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Jun 20, 2017
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#1
On March 7, we purchased a time-share from Diamond Resorts. At first, we were excited about our purchase. However, we recently learned that we were absolutely lied to on a very important fact. During the sales presentation, we were asked why we would not purchase a time share. I brought up the two issues that were key to me. First, we wanted a low maintenance fee. Second and most importantly, we did not want a time-share that would sell their inventory on the open market. I specifically brought out the example of my dad booking four two-bedroom condos at the Sunterra Resort in Lake Tahoe during the peak of the summer for a family vacation. My dad was not a Sunterra Resort Owner. The sales manager, Paul Karf, said they do not sell to the public and, in fact, they now own Sunterra and our proud to say they do not have practices like that.

* This week my wife looked at booking the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort for the week of July 24 for a race she will be doing. She found it unavailable. Looking at Travelzoofor the same time frame, the resort is available. What???

* On April 2, my wife spoke to our sales rep, Loree Nichols, about our concerns and Loree suggested we contact Kimberly Bratton, the quality assurance manager. Kimberly defended the practice of selling to the public by saying we should be glad Diamond is trying to fill the rooms. She said she would refer my concerns to “someone” and we have yet to hear back from anyone.

* Last week, my wife and I scheduled our 3 day/2 night new member orientation stay at the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort for May 22-25. While researching the resort on-line through Google we were shocked to see Groupon and Hotels.com offer rooms for the Diamond Resorts Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort (former Sunterra) for the same dates. My wife called a Diamond Resorts operator and found out there are other resorts owned by Diamond that are involved in the same practice of offering rooms to the public. This is not our interpretation of Family and Friends!!!

We are consulting with an attorney about the obvious Fraud involved by the sales personnel and are sending our complaints to the department of real estate and better business bureau. Does anyone have any ideas on getting this resolved with Diamond Resorts quickly?
Hi All,
I just joined the forum but have been following this website for about a year. Very enlightening.

If I am posting in the wrong place or if I should start a new thread I apologize.

I bought a timeshare (Monarch Grand Vacations) years ago and it was great. They went bankrupt and were purchased by Diamond Resorts. I upgraded over to Diamond and basically they lied about everything including what is posted here by Kevin. All the usual timeshare complaints apply.

Mine is paid off. I don't expect to get my "investment" back, I just want to be done with them.

Does anyone have any real knowledge of any of the companies that get you out of timeshares? I have talked to Timeshare Exit Team and Sell Your Timeshare Now. Both seem a little dodgy.

Any comments are appreciated. And yeah, I know I am a dummy for getting a timeshare.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,700
11,294
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
From what we have seen, none of them seem to really help a seller. You should google "complaints about" and whatever the name of the company is you are considering. You'll see if they are upstanding or not.
 
Jun 20, 2017
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#3
From what we have seen, none of them seem to really help a seller. You should google "complaints about" and whatever the name of the company is you are considering. You'll see if they are upstanding or not.
I have actually talked to Timeshare Exit Team. A friend used them and they were happy and got our of their timeshare. I was not impressed with the person I talked to but maybe I need to revisit and talk to someone else. The reviews seem to be one star or five star, not much in between.

I talked to "Sell Your Timeshare Now" and they were pretty scary and just as pushy as timeshare sales people.

I think Timeshare Exit Team is owned by lawyers who try to get you out of your contract and the other is a reseller of timeshares.

From what I know of Diamond Resorts, they do not buy back or make it easy to get rid of it.
I saw somewhere on this site to deed it over to someone going bankrupt. Not a bad idea.

If I find out anything useful, I will re-post. I know from other blogs that there are a lot of people in my shoes. Thanks.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
5,920
6,013
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#4
I have actually talked to Timeshare Exit Team. A friend used them and they were happy and got our of their timeshare. I was not impressed with the person I talked to but maybe I need to revisit and talk to someone else. The reviews seem to be one star or five star, not much in between.

I talked to "Sell Your Timeshare Now" and they were pretty scary and just as pushy as timeshare sales people.

I think Timeshare Exit Team is owned by lawyers who try to get you out of your contract and the other is a reseller of timeshares.

