Q: My timeshare association seized my unit. They claim they can do this because I was late paying an annual fee.

They have rented the unit out and they are keeping all the money from the rental. The rental is far in excess of the amount we owe. How can they do this? They also still expect me to pay the full amount.

A: I don’t know if they can legally do it. You’ll have to talk to a real estate attorney about that.

Timeshare properties are rather unique and the association may have greater powers to enforce their rights to collect unpaid bills that you otherwise might be used to. Your timeshare documents should indicate what your responsibilities are in paying bills.

The documents should also state what happens if you fail to pay your bills. You may find out that the association has the right to deny you the use of the timeshare period you are entitled to until you make all of your payments. That would mean that you would lose the right to use the timeshare for the week that you might have planned and also still have to pay the money you owe the association.

Start to unravel this problem by reading your timeshare documents. After you review the documents, you may want to talk to an attorney that has dealt extensively with timeshare associations.

If you find out that the association was not entitled to either rent out your unit or keep the money, you can request that they place your account back in good standing and permit you to continue to use your unit.

Published: May 13, 2005