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Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
What is the £445 for?
2013 maintainance fee of £390.00 plus their costs for outstanding payment
Did you have the contractual right to terminate the membership?
no,but this wasn't explained fully when we signed up
The main issue here is whether you had the right to cancel the timeshare in the first place. Doing this can be a nightmare because many memberships do not allow members to cancel them and there can be penalties in doing so or the resort can simply pursue you for breach of contract and recover any unpaid fees. Many companies have been successful in doing this because a high proportion of members have been cancelling their memberships in breach of contract without having the right to do so.
You claim that the right to cancel was not explained to you at time of signing but that would not necessarily make the contract unfair or void, allowing you to cancel it now. To qualify there must have been some form of misrepresentation by the resort, for example if they lied about your rights but they do not have to tell you that you could not cancel. Had you asked them whether you can cancel and they said yes, then it turned out that you could not, then that would be a case of misrepresentation that can make the contract void and allow you to terminate it.
What appears to have happened here is that the resort has disagreed with your reasons for termination and has treated your actions as breach of contract, instructing debt collectors to recover the money you owe them. This could end up being a matter of their word against theirs - you strongly believe you are in the right and they feel the same way. If it creates an impasse that cannot be resolved it just may end up by one party suing the other, in this case it would most likely be the resort suing you.
At this stage you can respond to the debt collectors, disputing you owe money and providing details of why the contract was cancelled. In any event this is now in the hands of the resort - if they want to sue you for breach of contract they can do and it would be for the courts to try and resolve this to decide who is in the right and who is in the wrong. They could just be using the debt collectors as a scare tactic and hope you pay, without going to court, but only time will tell.
Do you think we should pay the outstanding debt, or wait to see how far they take it?
well there is no guarantee that will be the end of it - they could continue claiming for future fees that you would have had to pay by remaining a member, so you pay that now, you could be in the same situation a few months down the line. You could call their bluff but there is no guarantee they are bluffing an they could take it to court - as mentioned resorts do sue members
At least if that happens you will get the chance to defend your side and raise the argument as to why you should have been allowed to cancel
OK, thanks for your help
You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and all the best