The Bankruptcy Alphabet – T is for Timeshares

Many bankruptcy clients have vacation timeshares that they would like to keep. While it’s usually possible to keep timeshares, it’s not always advisable.

The ownership of the timeshare itself is an asset. Despite what the salesman told you, your timeshare is probably not worth the $5,000 you agreed to pay. Regardless of how much it means to you, that timeshare is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Given that timeshares are often sold on eBay for under $1.00, it’s doubtful that you will find someone willing to pay $5,000 for the right to stay at Fantastic Resort.

The value of a timeshare may not be great, but it is an asset that must be disclosed in your bankruptcy. Given the low value of most timeshares, exempting them is usually not a problem. Bigger problem with timeshares are the maintenance fees and initial purchase prices. Maintenance fees, often $100/month or more, are charged whether you use the timeshare or not. And the high initial purchase prices are usually financed. My clients with timeshares usually owe a few thousand dollars on the original purchase and accrued maintenance fees. In most of those cases, I advise them to let the timeshare go, discharge that debt, and pay for vacations as they go.

A timeshare isn’t necessarily a bad purchase. But if you’re having trouble paying your other bills, the timeshare should be one of the first things you consider eliminating from your budget.

Bankruptcy attorneys from around the country are taking part in this “Bankruptcy Alphabet” exercise. Please take a few minutes to check out these other blog posts on the letter “T.”

Taking Social Security to Pay Student Loans – by St. Clair Shores MI Bankruptcy Attorney Kurt O’Keefe
Tax Discharge
– by Allen Park, Michigan Bankruptcy Lawyer, Christopher McAvoy
Tax Dischargeability – by Northern California Bankruptcy Attorney, Cate Eranthe
Tax Refund – by Cleveland Bankruptcy Attorney Bill Balena
Tax Refunds – by Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr
Taxes – by Kauai Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart T. Ing
Tension – by San Mateo County Bankruptcy Lawyer Cathy Moran
Thankful for Bankruptcy Laws – by Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer, Mark Markus
Thirteen – by Metro Richmond Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein
Tools of the Trade – by Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Lawyer Bob Doig
Transfers – by Omaha/Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell
Trustee – by Bankruptcy Lawyer Jay S. Fleischman
Trustee – by Livonia Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Peter Behrmann
Trustee Duties – by Lakewood, CA Bankruptcy Attorney, Christine A. Wilton

Image Credit: TooFarNorth/flickr

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