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:
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.
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 of what to include in your letter in order to fully comply with state law. Send the letter via “certified mail” with a return receipt and signature requested so that you will have proof that you sent the letter within the specified time period.
The nature of contracts is that they are very specific. Nothing is taken for granted. Thus, look for language in your timeshare contract that states that you are personally liable for continuing to pay maintenance and upkeep costs for the timeshare. If you can’t find such language, you are not obligated to pay them. A reputable timeshare cancellation attorney can help you review your contract for this type of omission.
If none of these options seem like they will work in your case, contact our team at Step Zero. We have experience with all types of timeshare contract cancellation and can help you get rid of an unwanted timeshare legally, even after the grace period has ended.