August 14, 2018

How to Cancel a Timeshare After Grace Period

We’ve all done something we regret. You know, like the timeshare you purchased on a whim during a summer vacation to Maui in 2016 that now seems like an albatross around your neck. And if you realize your mistake even one day too late, the regret can seem like an insurmountable obstacle, doomed to hold you captive and force you to face the consequences for the rest of your life. Maybe it sounds dramatic, but a timeshare contract can seem like a formidable impediment to your happiness when all you want is out. After all, you own something you don’t want, something that cost thousands of dollars and will continue to cost even more down the road. But while canceling a timeshare contract after the grace period has ended is harder to do than when it hasn’t, it’s still possible. Take a look at some facts: What is a Timeshare Grace Period? In 1972, the Federal Trade Commission effectuated a “cooling off” period to protect U.S. consumers from buying things they might regret. For up to three days after the date of purchase, consumers who buy certain items from sellers within their own homes or at a seller’s temporary place of business (like a hotel room or convention center) can request and receive full refunds for their return. Many U.S. states have their own consumer protection laws that offer additional security against hasty, pressured and/or ill-informed purchases. Often, state laws extend the federal grace period, sometimes up to two weeks, granting consumers more time to realize their mistakes. What Are Your Options When It Has Ended? If you sign a timeshare contract and decide that owning this type of vacation plan is not for you after the grace period has ended (either by federal or state standards, whichever is greater), […]
August 13, 2018

Timeshare Contract Cancellation

There are few things in life that are truly inescapable. A contract, contrary to what you might believe, is not one of them. Despite even the savviest attorney’s attention to detail, contracts can be amended, challenged and overturned, thus proving themselves not always the binding certainties that Ben Franklin so aptly claimed death and taxes to be. And while it’s not recommended that you sign a contract thinking that its turns can be easily changed or negated, it’s also not advisable to automatically assume you’re stuck with something just because you’ve signed your name on a dotted line. If you’re one of the 85% of timeshare owners who regrets the decision to buy timeshare, take a look at the following ways to cancel your timeshare contract and regain your peace of mind: Act Within the Right of Rescission Period The Federal Trade Commission maintains a “cooling off” rule that protects all U.S. consumers from the effects of making hasty or ill-informed purchases at their home or a seller’s temporary location, such as a hotel room or convention center. Under this federal guideline, consumers have up to three days to cancel a contract for the purchase of timeshare property within the United States. Some contracts will have their own cancellation terms stated explicitly within them, but this FTC statute provides further protection for consumers should they need it. In addition, most U.S. states have their own unique consumer protection laws that safeguard consumer rights when making a timeshare purchase. If a consumer is aware of their mistake in the first few days (and potentially up to a week or two depending on the state where the contract was signed), they are free to send written notice of their wish to cancel the timeshare contract and receive a full refund in return. […]
July 12, 2018

Timeshare Contract Loopholes

Written contracts are legally binding documents that unequivocally tie two parties together. With a timeshare contract, a buyer is bound to a resort company with the expectation that each will uphold all the terms and conditions expressed within it. But what happens if a buyer wants out? Depending on the circumstances, and the language of the contract, there are options. Look for these contract “loopholes” when the luster of your timeshare starts to fade: Check for the Contract’s “Right of Rescission” An option to rescind the contract’s terms can often be found near the end of a timeshare contract and labeled as a “cancellation,” “severability” or “termination” clause. While not technically a “loophole” since it is frequently explicitly expressed, this right of rescission provides for contract cancellation with no penalties and the return of all payments. The clause is usually restricted by a certain number of days following signing. Verify State Law Even if you’re past the rescission period or your contract doesn’t mention one, most U.S. states have consumer protection laws that permit contract cancellations within a few days or weeks of signing. You can check the attorney general’s office in the state where your timeshare is located or with its Consumer Protection Office. Either will be able to tell you how many days you have to legally terminate a contract. Most range from three to 15 days after signing. When using this “cooling off period,” as indicated in the contract itself or by state law, you will need to make sure that you send notice of your intention to rescind in writing, including the timeshare’s legal description and details like your name and address, the date of purchase and your request that all payments be returned and financing (if any) terminated. You will need to verify the specifics […]
July 11, 2018

How to Sell a Timeshare

Getting rid of a timeshare isn’t nearly as easy as buying one. There are few (legitimate) agents clamoring to assist you. There’s no free food or over-eager attempts to please – or appease – you. There’s little fanfare and even less recognition. And if you can’t find any contract loopholes and have failed to rent it out, you might be faced with having to sell it as your only available option. Selling a timeshare can be a tedious and disheartening process with the loss of money and time threatening to overshadow any lingering memories of happy vacations. But the threat of hard work and perhaps painful loss doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to get out of a bad deal while you still can (and before you lose any more cash to maintenance and upkeep)! Take a look at a few quick tips to help you pick up the pieces after the luster of travel wears off and you find yourself looking in to a dark and endless pit of wasted money: Step One: Identify What You Have Make sure you understand exactly what kind of timeshare you own, as well as any restrictions your contract might have regarding the reselling of it. For instance, timeshares are usually sold either as “Deeded” or “Right to Use.” With a deeded timeshare, you will own a specific unit in a specific resort for a specific time (either fixed or floating) each year for the length of your life or until you sell it, bequeath it or give it away. A deeded timeshare is considered real property and selling it more closely resembles a real estate transaction. With a right-to-use property, you will own a specific number of intervals (you can choose those intervals in weeks or points) for a specific number of years, […]
June 14, 2018

Buyer’s Remorse? Here’s How to Cancel a Timeshare Contract

We’ve all been there; we’ve all walked out of a store, or opened a package, or signed on a dotted line only to realize that what we thought we couldn’t live without –– we really could. Sometimes you can return the item for a refund. Sometimes you can get a credit for it. And sometimes, you’re stuck with it. If you’ve purchased a timeshare, you have similar options should you wake up the next day wondering what you’ve just done. The key is realizing your mistake and taking action quickly. Step One: Act Within the Right of Rescission Period Most timeshare companies will allow for a cooling off period during which a new owner can decide to rescind (or cancel) his or her contract. This is usually offered for a few days or up to a week after closing and written in specific language within the contract. If your paperwork makes no mention of such an option, you may also check your local consumer protection laws. Most states have a rescission period for timeshare purchases when a new owner is able to cancel his or her timeshare contract and receive a full refund regardless of individual contract stipulations. Step Two: Cancel in Writing Whether you are utilizing a way out as specified by your contract or by local state law, it’s paramount that you send notice to the timeshare company that exactly follows the guidelines you’re using. Typically, you must include your name as it appears on your documents, as well as your contact details, the name of the company from which you purchased the timeshare with the date of the transaction and a full description of the location/unit in question. You will also need to fully outline your intent to “cancel the timeshare contract” in words that are clearly […]