Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

Forum: Sheraton Vistana Resort

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By Peter

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

danachat wrote:
Oh, glad to see I am not the only one complaining to SVC about their fees. We own five weeks at the 'Beach Club' and simply love the resort. When we got our new maintenance fee invoice they had hiked the fees up to over $1,300.00 per week fro $1,063.00 in 2009. In fairness this was supposed to be the last year of the "special assessment" of an extra $250.00 per year over five years to modernize the resort but their new reason given was the large number of delinquent accounts!! I emailed a four page letter outlining the twisted logic their proposed 2010 budget contained. How in the world could a 70 unit complex completely redone four years ago carry a $1.3 million for repair budget which didn't include the extra carried for the two elevators? I questioned that the raised maintenance fees would prompt others to walk away from their units therefore increasing the burden on the non delinquent owners next year. It really is simple economics. If the money is needed to cover other peoples maintenance fees why is this not budgeted as a loan to the corporation rather than a non returnable feethat the Owner's receive no credit? We then included a breakdown of the various comparable or higher quality two bedroom resorts along the coast and the Keys. They were all under a $1,000.00/year. We have not received a reply in the two weeks we gave them. Now it is in my wife's hands and perhaps legally challenging the actions through her law firm. A class action suit would be very entertaining to make Starwood actually explain the shell game they are playing. They are encouraging by their actions the lowering of the value of the units and stimulating people to walk away in droves. What a pity.

I've always been suprised when owners are told we bear the cost of delinquencies. After all, if a unit is forclosed, it is then resold right? The resale funds which includes the delinquencies are then returned to the HOA and thus it is my theory the owners are potentially made whole.

What appears to be a hole in my understanding of this process is that the proceeds from the foreclosure doesn't appear to go to the HOA/owners. It appears to me that we owners are footing the bill for delinquncies but when foreclosure occurs, the unit is aquired by the developer and not the HOA and the delinquency funds are not reimbursed to the HOA/Owners. Then the developer in many cases sells the unit as a direct sale unit.

I only know of one resort (Cypress Pointe 1 in Orlando) where the HOA has complete control over the foreclosure and resale of units. Their procedure is probably typical of resorts where developer sales and developer control of the resort are no longer ocurring. Cypress Pointe 1 ultimately auctions the foreclosed units, so they do not realize much profit from the sale of the units. But they do recoup the delinquency costs. Thus, since the cost of delinquencies are recovered there is effectively no impact in the long term on owners.

Avatar for Peter Peter

9 years ago
May 04, 2010

By Peter

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

normanp27 wrote:
anyone having any luck complaining about the upgrade? Its pretty bad I offered Vistana a Deed in Lieu of Forclosure and they would not take it back. You would think the timeshare would have to be worth more than the 1255.00 I owed.{I have since paid the %$#@} This upgrade "cost" was $1600. Why wouldn't they take it back for $1255. Anyone had any luck with the Attorney General? {This is the Attorney General phone # 866-966-7226}

I think SVO declines you offer because the association doesn't have a procedure to sell the unit. And as I previously submitted, when the developer forcloses, then takes ownership of the unit, I don't believe the developer reimburses the association for the delinquency because since they were "the only bidder" to aquire the unit they aquire it for less than the delinquency amount. This leave owners paying for the delinquencies and the developer with a virtually free unit to resale.

Another way of saying this is I believe the HOA won't take the unit back because the developer who controls the HOA ensures the HOA doesn't have a procedure to foreclose and resale the unit properly. I think the developer sets up a procedure to funnel foreclosed units to itself, leaving the cost of foreclosure to the HOA (Owners) and the "free or almost free" unit for the developer to resale direct.

Avatar for Peter Peter

9 years ago
May 04, 2010

By Kim L.

ljm8 wrote:
SVO is the biggest ripoff! I have been a Vistana owner since 1989 and obviosuly that means nothing to this new management company. They have created this "update refurbish" crap and want to bill us - the owners - for it. Why do we pay outrageous maintanance fees??? I was there 2 years ago and the place looked like CRAP!!! Tiles missing in the bathroom, crud inbetween the grout in the kitchen, rugs ripped and curling up in spots! This is what I pay $796 a year for?! Take that $796 and multiply it by 52 weeks - that's over 41K - and they couldn't replace a tile??? And that's just one unit!!! I refuse to pay the $1600+ they want for refurbishing. What have they been doing for all these years with that money??? The Attorney General will hear from me. SVO now wants to forclose on me!!! Or they'll take my unit off my hands for $3500. That's a better price than I'd get anywhere else. Maybe I should take it. SVO has completely ruined Vistana. Talk about a SCAM!

