How to legally get out of a Timeshare Contract
A contract is a legally binding agreement. Therefore, a timeshare contract is binding on the parties to the contract. However, there are some vitiating elements which may render a contract either void or voidable - such elements include fraud, misrepresentation and mistakes. It is not unheard of that most timeshare buyers only realize later on that the deal is not as good as it was portrayed by the sellers. This is because timeshare sellers often use deceptive, unethical, and unlawful practices when negotiating with buyers. For example, many buyers are unaware of their obligation to pay taxes, fees, and assessments. When adding up the total financial cost, many people change their minds. What's worse is that at the point of realizing the scam, it may be a bit late as the right of rescission may have been lost. At that point, timeshare companies are known to often scare buyers by professing that the contract can no longer be ended.
But this is far from the truth.
If you have been cajoled to enter into a timeshare contract, you can still legally end such a contract. Traditionally, you can sell, donate or transfer the timeshare but these means often lead to more unethical practices. For instance, many unwary timeshare owners seeking to rid themselves of their timeshare fall prey to listing companies that propose to list their timeshare for sale. Such companies may be under investigation by the state Attorney General for fraudulent and deceptive practices.
Thankfully, new means of wriggling out of unfavourable timeshare contracts have emerged. Such means include rescission, cancellation and termination.
Rescission: When you first buy your timeshare, the contract should clearly state the number of days you have to rescind. If it doesn’t, check your state’s law on timeshare contracts. The period is known as "cooling off." If you rescind within the cooling off period, you can have your deposit returned. The best way to do this is by writing a letter. Be sure to include your name as it is indicated on the contract, your address, email address, and phone number, the timeshare’s description, the date you bought the timeshare, and the statement that you are rescinding the contract. You do not have to mention the reason why you want to cancel the contract. Deliver the letter in the specified manner, i.e. either hand-delivered or by mail, to the company within the cooling off period, and make sure that all details are correct. If all the details are not complied with, your rescission may not be valid.
However, if the cooling off period expires, and you want to get out of a timeshare contract, it becomes more complicated and difficult to prove fraud and misrepresentation on your own especially when you have used the contract to take vacation, no matter how unfavourable that vacation experience may have been. Therefore, you will need a timeshare attorney to help you decide whether to cancel or terminate, and to facilitate the process.