Risks of Buying a Timeshare

Many timeshare owners have said they were pressured into a purchase by salespeople and are now trapped in an expensive ongoing obligation. Here are some of the risks of purchasing and owning a timeshare, according to those who have made that mistake.

1. You Were Talked Into Something You Can’t Afford
Like walking into a car dealership, timeshare sales agents are going to show you their best (and typically highest price) offer first, and then push hard for a sale. If you decide to proceed, ask for the fine print first and cross-check that with what you would typically spend on an annual vacation—not what the salesperson claims vacationers spend.

For example, a sales agent will often cite calculations that show how much you can save on a lifetime of vacations by purchasing a timeshare, assuming you don’t finance the purchase, and that without owning that timeshare, you would pay full price for the same level of accommodations every year.

In reality, many people do finance the purchase, and the market offers opportunities to pay less than the full price for a resort vacation. You can also quickly look up vacation package costs on any of the main travel booking sites to get an idea of what you would pay for a desired location without purchasing a timeshare as a comparison.

2. Timeshare Financing Is Often Pricey
You can’t finance a timeshare with a traditional mortgage because you’re not buying ownership of a piece of property, which is what mortgage lenders require as collateral if the loan goes sour. If you finance a timeshare, your options may include financing through the timeshare company, getting a personal loanwith no usage restrictions, using a credit card or the proceeds of a home equity loan. Further, unlike mortgage financing for a home, you’ll almost never be eligible for any real estate or investment tax deductions for owning a timeshare.

3. A Timeshare’s Value Won’t Appreciate
Timeshares do not retain their value, let alone increase in value. If you want to sell your timeshare on the secondary market, you will be competing with people who are practically giving their timeshares away. According to the Association of Vacation Owners, an independent advocacy group for timeshare owners, there are millions of timeshares available on the secondary market. What about renting out your timeshare? You should not expect to be able to rent out your timeshare for a profit. You’ll be competing with thousands of other listings that Timeshare Users Group describes as often being priced at less than you’d pay for the cheapest hotel, especially if you’re trying to rent out your week on short notice. If your contract allows it, you may be able to rent out your timeshare to recoup some of your expenses, but it can be a lot of work.

4. Timeshare Points May Lose Value Over Time
Not all timeshares are points-based. There are also fixed-week and floating-week timeshares. But point systems are popular these days and have an important drawback. “Points offer more flexibility but can oftentimes suffer from inflation,” Schreier says. “Meaning, what requires 100 points today may very well require 150 points next year.” Further, the easy ability for people to buy timeshares on the secondary market for much less than what the developer sells them for can depress the value.

Another possibility is that the points required to use your timeshare during your preferred dates could change from year to year. For example, the developer may reevaluate point requirements annually to shift demand away from high-vacation periods and increase incentives for low-demand periods.

5. The Fees May Become Unaffordable
To understand how annual dues might increase over time, it’s helpful to look at the timeshare’s historical dues.

For Disney Vacation Club (DVC), for example, annual dues per vacation point ranged from $4 to $7 in 2010. That range jumped to $7-$10 for the same resorts in 2020, according to DVC member Tim Krasniewski’s website, DVC News.

Similar to owning a condo, timeshare ownership can require you to pay a special assessment if the property needs upgrades or repairs that can’t be covered by the reserve funds from timeshare owners’ annual dues. Higher assessments can lead to a downward spiral of owners not being able to afford their dues, and then the resort quality declining.

6. Timeshares Can Be Hard to Get Rid of
Purchasing a timeshare is a long-term commitment, often lasting decades. They’re a commitment that’s so hard to get out of that some people will give their timeshares away. You can’t simply walk away from a timeshare by refusing to pay your annual dues in the same way you can walk away from a mortgage by refusing to make your monthly payments. Sometimes, you can give your timeshare back to the resort—a process that leading developers explain through their Coalition for Responsible Exit.

However, the process can be difficult and time-consuming. Timeshare owners have had varying results when trying to return their timeshare to one of these developers.


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

What Happens If My Timeshare Resort Suffers Damage?

None of us ever want to believe that a natural disaster will affect us personally – but, as Hurricane Ida recently reminded us, such things are inevitable. Knowing the facts ahead of time can help us prepare for the worst.

The reality is that many thousands of people, in this country and around the world, suffer through horrible and unpredictable weather events every single day, including earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

Many, many timeshare resorts are located in areas where terrible storms and other “acts of God” happen with some frequency, such as California, Florida, and the Caribbean.

As business owners and locals rebuild and recover in the face of Hurricane Ida, timeshare owners looking on from spots across the country have their own unique worry: Namely, how they will be affected if their “home” timeshare resort suffers major damage.

In our experience, timeshare consumers who are worried about their resort are predominately concerned with two things – how their ability to make reservations will be affected, and whether they can expect to pay more in assessments and fees.

To the first point, it is quite likely that your ability to use a timeshare resort may be affected by damage. Facing a loss of property or a labor shortage (as employees stay home for their own safety), many resorts may well be forced to close or suspend service temporarily, affecting the plans of those who already had reservations or who were planning on making them.

Resorts will have to handle circumstances like these on a case-by-case basis; if you have any concerns about your ability to use a week or are curious about how to seek out a refund, your best bet may be to get in contact with your resort’s overseeing management company, who may be able to give you clearer guidance on booking matters.

That brings us to the second major issue that concerns many consumers: Whether or not timeshare owners will feel the effects of a storm or other natural disaster in their pocketbook. As with reservations, assessments and fees for repair costs will vary from resort to resort, based on the unique circumstances at play.

In some cases, owners could be asked to pay fees to offset repair costs if some damages don’t meet insurance thresholds or there are large deductibles that need to be met first. Let’s expand upon that. Should a resort be damaged, the bulk of the costs of repairs should be covered by insurance; POAs also have reserve funds designated for special situations (both are paid for, at least in part, by owners’ annual maintenance fees).

With that said, it’s important to remember that insurance rarely covers everything, and that the POA reserve is often insufficient to take care of the difference. As a result, timeshare owners will often end up paying something more out of pocket in the event of resort damage, be it for debris removal, landscaping services, or other costs that arise in the wake of a weather event. Following storm damage in Hawaii recently, for instance, many owners found themselves on the hook for nearly $5,800 in special assessment maintenance fees after their resort suffered water damage. Assessment fees can be as unpredictable as nature itself. Just one more reason that timeshare ownership is a risky proposition.


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

FTC advises consumers to be careful when considering a timeshare

Consumers should do their homework and think critically before signing any agreement.

With new cases of COVID-19 dwindling, many consumers are getting more comfortable with the idea of traveling. For some, that might mean looking for a nice vacation house for an extended stay away from home.

However, if your wanderlust is driving you to look for a timeshare, then you may want to read some recent advice that was published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The agency says many consumers wind up not getting what they want when they sign a timeshare contract, so it’s important to understand all the nuances of the agreement.

“Maybe you got a flyer in the mail with pictures of sunny beaches and beautiful resort suites. Sounds great, right? But before you sign a timeshare contract, make sure you understand what you’re getting into -- and how to get out of it,” advises Rosario Méndez, an attorney with the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education.

Don’t get pressured into signing a contract

Timeshare purveyors don’t always rely on flyers and call-ins to find potential buyers. Most of us have probably heard about the stereotypical timeshare meeting in which a person agrees to come to a “quick presentation” that turns into a pressure-filled nightmare. Unfortunately, Méndez says these types of meetings do happen.

“Promoters might offer you a gift or delicious meal to attend a timeshare presentation. If you decide to go, the sales staff may make a lot of promises and pitches designed to get you to buy right then and there without giving you time to think about it or do any of your own research,” she said.

It’s important that you don’t let that sales pitch overwhelm you. When deciding if a timeshare is right for you, the FTC says there are several questions you should ask yourself. They include:

• If the timeshare is only for a specific property, is this where I want to vacation every year?
• Can I afford this timeshare, even if the maintenance fees go up?
• Do I have the time to deal with issues that may arise if I can’t book the resort I want during the time I want to travel?
• If I no longer can afford or want the timeshare, how can I sell it?

If you can’t get a satisfying answer to any of these questions, then it’s probably best to pass on the timeshare offer.


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Confessions of a Timeshare Scammer

A man who used to scam timeshare owners with fictional offers to buy them out comes clean with some inside information.
by H. Dennis Beaver

If you own a timeshare — especially one in Mexico — this story will help prevent you or family members from being ripped off by a scam that has gone on for years and is especially cruel for people who have been struggling to pay their yearly maintenance fees due to COVID-19.

But first, let me tell you about one of the more interesting phone calls I’ve had lately … from a con artist. He’s an American residing in Mexico who turned out to be very helpful for people he has never met. Our conversation went like this:

“Mr. Beaver, a couple of years ago, you were very nice to me when other lawyers would have treated me like dirt. I was trying to scam your reader out of $5,000 for the sale of his timeshare in Cabo San Lucas. You had the three of us on a conference call and got me to admit there was no buyer.

“I never forgot that call, and it is why we are speaking now,” “Blake” explained, adding, “My life has changed. I met a lovely woman who told me that if we were to be married, I had to quit this fraud stuff and do what I could to help people avoid being taken. I want to alert your readers about, not only the resale scam, but certain collection tactics that rip off entire families.”

The Mexican Timeshare Resale Scam, in a Nutshell

Assume, years ago, you bought a timeshare in Mexico that you never use and are just tired of paying over $1,000 a year for maintenance fees. Out of the blue you get a call from a real estate agent in Mexico who has a client offering three times what you paid for it!

“Fantastic!” you say. They overnight a contract, which you don’t discuss with your accountant or lawyer, but sign and return.

