Timeshare owners are often the target of resale scams aimed at “assisting” owners looking to get out of their timeshare properties. These owners may be enticed to attend a seminar at a restaurant or a hotel where they are given free dinner and a high-pressure presentation forecasting ever-escalating maintenance fees with no hope of escape. After dinner and a scare, the owners are given the good news: for sometimes upwards of $10,000, the exit firm can help release them from their timeshare. All too often, the owners who hand over their credit cards at the end of the night wind up $10,000 poorer and still owning their timeshare.
Knowing that their timeshare owners have been subjected to such schemes, sixteen timeshare resort companies that are members of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) have formed the COALITION for RESPONSIBLE EXIT.
According to the website www.ResponsibleExit.com, the coalition is dedicated to providing useful information for owners who are looking to safely sell, modify, cancel or exit their timeshare. The coalition hopes to equip timeshare owners with the knowledge they need to avoid scams and mistakes in exiting their timeshare. The sixteen members of the coalition are identified on the website along with contact information.
Timeshare resale scams have become a nationwide problem and each state’s approach in addressing the problem varies. In Arkansas, Real Estate License Law defines timeshare as real estate for the purposes of licensing. Individuals who engage in the practice of real estate brokerage activities are required to hold a real estate license. Not only is it a violation of the Real Estate License Law to engage in the practice of real estate brokerage without an Arkansas real estate license, it is also a Class D Felony.
Timeshare owners who think they may have been the victim of a timeshare resale scam are encouraged to contact the investigations section of the Real Estate Commission at 501 683-8010. Information and forms for filing complaints with the Real Estate Commission can be found at www.arec.arkansas.gov.