U.K. Credit Scores With U.S. Timeshare Property
One of our users left the following comment on our “What Happens If I Stop Paying My Timeshare?” article:
“Hello, Really need some advice please. We live in England & have been pressured into buying a timeshare in Tennessee while on holiday in Vegas. Timeshare company that miss sold to us is Eldorado Resorts (based at Grand view hotel, vegas). They gave us misleading info & everytime we said no, we couldn’t afford it, they would push harder until we caved in & was escorted to where you sign. Awful experience.
We have paid the fee in full, on the day as they got us to take out a loan (although we now have debt on our credit card). We are willing to take a loss on this money but want the contract cancelled & no one seems able to help (UK solicitors, USA solicitors etc).
Does anyone have any ideas? If we stop paying annual maintenance fees, will debt collectors be able to take the very little money we do have? Or even our home? Will this affect UK credit scores? Will the timeshare people have to foreclose if we don’t pay maintenance? We are so worried, any advice would be appreciated.”
Timeshare laws can be tricky to grasp understanding of, especially if your timeshare property is located in a different country than where you live! Unfortunately, your timeshare is at risk of foreclosure if you do not pay maintenance fees. If you neglect to do so, the timeshare resort or management company will likely come after you with threatening calls and letters. If you still do not pay, you may be turned over to a collections agency. It is likely that your credit score in the U.K. will be affected to some degree if the foreclosure goes through, because the U.K. uses 2 of the 3 credit reporting agencies that the U.S. does. However, according to TATOC, the largest consumer-representative body for timeshare owners in Europe, “Whatever such companies may say – bailiffs cannot call at your house or take any actions against your property or finances unless a court case has been successfully brought against you and you have failed to comply with the actions demanded by the court. And remember – the only official notice of legal action against you is the one you receive from the court.”
It is wise, however, not to let your situation reach this point. If you are having trouble paying your fees (or simply don’t want to), it is best to consult your resort directly to see if you can work something out. As with any other timeshare contract that has passed its rescission period, you do have options that will not affect your credit score: sell, transfer, or donate. It may also be a good idea to contact a qualified attorney in Tennessee who deals with timeshare foreclosures if you have any further questions.
Actually, some of the above is not quite accurate. Credit files are national so typically a US timeshare can affect only a US credit file. They can go after a foreign credit file but the process is very cumbersome. And can be expensive. Also, if they do try to domesticate the debt issue, it can be disputed and usually successfully plus opens the doors to file suit in the foreign country. This would make the resort incur massive costs to defend. They just have to hope the person they are attacking don’t fight back and that’s a risk many don’t want to take. From experiences, Resorts foreclose and move on because the costs of dealing internationally is so expensive.
In my opinion from experience, resorts try to collect as efficiently and cost effective as possible. If they believe that instituting actions outside of the country is too expensive, they back down. They realistically won’t risk a lot of capital just to force a few thousand dollar collection. Plus, they in essence, control the property so foreclosing and reselling at retail recovers costs much more effectively.