“To complete the transaction, we need $1,500 to be wired to our office for title documents, etc.,” you are told, and do what they ask. Over the months, you send more and more money to complete the transaction.

Only then do you Google Mexican Timeshare resales. You finally learn that there never was a buyer. That money is gone forever. (One timeshare owner, a chiropractor in Toronto, wired $40,000!)

New Collection Strategy with COVID

“People want out of the yearly maintenance fees: That’s what makes getting them to fall for the scam so easy,” Blake says. “Those yearly fees are pure gravy for management, and now, with COVID, this revenue source has mostly dried up due to unemployment and no one traveling.

“So, management is desperate and putting a great deal of pressure on owners to cough up the money. Collectors based in Mexico or elsewhere are hassling owners and their relatives! This is creating embarrassment, and I know of people who, instead of making a house payment, paid the maintenance fee.

“They threaten lawsuits, garnishing bank accounts, going online and claiming you are a deadbeat — anything to get money. In reality, these are empty threats. Scammers like me are very close to management at these resorts, getting all sorts of information about unit owners and their family in return for big kickbacks.”

And Blake’s advice to owners of Mexican timeshares?

“There are no buyers! Realize that most timeshares have no monetary value. You can find them for sale online for a dollar! Don’t allow your greed to get the better of you! If you get a call from someone claiming to have a buyer for your timeshare, just hang up!”


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Drawbacks of Timeshares

1. While you don’t need to worry about maintenance, you will need to worry about the annual fees and your lack of control over their annual increases. The average annual maintenance fee for a timeshare is over $660, according to Howard Nusbaum, CEO and president of the American Resort Development Association. You pay that fee whether you use the property or not. In addition, you could be liable for special assessments.

2. Timeshares are hard to sell and used timeshare units are sold at a steep discount because there are so many on the market. Bear in mind that the Better Business Bureau has been warning about timeshare reselling schemes that defrauded victims out of thousands of dollars.

3. If you sell your timeshare at a loss, the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t let you claim a capital loss as you would with other investments and real property.

4. Buying a timeshare in a foreign country presents special challenges. In Mexico, for example, foreigners are not allowed to hold the direct title to property within 30 miles of the coast and 60 miles of international borders. They are limited to “right to use” timeshares. Also, consumer protection laws in some countries are laxer and lack enforcement.

A timeshare purchase is not an investment. When you consider depreciation, travel costs and maintenance fees — on top of an uncertainty of use — the concept of “prepaying” for your vacations probably won’t pencil out. Run the numbers.

Analyze your vacation patterns over the past few years. Do you really go to the same place at the same time every year? Or do you have a mix of activities and destinations, such as camping adventures, cruises, road trips or organized tours?

Be wary of timeshare salespeople who answer your questions with a question and won’t be upfront about the purchase price. Another tip along these lines: it’s a good sign if you are offered a grace period allowing you to change your mind and cancel before committing to buying.


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Why Buying a Timeshare is a Bad Idea

By Larry Ludwig

My wife and I went on vacation to Disney World a couple of years ago. The family had a great time, and I personally was glad to get away from the business. We stayed at my parents' Orange Lake Resort timeshare, which is just outside the park.

Even though they've owned the timeshare for more than 10 years, this was the first time I had gone there. The resort itself is very nice, has all of the amenities and is in a great location. However, I have always thought that my parents' purchase was a bad decision. After all, they paid $10,000 for it, and today the maintenance is $750 per year.

My question is: Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to stay at a hotel or to rent a unit in the resort for that week? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

How Timeshares Work

Timeshares are vacation plans that have been around in the U.S. since 1969. Today, it’s a $9.2 billion industry, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). That’s actually quite large when compared to the nearly $8 billion music industry or Major League Baseball's $9 billion in annual revenue. In 2016, there were 1,558 timeshare resorts just in the U.S., with an average of 132 units per resort.

A timeshare gives you partial ownership in a vacation property. You can even think of it as owning shares of stock in the vacation rental. You pay an upfront price to purchase your unit and then an annual maintenance fee. This gives you access to the property for a certain period of time, which is usually the same time slot each year. When you are not using the timeshare, others with similar interests are.

The average sales price for a one-week timeshare today is approximately $20,940, with an average annual maintenance fee of $880, according to the ARDA. Most timeshare agreements are indefinite contracts, meaning that you’re obligated to pay the maintenance fee indefinitely, which is a big financial commitment.

If you want to use your unit during another week, you must “bank” your week and exchange it for another time or location. In the sales pitch (I had the misfortune of attending one), the resort mentioned it's no longer doing week-based timeshares. It’s now a points-based system. You get X number of points per year when you buy a unit and can then use it any way you choose.

The points could be used for many other things: to purchase airfare, go to another location or upgrade to a bigger unit. Heck, it's like airline miles and credit card points. You can use your points in stores like Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond. Great — I can buy that toilet seat cover instead of going on vacation. I’m sure that, just as with credit card points, you are getting a fair exchange of points into dollars.

As if you can't tell, I’m being sarcastic.

I didn’t run the numbers, but I’m sure the conversion rates are awful. So in the end, they're making even a single week in a timeshare much more abstract to own than a hard asset. The high-pressure sales guy, please remind me again, what’s the purpose of owning a timeshare?

At Bishop & Waters, we are a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients. We are proud to say many of them have become our personal friends.

If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us. Contact us today for a free consultation.

https://investorjunkie.com/investing/why-buying-a-timeshare-is-a-bad-idea/


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

How to get out of that vacation timeshare amid the pandemic

With tourism at a near standstill, making a long-term commitment to an annual vacation spot has never really been a good idea but especially in the midst of a global pandemic with restricted travel and a sudden spike in unemployment, leaving many Americans with less disposable income.

Now some owners of timeshares, who are often Baby Boomers and considered high-risk for contracting Covid-19, want out of their units and the financial obligation. But that isn’t always so easy.

While there are different models, most timeshare owners buy either a fraction of real estate at a vacation destination or points they can use at a property. In every case, there are annual maintenance fees that accompany the purchase of a unit for the lifetime of the contract. Further, many owners finance their timeshare, rather than pay for it outright, which means there may be loan payments in addition to yearly fees. For timeshare loans, the overall delinquency rate was 12.8% in 2019 compared to less than 4% for traditional mortgage loans. In 2019, the price of typical timeshare with a week’s worth of vacation time was $22,942 plus maintenance fees of about $1,000 a year.

And yet, before the coronavirus crisis, as much as 85% timeshare owners regretted their purchase, according to one study. That number is only increasing during the pandemic.


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

How to Spot Timeshare Scams: What to Watch Out For During the Presentation

If you decide to attend a timeshare presentation, even if your intention is just to get a free gift, you need to be on the lookout so you can avoid a bad deal.

Watch Out for the Hard Sell

When you think about timeshares, it might conjure up the image of a shifty, fast-talking salesperson that pressures you relentlessly to make a purchase. But maybe you're willing to put up with the presentation to get a free night at a hotel or another prize. Keep in mind, though, that many people who attend timeshare sales presentations walk out as timeshare owners whether they planned on buying one or not. To stop this from happening to you, you should go into the presentation fully informed about how timeshares work so that you can make a rational decision about whether purchasing a timeshare is right for you.

Evaluate the Timeshare Resort Before Attending the Meeting

If you’re thinking about buying a timeshare in a particular resort, you should evaluate the resort developer before you walk into the presentation. Even if you think you won’t be tempted to purchase a timeshare, it’s a good idea to investigate the developer ahead of time so you’ll know who you’re dealing with and, perhaps, their tactics.

Check the Better Business Bureau website and run a Google search to find out if there are complaints against the timeshare developer. Timeshare owners and potential purchasers who've had difficulty dealing with the resort often post their experiences and warnings online. Local real estate agents can also be helpful resources for information about the resort and developer.

Timeshare Resale Scams

Unfortunately, if you get roped into buying a timeshare and your cancellation period has already expired, you'll probably have trouble unloading it. There’s virtually no after-market for timeshares and finding a buyer can be next to impossible. This is where the scammers come in.

Here’s how to protect yourself:

Don’t Pay Upfront Fees

In a common scam scenario, a timeshare reseller promises to hook you up with a buyer, but first you need to pay an upfront fee. Timeshare scammers often convince owners to pay large upfront fees by saying they have someone ready and willing to buy the property or that the timeshares would be sold in a specified period of time. Once the timeshare owner pays the fees, the scammers either disappear or claim that they were simply offering to advertise the timeshare unit and no buyer ever materializes.

Many states have strict laws governing timeshare resales, including restrictions on collecting advance fees. Talk to an attorney in the state where the timeshare is located to find out about relevant laws.

Don't Pay Mystery Fees

In another common scam, a potential "buyer" calls you and offers to purchase your timeshare for say, double what you paid. The supposed buyer (or the buyer's representative) might not ask for an upfront fee, but in the middle of the transaction, you'll have to pay for a "tax fee," "insurance premium," or something similar, but bogus. Fees will keep popping up, and as long as you pay them, the scammer strings you along, maybe telling you that you'll get reimbursed. But there is no buyer, and you won't recoup your money.

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

Again, there's virtually no after-market for timeshares. You can purchase most timeshares on the Internet for pennies on the dollar. Very rarely does anyone make a profit when selling one. So, if someone offers you a deal that's too good to be true—like claiming a buyer is seeking you out or offering you significantly more than you originally paid for the timeshare—you're most likely dealing with a scammer. Don't ignore these kinds of red flags.

