What Happens if I Stop Paying My Timeshare?


Timeshare foreclosure and your credit scoreThis question comes up a lot on timeshare forums and blogs, and it can be complicated depending on the exact procedures outlined in your particular contract. There are a few main points that stay the same regardless of whether you have a deeded timeshare or right-to-use, and whether or not you have paid off the entire amount of the timeshare. The following is a description of the steps that will take place if you decide to throw in the towel and allow your timeshare to go into default, leading to timeshare foreclosure.

Timeshare is treated equal to real estate in the eyes of the law, and it follows the same rules and regulations as a homeowners deed. Your timeshare can foreclose in the same way as your home if you stop making payments – and this does not just mean payments on the principal balance, it also includes yearly maintenance fees. After your first missed payment, whether it be a monthly payment on the principal balance or your maintenance fees, you will start receiving calls from your timeshare resort’s collection company attempting to collect a payment. You will also receive information by mail detailing the amount due, including any applicable late fees, and their intentions on reporting your delinquency to the IRS.

The harassing telephone calls and letters will continue if you choose to not pay the balance due on your timeshare, and after anywhere from 6-24 months (this is dependent on the procedure of your resort company) your timeshare company will begin foreclosure proceedings on your timeshare. Timeshare companies will try to avoid this at all costs because a foreclosure means they have to take the property back and pay legal fees for the proper paperwork to be processed. I have heard instances of resorts offering to lower the amount due on the principal, changing contacts to make maintenance fees due only every 2 years, adding extra perks into your vacation package such as extended stays, rental cars, airfare, and sometimes even offering to forgive the amount owed if the two parties can reach a suitable agreement for payments to continue.

What happens if I stop paying for timesharesIf your timeshare does go all the way through the foreclosure proceedings you will be notified by mail that your deeded timeshare will be part of a trustee’s sale or public auction. At the given date, time and place your timeshare will be sold at a sheriff’s auction to the highest bidder. The auction is public record and the transaction can be recorded and reported to the IRS and credit bureaus, effectively ruining your credit for the next 7 years. This strike on your credit score can make it difficult to finance a car, obtain a loan or even buy a home. Since timeshares rarely sell at auction for the amount owed on the deed, the timeshare resort company has the option to take legal action and sue you for the remaining balance owed.  Read more on timeshare foreclosure and credit scores in the post – Timeshare Foreclosures and Your Credit Score

Timeshares can be hard to wiggle out of, but most anything is better than letting the property foreclose and take a major hit on your credit score – especially if you are anticipating a major purchase in the near future. Timeshare foreclosure should be your last resort if there is absolutely no way you can make the monthly or yearly payments. It is wise to contact your timeshare resort if you are having financial difficulties and anticipate missing a payment, some properties will even offer to take your timeshare back under some circumstances; some resorts will also offer a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. You will also want to check out possibly donating your timeshare if the principal amount is paid off in full – this is not an option if you still owe money on a loan.

Helpful Timeshare Foreclosure Links:

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure for Timeshare –  http://rcivip.com/deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure-for-timeshare/

Timeshare Foreclosure and Your Credit Score – http://rcivip.com/timeshare-foreclosures-and-your-credit-score/

Alternative Timeshare Sales Options – http://rcivip.com/alternative-timeshare-sales-options/

1,890 Responses to “What Happens if I Stop Paying My Timeshare?”

  1. Marc DeLong says:

    Hey guys I’m hoping you can help me or reassure me of my situation, here goes!

