Please help! Father is addicted to Timeshares

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alaskantraveler
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Please help! Father is addicted to Timeshares

Post by alaskantraveler » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:51 pm

So about five years ago my parents visited Sedona, AZ with some friends and went to a Timeshare presentation in exchange for some free tickets. They ended up with a time share for every other year. Maint. Fee $1100 every other year. Not sure what they paid for it, but somewhere around $15k. Next year they went back to stay at their timeshare and there was an owners update meeting. They drank some champagne and walk out with another timeshare for every other year, probably paid about the same amount. My parents visited Sedona in December then went to a trip to Cancun/Playa del Carmen and stayed at some nice hotels. My mother passed away in January from terminal illness. Since then I've been helping my father with his finances, getting them in order/ streamlined as my mother paid most of the bills. So part of that involved linking credit cards to Mint, etc.. I see that the Hyatt Pinion Pointe has just charged $15,000 to his credit card. It appears he had bought a 4th timeshare in Sedona when he was there in November. Then I was helping him book a free week certificate he had associated with his Hyatt timeshares and I see an email from a timeshare in Cancun. He has a $25,000 balance to be paid on another timeshare he purchased while in Mexico in December. Total of 5 timeshares now. I have discussed with him my views that timeshares are not a good deal especially when purchased from the developer. If you really want a timeshare you should look on the secondary market. I see Hyatt Pinion Pointe timeshare selling for as little as $1500 on redweek.com. I know this wasn't a well thought out decision for them because they did no research, they just are easy prey for these timeshare presentations.

My father is 62. Total assets about $1million. Income about $120k. Still has a home loan. Will have a modest pension at 65. He has been talking about how he wants to retire, but then spent $40k on timeshares in the last 3 months.

What can I do? I try to help him and give him financial advise. Currently trying to get him to move away from a Merryl adviser. 1% AUM, high mutual fund fees, etc. I feel like all of my advice and help is so small when compared to these horrible financial decisions he is making.

Question, because my mother has passed away since he purchased the last two timeshares. I don't believe he has paid for them yet, is there any chance he can get out of them? I know that a lot of timeshares have a resend period. He is likely past that. He does have a lawyer that he uses that is a family friend.

What should I do?

s0me0nesmind1
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by s0me0nesmind1 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:01 pm

There is little you can do until he actually gets the courage to break down the costs himself. You could try to spell out the numbers for him in a very presentable fashion, but there are plenty of people that are simply close-minded on the topic of money until they realize it themselves. I've heard through the timeshare resales there are cases where people will actually pay the buyer to take the timeshare off their hands.

I remember the first time a street advertiser convinced me to go to a timeshare presentation - we (Wife and I) went in knowing we were going to say No and just wanted the free stuff. The amount of desperation, offensiveness, and downright anger that I saw from the people trying to sell us the timeshares made me do 2 things:
1) Laugh my ass off at them, because it was really quite comical to see someone trying to sell me something getting angry at me.
2) The desperation just illustrates that it's not a good deal, there is absolutely nothing good that can come in life from a situation like this. It's equivalent to a Nigerian Prince randomly contacting you by email to hold his millions of dollars in assets. It's so unrealistic that it's funny.

Either way, I wish you and your dad the best of luck.

student
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by student » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:25 pm

s0me0nesmind1 wrote:There is little you can do until he actually gets the courage to break down the costs himself. You could try to spell out the numbers for him in a very presentable fashion, but there are plenty of people that are simply close-minded on the topic of money until they realize it themselves. I've heard through the timeshare resales there are cases where people will actually pay the buyer to take the timeshare off their hands.

I remember the first time a street advertiser convinced me to go to a timeshare presentation - we (Wife and I) went in knowing we were going to say No and just wanted the free stuff. The amount of desperation, offensiveness, and downright anger that I saw from the people trying to sell us the timeshares made me do 2 things:
1) Laugh my ass off at them, because it was really quite comical to see someone trying to sell me something getting angry at me.
2) The desperation just illustrates that it's not a good deal, there is absolutely nothing good that can come in life from a situation like this. It's equivalent to a Nigerian Prince randomly contacting you by email to hold his millions of dollars in assets. It's so unrealistic that it's funny.

