Timeshares can sound like an alluring way to enjoy vacations. But what happens when the allure fades, and you’re left with a property you no longer want or can afford? While timeshare ownership remains popular, getting out can be a maze of confusion and potential financial pitfalls.
The Initial Glitter: Was It Too Good to Be True?
It all starts with a pitch that seems like the deal of a lifetime. With the rise in consumer awareness about fraudulent exit companies and the intricacies of timeshare exits, it’s crucial to know your options if you’re having second thoughts.
The Rescission Period: Your Golden Ticket
If you’ve just recently bought a timeshare and you’re doubting your decision, your best move is to use the rescission period. This grace period allows buyers to cancel their timeshare ownership without any repercussions. Depending on the state or country of your timeshare, this window can vary between three days to two weeks. Make sure you review your timeshare documents diligently and compare your rescission period to local laws.
But here’s the catch – many resorts might hide their address in fine print or omit it altogether. Always ensure you know where and how to send your cancellation notice.
Beyond Rescission: Navigating the Murky Waters
Missed the rescission period? Don’t despair. There are still avenues you can explore:
Ask the Resort to Take It Back: Often the most straightforward method is to ask the resort directly. Look specifically for personnel handling “deed-backs” or “surrenders”. This method entails returning your property to the company, potentially at a nominal fee.
Sell Your Timeshare: It may sound straightforward, but selling can be tricky. Some timeshare agreements have clauses like “the right of first refusal” (ROFR). This clause means the timeshare developer has the right to buy back the timeshare before you can sell it to anyone else. Remember, due to the saturated market, your timeshare might not fetch a high price.
Stop Your Payments: It’s a desperate measure and can come with severe consequences, including foreclosure and a negative impact on your credit score. However, some resort companies might negotiate a deed-in-lieu contract with you to avoid the foreclosure process.
The Costs to Exit
Exiting a timeshare can come with its costs, whether that’s a fee to the resort or a reduced selling price in the resale market. Ensure you’re fully aware of all potential charges to avoid unexpected expenses.
A Final Piece of Advice
Always consult with the resort first. Many resorts have internal departments dedicated to assisting timeshare owners. Additionally, ensure you get any agreements or negotiations in writing to protect yourself.
While timeshares can offer delightful vacation opportunities, they can also become burdensome. Whether you’re experiencing buyer’s remorse or financial constraints, it’s essential to know your rights and options when seeking to exit. Do your research, be patient, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice.