USA Timeshare - UK Citizen

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Offline baw441

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USA Timeshare - UK Citizen
« on: January 07, 2019, 00:34:24 »
Hello All,

I am seeking some advice regarding a timeshare we stupidly bought into whilst on holiday in California in October.

On the day, we were sold this amazing package, but since returning to the UK this amazing package has fallen apart - and simply isn't what was sold to us.

I wont bore you with the details of why the package is different,
but the package is significantly different to what we signed up to
- and simply isn't what we want and doesn't work for us.

We have tried to express all of our issues to the Timeshare company,
even having it escalated up to Director level,
but they seem to be reluctant to admit any wrongdoing and are completely unwilling to help us out.

The timeshare is a points based system with our names on a title deed in California.
We have paid our first two month mortgageicon payments on the deed,
but we are now at a point that we want to walk away.

We are debating what options we have and whether there is any risk to us being UK citizens,
and stopping payments to a US based Timeshare/Mortgaged Deed?

The major questions we have;

1) Will defaulting on a mortgageicon affect our finances in the UK?

2) Could a US Debt company chase us in the UK and could they force us to pay by UK law?

2) Will defaulting on a mortgage affect our ESTA/VISA allowance to visiting the US in future?

When we signed up to the Timeshare, the company ONLY took our names and addresses and one credit card from us.
They did not take any passport details.

If we stopped the payments being taken from the Credit Card, would this affect our credit rating in the UK?

Has anyone else been in this situation or have any ideas what we can do?

Many Thanks for any advice!


Offline Rolandg

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Re: USA Timeshare - UK Citizen
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 13:04:38 »

Offline Tanveer Karn

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Re: USA Timeshare - UK Citizen
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 18:17:00 »
Buying a timeshare may not be stupid in all circumstances.

If the package fell apart when you got home and was not the package - as expressed, it may be misrepresented or you have misheard.

It will be very difficult to get any person to admit wrongdoing as there will be consequences for them. In any event, it will for you to prove your claim

You state - you acquired a points system, yet your name appears on deeds (deeded timeshare).

Timeshares that are sold in California are regulated under chapter 2 of Time-share Act 2004 and Article 1 and 2 of the general provisions 11210-11219. That said, what is not permitted it to sell timeshare without a defined location and period in time in which you can occupy the timeshare.

As you have stated that it is deeded - it appears to me that you bought a timeshare and then handed it back so that you could join a club - when in the club you are awarded a currency called Points which you must buy each year (if I am correct). Therefore, you are bound to buy a currency and when bought - you can spend it on acquiring the timeshare you originally purchased.

These matters are referred to in a large case presently being actioned, the issue is can you be bound (under Californian Law) to buy an unregulated currency? On that mater in the amended assembly on March 30, 2017 repeal Section 107 of the Corporations Code, and to add Section 2178 The bill would prohibit a person from engaging in any virtual currency business, as defined, in this state unless the person is licensed by the Commissioner of Business Oversight or is exempt from the licensure requirement, as provided.

So the issue you have is- is the timeshare resort licences to sell the currency, you are required to buy each year!

As I do not know the name of the club who sells the points to you, I cannot assist any further, however, should you provide that information - I am able to check if a licence exists, however, it’s doubtful

Will defaulting on a US mortgage affect our finances in the UK?

Good Question – should those who lent you the money be regulated by the FCA in the UK - the answer would be yes, however, if it’s a U.S lender it's very doubtful.

Could you be forced to pay the sums asked for?

The fact is, for a corporate entity to pursue a British client for sums they allege are owed, you have rights. The jurisdiction is in California not the UK so if the decision to activate a claim against you was made - it would have to be there as UK courts generally cannot apply other laws (they are simply not able to interoperate U.S Law and apply it against a UK national).

If the timeshare club did pursue you in California, the debt exists they’re not the UK. For them to collect it in the UK (as no money treaty exists between California and the UK they would have to obtain the permission of the High Court in London.

The costs of doing so, is - quite prohibitive and they would have to engage their own lawyers to make the applications in the UK and it can be defended on a number of grounds.