Either way, I wish you and your dad the best of luck.
I have the same experience. I went to such an event once and I have decided that the free ticket is not worth it.

JGoneRiding
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:32 pm

Good luck!! I got my parents to agree not to attend any more lectures. That has been better

mhalley
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by mhalley » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:34 pm

Is there any chance that he is in mental decline? Or perhaps Depressed? Does he actually use the timeshares? Certainly it is possible that he knows what he is doing, but just be on the alert for early dementia. Unfortunately it is pretty hard to get rid of time shares, so you may want him to set up his will to either donate them to charity or something, don't know whether that is even possible. You can decline them if he leaves them to you. Certainly you could talk to the lawyer, but doubt if there is any way to legally get out of them.
https://timesharespecialists.com/legall ... KNpz9wrK90

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FIREchief
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by FIREchief » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:45 pm

s0me0nesmind1 wrote:I remember the first time a street advertiser convinced me to go to a timeshare presentation - we (Wife and I) went in knowing we were going to say No and just wanted the free stuff. The amount of desperation, offensiveness, and downright anger that I saw from the people trying to sell us the timeshares made me do 2 things:
1) Laugh my ass off at them, because it was really quite comical to see someone trying to sell me something getting angry at me.
2) The desperation just illustrates that it's not a good deal, there is absolutely nothing good that can come in life from a situation like this. It's equivalent to a Nigerian Prince randomly contacting you by email to hold his millions of dollars in assets. It's so unrealistic that it's funny.
Nice!! We did the same thing once in Vegas. As a couple who might plan a $1000 purchase for weeks (or months), the chances of us committing to anything like a timeshare "on the spot" are less than the chances of a blizzard in Vegas. I got exactly what I went for:

a) an entertaining afternoon
b) a free lunch
c) free show tickets at the MGM Grand
d) $50 phony casino cash that I ran through a video blackjack machine. Luck was kind, and after I spent the last "credit dollar" I walked away with $53 real cash! (btw: that was the only "gambling" we did on that trip other than some penny slots for fun).

The only depressing part was seeing some other couples take the bait (especially sad when one spouse was sold and the other wasn't).
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

tim1999
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by tim1999 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:53 pm

My understanding with timeshares is that after you pay for the initial purchase, it becomes a worthless liability unless you actually plan on using it to the fullest extent. The 40k your dad paid is a sunk cost and likely cannot be recovered in any significant portion. At this point he should either use them and enjoy them, or give them away for free/pay one of those "timeshare exit" companies to get rid of them.

This may be some poor coping mechanism on his part in reaction to his wife's health decline and death, like he thinks he can "buy happiness" by taking on these timeshares and potentially actually using them. Or it is "something to look forward to." I have seen this mentality before. Has he made any other unusual purchases recently?

s0me0nesmind1
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by s0me0nesmind1 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:29 pm

tim1999 wrote:My understanding with timeshares is that after you pay for the initial purchase, it becomes a worthless liability unless you actually plan on using it to the fullest extent. The 40k your dad paid is a sunk cost and likely cannot be recovered in any significant portion. At this point he should either use them and enjoy them, or give them away for free/pay one of those "timeshare exit" companies to get rid of them.

This may be some poor coping mechanism on his part in reaction to his wife's health decline and death, like he thinks he can "buy happiness" by taking on these timeshares and potentially actually using them. Or it is "something to look forward to." I have seen this mentality before. Has he made any other unusual purchases recently?
I'm not a lawyer, but is there any chance he can default on the credit card payment to pay for these? In that affect, wouldn't the bank essentially "own" the timeshare?

Would filing for bankruptcy be at all helpful by chance? We are talking 5 instances of buying these 10-15k timeshares according to the OP, which is at least $50k. That is a ton of money we are talking here. Before accepting defeat on that large chunk of change I would definitely consult a lawyer. But that would require the father to be on board first...

EthelT
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by EthelT » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:35 pm

Take a look at the Tug (Timeshare Users Group) website, http://tug2.net/. It costs something like $15 to join and there's lots of good info about selling timeshares, renting them etc as well as dealing with the timeshare management companies. There is also the option to list timeshares for sale or rent. (plus less desirable timeshare folks are trying to give away). I think you'll find some good info and the secondary market pricing in the classifieds might be very informative for your dad.

