At the time, buying into a timeshare probably seemed like a great idea, but what you need to remember is that people who sell timeshares use hard pressure tactics that are extremely convincing. Now, for some people, timeshares work out fine, but if you are like the majority, you soon realize that you will never benefit in the way you were led to believe. At that point, you want out, but with a legally binding contract, you may feel as if there is no option.
Most companies that have timeshares maintain that their contracts are ironclad, but this is not factual. But since you may find it hard to get out of a timeshare contract on your own, you need a qualified attorney who can review everything in detail, looking specifically for loopholes such as a mistake or even fraud.
Even without a breach on the timeshare company’s part, your attorney can help terminate the contract. For starters, in most states there is a cooling-off period after a timeshare purchase. During this period, you can cancel the contract and receive your full deposit back. Therefore, the attorney will start by determining if you are within that “right of recession” period.
Keep in mind that timeshare companies will try to make you believe that you are stuck and because of that, have to live out the contract. Their goal is to convince you that once the cooling-off period ends, you have no legal recourse for getting out of the timeshare, but this is simply untrue.
Although the company will refuse to take the timeshare back, it will probably back off quickly or even agree to release you from legal liability after your attorney mentions the word “litigation.” If not, some of your legal options for getting out of a timeshare that your attorney will assist with include the following.
- Selling—You can sell the timeshare, but since there are listing companies that use deceptive and fraudulent practices, you want an attorney handling the deal. In fact, many listing companies are currently under investigation by their state attorney general.
- Developer Resale—You can also try to list the timeshare through the developer, but at no time should you be required to pay an advance fee. Again, this is considered deceptive, so having an attorney guide you through the process is critical.
- Donation—You might also consider donating the timeshare. The challenge with this is that because maintenance fees increase annually, finding organizations to take the timeshare off your hands is usually hard.
- Ownership Transfer—Your other option is to transfer ownership of the timeshare. In this case, a third party would simply take over the contract.
- Bankruptcy – If you are struggling financially and need to get rid of the timeshare, it can be included as part of a bankruptcy petition.
Before locking into a timeshare contract, read the details carefully while considering long-term pros and cons. If you have the opportunity, have an attorney review the contract with you prior to signing on the dotted line. However, if you have already purchased a timeshare and now want out, you have valid remedies but to be successful, you need a qualified attorney in your corner.