Timeshare Resales

Why Using a Timeshare Exit Company is a Bad Idea


Wes Kogelman

September 25, 2023

Timeshares have long been promoted as an affordable way to enjoy luxurious vacations. However, many people find themselves in situations where they no longer want or can afford their timeshare commitments. In such scenarios, timeshare exit companies swoop in, promising a seamless way out of these contracts for a large fee. But are these companies genuinely the saviors they claim to be?

Let’s face it – the timeshare industry hasn’t exactly been proactive over the decades when it comes to allowing owners to move on from their ownership. Only in recent years have the resorts started to consider programs for owners who are facing some type of personal dilemma and need to relinquish their timeshare.

However, owners have always been able to sell your timeshare and make some money, especially in the internet age where owners can offer their timeshare for sale online. So, why should an owner pay thousands of dollars to move on when they can sell it?

The truth is, working with a timeshare exit company can be a bad idea for a multitude of reasons. Let's delve into the specifics.

Reasons Why Using a Timeshare Exit Company is a Bad Idea

1) High Costs with No Guaranteed Results

Timeshare exit companies charge exorbitant fees for their exit services. While it may seem worth it on the surface to pay to rid oneself of an unwanted timeshare, there's a catch: there's no guaranteed result. Some owners end up paying these companies thousands of dollars, only to find themselves still bound by their timeshare obligations. Essentially, they end up losing money without any resolution to their problem.

2) Potential Scams

Unfortunately, the timeshare exit industry is full of scams. Many companies operate with a facade of legitimacy, only to disappear after collecting hefty fees from desperate timeshare owners. These scams are so prevalent that several government agencies, including State Attorneys General, have issued warnings and filed suits against fraudulent exit companies.

3) Legal Repercussions

Timeshare exit companies often claim to have legal experts who can navigate the issues around timeshare contracts. However, some of these companies engage in highly questionable practices, such as advising clients to stop making payments, leading to potential lawsuits, damaged credit scores, and other financial ramifications.

4) Negative Impact on Credit Score

As we touched on, a strategy by some exit companies is to encourage timeshare owners to stop making payments on their timeshares, assuring them that this will lead to a foreclosure and, consequently, an exit. While foreclosure might seem like a way out, it comes with a significant downside – a severe negative impact on the owner's credit score. This can affect their ability to secure loans, mortgages, hurt job prospects or even rent a home in the future.

5) Lost Opportunities for Genuine Exit Strategies

Believing in the promises of timeshare exit companies can deter owners from seeking genuine solutions such as selling timeshares. Some resorts and timeshare companies may offer "deed back" programs or other ways for owners to amicably end their timeshare obligations. By relying on exit companies, owners might miss out on these more straightforward, less expensive options.

6) Misinformation and Fear Tactics

Many timeshare exit companies rely on promoting misinformation to lure in clients. They might exaggerate the financial implications of owning a timeshare or use fear tactics to emphasize the "risks" of not exiting the contract. This not only misleads the owners but also creates undue stress, pushing them to make hasty decisions.

7) The Emotional Toll

The process of trying to exit a timeshare can be emotionally difficult. Owners may already be frustrated with their timeshare situation, and when an exit company fails to deliver on its promises, it compounds the stress and disappointment. Engaging with these companies, especially if they turn out to be scams, can lead to feelings of betrayal and hopelessness.

8) Overlooking Other Viable Options

Apart from the "deed back" programs mentioned earlier, there are other ways to exit or mitigate the costs of a timeshare. For instance, owners can sell or rent out their timeshares. Keep in mind that there are no guarantees with deed back programs as there are several conditions that must be met before a resort will consider taking back a timeshare. By focusing solely on exit companies, owners might overlook these more viable and less risky options.

9) Lack of Transparency

One of the most noteworthy issues with timeshare exit companies is their lack of transparency. They often have convoluted contract terms, which can be challenging for the average person to understand. This lack of clear information puts the owner at a disadvantage, leading to unexpected costs and extended contract durations.

10) Limited Accountability

Many timeshare exit companies are not licensed or affiliated with an industry association. This means that if things go awry, there's little to no recourse for the timeshare owner. Without a governing body or industry standards, these companies can operate with minimal oversight, leaving room for unethical practices.

11) Long Exit Durations

While exit companies might promise quick resolutions, many timeshare owners find that the exit process drags on for months or even years. During this time, the owner is still responsible for their timeshare's maintenance fees and other associated costs. Enforcing so-called money back guarantees are delayed for years as these companies stall the process under the guise of working with the resorts, most of which do not work with exit companies. 

12) Possible Damage to Relationship with Resort

Using timeshare exit companies can lead to potential conflicts with the timeshare resort or company. If the exit company uses aggressive or rogue tactics, it could sour the relationship between the owner and the timeshare company, making future negotiations or resolutions more difficult.

13) Misrepresentation of the Process

While many timeshare exit firms claim that they have a 100% success rate, this is rarely the case. The actual process involves negotiating with the timeshare company, which often do not work with these companies or do not agree to the terms proposed by the exit company. Many owners find themselves back at square one, albeit with lighter pockets, after the exit company fails to deliver.

14) Lack of Personalized Service

Every timeshare ownership situation is unique, whether with its terms and conditions or the personal needs of the individual owner. However, most timeshare exit companies employ a one-size-fits-all approach, which might not suit every individual's situation. This generic approach can lead to unresolved issues and complications later.

Time to Explore a Legitimate Exit Option

While the allure of a quick and simple exit from an unwanted timeshare is tempting, it's essential to approach the situation with caution and due diligence. The risks associated with using a timeshare exit company, from high costs to potential scams, often outweigh the benefits.

If you find yourself wanting to exit your timeshare, it's advisable to explore other legitimate avenues such as selling your timeshare without any upfront fees. Remember, in a world rife with quick-fix solutions, it's always best to take a step back and assess all options before making a decision.

We asked a question at the start that still applies here. Why would you want to pay someone thousands of dollars to hand over your timeshare when you can sell it and make some money back from your initial purchase?

SellaTimeshare.com can help you put your timeshare up for sale and sell it on the resale market. With no upfront fees to pay, our automated, self-service system creates an advertisement for you based on the information you provide. Then, the licensed agents from our sister company, Timeshare Broker Associates, will give you the support you need to make a successful sale.

Need more information about how to sell your timeshare? Get details here.

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