If you’re like a lot of Americans, you might be wondering how to get out of a timeshare purchase right now. In fact, a University of Central Florida study found that nearly 87% of timeshare owners (of which there are 9.9 million) end up regretting their purchase. Now that there’s a pandemic, many people can’t afford the maintenance fees or even enjoy their timeshares due to loss of income and travel restrictions. So, what should you do if you find yourself in the same predicament? Try one of these timeshare exit strategies.
Sell It or Give It Back
You may be able to sell your timeshare or give it back by talking to a timeshare developer, a licensed real estate broker, or a timeshare reseller. However, listing your timeshare for sale can be risky. You need to lower your expectations because the resale value will probably be much less than what you paid for it due to the pandemic. You also need to be cautious about who you hire. Some resellers have high upfront fees and offer no guarantees. Ask for references, look at reviews, and research resellers thoroughly before hiring one.
Another timeshare exit strategy is to contact your timeshare company and negotiate. Some companies will be willing to work with you, especially because of the pandemic. You may be able to get relief from payments or you could be released from your contract. However, be prepared to pay a cancellation fee as many companies will only release you for a price.
Hire Reputable Timeshare Lawyers
If you can’t sell your timeshare or negotiate with your timeshare company, you may want to hire a lawyer. Be sure to hire reputable timeshare lawyers who have experience and transparency. Reputable timeshare lawyers will be able to tell you how they’ve handled cases like yours in the past. A reputable lawyer will also be able to provide you with references. It’s important to consult with your lawyer first to know exactly what they can do to help you.
Stop Paying Fees
Pre-pandemic, not paying your timeshare fees would be frowned upon. However, some people who haven’t had much luck getting out of their timeshares have stopped paying the fees. Some timeshare companies who haven’t been willing to negotiate could decide to offer you a cancellation option if they aren’t receiving your monthly fees. However, some timeshare companies might report you to credit bureaus if you stop paying, which can damage your credit.
Check Your State’s Consumer Protection Laws
Most timeshare contracts give you up to two weeks to cancel after you’ve signed; however, check your state’s consumer protection laws. You might still be able to get out of your contract up to three years later if you can prove deceptive trade practices or misrepresentation.
Timeshares aren’t for everyone. If you’re struggling with whether or not to keep your timeshare, especially during a pandemic, you aren’t alone. You also have several options. Weigh the pros and cons of each carefully, and do your research before hiring someone who can help.