Don’t Sign Anything at the Meeting

If you do decide to use a resale company, don’t sign a contract when you first meet with the company. Take the documents that the company provides with you when you leave the meeting so you can spend some time reading the fine print. If certain promises were made about selling the timeshare, make sure those promises are covered in the contract. You should also review the contract and documents with an attorney.

And if there's no meeting: beware. If a resale company wants to do the entire transaction over the phone and is unwilling to meet you in person or provide a physical business office address, this is a clear sign that the company isn't legitimate.

Know Who You’re Dealing With

If you decide to pay a fee to a timeshare resale service to help you sell your timeshare, be sure you investigate it thoroughly before moving forward with the deal. Ask lots of questions and verify everything the company tells you.

Licensing Requirements

In some states, only licensed real estate brokers may list and sell timeshares for resale. If your state requires a real estate or timesharing sales license, check with the state's Department of Real Estate to make sure the agent has a valid license. If the agent is licensed, check to see if there have been any disciplinary actions taken against the agent.

Check With the Better Business Bureau

If you’re thinking of using the services of a timeshare resale company, be sure to check the Better Business Bureau website for any complaints that might have been registered against the timeshare company. Don’t do business with the company if there are grievances filed against it.

Search the Internet

You can also run a Google search to find out more about the company that you’re dealing with. Timeshare owners who have previously been scammed often post their experiences and warnings about scammers online.

Learn About Common Scams So You Can Avoid Them

New timeshare scams seem to pop up all the time. Check online to see what other people have gone through to make sure you don't get similarly taken. The Federal Trade Commission website is a good place to start and be sure to read the comments that people post.

Avoid This Common Mexico Timeshare Resale Scam

If you bought a timeshare in Mexico and want to sell it with the help of a reseller, you need to be especially careful. One common scam involves stealing the identity of a lawyer in the United States. The scammer sets up a bogus website under the lawyer's name, offering help in selling a timeshare—for a substantial fee. But the real lawyer is not involved, and the scammers just disappear with the timeshare owner's money.

To avoid this type of scam, always verify that you're dealing with a legitimate, licensed lawyer. You can find a lawyer's true contact information from the state bar association or state office of attorney regulation.

Reporting a Timeshare Scam

If you think you've been a victim of a timeshare scam, contact:

• your state’s Department of Real Estate (if a real estate license is involved)
• the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-FTC-HELP)
• your state Attorney General’s Office, and/or
• your local Better Business Bureau.

Reporting unscrupulous timeshare schemes can help prevent others from becoming victims.


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

The Truth About Timeshares

Myth: I can get a great deal on a timeshare and go for vacation every year! Plus, I can always sell it if I get tired of it.

Truth: Timeshares are one of the biggest scams on the market today. Once you are stuck in one, you are stuck in a black hole.

The first word that should come to your head when you hear the word timeshares should be RUN! Run far, far away! If you run fast enough, you can eventually escape that annoying, high-pressure salesperson!

Think about this for a minute. Why in the world would you pay thousands and thousands of your hard-earned dollars for a place with minimal square-footage that you might get the chance to visit for one week each year? Add to that the fact that you have absolutely no equity in the place. And you have to pay extra ongoing "maintenance fees." And selling it is near impossible. And it's basically just an expensive, ongoing headache. And, and, and!

Sounds completely ridiculous, doesn't it? That's because it is!

Why All the Buzz?

Timeshares are one of the top sellers in the travel and hospitality industry. Thousands are available and millions of people "own" them. But that doesn't mean timeshares are a good idea. An article on MarketWatch.com tells us that timeshares are generally marketed and sold to people who really can't afford them. So if you think you can afford it, you can't. Even if you really think you can, your money is better off in a cookie jar.

The average cost of a timeshare in the U.S. is $14,500. If you put that money in a mutual fund averaging 12% over 10 years, you would have almost $48,000. Pretty good.

In 20 years, you would have over $178,000. Even better.
In 40 years, you would have over $1.7 million! That's a lot of free money! Hope you like the vacation house!

Throwing money at a timeshare is not an investment and will not generate money for you. An investment implies that you can eventually sell it and make money. With timeshares, you're just pre-paying your hotel bill for the next 20 years whether or not you use it.


Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Increase My Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many areas of our lives, including our travel and vacation plans. If you own a timeshare, you were probably unable to use it during 2020 and may face challenges scheduling a trip in 2021, depending on how long the pandemic continues to affect our lives. Ideally, timeshare companies would be doing everything possible to address the concerns of their owners during a challenging financial climate. Unfortunately, this industry has never been known to place the needs and experiences of their vacation owners above their profits.

As we move toward the end of the year, you will most likely be receiving your invoice for 2021 timeshare maintenance fees soon. These fees will not be waived due to COVID-19, even if you’re unable to schedule a vacation during the pandemic. In addition, it’s possible that you’ll receive a larger maintenance fee hike than normal as timeshare companies try to limit the financial losses they’re experiencing from the pandemic.

The Stated Purpose of Timeshare Maintenance Fees

The stated reason for charging timeshare maintenance fees is to cover the necessary upkeep of the resort. This is one of the purposes for which these fees are used. Without them, it’s likely that the property would fall into a state of disarray, making your vacation far less enjoyable.

Some of the items your maintenance fees will cover include:

• Repair and maintenance costs for amenities such as the gym, pool or golf course
• Adding new amenities to the property
• Landscaping and beautification costs
• Maintenance and upgrades to your unit, including new furniture, beds and appliances
• Safety and security measures at the resort
• Business costs such as property insurance
• Employee wages

In some instances, these costs may rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, cleaning protocols are much stricter than in the past, which may result in an increase to the costs of these services. In addition, some timeshare resorts took advantage of the shutdown to perform extensive renovations to their property. The cost of these renovations would be passed along to the owners through an increase in maintenance fees.

However, we encourage you to look carefully at the cost of your 2021 timeshare maintenance fees and compare them to the fees assessed in recent years. If you see they’ve increased by a larger percentage than they normally do, you may want to reach out to the developer or HOA to find out exactly what your money is being allocated toward. In many instances, you may find that not all of it will be used to address repairs and upkeep.

The Unstated Purpose of Timeshare Maintenance Fees

Often, timeshare companies use maintenance fees as a way to create revenue and improve their profitability. This is accomplished by charging a larger fee than is necessary to perform all required maintenance and upkeep.

Let’s look at the math surrounding timeshare maintenance fees:

• According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the average cost of timeshare maintenance fees is $1,000 and the average timeshare resort contains 129 units.
• If we allow for one week per year for maintenance of each unit, the average timeshare has 6,579 one-week vacations to sell in order to reach full capacity.
• Let’s assume a conservative estimate that these units are filled 50% of the year.
• In this scenario, the average timeshare resort is earning $3, 289,000 in annual maintenance fees ($1,000 x 3,289 owners).

Does it really cost upwards of $3.3 million a year to staff and maintain these resorts? If not, the remainder of this money reflects profit for the developer or HOA. In a year when a global health pandemic has devastated the timeshare industry, it’s possible that your resort will seek to recoup some of their losses by significantly increasing your annual maintenance fees or by levying an additional assessment charge to cover undisclosed expenses.

These increased rates are hard enough to fit into your budget when you’re using your timeshare. If you’re unable to book a trip in 2021 due to COVID-19, this will represent an extremely large expense without receiving any benefit for your money.

Break Free from the Financial Burdens of Timeshare Ownership

COVID-19 will undoubtedly change the way many people take vacations moving forward. As a result, you may find that your timeshare no longer meets your needs. You may also decide that annual maintenance fees that consistently spiral out of control are no longer financially feasible for you and your family. If you’re ready to get out of your timeshare, we can help.

Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshares: Take the steps necessary to avoid being scammed.

Since its inception, the timeshare industry has long been criticized for its high-pressure sales tactics and somewhat shady modus operandi. But increases in regulation and the spread of information on the internet have forced these companies to be a little more honest. In fact, the last timeshare-owned property I stayed at was actually very well-maintained, accommodating, and enjoyable. So, in this case, they did deliver. Could the timeshare sham of old finally be a thing of the past?

Not so fast. The new scam isn't the timeshare companies themselves, although many financial experts would agree that they're a bad investment, but rather crooks looking to cash in on those who already own them.

Here's how it works:

Let's say you decided to buy into the timeshare, and you've been enjoying it for a few years. Then, your financial situation changes – you lose your job, a family member gets sick, or maybe you just don't want to pay the maintenance fees associated with the timeshare – what do you do? Sell it, and here's where the scam comes in.

Scammers will cold call owners until they find someone who is interested in selling, then they claim they've already got buyers lined up and in order to go through with it all, they need an upfront transaction fee.

These fees often range from $1,000 to $3,000, and the requested forms of payment are typically wire, money order, and cashier's check. The more sophisticated operations will even have very professional-looking websites that correspond to the scammer's pitch.

With that said, here's what you need to do to protect yourself:

1. Be extremely skeptical of anyone who says they've got a buyer lined up for your timeshare.
2. Never pay upfront fees for anything. Generally, that's worked into the price or settled after the transaction.
3. Get everything in writing, and if you can, have it reviewed by your attorney.
4. Do as much research as you can. Look for a physical address of the company, and check with the local consumer protection agency to see if they're legitimate.
5. Finally, check with the timeshare company to get the exact details on resale restrictions or if they recommend any resellers.

Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Consumer Alert: Following a spate of recent complaints, Consumer Protection warns timeshare owners about scams

The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is warning timeshare owners about transfer or resale scams following complaints.

Consumers should always remember that buying or selling a timeshare is a real estate transaction. It’s important to hire qualified, appropriately licensed individuals to guide you through the process, just as if you were buying or selling a home.

