My husband and I purchased a timeshare years ago. We used it for a time, but, we are ready to be rid of it. Are there any good options that you know of?
Tired of Time Sharing
Dear Tired of Time Sharing,
Not only are you tired of your timeshare, so are millions of others! It is an ironic fact that a timeshare purchase, meant to fulfill a dream vacation, often ends up becoming a nightmare.
Buying a timeshare is often an emotional purchase, not a logical one. Presentations emphasize the benefits while neglecting to make clear the real costs to consumers. Sadly, purchasers are often unaware of the long-term financial burden they have signed up for.
Of the approximately 9.6 million households who own some type of timeshare, about 85% wish they did not. Ouch! That is a clear warning sign to future purchasers as well as a sad fact for the current owners.
According to Timeshare Users Group:
A timeshare is a program in which a group of people shares use of a property by dividing among themselves the rights to use a property for specific time periods. Although the property is usually a residential project such as a condominium, developers have applied the timesharing concept to other types of properties, such as houseboats, campgrounds, and recreational vehicle parks. Virtually all timeshares are resort or vacation properties.
There are different types of programs and ways to swap your timeshare with other owners. Many developers have used high-pressure sales tactics, contributing to the bad impression of timesharing. In an attempt to counteract this, they’ve come up with new names to improve the image: Vacation Ownership or Fractional Ownership.
When timeshare owners lose interest, can’t afford the costs, or become too old or sick to travel they seek a way out of their contracts. But, the majority of owners don’t know their timeshares are basically worth nothing. Those desperate to be free of their properties seek ways to escape the financial burden. Thus, the rise of exit companies, complaints and scams.
If you seek to exit a timeshare, ask God to grant you the desire of your heart. Communicate honorably with the developer and thank God for His mercy if they allow you freedom from the contract.
Beware even of the so-called Timeshare Exit companies. Timeshare owners looking to sell their timeshare may pay an exit company and never see results. The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of an increase in Missouri-based timeshare exit company scams, citing over 700 complaints from consumers across the nation. The American Resort Development Association, ARDA, has highlighted various red flags consumers need to watch out for when looking to exit their timeshare.
These timeshare exit company guarantees do not always result in successful timeshare exits. Research timeshare exit companies before agreeing to do business with them. Report problems or complaints about your timeshare or an exit company to the Federal Trade Commission, your attorney general, or the Better Business Bureau.
Reframe Your Perspective
Before entering any contractual agreement, pray for wisdom and discernment. Be sober-minded, remembering that you are a steward of God’s resources. If you sense you are tempted to buy a timeshare, wait 30 days to avoid an emotional decision or high pressure from a salesman. Understand all the costs and contract details fully. Remember to exercise self-control; there are always other ways to have a nice vacation that will not turn into a long term financial drain.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1: 5-8 ESV)
I truly hope you are able to escape your timeshare contract and all the associated hassles of the process!
Originally posted on the Christian Post, September 13, 2019
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