Debt Free Living

Operation: Get Out of Debt: Pressures, Pitfalls, and Poor Choices

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In 2015, my sweet Lady, had her first stroke.  It was a tough year for her.  She struggled through all the pokes, prods, tests, weakness….she just kept on keeping on.  I was so proud of her for all that she was doing to fight back and to get well again.  That was the year that our relationship turned, a bit.  It did not turn too much because she was still my mentor, my best friend, my confidante, my person….but I became a caregiver for her.

I started simple by just doing her laundry.  I did that because her washer and dryer were in the basement and she did not need to go downstairs to do it (or I didn’t want her to go downstairs).  It was not and a big deal to me.  There were days, or weeks, when her laundry would be a little more than I could handle in the time I was there (because we were chatting and I forgot LOL), so I would bring it to my house to wash.  Again, she was my family.  She is my family.  I would have done anything for her.

Then it moved to “hey Lady….let me collect the garbage and get it on to the curb.”  It wasn’t that she couldn’t do it….I didn’t want her to do it because she had some left sided weakness and she got out of breathe taking the heavy garbage down the steps, through the courtyard, down the driveway and then hoisting it up to the can.  I wanted to serve her.

Next up was keeping up with the dishes and my, personal favorite (cause I seriously love doing this), was organizing closets, cleaning out the fridge, cleaning out her closet.  We had the best time giggling over things that I would find.  Oh, how I miss her.

I digress into memories.

We trudged through that first year and she announced that she wanted to send all of my family on a vacation.  She had points that she could use through her Timeshare, to many for her to use or her family to use and she was going to lose them if we didn’t take some.  I struggled with accepting such a gracious gift because that is a lot plus, I didn’t want to leave her for that long.  She insisted and so in March of 2016, we headed to Virginia for 10 days.  The only thing we “had” to do was go to some Timeshare informational meeting, but we just had to listen…it would only take 30 minutes out of our 10 days and then we could be done.

So, we planned events around that 30 minute chunk of time.  No big deal.  Or so we thought.  This 30 minute meeting turned into 4 hrs long!  4 hrs of telling us how great timeshares were and how much money we were saving by buying into this…how the points we could get through buying a timeshare were points that would give our entire family a guaranteed vacation, even when our family was still expanding.  There was the one time fee, no more, no less and we would get a free tablet.  We would be able to use our points to have someone buy our groceries and have them delivered and put away in our condo of choice in our location of choice…we could even go to Europe.  I mean, it *sounded* glorious and affordable.

When we sat down, with a representative, and they reviewed it all again.  They brought us lunch, they were engaging and then they showed us the price.  Uhm, no.  Just no.  Oh, wait…NO.  The price tag was like $40K and we were not going to do that.  Then the manager came over and told us again, the pitch.  By then 2 hrs had passed.  We informed them that we could not afford that.  He asked what our professions were…Big Daddy said he was a P & P officer and I homeschooled the kids.  He asked how much we could afford and we told him nothing.  He took that info and came back and said that he would slash that price in half, we would still get everything, as promised because of our professions.

We told him that we needed to think on it and asked if we could come back later and make a decision…..he said no, the offer only stands for right that second and if we leave, it would go up to full price or even grow in price.  He needed an answer immediately.  I guess we were shocked when we heard we could not even leave without giving them an answer….but now, more time had passed.  I was over it.  Big Daddy yielded to the pressure.  I didn’t give it much of a fight because I was over it.  Just over it.  We were so stupid.

Well, that sounded like something we could do.  We yielded to the pressure of this and we took out a small equity loan to cover the cost.  We thought we had it made.  We finished out our vacation and we came home to tell my Lady.  She just shook her head.  She said, guys….did they tell you about the maintenance fee you have to pay every year that costs as much as your house taxes?  Did they tell you that this?  Did they tell you that?  What about this?  She said that her fees go up every single year and she cannot financially handle it anymore but it takes death to get out of it and since she has family, death wouldn’t even do it, her family would inherit the timeshares (even though they do not want it), and they are now responsible for the fees.

We were shocked.  We tried to get out of it, but it had been past the 10 day mark, so we were stuck.  We were stuck with this loan.  We were stuck with these fees, so we thought we would just make the best out of it.  We were not told, the amount of points we “bought” would not accommodate all of my family.  We needed more points.  More points meant more benefits.  More benefits meant more in fees.  Oh, and they don’t know who told us about the grocery thing, but unless we are platinum members, that doesn’t happen.

We were lied to about so many things.  We were pressured and the fun thing is, is where the meeting was….there was no wifi and there was no tower to use my 4g to even look up this operation to read reviews on it.  Convenient, huh :/

Be wary of timeshares.  They are nearly impossible to get out of, they are vicious, they will call your family to pressure for payment, they do not stop.  It never stops.  You would have to hire a lawyer to get out of it.  You can’t sell it because it is not worth anything and if you do sell it (that rarely happens), then you will lose money.  If you stop paying, they foreclose on you and it affects your credit scores…..so you are stuck.

Please be aware and do your homework!

Do not be pressured.

Do your homework.

Pray.

Don’t just “I’m over it” like I did.

Don’t buckle on the pressure.

Be wise.  Don’t be stupid, like us :/

Luckily, we are out of it, but not without consequences.

The joys of making crap decisions….they follow you forever.

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