Timeshare resale fail

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If you’re thinking of selling a timeshare, the FTC cautions you to question resellers — real estate brokers and agents who specialize in reselling timeshares. They may claim that the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re overwhelmed with buyer requests. Some may even say that they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare, or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time. All they need is an upfront fee to get the ball rolling. Well, hold onto your money and read on.

Today, the FTC is charging the operators of a timeshare reselling scheme with bilking at least $15 million from timeshare owners by charging upfront fees of as much as $2,500 — or more — with promises they would rent or sell the properties. As time passed, the defendants would ask owners for more money, claiming the sale was about to take place and even characterizing the additional fees as closing costs. When the promises weren’t kept, consumer requests for refunds were routinely denied or ignored. Not anymore. At the FTC’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted the operation while the FTC seeks to permanently stop the illegal practices and get money back for consumers.   

If you own a timeshare, question any offers to help you resell it. Be skeptical of companies that:

  • claim the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re “overwhelmed” with buyer requests
  • say they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare — or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time        
  • guarantee you’ll get big returns on your resale
  • require you to pay fees upfront — even if there’s the promise of a “money-back guarantee”
  • don’t provide a contract — or provide a contract that doesn’t accurately reflect conversations you had                                                   

                                                                                                                                      Timeshare Resale Scams Infographic

For more information, see buying and selling a timeshare, or check out our infographic to see how timeshare resale scams typically work.  

Tagged with: scam, travel
Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Comments

I have a timeshare and was called by a company that they would sale my property, but needed 2,500.00 to market the property. they said it would sale within the first 6 months if it didn't they would use their money to market. I haven't been able to speak with the guy that guy. Thank You, Dena

My parents were bilked out of 1000's of dollars from people saying they would sell their timeshares, but they had to pay up front. I kept Telling them no,tell them they get their money when the timeshares are sold, but they were convinced that the money had to be paid up front ZX so they did and they lost over and over, even dealt with a sheriff in Fla who was trying to catch the scammers!! Ha, so...seller beware!!!

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has failed, and continues to fail, to protect consumers, who currently own timeshare properties, from being able to sell or dispose them in the resale market, or wherever and however. The fact that owners of timeshare property are unable to, even, disposed of such properties, without burdening owners' heirs with inescapable liability, means that the FTC has and is shirking responsibility to protect the helpless consumers (owners of timeshare property) and to resolve this controversial market problem. I would like to see the FTC get directly involved in establishing a precedence of resolving this untenable market injustice.

It is a scam closing tactic that heirs will be burdened with the timeshare. No one can make an heir accept the timeshare..

I sell timeshares from the developer, and warn my owners to run from anyone asking for money up front. Bad news, that.

I don't own a time share. My ex mother n law does. I have heard many more variations of the same. Especially the one is all I had to do was run the title report. They must need help, because they call me. I'm a professional land consultant. The time share is a suite in a motel. They didn't know that. No title records exist for motel rooms. When disavowing ownership fails, I explain I only pay for results, not incentives. Then they resell the potential mooch list to some other sucker looking for another. Time shares in general should be investigated. U can't sell them period. Nor were they intended for resale. Just escalating maintenance fees that u can't sublet cheaper than a much nicer motel. I only had to take the calls. They are paricites that think if u were uninformed enough to buy one, u are susceptible for another good deal

Inherited a deeded timeshare from my father and would love to sell because of maintenance fees. Any advice on how to get rid of it? No one seems to be interested in buying through the management company and other than bankruptcy/foreclosure there doesn't seem to be other options.

we had two time shares with maintenance fees of about $800 annual, we hadn't paid much for them initially and had them for a few years. We sent emails to most of the people in our contact list to see if anyone wanted them, giving them away. Got lucky with one couple that were friends, and then an acquaintance found someone in her circle that wanted one. The latter couple sent us $500, which we hadn't asked for but it helped with the transfer fees which have to be paid when transferring title. Something to consider since you don't have a large initial investment to try to recoup. Put the word out, see what happens. Good luck!