    In august 2014 during my honeymoon in Hawaii I went to Wyndham and the wife and I was fed unicorns and rainbows until we gave in. We purchased a timeshare for $13k on a payment plan if paid 1k up front… They really wolf of Wall Street us looking back on their tactics and all the lies we were fed… Unfortunately when I came back from my honeymoon I did some research and discovered it was a scam… I found this page back then and did what bald spot recommends and not give them a single cent :) it is now in collections who want 4k to give the deed back to them. They told me they have 60 days to work something out with me before it goes into foreclosure process… I really could care less about my credit and it’s taken a hit because of this (was to be expected) but I refuse to feed a scam as we all work so hard for our money to feed into a scam. Now I guess what I’m asking in my situation luckily only being out 1k, do I continue to stop paying or try and work it out with the collections.. I am kinda weiry of them freezing accounts to collect a debt and so on. I’ve heard instances of this happening.. After the 60 days with collections and I continue to not pay and goes through the foreclosure process what penalties will I incur and is that the best course of action? Please somebody hit me with some knowledge! Thanks guys!!!

  2. Jan says:

    Our situation is a little different, we bought a timeshare and have used 10 weeks. We were late on our maintenance fee and did not receive any notice other than an email (in the spam folder) and a letter in the mail (not certified) saying we had to pay in 30 days
    When we paid online our payment did not process. when I inquired with the customer service they said our contract was cancelled. Can they do this when our 40 weeks are paid in full and we have only used 10?

  3. Alex says:

    I have already paid the principal loan all I have is maintenance fees every other year I want to stop making maintenance payments how do I know if that will not ruin my credit? Please help! Thank you.

  4. Krishnapriya says:

    Can I will my timeshare to anyone? Does it automatically go to the children?

  5. steve williams says:

    i also bought a time share in orange lake florida and cant afford it anymore. i live in montreal canada and if i understand correctly,if i stop paying and endure the 6 months of harrasing calls thats it? ill get out of it?

  6. Jean Shank says:

    My timeshares have been paid off for years. I have one with Williamsburg Plantation which is reasonable maintenance fees. The one I have with Diamond Resorts is horrible maintenance fees, not only to I get a bill from them but also the resort also. My husband passed away and it is just too difficult for me to pay these fees anymore. I stopped paying Diamond Resort in January when my fees were due. Now, they are threatening me with collection, that fast. If anyone can give mr advice, I would like the help.

  7. Sarah says:

    I am truly sorry you all are going through this pain with your timeshares. I ALMOST got scammed as well. I had signed and paid in full with a credit card. Luckily I read the entire contract when I got back to my hotel to discover all the future costs and the amount of time to rescind and realized this adds up to much more than I am willing to spend on vacations regularly plus the hassle of the timeshare possibly not being available when I want to vacation. They even tried to tell me I couldn’t rescind but I knew better and I also alerted my credit card immediately and they were happy to assist in the event the credit did not get applied back to my account. I too know the importance of having a good credit rating as I have both credit and collection knowledge AND experience but I have to agree with Robert, Baldspot and bill. Don’t keep throwing good money into a costly and worthless timeshare. Unfortunately your credit will suffer for those who are young and need it but set the money aside to use for a larger down payment on a house if you plan to buy one. Banks still make loans to those with lower credit scores but require larger down payments and also charge higher interest rates to get the deal to go through but at least you can still own a home and refinance for a lower interest rate once your credit score increases. Here are some suggestions:

    1) STOP paying ANYTHING to the timeshare agency or collection agencies but expect to continue to receive collection calls and letters. DO NOT agree to pay anything or offer to pay anything. Not 1 cent.

    2.) Check the statutes of limitations for your state and the state you signed the agreement. Once the SOL runs out, they cannot collect. Even the IRS cannot collect a past debt if they have not collected anything within 10 years. (I just found this out recently.) Of course, the IRS could place liens on any property you own and confiscate them which would most likely happen before the 10 yrs expired plus they can garnish your wages. But once you make a payment, the SOL starts from that date like the previous posts have mentioned prolonging your pain and agony. For those of you living in other countries, you will have to check you own laws. Sorry.

