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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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About 10 years or so ago, my husband and I bought a

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Hello, About 10 years or so ago, my husband and I bought a TimeShare from Erie Islands Resorts in Port Clinton, Ohio. We never used the facilities but made all the payments and maintenance fees. When we moved to Georgia we decided we would not likely ever use it so we tried to sell it back to Erie Islands. They said they did not do that. Then we paid a company allegedly an expert at selling timeshares, $2000 to help us sell it; no luck either. Now Erie Islands is telling us that they changed their policy and our $135 annual fees will be going up to $700 or more per year. We never had a choice in the matter so we called. In order to get out from having to pay the $700 per year, they want us to pay them over $4000 to avoid paying the annual fees and turn over ownership to them. When we told them that we weren't going to pay it because we did not have the money, they threatened to send us to collections and use other legal means. Since my husband is on disability, they offered us an out for $2850. Even though this is less, it doesn't seem right that after having paid $14K and years of maintenance and upgrade fees, we now have to "buy it again." We just want to unload this albatross and get out from under Erie Islands. Buying this timeshare was the worst decision we ever made. Can you help us? My number is(###) ###-#### Thank you. Jeanette & Robert
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

A few minutes please as I look into this.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Thanks for your patience.
So one would need to read the contract to see what the provisions are for raising maintenance fees. Often times, the timeshare, when the local real estate market becomes more valuable, will hike up the fees so that the current owners will "sell back" their timeshare, and then the corporation gets to sell the timeshare again, at a higher price, basically a windfall to the timeshare corp.

Normally when a timeshare corp accepts a deed in lieu of foreclosure there are minimal fees (for transferring ownership);

There are some charities that will accept timeshares and that can result in a tax benefit. One needs to be very careful when hiring resellers of timeshares as often that money is never seen again.

Advisory re: resellers: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/Newsletters/Consumer-Advocate/May-2015/Scammers-May-Target-Timeshare-Owners

http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/Newsletters/Consumer-Advocate/June-2013/Selling-your-Timeshare-Watch-for-Scams

Here is a case where the plaintiffs were attempting to get certification for a class action lawsuit: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/6/2014/2014-ohio-4970.pdf

You may want to contact the attorney of record to find out the current status of the case- ie whether it was certified and if one may join the action.

BBB offers free mediation - here: http://www.bbb.org/toledo/business-reviews/hotels/erie-islands-resort-and-marina-in-port-clinton-oh-2515/complaints#

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