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The Future or Time-share
Today I’m going to discuss certain aspects of today’s time-share industry and the future of time-share tomorrow.

As the time-share market has matured, there has been an increase in the number of exchange companies like RCI and Interval International, whose purpose is to allow time-share owners to bank their unwanted and unused weeks and points in the hopes of securing future time-share vacations.

One of the many reasons for the creation of these companies is that legacy time – share owners have become old, infirm and unable to travel. These people, how are mostly retired and on fixed incomes are perpetually bound to paying annual maintenance fees, and can’t use the weeks or points that they would otherwise be entitled to.

Faced with the inability to travel, these owners are reaching out to the resorts in an effort to be relieved of a financial burden that they can no longer afford. Unfortunately, they are finding that there are certain resorts who will simply not take back weeks or points. Others, will take back weeks and points but only very, very slowly.

As most time – shares are sold in perpetuity, meaning you are obligated to maintenance fees forever, and ever, and ever, the ongoing financial burdens of the time – share has become a serious problem for these senior citizens on a fixed income.

Faced with this situation, the only really way you can get rid of it is by selling it or hiring a time – share attorney to assist in cancelling the time – share.

A simple look at the thousands of time – shares that are listed each year on Craig’s list for as little as one ($1.00), leads to the conclusion that many time – shares have essentially become more worthless.

Imagine the poor unfortunate owners out there who are paying substantial amounts of money for annual maintenance fees, for a time – share that they can no longer use. Without a resale market, these owners are out of pocket for the rest of their lives.

To make matters worse, when they die their family will inherit it, and it becomes a noose around their neck as well.

We need to change that. We need to change all these negatives. And we need the resorts to open up their eyes, open up their minds, and look to see how they can help.

The first resorts that were established are now 40 & 50 year olds. Those resorts have a pool of owners with the oldest ownership base, some of them will be in their 90’s now. Given the choice most of these owners, would prefer to return the time – share to the developer as owners in their 80’s and 90’s are more reticent or some cases simply unable to travel.

In the future, what we need to do is find a solution of how to release these people with an exit program that’s suitable to them, and at the same time be able to resource new owners, possibly the younger, obviously a much younger age where it’s going to be far more affordable.

One of the first recommendations I would make is to end the perpetuity clause.

Perpetuity for a lot of people is a very worrying thing, purely because of the implications of it carrying on thru generations possibly. On the other hand, if perpetuity were not there then the question rises – what happens to time-shares? Because if we had a situation where the perpetuity clause was eliminate, and one could just walk away, then the question is what happens to a time-share? If one is able to walk away from a time-share, the problem arises, what do they do with those weeks not being used and there is no income. The problem then rises – what happens to the whole development? Does it become a ghost town? Is it sold off for private use?

There must be a middle ground, including the conversion of all week based time – shares to points.

Another option is to introduce short-term time-shares with a life of say, 5 – 10 years.

In the end, the best solution is for the time-share developers to establish an exit program that is both reasonable and rational. To do that would be a boon to the time – share industry and would end the need for time – share cancellation attorney’s and exit companies.

The law offices of Mitchell Reed Sussman & Associates is a pioneer of the time-share cancellation and exit business and one of the few attorneys, nationwide, who has litigation multiple cases on behalf of time-share owners all over the United States. More information about time-share exit and release can be obtained by visiting the website www.timesharelegalaction.com or call
800-233-8521.



Attorney Mitchell Sussman being interviewed on Real Estate Today.
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