What Happens If I Stop Paying Timeshare Maintenance Fees

Written by: Chuck McDowell Updated: Apr 05, 2024 Published: Feb 23, 2022 6 minute read

Maintenance fees are an essential pillar of the timeshare industry. These time-sensitive fees, intended for regular upkeep, upgrades, and special assessments of a timeshare property, often become unpayable for unsuspecting owners. 

This article explains what timeshare maintenance fees are and why they are necessary. It also answers several frequently asked questions, such as what happens if you stop paying timeshare maintenance fees.

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What Are The Consequences Of Not Paying Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

If a timeshare owner fails to pay the maintenance fees, they can face fines and other legal penalties, as well as the potential for foreclosure or repossession of the timeshare property.

What Should Timeshare Owners Do if They Cannot Pay Their Maintenance Fees?

Timeshare owners who cannot pay their maintenance fees should contact the timeshare company or lender as soon as possible. They should also consider exploring alternative options, such as refinancing, loan modifications, and timeshare exit services.

What Happens If I Default On a Timeshare?

If the timeshare owner fails to pay their maintenance fees, they will be subject to extra fees and may face legal action, such as a lien or foreclosure. Additionally, their access to the timeshare may be revoked, and they may be responsible for any unpaid fees.

Timeshare purchases involve legally binding agreements. You default on your timeshare ownership if you stop paying the related charges or fees. Defaulting your timeshare agreement will initially result in your case being sent to a collection agency, eventually leading to timeshare foreclosure. However, there are also long-term effects. Your credit report can carry a negative mark for up to seven years. This mark could cost you a mortgage or car loan in the future. It will also make receiving reasonable rates on any future credit more challenging.

What Are Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

Timeshare maintenance fees are fees paid by timeshare owners to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the timeshare property. These fees typically include taxes, insurance, upkeep, and other related costs. All timeshares require their unit owners to pay maintenance fees. These payments keep the resorts up and running and are vital to the timeshare industry's sustained success.

Here's how these annual fees work. The resort divides the total maintenance costs among all the units. Owners then pay their part of the dues. Finally, these fees fulfill many aspects of your vacation ownership, from the regular upkeep and upgrades to paying employee wages for the resort staff. Then the cycle begins again.

Think of annual timeshare maintenance fees as what you pay each year to maintain your car or home. To continuously deliver an enjoyable vacation experience year in and year out, a timeshare company requires its owners to help pay for it.

Why Do I Have To Pay Maintenance Fees?

As a timeshare owner, you are legally obligated to pay the maintenance fees associated with your timeshare. Failure to pay these fees can result in serious legal consequences.

When someone purchases a deeded timeshare, they agree to pay annual maintenance fees. Many timeshare owners are unaware their agreements are signed perpetually, meaning their maintenance fees never end. For this reason, canceling a purchase agreement with a timeshare developer can be challenging. Outright refusal to pay your timeshare fees can lead to unforeseen consequences such as foreclosures, credit score damage, and run-ins with collection agencies.

How Much Do Timeshare Maintenance Fees Cost?

Timeshare maintenance fee costs vary. So your price will depend on your particular resort company, your timeshare unit type, and how long you've owned your unit. It's important to remember that maintenance fees are split and paid for amongst all the owners.

According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), in 2022, the average cost of annual maintenance fees was $1,000 and rising. ARDA releases its report on the timeshare industry every few years, so expect an update on these figures soon.

When Are Maintenance Fees Due?

When maintenance fees are due can vary, but the industry standard is an annual due date. In rare occurrences, some resorts have requested fees to get billed monthly, quarterly, or even bi-annually. However, generally, you can expect an annual maintenance bill.

It's also worth noting that maintenance fees typically increase by around 5% each year. So, be prepared for these price increases. But remember, too many missed payments can lead to unpleasant financial repercussions.

What Do Timeshare Maintenance Fees Cover?