Businesses known as timeshare “resale” and “transfer” companies have become more popular to support consumers with the sale of their timeshare – but not all companies are legitimate. While some work hard to promote and sell or rent timeshares, many “resale” companies will use fraudulent gimmicks and do little to actually sell the timeshare interest.

Timeshare resale schemes include companies that say they will work to sell your timeshare for a fee but may offer a series of options outside of traditional sales. Some companies may offer to purchase your timeshare interest (e.g., “your week”), help you donate it to charity, or put your timeshare in a travel club. They may even charge a large up-front fee and say that they have “buyers lined up” to purchase your timeshare. These businesses often promise that they will cover maintenance fees when they take over the title to the timeshare. In some cases, the company does not transfer the property, and victims soon learn that they are still responsible for the maintenance fees to the resort.

Timeshare resale companies may invite you to an event or offer a free meal to gain a captive audience, and now, some of these events may even occur virtually.

Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

A Warning from the California State Attorney General

Timeshares might seem like a good deal, but beware. Timeshares often have large fees in addition to the purchase price. Some fees, such as maintenance fees, can rise each year without a limit, so the timeshare can quickly become unaffordable. Also, double check any promises a salesperson makes and make sure important terms are in writing in the contract. Salespeople may lie and pressure you to buy because they can make a very large commission from the sale. Ask lots of questions and do your research to see what others have to say about the timeshare company or resort.

If you want to buy a timeshare, consider buying on the secondary market. Timeshares often lose a lot of their value after they are first sold, and many timeshare owners need to sell their timeshare because the fees are too high or they no longer want them. It can be hard for owners to sell timeshares, so significant discounts may be available. Thus, you may be able to find better deals on the secondary market, but understand that you also may have difficulty selling it later if you need to. If you purchase or take over a timeshare, be sure you understand all the costs and fees associated with it, and read the contract carefully so you know what you are agreeing to.

Timeshare Resale Scams

Timeshare buyers often regret their purchase and try to sell them. Beware of scams by timeshare resellers who offer to help you sell your timeshare.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

• Don’t pay any fees upfront even if the company promises a “money-back guarantee.” The reseller’s fees should come out of the proceeds after a sale is complete.
• Make sure to get everything in writing. Be sure to get a written contract that accurately reflects the promises that have been made to you.
• Be wary of resellers that tell you they have buyers “on the line” or “in their office” ready to buy your timeshare. It’s likely a lie to pressure you to commit on the spot.
• Do your homework. Even companies with celebrity endorsements and Better Business Bureau accreditation might try to sell you something that you will regret.

Again, don’t pay any fees upfront even with a “money-back guarantee.”

Source: https://oag.ca.gov/consumers/general/timeshares

Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Ongoing Challenges of COVID and Timeshare Ownership

As many Americans struggle to pay rent due to COVID-19 restrictions and employment challenges, some cities are barring landlords from evicting tenants while many landlords are offering temporary leniency on payments.

Unfortunately, the timeshare industry is not as understanding. Many timeshares still demand that fees be paid even though the properties are on lock-down.

In an effort to help beleaguered Timeshare owners find relief during this unusual time, consider the following:

1. While it's true that a timeshare contract is a legally binding document, it is mistaken to think that such a contract cannot be cancelled. Contracts are cancellable for a variety of reasons. Ask yourself, 'Was there fraud, misrepresentation and/or failure of consideration involved?"

2. Are you suffering from a financial hardship and are no longer able to afford your timeshare? If the answer is yes, then contact us to get the process of cancellation started. Bishop & Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

The Trouble with Timeshares

Timeshares are often thought of as very luxurious and accommodating vacations that can even end up costing you less than traditional hotel vacations. Despite how wonderful these extremely luxurious vacations sound, due to the recent economic troubles many timeshare owners are in need of a way out of their timeshares.

Because of this huge demand from existing timeshare owners to sell their timeshares, a few troubling problems have surfaced. The main problem is that with all of this supply of used timeshares there is little to no demand to purchase a used timeshare on the resale market. This has resulted in many timeshares being listed on popular e-commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon for as little as $1. These listings are basically a last-ditch effort to get out of the timeshare contract.

One of the big reasons why it’s so difficult to get out of a timeshare, aside from the oversupply of used timeshares, is because of the costs of ownership involved in timeshares and the length of contract. Owners have to pay a monthly maintenance fee for their timeshare in the hundreds of dollars, without being there.

Timeshare contracts are written to be very iron-clad and can be extremely difficult to get out of, it is often joked about that even death will not get rid of your timeshare as it will pass on to your heirs. On top of very long-term contracts timeshares also involve something called maintenance fees and special assessments. Every timeshare has received some sort of maintenance fee and it is basically the cost of ownership once the initial purchase price is paid off.

What some people may not be aware of are that on top of the maintenance fees you have the potential to be charged a special assessment for any unexpected damages to the unit or even just for remodeling. With all of these expenses added up and when you consider the potential for these fees to increase over time most timeshare owners agree that they would rather be done with it and take their vacations without the types of accommodations that timeshares provide.

At Bishop & Waters, we are a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients. We are proud to say many of them have become our personal friends.

If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

COVID-19 Relief and Timeshares

The need for consumers to exit their timeshares is more relevant now than ever, yet their ability to exit is stifled by red tape put up by the timeshare industry – or even worse, new deceptive practices aimed at making more sales in the guise of COVID-19 relief:

• In a dazzling display of insensitivity and greed, Orlando Sentinel reported that an executive at Westgate Resorts "offered to use coronavirus relief money from the federal government to give short-term jobs to travel bloggers to write stories promoting the company's resorts."

• Diamond Resorts sent out an email to customers in April stating that they've "identified ways to provide financial relief to members through refinancing options," but the true purpose of the solicitation becomes clear in the email's fine print: "This advertising material is being used for the purpose of soliciting timeshare sales."

• In Wyndham Destinations' Q1 earnings call, CEO Michael Brown said that the developer will have to focus more on "owner sales" to keep earnings afloat amid COVID-19 – in other words, pushing upgrades on existing members.

Below is a sampling of recent Tweets from timeshare owners frustrated with developers' policies amid COVID-19:

"@RCI_Timeshare we have a vacation booked, but the resort and amenities are now closed due to #Covid_19. Why are you not allowing us to cancel or reschedule without huge penalties? This is absurd." - @imsowilde

"Don't book with Diamond Resorts. They refuse to refund our cruise during COVID-19. My husband is immunocompromised. Do not purchase a timeshare with them."- @independentpup

"@RCI_Timeshare needs to meet the times and address this situation. Not allowing members to change dates due to #coronavirus is archaic. Terrible customer service. My mother is stuck now and has been a loyal customer for over 20 years. @WLWT @WCPO @Local12 @FOX19" - @chrislenhof

To those who have followed the timeshare industry for years, their latest actions – or inaction – amid COVID-19 unfortunately should not come as a large surprise.

At Bishop & Waters, we are a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients. We are proud to say many of them have become our personal friends.

If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Predatory sales, few protections

In the wake of COVID-19, a flood of timeshare owners have tried to cancel their reservations or even their contracts, citing travel bans and health fears that make them untenable. Disastrous as it is, the pandemic alone is not the only reason to exit your timeshare. There are plenty of valid reasons to cancel a contract for a timeshare, including exorbitant maintenance fees, false advertising, and fraud.

The real problem is that there are far too few protections for timeshare owners and potential buyers. The Federal Trade Commission offers extensive cautions for people thinking of buying a timeshare, and the Consumer Federation of America warns of “reseller” scams that may await consumers who want to unload their timeshare.

However, timeshare companies’ offers to take back unwanted timeshares are disingenuous at best, since many clients who had tried to “surrender” their paid-off timeshares were pressured to upgrade instead.

At Bishop & Waters, we are a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients. We are proud to say many of them have become our personal friends.

If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

COVID and Timeshares

Timeshares can be a source of financial stress and frustration for many people. Between rising property maintenance fees and other unexpected costs, owning a timeshare can be even more difficult during seasons of financial uncertainty, especially when you can’t even book a trip to stay at your timeshare.

Because our top priorities will always be with you in mind, we would like to address some questions you may have about the possible impacts of COVID-19 on timeshares and the travel industry.

What effects will COVID-19 have on timeshare and travel industry?

Obviously, many people have either canceled trips because they’re unable to travel or because they just can’t afford to travel this year. Many resorts have shut down completely during this time. And since we are headed into travel season, that will be a big hit to their bottom line.

When resorts are impacted financially, that is when timeshare owners can start to receive what are called special assessments. We’ve seen this on a much smaller scale when a natural disaster, like a hurricane or tornado, strikes the area around a resort. The resorts issue special assessment fees to timeshare owners to help cover the cost of the physical damage to the property.

In our current situation, those special assessments would be to cover the financial damages these resorts will experience. Unfortunately, we’ve heard of timeshare owners already receiving these fees in the mail.

How can Bishop & Waters help?

We know things are difficult for a lot of people during this season. We want to do everything we can to help timeshare owners take this burden off their plates so they can move forward and take care of their families.

If you are feeling anxious about which timeshare exit company to use, consider using a smaller, more personal and caring company. We’re there when you need us.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

We service clients from all across the United States and we just opened another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Give us a call for a free consultation at: (858) 280-1039.

From our families to yours, stay well.

If you have been unfortunate enough to find yourself in a bad timeshare situation, contact us today! We may be able to help!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshare Scams

Look-Out . . . timeshare scams ahead! According to a recent news story, over 10 million Americans own timeshares, making the thriving industry ripe for con artists.

Many timeshare companies lure potential customers with free stays at a timeshare in exchange for the client’s agreeing to simply sit through a timeshare presentation, but problems may arise once you agree to buy the timeshare property.