They offered to take back your unit for $3500? How did you manage that? Please enlighten me or give me some ammunition to use on the phone with them. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Avatar for Kim L. Kim L.

9 years ago
May 06, 2010

By Jeffrey C.

Ljm8 got lucky!!!!!! They offered me 200.00 to take it off my hands. I threw it away (the offer that is). I have been talking to the AG's office since this refurbishment project started to no avail. They just keep sending you to other agencys and commissions and you get the same answer from all of them. They can't help and were all screwed. I really enjoyed the first 19 years of ownership but I have hated the last 3 and have not paid them a dime since!!!!!!! AND WON'T!!!!!!!!!

Avatar for Jeffrey C. Jeffrey C.

9 years ago
May 07, 2010

By Annmarie C.

You're lucky if you can just stop paying those maintenance fees. We own at the Manhatten Club and if you don't pay the fees they put a lien on your primary residence. Isn't that the type of ownership you have?

Avatar for Annmarie C. Annmarie C.

9 years ago
May 07, 2010

By Peter

If you owe money on a timeshare (maint or a loan) no one can place a lien on your primary residence without an extensive amount of multiple court actions, if even that was possible.

I suppose it is possible that after foreclosing on your timeshare the foreclosing entity could document that they sold the foreclosed timeshare for less than the amount owed, then sue to collect the unrecovered amount. After winning the judgement, if you didn't pay the judgement amount, they might be able to go back to court. If in this court the judge awards them the right to place a lien, I suppose there is a possibility they could place a lien on your primary residence.

But there are too many issues which would prevent that from happening.

First, it costs way too much money and consumes way too much time for any entity to proceed thru the legal system to even be worthwhile placing a lien of this nature - especially when they would have to wait for the lien to pay off.

Second, the amount you owe is far too small for any entity to justify spending that much money after they have completed foreclosure. I'm assuming you didn't pay a year of maintenance which is usually less than $1,500. Add $1,500 or less for foreclosure and then offset the $3,000 by the amount of money selling the foreclosed unit. It will cost more than another $1,500 to go back to court two or three times to get a lien, then an additional time to sue to force payment of the lien or wait ZGod knows how long until you sell your residence.

Third, after foreclosure, and unrecovered funds are usually sold to a collection agency who's primary line of defense is reporting your default and net money owed to credit reporting agencies. They would attempt to collect on the net funds still owed. But the expense to take additional legal action is probably not financially viable and I think would ultimately be written off as bad debts. It would be on your credit report I think, but unlikely to be collected if you chose to resist payment.

Fourth, having the right to place a lien on your primary residence would come after a judement allowing the creditor to attemot to collect using other methods such as wage attachement. The creditor just doesn't have the right to attach other real property as a first line of action.

Avatar for Peter Peter

9 years ago
May 07, 2010

By Vivian M.

Try $2200.00 per week at St. George's Club. Certainly, not a bargain

Avatar for Vivian M. Vivian M.

9 years ago
May 07, 2010

By Jeffrey C.

Your right Peter!!!!! It would cost them way to much money to go through all that trouble for such a minimal amount. My timeshare was paid off way back when vistana was vistana and a happening place. I just refuse to pay for the refurbishment. I was happy with what I had in the fountains. I just wanted a nice place to stay while I went to Florida to play golf for a couple of weeks in the winter to get away from the NH cold. I didn't need or want the Taj Mahal!!!!!!

Avatar for Jeffrey C. Jeffrey C.

9 years ago
May 08, 2010

By Bruce Z.

Feeling so stoooopid!!! We were conned by sales into trading in our 'developer price paid' Fountains II week for Cascades (with new mortgage) just a year prior to the refurb announcement. Factor in the Cascades refurb cost (we paid it from fear of retribution) and we've now overpaid three times. :( We were told that Fountains owners could never participate in SVN, which sounded like a better idea at the time. It's hard to take a full week for vacation anymore and RCI exchanges were hard to find without lengthy notice.

Now our hope is to reserve a week, rent it out and try to recoup some of the loss. Probably be lucky to get MF's covered this year...

Avatar for Bruce Z. Bruce Z.

9 years ago
May 20, 2010

By Jeffrey C.

No Bruce, You'll be very lucky!!!!!!! Good luck!!!!!

Avatar for Jeffrey C. Jeffrey C.

9 years ago
May 21, 2010

By Karen O.

