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Timeshares face foreclosure problem

Published (3/23/2012)
By Lee Ann Schutz
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Timeshares, seen as the affordable way to own a vacation getaway, are facing their own foreclosure problems, with owners defaulting on maintenance assessments.

Associations, formed to look out for all the owners’ interests, including property maintenance, are left to foreclose on those who are delinquent in payments. For some associations, how the property’s title is recorded can make the process extremely expensive.

A bill, HF2763, sponsored by Rep. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), could provide some relief and eliminate a barrier to timeshare resale. Approved March 19 by the House Civil Law Committee, it now moves to the full House for action.

Carrie Ruud, a governmental lobbying consultant from Breezy Point, told the committee that there are 12,000 timeshare owners in Breezy Point represented by

14 timeshare associations. She displayed a list from one association with more than

70 timeshares going through the foreclosure process. Because the county uses a Torrens recording system, the legal costs can be prohibitive for associations.

Timeshare values average between

$200 to $600 a week. The cost to foreclose can average $2,000 to $2,500, she said; however, in a Torrens situation, the costs can double.

“This would remove the additional barrier to getting the timeshare units back into the hands of new owners who will pay the dues, use the units and support the local economy during their vacation visits,” Ruud wrote in support of the bill.

Westrom’s bill, while protecting due process, would allow associations to secure new certificates of title after the completion of property conducted foreclosures.

The companion, SF2184, sponsored by Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), awaits action on the Senate floor.

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