There's also redweek.com which is a rental/sale website. I've not used, but again, it may provide you with some good info.

Good luck.

Ethel

tim1999
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by tim1999 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:04 pm

s0me0nesmind1 wrote:
I'm not a lawyer, but is there any chance he can default on the credit card payment to pay for these? In that affect, wouldn't the bank essentially "own" the timeshare?

Would filing for bankruptcy be at all helpful by chance? We are talking 5 instances of buying these 10-15k timeshares according to the OP, which is at least $50k. That is a ton of money we are talking here. Before accepting defeat on that large chunk of change I would definitely consult a lawyer. But that would require the father to be on board first...
If he defaults on the credit card payment, his credit will get destroyed and their will likely be a lien filed in his county against him by the credit card company. If he does this, he would need to apply for a replacement credit card from another company before doing so. I do not know if the timeshare company would take the timeshares back at this point somehow, or just keep sending him bills for maintenance. Destroying his credit over this is a bad option.

I don't see how he could file from bankruptcy over $40k in timeshare costs when he has assets of $1 million and a six-figure income. I would think any bankruptcy lawyer would tell him to get lost, he has no case. Bankruptcy is not a viable option at all unless one day he tells you he just bought $2 million worth of timeshares.

You need to read his timeshare contracts on the latest purchase to see if he has any recourse. More importantly, work on stopping the behavior from continuing into the future. If he earns a six-figure income, I assume from working a job and being productive, then you can't exactly have him declared mentally incompetent and take over his financial affairs by power of attorney. I don't know your dad but I don't think we are talking about a senile 94 year old that can barely feed himself.

alaskantraveler
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by alaskantraveler » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:22 pm

First, I think I need to sit down and talk to him, show him on paper how these were really bad financial decisions. That may be hard for him face. There is a possibility that he spent he has $45k into the three he has already paid for plus $15k for the one that is already charged to the credit card plus the $25k that is awaiting payment. How do you tell your father that he basically put $85k on a plate and burned it.

One question was whether or not he could decline the credit card charge for the $15k, then refuse to pay the other $25k that is outstanding for the Cancun timeshare. This could save him $40k. He would have to have his lawyer send the timeshare companies letters saying he was dealing with the terminal illness of his wife and not thinking rationally. Also my mother signed on the timeshare agreements as well. She has since passed away. My father has yet to receive any value from either of these timeshares yet.

As for his mindset. His is certainly mentally competent. He just subjects himself to these timeshare presentations and falls prey. There is a really good post over on reddit about a credit card churner who new timeshares were really bad investments/ideas, but went to a presentation in Vegas to get the free tickets with his wife. He walked out with a timeshare. Fortunately came to his senses the next day and rescinded the timeshare within the allowed timeframe. It is just a lesson that the sales tactics are extremely high pressure, convincing. I know from my own experience that I had this really good magazine salesman come to my door when I was in college and he sold me magazines that I really didn't need or want. I remember thinking in the back of my head that I didn't really need or want the magazines, but the sales pitch was just sooo compelling. Fortunately, I was only out $50. I'm a different person today, and I don't think I will fall prey to this tactic anymore, but who knows.

s0me0nesmind1
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by s0me0nesmind1 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:26 pm

tim1999 wrote:
s0me0nesmind1 wrote:
I'm not a lawyer, but is there any chance he can default on the credit card payment to pay for these? In that affect, wouldn't the bank essentially "own" the timeshare?

Would filing for bankruptcy be at all helpful by chance? We are talking 5 instances of buying these 10-15k timeshares according to the OP, which is at least $50k. That is a ton of money we are talking here. Before accepting defeat on that large chunk of change I would definitely consult a lawyer. But that would require the father to be on board first...
If he defaults on the credit card payment, his credit will get destroyed and their will likely be a lien filed in his county against him by the credit card company. If he does this, he would need to apply for a replacement credit card from another company before doing so. I do not know if the timeshare company would take the timeshares back at this point somehow, or just keep sending him bills for maintenance. Destroying his credit over this is a bad option.

I don't see how he could file from bankruptcy over $40k in timeshare costs when he has assets of $1 million and a six-figure income. I would think any bankruptcy lawyer would tell him to get lost, he has no case. Bankruptcy is not a viable option at all unless one day he tells you he just bought $2 million worth of timeshares.

