Dumping a timeshare
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The Truth About Timeshares
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Dumping a Timeshare
I bought a timeshare about ten years ago at an auction. In the last few years, the timeshare board discovered that the facility has many structural and mold issues. I currently owe approximately $1700 in maintenance fees and special assessment fees. I'm thinking of defaulting. I'm old enough to not be worried about my credit score or anything like that. I just don't want to keep paying for a timeshare that has mold problems and that I don't use. There is no mortgage on the timeshare. I've tried to sell it and even give it away without success. The board is referring the late fees to a collection agency. Other than the impact on my credit score can the board go after my home or other assets in any way? Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.
Don't Let Timeshare Go to Collections
If this goes to collections, they can get court ordered garnishment of your income unless you are on Social Security. They can also freeze your bank account. Technically, they can't freeze one that has mostly Social Security benefits going into it, but it still happens. And it can be a while before you can get back into court to get this cleared up. In the mean time, there is no way to pay bills or buy food. If you really don't have any savings, what happens when the car quits and you need a loan for a new one?
If it's the ethics of the timeshare board that is bothering you and you are just making a statement by not paying it, it would be better to turn them into the Attorney General's office and keep making a small payment every month to keep the collectors away from you.
Short of selling it (impossible if it's run down), I think you are stuck unless the company goes under. Check with a bankruptcy attorney if you are way over your head with other debts. You may be able to unload this asset with court backing and get out of the maintenance contract.
Deed Timeshare to Charity
I once thought of doing this with my timeshare and had heard that you can donate the "deeded" property to a charity and then they can sell it or dispose of it any way they want. It gets it out of your name anyway. Not sure if this can be done in all states and with timeshares that are out of the country.
Talk to Attorney About Timeshare
It may be worth consulting with an attorney especially if the timeshare is in such bad shape that it can't be used by anyone. Another option would be to either file a complaint with Attorney General's office in the state where the time share is located or call a local news station that does consumers rights stories and let the media call out the board of directors. How can they collect fees on a building that could be condemned?
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