Established in 1966, Patten Realty, Inc. was a land management company later renamed Bluegreen Vacations. Since that time, Bluegreen has grown to become a leader in vacation ownership. They boast 220,000+ owners with vacation timeshares across a range of popular destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean.
Sound like a dream? Timeshare ownership can often turn into a nightmare, so think before you buy any timeshare. According to a University of Central Florida study, 85% of timeshare owners who go to contract regret their purchase. If you regret buying a timeshare from Bluegreen, here are some options for an exit strategy.
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Best Way to Get Out of a Bluegreen Timeshare
The best option is to return the ownership to the resort developer. Bluegreen offers a unique service that allows Bluegreen Vacation Club owners to exit their ownership and surrender it directly to Bluegreen.
Bluegreen owners can call a specialist directly at 800-456-2582 or fill out a form using a timeshare resale brokerage.
If you call Bluegreen directly, they will refer you to their customer care department and discuss options with you. They do not have an in-house resale department and will recommend you a resale provider.
You can also sell it on your own and try to recoup some of that initial outlay of funds by tapping into friends and family, social media, and other online marketing efforts.
How Do I Give Back my Bluegreen Timeshare?
To qualify to cancel Bluegreen timeshares, they will have to be paid in full, and all yearly maintenance fees must be current, must not have a mortgage, and is points-based and not a fixed-week property.
There is an online form and a phone number where you can contact Bluegreen directly and begin ending your ownership.
If you do not qualify for this, you may want to explore other options such as selling it yourself, hiring a timeshare resale real estate agent, hiring an attorney, or a timeshare exit company.
If you use a timeshare broker, they will not charge you an upfront fee to put your timeshare on the market. Any costs are paid from the commission of the final sale price.
Why Don’t More Bluegreen Owners Know About This Program?
Bluegreen — or any other timeshare developer — won’t promote this because they are in the business of making money. What’s the point of signing a costly contract when you can place a simple phone call on your own to give it back?
Before you begin trying to get rid of your timeshare, streamline the process by gathering all the ownership documentation, current statements, and other paperwork that confirms ownership rights.
If This Won’t Work for You, Here are Other Options to Consider
If you are feeling stuck with your timeshare contract, other options could include refinancing your timeshare mortgage or giving away your timeshare to friends or family.
Give It to Charity
Giving away to charity is another great option. Not only does it help you get rid of a burden, but it also helps others. They provide you with a tax receipt for your contribution. Plus, you may be eligible to deduct the fair market value of your donation from your taxes.
But before you do this, check to make sure the charity truly wants it. You don’t want to burden an unsuspecting charity with thousands of dollars in annual fees. You will want to consult your tax adviser to determine if you qualify for the tax write-off and make sure you understand whether there are any financial ramifications on your part if the charity defaults on payments.
The charity will also help you with the transfer and paperwork process. Donating to a charity means that you don’t have to continue to pay the maintenance fees, taxes and special assessments while the timeshare sits on the market.
Keep in mind that a charity will be unable to accept your timeshare donation if there is a mortgage attached to it.
Rent It Out
Timeshare rental sites such as KOALA can also help offset your annual dues and maintenance fees. If they can rent out your timeshare, they take an 8% commission fee, much like an Airbnb for timeshares. They also provide you with free $1 million host coverage, a secure payment transaction portal, and a flexible cancellation policy.
Is There a Rescission Period?
Yes. If you have purchased your Bluegreen timeshare directly from Bluegreen, you have a period known as a recission period in which you can request to get out of your ownership. The rescission period is usually within three to 10 days from your purchase date, but the length of time depends on the rescission law in the state in which you purchased your timeshare points.
Read the fine print in the contract to know what the exact rescission period is.
What is Bluegreen’s Timeshare Cancellation Policy?
You may cancel and request a refund at any time within 30 days of the date that you purchased your vacation package. The refund amount will be the purchase price of the vacation package, less the retail value of any gifts and accommodations received.
If you have used any of the days or nights included with this vacation package, you are ineligible to receive a refund. Bluegreen reserves the right to cancel any reservations and issue a full refund for any reason until three days before scheduled check-in.
Sell It on the Resale Market
If you’re looking to sell, online sites such as eBay, Craigslist, RedWeek and Timeshare Users Group will be your cheapest options, or you could hire a real estate agent. If you choose the DIY route, you will need to put in the legwork for yourself, such as checking the going rate and looking at comparable properties to estimate a realistic valuation.
Keep your expectations realistic. It’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to sell for an amount close to your purchase price unless your property is in high demand (Disney Vacation Club, for example.)
Most buyers and sellers are online nowadays, just like searching for any other kind of real estate or travel product. Promote your timeshare online in as many outlets to have a chance of finding a buyer. It takes some time to set up but is very cost-effective.
Brokers can also create an online listing at no cost to the seller and put the word out through a national broker network.
If you hire an agent, most states require some license to sell timeshares or timeshare resales. Some states require a real estate license, while others require a special timeshare license, and several states have no licensing requirement to handle sales or resales of timeshares. Check your state-specific laws.
