Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
Michael is a full-time faculty member of BYU-Idaho's Business Management department. While teaching is his main focus, he maintains a law practice focused on business law, contract disputes, and disability. He is licensed in Idaho and Florida.
- Real Estate Law
- Business Law
- Social Security Disability
- Consumer Law
- Credit Cards Accepted
- Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- English: Spoken, Written
- Spanish: Spoken, Written
- Business Faculty Member
- Brigham Young University-Idaho
- - Current
- Faculty member teaching business law and business writing courses.
- Skidmore Hales
- - Current
- University of San Diego School of Law
- J.D. (2009) | Law
- The Florida Bar # 0103904
- Idaho State Bar # 8191
Articles & Publications
- Timeshare Law
- The Advocate
- J Reuben Clark Law Society, Idaho Falls, ID
- Discussed the legal considerations of timeshare ownership
Websites & Blogs
81 Questions Answered
- Q. We are Canadian selling our timeshare to Mexican travel agent. Do we send initial notary costs to Profeco as advised?
- A: Goodness no! This is a common scam to have you wire money. No such requirements exist to transfer a timeshare in Mexico. Once you send it, the money is gone and you probably won't be able to get anything back. I wrote an article about these types of scams a while back that you can access here: https://skidmorehales.com/article I hope that helps, but let me know if you have any questions.
- Q. Can a Timeshare Association rent a unit in foreclosure process? If so does the rental $ go to association or owner?
- A: In Florida, the answer is yes. Under most association bylaws, the revenue generated from the sale will likely go to the homeowners' association. Let me know if you have any follow up questions.
- Q. Is price fixing illegal in Tennessee?
- Q. If I receive a 1099-A representing a loss of $13k for ditching a timeshare can I claim this as a loss? Will it help me?
- A: I'd be wary of any attorney that tells you this. I've practiced law in Florida for many years and when I've helped clients get out of a timeshare, they will often receive a 1099 when the timeshare cancels the loan/mortgage. However, if the loan that was cancelled was $13k, the form will also report that the value of the timeshare surrendered back to the timeshare company was worth $13k, meaning that the transaction is tax neutral. There are a lot of timeshare scams out there that spread misinformation, so I'd be very careful. I did write an article for the Idaho state bar that may help you. It's posted at: https://skidmorehales.com/article
- Q. Can I get my brothers social security money if my mother refuses to help support him?
- A: The easiest thing to do in this situation is go to your local social security office and start the process there. You may need to involve a lawyer to challenge your mother as payee for your brother, but I'd start with the local office and ask for their assistance first.
- Q. I was curious if a timeshare contract can be changed if the original contract was with another company?
- A: Small timeshare resorts are often purchased by larger companies that seek to bring the new owners into compliance with their general policies. They can typically do this so long as the new ownership terms are not seriously different than those accepted when you signed your original document. Of the changes you listed, I think your first (changing how you are charged) may be the biggest issue and may allow you to cancel or find other relief. However, it will be impossible to know without reviewing your contract. I do know some Texas attorneys that may be able to help if you're looking for assistance, or perhaps you have a local attorney that you trust to review this for you.
- Q. I need help with a timeshare I signed up for on 11/19/18. I live in MI and was on vacation and Thanksgiving w. family.
- A: All states require the recession period to be in writing. I wrote about this an article for my state bar over a year ago with some tips that you and your attorney may find helpful. You can access it here: https://skidmorehales.com/article It also has some advice on how to avoid the myriad of timeshare scams. Best of luck and please let me know if you or your attorney have additional questions.
- Q. My timeshare sold out to another company. Can this new company force us to buy into their program?
- A: Unless your contract documents saying something to the contrary, the answer to this depends on if the new company has materially altered the terms of your prior agreement. Companies are generally allowed to increase maintenance fees, but only up to a reasonable amount (usually 2-5% per year). But I'd recommend having an attorney review the documents.
- Q. Can a nonprofit in a one state involve lawyers from different states to help, and any other legal issues with my idea?
- A: There are going to be a number of ethical issues here for attorneys. For example, there are rules about referral services like this as well as how the attorneys would be paid. Because there are so many issues to discuss, I'd recommend finding an attorney to review this all in detail.
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