You need to read his timeshare contracts on the latest purchase to see if he has any recourse. More importantly, work on stopping the behavior from continuing into the future. If he earns a six-figure income, I assume from working a job and being productive, then you can't exactly have him declared mentally incompetent and take over his financial affairs by power of attorney. I don't know your dad but I don't think we are talking about a senile 94 year old that can barely feed himself.
To each their own, personally I can survive just fine for 7 years with junk credit over losing $50k. Especially if it doesn't affect my spouse's credit and/or if I already have debt in place (such as a home mortgage with no plans to move)

I was under the impression Bankrupcy would be more along the ballpark of ~$15k worth of costs, so I have no clue - just trying to see what his options are.

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by cherijoh » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:31 pm

alaskantraveler wrote:So about five years ago my parents visited Sedona, AZ with some friends and went to a Timeshare presentation in exchange for some free tickets. They ended up with a time share for every other year. Maint. Fee $1100 every other year. Not sure what they paid for it, but somewhere around $15k. Next year they went back to stay at their timeshare and there was an owners update meeting. They drank some champagne and walk out with another timeshare for every other year, probably paid about the same amount. My parents visited Sedona in December then went to a trip to Cancun/Playa del Carmen and stayed at some nice hotels. My mother passed away in January from terminal illness. Since then I've been helping my father with his finances, getting them in order/ streamlined as my mother paid most of the bills. So part of that involved linking credit cards to Mint, etc.. I see that the Hyatt Pinion Pointe has just charged $15,000 to his credit card. It appears he had bought a 4th timeshare in Sedona when he was there in November. Then I was helping him book a free week certificate he had associated with his Hyatt timeshares and I see an email from a timeshare in Cancun. He has a $25,000 balance to be paid on another timeshare he purchased while in Mexico in December. Total of 5 timeshares now. I have discussed with him my views that timeshares are not a good deal especially when purchased from the developer. If you really want a timeshare you should look on the secondary market. I see Hyatt Pinion Pointe timeshare selling for as little as $1500 on redweek.com. I know this wasn't a well thought out decision for them because they did no research, they just are easy prey for these timeshare presentations.

My father is 62. Total assets about $1million. Income about $120k. Still has a home loan. Will have a modest pension at 65. He has been talking about how he wants to retire, but then spent $40k on timeshares in the last 3 months.

What can I do? I try to help him and give him financial advise. Currently trying to get him to move away from a Merryl adviser. 1% AUM, high mutual fund fees, etc. I feel like all of my advice and help is so small when compared to these horrible financial decisions he is making.

Question, because my mother has passed away since he purchased the last two timeshares. I don't believe he has paid for them yet, is there any chance he can get out of them? I know that a lot of timeshares have a resend period. He is likely past that. He does have a lawyer that he uses that is a family friend.

What should I do?
I think there is typically a three-day cooling off period during which you can cancel the purchase. So he is undoubtedly stuck with them. I'm not sure there is anything you can do to get him to see the error of his ways.

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:34 pm

My wife and I have been to the TimeShare presentation in Sedona.
Last edited by Sandtrap on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alaskantraveler
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by alaskantraveler » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:44 pm

Sandtrap wrote:My wife and I have been to the TimeShare presentation in Sedona.
Yep. Champagne and large flower arrangements for the ones that commit, for all in the room to see.
We got hustled out the back door after I started asking too many "wrong questions" that might be overheard.
There are many very very smart people that see nothing wrong with TimeShares.
Difficult.
Somehow you need to pull the blinders off.
I'm not saying that no smart person would ever buy a timeshare. There are people out there that do buy timeshares. The smart ones buy them from the secondary market and usually buy them for $1. There are hundreds of timeshares over at TUG2 timeshare user group for sale for $1. The owner even pays all the closing cost. If you only have to pay the year dues, then price isn't bad. $1100 for one week at a really nice property that would sell for $400/night isn't a bad deal. So the smart people buy them for $1 or for a fraction of the cost that they were originally sold for from the developer. They use them for a few years then resell them for $1 if they can to someone else.