I had one that I got scammed on reselling 3 times and then I found an actual realtor ho specialized in timeshares was able to sell it that way with no fees up front just like you sell a house.

Can you share the realtor you used? I bought a timeshare with my ex-wife and it's been an issue with her ever since the divorce.

Would you share who that agent is?

I'd appreciate the name of the agent, too. Thanks

Hi Chris K, I would love to get the info of the realtor you used as well - can you share their contact info? Thanks!

Can you share the realtor name please. I have one I would like to sell.

I too would be interested in knowing what realtor?

I want to get rid of mine too. may I have the realtor's name please?

We got scammed years ago, $795 upfront to an outfit in Las Vegas........they did nothing, never was able to reach them again. Finally spent about $4000 to just get rid of it. The biggest scam out there is the Timeshare market itself, even before the resale scammers get involved. We owned a business at the time, otherwise I would've just stopped paying the fees and dealt with the collection agents, lawsuits etc.

Time share investments have been a bad investment for years. This is something that should be addressed at the State level to protect consumers. If you purchase a time share with the commitment of paying say $500 a year for a week, this amount should not be allowed to triplicate in the following years and this is what is happening. So after a number of years of paying the $500 and when the fee is now $1500 the time share owner goes into default and the developer takes bake a property for $0.00 to sell again to the next victim. Not only do they take the property back for $0.00 but they will not even try to sell the supposedly now more expensive property to a new client again so the owner will default and the developer can take the property at $0.00. Unless this industry is seriously reevaluated and looked at from a consumer protection stance the SCAM, SCAM, SCAM, will be around for years to come. Shame on the State of Florida for not addressing this family fund depletion scam.

I agree with everything said. We too purchased and tried for a long time to sell through these scam resellers. During another hard sell presentation during our timed vacation, (Westgate Resorts)we complained about the expense of ownership and how hard it was to sell it,but was convinced that if we owned a second time share with them, we would easily be able to rent it yearly to pay for both...duh, we feel for that and now we have 2 headaches. I'm sure there are thousands if not millions of consumers losing lots of money each year, but with Rick Scott's Attorney General Pam Bondi watching over the hen house, don't expect much to ever happen. I would sign onto a class action lawsuit in a minute against either the scammers or the Time Share Barons. Of course now we have to watch out for scam lawyers trying to cash in on consumer frustration over this mess.

Has anyone had any dealings with Certified Travel Consultants located in Las Vegas?

Watch out for Camden Park Escrow in Baltimore MD and Tryon & Trade Group in Charlotte NC - scammers in operation now.

I am getting calls from both about our time meshsre. Can you contact me with more info so i have a better idea how to deal with them. Than you.

We are wondering if we are being scammed on a scam. Years ago we paid $885 to Prime Resort International to sell a timeshare.
We have received a call from Allotted Case Settlers telling us we get our money returned. It will be a credit on our credit card. When it gets posted, then we are to pay them a 25% finder fee. We have contacted our credit card company customer service.

I have been contacted by Allotted case settlers recently. Is it legitimate. how did your situation end.

did you ever receive an answer whether this was legitimate or not.

Watch out for a company out of Laredo, Texas doing business as BEST HOLIDAY CLUB MARKETING (BHCM)re-selling timeshares from Cabo St Lucas , Mexico. We were presented with a signed contract from a buyer willing to buy our timeshare at the Villa Del Arco resort. We paid the upfront commission in the thousands. BHCM never fulfilled the terms of the contract and never returned our money in spite of complaints filed with the Texas BBB, Texas AG and the FTC. We soon realized that the contract was a fake and our entire dealings we had with the company was a scam.

do'not business wih ailen karr, waltr kosch, thomas lupina, robert pioso, ownres of american resort international, ltd, oyester bay beach resort concord servicing inc. interval international travel pearl development they stoled from me $60.000 since 2000 at $300.00 a month for seven years at 14%75 not only that but send me to a country having civil war, and l been asking the united states for help and they refused to help me all my life l been in the streets of chicago trying to proctert our neighborhoods from gangsters like this but went it becomes like this proffenal they get help from corrupt officials in high courts. to proctect d this country

Does anyone know how to get out from under a timeshare? We aren't able to use ours and paying over $800 for maintenance fees, plus still making monthly payment for it is now a hardship! It's with Bluegreen Resort!