Timeshare scams range from hidden booking or maintenance fees to more extreme cases, such as companies suddenly going out of business once they secure your hefty deposit, leaving you without a timeshare.

Big Red Flag For Timeshare Scams

Many people still don’t know to always avoid companies using 900 numbers, as the prefix is often associated with suspect companies. Due to a Federal Trade Commission ruling, 900 numbers must disclose how much the phone call will actually cost the caller.

Prior to this ruling, many of these companies used such numbers to trick customers into thinking they were calling toll-free numbers.

Companies typically offer prizes to lure clients to timeshare presentations. Legitimate companies provide simple perks, such as a free hotel room or gift card, in exchange for your presence at a sale’s pitch.

However, a big red flag occurs when companies offer grand prizes, such as a brand-new car. Let’s get real, timeshare companies cannot afford to give lavish gifts to every potential client for simply showing up, and you will likely never see your promised reward.

Stay away from companies offering free hotel rooms and supposed discounted travel rates, such as airfare, when booking through a specific promoter. Often times, the promoter in question charges inflated rates and splits the profits with the timeshare company.

Payment For Participation

Never, Never, Never, pay for access to your prize. A legitimate timeshare business would never request a payment for your participation or charge a service to activate your prize. Leave the room if the sales pitch becomes too aggressive. Do not feel obligated to stay for the entire presentation if the sales associate applies too much pressure or causes you to feel uncomfortable.

Do not sign a contract or any documents at the presentation. If you decide to sign a contract at the time of the presentation, get a copy immediately upon signing it. Do not allow the company to mail or email you a copy at a later date.

If you have been unfortunate enough to find yourself in a bad timeshare situation, contact us today! We may be able to help!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshares’ Missing Investment Component

It’s been said in poker that if you can’t spot the patsy, it’s you. This applies to purchase a timeshare. The ones benefiting from the transaction are the salesperson and the owners of the resort. You, unfortunately, are stuck with a small slice of a unit that has little or no resale value.

Here are the issues with owning a timeshare:

• There is a huge resale market. Often you can pick up units for less than half of what was originally paid.
• Like a car, a timeshare depreciates once you “drive it off the lot” (take ownership).
• It’s rare that a timeshare increases in value. In fact, expect it to lose value, as the total cost of your ownership was marked up to cover sales presentations, incentives and giveaways.
• Timeshares are usually sold to you when you’re on vacation and your defenses are down.
• Most have high yearly maintenance fees. In my parents' case, their fees are increasing every year, faster than the rate of inflation. For the amount that you pay in maintenance fees alone (forget about the initial “investment”), you could stay at a decent-quality hotel for a week.

Despite these drawbacks, the industry continues to attract new owners. In 2015, 46% of timeshare sales were to new owners, reversing a previous trend of increasing reliance on existing owners.

Timeshares Don’t Generate Income
In theory, when you buy a timeshare, you have a fractional interest in the property the rental is situated on. But it’s important to understand that this does not give you all the advantages that owning real estate normally has.

For starters, you have an interest in the same unit as other people who participate in the timeshare. Your interest, therefore, is not standalone ownership. You are not free to do with the unit as you please.
For example, there are strict limits on the time during which you have physical occupancy of the unit. Unlike a true vacation home, you’re not able to rent it out during the rest of the year when you’re not occupying it for personal use.
We can think of a timeshare as having a partial ownership interest in a single vacation property or unit. It’s nothing like owning a vacation property outright, with the benefits that come as a result of having it.

According to the ARDA, timeshare owners are tending to be younger and more ethnically diverse than when the industry started and targeted an elderly crowd. The median age of recent buyers is 39, and 34% of owners are either Asian-American or African-American. Nearly two-thirds have college degrees. Their median income is $81,311.

However, it seems to me that the timeshare market targets the financially inexperienced. Sadly, timeshares tend to become vacation properties for people who can’t afford vacation properties. The sales materials are made to appear more about the bling and “living the good life” than about the investment return. That’s because there is no return.

If you are spending money for the future, it should be considered an investment. If it’s not generating income, it’s an expense — plain and simple.

Timeshares Aren’t Very Liquid
It’s usually only after you’ve purchased a timeshare that you realize there are more people looking to sell them than buy them. The likelihood of recovering your initial investment is very low — to say nothing of recovering many years' worth of maintenance fees.
There are websites that timeshare owners can use to try to sell their property, such as RedWeek, but they charge a listing fee and an annual membership fee to use the site — and there’s no guarantee the timeshare will sell.
And there’s a substantial amount of fraud in the reselling industry. Scammers prey on timeshare owners by promising to sell the property for you — for an upfront fee — and once you pay the fee, you never hear from them again.

If you’re able to sell the timeshare (and that is never certain), you probably will get only a fraction of what you paid for it. There are two fundamental problems when it comes to selling them:
1. More are being built/offered all the time, flooding the market, and
2. Existing owners are selling them to get out of debt or once they realize that it isn’t the deal they thought it was when they bought it.

Timeshare companies know that you can likely find cheaper options from existing buyers on websites such as Timeshare Users Group and RedWeek. So the companies usually offer closing incentives and other perks. But those perks don’t usually recoup the money you would save from buying from an existing owner.

The Better Alternative to a Timeshare
In my opinion, you're better off staying at a local hotel than buying into a timeshare. Take my parents' timeshare as an example. They paid $10,000 for the initial purchase, and if you add the $750-per-year maintenance fee paid over a 10-year timeframe, there is a total investment of $17,500 in that timeshare.
Over the last 10 years, their timeshare provided a stay of one week each year — seven days and six nights — for a total of 60 nights, which averages out to $291 per night to vacation in the same unit each year. If you were to rent a decent-quality hotel room at about $175 per night, the total price paid for the timeshare would buy you 100 nights of hotel stays. Not only does it cost less per night to stay in a hotel, but you would also be able to add variety to your vacation by staying at hotels located in different destinations.
And you would also be able to take advantage of frequent user rewards programs and other discount pricing being offered by the hotels. Chances are there are easy ways you can get a whole lot more than 100 nights of hotel stays.

Best of all, you’d have sunk no capital in the timeshare, and the money to pay for the timeshare could be invested to earn a return on your investment. At a conservative 5% return compounded annually (starting with $10,000 and adding $750 per year), you’d be sitting on more than $26,000 right now. That’s a much better deal from where I sit.

Contact us today!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Top Eight Reasons To Think Carefully Before Purchasing a Timeshare

If you are considering buying a timeshare, think twice before signing on the dotted line. Many people get into a timeshare contract without fully understanding the pros and cons of timeshare ownership. Others have no idea what the total cost will be until they get hit with their first special assessment or tax bill.

Here are the top 8 reasons why it makes sense to think carefully before purchasing a timeshare.

1. Timeshare Salespeople Are Notorious for the Hard Sell

Many people go to timeshare presentations with no intention of buying a timeshare. Often, they want the promised free round of golf, spa treatment, or restaurant meal. Unfortunately, some of those folks walk out of the presentation as timeshare owners. Other people might go into the presentation thinking they might buy a timeshare, but get pressed into signing a contract without carefully weighing the pros and cons or assessing the total cost of timeshare ownership.

2. You Are on the Hook for More Than Just the Mortgage Payments

If you cannot afford to pay cash for the timeshare, you’ll have to get a mortgage. But read the fine print of the timeshare contract – you’ll be responsible for other costs in addition to the mortgage. In most timeshare contracts, you will be liable for special assessments, property taxes, maintenance fees, and utilities.

3. Timeshares Are Not a Good Investment

There are very few buyers looking to purchase a timeshare in the after-market, which makes them very difficult to sell. The bottom line: You will likely lose money when you go to sell your timeshare. If you want to buy a timeshare in order to enjoy your vacation time in a particular resort, great. But don’t buy one as an investment.

4. Timeshare Resale Scams Are Rampant

Because it’s so difficult to sell timeshare interests, a whole industry of scam artists has popped up – timeshare resale brokers. These folks tell you they have a buyer for your timeshare and can broker a sale – but not without a price. The scammers charge you hefty up-front fees and then, lo and behold, never manage to sell your timeshare.

5. You Cannot Deduct a Loss on a Timeshare Sale on Your Tax Return

If you sell your timeshare at a loss (which is almost certain), you won’t be able to deduct the loss on your tax return.

6. You Cannot Count on Renting Out Your Timeshare

While many timeshare contracts allow you to rent your timeshare to others, the reality is that this is difficult to do. There are usually many timeshares for rent and few people who want to rent them. In addition, some contracts don’t allow you to rent your timeshare, and others place restrictions on the rental of your timeshare.

7. Scheduling Your Allotted Time Might Be Harder Than You Think

The sales presentation may make it sound like booking the timeshare resort will be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, this is not always true. In fact, misrepresentations about the ease of scheduling has become such a problem that some states have passed laws that specifically outlaw such deceptive statements.

8. Renting Accommodations in a Similar Resort Might Be Cheaper

Many people think that buying a timeshare is a great deal, saving them money over booking a hotel room. In fact, in many cases, if you factor in the additional costs that come with timeshares, like special assessments, maintenance fees, taxes, and the like, you’ll find that renting a hotel room in a similar resort ends up being cheaper.

Contact us today!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

A Better Alternative: A Paid-For Vacation!

Rather than spending all of your hard-earned cash on a terrible “investment” like a timeshare, one option is to start a sinking fund for your vacation. This just means making regular deposits over time in a separate fund that then adds up to a big chunk of change you can use to go anywhere you’d like.

