Tony Hetherington reports he is fighting the consumer’s corner and in his latest report, he asserts he reveals the truth which can lie behind the closed Timeshare door.
One of his readers writes: “My wife and I face a situation causing us great anxiety. We are both 80 years of age and have a limited income from pensions that are not index-linked“.
“In 1993, we bought a timeshare, now controlled by the Cameron House Owners’ Club. We have been asking since 2004 for this to be sold, and we paid all annual management fees until 2012, after which we returned our ownership certificate“.
Upon receiving a demand for £3,010 coupled with glib threats that debt collectors would be involved the consumer suffered from serious medical conditions thus cannot use the timeshare they found themselves in a pickle.
The Timeshare appeared worthless and they felt they were being harassed to pay money whereby no benefit would flow.
The resort still advertises that ‘timeshare ownership at Cameron Lodges is a simple and affordable way to enjoy all the benefits of a luxury home on Loch Lomond’. It tells owners: ‘Share your luxury holiday home with family and friends to create memories that last forever.’
Like so many Timeshare buyers, some have grown older, their incomes have fallen and while the timeshare yearly fees rise and many find the golden memories can easily turn to heartake.
In his report, he confirmed that Cameron Lodges has failed to find a buyer for their member’s timeshare. The mail asserts Cameron House members debt will continue to rise, and it suggests they begin to start paying the debt off by monthly instalments, The Resort also adds: ‘Please note that even if the club does manage to sell the lodge, it is unlikely to sell in excess of the debt‘.
Like many Resorts, it is run jointly, in this case by Cameron House Lodges Limited domiciled in the Cayman Islands – and the Cameron House Owners’ Club, which collects fees from timeshare owners and pays the aforementioned company to manage it.
Allan Reich at Cameron House Lodges Limited explained the member’s debts were not the companies problem, as they are owed to the club. He added that although contracts are in perpetuity, his company operates ‘an exit policy which covers this’.
The mail then asked for details of this exit policy, “how much owners have to hand over to be rid of a lifelong financial millstone around their neck” and also “how far he would he go when pressing for management fees”. Losing your home perhaps? Bankruptcy even? On that issue, Allan Reich declined to comment.
The Owners’ Club chairman Richard Coles explained he was sympathetic and agreed some owners have become distressed and faced a heavy burden. But if those owners could not be made to pay, other owners would have to pay more, he explained.
The situation was ‘very sad’, and his club faced ‘a significant dilemma’, but he couldn’t offer a clear answer denying knowledge of how much it would cost a member to get rid of their unwanted and unusable timeshare.
“This is not an issue that is going to go away. Timeshare boomed in the 1980’s, slackened off in the 1990’s and now attracts far fewer takers“.
Early buyers are increasingly elderly, unable to service the ever-increasing fees on their reduced incomes, unable to obtain financial help for health reasons. This is a widespread and self-generated problem which the timeshare industry has created themselves and demands a legal solution which can only be obtained should members finance the legal action. Cameron House bosses should see what the RDO have done, they should adopt the exit policies of the industry and provide a decent and simple exit policy.
Posted on: 18th November 2017