I contacted a law firm that I saw on TV and they told me timeshares were illegal. I still owed over $30,000. They charged me 10% upfront fee, which was $3000+. Supposedly they got me out of the contract and I do not have to pay off the $30,000.

Watch out for a company out of Denver Colorado doing business as Atlactis MARKETING Associates(AMA)re-selling timeshares from Cancun , Mexico. We were presented with a signed contract from a buyer willing to buy our timeshare at the Regina resort in Cancun Mexico. We paid the upfront commission in the thousands. AMA never fulfilled the terms of the contract and never returned our money in spite of complaints filed with the Colorado BBB. We soon realized that the contract was a fake and our entire dealings we had with the company was a scam.

Looking for comments from anybody who has been in contact with Travel Associates inc - Quince,MA and / or True and Clear Tittle Inc-Framingham, MA.

I'm trying to prove the fraud and initiate an investigation into these two companies. Recently found out that True & clear titles corporate status was involuntarily dissolved in June of 2017.Please respond so we can coordinate efforts to identify and punish thes fraudsters.

I have been contacted by Apex Rentals LLC to sell my timeshare. Is there anyone out there who has used Apex and was able to sell their timeshare?

They also contacted my in laws. My in laws gave them all of their account numbers! They had someone stay in their timeshare in April and have not received any money yet. I believe they were scammed!! Have you dealt with them at all???

We are dealing with Texas title and trust, McGinnis Management and Amadeus Vacations to sell our timeshare from Playa del Carmen. We paid Amadeus Vacations to join their vacation club, McGinnis management with Texas Title has seller, but now McGinnis and Texas Title wants $2,000 upfront to pay sales tax in Mexico. To be sent to a Mexican attorney. Checked goggle and McGinnis (Colorado) address is a pizza joint, Texas Title (Houston) an Air Force recruiting centre. Mexican attorney is a real address with supposid real attorneys !!! Any one else been scammed with these companies? Seen nothing on internet but Amadeaus has great website!!!

Yes, I was promised $34900 plus free membership to Amadeus Vacations. Punta Resorts/Amadeus Vacations said the sale had to go through their escrow agent, Prime Alliance Holdings, Cleveland, OHIO (a front). I had to pay MX Sales tax (16%) and $650 closing cost. Prime Alliance now wants an additional $999 for their 'marketing service' and will not tell me anything about the buyer.

Also, Amadeus works with McGinnis to get you weeks changed into reward points for an additional fee. Amadeus Vacations is supposed to be located in Towson, Maryland - but they are not. Our deal went through Vacations Los Cabos (Portofino Hotel) in Cabo San Lucas.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

Chris, Your story is identical to mine. Has anything good come from it. Black Diamond contacted me for renewal fees of $99.00 for the year saying Amadeus changed there name to them. They are not honoring the pints change to airline ticket contract that I received. Are you interested in forming a class action suit. The city of Maryland asked me to contact the FBI, which I plan on doing tomorrow.

Do not send any money! Have been dealing with these scumbags for a few months now, same story. Checked with a lawyer after they asked us to send money for taxes and would be reimbursed from Texas Title and Trust. It all looks real legit, especially the Trust, with Login. But bottom line, lawyer is right. Should never have to send money up front to sell "your" timeshare. Most of the websites I checked out, say to never wire fees. Well we did, and I don't think we'll ever see that $1900 back. Do not do business with Mark McGinnis, Amadeus, or Texas Title and Trust.

Not sure if my post was received. Anyways, we have almost exactly the same story as you do. Same businesses involved, same money up front, then needed more to cover taxes. They got us for the wired fees, but we checked with lawyer after they wanted money for taxes. Do not give them any more money and report them.