Or remember the numbers we ran through earlier? What if you took your initial investment of $22,000 plus the first year’s maintenance fees (totaling $22,980) and put that into a fund with 10% interest? With that simple investment, you’d create a perpetual fund making almost $2,300 in interest every year to use for vacation! And then next year, you can go back to the same place or (here’s a crazy idea) somewhere you’ve never been before.

Who wants to be tied to one place every single year? That’s boring! Or what about racing to make your reservation before all the best weekends are taken? What a hassle! Or how about trying to upgrade to another “participating resort”? Talk about expensive!

Simple is often better. Save up! Go on your vacation. Rinse and repeat!

But if you already have a timeshare, you might have come to the (sucky) realization that you’re not in a good situation—and you know that timeshare is going to be hard to get out of. Contact Bishop and Waters TODAY and be free of the burden of your timeshare! Start the New Year off with less stress and worry and more money in your pocket! Contact us today!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshare are not a good investment

Timeshare Maintenance Fees: The Ugly Truth

When you own a timeshare, you also own the responsibility of paying annual maintenance fees. Takes the shine off, right? Not only because you’re paying these fees to maintain a place you visit just once a year, but also because every year the fees go up!

So what are timeshare maintenance fees, and just how bad are they? And can you get rid of them if you do own a timeshare? We’ll walk you through all you need to know. What Are Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

For the timeshare owner, these annual fees are collected by the timeshare management company yearly (or possibly monthly) for the stated purpose of covering the normal costs of maintaining their timeshare property. Just like regularly changing the oil in your car, timeshares need regular maintenance to make sure everything’s running well. This, of course, comes at a cost—and that cost is passed on to you.

What Do Timeshare Maintenance Fees Cover?

Timeshare maintenance fees cover regular upkeep and repairs to the property like:

• Landscaping—mowing grass, trimming hedges, raking leaves, and even sprinkler systems
• Amenities upkeep—pool cleaning and chemicals, gym equipment servicing, golf course maintenance
• Business costs—insurance on the property, record keeping, scheduling, and administration

How Much Do Timeshare Maintenance Fees Cost?

The average annual maintenance fee is $1,000. But the surprise comes when you find out the fees go up every year, often much faster than the normal inflation rate. The latest numbers say the increase averages around 4% a year. So, in hard numbers, your original $1,000 fee could be $1,477 by year ten—a total increase of around 48%!1 Signing up for these crazy-high fees (and on-going debt) is not worth it—no matter how attractive the timeshare!

Maintenance fees must be paid every year whether you use the property or not. They are non-negotiable. Read your contract carefully to see what is actually disclosed about your maintenance fees.

And here’s a sad yet sober truth: Sometimes the maintenance fees are subsidized by the developer during the sales process. But when the initial push for sales is over, and the fees are left for the Homeowners Association (HOA) to handle, these fees can go up dramatically without any warning! Yep, you read that right. We’re not arguing that regular maintenance doesn’t need to be done on a property. We get it. No one wants to stay in an “open air” property that really just has a hole in the roof!

The problem is that the increased fees appear to be a major part of the income of the timeshare company because they’re used for much more than just upkeep on the property. And don’t get us started about the nasty extra assessment fees, which are just another way to get money out of you to cover things like natural disasters (that your regular maintenance fee doesn’t cover). They’re worse because they seem to be catch-all costs thrown at you, the owner, and you have no choice but to pay them. What Happens If I Stop Paying My Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

When you break it all down, these fees make up a real debt that you owe . . . for life! If you stop paying it, the timeshare company will do whatever it takes to collect. They’ll make phone calls and send letters, then they’ll assign it over to (you guessed it) a collections company.

If you still don’t pay, the situation sinks even further into foreclosure and possible legal action against you.

Debt always catches up with you, and it needs to be paid at some point. Like it or not, timeshare maintenance fees are a personal responsibility—until they’re not. If you really want to be free of them, then getting rid of your entire timeshare is your best option.

Contact us today to get started and be free of this burden for good!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshare are not a good investment

We should be talking about maintenance fees because this is the time of year the maintenance bills come out along with any assessments. Owners have no control over how much the maintenance fees will go up or the assessments. For instance if the resort was hit with a hurricane and there was damage – which usually there is, the timeshare owner will get an assessment for that. Maybe you were promised that if you bought today, your maintenance fee would never increase, but it has. Some owners have been told their maintenance fee would stay the same but instead they found it went up more than double. If you own a timeshare that is paid in full your still going to receive a maintenance bill that will probably be due come Jan. When was the last time you used the timeshare? If you haven’t used it and you are not going to use, you should probably think about getting rid of it. How much are you spending a year on something you’re not using? Let’s say your bill is $1,000.00 a year and you haven’t used it for 4 years, that’s $4,000.00 you could have spent somewhere else.

When you bought your timeshare did you buy it to hand down to your children? It will be part of your legacy so they will be able to vacation the rest of their life’s. Were you told that they would need to pay the maintenance fees and assessments? You know now that the maintenance fees will keeping increasing. How much will they be when your children are grown? Maybe your children are adults now, and they have fond memories of the vacations you took together. Have you asked them if they want the timeshare? Most adults travel a different way and we are finding that more and more adult children are saying they don’t want that burden.

Timeshare are not a good investment for the future. They don’t go up in value, and we find that most family’s no longer want to leave their children with the burden. If these situations sound familiar call us today and see what options are available for you.

Contact us today to get started and be free of this burden for good!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Top Eight Reasons to Think Twice Before Buying a Timeshare

If you are considering buying a timeshare, think twice before signing on the dotted line. Many people get into a timeshare contract without fully understanding the pros and cons of timeshare ownership. Others have no idea what the total cost will be until they get hit with their first special assessment or tax bill.

Here are the top 8 reasons why it makes sense to think carefully before purchasing a timeshare.

1. Timeshare Salespeople Are Notorious for the Hard Sell

Many people go to timeshare presentations with no intention of buying a timeshare. Often, they want the promised free round of golf, spa treatment, or restaurant meal. Unfortunately, some of those folks walk out of the presentation as timeshare owners. Other people might go into the presentation thinking they might buy a timeshare, but get pressed into signing a contract without carefully weighing the pros and cons or assessing the total cost of timeshare ownership.

2. You Are on the Hook for More Than Just the Mortgage Payments

If you cannot afford to pay cash for the timeshare, you’ll have to get a mortgage. But read the fine print of the timeshare contract – you’ll be responsible for other costs in addition to the mortgage. In most timeshare contracts, you will be liable for special assessments, property taxes, maintenance fees, and utilities.

3. Timeshares Are Not a Good Investment

There are very few buyers looking to purchase a timeshare in the after-market, which makes them very difficult to sell. The bottom line: You will likely lose money when you go to sell your timeshare. If you want to buy a timeshare in order to enjoy your vacation time in a particular resort, great. But don’t buy one as an investment.

4. Timeshare Resale Scams Are Rampant

Because it’s so difficult to sell timeshare interests, a whole industry of scam artists has popped up – timeshare resale brokers. These folks tell you they have a buyer for your timeshare and can broker a sale – but not without a price. The scammers charge you hefty up-front fees and then, lo and behold, never manage to sell your timeshare.

5. You Cannot Deduct a Loss on a Timeshare Sale on Your Tax Return

If you sell your timeshare at a loss (which is almost certain), you won’t be able to deduct the loss on your tax return.

6. You Cannot Count on Renting Out Your Timeshare

While many timeshare contracts allow you to rent your timeshare to others, the reality is that this is difficult to do. There are usually many timeshares for rent and few people who want to rent them. In addition, some contracts don’t allow you to rent your timeshare, and others place restrictions on the rental of your timeshare.

7. Scheduling Your Allotted Time Might Be Harder Than You Think

The sales presentation may make it sound like booking the timeshare resort will be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, this is not always true. In fact, misrepresentations about the ease of scheduling has become such a problem that some states have passed laws that specifically outlaw such deceptive statements.

8. Renting Accommodations in a Similar Resort Might Be Cheaper

Many people think that buying a timeshare is a great deal, saving them money over booking a hotel room. In fact, in many cases, if you factor in the additional costs that come with timeshares, like special assessments, maintenance fees, taxes, and the like, you’ll find that renting a hotel room in a similar resort ends up being cheaper.

Contact us today!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Why Buying a Timeshare Is a Bad Idea

My wife and I went on vacation to Disney World a couple of years ago. The family had a great time, and I personally was glad to get away from the business. We stayed at my parents’ Orange Lake Resort timeshare, which is just outside the park.

Even though they’ve owned the timeshare for more than 10 years, this was the first time I had gone there. The resort itself is very nice, has all of the amenities and is in a great location. However, I have always thought that my parents’ purchase was a bad decision. After all, they paid $10,000 for it, and today the maintenance is $750 per year. My question is: Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to stay at a hotel or to rent a unit in the resort for that week? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

How Timeshares Work

Timeshares are vacation plans that have been around in the U.S. since 1969. Today, it’s a $9.2 billion industry, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). That’s actually quite sizable when compared to the nearly $8 billion music industry or Major League Baseball’s $9 billion in annual revenue. In 2016, there were 1,558 timeshare resorts just in the U.S., with an average of 132 units per resort.

A timeshare gives you partial ownership in a vacation property. You can even think of it as owning shares of stock in the vacation rental. You pay an upfront price to purchase your unit and then an annual maintenance fee. This gives you access to the property for a certain period of time, which is usually the same time slot each year. When you are not using the timeshare, others with similar interest are.

The average sales price for a one-week timeshare today is approximately $20,940, with an average annual maintenance fee of $880, according to the ARDA. Most timeshare agreements are indefinite contracts, meaning that you’re obligated to pay the maintenance fee indefinitely, which is a big financial commitment.