From what I know of Diamond Resorts, they do not buy back or make it easy to get rid of it.
I saw somewhere on this site to deed it over to someone going bankrupt. Not a bad idea.

If I find out anything useful, I will re-post. I know from other blogs that there are a lot of people in my shoes. Thanks.
I have nothing to add but sympathy, Cindy. It's hard to believe these people are still out there cheating buyers.
 
Jun 20, 2017
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#5
I have nothing to add but sympathy, Cindy. It's hard to believe these people are still out there cheating buyers.
Yes it is. The sad thing is I LIKED my original timeshare. Diamond is just evil. My dealings with them would make your skin crawl. I think they would tell you that you could stay at the Green Cheese Villa on the Moon. As long as it is not in the written contract, they are not liable.

I first came to Elliot.org because of my frustration with Diamond last year. I have been reading with great interest since then. I must say thankfully I have not had too many bad experiences in my travels outside the ordinary, but this timeshare thing is really bad for consumers.
 
#6
Cindy, you're correct about Diamond. Their questionable practices are well-known throughout the timeshare industry. It's too bad that your original timeshare association went bankrupt and allowed Diamond to get its foot in the door.

The only two vehicles that I'd trust (and then, only with both eyes open) are Redweek.com and Timeshare Users' Group -- http://www.tug2.net/

Both offer free listing services and some other important info.

Have you contacted your resort management to see if they have any sort of exit arrangement? Some timeshares, for one or two years' extra maintenance fees, will take a deed in lieu of foreclosure without allowing it to affect your credit rating, particularly if you have a good reason such as age, illness, etc. If your week is a desirable one, the chances are better that they'll talk to you.
 
Jun 20, 2017
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#7
Hi George,

Mine is paid in full and I have the Platinum membership (top tier), so there is no mortgage and hence no foreclosure. But the annual maintenance fee is quite high (8K). It keeps going up. This would not be so bad if you could use your points the way they promised. You could get several really great vacations every year with the points and there are lots of ways to redeem them. It is just that nothing is ever available and like the original poster on this (Kevin) the same places are being sold on the open market when there is no availability to the member.

It is point based, no weeks. I know about Redweek. I am a member and I used to rent out some weeks of my Monarch membership using Redweek as I had quite a few weeks.

So I would really be selling points, not specific weeks. And there is no actual deed like there was before with Monarch. It is called a deed in perpetuity which I think means you pay forever! The Diamond contract says it cannot be sold and they won't buy it back.

If I quit paying maintenance fees, they could sue or ruin my credit. Even Timeshare Exit Team says their method will ruin my credit, so maybe they just tell me to quit paying the maintenance fees and then they refer me to a credit repair company and charge me $5k.

I will go back to Redweek and also look at the user group you recommended. I will also call Diamond and see what they say. Things can and do change. FYI, Diamond was sold last year to some company called Apollo. They never notified the owners. I found out at my last visit to one of their properties.
 
#8
Cindy, when I mentioned foreclosure I was referring to a timeshare association's ability to foreclose on a unit for unpaid maintenance fees, and that type of foreclosure would have nothing to do with a mortgage. This would apply to a deeded fixed week and even some "floating" weeks but I'm not sure what the enforcement method would be in a "points" situation such as yours.

I just did a little research and it appears that Monarch was a "vacation club" rather than an actual "timeshare." When one purchases a timeshare he or she buys a specific unit for a specific week at a specific resort. A deed is recorded in the jurisdiction where the resort is located. A vacation club is a little different.

You apparently purchased points and had the right to use those points for vacations at any of Monarch's dozen or so resorts. On top of that you could trade those points with RCI or II but it doesn't appear that title to any actual real estate or interval usage was ever deeded to you. So the question becomes, what do you own? Did you have a "home" resort where you had an actual unit?

When you first purchased whatever you got from Monarch, what were the restrictions? Could you have sold or transferred title to your points before Diamond came on the scene? I fail to see how a purchase through bankruptcy by Diamond (now Apollo) could affect the original terms and conditions of your contract and I find it hard to believe that you couldn't sell whatever you own to whomever you want, subject to any rights of refusal by the original declarant or its successor.

