same price as the resort does and unless you prove otherwise by selling it for less, the IRS says to use at least one of the three methods above to compute FMV.

    I hope this hasn't been too technical or overwhelming for you, but I felt you deserved a technical answer. If you would like further information you can contact me directly at SeniorDirector@CommunityHealthTraining.org

    Dr. Ken Rich

  • At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Thomas said…

    GOD! WHY?!?!?!?!

    That’s correct. I have owned both of my weeks since 86 and have tried and tried donation. No Churches will take them. Even they state its a liability for them and don't want to deal with the mtc. fees unless I'll pay for that week and donate that one week to them to use! And charities are a joke when it comes to these. They said they could take mine in April. I waited and paid my monthly fees all the way until November before they called me and said sorry, maybe next year we can try to assist you but we cannot help you.

    I am one of those kids that inherited one week from my parents when they passed. Inherited is a nice way to look at it though. The resort forced me to assume the mtc. fees and ownership in order to proceed with cleaning my mother’s estate. I owned one week at Fairfield Glade and was fine with that. Now I'm stuck with 2 different Fairfield weeks. And when Wyndham came in and bought them out, I was assessed for both! On top of paying out mtc fees that year.

    My biggest issue was the availability problems through FAX and RCI. Do they get anything for anyone? Do you have to be Diamond VIP with millions of points to get and exchange?! Each year work keeps me from traveling when I think I'll be able to so I'm forced to bank. That adds more money to my mtc fees in reality and they never get me what I want in an exchange. Everything seems to be getting worse for us owners. Now any Joe Schmoe can rent off the street and get in where we as owners are told it's not available!!!! And we pay for the wear and tear on the units!!!!!!!

    I've went to Timeshare Relief's presentation and they seem to leave a lot out and don't explain things well enough for me to want to do anything with them. On top of that, their BBB report is less than satisfactory for my liking!

    Also tried Internet places like Redweek.com, bidshares.com and ebay.com to divest of my weeks. NOTHING. Bidshares was a complete joke. Redweek made me pay a membership to even list. Never heard any response and eBay charges upfront fees for listing timeshare. Everything else they get a commission off the final bid. It seems to list it costs money no matter where you go. Century 21 wanted $595 for a listing fee. WHY?! They sell homes all day long and take nothing upfront! I told them I'd sell it to them for $1000 and whatever they sold it for would be all theirs - profit! They said they can't do it that way and not to worry...they've sold tons! Is that a measurement for sales?


  • At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 11:18 PM, Blogger suwheatley said…

    The Timeshare business, having become such a huge scam, and with so many people like myself being duped and scammed and robbed....isn't there some way we can all fight back? Isn't there something that can be done to save any of us who just find that we cannot afford these ongoing payments, who cannot travel and use what we pay for and who just want out? Our timeshare is paid off, we have the deed, and have been paying my maintenance fees on time for the past 10 years, it has only been within the last year we have had financial difficulty enough that we cannot afford the timeshare anymore and just want out. While trying to work it out, the account has gone to collection, and now they want 3 times as much money asap - we couldn't afford it before that! We're trying to work it out somehow, but there seems to be nothing we can do. Can nothing be done??? Are we just going to be destroyed by this and nothing can be done to stop it?? We cannot pass this plague on to our children! Help!

  • At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How can this be legal?

    These timeshare thugs are taking this countries free market and using it for evil. Pure evil.

    We got sucker'd into the timeshare scam two years ago. My wife and I financed the timeshare through Club Navigo (or Island One - they are so shady they are called two different names). We bought (financed) the timeshare for $11,000. We have been paying $200 a month for 2 years! Our payoff amount today (12-19-08) is still $10,100. Then the maintenance fee on top of that!!! We went on one trip using our timeshare -What a waste. This dump hole in Miami was the nastiest, scariest, ... oh you get the point.

    There has to be some legal action we can take.

  • At 3:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    could someone please tell me who i can donate a points program timeshare to i just want rid of it

  • At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am still wondering whether or not this company called Timeshare Relief, Inc is what it says it is...for a meer $3K they will make my stinking expensive 21 year old paid for timeshare go away...forever! YES or NO?

  • At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I heard the timeshare relief pitch and it sounds like they can make it go away. It's just VERY expensive. I'm requesting the execution of a warranty deed to get rid of a DRI property. Failing that I may have no choice put to pay timeshare relief.

  • At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is there anyone who has ACTUALLY USED Timeshare Relief and not had a good experience??? People don't like their fee or say they have a better way to get rid of the unit, but has anyone paid money to them and then not get what they paid for?

  • At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thi is my first tme visiting this blog. It's a little horrifying knowing that we are potentially lifelong prisoners of a timeshre.
    It's funny that there is no more legislation that prevents this kind of scam from taking place. Only in Amerca!

  • At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am feeling the same paying you are going through. It is illegal, It is a scam and I was so stupid to do it. Others are trying to get more money from us such as the listing companies (do not work), resellers (do not work), others want 3,500 to help us get rid of our 15,000 timeshare (ridiculous).
    We need to come together and fight. How, Let's stop crying and let's start doing something to solve this huge scam.

  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger Nadia said…

    My boyfriend and I were recently pressured into buying a timeshare and I'm experiencing a slow panic about getting rid of it. We are too young for any regular monetary commitment (in our early 20s), and we are not even planning on marriage in the near future! They were able to pull this off by not allowing us private discussion time, and every time we gave each other 'the look' they found us a cheaper and cheaper option...until, after 6 hours not being allowed to leave with our vacation coupons, it seemed like a bargain. Turns out each of us thought the other wanted it more than they did. Has ANYONE been successful in getting rid of timeshare without forking over thousands of dollars??

  • At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This blog shows a starting date of 2006. Since starting, Timeshare Relief claims to have processed over 40,000 unwanted weeks for timeshare owners at costs even higher than suggested in the blog. There are other companies doing the same thing but for thousands less than Timeshare Relief.

  • At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'been a timeshare holder for over two years and like everyone else that was scam into buying this type of vacation package. I realized what a waste of money it was to buy after not having enough points for a one week vacation. Just try booking something online at least 6 months out and nothing is available. However if I wanted to book a room thru travel site they did have rooms available. The selling of timeshare should be illegal.

  • At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Eve said…

    If there is someone out there who is willing to start/join a class action suit, I'm in.


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