The Robert Paisola Live World News Feed

2/22/2008

Beware, The Tahiti Village Strikes Again, By Robert Paisola

Dear Sir
I've been looking for help and came across your site. I'm not sure you can help me but, maybe, you can point me in the right direction. I apologize for the length of this email but, from reading your site, I know you ask for details.

In July of 2005 we met some friends visiting from England, in Las Vegas. Our hotel had a booth in the lobby offering free tickets to a show for sitting through an hour's presentation ... well, you know the story and you can guess what we went through during an 'hour's presentation' that lasted over 4 hours.

We had just put our home on the market and, because of the booming real estate market, thought it would sell immediately, we'd pay off the time share after the sale and be fine. You know what happened to the real estate market immediately thereafter. It's been 3 years and our home hasn't sold.

At the signing the notary, lawyer (whatever she was)... kept telling us not to worry about the high interest as we could 'always get a mortgage loan at a much less rate' once we got home. This, of course, turned out to be less than honest as no one (reputable) will lend on a time share.. but who knew that at the time? Nor can we sell it and get what we've paid for it or anything even close to that. There seems to be a glut of timeshares for sale. Turns out you can't sell it if it's not paid off. It's not like selling a home.... another less than honest sales pitch. It doesn't qualify as a second home either.

Caveat Emptor should be seared into one's brain but, alas, it is not and we pay the price for out naivete!

We've been paying our $435.95 monthly by credit card .. which is now maxed out and our yearly maintenance fees of $598.00. The deposit was $2,899.00.

In the meantime, my husband retired for health reasons, he will be 69 in March. I am 65 and also 'retired'.

We live on our social security which, in my case, is the bare minimum as I was a stay-at-home mom for most of our married life (46 years, 2 mos) and worked only occasionally. John also gets a small disability pension for his service in Viet-Nam and a $300.00 pension from the Post Office. Altogether we bring in about 2800.00 monthly.

Because of a second mortgage we took out to remodel the house and get it ready to sell, our mortgage payment is over $3,000.00 a month.

A friend recently hired John to help him with his business and he brings home +/- another 900.00 a month but we don't know how long this can go on and we're still 'in the hole' each month.

We've used up our entire life savings keeping us afloat until our home sells. Now we simply cannot afford to continue to pay on the time share but we don't know what to do about it. We were late paying last month and we've now missed Feb.'s payment. The collection calls come daily.

John did speak to someone who called and told her we couldn't afford to continue and we might just have to walk away from it and take the credit hits she threatened would follow. Then she started screaming at him, yelling 'Just who do you think you are, etc." and he hung up.

The daily calls have been so bad I'm afraid to answer the phone. Today a man identifing himself as 'an attorney for Consolidated' left a message on our answering machine demanding we contact him immediately. I know it will be an exercise in threats and intimidation and, frankly, neither of us can take it either physically or mentally. We are stressed out to the max. We just don't know what to do or who to turn to.

I'm hoping you will be able to offer some advice. I know we were foolish getting talked into the time share but we thought we'd be fine and the entire family would benefit in it's use. The two bedroom could be used by any or all of us. This was not to be however. The events I've described above have kept us from even using it once. One of my sons used it once but it wasn't 'free'. Fees still had to be paid. Guest fees, etc. Never really did understand that.

I realize that, at our age, we should have been smarter but...Can you offer any advice?

Respectfully,
Elaine

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