The Tahoe Beach & Ski Club, a timeshare resort on Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Put it this way, if you're in the business of housing finance, or in anything that involves money changing hands for residential real estate, a caller-ID signal that it's New York Times staffer Gretchen Morgenson is not good news.

Morgenson is one of the better reporters on the finance beat, and when she gets a hold of a story that smacks of some level of deception or untoward behavior on the part of sellers or financial parties in real estate, she smells blood and moves in fast. Here, Morgenson spots the reemergence of "hard sell" practices in the timeshare business, and you can bet she's all over the fact that prospects feel a bit beat up as a result of these gambits. She writes:

In lawsuits and in interviews, customers complain not only of high-pressure sales, but also of sky-high maintenance fees and frustration at procedures that block club members from taking vacations where and when they want. Perhaps most distressing to owners is the fact that once you buy into a timeshare it is almost impossible to get out.

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