Floridians charged in timeshare fraud. (Click To Read Complete News Story)
This is breaking news from UPI.
Sadly enough, it's not the first time most of us have seen a case like this, nor not likely it will be the last. What perhaps is even more unfortunate is how the "bad guys" make the news. The media feeds on this negative stuff and why is it people can't get enough of it?
Three Floridians were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. These are federal charges.
Their targets were timeshare owners throughtout the United States, but amazingly enough not owners of timeshares in their home state of Florida. This seems to be the only part of the law that those brought up on charges complied with. It's illegal for a company dealing in timeshare resales in Florida to charge upfront fees for listing a timeshare. Their steering clear of Florida timeshare owners probably kept them off the radar a little longer but in the end, they got caught.
The charges stem from the three, and their various named companies, who were contacting timeshare owners telling them they had a buyer for their timeshare, collecting upfront fees, listing the property and then basically nothing happened for the timeshare seller, except them being out the money.
Lesson well-learned yet another time. Timeshare sellers should be very wary of these types of business practices, especially within Florida. The old adage "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" would also apply. Regardless of how much a seller might need to sell a timeshare due to lifetyle changes and the like, one should opt for someone who will do business and be paid based on their performance, as that is safer for a seller to avoid being victim of fraud and within the law.
These types of cases and charges puts a bad taste out there for the Florida Timeshare industry, which already has it's share of stigmas for being a scam, high pressure sales and a myriad of other things, that quite frankly aren't true! You will find the negative press out there front and center in those myths and misconceptions by the general public.
On the flipside, there are many "good guys" out there who actually offer honest service, fairly priced timeshare products and comply with the laws that regulate the industry. Why don't we see those in the news? It would strike a nice balance, wouldn't it?
The best advice to Florida timeshare sellers is use a Florida Realtor to help you sell your Florida timeshare. I am not saying this just because I happen to be a Florida Realtor who could help you. I also wear the hat of timeshare owner, and as an owner, I would be suspicious and skeptical of a company who wanted me to pay them upfront to begin with. Once you pay them, there is no guarantee that they will do anything for you. The only thing I'd be sure of is that they'd be making a trip to the bank....with my check!
A licensed Florida Real Estate Broker or Salesperson is bound by a certain code of ethics and are professionals in their field. They have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done for you, complying with all federal and state laws while doing so. Insist on a Florida Timeshare Resale Specialist to get the job done for you and you are more likely to stay safe and not fall victim to fraud.
Whether you contact me or another real estate professional, the point is as a timeshare seller you should do your due diligence and only deal with a company you feel comfortable with. You don't need to pay upfront fees to sell your timeshare. I would be happy to let you know what services I can provide to help you sell your Florida timeshare.
My best advice is use a Realtor, myself or one of my peers, to sell your Florida Timeshare on the resale market. Stay safe, don't fall victim to timeshare fraud and good luck selling!