A timeshare is a form of shared or divided ownership of vacation properties, wherein purchasers have allotted usage, usually one-week intervals.
You thought that getting that Timeshare is such a great idea. Soaking up in the sun, sipping wine by the beach, while savoring the summer breeze, the luxurious feel of amenities, and the club to that promising Resort you enjoyed for a week or two. But now you want out.
Probably because you don’t want to pay the maintenance fees and associated cost any more, or your marriage is at the brink of divorce that you don’t want to be constantly reminded of your holiday getaways spent with your spouse while you take that vacation on the resort, or perhaps the difficulty of traveling due to travel bans or unemployment due to the Pandemic. Or you just simply want out.
Whatever the case or reason it may be, you feel detained. Timeshare, after all, is not considered investment or an asset. Its value depreciates for a long period of time. All it has is the lifetime obligation to settle payments like maintenance cost, Annual fees, Club dues, taxes, and other future costs.
You are trapped with the situation and if you are wondering, “Can I get out of this Timeshare?”. Yes, you can. It may not be as easy as you think but yes , it is possible.
There are ways to get out of that contract but also there are things to avoid, let us discussed it and pay attention.
Here are ways to Get out of your Timeshare
Right to cancel the contract and the Rescission Period
You must have read it somewhere in the contract with the smallest font, You have to re-read it again. These companies acknowledge that selling timeshares is not like any other transaction such as selling a house, that is why a Right of Cancellation is included in the provisions of the agreement. The rescission period begins after you signed the contract.
The rescission which is also referred to as the “cooling-off period”, differs from state to state. And is applicable on where the timeshare property is located not where it is signed.
If the property or resort is in Hawaii you have 7 days to cancel the contract, whereas in Mexico 5 days is the given period, in Florida, it is generally for 10 days. So pay extra careful with the details.
If it seems that you still have the days within the given period you have to act straight away, by sending out the documents needed for the cancellation, again refer back to your stipulated contract and check the details. You might want to use express or fast delivery of the contract and requirements in order that it is well documented, Stamped, and written as of the time and period you sent out the cancellation letter.
Buyback program and terms
Check out that contract again, Some Timeshare companies include Buyback terms, and in case it is not mentioned in the agreement, contact them and start to negotiate. It is a rare occurrence for companies to buy back the property from you, but it can possibly happen.
But be warned that you could lose money probably they would not give you the full price. Yet still a great deal than spending future costs for properties you won’t even use or visit.
If your timeshare company has buyback terms, well you are lucky, if they don’t, then continue reading.
Assuming it’s already too late you have already missed the “Cooling-off period”. This is another option, but before you prepare the sale, let me ask you, Is your timeshare eligible? Is it still under a loan?
Determine first the worth of your timeshare, ask Real Estate agents then compare it with other properties that may be similar to yours.
List your timeshare at sites like Craiglist, eBay, redweek or Timeshare User Groups Marketplace.
This option may not compensate the amount you already spent on the property but remember you have to get rid of this timeshare for the purpose of not shelling out another dime for it in the near future.
Hire a team
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the details on how to get out of the contract. Maybe hiring a Timeshare exit Company is the option for you. You just have to find a legit company to assist with all your needs. Though numerous warnings have been issued about fraud and scams from exit companies that often guarantee that they can get you out of the timeshare contract, and you paying a hefty upfront price, which the company never end up delivering.
ARDA ( American Resort Development Association) set up campaigns to help find legitimate companies to assist in getting out of timeshare contracts. You have to check it out.
Negotiate when they say “No”
Yes, you can try your luck, ask them about options to exit, and negotiate the way out of your Timeshare. Some companies may have negotiable terms in the provisions like paying termination fees to get out of it. Great! Losing money again, But still a practical decision.
Hire a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is the option if you have legal claims against the Timeshare company. There is a fee obviously, but some lawyers offer free consultations and they charge a flat rate that may cost less than continuing payment for maintenance fees and associated costs for your Timeshare properties. But before hiring the attorney, upon consultation determine what are the terms of their service. Will they present you or fight for you? Or just sending out letters from Paralegals on your behalf? And please note that if your contract is still within the cooling-off period you don’t need a lawyer.
Give it away
Partially, this is one of the ingenious ways or one that you should avoid. You can give it away, obviously a bad financial deal because you won’t receive cash, but this will give you the freedom from paying annual fees, maintenance, and other associated future costs.
If by the end of the day you are running out of ideas on how to get out of that Timeshare contract and you are trying to find ingenious ways how. There are ways that are a big No-No. Let us get to it.
Here are the things to avoid on getting out of Timeshare
Renting it out
First of all, is it legal to rent out your Timeshare? Whether they allow it or not, it is a bad decision.
Like sure it is a great idea at first, just wait until the renters leave the property and you discovered damaged furniture or appliances or trashed the place. I mean, that is another cost on top of the cost. Expect massive repairs expense shelling out of your pocket. This situation may lead to your access being denied by the resort or property.
Give it away
Now, this is the part where you should avoid this option.
Yeah, you can give it to charities, but they will run away from you as fast as they can just about you utter the words “maintenance cost”, knowing that they will be tied to it forever this is not a priority for them.
How about your loved ones? Not a good idea either, you are just passing down the responsibility. And you know how hard it is to be locked in an agreement, you want to get out yourself so why would you give them weight on their shoulders by giving it away.
How about Friends? Colleagues? You must have that excellent marketing skills to convince the person to pay those pesky fees affiliated with the property.
You may say “I don’t care, I’m not using that property anymore, I don’t want to pay”. This again is a bad option you are committing. You cannot simply walk away from your payment obligations as it can damage your credit score, You must do it safely and legally.
Once you stop paying your dues, the Timeshare company will turn over your information and your unpaid dues to credit collection companies and the harassment will begin. Phone calls, emails, and other means of communication all day and night, Obviously, If this tactic works you will give up and just say “ Okay, Okay I will pay!”. So just save yourself from stress and harassment and think of legal ways to get out of the contract.
In conclusion, there is no easy way to get out of the Timeshare contract. Their value usually depreciates with time. And you really can’t figure or predict if you are still capable to pay for things like a luxurious timeshare getaway after how many years. Getting rid of this timeshare will surely give you the financial freedom you need especially at this time where everything is unpredictable. Maybe after you get out of that contract you have, choose to invest your money for profit, and someday you can buy your own real estate.