Many of us have been on relaxing vacations only to find ourselves being lured into a timeshare presentation. Often, potential clients are offered valuable gifts for spending a couple of hours reviewing a nicely-packaged offer and meeting with a persuasive salesperson. However, attendees can sometimes end up falling victim to high-pressure sales tactics and deceptive practices. While you may believe you would never fall for these ploys, it may be easier than you realize to be tricked by dishonest timeshare companies.
Recently, an Arizona elderly couple found out just how misleading some of these businesses can be. While celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary on a Caribbean cruise, Frank and Betty Lusk, both in their late 80’s, were convinced to buy a $150,000-timeshare with extremely high fees. The timeshare company used aggressive tactics, made false promises, and failed to honor the agreement as it had been presented. Although the matter ended up getting resolved, the couple endured considerable stress and had to hire a timeshare exit company to end their contract. The Lusks are not alone. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has filed numerous deceptive-trade practice cases against several timeshare companies based on similar claims.
Timeshare issues have become such a problem in Arizona that lawmakers introduced legislation to help protect Arizona consumers. House Bill 2639 passed unanimously in the House, and sought to protect Arizona timeshare purchasers by providing added disclosure and opt-out periods. However, upon reaching the Senate floor, the bill has received preliminary approval but has been amended to remove some of its central protective measures.
While Arizona lawmakers continue to debate how to fairly balance the rights of timeshare businesses and those of its citizens, it is clear that consumers need to read the fine print before signing a purchase contract. There are also steps potential timeshare customers can take which can help them avoid accepting an expensive and unfair obligation.
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division advises that consumers:
- Be wary of timeshare presentations which take place in temporary settings such as a hotel conference room.
- Ask for information and details in writing before committing to a contract or making a decision.
- Read over everything very carefully before signing a contract.
- Make sure the timeshare company is registered with the Arizona Department of Real Estate.
- Find out how their timeshare will be advertised.
- Check with the AG’s Office before paying a company to help you recover payments from a timeshare company.
While timeshares can be a wonderful way to enjoy vacations, if you choose the wrong company, you could end up being tricked into owing thousands of dollars. One of the best ways to protect yourself during a timeshare transaction is to get a copy of the proposed contract in writing and have it reviewed by an Arizona real estate attorney and licensed realtor before signing.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Real Estate Attorney
Attorney Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney understands the complications of timeshare transactions and can help you spot potential issues. If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona and throughout the state of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.