As a timeshare owner, if you are experiencing buyer’s remorse, you’re not alone. In fact, an overwhelming 85% of timeshare owners regret their purchase. This is typically due to the significant and recurring expenses that accompany timeshare ownership, such as annual maintenance fees, exchange fees, and repair assessments.
Moreover, some owners may find that the promised flexibility and availability of their timeshare purchase fall short of expectations. When owners are unable to utilize their units for budget-friendly vacations, they often look for a way out.
Although timeshare developers are unlikely to make the exit process simple, there are various options for canceling a timeshare agreement, some of which are less desirable than others. This article outlines methods for canceling a timeshare, including rescinding timeshare agreements, deed-back programs, developer-led solutions, and do-it-yourself desperation methods, which owners may attempt with negative consequences.
How to Cancel a Timeshare with Rescission/Cancellation Letters
To cancel your timeshare quickly and effectively, sending a rescission or cancellation letter to the timeshare developer is the way to go. However, this process requires careful attention to detail in three crucial areas.
Firstly, it’s crucial to know the governing law that applies to your contract and the specific time limit you have to send the cancellation letter. The cooling-off period varies by state, and some states don’t have any specific laws on the subject. Therefore, it’s essential to read your contract to determine the applicable law and avoid any mistakes that could ruin your chances of canceling the timeshare.
Secondly, when drafting the letter, it’s important to use precise language and mention the date of the contract, the specific type of purchase you made, and the contract language you’re using to cancel. It’s also advisable to quote the contract’s language and explicitly state your intention to cancel the timeshare and request a full refund.
Lastly, delivering the letter correctly is critical. The cancellation section of the contract usually specifies where and to whom you should address the letter. It’s vital to follow the contract’s language precisely to avoid the risk of failing your cancellation. It’s also recommended to give notice in all ways allowed by law and have proof of delivery, such as sending the letter via certified mail with a return receipt, expedited delivery services, or personal delivery by a process server or a legally authorized person to sign an affidavit indicating successful delivery.
How to Cancel a Timeshare If the Developer Decides to Let You
Timeshare developers may offer exit programs to assist owners in canceling their contracts, but the specifics of these programs can vary greatly between companies. Some programs are known as “resale assistance,” where owners can list their timeshare for sale, but with hefty fees charged by the resort. Alternatively, some developers offer “deed-back” options where owners give back their timeshare to the resort. Although this may not sound ideal at first, many owners become so desperate to get rid of their units that they are willing to consider this option.
Unfortunately, it is usually difficult to qualify for these programs. Many developers require owners to be current on all resort fees and mortgage payments, if applicable. This is particularly unfair since financial difficulties are often the reason owners want to exit their timeshares. Even if owners meet all the criteria, the developer may still deny them entry into its exit programs if it prefers to continue collecting maintenance fees and other payments.