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6 Steps to Get Out of a Timeshare

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Do you need to know how to get rid of a timeshare? You'll want to make sure that you do so legally to avoid accidentally suffering any consequences. If you're sick of your timeshare and want to cancel, there are legal ways that you can do it!

Here’s how to get rid of your timeshare legally:

  1. Follow the rescission laws.
  2. Contact the resort.
  3. Sell the timeshare.
  4. Reach out to a timeshare exit business.
  5. Know what not to do.
  6. Save up money.

Did you know that about 85% of timeshare owners regret buying the contract? If you’re one of those many timeshare owners, don’t fret - there are ways you can dissolve the contract.

Keep reading to learn what steps you need to take to get a timeshare off your hands legally.

1. Follow the Rescission Laws

Do you know about the rescission period? This law is the timeframe when you can get out of the contract with less effort. It's a very short window, so you'll want to act as soon as you decide that you don't want the contract anymore.  

However, you usually only have a few days to act on it. Most states only give you three days to decide you don't want the timeshare. Some states may provide you with 15 days.

Be sure to look up the amount of time you have in your area.

Suppose you're still in the rescission period. In that case, you should contact the resort immediately and let them know you don't want their contract anymore. Tell the resort that it's not a good fit and that you're still in the Rescission Period- they should let you go.

Write a Timeshare Cancellation Letter

If you're in the rescission period, you'll want to cancel as soon as possible. To cancel, you'll have to write a timeshare cancellation letter. They should have an address that accepts cancelation letters, so make sure to address it there.

You'll need to do your research. Many resorts do their best to hide their cancelation address, even if it's not exactly legal. Always recheck the fine print! If you can't find this information anywhere, you'll need to call the resort.

The resort is legally obligated to give you their cancelation address. If they don't give you the information, make sure to mention that. Some states also don't start the rescission period until you have the cancellation address.

You'll want to have the following items in your cancellation letter:

  • Your full name and contact information
  • The timeshare company's name
  • Your timeshare contract number
  • All names on the contract
  • The date of your contract purchase
  • A brief paragraph stating that you're canceling the timeshare contract
  • Exactly how much you paid- including the amount you want back

Finally, it's critical that you keep copies of all letters you send to the timeshare company. Some resorts try to pretend like they never received a cancellation letter.

Always date your letters and include the time.

Rescission Laws and Location

It's important to note that rescission laws have to do with where the timeshare is. You don't follow the laws where you live outside of vacation times. So, for example, if you live in Ohio and have a timeshare in Florida, you follow the rescission laws in Florida.

Before you take any actions towards canceling, you must understand the laws where the timeshare is. Every state has different periods and rules that you'll need to follow.

If you bought a timeshare in another country, you'd need to follow the laws of that country instead.  Some states count weekends and holidays towards the brief Rescission window, while others don't. In other words, you want to know what you're dealing with! 

That way, you can prepare for rescission efficiently. 

2. Contact the Resort

If you're out of the rescission window, then the next best thing would be to ask the resort to take back their contract. You'll want to ask them about a timeshare deed-back

Deed-backs allow you to give the timeshare back to the resort. This method is legal and will enable you to get out of the contract altogether. When you call the resort, make sure to stay firm on your desire for a timeshare deed-back.

Sometimes, resorts try to offer you more contracts- which you don't want or need!  You may need to have an attorney help you through getting rid of the timeshare.

Some lawyers specialize in contracts- they know all the language, methods, and fine print when it comes to timeshares. It's best to speak with one who's in the timeshare area.

If the resort doesn't want to do a deed-back, you'll need to go with another option. You can't legally get out of the timeshare if the resort doesn't want to cooperate.

3. Sell the Timeshare

If the two above steps don't work for you, it's time for you to sell the timeshare. You can't do this until you pay for the timeshare fully. If it's ready to sell, you'll want to contact a real estate agent.

There's also plenty of timeshare selling sites you can check out!  Even if you can't find great rates to sell at, that's fine! Your primary goal should be getting rid of the contract.

Most timeshares cost at least a grand per year, with rising expenses every time. It's best to drop the contract as soon as you can.  When you're ready, list the timeshare for sale.

You won't make back what you already spent on the timeshare, but selling now is your best option.

Can You Sell a Timeshare Back to the Resort?

You can sell your timeshare back to the resort, but whether or not they accept the deal is another issue. Many people need to negotiate with the resort to get a deal. It's often better to sell to another person if the resort refuses to repurchase it.

