brainerd lakes timeshares

Timeshare Ripoffs and Reasons to Never Buy a Timeshare

timeshare ripoffs

This Week 21 Whitebirch at Breezy Point Resorts Timeshare is for sale at ZERO.

If only my sister had called me before she bought a timeshare in northern Minnesota and, if she had listened to my advice, I might have spared her the grief of getting involved with timeshare ripoffs. Buying a timeshare sounds like a good idea on paper, but mostly the good idea benefits the developer. The way it works is instead of selling a building, a developer can divide the building into units. Then the developer can sell each of the units 52 times to 52 different owners. Talk about a way to leverage profit. And the timeshare presentations themselves are heavy-handed, high pressure sales.

They lure unsuspecting would-be buyers into a free vacation, although some can be bought for as little as a free dinner or cocktail. Consumers think they understand the sales, and they chuckle to themselves and say, yeah, give me that free vacation because I’m not buying anything. And then they buy. Not wanting to admit they have been suckered or perhaps they are a bit embarrassed over the whole thing, they just keep paying those maintenance dues and taxes.

These timeshare ripoffs are like Hotel California. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

You know, in the late ’70s or early ’80s, a timeshare developer approached me when I sold real estate as a broker in Newport Beach. The developer flew me and my team of agents to Mammoth Lakes in a private plane and tried to induce us to sell timeshares in Mammoth Lakes. It was the first time I saw home staging in action. My enthusiasm level for this was nil. It seemed so slimy. Having said that, I will say there are a probably some people who love their timeshares. They go there on vacation every year. I don’t personally know any of those people, though. And I know that trading your timeshare time for a vacation elsewhere is very hard if not impossible to do. I’ve heard timeshare sales people encourage suckers, er, buyers, to purchase a timeshare not because they will use it but because they can trade it. Right. Not.

When my sister tried to sell her timeshare, Whitebirch at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, Minnesota, she was contacted by a bunch of timeshare ripoff crooks. They asked her to wire upfront money and then they would donate the timeshare to charity. Except those are scams. They take your money and never take your timeshare. These guys use strong arm tactics and threaten timeshare owners with wage garnishment or attachment of accounts, which they can’t do without a judgment. Further, the likelihood of a timeshare pursing a judgment is slim. The real estate company at Breezy Point seems to have a list of sellers a mile long, but not really many buyers. Breezy Point won’t take this timeshare back.

My sister has a really cute 2 bedroom, 2 bath timeshare at Whitebirch at Breezy Point Resort. She paid more than $8,000 for it. She owns week #21, around Memorial Day, every even year. Not odd years. Her taxes and maintenance fees are $527 every two years. She apparently can’t give away this timeshare. She would sell it to anybody for ZERO as long as that buyer would pay Breeze Point Resort its $400 to prepare the transfer paperwork. My sister is unemployed and lost her disability recently, which makes her even more vulnerable to timeshare ripoffs.

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