Buyer’s remorse is common after people purchase a timeshare. Once the idea of an annual vacation loses its gloss and reality (and high fees) set in, many people realize they want out.
Companies like Lonestar Transfer promise to help timeshare owners get rid of their properties.
But does Loneshare Transfer live up to its promises?
What is Lonestar Transfer?
Lonestar Transfer is a timeshare exit company that’s based in Texas. It’s a family-run business that was founded in 2012 by Karen and Bryan Holloway. Prior to starting Lonestar Transfer, the Holloways worked with timeshare owners to help them cancel their mortgages or transfer ownership of their properties.
Lonestar Transfer has been endorsed by Bill O’Reilly and the Holloways have been featured on Good Morning, Texas. The company has been given an “Emerging Business” award by the Rockwall Chamber of Commerce.
Since starting the company nearly a decade ago, the Holloways claim to have helped more than 14,000 people get out of their timeshares. For those the company isn’t able to help, it offers a money-back guarantee.
One feature that makes Lonestar Transfer unique among other timeshare exit companies is that it offers clients two options for getting out of their timeshares. It provides timeshare transfer services to clients who own their timeshare free and clear.
For clients who still have a mortgage on their timeshare, the company provides mortgage cancellation services. There are many instances in which a consumer might be able to cancel their mortgage. Lonestar Transfer helps clients identify those instances and decide if they are relevant to a particular client’s situation.
How Lonestar Transfer Works
Lonestar Transfer offers two services to its clients. The primary service is timeshare transfer.
The timeshare transfer service is intended for clients who have timeshares that are paid in full and who want to get out of paying maintenance fees and other costs associated with timeshare ownership. The company lists several reasons why a person might consider transferring ownership of their timeshare, including:
- Not getting a return on investment.
- Not having the time to travel or use the timeshare.
- Being tricked into buying the timeshare in the first place.
- Feeling confused about the timeshare process.
Lonestar Transfer states that it helps timeshare owners walk through the process of transferring their timeshares. If an owner already has a buyer or someone who wants to take over ownership of the property, Lonestar Transfer will help them create the necessary documents for the transfer.
The company can also help timeshare owners who don’t have someone lined up to take over ownership of the timeshare. In that case, Lonestar Transfer might help an owner transfer the timeshare to a third-party acceptance party. Once the third party has ownership of the timeshare, it rents it out to people looking for a place to vacation for a week or so.
Since not everyone who owns a timeshare owns it free and clear, Lonestar Transfer offers a secondary service, timeshare mortgage cancellation. The company is upfront about how mortgage cancellation works and the reasons why a timeshare owner can legally cancel their mortgage.
Some of those reasons include:
- The timeshare owner wasn’t made aware of the three day rescission period after their mortgage closed. People who take out certain loans have the right of rescission for three days after the closing date. If the timeshare company withholds this information, the owner can cancel the loan.
- The timeshare owner was given incorrect information about the tax benefits of buying a timeshare.
- The timeshare company used scare tactics and intimidation during the sales presentation.
- The timeshare company didn’t accurately represent the fees and costs of timeshare ownership.
Lonestar Transfer doesn’t specifically outline the steps it takes to help timeshare owners get out of their mortgages. It does mention that the process can be lengthy and often starts with sending a letter to the timeshare company.
Lonestar Transfer is upfront in stating that it can’t help every timeshare owner. It also notes that it takes an individualized approach with each client. To start the process, potential clients are encouraged to schedule a consultation with the company, which can take place in person at the company’s office in Texas or over the phone.
During the consultation, a representative from the company will ask timeshare owners for more information about their property. Depending on the ownership status, type of property and location, Lonestar Transfer will decide if it can help the client. If it believes a client would benefit from its service, it will let the client know which option is best and get the process started.
In addition to helping clients get rid of their timeshares, Lonestar Transfer says that it can also help clients get out of vacation club contracts.
Lonestar Transfer Pricing
Lonestar Transfer doesn’t list specific pricing information on its website. However, it appears that the cost of its services depends on whether a person uses the timeshare transfer or timeshare cancellation option. How long the process takes also influences the overall cost. The initial consultation with the company is free.
Generally speaking, it looks as if a person who decides to work with Lonestar Transfer can expect to pay a few thousand dollars for the company’s services.
The company does have a 100% money-back guarantee and offers its guarantee in writing. It promises to help people get rid of their timeshares and will refund any money paid if it isn’t able to do so.
One thing to note is that it doesn’t outline a time frame for transferring a timeshare or canceling a timeshare mortgage.
