'Money-back guarantee' to sell a timeshare? Proceed with caution, Orange County couple learns

ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A "money-back guarantee" convinced an Orange County couple to sell their timeshare, but after more than a year they say all they got instead was a headache.

Yavetta Cole and her husband, Brandon, bought their timeshare in Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago but say they have not gotten a good return on the investment.

"We've stayed in that resort once," Yavetta Cole. When a company called Vanguard & Associates reached out to them, they were skeptical at first.

"I was like I don't believe it, we have already tried to get out. (They said) Well we have a 100 percent guarantee you are going to get out. Money back or you're out," she said. "We were like, we'll try it. We have nothing to lose, you'll give us our money back if you don't get us out. They said we have a year to get you out, and we were like OK, perfect," she said.

The Coles signed the contract and paid the $4,500 fee in 2017. A few months later, they say, the company told them the deal was in the final stages and they needed to pay another $695 to cover closing costs.

The Coles sent the money but never got any paperwork confirming the sale.

"That's when I started calling like all the time. Every week I would send an email or make a phone call. Then it got to the point where they stopped answering our calls," Cole said.

She said she decided to look for information on her own, and she was surprised to find out they still owned the timeshare.

"By looking at the Las Vegas register of deeds and I looked up the property and looked up our name and it said that we were the owners."

She decided to reach out to the Troubleshooter team to help get the issue resolved. Vanguard did not return any calls or emails, but the company did reach out to the Coles to let them know they were getting a refund of $4,500.

"It's a relief because we actually got our money back, but it's still a reminder that we still own a timeshare," Cole said.

Troubleshooter Takeaways

When it comes to selling a timeshare, there are usually no quick solutions.

A search on eBay shows many timeshares for sale for as little as $0.01 because owners just want to get rid of them. If you are looking to sell, one option is to contact your timeshare company directly and ask if you can deed it back to them. Doing that means you will not make any money, but it will get you out of paying yearly maintenance fees.

If you find a company that claims they can sell a timeshare for you, read all of the paperwork closely and make sure you understand and agree to all of the terms and conditions, including what happens if they are not able to complete the sale.
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