If you’ve ever purchased a timeshare, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be interested in how to cancel a timeshare. That’s because, as Dave Ramsey states so often, they are a terrible use for your money.
The reasons for this are myriad, but your options for getting out of one are not. In the following article, we’ll be discussing what those options are. First, however, let’s look at why you might wish to get out of one in the first place.
Why Would You Want to Cancel?
A timeshare can look like a pretty convenient way of vacationing at first. Consider for a moment, however, that they obligate you to stay at the same place for the same length of time over a set period.
Doesn’t look so good now, does it? Unfortunately, many timeshare buyers don’t realize this until it is too late. Before you make that mistake, know why most people need or want to cancel in the first place.
Unexpected Financial Stress
You never know when you might experience a major medical incident or other unexpected expenses. If you’re locked into a 10-year timeshare that costs you $30,000, you’re basically paying $250 a month so you can stay in a vacation resort one week a year.
That $250 can go to much better use even if you have the money. Factor in financial stressors, and there’s no question of it.
Uncertainty at the Time of Purchase
Timeshare salespeople are very good at what they do. They make a living turning people there for the promise of something free into long-term buyers. The flip side is that the buyer is usually reluctant or standoffish when they sign the papers.
That’s why laws in different states allow for a “cooling-off period” where the buyer can get out of the contract hassle-free. We’ll be talking more about that in a moment.
Increasing Management Fees
These tend to go up every year by 2-5 percent or more, according to US News and World Report. If you’re looking at a $75 per month maintenance fee from the outset, it could be over $110 a month by the end of a 10-year contract. Not what you signed up for, except that it is because you give them permission!
Lack of Use
A timeshare is a purchase you share with other buyers. You’re buying a piece of time each year, and it usually has to be agreed upon in advance.
If something comes up that prevents you from going, you’re just out of luck. That lack of use can be frustrating when you’re shelling out a few hundred dollars a month for the right to use it.
Now that we know why you want to cancel let’s forge ahead. Here are the seven best options for doing it.
1. Cancel During the Cool-Off
The first part of your timeshare exit strategy should be learning what the “cooling off period” is in your state. This should be detailed in the terms of the contract.
Just to give you a quick and dependable overview, it’s usually seven days. That means you have one week to decide it was a mistake and get your cancellation in the mail. When you do, send it to where it can be tracked and request a return receipt.
2. Give It Back to the Company
Before hiring timeshare lawyers, you might consider giving it back to the company. Do keep in mind that this means you could lose your upfront payment and any management fees you’ve paid in the interim.
3. Observe a Breach
One important factor to keep in mind if coming to this decision after the timeshare cancellation period is over is this. Contract breaches enable a contract to be terminated immediately.
If you believe the company violated the terms of the contract, you can get out of it. The burden of proof is on you, of course, but this can be an effective way out.
4. Create a Breach
This is not recommended because it can open you up to litigation. However, it’s entirely possible that a company will terminate the contract if you breach the terms of the agreement by not paying any amounts due as laid out.
Why would they do you this favor? In a nutshell, they could find it easier to unload your timeshare on someone else than going to the time, trouble, and expense of taking you to court.
5. Sell the Timeshare Privately
Another effective way of exiting timeshare contracts is to sell the timeshare yourself. This can be tough to do and don’t think for a minute you’re going to get someone to pay the upfront payment you had to pay when you purchased it.
That said, selling the contract for, say $1, would allow you to get out of the contract. You might sweeten the deal by offering to pay a couple of months of management fees as well.
6. Ask a Company to Sell It
There are companies out there that specialize in unloading timeshare purchases for you. It will cost something extra for their services, but it can be an affordable way of getting out of the contract for the right market.
Again, don’t expect to make any money out of your timeshare sale. It’s very rare to make yourself whole on such a deal. You usually have to convince someone to take it from you.
7. Seek the Help of a Timeshare Cancellation Attorney
Hire an attorney with experience in taking on these types of cases immediately if you’re considering getting out of your timeshare. Often, this acts as a warning shot to timeshare companies that you’re not going to play their games. Most would rather put the dispute behind them and move onto the next person so that it can be a very strategic hire.
Having to Cancel a Timeshare Is a Hassle
That said, if you want to cancel a timeshare, there are two best times. The first is during the cooling-off period. The second is now.
Each passing day costs you more money, but LoneStar Transfer can help. Contact us today to set up your free consultation on timeshare cancellation options at your disposal.