If you’re reading this, chances are you own either a timeshare or a vacation home and are thinking about how to get rid of vidanta timeshare. Whether it’s a condo on the beach in Hawaii, a ski chalet in Colorado, or a mansion on the shores of the French Riviera, you might have paid a hefty price for it. But did you know that there is one thing most timeshare owners have in common? Annual maintenance fees.
Every time you take a look at the yearly statement, it’s nothing but a reminder that your money is being wasted on your once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Timeshare maintenance fees are like a black hole – the longer you wait to identify their true size, the larger they become. And if you keep waiting, there will be no way out.
So if you can’t pay timeshare maintenance fees, here’s what happens:
- Late Fees and Interest
Timeshare maintenance fees are due regularly throughout the term of your ownership. Timeshare companies that own and manage the properties may negotiate different maintenance fee payment schedules, but most accept payment by the same schedule outlined in your purchase contract.
The due date for the maintenance fees will be specified in your contract. As long as you pay your maintenance fees to the timeshare company on time, you will not incur late fees. If you do not make your annual payment, they may begin calling or sending letters to demand remaining payments. The timeshare company may also impose an interest fee and late fee on amounts not paid. If you fail to pay your overall amount in full within 30 days of receiving the letter, there is a chance that extra charges will be added to your bill. Any unpaid balances will be compounded daily from the date of delinquency.
- Collection Agencies
After several missed payments on your part, the timeshare management company will report the bill to debt collections in one of two ways. The in-house agency is directly involved with the timeshare company, while third-party agencies are separate. Their methods of contacting you are the same, however, and different laws govern their participation.
Because collection agencies have more time and resources than individual timeshare management companies, they can make consistent phone calls, send written demands for payment, and provide settlement options. Your debt payment gets reported to the credit bureaus, and your credit standing is put in jeopardy. Additionally, the timeshare company may begin legal action against you, including filing a lien on your property or foreclosing on your timeshare.
- Legal Action
If you default on your timeshare payments or have not paid your bills yet, you may become an item of collection for the management company. To recover its money, the company may sue you in court. Once the management company wins a judgment, they may apply pressure tactics such as wage garnishment or levying bank accounts. The risk of financial and emotional damage from this can be devastating. The company will present the judge with any evidence necessary to back its claim that you are in default of your agreement. The judge will decide if you are guilty or not. If the judge decides you have been late on payment more than once, they may direct your bank to transfer funds from your account to pay the debt. A legal judgment appears for seven years on your report and will have an adverse consequence on your credit score.
- Property Foreclosure
Timeshares are real estate property where the buyer obtains a deed rather than a leasehold interest. These fees are part of the purchase contract and should be paid on time by the purchaser. Non-payment of these fees could result in foreclosure and sale of the timeshare at auction to recover the debt owed.
There are two ways you can face a foreclosure: judicial and non-judicial. Non-judicial foreclosure is when your homeowner’s association holds title to your property and forecloses directly. Judicial foreclosures involve lenders who have extended mortgages to buyers and only resort to judicial foreclosure after issuing notifications of default for failure to make payments for more than 60 days. Judicial foreclosures allow the lender to pursue a deficiency judgment for any amount above the auction price should they not work with the borrower toward a payment plan before or immediately following the sale.
The Bottom Line
Maintenance fees or “view” or “booking” fees can be due annually, monthly, quarterly or even monthly in some cases. One of the biggest reasons consumers fall behind on these fees is that they are not aware that they exist and must be paid. That’s why when you buy a timeshare, you’re required to sign a deed of trust stating that you will pay all maintenance fees. Failure to pay your maintenance fees can have serious financial consequences. Your best recourse is to contact the management company by email or phone to work out a payment plan. If you fail to pay your bill, they may resort to leasing your timeshare unit, which will be a financial and emotional disaster for you.