Some timeshare exit companies use an escrow system when working with clients. When a client pays the company, the payment doesn’t go directly to it. Instead, it’s held in a separate, third-party account. The timeshare company only gets paid if it delivers on the promises it made.
Escrow gives clients an added layer of protection. They know that their money is safe and can’t be spent by the timeshare company if it fails to do what claims to do. Lonestar Transfer doesn’t use escrow.
Lonestar Transfer Qualifications: Who does Lonestar Transfer Work With?
Lonestar Transfer works with two types of timeshare owners: those who own their properties outright and those who have mortgages on their timeshares. The company also works with people who have contracts with vacation clubs.
The website of Lonestar Transfer stresses that the process is very individualized. It’s difficult for the company to say whether it will work with a person or not without a thorough review of a potential client’s situation. The consultation helps Lonestar Transfer and a potential client decide if working together is the right option.
The founders of Lonestar Transfer have appeared in the media, promoting their service. The company has been endorsed by several personalities, including Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. But endorsements only tell part of the story, mainly that the company has enough money to pay people to promote it.
Online reviews from past and current clients can provide a more accurate picture of the company’s value and whether it does what it says it does. When reading online reviews, though, it’s important to retain some skepticism. Some reviews could have been paid for or the reviewers compensated in other ways.
When looking at reviews, those published on neutral, third-party sites, such as the Better Business Bureau, Google, and Trustpilot, are likely to be more reliable and genuine than reviews published on the company’s website. No company is going to put negative or critical reviews of its service on its own site.
Better Business Bureau Rating of Lonestar Transfer
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is where many people look first when trying to decide if a company is legitimate or not. Things look pretty good for Lonestar Transfer on the BBB’s website.
The company has an average review rating of 4.95 stars out of five. It’s also received an A+ rating from the BBB. At the moment, Lonestar Transfer doesn’t have BBB Accreditation.
What do those ratings mean? The 4.95 average star rating means that most of the people who left a review for the company on the BBB’s website had positive things to say about it. Of the more than 750 reviews the company received, most gave a five-star rating.
Many of the five-star reviews on the BBB’s site say similar things. They note that Lonestar Transfer provided the service it claimed to offer and helped people get rid of their timeshares. Many of the reviews mention a similar timeframe, usually between six and nine months.
Lonestar Transfer has an A+ rating from the BBB. The BBB’s rating isn’t based on the number of reviews or the star-level of reviews a company’s received. Instead, the organization uses complaint history, business age, business type and business practices to determine ratings. The BBB also takes any government actions into account when determining ratings.
Over the past three years, there have been three complaints against Lonestar Transfer to the BBB. Each of those complaints has been resolved and the most recent one dates to 2019. There are no government actions against Lonestar Transfer listed on the BBB’s site.
Other Online Review Sites
Across the internet, reviews of Lonestar Transfer veer toward the positive. On Angi, the company has 11 verified reviews with an average rating of 4.8 stars. Angi verifies the identity of reviewers and only posts reviews from people who have actually worked with a company.
Lonestar Review also has good reviews at other review sites. It has a five-star average rating on Facebook, with most of the reviewers stating that the company successfully helped them get out of their timeshares.
The situation is similar on Google, where the company has an average rating of 4.9 stars out of five. On Trustpilot, Lonestar Transfer also has a rating of 4.9 stars out of five, with more than 100 five-star reviews.
On the whole, the reviews of Lonestar Transfer are very positive. The company has high ratings on sites that screen and verify reviewers, which provides some peace of mind that they aren’t coming from people who paid to praise. The BBB’s A+ rating is also a pretty good sign that Lonestar Transfer does what it claims to do.
Lonestar Transfer Lawsuits
It’s not uncommon for timeshare exit companies to have lawsuits and Lonestar Transfer is no exception. In this case, it is Lonestar Transfer that sued another party. In 2019, the company sued Nashville Tennessee Ventures. Nashville Tennessee Ventures is a third-party company that Lonestar contracted with to provide mortgage cancellation services. Lonestar sued Nashville for breach of contract.
Who is a Good Fit for Lonestar Transfer?
Lonestar Transfer doesn’t outline its specific criteria for accepting clients on its website. Instead, it prefers to have timeshare owners schedule a free consultation with it to see if the company’s services will help them.
Along with helping timeshare owners, the company might be able to help vacation club members get out of their contracts.
Although it doesn’t provide many details about what it looks for in its clients on its site, it does make clear that a person’s ownership status has a direct effect on the services it provides.
People who don’t have mortgages on their timeshares can use the company’s timeshare transfer process. Those who have a mortgage on their timeshare can use the timeshare cancellation service.
