Columbia, SC, June 13, 2011 – The Better Business Bureau is warning timeshare owners who are trying to sell or rent their timeshares to beware of a company called Resort Finance and Title.
Resort Finance and Title has been the subject of nine (9) complaints from around the country since May, 2011. As a result, this company has an F rating with the BBB of Central SC and Charleston. In the complaints, timeshare owners report that Resort Finance and Title, first contacted them with a promise to rent or sell their timeshares. In some cases, Resort Finance and Title claimed a buyer or renter was already lined up. Then consumers were asked to wire thousands of dollars in escrow payments to Resort Finance and Title. Complaints allege that no buyers or renters turned up, and customers were unable to get responses to calls and emails to Resort Finance and Title or get their money back.
BBB representatives tried to verify their address at 1156 Bowman Rd Unit 200, Mt Pleasant, SC by contacting the property management company that owns that location. The property management company that leases that office verified that no company exists by that name. Nationwide, BBBs processed 2,804 complaints on timeshare resale services in 2010. The Florida Attorney General’s office has stated that in 2010 more complaints were received regarding timeshare resale than any other issue.
“Timeshare owners who want to sell or rent their timeshare should be wary of timeshare resale services that pressure customers to pay thousands of dollars up front, claiming that buyers are at hand,” said Jim Camp, President and CEO for the BBB serving Central SC and Charleston. “Too often, the services don’t deliver and customers can’t get refunds.”
One complaint from a woman in Louisiana says: “The company requested an upfront fee of 10% for title release … As soon as the fee was paid, they requested more … they don’t answer their phone to clarify the situation or refund my money, a sum of $2,142.”
BBB offers the following advice to timeshare owners who are looking for help in selling their timeshare:
· Check out the business – You can check out a business at http://www.columbia.bbb.org/. BBB Business Reviews include basic information, complaint overview, and BBB rating from A+ to F, along with the reasons for the rating.
· Confirm location and licensing – Some timeshare resellers will use fake addresses or PO boxes in order to mislead timeshare owners. Confirm where the company is located and in what states it does business. Ask if the company's salespeople are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify this with the state licensing board.
· Get the facts on the figures – Find out if the business charges a commission. Do they handle the entire closing and provide escrow services? Do they charge an up-front listing or advertising fee? What does it cover and is it refundable?
· Be wary of upfront fees – Many complainants to BBB were burned by companies charging an advance "appraisal" fee for services or were told that they just had to pay closing costs and the timeshare would be taken off their hands. Consider opting for a company that offers to sell for a fee only after the timeshare is sold.
· Don’t fall for the hard sell or an offer that sounds too good to be true – Don’t agree to anything over the phone but instead ask the salesperson to send you written materials; take the time to think it over and don’t be pressured. Unscrupulous timeshare resellers may claim that your property is in demand and they can sell it immediately; unfortunately, these promises are often empty.
For more consumer tips or to check out a business or file a complaint with BBB, start at http://www.columbia.bbb.org/.