Timeshares may seem like an outdated option in the travel industry, but it’s safe to say that these resorts aren’t going anywhere. According to the American Resort Development Association, the timeshare industry alone is worth a whopping $8.1 billion.
Given that number, it should come as no surprise that cancelling a timeshare will occasionally become a problem. Of course, with the industry’s high-pressure sales tactics, this situation arises more often than you’d think!
Unfortunately, getting out from under a timeshare contract can be tricky, as resorts don’t make it easy to understand your options. If you’re wondering about cancelling your timeshare, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Cancellation Is Difficult By Design
After they’ve done the hard work of pressuring you into buying, timeshare companies will do everything they can to make it hard to get out of your contract.
This starts from the very beginning. Timeshare companies are infamous for encouraging buyers to make payments with a credit card, which allows the company to receive money right away. Some will even prompt buyers to take out a new credit card to make payments.
Worse, many companies are happy to work with collection agencies the second you fall behind on your payments.
Buyers hoping to rescind their purchase often find themselves drowning in paperwork. Worse, confusing stipulations in the initial contract make it hard to know your rights. Missing a single detail, for example, can render a cancellation letter invalid and require you to continue making payments.
Your Cancellation Timeline Varies
When you’re seeking a timeshare removal, it’s important to know that your options will change depending on where you are in your timeline.
Most states have specific laws around timeshares, requiring them to give buyers a few days or a few weeks to cancel their contract. During this period, you can get out of your timeshare with much less hassle than you could outside of it.
In the state of Texas, for example, your rights are protected under the Texas Property Code. Chapter 221 of this code is also called the “Texas Timeshare Act.” It allows buyers a six-day window in which to cancel their timeshare purchase.
After this window has closed, removing a timeshare becomes much more difficult, as we’ll discuss below.
There Are Several Ways to Cancel
Depending on your timeshare’s policy, you may have a few options to help you get rid of it. Again, this also depends on how much time has passed since you signed your contract.
This is by far the easiest method of cancelling your timeshare. During your rescission period, you’ll send a letter to the timeshare company stating that you want to rescind the contract.
You’ll need to make sure to include specific facts according to the company’s requirements. Some companies also require letter delivery via certified mail, so be sure to read the fine print of your contract.
Use the Developer’s Exit Program
In some cases, the timeshare company may have its own exit program. These programs vary greatly, so you’ll need to reach out to the developer to learn the specifics. In our experience customers are not successful trying this route.
Some developers provide resale assistance, which lets you get out of your contract via resale for a fee. Others may offer a “deed-back” program, meaning you’ll give the deed and interest back to the owner. This won’t return your investment, but it can help you avoid making future payments on your timeshare.
However, it’s worth noting that most developers will only offer the exit program to owners who are in good financial standing. If you’ve fallen behind on payments, don’t expect to take advantage of this option. And if you do qualify, prepare to be overwhelmed with documents, requests, paperwork, etc.
Work With a Timeshare Exit Company
Timeshare exit companies specialize in helping people get rid of their timeshares. As industry experts, they know how to navigate the legal intricacies of a timeshare contract to find a safe way out.
These companies can be a great resource when the methods above have failed. If needed, they can often connect you with timeshare lawyers who can help with lawsuits against the developer as well.
Don’t Default or Resell
There are a few other options for getting out of your timeshare, and popular advice may tell you they’re worth trying. However, we don’t recommend them, as they can further complicate your situation.
First, you should never just stop making payments on your timeshare. This can open you up to a host of unwanted consequences, including foreclosure and a damaged credit score. It can even open you up to the threat of a lawsuit from the timeshare company.
We also recommend against selling or renting out your timeshare on your own. Depending on the developer, this may violate your contract. Even if your contract does allow it, the value of your timeshare depends on the resale market, which can be fickle.
Worst of all, you’ll often be on the hook for making payments if the buyer or renter stops for any reason. As long as the contract remains in your name, the timeshare company will hunt you down for any lapse in payments.
The bottom line is that the only guaranteed way to get out of a timeshare is to end the contract. This can be done with the help of timeshare title transfer services.
Get Help With Cancelling a Timeshare
Cancelling a timeshare can be difficult, and resorts will often go to great lengths to keep you from escaping your contract. That’s why it pays to work with experts who have experience dealing with these companies. We guarantee our services, in writing. If we don’t deliver, you get all your money back, guaranteed.
Here at Lonestar Transfer, we help timeshare owners cancel or transfer their investments in a safe and legal way. Our knowledgeable staff has offered cancellation services for timeshares from a huge range of resorts and developers, and we’ll be happy to help you cancel your mortgage as well. To learn more about what we can do, contact us today.