DEAR BRUCE: I have read all your articles about time-shares, how they are a bad investment, sold to consumers under pressure, are not worth it with the tax and maintenance fees, etc. I wish I had read your column before we made the mistake of buying into the concept. We never use it and have it on the market to sell. Even that’s not working. Is it stupid to stop paying the maintenance fees and taxes and let the ownership revert back to the original owners or sell it on the courthouse steps? Are we opening ourselves up to a bad credit rating for the rest of our lives?
Frustrated, via e-mail
DEAR FRUSTRATED.: Unhappily, it’s not all that simple. If you don’t pay the fees and taxes, it may not revert back to the original owner. Often, they don’t want them, and they will bring an action against you for the deficiency. As far as selling on the courthouse steps, that very likely is an exercise in futility. The least of the problem is the credit rating. You may approach the company that sold you the time-share. They may or may not be willing to strike a deal with you. Their point of view, more often than not, is you have to pay us, we don’t want it back, and we will go to court to get garnishments or whatever it takes to make it happen.