    2)Write a letter to BOTH the timeshare company and the collection agency. Here is a possible sample letter as some of you have requested:

    “I have been unsuccessful in getting to use my timeshare because it is never available. I also have knowledge that the resorts are renting the rooms to people off the street or online before the owners of the timeshare has an opportunity to book their vacations. In fact, I am requesting a refund of all monies paid to this point plus interest.” (that will rock their world. :))

    (The comment about the resorts renting the rooms to people off the streets vs the timeshare owners is indeed a true statement as I was at a resort in Florida with a friend of mine who has a timeshare through Bluegreen and observed this firsthand. I personally asked the desk clerk why it was so difficult to find available rooms at the resorts and also why the ocean view rooms we requested never seem to be honored and she said they had no availability. But yet there were ocean view rooms VACANT while we were there!!! That is precisely why TS owners never get to book the resort or receive the rooms of their choosing. Why???? Because they keep these rooms available for non-timeshare owners and possible prospects so they can make more money. So not only are the resorts making money off of people that purchased the timeshares, they are doubling their money by renting the room that you have already paid for through your TS ownership to someone else. Is that messed up or what?? Correct me if I’m wrong, but this could be the legal loophole you all need to get out of your contracts. Of course, you would have to anonymously visit a timeshare, along with a witness, for your own proof not just take my word for it. If you have to, knock on the door of someone occupying an ocean view room and ask them if they have a timeshare there. If they say yes, you can ask if they had to pay more. If they ask why you are asking, tell them you are considering purchasing a TS and wanted to talk to current owners firsthand before you make a decision. If they say no, then you can apologize and leave. Keep in mind, they may be there for a seminar to BUY a timeshare and that is why they are in that room. But that will be proof enough. That’s how they trick people into buying a TS in the first place by giving them the best room so they think they will receive the same treatment once they buy but in reality, TS holders get treated worse than someone who booked the resort online or walked in off the street. If the ocean view room is booked by a TS holder, they cannot offer new prospects a free nights stay in their best room if they attend the seminar, now can they???)Think about it…

    3.) If your credit is already ruined because you have stopped paying already and you qualify, use the money to hire a lawyer and file bankruptcy. BUT, depending on your contract with the TS, you may still be responsible for maintenance fees that accrue after your filing. MEET WITH A BANKRUPTCY LAWYER BEFORE you decide on this option. He will need to review your contract to see if you will receive full relief and advise accordingly. Some TS are deeded, and some are only considered as lease or personal property interest. AGAIN, please get legal advise before you go this route and you shouldn’t have to pay the attorney unless you are indeed going to file.

    4.) Lastly, with all the social media available, post comments on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and ask them to share your posts, making others aware NOT to EVER buy a timeshare. Be sure to visit the timeshares website frequently and post comments about how you’ve Best of luck to you all in getting out of this situation.

    • Ed says:

      I have a bluegreen TS that is paid off and that I don’t use. I’m retired and don’t plan on ever applying for a loan so am not concerned about my credit rating. If I stop paying the maintenance fees and force them to foreclose, can they put a lien on my home or take money from my bank account? I also don’t usually get a refund from the IRS.

      • Trysta says:

        Did you get an answer to this question? We have a Bluegreen property as well and need advice. The maintenance fees are doubling each year and we can’t afford it. Definitely not what wr signed up for. Biggest financial mistake we have ever made.

  8. BaldSpot says:

    You can read below several of my posts where I explained how I quit paying my maintenance fee and eventually I was released from my contract without paying a single penny. That’s the only way to go as far as I am concerned.

    However, for those of you who are faint of heart, there MAY be another way. The bad news – it will cost you some money. (I don’t know how much.) The good news – they claim you don’t pay anything until they actually release you from your contract.

    This is not your typical scam where they take your money and then promise to sell your timeshare some day. Timeshare Exit Team does not sell your timeshare. They do something with the timeshare company that releases you from the contract.

    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you ever pay BEFORE your contract is cancelled or sold!

    Somebody who is too scared to quit paying on your timeshare – go check out this Timeshare Exit Team and post here what you learn. We all want to know.

    • BaldSpot says:

      I went to their website. This is what they say:

      Program Details

      A client manager will be personally assigned to each timeshare owner. The owner will be contacted directly via telephone within 1-4 days of signing up to set up a consultation with a client manager. A case file will be prepared which includes purchase contracts/agreements, an interview from the timeshare owner, and an authorization letter (among other pertinent materials needed to cancel the timeshare contract).