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

Here I sit OUTSIDE on my computer because I have not had internet service in my newly renovated Cascades villa! It has been "7" days and the internet provider (Swisscom) Sheraton outsourced to, can't figure out the problem! All I get is "we're sorry, oh we're sooo sorry, wish we could help you." This yrs vacation here has been a real eye opener. I am NOT impressed w/Sheratons management at all. All they care about is selling "points" for hotel rooms. When YOU the OWNER has a problem...all they say is "sorry!"

As for the renovations? The only things "new" in Cascades was paint, new furniture, tile, shower door, CHEAP matresses (sheets slide off them), some appliances, kitchen cabinets, drapes and carpet. I too thought these "updates" were budgeted out of our fees...ha!

The "oldy but goody" funrniture was NOT sold to help recoup some $$, it was all tossed in dumpster! We are also being charged for the people who don't pay their fees!

I believe the board of directors are being hood winked by Sheraton management. I know they're wined and dinned by them. I happen to be here when Sheraton threw a VERY lavish holiday party for ALL the directors. They went all out in food and decorations (ice carvings, balloon trellises lined the walkway and entrance way ... must have cost a small fortune.

Need to pay attention to who you are voting for. How often do the nominees stay at our resort, how far do they live, etc.? I live in FL, been coming here for past 13 yrs for 2 weeks.

FYI - No more mid week cleaning and the unit I was in 2237 bldg 16 (Cascades) was FILTHY! No remote in guest bedroom (found under bed w/ton of dust). No pancake/egg turner, no scissor. Quite a few things missing. No more condiments (coffee, dishwashing liquid), elcheapo bingo prizes (a joke!), etc.

I attended the homeowners meeting (few ppl there) and not even water was provided! Once the units were sold out, Sheraton cut out everything. Jorge went on and on about economy issues and I asked "then WHY add a $13.95 SHRIMP BOIL on the buffet during tough economic times?!" His response? "Good point!"

Cascades bar/grill not open at night, General Store closes on or before 9 pm and the Tiki bar is totally closed down. And now if you don't upgrade to "Elite" you are outta the loop. I am not a happy owner at this point!

Avatar for Karen O. Karen O.

9 years ago
Jul 13, 2010

By Mario D.

My comment to the reply about the BMW, get REAL! 20+ years of paying maintenance fees (which was to include a hold back for refurbishmant) and tacking on $1500 per owner/per unit puts a refurb cost in excess of $100,000 per unit. This is way over the top. It is even excessive for New York city. This is such a sham!

Avatar for Mario D. Mario D.

8 years ago
Aug 06, 2010

By R. R.

Sheraton Vistana Courts Rip off

I apologize for only now researching others who are also being ripped off by Vistana, but after reading 10 + pages of similar stories / complaints as mine, I asked the question is there any action to start a class action suite? I too would sign up immediately to bring down this corrupt bunch and bring an END to TIMESHARE Rip-offs like Sheraton Vistana. I would appreciate any info.

Avatar for R. R. R. R.

8 years ago
Nov 02, 2010

By Jean H.

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

So we have owned and fully paid for a week at Vistana many years ago. The fees have become outragous. We were defrauded by a a company who said they would take the property over and we have not been there since our kids were small and the noise from the service staff unbelieveable. Vistana Springs Condomium Assocation made us an offer to return the week to them. We accepted and paid the fee. Today we got the fee back in the mail because of the fraud company Florida is engaging and so full of. The title company would not sign off on the transfer even though the property is still apparently (as we can tell) is is still in our name. We are going to continue to fight the "fraud" and also the fact that if the warrant deed and deel in lieu of agreement is still in our name as we suspect. This timeshare fraud is not acceptable and it is time we align and force the Flordia AG and the Starwood, Sherton and Vistana to make it right. The maintaince fees are grossly inflated and the contract changed from then we bought to the points system and kicked RCI out.

Email me at JPHannigan@columbus.rr.com. I am trying to locate if the parcel number is still in our name and would like to help you also.

Avatar for Jean H. Jean H.

8 years ago
Nov 15, 2010

By Esteban U.

We also have problems with our unit week at Vistana Spa Condominium. The last message I could read is from November 2010. Is this page still active?

Avatar for Esteban U. Esteban U.

7 years ago
Aug 14, 2011

By Angelo R.

Yes it is, but everyone is so pissed off that NO ANSWERS are given that we (I) gave up. Alot was said and maybe done, but is the same thing.

Avatar for Angelo R. Angelo R.