Stop Paying Your Dues
If you have a mortgage, your payments are being made to the lender, and if you stop paying your Bluegreen timeshare payments, the lender will want its money back. Your account could be referred to a debt collector or, in extreme cases, taken to court for a decision.
Once the lender reports to any one of the three major credit reporting agencies — Experian, Transunion, and Equifax — your credit can take a severe hit from late payments, foreclosure, or charge-off.
Before considering this route, consult a law firm since this can hurt your credit score — like bankruptcy — and stay on your credit report for the next seven years. A derogatory remark on your credit report will hamper your ability to get any loan or even housing during this period.
Work With a Reputable Timeshare Exit Company
Even though Bluegreen provides an exit strategy for customers, not everyone will qualify. If you are carrying a mortgage, you may need to hire a timeshare exit company. Beware of scams that look for upfront fees and don’t have licensed agents.
Legitimate timeshare exit companies will have an escrow payment option, offer free consultations and give you a full refund if you aren’t satisfied. Escrow is particularly important because it protects you — and your money — if the company you choose closes suddenly or declares bankruptcy.
Timeshatter is a great overall option, while Lonestar Transfer is best for properties with a mortgage attached to them. Timeshatter has an excellent online reputation and is our recommendation as the best overall timeshare exit company. They provide customized service by analyzing your contract and pairing you with the expert in that scenario.
Lonestar Transfer is unique because it specializes in two different strategies: one for clients who own the property free and clear, and another for clients who are carrying a mortgage. It offers a money-back guarantee and has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
Want to know some of the secrets of a timeshare salesperson? Watch and learn more:
How do Bluegreen Points Work?
You receive an allotment of points that act as “currency.” You typically have a week to enjoy in any of the properties within their network — allocated points values are based on location, seasonal demands, room size, and days of the week. Weekends typically cost about 25% more than weekdays, and owners try to maximize their points by booking during weekdays.
These points can be exchanged, converted, or saved. Vacation Club Points are used to book resort stays within the Bluegreen network through the Direct Exchange, their booking engine, and RCI, an affiliated exchange company and one of the largest in the world.
Other brands within the RCI network include Wyndham, Disney Vacation Club, Hilton, and Holiday Inn Club.
You can also use your points at participating Choice Hotels by becoming a Choice Privileges member and linking a Bluegreen Vacations account.
What are the Costs of a Bluegreen Timeshare?
The costs of a Bluegreen timeshare include the original purchase price, annual maintenance fees, and annual club dues. The pricing will depend on how many Vacation Club Points you own. Bluegreen Vacation Club members have to pay the base fee, a per-point maintenance fee, and annual club dues for each use year.
Weekends also cost more than weekdays, up to 25% more if you purchase additional points. The maintenance fees for the borrowed points must be pre-paid and are payable at the start of each year.
2019 Rates are as follows:
- Base fee: $373
- Per point fee: $0.0641/annual $.03205/biennial
- Club dues: $139
Where are Bluegreen Resorts Located?
Most Bluegreen resorts are located along the Eastern Seaboard from New Hampshire to Florida, including one of the most popular U.S. timeshare destinations, Orlando. There are a few locations in the Midwest, three locations in the West, including Southern California, Las Vegas, and Arizona; one in Hawaii and one in Aruba.
Is a Bluegreen Timeshare a Good Investment?
Timeshares in general are not good investments. First off, it is considered fractional ownership, and therefore there is no return on investment. It also has a high-interest rate if you take out a loan. There are upfront costs, annual escalating maintenance fees, you are liable for any special assessments, and it can cost you more in the long run instead of just paying directly to rent a place yourself. In addition, it’s hard to resell, and you typically take a significant hit on the secondary marketplace. If you sell at a loss, there’s no IRS benefit to claim a capital loss, and then there’s the potential for long-range boredom.
The Bottom Line
The timeshare industry has perfected the sales pitch, but think twice before buying into any timeshare, even deeded fractional ownerships. Timeshares do not increase in value, have no investment value, and only your maintenance fees are guaranteed to increase each year. For many people, timeshare ownership ends up being a huge financial burden. And, if you decide to relinquish your timeshare, it can be costly and a huge hassle.
In the end, there is no market value for timeshares, even in the resale market. And if you decide to stop paying, lenders can strike you and ruin your credit.
Patten Realty, Inc. It began as a land management company established in 1966 was later renamed Bluegreen Vacations.
They own 60 properties across the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Once you have found a buyer, you can fill out the Bluegreen transfer form online and pay a $450 transfer fee. Bluegreen sends the paperwork to the title company for closing. You are also free to choose your own title company.
They are marketed as an investment, but by definition, they should increase in value over time. Timeshares do not. You can buy someone’s timeshare for $1 or for free, but all the annual fees, membership fees, maintenance fees, club dues, possible assessment fees will likely cost you more than if you booked a week at the same timeshare property on your own.