Timeshare maintenance fees have many purposes. While each timeshare company is different, here are a few of the most common applications of maintenance fees:

Unit Upgrades and Maintenance

You are responsible for regular maintenance and upkeep of your unit if you own a timeshare. Like a house or car, a timeshare obligation also requires extra costs to maintain or upgrade throughout the year. Timeshare maintenance may include new bedding, lighting, flooring, upgraded appliances, A/C, and heating services.

Resort Beautification

Maintenance fees also often go towards maintaining the appearance of a resort. These annual fees include lawn care, tree pruning, shrub trimming, and many other methods of sustaining a pleasant vacation view.

New and Updated Amenities

Are you excited about the new pool at your timeshare resort? Well, this wasn’t a free amenity. You and the other timeshare owners helped pay for it. Maintenance fees help the resort fund new and improved amenities such as gyms, parks, pools, spas, and other attractions.

In Case of Emergency Funds

Along with these popular uses, maintenance fees also help resorts during emergencies. When inclement weather strikes and affects the resort, these fees assist in repairing the property damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is undoubtedly a lot of confusion for a timeshare owner regarding maintenance fees. The timeshare industry permits questionable sales tactics that often leave out pertinent information about these fees. Below are several common questions regarding timeshare maintenance fees:

How Can You Minimize the Financial Burden of Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

Owners can minimize the financial burden of timeshare maintenance fees by taking advantage of discounts, promotions, and other incentives offered by timeshare companies. Additionally, exploring alternative options, such as renting out the timeshare or trading for another unit, can help reduce the cost of ownership.

What Are The Alternatives To Paying Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

Alternatives to paying timeshare maintenance fees include selling or transferring the timeshare, negotiating a payment plan with the timeshare company, or requesting a hardship exemption from the timeshare company. All options should be explored before any decisions are made.

How Does Defaulting on Timeshare Maintenance Fees Affect Credit Scores?

Defaulting on timeshare maintenance fees can be detrimental to credit scores. Late payments and unpaid fees can lead to negative marks on credit reports, resulting in a lower credit score and making it more difficult to access loans and other forms of credit in the future.

How Can a Timeshare Attorney Help?

A timeshare attorney can provide guidance and legal representation for owners who are struggling to pay their timeshare maintenance fees. They can help negotiate a repayment plan or other solution, as well as provide advice on how to protect yourself from potential financial and legal repercussions.

How Can I Put an End To Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

You probably wonder how you can stop paying your timeshare maintenance fees without facing harsh consequences. Timeshare agreements can be tricky to get around. These agreements leave little wiggle room for clients. They're considered a lifetime agreement and can be problematic for those hoping to escape.

There have been limited opportunities for timeshare owners seeking refuge from this industry. The resale market used to be the only option. However, reselling is often impossible. Fortunately, there are other options now. Roughly a decade ago, timeshare cancellation companies entered the scene.

Can I Legally Get Out of My Timeshare?

Timeshare cancellation companies have finally given timeshare owners a way out. Owners deceived into unwanted purchases now have a chance to end their timeshare agreements. Consider a cancellation company if you're interested in terminating your timeshare agreement.

However, be warned there are scammers in the cancellation industry, too. Only work with companies that have a proven track record with timeshare cancellations. Do your research before paying for any of these services.

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How Can Wesley Financial Group, LLC* Help Timeshare Owners Who Cannot Pay Their Maintenance Fees?

Wesley Financial Group, LLC ("WFG")* offers timeshare exit services that can help owners unable to pay their maintenance fees. These services include timeshare cancellation, debt relief, legal representation, and other assistance.

Our Timeshare Cancellation Company

Are you looking for a trustworthy timeshare exit company to help you? WFG* could be an aid for you. Our company has proven itself to be a reliable cancellation option. We have already helped over 30,000 families cancel their agreements and are a proven leader in the industry. Do not stop paying the maintenance fees if you want to end your timeshare. First, speak with the timeshare experts of WFG to see your exit options.

*Wesley Financial Group, LLC, and its affiliates, successors, or assigns are not lawyers or a law firm and do not engage in the practice of law or provide legal advice or legal representation. All information, software, services, and comments provided on this site are for informational and self-help purposes only and not intended to substitute for professional advice, legal or otherwise.

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