A North Shields firm has helped two pensioners escape a bottomless timeshare debt of thousands of pounds a year which would have been passed on to their children.
Dennis and Mary Adamson bought into two timeshares in Florida in 2000 but due to health issues have not used the properties since 2007.
After a five-year battle to terminate the contract, stop increasing maintenance fees and recover their continued annual losses of nearly £2,000, they enlisted the help of law firm TLW Solicitors who, within ten months, won the case to release the couple from all contractual obligations.
Mr Adamson, 70, from North Yorkshire, said: “As we could no longer enjoy our timeshare properties in America they became a worrying drain on our savings so we tried to resell.
“In November 2014 we approached TLW Solicitors who took on our case and by September 2015 we were released from the timeshare contract.”
“We are so relieved that we no longer have this cloud hanging over us and most importantly, that the debt will not be passed on to our families.”
Timeshares work by people buying a share in the property for a set number of weeks each year, usually paying a one-off lump sum. In return they get the right to use their annual weeks in the apartment, either for a fixed number of years or, more commonly, ‘in perpetuity’.
Marc Davison, who dealt with the case from TLW Solicitors, said: “Unfortunately experiences like that of Dennis and Mary are an all-too common occurrence in overseas property and timeshare investments.
“Contracts written “in perpetuity” are difficult to break. Many retired timeshare owners are locked into paying high annual fees for an entitlement to holiday properties they do not want from almost impregnable contracts with annual service fees which are rising massively each year.
“In many cases these are passed on to family members when the original purchaser dies.
“The problem is worsened because timeshare contracts are also notoriously hard to sell.
“There can be a real element of fear in these matters particularly if people receive demand letters or have debt collectors knocking at the door attempting to collect unpaid maintenance fees that, if remain unpaid, incur vast interest, so we are delighted that in this instance we were able to help the Adamson’s and relinquish their contract.”