      The client manager will consult and advise the owner on strategy and direction taken to terminate the existing relationship with the resort. They will also explain to the timeshare owner how the process works, when they will be able to stop making payments to their resort, and when the ownership will be canceled. We guarantee the ownership will be canceled. We maintain a 100% track record to uphold our guarantee.

  9. Lois says:

    I stopped paying maintenance fees on a timeshare at Vistana (Florida). Eventually, they asked if I wanted to do a Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure…. which I jumped at. They were very civilized about it, and it was simple to have notarized and send back. I don’t know if it’s on my credit report, but my credit score is still excellent.

  10. ken swedroe says:

    we can’t afford our Westgate timeshare anymore. i have had two major surgeries in 2014, and we will not be using Westgate anymore. we don’t know if hiring a layer would be the best thing to do. our timeshare has been handed over to a collection agency. they wouldn’t let us sell it, or help us in anyway. they told my wife they would foreclose on our house, which was a lie.

  11. G.Perez says:

    G.P. says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    January 17, 2015 at 11:22 am

    GP: Asks What Happens Under California Law?
    Hello, we bought a time share in the Lake Tahoe area many years ago, since this is in California I would like to know what happens if I stop paying the yearly maintenance fee which now has climbed to over $400.00 . I am retired and living on my pension and SSI. The Time Share was paid in full many years ago. The main point I would like to point out is they never made it clear about the maintenance fee nor did they make it clear regarding the rescinding time. I don’t want to give another dime to these crooks. We used the time share once many years ago. Any help or information would be most grateful.
    Would appreciate a reply from Baldspot, or Robert and Ron?

  12. Mattierue says:

    Bought a HGVC Timeshare a few years back at a Vegas property. Stopped paying for 4 months after letting them I would do so, and received my Deed in lieu of foreclosure . Live in Canada so this probably expedited the process. Thought I would share. Simply stop paying if you can’t afford no longer.

  13. Linda says:

    Hi, I just bought a timeshare in Westgate on December 2014 and I tried canceling and they didn’t accept it because it was after the recession period. Reading over state laws it says I would need to pay a deficiency when it’s foreclosed. Can they put a lien on a house? I feel like the salesperson did something’s against Nevada state law when doing the sale. I am planning to not pay it. My husband didn’t put his social, can they go after him? I live in NY so I’m unfamiliar. Should I hire an attorney? Everyone is telling me I should but I don’t want to. I wouldn’t want it to hit my credit because I’m planning to buy an apartment this year. Please if anyone is familiar or bumped on to this please let me know.

  14. Jun says:

    We purchased a Sampler Package at Diamond Resort last July 2014 in Las Vegas worth $2800. After a month, we tried to cancel it but they refuse. Aside from the $330 dollar down payment, we haven’t paid them anything yet. We live in Toronto Canada, will our credit score be affected if we continue to ignore their calls and letters?

