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How does my Mum get out of her Timeshare Points scheme?

(26 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:02:55

She and my dad were mis-sold points but shortly after my dad got terminally ill and passed away about a year later.

Now my mum is left with holidays she doesn't want but more devastatingly, out of control escalating maintenance and management fees. The company won't buy them back, and won't even take them back for free to release my mum from the contract.

Every time she contacts them they just try to sell her more with promises that if she buys more they 'might' allow her out in 15 years or so.

Also, she has 47 years on her contract which she believed would end on her death but with her children inheriting the holiday points. It turns out that her children will also inherit the obligation to continue with the fees until term, which can be refused only upon forfeiting any claim to the estate.

Any ideas?

lougle Tue 08-Jan-13 14:06:31

Wowee...give me a few minutes, Star.

lougle Tue 08-Jan-13 14:10:18

News article here suggests that the contract could become null and void if one party dies.

lougle Tue 08-Jan-13 14:13:08

Timeshare Consumers Association website here.

lougle Tue 08-Jan-13 14:16:25

Is it a 'perpetual timeshare'? That can mean that it will keep being passed on until there are no heirs shock

FreckledLeopard Tue 08-Jan-13 14:18:36

Would need to see paperwork or at least basic terms and conditions. As well as background of how it was sold. But in theory, given its terms seem utterly unreasonable and draconian, she might be able to get out of it.

PM me if you like - I'm a lawyer and would like to help if I can.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:19:14

Hmm, they've told her that she can't cancel it because she and he were both 100% in it. As a consequence she has resigned I think, in her own name, because they told her too.

I'll have to check this.

Also the contract contains a Perpetuity clause apparently, although we are still sifting through the long woolly nonsense contract documents.

I may not have them all as my Dad's house was floor to ceiling in paperwork when he died so might have got lost/thrown. Expect we can start by doing a DPA request for everything!?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:19:57

re-signed, - not resigned.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:21:59

Would you really Freck? Thank you. I have no idea where to start with this but I'm not intending to just leave it. My son is disabled and I cannot afford to inherit a debt/liability and he certainly cannot.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:25:26

I wasn't present when it was sold. Should I interview my mum and transcribe what she remembers? My Dad usually handled the finance stuff and had a brain tumour that was affecting his ability to understand things, though he didn't admit it at the time. My mum did what he said.

She said they never told her about the perpetuity, nor would she have had a clue what it meant if they had.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:27:46

Thank you Lougle. I'll have a look at the TCA website. Is it reputable do you think? This is so not my world.

ginmakesitallok Tue 08-Jan-13 14:29:05

Surely a perpetuity clause can't be binding? I could understand if you wanted to inherit the timeshare you would become liable for any charges, but you can't be FORCED to take it on? You have no contract with them, and the contract would end with the death of the person who it was with?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:30:56

I don't know gimmick. It seems to be being suggested that the contract continues with the estate until the estate has disappeared (which won't take very long tbh but that isn't the point), if no-one claims their inheritance.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:34:25

I know it seems ridiculous and that we should be protected from these wierd things in this country, but I'm not sure that it isn't true.

Also, I'm fairly certain that the company I am dealing with has things so well tied up that even cases that are black and white (and our case is definately grey) aren't going in favour of the consumer. But I might have got that wrong. I've only just established the 'problem' and the extent.

One of the things about these timeshare schemes is that they seem to keep their consumers in denial and confused, or at least this one does.

lougle Tue 08-Jan-13 14:44:58

Star, there is a community website dedicated to this timeshare company. Add a p to the initials and google it.

I have read several accounts across several different forums, that you can get out of it, like this:

1. Write to the company, recorded delivery, stating that you surrender the points with immediate effect.
2. Stop paying the fees.
3. You'll get demands for payment. Ignore them.
4. You'll get threats of debt collection. Ignore them.
5. They'll pass the case over to a particular 'debt collection agency' Ignore.
6. They will go away.

There is another option, and I have pm'd you the details because it's quite specific.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:59:10

Do you have to keep paying off points if you have signed up to them? Or if you have outstanding payments do you have to complte these first?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 15:04:19

I mean, the new lots of ponts she was mis-sold she took out a loan from them to buy at 11% interest. She pays this as well as the maintenance and management fees.

I think I understand walking away from fully purchased points but not paying off the loan for the outstanding ones. or can you?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 15:49:54

Actually, forget that. The loan is with the bank. The points were bought outright.

lougle Tue 08-Jan-13 17:23:03

Your poor Mum sad

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Jan-13 17:28:29

You know the worst thing about it isn't the money, it's how humiliated and stupid she feels, like she let her husband down by not intervening, that she let us down by giving us a burden that was supposed to be a secure gift so we could have nice and paid for holidays whatever life threw at us after she had passed away.

FreckledLeopard Tue 08-Jan-13 17:54:01

Please do PM me Starlight, I'd be happy to help. I hate how people are exploited and stressed by horrible companies.

PolterGoose Tue 08-Jan-13 19:16:32

Your mum could join Which for £1 trial and use their legal helpline...

mariammama Tue 08-Jan-13 21:03:34

A hotshot lawyer could help her make a bequest to a certain County Council hmm

PolterGoose Tue 08-Jan-13 21:05:11

mariammama grin

ginmakesitallok Wed 09-Jan-13 07:33:16

She could always bequest it back to the timeshare company...

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