Category: Timeshare


Three Quick Reasons to Hire The People’s Advocate to Get Out of a Timeshare

Getting out of a timeshare is a very complex process. There are legal questions as well as economic ones. The withdrawal process is definitely something you do not want to do alone, even if the issues are rather clear and you’re within the ten-day window.

Timeshare disputes are quite common in this part of Florida, which is why so many lawyers deal with these kinds of issues. But choosing the wrong lawyer will make a bad situation worse. Many timeshare issues involve important deadlines and strict requirements. If the lawyer drops the ball in any area, no matter how seemingly small, things may turn out very badly and it may be impossible to undo them.

A Consultation That’s a Conversation

Lawyers, doctors, and other professionals are usually pretty bad listeners. On average, doctors listen to patients for about eleven seconds before they interrupt or redirect them. Many lawyers are not much better. They may not interrupt people so quickly, but that does not mean they are listening. Instead, they are probably just waiting for their turn to talk.

But at The People’s Advocate, we recognize that every timeshare case is different. So, we take the time to discuss all your legal and financial options. We do not simply try to place you in a timeshare-contest cubbyhole.

An Experienced Advocate

Timeshare disputes involve many areas of law. To continue with the doctor analogy, having a timeshare is like having pain in different parts of your body. Likewise, a Florida timeshare attorney needs to know a lot about different areas of the law.

If you are still within the cancellation window, the procedure is very important. For example, not all forms of “written” cancellation may meet Florida requirements. And, in most procedural matters, there are no do-overs. Other times, a timeshare lawyer must be an experienced contract attorney. If there is any flaw in the written document, your attorney must be able to find and exploit it. Finally, a timeshare attorney must sometimes be a tax attorney. Some people can give away their timeshares and come out financially even, while others may lose significant amounts of money.

An Assertive Advocate

It is not enough to identify the correct issues. A solid attorney must also be able to use these weaknesses to your advantage.

A real estate company almost always has a posse of lawyers. These lawyers are very experienced in timeshare cases because that is basically all they handle. These legal Goliaths intimidate many consumer law Davids. Real estate companies rely on this type of intimidation to cover up the weaknesses in their own cases.

In a nutshell, your lawyer must not be intimidated. Part of that courage comes from the attorney’s personality. People are either assertive or they are not. Part of it also comes from preparation. The harder and attorney works, the better the case is, and the more aggressive the attorney can be.

On a related note, an attorney must also be a good negotiator. Most real estate disputes settle out of court, and it’s important that your voice is heard throughout the process.

There are many good reasons to contact the experienced Hollywood timeshare attorneys at The People’s Advocate. Take the first step and reach out to us today.

 

How Do I Get Out of My Timeshare Contract?

The 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross asks some hard questions about the way the pursuit of money affects us. More importantly for our purposes, it’s set in an office which sells real estate in Florida. Ricky Roma (Al Pacino), Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), and the other salesmen will do almost literally anything to close the deal.

Many people are like James Lingk (Jonathan Pryce). They are smart consumers who give into extreme pressure and make decisions they regret. But rather than going to the salesman to try and “straighten things out,” it’s always best to see an attorney. That’s the best way to enforce your considerable rights in these situations.

The Unilateral Cancellation Period

Florida law is very generous in this area. James Lingk only had three days to cancel his contract. But if you buy a timeshare in Florida, there is a ten day, no questions asked cancellation period. These are calendar days and not business days, so the time will slip away quickly. Once the period expires, it is much harder to get out of a timeshare contract.

To assert their right to cancel, consumers need only provide written notice. Texts, emails, and other electronic communications may not qualify as “written” notice. Regular mail is better. Twin notices regular and certified mail is usually best. The real estate company cannot refuse to sign for the letter and then claim the period expired, and there is near-absolute proof of delivery.

The contract may specify the information which needs to be in the notice. If not, basic name, property address, date, and an unequivocal “I hereby cancel my timeshare contract” is usually sufficient.

Challenging the Contract

A timeshare contract is a contract like any other one. Even if it says certain things and both parties sign it, it may not be a legally-binding contract. All the elements must be present. Some of the more common points include:

Offer/Acceptance: Every aspect of the agreement must be fully negotiable. That includes things like timeshare location, price, payment terms, and so on. A take-it-or-leave-it “contract” is not valid. Instead, such an agreement is an unenforceable contract of adhesion.
Competency: Excessive pressure to sign, and even some false statements, do not invalidate the contract. But if that pressure includes veiled threats or the false statement concerns a material issue, the contract may be unenforceable.
Writing: Generally, the entire contract must be in a single written document. Furthermore, external evidence is usually not admissible in contract interpretation disputes. The words say what they say.

Other defenses may apply as well, depending on the contract terms and the other facts in the real estate case.

Timeshare contracts are not set in stone. For a free consultation with an experienced real estate attorney in Ft. Lauderdale, contact The People’s Advocate. After-hours and in-home visits are available. So, you definitely need an experienced attorney to advise you.

How to Avoid a Timeshare Resale Scam

For as long as there have been timeshares, there have been people willing to do almost anything to get out of their contracts. And, for as long as there has been money, there have always been people who will do unscrupulous things to take it. That combination often leads to disastrous results.

Instead of asking “How can I get out of my timeshare?” it is probably better to ask “How can I get out of my timeshare contract?” These are two very different inquiries. Moreover, they lead you in two different directions. People who want to get out of their timeshares may gravitate to a scammer, and an owner who wants to get out of a timeshare contract will probably call a reputable attorney.

Who Made the First Move?

If the company contacts you first, that is a red flag. The flag is even a brighter, darker red if the company also makes big promises and says anything about a “hot timeshare market.” The timeshare resale market is never “hot.” Furthermore, in the words of the Federal Trade Commision, never pay for a promise.

An aggressive company should not be a deal-breaker. After all, the company may honestly believe it can help and that customers are reluctant to make the first move. So, research the company online before you sign anything. Be wary of Yelp and other review sites, as there is no guarantee that the review is honest.

Do They Want Money Upfront?

All timeshare retail scammers demand money upfront. They usually claim it is for closing costs or processing fees or something like that. Such requests are always a bad sign.

Some scammers bait the hook a little. They do some groundwork or are responsive to your initial inquiries. But before they actually agree to do anything, the money demand comes. Once the fund’s transfer occurs, it is difficult to reverse, even if you have anti-fraud protections on your credit card or other accounts.

Do not pay any money until the company provides a detailed contract. This agreement should include details about the company’s services and a schedule of future payments if any.

Are You Throwing Away More Money?

The double-dipping scam is one of the fastest-growing consumer scams in Florida. After one company takes your money, another one promises to get it back. At this point, many consumers make decisions based on emotions instead of reason. The scammer hopes that you are angry at the other company because that anger makes it easier to take advantage of you. Angry people often do not think clearly.

Once again, never pay for a promise. Instead, work with a consumer protection attorney. You may have some legal options in terms of recovering your lost investment.

Timeshare resale scammers are very adept at taking your money. For a free consultation with an experienced timeshare attorney in Hollywood, contact The People’s Advocate. Our main office is conveniently located near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Sheridan Street.