When approached to attend a timeshare presentation, please be wary of underhand sales tactics – namely their financing options.
It is no secret that if you succumb to the dreaded presentation and you become blinded by the allure of a beautiful resort, in a gorgeous country, or just the pure greed of the return you may get, that if you cannot say NO to purchasing – then the sales representative WILL find a way to facilitate the purchase – even if you cannot afford it!
Recently it has been brought to our attention the underhand link between certain banks and well known timeshare companies. These banks which will happily grant finance on the pretense that the application is for “Home Improvements” when in fact they are fully aware that the company requesting the credit on behalf of a customer is to be used to finance a timeshare.
Many of these banks have now been hit with the spotlight and are getting into hot water in connection to the finance they have approved, with many of the applications having been falsified to gain the approval needed.
The newest tactic being used by the likes of Resort Properties / Silverpoint and Diamond are credit cards with introductory APRs, which are then used to purchase the timeshare. The client is not drawn to the fact that the APR will then dramatically increase after the introductory period is over.
Barclay Partner Finance is highlighted due to the current high court action being brought against them from Resort Properties / Silverpoint members who purchased “Investment” packs. These members who had finance approved by Barclays using false information and without the correct background checks being carried out, really did not qualify for the credit loan in the first place.
This practice of selling to people who cannot afford the product looks as though its spreading, with UK banks being pulled into the mix even further as they trade as underwriters for these larger conglomerates. For instance by entering into a contract with Barclays Partner Finance you are actually entering an agreement with Clydesdale Financial Services Limited.
Diamond Resorts International are also included due to their involvement with Shawbrook Bank, which is based in the UK. Shawbrook has admitted wrongdoing on their part by not carrying out due diligence when accepting finance applications from DRI and has set aside £9 million pounds to cover the expected defaults on the loans granted.
Some Diamond members are being left with no other option than to lose any equity they initially used to purchase these products and are actually surrendering their memberships to cease any further crippling yearly maintenance charges.
An example of this, was reported on by Inside Timeshare; Mr & Mrs Saldana, who had been happy owners for 10 plus years, originally purchasing from Sunterra, that was then bought out by Diamond Resorts International in 2007. The Saldana’s owned a deeded week at Sunterra London Bridge Resort, Arizona they went on to trade this in for Diamond points and over 5 years had amassed 30,000 points which gave them gold status membership.
Thinking of this as an investment for their children’s futures, the Saldana’s were secure in their purchase until the maintenance fees began rising and they had no way to pay their yearly maintenance fees other than adding the debt to their credit cards, this on top of the $33,000 equity loan they secured against their home to purchase the points, left them desperate for a resolution.
After a vacation in 2015 using their Diamond points where the Diamond sales team tried effortlessly to expand the Saldana´s ownership to a platinum member, with the reasoning being they could pay their spiraling maintenance costs with their extra points. This was the final straw and the family was forced to seek external help to attempt to sell their points only to be told that their options were to hand back the ownership to DRI, losing all money they had “invested” over the years.
Posted on: October 28, 2016
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk