Are you feeling buyer’s remorse after purchasing a timeshare? Are the fees eating away at your savings? Do you want to cancel your timeshare contract? You’re not alone. In fact, studies show that over 85% of timeshare owners regret their purchase. Cancelling a timeshare contract can be overwhelming, but it’s not impossible. This complete guide will explain the different methods of cancelling your timeshare and the steps to take.
Method 1: Rescission
Rescission is the most straightforward way to cancel your timeshare contract. Rescission is the right to cancel the contract within a specified time-frame without any penalties. This right is also known as a “cooling-off period” and is usually between 3-10 days depending on the state where the timeshare was purchased. The cooling-off period and procedures for cancellation should be listed in the contract.
To cancel your timeshare through a rescission, you need to send a written notice of cancellation to the timeshare developer via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This will serve as proof that the developer received your cancellation notice within the rescission period.
Method 2: Selling or gifting your timeshare
If the rescission period has expired or you’re outside of its timeline, selling or gifting the timeshare may be another option for those wishing to cancel the contract. Timeshares can be sold or handed down to friends or family members. However, selling a timeshare can be challenging because it’s difficult to find a buyer. Additionally, timeshares rarely increase in value over time, which could explain why it’s challenging to sell it.
If you’re successful in selling your timeshare, it’s crucial to ensure that the transfer of ownership is done correctly. Moreover, the residual maintenance fees, transfer fees, or outstanding loans will need to be settled before they can be transferred.
Method 3: Timeshare Exit Companies
Timeshare exit companies offer to relieve you from your timeshare contract responsibilities. These companies specialize in finding legal loopholes in your contract, and they offer services to help you exit your timeshare.
However, timeshare exit companies are not lawyers, and their services are not regulated in many states. You should beware of scams and do extensive research before using such services. The prices for their services are high, ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. Furthermore, the Federal Trade Commission advises timeshare owners to avoid paying hefty upfront fees, and contract exit companies are typically known for them.
Method 4: Hire a Real Estate Attorney
If other methods of cancellation fail, you can hire a real estate attorney. It’s recommended to use a lawyer that specializes in timeshare cancellations. Your attorney will review your timeshare contract and explain your rights and obligations. Your lawyer can help you negotiate the terms of the contract or dispute any inaccuracies.
An attorney will cost you more than selling your timeshare or using a timeshare exit company, but it might be the only option for some timeshare owners.
Steps to cancelling your timeshare contract:
Step 1: Gather all your timeshare documentation
Before starting the cancellation process, gather all your timeshare documents, including your contract and any correspondence with your timeshare company.
Step 2: Review your timeshare contract
Read your timeshare contract thoroughly and understand its terms and conditions. Moreover, take note of the rescission period and the cancellation procedures in the contract.
Step 3: Hand deliver or send a document by certified mail
Send a letter of cancellation via certified mail with a return receipt requested to the timeshare company. This letter must be delivered within any rescission timelines stipulated in the contract. After that, the company has 45 days to issue a refund.
Step 4: Notify your credit card company
Notify your credit card company if you purchased the timeshare using a credit card. Ask them to cancel the charges, dispute charges, or aid in disputing charges.
Step 5: Negotiate with the timeshare company
If the timeshare company doesn’t respond to your letter or isn’t cooperating, you should initiate contact with them. You can negotiate a settlement, change the terms of the timeshare agreement or establish a payment plan.
In conclusion, cancelling your timeshare contract can be a complex process, but it’s achievable. The best method to cancel your timeshare depends on your individual situation. If you’re considering exiting your timeshare, it’s essential to review the contract’s terms and the methods available to you. Additionally, do extensive research, take time for a well-thought-out decision, and consult with professionals, such as a real estate attorney, before proceeding with cancellation.