How to Cancel a Timeshare Contract

timeshare exit

For many people, owning a timeshare is a dream that takes careful planning and saving to achieve. Other people may enter into a timeshare contract spontaneously and then instantly experience buyer’s remorse.  While contracts are usually irrevocable, you may be able to terminate your timeshare if you act quickly. Time is an essential factor when canceling a timeshare, but you don’t want to work so fast that you follow the incorrect procedures. Follow these steps carefully if you are looking for how to cancel a timeshare.

What Is a Timeshare?

A timeshare is a vacation property in which people can purchase a fractional or shared ownership. In other words, you put money towards a property with a group of other individuals who you may or may not know. This ownership is usually split into weekly increments throughout the year. Some timeshares are sold through private companies, while others are offered through large corporations such as Marriott or Wyndham. These brands often offer owners extra vacation perks or packages as part of their timeshare ownership.

There are two main options people have when purchasing a timeshare: deeded and right-to-use properties. In a deeded timeshare, you buy an interest in the property. You are usually granted ownership of a percentage of the unit, along with the other individuals who invest money in the property. In deeded deals, you get a deed that outlines your ownership rights and how much of the property you own.

On the other hand, people who purchase right-to-use-timeshares do not have a legal interest in the property. Instead, you are paying for the right to use the property. The amount of money you put into the property gives you the right to use it for a set period. Your right to the timeshare ends after the contract ends.

How to Cancel a Timeshare Contract?

Timeshare sellers often use extreme tactics to sell properties to potential buyers. Many companies offer incentives, including free dinners or a night in a hotel, in exchange for listening to a timeshare presentation. Some people may buy into a timeshare before doing their research, while others may realize the deal is not as good as they initially thought after reading the fine print. For example, after paying the required taxes and fees, timeshare buyers may find themselves unable to meet their financial obligations.

Most states have adopted laws that allow timeshare buyers to get out of a contract if they act within a set period. However, there are many limitations on timeshare cancellations, so you need to act quickly if you want to get out of your contract.  Follow these steps if you wish to cancel your agreement:

Step 1: Act Within the Cancellation Period

The first step is to read the timeshare contract carefully. Your contract should outline the number of days or months you have to cancel the contract legally. This period is known as the rescission period. If the contract does not outline a cancellation clause, check your state’s contract laws. It may also be helpful to seek the advice of a timeshare cancelation lawyer.

Step 2: Cancel in Writing

Most states require owners to rescind the contract in writing.  Keep copies of all documents for your records and sign everything in ink. While not required, notarizing the documents is recommended. To have the best chance of getting your cancellation request approved, include the following information in the letter:

  • Your full legal name as it appears in the contract
  • Your email address, phone number and full street address
  • The date the letter was written
  • The name and address of the timeshare company
  • The date you signed the timeshare contract
  • A statement that clearly outlines you are canceling the contract

Most states do not require you to give a reason for the cancellation request. However, you can list the reason in the letter if you think it may strengthen your case.

Step 3: Deliver the Cancellation Letter

Your timeshare agreement should outline how a cancellation letter should be submitted. Some timeshare companies allow you to deliver the letter in person, while others may request it be delivered via a process server or certified mail. To ensure the cancellation request is accepted, follow the contract’s instructions and provide the notice before the cancellation time period lapses. If you don’t follow the steps outlined in your timeshare contract, your cancellation request may not be accepted.

In some instances, you may be able to rescind your contract after the rescission period has lapsed. However, it is difficult to cancel the contract under these circumstances and you may need to hire a lawyer to guide you through the process.

How Can I Protect Myself in a Timeshare Deal?

You want to understand your rights and all of the fees involved before entering into a timeshare contract. Most recission periods are only a few days and the period may expire before you even decide you want to cancel the contract. To avoid this situation, read all contract terms before signing. Make a note of the recission period and ask clarifying questions of the timeshare company representative before signing. Most states adopt specific timeshare contract laws to protect consumers. Familiarize yourself with your area’s rules before you sign the contract.

You may want to speak with a timeshare attorney or a consumer protection attorney in the state in which the timeshare is located before signing the agreement. Further, if you buy a timeshare in another country, research the local laws before signing any contract or paying a down payment.

Work With an Experienced Timeshare Cancelation Attorney

If you want to cancel your timeshare contract, you need to hire an experienced timeshare cancelation attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your contract’s recission period and the steps to rescind the agreement. Time is a crucial factor when canceling timeshare contracts. Do not wait any longer to contact an attorney.

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