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MEXLAW > Legal Services  > Another Timeshare Risk – Is it a Mexican Corporation?

Another Timeshare Risk – Is it a Mexican Corporation?

Although there are legitimate vacation or timeshare companies out there, and some may suit your family’s vacation needs, you need to be aware of the less scrupulous timeshare companies in Mexico. Timeshares have a terrible reputation, and as stories about timeshare fraud continue to make the headlines, the industry continues to thrive, seducing tourists into buying into their resorts every day. 

Most importantly you should never sign any contract without having it reviewed by a lawyer and although this point seems logical, for some reason people will sign legal documents and pay a large deposit during a timeshare presentation, something they would never do outside of a resort atmosphere. 

You know the spiel by purchasing a timeshare you are prepaying for your vacation, a vacation you would be booking anyways right? They promise you and your family will enjoy a lifetime of luxurious holidays at today’s fixed, low rate. And if you are not using your vacation home, do not worry, it will pay for itself when you rent it out, this scenario seldom works out in the buyer’s favor. Whether it is the lure of the beach town resort or the pressure of the salespeople once reality hits these buyers often have regrets.

Timeshare sales members demand that the deal is closed in one day to ensure you do not overthink what you are getting in to. If they do not allow you to take the contract to a lawyer in Mexico before signing, you should walk away. 

There are many items you need to confirm in the agreement which we have discussed in previous articles, but one essential issue which has not been considered, verifying the corporate address of the timeshare company. Although these companies are selling in Mexico, they may not be Mexican companies, and this fact could become a significant issue if you suspect them of fraud or decide to cancel. A recent inquiry about canceling a timeshare purchased in Mexico was found to be owned by a company in the West Indies, and since it is not a Mexican company, neither a law firm nor Profeco – The Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor can cancel the sale. Profeco may fine these foreign companies, but considering what they earn from their unscrupulous sale it is worth paying the minuscule fine. 

These foreign companies are often set up in shopping malls, restaurants, grocery stores, or a sales booth in the street;  and buying vacations or timeshares from these companies puts the buyer at risk of being a victim of fraud with no recourse. At least with timeshares purchased within large resorts, there is a greater chance of canceling the contract and an entity to take legal action against in the event of fraud. 

There is a five-day rescinding clause for timeshares in Mexico; an attorney can assist you with cancellation; however, you must be aware of where this timeshare corporation is registered. 

In the end, if you are serious about buying a timeshare in Mexico, it is important to take the time to review the contract with a Mexican lawyer, understand your financial obligations, have the benefits in writing and verify it is, in fact, a Mexican corporation.

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