Timeshare owners may find that their promised vacation spot only becomes a hassle. If you’re unable to take full advantage of the benefits, a timeshare will certainly become a financial burden over time. Many people are left wondering how to get rid of a timeshare.
It’s an all-too-common scenario. At one point in time, owning a timeshare may have seemed like a good idea. Having a guaranteed vacation without the stress of planning it is a very enticing thought.
One of the biggest things that turn people away from owning timeshares is the fact that, if you’re not using it, you’re still paying for it.
A lot of resorts that offer timeshares have their owners sign several legally binding documents. These are designed to keep owners tied to their arrangement for as long as possible.
Some states offer a grace period in which customers are able to rescind their timeshare agreement. Unfortunately, this grace period can be as short as five days. Consequently, very few owners are able to back out of their agreement in this way.
If you find yourself in this situation, remember that this is a common dilemma. Many people who make the decision to invest in a timeshare will end up regretting it in the future.
That being said, if you are in the market to get rid of your timeshare, don’t fret. You’ve come to the right place.
The process for alleviating yourself of the responsibility of a timeshare will vary depending on:
- The location,
- the marketability of the timeshare itself,
- and whether or not the timeshare has already been paid in full.
Regardless of the situation, there are many options when it comes to getting rid of your timeshare.
How to Get Rid of a Timeshare Legally
The COVID-19 pandemic has made legal timeshare cancellation in 2020 easier than ever.
As the ability to travel has been so severely limited by the pandemic, many resorts have begun to offer timeshare exit programs. This is to assist the timeshare owners who are unable to travel. If they might the qualifications, they can forfeit the timeshare.
The only downfall with this option is that it is not available at all resorts. Not to mention, many of the resorts offering this program are only allowing timeshare owners who have paid their fees in full to use it. Other resorts won’t allow you to forfeit your timeshare unless you have documents that can prove financial or medical hardship.
Regardless, as of February of 2020, the following resorts began offering some sort of “deed-back” program to their timeshare owners:
- Capital Vacations
- Club Wyndham
- Diamond Resorts
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations
- Orange Lake
- Hyatt Residence Club
- Wyndham Vacations
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Shell Vacation Club
- Sheraton Vacation Club
- Bluegreen Vacations
- Vistana Signature Experiences
- Welk Resorts
- Westgate Resorts
- Westin Vacation Club
While this is a great start, there is still a plethora of resorts that keep buyers tied to their timeshare agreement. Even through the ongoing pandemic.
Also, there is a lot of fine print involved in the legal timeshare cancellation program. Many timeshare resort owners are finding that they do not qualify for their resort’s program.
Get Rid of a Timeshare by Selling it
Many timeshare owners find it very difficult to sell their timeshares.
Unless the timeshare is through a high-end company, there is a very low probability of being able to sell it without losing most of the money from the initial investment. When selling a timeshare, keep your expectations low.
In some cases, owners have attempted to sell their timeshares for as little as $1. Even with these low costs, some sellers are still unable to find a buyer.
That being said, there are still ways to effectively sell your timeshare. While the market for purchasing timeshares is diminishing, it is still present.
There are a few websites on which you can list your timeshare for people who are seeking them out to purchase:
- Craigslist – you can list your timeshare without paying a listing cost.
- Ebay – you can pay a $50 fee to list your timeshare.
- MyResortNetwork.com – you can list your timeshare for about $39.95.
- Tug2.com – you can pay an annual membership fee of $15 to maintain your listing.
- Redweek.com – listing cost can range between $59.95 and $125.
If you choose to list your timeshare for sale online, it’s recommended to sign up for a few or all of the sites listed above. Doing this will increase your chance of getting a sale, as your timeshare is being shown to a wider range of people. Many timeshare owners also offer to cover the closing costs and transfer deals to make their timeshare offer stand out from the others that are listed on the site.
Even selling your timeshare for a very low cost is a more cost efficient option than working with an attorney to free yourself of your timeshare, as you don’t have to deal with the legal fees.
Can You Donate Your Timeshare?
There are a lot of people who do not have success selling their timeshare, or maybe they are just unable to put the work in to list their timeshares on several different sites.
Other timeshare owners have attempted to donate their timeshare in an attempt to get rid of their timeshare. In the past, some charities have allowed owners to donate their timeshares.
Owners would have to pay an upfront donation fee, and then pass their timeshare off onto the charity.
However, the IRS forced charities to stop this practice, because the IRS values timeshares at $0. Consequently, timeshares cannot be written off as a tax deduction. Many owners will also plead with the timeshare company in a last-ditch effort to have the timeshare taken off of their hands.
However, when someone purchases a timeshare, they sign many legally binding documents that tie them to the agreement for as long as possible.
Very few resorts will be willing to work with owners who are looking to be free of their timeshare, especially if the owners still have mortgage remaining on their timeshare, then the likelihood of the resort alleviating the responsibility of a timeshare is slim to none.
So, you can’t sell, donate, or abandon your timeshare. What other option do you have to get rid of it?
Get Rid of a Timeshare by Hiring a Timeshare Exit Company
Many ex-timeshare owners have found success in working with a timeshare exit company. It’s important to stay wary of timeshare exit companies that require high upfront payments from their clients.
A timeshare exit group may offer a “100% money back guarantee” but this doesn’t mean anything, as these companies can take your money upfront and then go out of business, resulting in them having no legal liability in paying the money back to you.
This is a terrible and immoral business practice, but it’s much more common than you may think.
In choosing a timeshare exit company, we recommend going with the choice that offers low upfront escrow payments.
What is Escrow and Why is it So Important?
Escrow is a third-party holding account that will keep your money while the timeshare exit company works on getting rid of your timeshare.
If the timeshare exit company is unable to complete their service, the client can get their money back directly from the escrow company.
This is absolutely crucial, as it holds the timeshare exit company accountable.
As we mentioned earlier, a timeshare exit company can go out of business at any time, leaving any existing clients with both the financial burden of a timeshare and the financial burden of an upfront payment to the exit company that will likely not be returned to them.
A recent example of this is a timeshare exit company that was called Aconsumercredit. They went out of business in 2018, leaving all of the timeshare owners who chose to work with them out of money, and still burdened with timeshares that they were looking to get rid of.
Escrow Companies Defined
Getting rid of a timeshare is difficult when a lot of companies offer shoddy work.
When an escrow company is used, it makes it impossible for the timeshare exit company to utilize the immoral strategy in which they take an upfront payment from clients with no intention of completing the service.
In the event that a timeshare exit company goes out of business when an escrow company is being used, the clients who were working with the exit company still have the ability to get their money back through the escrow company.
Using an escrow company protects both the client and the timeshare exit company. The client can rest assured that their money will be returned to them in the event that the exit company can not complete their service.
On the other hand, the exit company has the peace of mind that they will be paid after the cancellation service is complete.
A timeshare is a legally binding agreement that can be incredibly hard to get out of. If you own a timeshare and your resort developer offers a legal timeshare cancellation program that you qualify for, consider yourself lucky. This is the easiest way to get out of owning a timeshare.
Timeshare owners at resorts that do not offer this exit strategy often have to resort to selling, donating, or hiring a timeshare exit company.
In the event that you have to resort to selling your timeshare or hiring a timeshare exit company, be sure to go with a company where you can hire a third party escrow company. Also, remember to avoid paying high upfront fees that will just result in more financial hardships down the line.