If the resort doesn't accept, you'll need to move on to other options. You don't have to give up; instead, make sure to explore every avenue available to you. There are many different ways to get out of a timeshare.

Overall, selling back to the resort is always an option, but just remember that the resort isn't obligated to accept.

4. Reach Out to a Timeshare Exit Business

Did you know that there are timeshare exit businesses out there? These groups dedicate themselves to getting people out of their timeshare contracts! They have staff that specializes in this one goal, allowing them to help you.

These companies often have the required experience to manage any contract you might have, no matter how difficult it is. You'll want to find one that's the most experienced dealing with contracts in the state of your timeshare.

Of course, you need to research these exit businesses. Never give anyone your debit or credit card information without first signing a contract with them.

5. Know What Not To Do

There's a lot of legal ways to get out of a timeshare, but you'll want to know what to avoid. You don't want to make getting rid of your contract any harder than it already is. 

It's also vital that you research online what timeshare exit companies ask you to do. If anything seems sketchy, it could be illegal. You should check out plenty of reviews of these types of companies as well.

In short, these are the situations you'll want to avoid while dealing with an unwanted timeshare.

Renting Out the Timeshare

You should never rent out your timeshare. Most resorts won't allow you to rent their timeshares. Plus, if you deal with a bad renter, the damage cost will be wholly on your hands. 

Finally, the amount you get from rent won't cover extensive timeshare costs and maintenance anyway. It ends up being a waste of time and money.

Stopping Your Payments

Even if you don't want to pay any more, you must continue covering the costs. Ignoring payments could cause your bills to go to collection agencies, and your credit score is sure to plummet.

At that point, you might have court cases and other legal fees brought up against you- it's just better that you pay when you can. Instead of dealing with pressure from the resort, continue paying until your contract is over.

6. Save Up Money

Finally, you'll need to save up large amounts of money to get yourself out of a timeshare. There are cancellation fees, and you might even need to pay for an attorney. Overall, the average timeshare owner spends $1,000 and $6,000 trying to get out of the contract.

However, the cost can vary greatly depending on the number of contracts and where you live. If you're working with a timeshare exit company, they'll also have to charge you for their services.

I'd still say that it's worth paying to get out of the contract. Over time, you'll pay a lot more for the timeshare than you would spend getting out of it. So, focus your energy on getting rid of the contract before all else.

That means you'll need to do your best to have some money for getting out of the timeshare. It can take an average of a year to a year and a half to get entirely out of a timeshare contract.

Plus, the longer that you've had your timeshare, the longer (and more costly) it is to break free from it.

Why You Should Legally Get Rid of Your Timeshare

There are many reasons that a person might want to get out of their timeshare. These types of properties also lose value over time, so they aren't a good investment.

Plus, timeshares have costly maintenance fees that you might not be able to afford any more.

Sometimes, the timeshare contract no longer suits your needs, or it's just not what you expected. No matter your reasons, you should get rid of your time if it's hurting you financially or you don't want it anymore.

Unfortunately, many resorts make it very difficult to get out of timeshares. These contracts can be for life and use confusing language to keep you trapped- so you'll need to consider all your options and stay informed!

Timeshare Red Flags

There are also red flags you need to watch out for. Many timeshares use misleading language to market their properties. The way that many resorts attempt to convince people to sign contracts should be a good reason to get rid of it. 

Several states have rules surrounding timeshare offers. For example, in New York, all timeshare contracts need to include the word “timeshare.” If you’re in a state with similar rules, and you never saw the phrase “timeshare” before purchasing the property, you’ll want to dissolve the contract as soon as you can.

You have the law on your side, in these cases.  Additionally, many timeshares try to hide information. Every timeshare must include cancelation instructions with the rest of your contract.

However, some resorts hide the details in random areas of the contract or even in the fine print. Others try to hide information in the side pockets of the binders they give to new owners.

If you’re finding it difficult to navigate the contract, it would be worth cancelling. An honest, reliable business doesn’t need to hide information to make a sale.

These red flags indicate that you need to get out of the timeshare ASAP!

Final Thoughts

In short, if you want out of your timeshare contract, you should start making plans as soon as possible. The rescission window is concise, and many resorts hide information from you, as they don't want to lose money.

I recommend that you follow through on the above list. If you try every step, you're sure to find a legal way out of your timeshare contract! Most Americans who own a timeshare regret buying it, so there's no shame in searching for a way out of your contract.


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