If a person bought a timeshare from the developer, they almost certainly overpaid. I believe this to be the case in 99.99% of cases. I read somewhere that 1 in 10 Americans owns a timeshare. So were are dealing with a huge chunk of the population that paid way too much for a worthless timeshare from a developer. No one like to admit that they were wrong and for many of these people it may be one of the most expensive poor decisions of their life. Everyone just has to keep telling themselves that they made a good decision so you don't have to be like my father an admit that you actually threw away $80k for something that is a worthless liability. Meaning you may not even be able to sell it even for $1.

I will add that even if you do get value out of it, that doesn't offset the cost. Because you very likely could have bought a comparable timeshare for $1. So if you paid $15k for a timeshare, you put $15k on a plate and burned it, even if you had wonderful vacations every year for the past 10 years at your timeshare that does not change the fact that you paid $15k for something you could have bought for $1.

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by Aptenodytes » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:01 pm

I was thinking for a second that your dad might be able generate some income from the timeshares through AirBnB (though clearly less than the costs) but then I realized: shouldn't it be the case that AirBnB has killed off whatever small justification there may have once been for timeshares? AirBnB is essentially a global time share that lets you stay wherever you want, any time you want. No equity investment required. It might be an eye-opener to see what rates are being charged through AirBnB at resorts where your dad has timeshares.

I suppose the time share associations all forbid renting out through AirBnB, but so do many of the places where I've used AirBnB.

Are there other family members that might conceivably enjoy staying at his timeshares? Perhaps he can recoup his sunk costs indirectly by offering the time shares to his extended family as a gift, benefiting from the joy that brings.

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by Fallible » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:19 pm

You said you have talked with your father about this, but what did he say? How well does he understand this and his finances overall, especially in preparation for retirement? Your mother died just a short time ago, so he could still be grieving and distracted.

If he is willing to discuss this with his attorney, that could be a good move.
Last edited by Fallible on Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:23 pm

alaskantraveler wrote:My father is 62. Total assets about $1million. Income about $120k. Still has a home loan. Will have a modest pension at 65. He has been talking about how he wants to retire, but then spent $40k on timeshares in the last 3 months.
This is one part I focused on. How much is the remaining home loan? It seems unusual that he has good income and resources but still has a home loan. Not to mention the fact that the money he's been shelling out for the timeshare obviously should be going to pay down the home loan. Now some here might say "what's the interest rate on the mortgage?" as in, "if it's low then don't rush to pay it off". But remember he "wants to retire". If he really "wants to retire" shouldn't he want to get rid of that mortgage so he doesn't have that hanging over him in retirement?

If he's really interesting in retiring, you could use that as the carrot to get him to make different financial decisions that will lead him in that direction. You'll need to show him how buying 5 timeshares does not move him towards the goal of retirement. By the way, was he planning on staying in 5 different places each year?

Is he trying to compete with Johnny Depp? (JD apparently owns 14 homes and a chain of islands in the Bahamas, none of which are timeshares):
https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/18350 ... bankruptcy

Finally, if he really is "addicted" to timeshares, perhaps he can learn about addiction, how to treat it, get a support group (for shoppers...I don't think there's a timeshares anonymous, though with the long line of misery created by timeshares you never know). Oh and you might want to watch the documentary entitled, "The Queen of Versailles". It features the rise and fall of one of the biggest timeshare developers. Gives you some insight in to that world which I never plan to be a part of. One part of the movie shows the call centers and high pressure sales tactics used to influence unsuspecting people.

https://www.google.com/search?q=queen+o ... 8&oe=utf-8

Good luck. let us know how it goes.
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Zott
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by Zott » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:46 pm

If possible, look at the big picture. He's lost some money, but still seems to have plenty and still has an income. He's a widower now and can do with less. So it's bad, but not a total catastrophe.

That said, work with him to sell the timeshares he's not going to use--don't let him throw good money after bad. So maybe he'll keep a couple--and use them for a while---the financial loss will eventually be forgotten, he'll survive. Don't get yourself too worked up about it either, things like this happen.

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Father is addicted to TIMESHARES

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:51 am

Your father is not addicted to timeshares, he is addicted to free lunches and he has to recognize that these lunches serve poison. This recognition can't be logical, he has to suffer into it.

Convince your father to sell one of his timeshares at a loss. If that does not work, help your father to buy a cheap timeshare on the secondary market. Either of these experiences will cause him to lose interest in buying from developers.

Victoria
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