Sheilah Brust Brenda Santos Allen Sterling Branden Boyak Irene Roberts
In February 2017 a small group of volunteers vowed to provide straight answers to timeshare members and owners who voiced concerns about unfair and deceptive sales, predatory lending, and the lack of a responsible exit. Since then, over two thousand timeshare members and owners have reached out. Since 2017, over 2,000 timeshare members and owners have reached out to us to seek navigating the regulatory filing process.
TARDA MISSION STATEMENTS
A primary concern is the effect of timeshare on seniors. Many are original timeshare buyers who bought in the 1980s, and are now in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and some in their 90s. If their resort provides no responsible exit, they find themselves faced with the decision to choose a demeaning default process or pay maintenance fees for the rest of their lives for a product they can’t use. Senior owners typically have a high credit score, and have never faced the possibility of default. Timeshares were routinely sold as real estate, easy to sell. It is unfair to force this upon our timeshare pioneers.
Veterans and active duty service members have contacted us to report primarily deceptive sales. This is of paramount importance for our national security as an active duty service member can lose his or her security clearance and possibly their career over a foreclosure. Active duty service members may be deployed on a moment’s notice, possibly overseas. The lack of a secondary market becomes even more perilous. Approximately 25 percent of members who have reached out to us are veterans. While extra disclosures are required when a veteran buys a house, there are no additional disclosures required when buying a timeshare and a timeshare can cost as much as a house.
Millennials buyers face different obstacles. They report that they had no idea the contract they signed was perpetual or that likely there is little to no secondary market. High interest timeshare loans can prompt an inability to honor the contract. Buyers in their 30s have reported their credit ruined, told they could refinance at a lower rate, only to learn banks don’t finance timeshare. Credit cards carrying a 24% interest rate after six months finance down payments.
What both the young and the old seek, are straight answers and to be pointed in the right direction should the need arise to file regulatory complaints. Timeshare developers should be on our side to preach consumer education so that that anyone, of any age, makes a decision that will result in the purchase of the best timeshare appropriate for their family and their vacation goals.