Yes, it is true. If you are a foreigner and purchased a timeshare in Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, you can EASILY Get rid of your timeshare. You do not have to pay a timeshare cancellation or exit service, or a timeshare attorney. You can do it on your own without any legal or credit issues.
Anyone who tells you otherwise, usually wants you to pay them for their service. From the emails that I receive, some are paying up to $10,000 to get rid of their unwanted timeshares, and some still have them.
My logic is, "If they know how to do it, you can certainly do it yourself," and here are a few reasons why.
If you purchase a timeshare in the Caribbean Islands, you don’t own anything. You are buying air with no guarantees.
If it is an all inclusive resort, You must pay for their overpriced all-inclusive food and beverage on top of your maintenance fees, if there is one. This is usually the same deal that the general public pays without a membership.
Moreover, sales reps might have stated that you will receive discounts on airfare and other travel services to justify the costs. In too many cases, this is untrue. You do not get better discounts than the general public, if you conduct a proper search.
Do the comparison yourself. Make sure you consider your original purchase price, closing costs and the all inclusive fees, etc. If you can't get in your resort as a member, you can certainly get in through any online website as a non member for the same or lessor price.
Moreover, there should be no maintenance fees as you are not part owner of the property. It's just a club membership, and surprisingly, most travel club companies do not own the property, but merely lease some of the rooms. They are a completely separate entity from the resort. Read your paperwork.
2. Foreign Timeshare Contracts Are Only Legal Where They Were Signed
If the contract was signed in Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, and the company is located there, the contract is only good in that country. If everything is outside of the U.S. or Canada, there is nothing they can do to your credit.
If you read through the documents, it will disclose to you that the jurisdiction for that contract is in that country, or an offshore location. What this means is that for them to initiate any legal proceedings, (WHICH THEY WILL NOT), it must be in that "governed" jurisdiction and only that governed jurisdiction.
"Wayne Robinson is a former timeshare sales agent and executive who worked throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. He is an absolute expert in foreign bought timeshares." - Irene Parker, Volunteer Timeshare Advocate, Inside Timeshare
3. Travel Clubs Are Not Timeshares
If you review your documents, you do not own a timeshare, but a right to use product or a travel club. Most of these “travel clubs” do not own any of the resorts and hide behind the image of brand name resorts, i.e. SECRETS. They simply lease some of the rooms. You own nothing but air.
A timeshare is "deeded" property. This is not deeded, but just a membership.
Many operate without business licenses in the countries in which they sell, and the timeshare sales and marketing reps never work for the timeshare company, but for an agency unrelated to the timeshare company. If a "legal" company representative doesn't sign the contract, then who is responsible other than you?
4. Jamaica Travel Clubs May Be Illegal
While working in Jamaica as a sales and marketing director, I suspected that the timeshares there may be operating illegally.
In Jamaica, the sales reps did not posses work permits, identifying them as illegal workers. After their three month tourist visa, they leave and return again. This makes your contract “invalid,” and there is nothing they can do if you want to get out of it.
At the time, the Jamaican Government was discussing timeshare legislation, which has since been implemented. However, the timeshare legislation does not include vacation clubs or travel clubs, which is what most “timeshare” resorts are selling in Jamaica.
These vacation clubs are hiding behind brand name hotels and are listed in the RCI and Interval International exchange directories as timeshares. THEY ARE NOT. The legal entity of these clubs is outside of Jamaica, mostly in Mexico, some in Panama. The Jamaica timeshare legislation has no legislation on the travel club industry.
Most, if not all travel clubs in Jamaica do not have business licenses.
Additionally, the legal addresses for the contracts are not in Jamaica, but in Mexico, Panama or the Dominican Republic. If you join any of the travel clubs in Jamaica, they have no legal recourse, and neither do you have any recourse towards them because you do not have a "legal" contract with them. Read the fine print.
5. Harassment From a Creditor is Illegal in the U.S.
If you receive communication from a U.S. collection company regarding your foreign bought timeshare and you write them a letter to stop the communication, they cannot continue to harass you, according to U.S. law.
"If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt..." --U.S. Code § 1692d. Harassment or abuse. § 805. Communication in connection with debt collection (c) Ceasing communication
Many Caribbean timeshares use an American or Canadian collection company to collect the payments and fees. Though they may be an American or Canadian company, there is nothing they can legally do because you signed the contract on foreign territory. If they harass you, let them know that you will be filing a complaint with your state or provincial Attorney General's office.
6. You Can Easily Walk Away From Your Caribbean Travel Club
The good news is whether your travel club membership is paid in full or not, you can simply walk away. There is nothing they can do legally as it is a foreign country and they should not have your social security number.
Even if they try, they DO NOT have any jurisdiction, power, legal access to the credit reporting agencies or courts in the United States or in Canada or any other country as they are a foreign entity.
How to Cancel Your Caribbean Travel Club Membership
If you want to know how to easily cancel your Mexico or Caribbean travel club, read the book, EVERYTHING ABOUT TIMESHARES: Before, During and After The Sale. It has everything you need to know about the timeshare industry that they DO NOT want you to know about.
Here is a glimpse of what you get in the book...
- Which popular brand Mexico and Caribbean travel clubs may be operating illegally
- Why foreigners cannot be liable in the U.S. for a foreign contract - unless it is business related
- Discover the language in the Mexico or Caribbean contract that discloses what the travel clubs do and do not own
- Understand where the jurisdiction for your Mexico or Caribbean timeshare contract is governed
- Learn the reasons why Mexico and Caribbean travel club membership contracts are voidable and not legal in the countries in which they were written
- Understand why so many travel club owners cannot use their own memberships where and when they want to go
- Learn the steps to immediately cancelling your travel club contract
- Learn the "inside secrets" that the timeshare industry does not want consumers to know about and so much more...