However, if you converted to Diamond's system and signed a contract with them, you're at their mercy and subject to their contract's terms. I see that a lot of people fell for Diamond's pitch and bought into their vacation club using their Monarch points plus $$$. It sounds as if you're one of those who trusted Diamond's slick salespeople.

I don't know what more to advise, other than to read all the user groups' comments and see if someone has found an answer to your problem. If you come up with a solution please let us know. There's an entire industry that's trying to solve the "exit" problem!
 
Jun 20, 2017
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#10
Cindy, when I mentioned foreclosure I was referring to a timeshare association's ability to foreclose on a unit for unpaid maintenance fees, and that type of foreclosure would have nothing to do with a mortgage. This would apply to a deeded fixed week and even some "floating" weeks but I'm not sure what the enforcement method would be in a "points" situation such as yours.

I just did a little research and it appears that Monarch was a "vacation club" rather than an actual "timeshare." When one purchases a timeshare he or she buys a specific unit for a specific week at a specific resort. A deed is recorded in the jurisdiction where the resort is located. A vacation club is a little different.

You apparently purchased points and had the right to use those points for vacations at any of Monarch's dozen or so resorts. On top of that you could trade those points with RCI or II but it doesn't appear that title to any actual real estate or interval usage was ever deeded to you. So the question becomes, what do you own? Did you have a "home" resort where you had an actual unit?

When you first purchased whatever you got from Monarch, what were the restrictions? Could you have sold or transferred title to your points before Diamond came on the scene? I fail to see how a purchase through bankruptcy by Diamond (now Apollo) could affect the original terms and conditions of your contract and I find it hard to believe that you couldn't sell whatever you own to whomever you want, subject to any rights of refusal by the original declarant or its successor.

However, if you converted to Diamond's system and signed a contract with them, you're at their mercy and subject to their contract's terms. I see that a lot of people fell for Diamond's pitch and bought into their vacation club using their Monarch points plus $$$. It sounds as if you're one of those who trusted Diamond's slick salespeople.

I don't know what more to advise, other than to read all the user groups' comments and see if someone has found an answer to your problem. If you come up with a solution please let us know. There's an entire industry that's trying to solve the "exit" problem!
You are right on all counts. I fell for the points plus $$ conversion. With Monarch you could have called the Palm Canyon resort the "home" resort but you could stay at any of their properties with points. Some properties had a few more restrictions. For the most part it was easy to use and I think I could have sold the Monarch points pretty easily before Diamond came along. I was happy enough with Monarch so I thought it would be worth the conversion. The biggest problem is finding availability, even a year in advance.
 
Jun 20, 2017
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#11
We' ve heard of folks selling their timeshares for $1 just to get simdindvto take over the fees.

$8,000 a year in maintenance? Good luck with getting rid of it. How many weeks do you have?
It gets you quite a few weeks, depending on where you stay, how long and the size of the unit. A typical week is about 9000 -12000 points for a 2BR condo for a week. I have 50,000 points. I already had so many Monarch points it was not that bad of a stretch to go for their Platinum level. You can also use points to get private condos and hotel rooms outside of their properties. I have stayed at several luxury condos using their system. The problem is I found I could rent the same places directly for less money when you calculate the value of your points into actual $$. I also found out that most of the stuff they told me I could do with the membership was not exactly true.

I don't expect to get my money back. Just out of it.

There have been some good comments from everyone here and I appreciate it. I have enough to get started and will let you know.
 
Jun 20, 2017
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#13
Let us know what you end up doing - this is helpful for us with other consumers.
Yes I will.

I just looked at the forums on RedWeek. That was a good suggestion. I have not been on their site for a while and there were some recent postings about being able to deed the points back to Diamond for $250 if you don't owe anything. I will be call Diamond to check it out and report back.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,700
11,294
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
Yes I will.

I just looked at the forums on RedWeek. That was a good suggestion. I have not been on their site for a while and there were some recent postings about being able to deed the points back to Diamond for $250 if you don't owe anything. I will be call Diamond to check it out and report back.
THAT would be great if it's true!
 
