Timeshare Scam Advice from Maryland Attorney General

The office of the Maryland Attorney General, Douglas F. Gansler, has published its latest edition of The Consumer’s Edge, focusing this issue on good advice for buying timeshare. The article, titled, “Timeshares: a Break from Reality?” takes timeshare buyers and prospective buyers through points they should consider before making the decision to become a timeshare owner.

The two-page report is easy-to-read and packed with clear, concise definitions and insights written to help consumers better understand the product they are buying. Here are some of the points made by the Attorney General’s report:

  1. Do your homework so that you know what you are buying and that the timeshare or vacation ownership product you select is truly the right one to meet your needs.
  2. Look at the total cost of your timeshare purchase, including mortgage payments, travel costs, maintenance fees (that are likely to increase over time) your finance cost, and your taxes if they are not included with your other fees.
  3. Visit the timeshare resort where you plan to buy.
  4. Learn the differences in timeshare intervals and deeded timeshare. Become knowledgeable about fixed or floating timeshare, timeshare points, vacation clubs, biennial timeshare, fractionals, and lock-offs.
  5. And perhaps most important of all, don’t expect your timeshare to appreciate in values, or even to hold its value. Timeshare –like a resale automobile— consistently sells for less on the resale market than when purchased as new timeshare. As Attorney General Gansler, explains, “Timeshares are an expensive purchase and should not be considered an investment. Consumers need to do their homework before signing any contract.”

“Timeshares: a Break from Reality?” is a strong, informative report that is bound to be helpful to any consumer who is considering buying timeshare and even to many timeshare owners who don’t fully understand the product they have purchased. Best of all, the Attorney General’s report doesn’t represent that timeshares themselves are inherently a bad buy nor does it attempt to paint the entire industry with a single brush.