Thursday, February 15, 2007

Consumer Tip: Timeshare Purchases

As many Southern California residents know, the developers of the Tahiti Village resort in Las Vegas have aggressively marketed sales of timeshare opportunities in Las Vegas. Consolidated Resorts, Inc. ("CRI") has been advertising free trips to Las Vegas. While this is a very high quality resort, consumers should be aware of the potential risks of purchasing a timeshare.

Timeshares typically have a very low resale value. In this case, CRI offered my wife and I a floating week in a 2-bedroom unit called the Royal Tahitian at prices ranging from $39,000 to $55,000. We eventually settled on purchasing a week in a 1-bedroom unit call the Moorea (580 square feet). Upon our return home, I found Royal Tahitian units for sale by current Tahiti Village owners for as little as $13,000. We promptly decided to cancel our purchase.

Nevada law allows a 5-day "cooling off" period for timeshare purchases. We elected to cancel our purchase and faxed a letter to CRI on the 5th day. Staff from CRI called to acknowledge receipt of the cancellation but stated that the cancellation notice must be given by certified mail. Although we did not read any such requirement in our documents, we complied as requested.

When purchasing a timeshare, be very careful to read all of the fine print and do your market research first. You might be paying far too much by purchasing from a timeshare developer and cancellation notices not given in the proper manner could com back to haunt you. Not every state has a "cooling off" period for timeshare purchases, so carefully read the documentation you are provided.

About the Author: Carl H. Starrett II has been a licensed attorney since 1993 and is a member in good standing with the California State Bar and the San Diego County Bar Association. Mr. Starrett practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation, construction, corporate planning and debt collection.


Anonymous said...

I am trying to get out of my contract because i felt that the Tahiti Sales Rep and the Finance guy were not honest about the way the timeshare would work. We have tried to book stays there to no avail. I am willing to let this foreclose at this point because i won't pay for something i can't use. Their lawyers have sent letters and i don't know what to say to them...any advice?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - Consolidated has breached the No renting policy. Consolidated has been renting out our units. Thus if a NON-owner is using your unit, you can not. Currently I have 20 owners that are fed up with company and willing to fight them.

If you want to join us email me - Fred Rose,