Likes: jsn55
Jun 20, 2017
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#15
QUOTE="Neil, post: 64525, member: 591"]THAT would be great if it's true![/QUOTE]

Yes it would. I read last year they might start doing that due to bad press. I will find out if it is true.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 11, 2017
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#16
QUOTE="Neil, post: 64525, member: 591"]THAT would be great if it's true!
Yes it would. I read last year they might start doing that due to bad press. I will find out if it is true.[/QUOTE]
Cindy,

For what it's worth, I also had a timeshare I loved until it was taken over by another company. Then the maintenance fees skyrocketed to the point of stupidity. Like you, I checked out a number of "timeshare exit" firms, and like you found them all to be dodgy at best.

I did some more research and found two items that may be helpful to you. First, check with the current timeshare company and see if you can voluntarily transfer ownership back to them. This won't cost you anything, is usually done on a one or two page form with your notarized signature. When filed, you no longer own your timeshare, or the associated maintenance fees. Wyndham actually had the forms and readily sent them when I asked, leading me to believe this is a fairly common practice

The second option (and the ones the dodgy companies usually use) is what's called a quitclaim deed. Basically you as the owner transfer any interest you have in the property to the grantee, in your case Diamond.

Good luck, and whatever you do be careful of exit companies that will get you out of your timeshare for a fee. It shouldn't cost anything to file a quitclaim deed.
 
#18
Correct me if I'm wrong, @CindyO , but you appear to have hinted that within Diamond's contract is some sort of restrictive language that prohibits a sale or transfer of your "points" or "unit" without the written consent of Diamond. If that's true, you can sign all the quitclaim deeds, bargain and sale deeds, warranty deeds, or bills of sale in the world to whomever you want but unless Diamond approves, those documents are not valid and your are still on the hook for the maintenance fees. The predatory timeshare exit companies never tell you when this is the case and will charge you big bucks to take over your obligation when in reality, without the consent of the owner or association, nothing changes even after recording a deed. Then the exit company disappears and pops up under another name next month.

This type of restriction for approval of every sale is very common among vacation clubs and is becoming more prevalent in full-ownership timeshare declarations and by-laws.

In cases where there's no such restrictive covenant (usually at older resorts with actual ownership of fixed-week units), it's both the seller and the timeshare owners' association that take the hit from the scammers. This scam (called a "Viking Ship" in the industry) requires the owner to pay (sometimes thousands of dollars) for the privilege of transferring ownership. The grantee turns out to be an offshore company which has no intention ever to pay the maintenance fees. So now the owners' association is stuck with a unit owned by a company they can never collect from and their only option is to foreclose on the unit for unpaid fees - - often an expensive proposition depending on the location of the property. And even after getting title by foreclosure then the association still has to sell the unit. So, the seller has paid $$$ to get rid of his unit and the owners' association has to spend $$$ to recover title to the unit.

This post has gotten too long. Sometime I'll explain how companies like Diamond can take over a traditional timeshare resort that has a good management company and happy owners.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
5,920
6,013
113
San Francisco
#19
I remember the one and only TimeShare presentation we attended ... early eighties maybe ... Squaw Valley up at Tahoe ... it was indeed very tempting. The place was absolutely gorgeous and I often wonder what it's like now. I have little recollection* of how we got out of there alive, but I thank my lucky stars that we got out unscathed.

* My Minnesota commonsensicle core no doubt.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 13, 2018
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#20
We just received a phone call from Diamond resorts. 2 years ago we discontinued our club membership that used points to trade to other resorts. It was a very lengthy and painful process that was only successful since I used certified, registered mail, numerous phone calls, and finally a very nasty post to social media. We did keep our deeded week at our home resort that is owned by Diamond resorts. According to this phone call, they have a new program for owners of deeded properties that would allow us to see banked properties available for trade. They want us to attend a 2-1/2 hour long dinner/presentation and state that the new owners have signed a "pledge" that they will not use high pressure sales tactic. Has anyone out there heard this presentation? What's the catch?