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What to Know about Timeshare Cancellation

What to Know about Timeshare Cancellation

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Canceling A Timeshare Contract: What You Should Know

Buyer’s remorse. That’s a thing. That’s one apparently common feeling that many timeshare owners develop hours, days, or months after purchasing a timeshare. If you currently own a timeshare, the chances are that you’re already thinking of how to get rid of it— for any reason.

Owning a timeshare comes with some thrills and benefits, especially for vacation lovers who want to avoid finding a new vacation spot every year. In spite of this, many timeshare owners regret their purchase once they realize some lies they might have been told by timeshare salespersons.

It is no news that, although owning timeshares might be an enjoyable and memorable way of vacationing with loved ones, the means by which most developers get people to buy the timeshares are often deceitful or forceful. Oftentimes, timeshare companies make use of hard sales tactics in addition to various manipulative marketing gimmicks just to get an unsuspecting victim to enter into a contract with them.

Some sales representatives are so mean that they tell lies and say that timeshares are valuable and can be kept as an investment. As such, many innocent people just seeking an honest holiday eventually fall for these bogus claims, perhaps thinking it would be a good thing to leave to their children. Sad stuff.
The truth about timeshares is that their values begin to depreciate immediately after purchase, so they hardly hold any real value, unlike real estate. In fact, owning a timeshare forces you into a lifetime of paying maintenance fees that keep increasing, even when some unfortunate life circumstances come your way.

So, if you ever feel the need to get out of your timeshare contract, and you are wondering how, then this article is for you. We will go into detail about the different ways you can get rid of your timeshare contract.

Is it Possible to Cancel a Timeshare without Any Costs?

A timeshare owner seeking to get rid of his or her resort contract would probably not want to go through any financial troubles again, especially since owning a timeshare itself is a financially draining experience.

It is in fact possible for you to cancel your timeshare contract for no cost at all. Yes. This happens through what is known as “cooling off” or rescission period. During this period, you are allowed to rescind your contract within a stipulated period of time under the law— which could be up to 2 weeks— immediately after purchasing your timeshare or receiving your disclosure statement.

Note that different states in different countries have various “cooling off” periods. Some state laws give the grace of five days, while some give 10 or 14 days. In the United States, for instance, the laws of Florida permit a 10-day rescission period, but in Colorado, only 5-days are permitted.

Moreover, there are indications that Mexico also allows for a 5-day cooling off period. Just make sure to get specific details about what your state provides.

For clarity, it is important for you to also note that the state you’re concerned with is the one in where your timeshare is located, not the state of your residence. Likewise, you are advised to read through your resort contract carefully to know the specific provisions of your resort with regards to rescission— and make sure that you are not taken advantage of.

How to Cancel Your Timeshare During the Rescission Period

First, remember that you have only a few days after your timeshare purchase to take advantage of the rescission period. This means you need to act fast, provided you are within the rescission time frame.

Fortunately, canceling your timeshare during the rescission period requires no payment. You simply send in a letter simply indicating that you want to terminate your contract within the rescission period. There is no need for further explanations. What is more, you get a full refund of your money!
Some timeshare developers may allow you to rescind your contract orally, but it’s always safer to do so in writing instead. As a matter of fact, it is advisable that you have more than one copy of the letter. This way, you can be a step ahead of the timeshare company if they try to cheat you.

When writing your timeshare rescission letter, be sure to put essential details like your name (the specific way it appears on your contract), your home address, phone number, and email address. Other elements you should include are:

• The date you are writing the letter
• The brand name of your timeshare resort
• The description of your timeshare as contained in the timeshare contract
• The date you purchased the timeshare
• A straightforward statement of intent concerning the timeshare termination

Be sure to know the actual means through which your resort developer wants the letter delivered, so you can avoid an invalid cancellation. You really don’t want to give them excuses to take advantage of you. The contract document should contain this info.

What if you Missed the Cooling-Off/Rescission Period?

If you missed the timeshare rescission period, you have other options. You could try returning your timeshare to the resort developer. Yes, this is possible in some cases, but only if your resort offers what is known as a deed back program.

Under most circumstances, you should be able to find out through your timeshare contract whether the resort runs the program or not. However, if it is not there, you can always ask the resort’s management team. Normally, you will be required to satisfy certain conditions to be eligible for a deed back: for instance, you cannot owe any fees.

As gathered by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), there are certain resort developers that offer the deed back program. Some of them are listed below:

• Westgate Resorts®
• Sheraton Vacation Club®
• Bluegreen Vacations®
• Vistana Signature Experiences®
• Welk Resorts®
• Margaritta Vacation Club by Wyndham®
• Marriott Vacation Club®
• WorldMark by Wyndham®
• Capital Vacations®
• Club Wyndham®
• Diamond Resorts®
• Hilton Grand Vacations®
• Westin Vacation Club®

When the Deed Back Doesn’t Work for you…

You could also decide to sell your timeshare to a new owner, either through a listing website or through a timeshare resale company. This way, the new owner begins to take the responsibility of paying the associated future fees.

But as sweet as this seems, it is not a guaranteed result. Many timeshares are listed for as low as $1 on different platforms like eBay and Craigslist. And this is due to the fact that timeshares are liabilities that only reduce in value. So, in short, the resale route may not be the best for you.

A much better alternative is to hire a timeshare exit company. Typically, such companies use attorneys and seasoned professionals who are well-versed at handling timeshare cases. So, they are familiar enough with the tricks in the industry, as well as how to crack them.

Although you may have to pay for the services (usually a thousand dollars or more), the payment is minimal, provided the cancellation of your contract is guaranteed and you are at no risk of being scammed. In fact, an honest cancellation company will even try to help you if they feel that your case is hopeless.

We always advise timeshare owners to hire timeshare exit companies that offer the option of paying through escrow, as this eliminates any financial risk to the customer. It might interest you to know that a timeshare cancellation company that uses escrow will not receive any money until they have completed your job, because your payment will be locked in a third-party account.
This serves as a motivation for the company to resolve your case as effectively and quickly as possible.

Conclusion

Generally, timeshare cancellation requires a considerable level of care. You can’t jump into action, instead you must make sure you understand the situation and how best to tackle it. Keep in mind that your timeshare contract is an essential document through which you can get key info regarding rescission and the deed back program. So be sure to take note of any important instructions and follow through as necessary.

If you be unable to take advantage of the rescission period or the deed back program, note that using an exit company is the next best option. However, remember to hire one that uses escrow, or at least takes low upfront fees, so as to reduce all risks to a minimum level.