If you want to use your unit on another week, you must “bank” your week and exchange it for another time or location. In the sales pitch (I had the misfortune of attending one), the resort mentioned it’s no longer doing week-based timeshares. It’s now a points-based system. You get X number of points per year when you buy a unit and can then use it any way you choose.

The points could be used for many other things: to purchase airfare, go to another location or upgrade to a bigger unit. Heck, like airline miles and credit card points, you can use your points in stores like Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond. Great — I can buy that toilet seat cover instead of going on vacation. I’m sure that, just as with credit card points, you are getting a fair exchange of points into dollars.

As if you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic.

I didn’t run the numbers, but I’m sure the conversion rates are awful. So in the end, they’re making even a single week in a timeshare much more abstract to own than a hard asset. The high-pressure sales guy, please remind me again, what’s the purpose of owning a timeshare?

The Missing Investment Component

It’s been said in poker that if you can’t spot the patsy, it’s you. This applies to purchase a timeshare. The ones benefiting from the transaction are the salesperson and the owners of the resort. You, unfortunately, are stuck with a small slice of a unit that has little or no resale value.

Here are the issues with owning a timeshare:
• There is a huge resale market. Often you can pick up units for less than half of what was originally paid.
• Like a car, a timeshare depreciates once you “drive it off the lot” (take ownership).
• It’s rare that a timeshare increases in value. In fact, expect it to lose value, as the total cost of your ownership was marked up to cover sales presentations, incentives and giveaways.
• Timeshares are usually sold to you when you’re on vacation and your defenses are down.
• Most have high yearly maintenance fees. In my parents’ case, their fees are increasing every year, faster than the rate of inflation. For the amount that you pay in maintenance fees alone (forget about the initial “investment”), you could stay at a decent-quality hotel for a week.

Despite these drawbacks, the industry continues to attract new owners. In 2015, 46% of timeshare sales were from new owners, reversing a previous trend of increasing reliance on existing owners. If you really want to get into real estate investing, click here to read our guide. You can also start with following crowdfunding providers:

Timeshares Don’t Generate Income

In theory, when you buy a timeshare, you have a fractional interest in the property the rental is situated on. But it’s important to understand that this does not give you all the advantages that owning real estate normally has.

For starters, you have an interest in the same unit as other people who participate in the timeshare. Your interest, therefore, is not standalone ownership. You are not free to do with the unit as you please.

For example, there are strict limits on the time during which you have physical occupancy of the unit. Unlike a true vacation home, you’re not able to rent it out during the rest of the year when you’re not occupying it for personal use.

We can think of a timeshare as having a partial ownership interest in a single vacation property or unit. It’s nothing like owning a vacation property outright, with the benefits that come as a result of having it.

According to the ARDA, timeshare owners are tending to be younger and more ethnically diverse than when the industry started and targeted an elderly crowd. The median age of recent buyers is 39, and 34% of owners are either Asian-American or African-American. Nearly two-thirds have college degrees. Their median income is $81,311.

However, it seems to me that the timeshare market targets the financially inexperienced. Sadly, timeshares tend to become vacation properties for people who can’t afford vacation properties. The sales materials are made to appear more about the bling and “living the good life” than about the investment return. That’s because there isno return.

If you are spending money for the future, it should be considered an investment. If it’s not generating income, it’s an expense — plain and simple. You may get enjoyment out of it, but it’s still not an investment.

Timeshares Aren’t Very Liquid

It’s usually only after you’ve purchased a timeshare that you realize there are more people looking to sell them than buy them. The likelihood of recovering your initial investment is very low — to say nothing of recovering many years’ worth of maintenance fees.

There are websites that timeshare owners can use to try to sell their property, such as RedWeek, but they charge a listing fee and an annual membership fee to use the site — and there’s no guarantee the timeshare will sell.

And there’s a substantial amount of fraud in the reselling industry. Scammers prey on timeshare owners by promising to sell the property for you — for an upfront fee — and once you pay the fee, you never hear from them again.

If you’re able to sell the timeshare (and that is never certain), you probably will get only a fraction of what you paid for it. There are two fundamental problems when it comes to selling them:

1. More are being built/offered all the time, flooding the market, and
2. Existing owners are selling them to get out of debt or once they realize that it isn’t the deal they thought it was when they bought it.

If you still think buying a timeshare is a good idea, and you want to avoid paying more than you will ever sell it for, buy one on the secondary market. There are many websites where you can buy a used timeshare.

Timeshare companies know that you can likely find cheaper options from existing buyers on websites such as Timeshare Users Group and RedWeek. So the companies usually offer closing incentives and other perks. But those perks don’t usually recoup the money you would save from buying from an existing owner.

The Better Alternative to a Timeshare

In my opinion, you’re better off staying at a local hotel than buying into a timeshare. Take my parents’ timeshare as an example. They paid $10,000 for the initial purchase, and if you add the $750-per-year maintenance fee paid over a 10-year timeframe, there is a total investment of $17,500 in that timeshare.

Over the last 10 years, their timeshare provided a stay of one week each year — seven days and six nights — for a total of 60 nights, which averages out to $291 per night to vacation in the same unit each year. If you were to rent a decent quality hotel room at about $175 per night, the total price paid for the timeshare would buy you 100 nights of hotel stays. Not only does it cost less per night to stay in a hotel, but you would also be able to add variety to your vacation by staying at hotels located in different destinations. And you would also be able to take advantage of frequent user rewards programs and other discount pricing being offered by the hotels. Chances are you’d get a whole lot more than 100 nights of hotel stays.

Best of all, you’d have sunk no capital in the timeshare, and the money to pay for the timeshare could be invested to earn a return on your investment. At a conservative 5% return compounded annually (starting with $10,000 and adding $750 per year), you’d be sitting on more than $26,000 right now. That’s a much better deal from where I sit.

Contact us today to get started and be free of this burden for good!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

A Balanced Look at Timeshares

Timeshares often look like a great deal. Salespeople pitch the benefits and paint a picture of unlimited access to relaxation and vacation bliss. What is often lacking are the words of caution so many timeshare owners wish they’d been told.

This excellent article by Rebecca McClay of Investopedia presents a more balanced picture of the timeshare process. If you’re one of those owners who never heard words of caution, Bishop and Waters is here for you. Let us help with your timeshare cancellation. Contact us today to get started.

Timeshares: Dream Vacation or Money Pit?
BY REBECCA MCCLAY
Investopedia

What a Timeshare Is Not

A timeshare is not an investment. Investments are designed to appreciate in value, generate income or do both. A timeshare is unlikely to do either, despite what the salesperson says. The huge volume of used timeshares on the market, the appeal of buying new versus used, and the marketing muscle of the firms selling new timeshares all work against the idea that you will make a profit reselling your used timeshare. Thus, selling for a profit is an uphill battle considering you need to convince someone to pay more for a used unit and factor in all the fees you paid over the years.

The very nature of the sales process should be a hint about the reality of the issue.

Contact us today to get started and be free of this burden for good!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Buying a Timeshare

Check out this excellent article by Ron Kelemen about considerations when buying a timeshare...

"The purchase of a timeshare — a way to own a piece of a vacation property that you can use, generally, once a year — is often an emotional and impulsive decision.

At our wealth management and planning firm (The H Group), we occasionally get questions from clients about timeshares, most calling after the fact — fresh and tan from a vacation — wondering if they did the right thing. We’ve also had to deal with clients in financial distress wanting to get out of their timeshare units.

If you’re considering buying a timeshare, so you’ll have a place to vacation regularly, you’ll want to understand the different ...cons."

4 Drawbacks of Timeshares

1. While you don’t need to worry about maintenance, you will need to worry about the annual fees and your lack of control over their annual increases. The average annual maintenance fee for a timeshare is $660, according to Howard Nusbaum, CEO and president of the American Resort Development Association. You pay that fee whether you use the property or not. In addition, you could be liable for special assessments. If you don’t pay up, the developer can foreclose on your timeshare.

2. Timeshares are hard to sell, and used timeshare units are sold at a steep discount because there are so many on the market. Thus, it might be a better deal to buy a used timeshare on the secondary market. Bear in mind that the Better Business Bureau has been warning about timeshare reselling schemes that defrauded victims out of thousands of dollars.

3. If you sell your timeshare at a loss, the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t let you claim a capital loss as you would with other investments and real property.

4. Buying a timeshare in a foreign country presents special challenges. In Mexico, for example, foreigners are not allowed to hold the direct title to property within 30 miles of the coast and 60 miles of international borders. They are limited to “right to use” timeshares. (There is pending legislation in the Mexican Congress that may change that in the near future.) Also, consumer protection laws in some countries are more lax and lack enforcement.

Pointers for Potential Timeshare Buyers

Still interested in buying a timeshare? Here are a few pointers:

Think of a timeshare purchase as a lifestyle purchase, not an investment. When you consider depreciation, travel costs and maintenance fees — on top of an uncertainty of use — the concept of “prepaying” for your vacations may not pencil out. Run the numbers.

Analyze your vacation patterns over the past few years. Do you really go to the same place at the same time every year? Or do you have a mix of activities and destinations, such as camping adventures, cruises, road trips or organized tours? If it’s the latter, a timeshare isn’t right for you.

If you must borrow to purchase a timeshare, you have no business buying one. Timeshares depreciate in value very quickly, so most banks will not lend you money to buy them. Often, the developer will arrange financing for you, but at a much higher interest rate than banks that do make the loans. What’s more, usually in a foreclosure, the outstanding mortgage balance and the unpaid maintenance fees are higher than the timeshare’s value, which creates what is called a deficiency. Then, lenders can go after your other assets.