Finally, the matter is a civil case not federal accordingly as it is the federal government who control boarders the matters are separate- so no it is very unlikely to have any visa consequences.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 23:10:46 by Tanveer Karn »
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Offline baw441

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Re: USA Timeshare - UK Citizen
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2019, 11:20:59 »
Hi Tanveer

Thanks so much for your very detailed response.
OVer the last few days I have spoken to my bank, credit card company (where the payments are being made from) and the UK Citizen's Advice and National Debt Agency.

Alot of what you have said in your post, was also confirmed by the above agencies, so it is great to hear from both sides and all agreeing with the same actions.

The company in question is Welk Resorts.
They are solely a US Based company, so the likelihood of them being registered with a UK based Credit Agency is slim-to-none, considering they did not credit check on us on the day.

We have also been advised by Mastercard that we could lodge a dispute and attempt to claim the money back - but would need to provide evidence of being mis-sold. This is difficult and the only evidence we have, is the documented emails back and forth - with us detailing our problems and differences that we have found in the programme from what was sold. We also have numerous emails with us chasing for a response with no reply from them, and asking for an exit programme. Whether this would work in our favour, who knows? But we are also unsure as to whether to raise a dispute with them, as we do not want to provoke them and make them angry - for them to then turn on us and make it very difficult to walk away?

As it stands, we have cancelled the credit card payments and intend to pay no more...
We have decided to go quiet and walk away and see what happens.

Do you have any advice what we do from here? Keep quiet and hope they foreclose?
Any opinion on what we should do regarding a Credit Card dispute to try and reclaim funds?

Thanks!

Offline Tanveer Karn

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Re: USA Timeshare - UK Citizen
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 18:09:47 »
Assuming the master/credit card you have was acquired in the UK you should consider the following: -

When you acquired the product, you obtained credit thus the master card company was represented in the meeting and by the salesperson who sold you the timeshare.

The salesperson was acting for the Timeshare Company and the Credit provider, therefore, the Credit Supplier and the Timeshare Resort are ‘joint and severally’ liable to you for the entire transaction (if the timeshare cost more than £100 or less than £30,000) as the credit card company used the merchant seller as a agent to sell you the credit.

You cannot rebrick the sales presentation or apportion the representations – the fact is; you were sold 2 products ‘credit’ and ‘timeshare’ and by the same salesperson. One is conditional upon the other or one sale following the other (thus, the 2 sales are linked transactions).

Evidence come in different formats documents, witness statements, and others. What you need to do is, tell your story and to Master Card in a logical format, exhibit the documents and the emails (documentary evidence) and that your evidence. If no corresponding evidence is supplied by the Timeshare sales person - the only evidence is - what you provided.
Welk Resort Group, Inc was founded in 1964 and based in Escondido, California with corporate offices in San Marcos, California. I have found no reference to them being licenced to sell - private, crypto or closed loop currency (whereby the seller is the Redeemer).

Hope this Helps
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Offline baw441

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Re: USA Timeshare - UK Citizen
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 22:05:56 »
Again - Thanks so much for a detailed response.

Please ignore my ignorance and lack of financial knowledge here.

The only dealings that Mastercard had in all of this, was that it was the credit card I used when paying the deposit.
Then, when it came to setting up the Credit - the Credit "Lender" is Welk Resorts.
Welk on the day wanted a payment method for the credit, at the time, the only thing we had available, was the credit card - and so we agreed initially to get it all set up, we would use the credit card as form of re-payment to the loan provided by Welk.

We were going to pay off the loan fairly rapidly, due to the very high interest....but due to the issues, we obviously/luckily didnt and so the repayments stayed on the credit card.


So in basic terms - are you saying that you think its worth while pursuing a claim with Mastercard?
Our concern is that we will provoke the beast that is Welk by attempting to reclaim our money, and then they will come after us legally harder - than if we just walk away silently?

In regards to the crypto-currency you talk about...although Welk are a small company, they obviously re-sell timeshare points/weeks to hundreds/thousands of people a year.....so there has to be some legitimacy in what they do?