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Timeshare: Why The Heck Did We Sign For One?

Timeshare: Why The Heck Did We Sign For One?
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You made an agreement with your husband not to purchase anything no matter what you were going to be told at the timeshare sales presentation. Then, why did you end up walking away with a nice briefcase full or paperwork and a $20,000.00 USD debt in credit cards?

When making large financial investments, it is very careful to read the fine print. In the past, a person’s word was taken at face value at could be relied upon as valid and truthful information. Sadly, in today’s times, what holds up in a court of law is the written contract, so it is essential when making a purchase of a timeshare to read the contract very carefully and ensure that you agree to and understand each and every clause. After all, these are typically 30 year contracts binding you to annual fees and numerous restrictions.

Any verbal promises that are not included in the contract, will probably not be upheld by the timeshare developer and its affiliated companies, so to protect yourself, you need to make sure that you have concrete evidence of all the factors that you agreed to during the sales presentation. Many clients contact us because the written contract they signed and received is very different from what they were promised verbally. In some cases, this can constitute fraud or misrepresentation and with some investigative work, we can assist the client in cancelling their contract based on the fraudulent promises they were told.


In order to prevent this type of fraud from occurring to you, we like to inform our clients of two common things that people don’t realize they are signing:

1) A credit card application

Many timeshare purchasers are issued a new credit card with the full balance of the amount owing, without even knowing that they have signed up for a new credit card. During the contract signing period, the timeshare salesmen may present the clients with a credit application for their in-house financing, or promissory note. The clients are promised that there is a no-interest period (ie. 3 to 6 months), which will allow the clients to return home and either pay it off in full, or arrange cheaper financing with their own bank. As soon as the clients return home, they receive a new credit card in the mail with a charge for the remaining balance of the timeshare.

The interest rate is exceptionally high, normally between 19 and 26%. Many clients pay off the credit card in full in order to avoid these high interest rates. This results in the resort having the full payment of the contract immediately, and the clients are left in financial hardship as they have had to pay the full amount upfront when they expected to have time to pay off the balance. Other clients struggle to pay or keep up with the monthly payments at the high interest rates and often double the cost of their timeshare with interest charges.

Some clients also try to dispute the charge with the bank by stating that they did not authorize the charge or the set up of this new card. The bank will refer to the paper that the clients signed for the in-house credit, which in fine print is actually a credit card application. If you do not fully understand the document you are asked to sign, or if there are vague clauses, do not sign it. It is not worth the risk of damaging your credit or financial health.

2) Trade In Equity

The timeshare sales pitch often includes promises of taking over a previous timeshare property as equity for the new purchase. The client is lead to believe that the trade in value will be taken off the net purchase price, and that they will also be free of the liability for the other timeshare. When the equity exchange papers arrive for signing, there are often clauses stating such things as “I will maintain full financial responsibility for the property” or “I understand that this property remains mine to use as I see fit” or “I am not depending on the resale of the property to pay for my XXX contract.”

These written statements contradict the promises that the salesmen make verbally, and consequently supersede what the client believed they were agreeing to with regards to the trade in equity. The clients are often told that they will receive an email or letter with instructions about where to send the deed for the trade in. When they return home, the clients receive a letter saying that either they no longer need to trade in their properties to get the benefit of the new purchase or that the resale company has too much inventory for their property that was being traded. This leaves the client with both timeshares, and a contract backing up that the trade in was not guaranteed.

At Mexican Timeshare Solutions, we strongly advise that you get a copy of the contract immediately, so that you can review it with the salesperson in person before leaving the office. Do not accept copies of the contract on CD, by mail, or only partial pages. It is important that you as a consumer have a copy of every page that you signed.

If you were made verbal promises, and your written contract does not align with your expectations, contact us and we can help you to resolve your situation.

 Information to share

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  • Maria Cristina Méndez LiraNovember 20, 2017, 7:55 pm

    Me van a operar de la columna y me es imposible pagar, no me han hecho ni un cargo a la tarjeta que ellos mismos me dieron, tengo hermano discapacitado que también requiere de operación

  • Maria Cristina Méndez LiraNovember 20, 2017, 7:54 pm

    Me van a operar de la columna y me es imposible pagar, no me han hecho ni un cargo a la tarjeta que ellos mismos me dieron, tengo hermano discapacitado que también requiere de operación

  • Renato February 26, 2017, 1:27 pm

    Nosotros caimos por varias cosas, lo primero fue que nos ofrecieron un precio inicial por la membresia y al final se "bajaron" como 10 veces menos al precio inicial..la otra fue que nos ofrecieron paseos, comidas, boletos para eventos gratis..llevamos casi 3 años con la membresia y facil les puedo asegurar que ya pagamos por todo eso como 10 veces mas, actualmente estamos pensando en cancelar nuestra membresia.

  • Raul Carrilo August 19, 2016, 11:31 am

    Uno de sus mejores trucos o trampas en este caso es que al inicio de la presentacion inician con un precio altisimo de los tiempos compartidos, y poco a poco te van bajando la cuota hasta llegar a ser como 10 veces mas barato del precio inicial , aun asi ellos ganan muchisimo, desde un inicio el precio seria ese, no se dejen engañar.

  • victor scammedAugust 17, 2015, 1:46 am

    Actualmente no lo se, pero me arrepiento muchisimo de haberlo hecho , creo que en mi caso influyo ucho la presion de los vendedores a firmar , usando unas taxcticas tanto agresivas, ademas que durante la presentacion ingeri alcohol , creo que todo ese conjunto es un plan maestro para que firmes casi casi a ciegas.

  • EdlinDecember 15, 2014, 8:39 pm

    All was a show meticulously planned, we need to be very carefull about this, to read and understand every word on a contract , our money cost so much sacrifice so dont let a simply person come and take away our money so easy, dont be scammed

  • davidOctober 6, 2014, 7:44 am

    I never understood the fascination people had with time shares. I think it makes them feel wealthier than they really are — like a vacation home when they really can’t afford a vacation home. One of the biggest legal scams out there in my opinion.

  • EUSKAL REDUCHERRYSeptember 22, 2014, 11:16 am

    Why should anyone pay so much for something that he may not use when or how he wants? I had a timeshire and two happy moments When I bought it and most of all WHEN I SOLD IT! Now with the money I save in that lousy investment I can plan my travel ahead using Internet plane plus accomodation.. it is a lot cheaper, I travel when I want, and I do not have to worry about maintenance, taxes etc.. I would never recommend a timeshare property to no one… and did you know you can not give it in heritage to your sons? If the family decides to sell it you lose… it is nothing yours it is theirs Very very bad business… never buy it again, never in my life!!!

  • DeidreJuly 16, 2014, 3:02 pm

    I fell for the 90 minute presentation and believed them when they gauranteed the sale of my time share weeks to offset the cost. The presentation lasted 5 hours and took away the relaxation and pleasure of the vacation. Whenever I have been there since the TIMESHARE scammers are like locusts trying to devour your time and attention.

    The Office of Tourism should put a stop to the over-activity of TIME SHARE sales.

  • hollyJune 20, 2014, 11:09 am

    I have never gone to a timeshare presentation before but I would definitely consider it if it meant earning a free vacation. I'm not afraid of a hard sales pitch as I have no problem saying "no" when it comes to spending my own money.

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