  15. Judy says:

    In October 2012, my boyfriend and I booked a land/cruise vacation to Ft. Lauderdale and the Bahamas, based on an enticing phone call for a low-cost vacation. WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER! Once we arrived in FLL, we were quickly told we would not get our cruise tickets unless we went on a 45-minute TS tour through Vacation Village Resorts. As we had no choice, we attended the TS tour at Mizner Place in Weston, Fl. The resort was beautiful and the unit was gorgeous. We were told the 2BR units went for up to $40K but we were able to get a bankruptcy resale unit for ONLY $10K, with a $1500 deposit and a monthly mortgage payment of $194. The bi-annual MF is approx. $800.00. So, caught up like many other people, I’m ashamed to admit that we eventually got suckered into purchasing this 2BR lockout even year unit for week 39 (not a good week but what did we know), which we couldn’t use it until 2014. After almost 2yrs of monthly payments, we finally went to our TS in Sept. 2014, using only the A-side, and locking off the B-side unit and depositing it with RCI for a week’s future use. While we were there, we were invited to a special breakfast, which ended up being yet another TS proposal to upgrade to the RCI points system. We had been toying with the idea of selling it back to the resort, as we were not able to use it like we thought and not getting our money’s worth. Truth be told, we could have paid for any vacation for what this was costing us per year. We were informed that selling it back was not an option as it was not paid off in full. They told us that by changing over to the points system, we would have many more options to use it or trade for another resort. We were trapped and felt like we had no choice but to try to work with it by changing to the points system. Reluctantly, we upgraded to points, changing to prime week 13, at an additional cost of $700, which increased our monthly mortgage payment to $287. Since then my boyfriend lost his job and his unemployment insurance just ran out, no extensions either. My salary just doesn’t cover all of our monthly expenses, much less this useless TS expense. I am so miserable that we ever bought this albatross. IS IT TRUE I COULD JUST STOP PAYING ALL TOGETHER? We do realize that we would be in default of the mortgage. I’m not thrilled with having my credit ruined for 10 yrs, as we eventually wanted to try to buy real property. But saving almost $4300 a yr in payments over 10 yrs is a nice down payment for a future purchase. We don’t own anything so I’m not worried about having any assets seized. Could my salary be garnished by a court order to pay? PLEASE HELP US!!! WE NEED TO GET RID OF THIS BALL & CHAIN AROUND OUR NECKS!!!

  16. Ana L says:

    What will happen if I stop paying my timeshare, both monthly payments and maintenance fees If I don’t live in the USA and have no form of credit whatsoever there? I only have a checking account at Citibank from which they charge all the fees. I live in Venezuela and we are going through a very hard finantial crisis that has sent exchange rates to the roof and we can’t afford to pay them anymore. We bought a timeshare with Westgates resorts in 2013 in Orlando Florida. Our first maintenance fee is due this month. I am very worried about this, please, any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you

  17. karen says:

    I’ve read all the post, and still I’am confused. Has anyone been able to get out of a ts without ruining their credit? This seems so crazy. I have a ts share with diamond resorts. They totally lied to me. Dealing with the company has been a nightmare. I could go on and on, but I just want out. I would love so sound advice on what I should do. thanks. If I get any good info. I will pass it on.

  18. Barbara James says:

    I bought a time share from Avalon – which is now defunct and the CEO convicted and incarcerated. A new company, MIA, has contacted me to let me know they now “own” the timeshare. I have emailed them and requested information in writing – like who they are and what their address is, etc., but they do not respond. I get phone calls, but I refuse to take them and have repeatedly informed MIA I will only communicate by email or written mail, so as to retain a record of my correspondence. My timeshare is paid, but I do not wish to continue paying maintenance fees. I just want them/it to go away. Am I obligated to some new company with whom I do not have a contract, to pay them fees?

  19. Justice504 says:

    I bought a timeshare for Florida almost 20 years ago and paid principal off in full 11 years ago. I recently applied to refinance home. And have not paid them any maintenance fees or 1 cent since. After credit check by bank, I learned the resort placed a balance with one credit reporting agency as a foreclosure late LAST YEAR. That is 10 YEARS after my last payment to pay off the mortgage. My credit is perfect with the other 2 reporting agencies. The guy at the bank said that I cannot get a loan at the low rates which would save me tons of money and allow me to pay off home mortgage in less years. Because of this one ding listed seemingly erroneously as a foreclosure. There must be a law about the time they they have to report the maintenance fees to agencies. Please help with advice. Thanks.