7 years ago
Aug 15, 2011

By Norman C.

Sheraton Vistana Courts Rip off

Please let me know if they manage to proceed with a class action suit. I will certainly participate. I also purchased a unit that was to be refurbished for the following year. I was told tahere would be no charge for this. The next year I get my maintenance bill with added charges for renovations. I complained and said I would not pay this extra money. They advised that if I did not pay I would not be allowed to use my week for that year. They would also freeze my account with II. I own other timeshare interests and Sheraton Vistana and Mystaic Dunes are by far the worst to deal with, they outright lie to you. The following year I went to the office to complain and they said to bad there is nothing they can do.

If I knew what I know know when I purchased years ago I would never have purchased a timeshare. From what I understand they are impossible to sell, and they will not buy them back. So what is a person to do.

Avatar for Norman C. Norman C.

7 years ago
Dec 20, 2011

By Sarah W.

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

Last august we trun in one of our units for the new phase in Vistana. We have two time shares. We were told that at any time that Vistana will take back our time share at 80% the price that we paid for it. In Jan 2012 we tried to contact the sale rep but he was out sick. We talk to his supervisor who sated that they have no such offer. We finally contact the sales rep who agree with us about the resale plan and would look into the agree plan. He return to work and after several phone calls he told me the resale plans was put on hold. he told us to contact him ata later time. The only reason we agree to buy a new week is to resell the other week back to them at a later time. ripped off again. P.S. We paid $1,500 for each for the apartment to look the same. $1,500 (per week) x 52 (weeks)=78,000 (per apartment) for it to look the same.

Avatar for Sarah W. Sarah W.

7 years ago
May 23, 2012

By Norman C.

peterp151 wrote:
danachat wrote:
Oh, glad to see I am not the only one complaining to SVC about their fees. We own five weeks at the 'Beach Club' and simply love the resort. When we got our new maintenance fee invoice they had hiked the fees up to over $1,300.00 per week fro $1,063.00 in 2009. In fairness this was supposed to be the last year of the "special assessment" of an extra $250.00 per year over five years to modernize the resort but their new reason given was the large number of delinquent accounts!! I emailed a four page letter outlining the twisted logic their proposed 2010 budget contained. How in the world could a 70 unit complex completely redone four years ago carry a $1.3 million for repair budget which didn't include the extra carried for the two elevators? I questioned that the raised maintenance fees would prompt others to walk away from their units therefore increasing the burden on the non delinquent owners next year. It really is simple economics. If the money is needed to cover other peoples maintenance fees why is this not budgeted as a loan to the corporation rather than a non returnable feethat the Owner's receive no credit? We then included a breakdown of the various comparable or higher quality two bedroom resorts along the coast and the Keys. They were all under a $1,000.00/year. We have not received a reply in the two weeks we gave them. Now it is in my wife's hands and perhaps legally challenging the actions through her law firm. A class action suit would be very entertaining to make Starwood actually explain the shell game they are playing. They are encouraging by their actions the lowering of the value of the units and stimulating people to walk away in droves. What a pity.

I've always been suprised when owners are told we bear the cost of delinquencies. After all, if a unit is forclosed, it is then resold right? The resale funds which includes the delinquencies are then returned to the HOA and thus it is my theory the owners are potentially made whole.

What appears to be a hole in my understanding of this process is that the proceeds from the foreclosure doesn't appear to go to the HOA/owners. It appears to me that we owners are footing the bill for delinquncies but when foreclosure occurs, the unit is aquired by the developer and not the HOA and the delinquency funds are not reimbursed to the HOA/Owners. Then the developer in many cases sells the unit as a direct sale unit.

I only know of one resort (Cypress Pointe 1 in Orlando) where the HOA has complete control over the foreclosure and resale of units. Their procedure is probably typical of resorts where developer sales and developer control of the resort are no longer ocurring. Cypress Pointe 1 ultimately auctions the foreclosed units, so they do not realize much profit from the sale of the units. But they do recoup the delinquency costs. Thus, since the cost of delinquencies are recovered there is effectively no impact in the long term on owners.

Avatar for Norman C. Norman C.

7 years ago
May 31, 2012

By Carolyn P.

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

Your question is very good, we alreaady own in the Fountains and paid for the revenovation about three or four years ago, ofcourse our maintaince fees go up every year and now I am wondering if we still are paying in the maintaince fee for the revenovtion that was already paid/ tks

Avatar for Carolyn P. Carolyn P.

6 years ago
Aug 12, 2012

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