This week Inside Edition aired their investigation into Dave Ramsey’s three-year endorsement of Timeshare Exit Team, a company currently being sued by the Attorney General of Washington State.
Their conclusion: Ignore his advice, and you’ll be richer for it.
Dave Ramsey, Timeshare Exit Team, and a Lot of Unhappy Customers
For the past three years, Dave Ramsey touted, endorsed, and advertised Timeshare Exit Team’s services as a trusted company that timeshare owners could turn to when they no longer wanted their vacation ownership. They charge people an upfront fee between $3,000 and $9,000 and offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
It seemed too good to be true, and it was.
The recent Inside Edition segment put faces and names to the thousands of timeshare owners duped by Timeshare Exit Team. Washington State’s lawsuit outlines that 38,000 timeshare owners have contracted the company, but 17,000 of those cases are still pending. The kicker – 8,000 people have been waiting for two years or longer, and 4,600 people have been waiting for three years or longer. And all of them paid the fee upfront in full.
That’s why the state of Washington, and others, have filed suits against the company for their alleged “numerous unfair or deceptive business practices.” Washington state's Attorney General's office reports that many people have struggled to get a refund and are still being denied them even after years of waiting for a timeshare exit. People just like Richard and Rosemary Sweeting interviewed by Inside Edition.
Don’t Pay for Something You Can Do Yourself : 3 Proven DIY Exits
With over 850,000 owners looking to get rid of their timeshare, the sharks are circling and taking advantage of people, especially seniors. According to the Better Business Bureau Institute’s Scam Tracker, travel/vacation/timeshare scams were again the riskiest situation for people 65+ in 2020.
So How Can Someone Get Out of a Timeshare without being scammed? Just like one of the successful timeshare owners interviewed in the Inside Edition Investigation who secured their own exit, this is something you can do yourself.
1. Use The Cooling Off Period
If you just bought a timeshare and have second thoughts, you can cancel your timeshare contract and get all of your money back if you’re within your rescission period. Depending on state law, you have 3-15 days to contact the resort and file a rescission letter to cancel your timeshare. Timeshare Users Group, the oldest and largest owners group, and advocacy organization, reports that people, on average, save $18,000 by writing a letter and sending it to the timeshare resort during this window.
2. Take Advantage of Deedback Programs
If you own your timeshare free and clear, many timeshare resorts and chains will allow you to deed it back to them. Why pay Timeshare Exit Team or another expensive company thousands of dollars when most owners can exit your timeshare yourself with one phone call. Get started at the Timeshare Industry Association Safe Exit website that guides people through the deedback process.
3. List it on the Resale Market
There are trusted, reputable timeshare resale marketplaces to list yours for sale for as low as $15. You can research the current market value of your timeshare ownership, list it for sale and find a buyer all in one place. Timeshare Users Group and Redweek.com are highly rated by both The Better Business Bureau and millions of timeshare owners.
If you’re an owner looking to exit a timeshare because you can’t currently use it but would like to continue owning, there are short-term options available to get you through a difficult time. Consider renting your timeshare out to others, banking your week with an exchange company to save it for another vacation 1-2 years from now, or trading your week for another vacation at a resort closer to your home.
Monica Fish helps her fellow adventurers live a financially savvy life so they can travel and explore our beautiful world no matter their budget. She writes about smart timeshare ownership, vacation tips and tricks, NYC Metro Area trips and activities, and frugal, yet rich, living at PlannerAtHeart.com.