Timeshares are a type of vacation ownership, where multiple people own a portion of right to use a vacation property. The right to use the vacation property is usually divided by time, allotting each owner a length of time to use the timeshare per time period (usually yearly or bi-annually). Timeshares vacation plans have been around for quite some time, with one of the first plans being offered in Kauai, Hawaii in 1969.
These plans were usually deeded by the developer of the timeshare, meaning the purchaser is buying an actual share of the ownership in the resort. These plans came with predetermined dates for use, and were usually locked to the same units on the vacation property that were listed on the deed. The popularity of timeshares increased dramatically over the years, especially through the 80's where timeshares became one of the fastest growing industries of the decade. In the early 90's, developers started offering a new plan, known as Membership or Club packages, for timeshares. Unlike a deeded timeshare, the purchaser buys into the right to use the property for a specific time period but doesn't own any real property. These membership plans usually function off of a point system, where owning more points is supposed to allow for more flexibility and convenience in using the timeshare.
During the 2007 - 2009 Financial Crisis, the United States suffered from a period of general economic decline, where the cost of living increased dramatically and many citizens lost their jobs as businesses struggled to recover. Even though timeshares were not a direct cause of this financial crisis, they are a prime example of the predatory and excess lending that has left many owners overwhelmed with debt. The Financial Crises marked the beginning of the modern recession, and many people have since started looking for ways to cut out excess spending in order to survive financially. One of the first things many people decided to get rid of was their timeshare, unfortunately most timeshares do not have real value.
Sell your Timeshare
Since the start of the modern recession, people are cutting back on expenses in order to save their finances. For many owners, the mortgage payments on a timeshare have become too expensive to maintain. Even owners that have paid off their timeshare still are required to pay the increasing expense of annual dues and maintenance costs, which can rise as high as several thousand dollars a year.
Owners for Life
Most timeshare contracts have a life term, meaning the owners are in the contract indefinitely, some timeshare contracts are even forced onto the next-of-kin after death. In addition, most timeshare developers do not provide an option to cancel or give back the timeshare contract, leaving the owner with selling the timeshare as their only option to get out of the contract.
Stuck in Timeshare
There are thousands of owners that are listing their timeshares for sale for as low as one dollar, some even offering to pay the transfer fees (often several hundred dollars) just to get out of ownership. With so many timeshare owners looking to sell and so few people looking to buy, it has become almost impossible to get out of a timeshare contract using traditional methods.