  20. zhenqi says:

    I purchased a Wyndham 105K annual points timshare for $21K and $54/month maintenance fee on 10/16/2014 in Las Vegas, with some bonus points and free vacation days. Here are the lies that were told to me:
    1) It only costs about 30,000 points to purchase an return international travel ticket.
    – after I checked with the saleman 10 days later through email, he mentioned to me that I was confused with some RCI international fee rate – which was never even mentioned in the presentation. What I found was that 105K cannot even purchase one-half of a domestic ticket.
    2) 10-15 days of vacation stays in any Wyndham resorts, anytime, any location.
    – What I found out later is that 105K cannot even get to 3 to 5 days for 1BR in most Wyndham locations. When I emailed and asked about it, the saleman’s answer was 10-15 days can be achieved through RCI, which was not told to me.
    3) Can rent the vacation days out
    – which I heard later is not true.
    4) Can use Wyndham Visa card reward points from paying routine house bills to pay off maintenance fee ($54 per month).
    – later I found I would have to spend roughly $5,000 per month to get there.
    5) Was not told the 5-day cancellation period
    – later I found out it was written in the contract

    I have not made any payment yet. There was a no-interest 6 month downpayment of $7,200 through paypal and a financing plan of 120 payments at 13% (roughly). They also said that this financing can be changed to another plan with a much lower interest when they asked me if I had good credit which I answered yes.

    Would appreciate any advice here. Thanks.

  21. Debbie says:

    Wow! I’m so glad to have found this sight!!! I agree with Bald Spot and Robert! TS is the biggest waste of money and impossible to get rid of! My husband and I had 3 timeshares, and in 2009 we were able to unload one them to Diamond Resort for one of theirs. No actual property, just points. We were paying somewhere around $257. a month on a $10,000. loan. Every year the maintenance fees would double! In 2012 we quit paying on the loan and maintenance fees. They called atleast 20 times a day, sent letters, etc. We never answered the calls and ignored the letters. It definitely went on our credit report, but since we weren’t going to be making any major purchases in the next few years, we felt it’s better to just let them ding our credit and start rebuilding our credit scores. Our credit scores are in the 700’s. We were even able to just refinance our house, and the timeshare had no affect. We are so glad we walked away! What made us walk away from Diamond Resort was the story on Undercover Boss. They showed the owner driving his vet, his huge mansion, etc. I was furious! Then he pays off one of his employees debts to the tune of $50,000!!! Who paid for all that, and IS paying for it??? We the gullable timeshare owners!!! On the down side, we still own a TS at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando, FL. We have a deed on that property, so we are kind of leary as to what may happen. Things are really shakey at my husbands work, and just decreased his salary by $900. a month. Our ts payments are $317.25 a month. Any body out there walked away from Orange Lake and what happened, and what we can expect should we walk away? I will say, our maintenance fees are still under $1,000. a year. Diamond Resort was almost that in the few short years we owned with them. Please feel free to comment!

  22. Sgtaline says:

    I am brazilian and bought a time share of Westgate Resort in Florida in June of this year. I paid 1,5k dollars, the total value was 10,5k dollars; last saturday I called to aks the debt and for my surprise It was 9,750. Then I got desesperated to get out of it. The taxes and fees are incredble high and plus my mom got sick and we are spending a lot of Money on her treatment.
    I am affraid to stop paying and be not allowed to get in USA again, would that be possible?
    What about if someday my company send me to live in USA, anyone knows if I could be “blocked” to live in USA or would I have problems to get my Social Security?
    What about Brazil? Can they issue me down here?
    I appretiate comments and help.

  23. Annette says:

    Hi, I have owned a timeshare week at Westgate Resorts in Orlando since 2007. It was paid off in full at the time and I now only pay the yearly maintenance fee which is around 1000 dollars a year. What will happen if I stop paying these fees as I no longer want to be any part of a timeshare. Do they eventually stop hassling you for the money? As I live in the UK will it affect my credit rating in the UK? and do you think I will be refused entry to the USA because my name will be on a bad USA credit rating list? Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you.

  24. Nathan Rogers says:

    I got a timeshare at Kahana beach resort in 2007 . I live in Arizona and I cannot pay the remaining amount owed and the maintenance fees as I have lost my job and owe the IRS a considerable amount of money. What do I do? I don’t own any property and I have an old truck. What happens if I can’t pay them any more?

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