If you currently own a timeshare and are thinking of selling your property and are approached by a company offering to help, BBB warns you to be cautious.
In a tough economy, struggling families look for ways to reduce their expenses. One popular option is to unload any timeshares so they can recoup their investment and stop paying maintenance fees. Many businesses specialize in reselling timeshares, but Better Business Bureau warns that some companies are using deceptive sales tactics to bilk thousands from already cash-strapped timeshare owners.
Companies like One Stop Time Share and Paradise Vacation Properties have earned F ratings with BBB for convincing timeshare owners that they already have interested buyers but require thousands of dollars in upfront fees—such as closing costs—from the sellers and ultimately fail to complete the promised sale.
One couple from Miami, FL wired a whopping $32,880.80 upfront to Paradise Vacation Properties because they were convinced the business had a buyer for their timeshare. Once Paradise Vacation Properties got the money, they disappeared. Phone calls and emails were never answered and mail sent to the business was returned as undeliverable.
* Do not agree to anything over the telephone until you have had a chance to check out the company.
* Ask the person to send you written material to review; get legal advice if you have any questions.
* Ask for company references, such as the names, addresses, and phone numbers of several consumers who have used the company’s services.
* Ask where the company is located and in what states it does business.
* Ask if the company’s salespeople are licensed to sell real estate by the state where your timeshare or campground is located, and verify the information with the state licensing board.
* Make sure all conditions of the sale and any promises or statements made by a salesperson are confirmed in writing.
If you are a victim of a Timeshare Reselling Scam, BBB strongly encourages you to file a complaint with us, as well as report the incident your local police, your state’s Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).