Resale and Relief Advisory:
RCI has learned that so-called 'transfer', 'relief' or 'rescue' companies are soliciting timeshare owners to participate in their programs. The initial solicitation often comes in the form of a letter or email directing the owner to call to avoid a planned increase in maintenance fees or participate in a program that may eliminate the owner's maintenance fees altogether. When the owner calls, she or he may be invited to attend a pitch meeting (often at a local hotel or restaurant) to discuss the transfer company's '100% guaranteed' solution. The owner may be asked to pay a large upfront fee (positioned as a fee to cover title and other expenses associated with the sale). In many situations the transfer company will not commit to a date by which the timeshare will be transferred or explain what steps it will take to transfer ownership.
What do you need to know?
1) Get the offer details (i.e., what are the fees/costs, what will the company do for those fees, what entity/person will assume ownership of your timeshare, when will the timeshare be transferred out of your ownership, will you be responsible for next year's maintenance fees, etc.) and ask them to put these details in the contract. Consider consulting with an attorney.
2) Be very skeptical of any upfront fees. Ideally, you should not pay any fee before a contract is signed and your ownership has actually been transferred.
3) Be wary - do not assume that a particular company is reputable simply because they claim to have received industry awards or other recognition.
4) Consider calling your resort/club to ask:
a. Are there transfer restrictions and fees which may apply to your transfer?
b. Does your resort/club offer a resale or buyback program, or is it associated with a particular broker to handle resales?
5) Do your research – for additional tips, visit ARDA-ROC's Timeshare Resale Resource Center at-
http://www.ardaroc.org/roc/resource-library/default.aspx?id=2645 and consult helpful advisories like this one from the
California Department of Real Estate (http://www.dre.ca.gov/pdf_docs/ca/ConsumerAlert_FraudWarningTimeshareResaleFraud.pdf).
RCI does not sell timeshares for individual members, and we have not authorized any third party to do so on our behalf. RCI is not affiliated with any 'relief' company. You should exercise caution if you are contacted by anyone claiming to be related to RCI who contacts you about activities not related to exchange or vacation opportunities. If you are not certain whether an offer is legitimate, call RCI directly at 1-877-968-7476
(RCI Points® Members) or 1-800-338-7777 (RCI® Weeks Members) with any questions. While some entities are legitimate sellers or resellers of timeshare inventory, others are not. RCI values its members and supports consumer protection efforts by its affiliated resorts and the American Resort Development Association Resort Owners' Coalition (ARDA-ROC).