Same scenario here. I was contacted today by the Colorado Dept of Real Estate, and they confirmed this is a scam. It appears they are moving over to a new website, duffymanagement. com - same verbiage, same phone number. The scammers find through public records, the names of real real estate agents who are not using their licenses...and when you ask the person on the other end of the phone or email...they will have you look up this person's name. As soon as people start to figure out what's happening, they change business names. My fear is...this is really a Mexican company, using a VOIP phone line that appears to be coming from Colorado, but they are really in Mexico. The web server for the website is in Utah. I'm currently trying to trace the email addresses. File complaints with everyone you can think of. If there is a US tie to any of this, then that's the only way to get redemption.

The Amadeus website address has changed since we made our purchase. When you call to ask about logging in, they say..."It's your contract number and your password is 12345678". There are no links to the real properties.

A simple Google search of the phone number will pull up several "vacation clubs" - Grand Residences Club, Odyssey Premier Elite, Galileo GDS, and Amadeus.

Stay away. I called our timeshare resort myself and spoke to the General Manager. He said..."If this "resaler" really wants units for a buyer, why wouldn't he just come straight to the property? I have lots of units I could unload on him"

If it's too good to be true...run.

Same story with McGinnis Management and Texas Title. We were buying a new time share with Black Diamond Membership because we were not satisfied with Vidant. Same story we buy the new one and they put us in touch with McGinnis who HAD a buyer for the old one at a price that more than covered the new one. McGinnis set up a trust account with Texas Title &Trust with buyers money already deposited into the account. Guaranteed sale within 180 days. Oops ....needed transfer fee of $3600 USD sent to notary in Mexico. All set to go when...oops Mexico has changed VAT tax and sellers have to pay not buyers..$17000. USD. ..BUT all this will be covered by the buyer and has been deposited into the trust account. Copy of trust account attached as proof. At this point we said whoa and started exploring. McGinnis had a real estate licence in Colorado but it was inactive. Colorado AG said a licence was required, McGinnis said was not required.Despite flashy web site purporting years of experience and satisfied customers etc, company was actually started Feb 28, 2017 according to Denver BBB.
Had a Mexican friend call the office given by the so called notary who collected the transfer fee. The office was legit, but they had never heard of her and had received a number of calls inquiring about her. They were contacting Mexican authorities. We are out the $3700. But refused to send the $17,000. tax. McGinnis had the audacity to threaten to sue for his commission as we did not complete the transaction. We have had contact with the Federal Trade and Commerce Department, as well as the FBI office in Denver and are preparing copies of all documents and telephone conversations with both McGinnis and Texas Title & Trust. They will investigate but it is not in the top of the pile and may take some time.
Black Diamond appears to be a legitimate business, but in reality is simply a volume travel agency. Their head office is in Mazatlan and their agents there perpetrate the resale scam from there, being in collusion with McGinnis and fraudulently misrepresenting the resale to cover the cost of the membership purchase at an inflated price.

We were unfortunately extremely gullible, were taken for all the fee, were supposed to be receiving a payout and both Ian Thompson of Texas Title & Trust and Mark McGinnis of McGinnis Management have both disappeared... phone numbers cancelled, Texas Titel & Trust website gone! We are sick!

Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I wish I had looked up this information earlier this year before wiring over 10K to Mexico with all the promises of being reimbursed by the buyer at "closing". McGinnis Management and Texas Title and Trust are now nowhere to be found. Phones, emails and websites are out of service. I'm assuming there's no way to get anything back, let me know if I can sign up somewhere to get repaid if they ever get caught.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you provide will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can also report to your state Attorney General and to the Attorney General in the business' home state.

I was sent this blog via the FTC, hey FTC are you going to do anything about this rather big problem, I see that several owners have contacted you and none of us are seeing any results or any status updates saying the FTC is doing anything about this problem. It doesn't help to send a brochure detailing what to watch out for when buying when we all have bought the problems. Please Help Us.

Do not do business with Resort Property Management. It is a scam to get you to pay money to rent out your timeshare "bonus weeks" which there are none. You will hear a song and dance for several months with no results then they will disappear.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I too got scammed by the same company. I reported it to BBB.

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