If you’re reading this, you probably have a timeshare or know someone who has one. Likely your main concern is how to legally get out of that timeshare.
To help you, I’m going to first answer the question what’s the best way to cancel a timeshare. Then we’ll look into the challenges of cancelling a timeshare. As well as investigating how timeshare cancellation works.
Let’s give you the answer you came here for. Then we can go deeper.
How to Get Out of Your Timeshare
- Use the Rescission Period
- Ask the developer to buy it back or take it back for free
- Write a timeshare cancellation letter sent via certified mail
- Sell your timeshare
Those are easy to say. But what’s involved in each of those items?
Let’s dive in.
Use the Rescission Period
What is the rescission period?
The rescission period is the time between when you signed your contract and the time you can no longer back out of it.
The right of rescission period in most states is 3 days. However, depending on the laws where you purchased your timeshare, you might have as long as 15 days.
If you’re reading this and are thinking about a timeshare but haven’t pulled the trigger, make sure you find out “in writing” how long the right of rescission period is. Don’t take the word of the salesperson.
During this period, you can notify “in writing” that you no longer want to continue with the purchase.
A key point to remember is that your three days includes Saturdays. Sundays and legal holidays are excluded.
Keep in mind you have until midnight of the final day to notify the developer or resort.
If you haven’t gotten into a timeshare contract, knowing what to expect at a timeshare presentation can help you see if you even want one. This article walks you through the anatomy of a timeshare presentation. This way you won’t get blindsided.
Ask the Developer to Buy It Back or Take It Back for Free
This one is a longshot. After all, the developer or resort wants to make money off the property. But that doesn’t mean they won’t take your timeshare back. So it’s still worth it as an option to get out of your timeshare contract.
In all dealings with terminating your timeshare, you want your correspondence to be in writing. Both yours and theirs.
It’s ok to call them on the phone to discuss the steps involved. But be sure that anything they state to you on the phone is backed up by a written document.
Write a Timeshare Cancellation Letter
Another option similar to the last one is to write a timeshare cancellation letter.
Again, there is no guarantee that your request will be honored. It’s still up to the developer or resort to grant your request.
When writing your letter, the things you should include are:
- Your contact information including your name, address, and any electronic methods you would like to communicate with
- The name of your timeshare company
- Your contract number
- The date when you purchased your timeshare
- Statement of cancellation. Provide the reason or reasons you want to cancel your timeshare. Be very specific.
- The amount you paid to purchase the timeshare. Also request that this be returned to you
When you write your letter, make sure to keep it brief. A good way to ensure you do this is to list your reasons in bullet points.
Listing your reasons for wanting to cancel your timeshare in bullet points is that it’s easier to read and keeps your letter from turning into a novel.
Some items you might want to include for cancelling are rising maintenance fees, inflexible dates, condition of the property, etc.
Make sure you stick to facts. Resist the temptation to get emotional. It might be challenging. After all, this is where you were planning on spending special time with your family.
And as with any legal communication, make sure you send it certified mail, preferably with a signature receipt. This way, you can follow up if they claim they didn’t receive it.
Sell Your Timeshare
Another option is to sell your timeshare.
The timeshare management company may try to convince you to sell your timeshare. That might be a good idea. Especially if it is paid off.
However, remember that a timeshare does not increase in value, despite what the salesperson said at the presentation.
In fact, anyone can buy a timeshare for as little as $1!
Nonetheless, selling it can be a good idea.
Websites that will help you sell your timeshare include (but aren’t limited to):
How To Pick a Timeshare Cancellation Company
If you seem overwhelmed by all that data, it’s understandable.
I tried to give as much information as simply as possible for you to go out on your own and free yourself from your timeshare.
But what if you need more help? What should you look for when picking the best timeshare cancellation company to help you get out of your timeshare?
What You Should Look For In a Timeshare Cancelation Company
- Timeshare industry experience
- Validation by legitimate industry authorities. For example, the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Companies that do NOT charge upfront fees
- Companies that do NOT recommend stopping payment of timeshare maintenance fees or mortgages
Let’s explore these a little deeper.
Timeshare Industry Experience
Because you want to get out of your timeshare, you want a company that has been in the game long enough to know what things to look for.
They need to be familiar with how timeshares work and the laws surrounding them.
Validation by Legitimate Industry Authorities
This is a big one.
There are a ton of scams out there trying to get you to give them your money promising to free you of your timeshare. You may have been called by some or seen or heard their commercials on TV, radio, and the internet.
Before agreeing to work with any of these, make sure they have a good reputation. Not just the one they portray in their ads.
Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB), your local chamber of commerce and other organizations that keep track of businesses and their reputation.
If the company you’re looking at passes this test, you can move on to the next step.
Companies That Do Not Charge Upfront Fees
This is a BIG red flag.
If a timeshare cancellation company is telling you that you need to give them money up front, run away fast. Do not look back.
Why is this a danger sign?
For one, they could be your typical scam artist that takes your money and when you check up on them, they cease to exist.
Another reason why charging fees is a warning sign is because of what they might do with that money.
Let’s say you found a timeshare cancellation company that seemed legitimate. But they want money up front. Why might they want it?
In this case, it could be that they will use that to set up a shell company, then move your timeshare into it.
Anytime you hear the phrase “shell company” or “shell corporation”, you know nothing good comes out of that.
Either way, legally you’ll be on the hook even though you hired a company to get you out of the timeshare.
Companies That Do Not Tell You to Stop Paying Fees
An additional warning sign is a company that tells you to stop paying your fees, be they maintenance fees or your mortgage.
The exception here is if your legal counsel instructs you to put the payments into an escrow account.
But if they tell you to simply stop paying while they work it out, end that relationship.
It’s also likely that a timeshare cancellation company that recommends this will also want to charge you an upfront fee.
And as we’ve seen, that already puts them on the naughty list.
Timeshare Specialists – Our Recommended Timeshare Cancellation Company
Hopefully I’ve given you enough information for you to get out from under the burden of your timeshare.
As with anything legal, it takes time, energy, and patience. And you might not have those in large supply.
In view of that, we recommend our affiliate partner Timeshare Specialists. And here’s why:
- Timeshare Specialists has been in the business for over 15 years having transferred over 60,000 timeshares
- Timeshare Specialists is A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and has an excellent rating on Trust Pilot
- Timeshare Specialists does not charge upfront fees
- Timeshare Specialists won’t recommend you do something that will damage you legally or financially
- Timeshare Specialists has a timeshare scam database and hotline to check on confirmed timeshare exit scam companies
The thing I like the most about Timeshare Specialists is that you will not be charged until your timeshare transfer is complete.
To be transparent, that might mean one person will pay a little more than another.
That’s because their fee is based on how difficult it will be to find a new owner for your timeshare. For example, it’s easier to transfer a timeshare that’s paid off than one that is not.
But no money leaves your pocket until the transaction is complete.
For these reasons, we think you’ll like working with Timeshare Specialists.
Because they are our affiliate partner, we do get a modest commission if you use them to get out of your timeshare. But like I said earlier, no money comes out of your pocket until the deal is done. So the risk to you is minimal.
Just fill out the form with a phone number that’s good to reach you and be on your way to timeshare freedom!