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Timeshare Law Rights: Know When You're Being Scammed

So you're considering or you have already bought a timeshare and need to know your timeshare law rights. The question is how do you know if you're being scammed? Ask the following questions and you can lessen your risks.

Has the timeshare company you're dealing with dealt with you in an honest fashion?

Many people who have been scammed by timeshare salespeople look back and see that a series of lies led up to the scam. If they offered you an incentive for your visit, did they give you what they promised? Did they keep the presentation close to the time period agreed upon? Did they pressure you into doing something you weren't comfortable with? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you may have been set up for a scam.

How well known is your timeshare company?

Many fly-by-night companies sweep into the tourist traps, offer gifts for presentations and get folks to buy something they normally wouldn't purchase. Make sure you are not dealing with one of those organizations. Think and research before you make your purchase. Is the company you're dealing with known in the industry? How do they rate with the BBB? Do they have all the right licenses and registrations from the local authorities? If they advertise with an exchange network, does the network acknowledge them and advertise their locale? If any of these questions cannot be answered in a positive light, you should consider making your purchase from another timeshare company.

What's the resale value of your unit?

Most timeshares you'll be purchasing will already be available on the resale market. Does the resale price reflect a reasonable value? (If your resale purchase can be made from a reputable establishment or person, you will save money by purchasing from them in the first place. However, if, for example, you're purchasing a white week, second floor pool view for 2 to 3 times plus more than you can purchase it for on the resale market, you may want to reconsider the purchase altogether.) Compare it with other units in other resorts in similar locations with similar amenities. If the price is significantly different, you may want to reconsider. If it is higher, you can get a better deal elsewhere. If it is significantly lower, you may want to find out why they are offering units at such a discounted price.

Can you see the unit?

If you can visit the unit before purchasing it, you will have a better idea of what you're getting. If you liked room A on the first floor in building B, make sure your contract states you are entitled to that particular space. If not, make sure you are confident that there is no way you can be put in a space of lesser value.

Know the local law.

Many states and countries have timeshare law rights that govern timeshare sales. Know what your ownership rights are. Most (but not all) states have a rescission law that allows you to back out within a short time of signing your contract, sometimes as short as 3 days. International laws vary, as well. Your timeshare salesperson should disclose this and all costs at closing. If that doesn't happen, don't make the purchase.