Be wary of timeshare salespeople who answer your questions with a question and won’t be upfront about the purchase price. Another tip along these lines: it’s a good sign if you are offered a grace period allowing you to change your mind and cancel before committing to buying.

You will have more protections if your unit belongs to what is called an owners’ club or association. This is similar to a condominium board, giving the property’s owners a collective voice and strength in numbers. The owners’ club may also be helpful when you try to sell your unit.

Never pay an upfront deposit without having first identified and inspected the particular unit. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises when you show up for your vacation.

If you envision children or grandchildren vacationing with you, will they (or their parents) be able to afford the travel costs? If so, you may wind up not using your timeshare unit or points as much as you expect.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshare Scams

With warmer weather, school graduations, and the onset of vacation season come phone calls offering timeshare deals. Some offers are legitimate, some may be scams. Even with legitimate offers, being armed with facts can help you make the best decision for your particular situation.

The article below has some great tips to help you avoid the scams and stay educated on timeshares. Bishop & Waters Consulting Group is here to keep you informed and help you remove the burden of unwanted timeshares.

Contact us today to learn more about TIMESHARE CANCELLATION.

By Tyler Russell
BBB Northwest and Pacific

The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to the summer with so many of us getting out and enjoying our favorite vacation destination. Some of us use timeshares and vacation rentals to go to exotic locations we may not normally visit. However, scammers love to take advantage of vacationers by making false promises and creating a sense of urgency to fool them into paying for something that doesn’t exist.

How the scam works

In travel and vacation scams, con artists post listings for properties that either aren’t for rent, don’t exist, or are significantly different than pictured. They then lure in vacationers with the promise of low fees and great amenities. Typically, the “owner” creates a false sense of urgency – maybe another vacationer is interested in the rental – to get you to pay up before doing sufficient research.

Another common travel scam is the timeshare resale scam. A timeshare owner who is looking to sell gets a call from someone claiming to be a real estate broker or agent. These scammers claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase. To secure this service, the scammer pressures the target into paying an upfront fee. The timeshare owner pays up, but the reselling agent never delivers.

Tips to avoid these scams

Talk with the owner. If you are not using a service that verifies properties and owners, do not negotiate a rental solely by email. Many scammers don’t live locally, so get the owner on the phone and ask detailed questions about the property and local attractions. An owner with vague answers to your questions is a clear red flag.

Check public records. Investigate on Google or another search engine. Look up the address and use Google Street View to confirm the property matches the one advertised. Also, verify distances to beaches, attractions and airports while on the site.

Look for reviews and ask for references. While you’re vetting properties, don’t forget to check bbb.org and other online reviews.

Don’t wire money or use a prepaid debit card. You should never pay for a vacation rental by prepaid debit card or wire transfer. These payments are the same as sending cash. Once you send the money, you have no way to get it back. That’s why scammers depend upon these forms of payment. Paying with a credit card is your best bet to avoid losing money because of a shady vacation rental. If your rental ends up being a scam, you can dispute the charge and dramatically limit your liability.

If it’s too good to be true it probably isn’t. Scammers lure in targets by guaranteeing sales or promising vacation rentals at low prices. Do your research. If the listing you are considering is much cheaper than others in the area, be suspicious. In general, free online ad services are also going to be riskier than a site with fraud protection features.

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshare Terms

Many of our clients have questions about the terms involved in the Timeshare Cancellation process. To better understand the process and how it works, it helps to have a grasp of the terminology involved. Belo is a list of some of the Timeshare Cancellation terminology. More can be found in our Glossary of Terms.

•  Bank - The depositing of a week/points within a resort in exchange for time/points at another resort or to use for the next calendar year.

•  Bonus Week/Points - Additional points given to a timeshare purchaser by the resort as an incentive for purchasing more weeks/points. It generally must be used in a specific time period from the date of the purchase.

•  Consolidation - The combining of two or more timeshare mortgages into one loan.

•  HOA/POA - Homeowner Association. The Homeowners Association is generally responsible for mortgage and maintenance decisions at the resort.

•  Judicial Foreclosure - This is a litigation proceeding initiated by the resort to recover the property and the outstanding debt when an owner fails to pay the mortgage, maintenance fees or assessments.

•  Maintenance Fee - Fees assessed to the owners for the upkeep of the property. These fees cover taxes, insurance and maintenance such as landscaping, pool maintenance, etc.

•  Non-Judicial Foreclosure - A foreclosure proceeding not initiated in court to recover interest in a timeshare for the owner's failure to pay the mortgage, maintenance fees or assessment. This is often followed by a lawsuit to recover the outstanding debt.

•  Ownership Interest - the portion of the weeks/points and owner has in a specific resort property.

•  Rescission Period - The time period in the contract in which the owner can rescind the contract and get a refund. This period is generally set forth by state law and is sometimes referred to as a cooling off period.

•  Rescind - The right to cancel a contract and receive a refund of any amount paid for the timeshare.

•  Resale - A timeshare that is resold by either an owner or third-party entity after it was originally purchased from a resort.

•  Special Assessment - A fee issued by a resort for repairs or refurbishment of the resort. This generally follows major damage to the resort as the result of water damage or a natural disaster.

•  Up Front Fee - A fee which is charged upfront before starting the process of listing a timeshare for resale.

•  WRAP Fee Wrap fees are the schedule of bundled rates that are charged to an investor. Instead of charging a separate fee for each service that is extended to the client, a brokerage or other type of financial service will provide the investor with a blanket charge for all services that are included in the program.

Read more in our Glossary of Terms. Contact us today to start the Timeshare Cancellation process and be free of this burden for good!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshare Terms

Many of our clients have questions about the terms involved in the Timeshare Cancellation process. To better understand the process and how it works, it helps to have a grasp of the terminology involved. Belo is a list of some of the Timeshare Cancellation terminology. More can be found in our Glossary of Terms.

•  Accrued Weeks/Points - Any amount of unused weeks/Points that have been banked to be available for use for the current calendar year.

•  APR - Annual Percentage rate is the annual interest rate you pay on your timeshare loan.

•  Assessment Fee - Fees that are separate from your maintenance fees that are used for major repairs and refurbishment of the resort that are split amongst the owners.

•  Assessment Lien - A lien placed upon the timeshare owners interest in the property for failure to pay an assessment and is potentially the start of the foreclosure proceeding.

•  Assignment - The ability of the timeshare developer to transfer the mortgage debt owed on a timeshare to another company to collect. The owner does not have to be late on their payments for this to occur.

•  Bank - The depositing of a week/points within a resort in exchange for time/points at another resort or to use for the next calendar year.

•  Bonus Week/Points - Additional points given to a timeshare purchaser by the resort as an incentive for purchasing more weeks/points. It generally must be used in a specific time period from the date of the purchase.

Read more in our Glossary of Terms. Contact us today to start the Timeshare Cancellation process and be free of this burden for good!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshare Cancellation

Bishop and Waters is a consumer advocacy company specializing in timeshare cancellation and credit repair. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients. We are proud to say many of them have become our personal friends.

We pride ourselves on being forthright and working with you throughout the entire journey. Our goal is not only to succeed in canceling your contract and lifting this burden from your shoulders, but also to let you know we care, and to make you a part of our family.

If you are concerned about your timeshare burden, don’t hesitate to contact us. It won’t go away if you fail to address it. The months will go by and you will be losing thousands of dollars on a timeshare you don’t want.

The first step is to call us or email us using the contact form, above, so we can discuss the situation with you. We need to have a full understanding of your case. We will review your case and give you the best option for the best outcome.

If you are concerned about your timeshare burden, don’t hesitate to contact us. It won’t go away if you fail to address it. The months will go by and you will be losing thousands of dollars on a timeshare you don’t want.

We extend a helping hand to those in need. We can relieve you of your timeshare burden and walk you through the process with great care and full disclosure. We understand this is a stressful time and we will do everything we can to make you feel at ease. Contact us today to get started and be free of this burden for good!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com

Timeshare Cancellation

Many of our clients purchased timeshares when they were raising their families, but now their lives have changed and they no longer travel due to illness, lack of money or other family matters.

Many of these timeshare owners share the same complaints. Timeshare ownership creates a financial burden. Some of the owners were not aware of all the combined fees and feel as though they were taken advantage of.

Many timeshare owners are upset they experience difficulties booking their vacation during the weeks they need, even though some try to book out as far as 13 months in advance. In some cases, they find the week they are trying to book is available but through an online company such as Expedia.

Some clients have complained that they told the developer they needed to lower the payment, so the sales person told them they could do that by purchasing more points. It looked like a great idea during the presentation, but 45 days later they find out they have two contracts!

What all these timeshare owners have in common is they having been searching for a way to rid themselves of the timeshare. We are ready, willing and able to help you turn this ordeal into a thing of the past.

In some instances, the client wanted to make sure he could hand it down to his children, it would be part of their legacy. They were never told they would be responsible for all the fees including maintenance and assessments the rest of their lives.

Others have purchased the timeshare as a rental property, some as a secondary income. They sales person told them they could make money on the timeshare and vacation free the rest of their lives. Now they realize that will never happen.

What all these timeshare owners have in common is they having been searching for a way to rid themselves of the timeshare. We are ready, willing and able to help you turn this ordeal into a thing of the past. Contact us today to get started and be free of this burden for good!

Bonnie Kulka

Bishop & Waters is a boutique exit company specializing in timeshare cancellation. Our experience in the industry dates, back to 2015. It was at that time we began helping timeshare owners navigate through the cancellation process. Since then, we have helped hundreds of clients.

https://www.bishopandwaters.com