Get Out of Debt Guy

How Can I Unload My Timeshare? - Randy

Posted March 19, 2013

WRAL Reader Question

Purchased a timeshare unit in 2001. Unit is paid for, but the annual maintenance and other fees keeps escalating to the point that it is now not such a good deal to own. I have tried to sale via a website, but no interest.

How can I get this unit off my hands? I have even called the customer service dept. of the owners in an attempt to simply hand the unit ownership back to them, but to no avail. I receive multiple mailings from various groups offering a way out, but it appears they want you to spend more money. Any suggestions?



Dear Randy,

The companies don't want to take the units back. As long as the owners are on the hook for the maintenance they are generating some money.

The market has been full of timeshare scams, you can read about some of them here.

The scam works like this, a desperate timeshare owner wants to unload their unit. They call one of the many companies that claim they can sell it for you. The company then says they have a buyer for the property but the owner must pay some advance fee so the deal will go through. The fee is paid and the imaginary deal falls through.

And eventually the scams all collapse and wind up in the same two piles. Pile one is that of timeshare owners that are now out money and still stuck with their timeshare. Pile two are the convicted, charged, and/or arrested timeshare scammers. In fact one recent timeshare scam outfit is reportedly tied to organized crime.

Frankly, if you want to stop the ongoing financial commitment a solution to strongly consider is to donate your timeshare to a charity. If you search online for "timeshare donation" you will find a number of groups that may accept the timeshare and get your name off of it in 8-12 weeks.

It's not the best possible solution since you don't recover your purchase cost but at least you can unload the ongoing monthly obligation and take a tax deduction as well.

The most important to remember is, if anyone asks you to pay any money in advance of taking over your timeshare, that's a huge red flag.

Steve Rhode

WRAL Get Out of Debt Guy

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About this Blog:

Steve Rhode has had careers in opthalmology, real estate and as the head of a nonprofit debt counseling firm. On his blog, he offers hard-won, free advice about getting out of debt, consolidation and making the right choices as you manage your money.