Many timeshare owners have ben called out of the blue and told that the market is "hot! for their timeshares and have a buyer waiting to purchase their unwanted timeshare. Learn how these companies operate and prevent yourself from falling victim of timeshare fraud.
If a timeshare owner is unhappy with their timeshare, they may assume that the best way to get rid of it is to resell it. Many timeshare owners are referred to rental and resale companies by the resorts where they purchased a timeshare. Unfortunately, the secondary timeshare resale market offers very little value for the membership and many possibilities to get scammed again by fraudulent resale agencies that work in tandem with the resorts, or prey on people who have already been scammed by the timeshare industry.
How the meal is "cooked"
A common timeshare scam is for the resale agent to contact the client and say that they have a confirmed buyer for the client’s timeshare membership. The purchase offer will include an attractive purchase price and various terms that the client is required to agree to in order to process the sale. One of the terms will typically be for the client to ensure that all monthly payments and maintenance fees are paid up to date with their resort. This is one way for the resorts to ensure that unhappy clients are not delinquent in their timeshare fees.
Another term in the purchase offer that the resale agent provides is that if the client pays the maintenance fee, but the week is available for the purchaser, the amount paid for the maintenance fee is added on to the price for the purchaser. The scam in this scenario is that the resale agent does not say what happens if the sale falls through. In reality, 99.999% of the sales are not processed, and the client has paid an additional maintenance fee and likely waited so long for information about the sale that they also lost the use of the week for that particular year.
The resale agent will then ask the client to send a copy of their certificate of membership to verify the ownership. Once the ownership is verified, the resale agent will send a Transfer Form which outlines the resale agency’s fees to process the transfer. The scam is that the client is required to pay the transfer fee before the completion of the sale. In legitimate real estate transactions, the fees to the agent are paid at the end from the profits that the client receives from the purchaser. Once the transfer fee has been paid, the client has no recourse to try to recover the money from the resale agent should the sale not actually go through.
"...escrow companies don´t exist in Mexico."
The resale agents claim to keep the purchaser’s money in an escrow account until the sale is completed. In reality, escrow accounts do not exist in Mexico. This fraudulent statement is made to try to instill confidence in the client by using a process that is common in the United States. In reality, the resale agents scam clients by having them pay their timeshare maintenance and monthly fees owed, as well as the transfer fees, and then they will stop replying to the client regarding the sale. The transfer will never go through, an escrow account will never be set up, and the purchaser is fictional.
Selling timeshares is very difficult, particularly timeshares with resorts that are renowned for scamming clients. The problem is that resorts sell many timeshares because they have high-pressured sales pitches and don’t allow clients to have any time to research their purchase. On the secondary resale market, buyers are more aware because they have the time to research the company they are interested in owning a timeshare with, and they have many purchase options available to choose from, most at bargain prices. The valuations and purchase offers that the resales agents make to sellers are unrealistic and prey on people who want to recover some or all of their lost investment in their disappointing timeshare plan.
If you have a timeshare that you no longer need or want, and were sold it based on fraudulent promises, you should consider cancelling your contract as a more viable option to selling it on the resale market. At Mexican Timeshare Solutions we help clients to avoid getting scammed by the thousands of fraudulent resale agencies, and help to cancel their deceptive timeshare contracts. We never charge upfront fees, so you can be sure that you can get rid of your timeshare contract with no risk to your financial health.
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