Pros and Cons of Lonestar Transfer
There are pros and cons to consider before working with any company. Lonestar Transfer has both good points and bad points. It’s up to individual consumers to decide if the good points outweigh the bad or the reverse.
- Offers two options
- Seems to work quickly
- Offers a money-back guarantee
- Is highly rated
Offers Two Options
Lonestar Transfer recognizes that there are a lot of differences among timeshare programs and timeshare owners. It provides two methods to help timeshare owners get out of their contract. For those who have paid for their timeshare in full, the company can help transfer the title, absolving the owner of any responsibility.
The company also has options for people who still owe money on their timeshares. Its mortgage cancellation program helps people get out of their mortgages if the timeshare company was deceptive or used tactics that concealed information from timeshare buyers.
Seems to Work Quickly
Some timeshare companies take years to get people out of their contracts. During that time, timeshare owners are stuck paying their maintenance fees and mortgages (or risk having their credit damaged). They also have to pay the timeshare company for its services.
While Lonestar Transfer doesn’t provide an exact timeline or give an estimate of how long the process takes, many reviewers have noted that it took less than a year for the company to get them out of their contracts.
Offers a Money-Back Guarantee
If a company promises to do something and fails to deliver, a consumer shouldn’t have to pay for the broken promise. Lonestar Transfer gives its clients a written money-back guarantee. People can get a refund if the company doesn’t transfer their timeshare or successfully cancel their mortgage.
It’s important to read the guarantee carefully, though, to ensure that the company will actually refund the money. There may be caveats or exceptions in the guarantee that make it difficult to get a refund.
Is Highly Rated
Lonestar Transfer has great reviews across the internet, on sites ranging from Google to Angi. It has an A+ rating from the BBB, meaning there have been few complaints or actions taken against it.
People shouldn’t just take positive reviews at face value, though. It’s important to look at who the reviews are coming from. Some are from verified customers who seem to have universally had a positive experience with Lonestar Transfer.
- No escrow options
- Description of services is vague
- Won’t help everyone
A money-back guarantee is good, but escrow is better. Escrow offers the consumer a level of protection. The company doesn’t get a client’s money until it delivers on what it promised to do. If the company can’t or won’t come through for the customer, the customer gets their money back.
Escrow is the gold standard in the timeshare exit company world. Many companies don’t offer it, and unfortunately, Lonestar Transfer is one of those companies.
Description of Services Is Vague
Lonestar Transfer helps with timeshare title transfers or mortgage cancellation. It’s clear about outlining the reasons a person might want to transfer their timeshare or cancel their mortgage and about the laws behind canceling timeshares.
What it isn’t clear about is how it goes about helping timeshare owners cancel their mortgages or what it does above and beyond what an owner can do on their own.
Won’t Help Everyone
Not everyone will benefit from the services Lonestar Transfer offers. Ideally, the company will determine whether it can help a person or not during the consultation, saving both parties time and energy.
Final Verdict: Is Lonestar Transfer a Legit Timeshare Exit Firm?
The timeshare exit industry, like the timeshare industry itself, is full of scams and deceptions. Companies that promise to help timeshare owners, then fail to deliver on those promises, are a dime a dozen.
Fortunately, Lonestar Transfer doesn’t appear to be one of those companies. It’s worked with more than 14,000 clients and has received positive, glowing reviews from many of them.
That said, it’s important to take any positive reviews about the company with a grain of salt. It might not be able to help all timeshare owners. If a person is interested in working with the company, they can set up a consultation to learn more. During the consultation, it’s a wise move to keep an eye out of high-pressure sell tactics or fear-mongering, which can be signs that the company isn’t good to work with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Lonestar Transfer?
Karen and Bryan Holloway founded Lonestar Transfer in 2012 and are actively involved in its management and operation. Prior to starting the company, the husband-and-wife team advocated for the rights of timeshare owners.
Where is Lonestar Transfer located?
As you might guess from the name, Lonestar Transfer is based in Texas. Its headquarters are in Rockwall, Texas.
How is Lonestar Transfer rated online?
Lonestar Transfer is highly rated online, with an average review of nearly five stars on Google, TrustPilot, the BBB and Angi.
What services does Lonestar Transfer offer?
Lonestar Transfer provides two services to timeshare owners: Timeshare transfer and timeshare mortgage cancellation.
How long does the process take?
Lonestar Transfer doesn’t provide exact details about how long it takes to transfer a timeshare title or cancel a mortgage. Some reviewers providers timelines ranging from six months to a little over a year.
Is Lonestar Transfer expensive?
The company doesn’t provide a price list on its website but seems to charge in the neighborhood of several thousand dollars for its services. People interested in working with the company can get a more accurate quote after a consultation