Stuck in a timeshare you don't want?
You may be considering a timeshare exit company. However, some of these firms are a bit shady. Timeshatter brings you ratings and reviews of timeshare exit companies to help you understand the benefits of timeshare exit companies.
Dislcosure: This site currently does not make money and is simply a public service announcement to let people know about the both the dangers of timeshare ownership and the risks of hiring a timeshare exit firm. This information is for educational purposes and is not considered financial, legal, or professional advice.
Ratings and Reviews of Timeshare Exit Companies
What is Timeshatter and Why Does it Exist?
So you're stuck in a timeshare...
We get it. The timeshare companies know how to trap you. They fly you out on a free trip. Butter you up, serve you booze, and show you a good time. The catch? Oh, you just need to sit through a two hour presentation.
Then comes the hard-sell. They tell you its an investment. That you'll use it all the time and can sell it for more. They help you imagine an amazing future vacationing at this timeshare that you own, so you sign on the dotted line.
But now you're stuck with a timeshare you don't want. You pay thousands of fees and mortgages, the place is deteriorating, and you never use it. You try and sell it, but nobody wants it.
So what do you do?
You've heard about timeshare exit companies...
Timeshare exit companies use various legal and negotiation tactics to help get you out of your contract. And thousands of customers have used these exit firms to get out of their contract.
But what about the scams? The lawsuits? Are the timeshare exit companies worth the fees? Will they destroy your credit?
It can be confusing, and these are all the right questions you should be asking.
Everything you Need to Know About Timeshares and Timeshare Exit Companies
This is an industry full of hucksters and scammers. So it's tough to get good info. Here's the low-down on what you need to know about timeshares, and more importantly, getting out of your timeshare.
Why are timeshares a bad financial decision?
Timeshares are one of the worst financial decisions you can make.
The Timeshare Resorts try to liken a timeshare to real estate, but while technically they are real estate, this is a bad comparison.
Unlike real estate, Timeshares have little to no resale value. In fact, many times you can't even sell them for pennies on the dollar. They certainly do not appreciate.
Additionally, timeshare resorts can (and often do) raise fees without your consent. Because you only own a fraction of the property, you get no say in assessments that increase your cost.
Finally, timeshares are restrictive. You can only use them on certain dates and are restricted to that specific resort.
Bottom line: nearly every financial advisor you ask will advise against getting a timeshare.
How do timeshare companies trap so many people?
Timeshare Resorts employ very savvy salespeople. They will offer you very enticing offers to come stay at the resort, such as free or discounted stays.
The catch? Just attend one two-hour seminar.
In this seminar and throughout the guests' stay, they manage to sell unsuspecting people into signing a timeshare contract.
Don't fall for it. But if you have a timeshare, there may be ways out.
Is it possible to 'cancel' or 'exit' a timeshare?
Many timeshare owners have been able to get out of their timeshares through various means.
However, terms 'cancel' and 'exit' can imply that it's easy and risk-free. Getting out of your timeshare always comes at some sort of cost.
Before talking to a professional, you should always try ending before your recision period runs out, or going through the resort. However, don't get you hopes up - it's in the best financial interest of the resort to keep you trapped.
How do Timeshare Exit Companies Work?
Here are a few methods that timeshare exit companies use to get you out of your timeshare:
- Recision Period: Most states require a 'recision period' in their contract. This is a short period of time in which you can cancel the contract, usually only a few days.
- Resort Exit: If you have paid off your mortgage, some resorts do have programs that will allow you to give back your timeshare. Note: they may not make this option easy, and may try and sell you a different timeshare instead.
- Legal Means: Sometimes firms or lawyers will employ legal methods to help you out of your timeshare. One example is contracts that were not completely filled out. Others might make the case that you were coerced or pressured into signing. Note: this site does not provide legal advice or imply these methods are legal - consult an attorney for legal advice.
- Negotiation: Timeshare Exit companies may help you make the case to the resort that you will not be able to pay, and get them to offer you better terms.
- Strategic Default: This option is essentially defaulting on your timeshare mortage and contract. The thought is that the timeshare company will eventually cave and either provide terms to get out, or foreclose on you and write it off. This can temporarily or permanently damage your credit. Timeshare Exit Companies typically have some means of repairing your credit once the process is over. If you consider this option, you should weigh the costs of dinging your credit score. Disclaimer: We are simply reciting what timeshare companies do - this is not financial advice and we recommend you speak with an expert if you are considering default.
How to Choose a Timeshare Exit Company
First off, you should always check your recision period and ask your resort if they have ways to get out of your timeshare. Now if you're reading this, chances are these options won't be viable, but it's worth a try.
So, if you do decide to hire a timeshare exit company, here is what you must look for:
- A Better Business Rating: With so many options out there, only go with those who have an A or better on the BBB.
- Postive Online Reviews (that don't seem fake): It's easy to fake reviews, so read both the positive and negative reviews. In an industry like this, there are bound to be negative reviews, so pay attention to why the reviewer is angry, and if the company tried to remediate the issue.
- Escrow Option (or Money-back Guarantee): Escrow means that you first pay a 3rd party, who only releases the money when the company has succeeded. This ensures you don't lose out. A money-back guarantee is not quite as good, as some firms over-hype the guarantee.
- Transparency: Ask the company the tough questions. Read our guide on getting out of a timeshare to get familiar with the industry, and ask them tough questions. Ask them "will you ask me to default on my loan" and "how will you fix my credit", and see how they respond. If they are vague or misleading, run.