Marriott Surf Club Aruba – International Foreclosures
We received the following comment from one of our users:
“Help–I haven’t paid my maintenance fees or renewal fees since October. I cannot afford it anymore since my husband passed away…I spoke with a rep who stated it was international and would not affect my credit too much, my name would just be in the back of the newspaper. Then another rep said the complete opposite. The sad part is I didn’t owe too much more but now with late fees it adds up. Please help me find a reputable person to take this off my plate!”
As with any other timeshare contract that has passed its rescission period, you have three options that will not affect your credit score: sell, transfer, or donate. You can read more about each of those options here. If you are unable to sell, transfer, or donate your timeshare and do not keep up with maintenance or renewal fees, you are at risk of foreclosure. At this point you might try pursuing a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, which will not affect your credit score as severely as a foreclosure would. It is ultimately up to Aruba law and the timeshare company if they will accept a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
An international timeshare situation will be a bit different than a timeshare in the U.S. because while most U.S. states have laws that strictly regulate timeshares, those laws to do not apply to a timeshare in a foreign country. Remember that there are likely different legal requirements for selling, transferring, or donating a timeshare in countries outside of the continental U.S as well. Be aware, however, that if your international timeshare is foreclosed on, it will still hurt your credit score. Consequences of foreclosure are the same regardless of where the property was located. If you find yourself stuck in this situation, it is best to contact an attorney who is familiar with the laws that govern timeshares in that particular country to avoid any miscommunication or legal troubles.
As one added point, the statute of limitations are different by jurisdiction as well making foreign court applications even more difficult. For example, a deficiency is an unsecured debt. The statute of limitations on unsecured debt in California is 4 years but 2 years in Alberta. So, if they ask the court in Alberta to honour a judgement after 2 years, they may not because the statute of limitations has past if the debtor contests it.
Also, a judgement never guarantees the creditor will recover funds either. This risk alone makes many International creditors back off of going through the process unless the amount owed is 6 figures or more. A few thousand owed in maintenance fees just isn’t worth it.
It should be noted that credit files are national in nature, not international. For example, a Canadian credit file is on a different database than US regardless of whether the companies are based in the US and Canada (like Transunion, equifax). This is because the rules of Credit Reporting are different with each country. So defaulting in the US most likely will not affect your Canadian Credit. There are a few exceptions. If, for example, you were sued in a US Court and there was a judgement, they would need to file this judgement in the Canadian Courts. This is a lengthy and expensive process and usually involves three to four court systems. For example, if the judgement came out of California and the debtor is in Alberta, Canada, the creditor needs to file in Idaho, Washington or Montana and then apply to the Court in Alberta to honour the judgement. If the Canadian Court recognizes the US judgement, they file a judgement here and then it would show up on your Canadian Credit File.
More than likely, they would not go through the time and expense of getting their judgement transferred to another country because of the massive legal costs involved.
His tactics will help you catch more fish.