If exiting a timeshare ownership was a simple task, the timeshare industry wouldn’t be the lucrative multibillion-dollar business it is today. When you enter into a timeshare contract, you are essentially committing to a lifetime of costly maintenance fees to the resort. Unfortunately, many buyers fail to fully comprehend this reality, becoming captivated by the allure of endless vacation possibilities, only to realize later that their timeshare purchase has become a permanent financial burden.
Regardless of whether you bought a timeshare with Wyndham, Marriott Vacation Club, Hilton Grand Vacations, or any other flashy brand, each one comes with its own set of inconveniences that may leave you questioning your decision. If you find yourself in this predicament, you may be wondering about the legal options for escaping timeshare ownership. Here are three legitimate ways to do so.
1. Pursue the Timeshare Rescission Method
Timeshare salespeople are notorious for utilizing manipulative tactics to entice potential buyers into the dream of timeshare ownership. They often employ the “start high, go low” strategy to persuade customers to agree to a sales price. They showcase the luxurious resort through enticing tours and offer perks such as complimentary breakfasts, gift cards, and free hotel stays to create a sense of urgency and impulse purchases.
To protect consumers from impulsive decisions, timeshare developers are required to provide a rescission period, which is a cooling-off period that allows buyers to cancel their contract and return the timeshare if they change their mind about the purchase. The duration of the rescission period varies depending on state law, usually ranging from 3-10 days after the contract is signed.
If you have recently signed a timeshare contract and are within the rescission period, you may have the opportunity to legally get out of the timeshare. However, it is crucial to follow specific guidelines for the rescission process. The first step is to write a cancellation letter to your timeshare developer, referencing the exact date of the purchase and the type of timeshare bought, and using language that mirrors the terms and conditions of the timeshare agreement. It is important to clearly state that cancellation is the only option you will accept and that you expect a full refund of any fees paid.
Some developers may try to offer alternative timeshare deals when receiving a cancellation letter, so it is crucial to be firm in your intention to cancel and not accept any other offers. Keep records of how the letter is delivered, such as through a secure postal method or in person, within the rescission period to ensure it reaches the developer on time. If the letter arrives late, you may not be released from the contract.
2. Put Your Timeshare on the Resale Market
Once the rescission period has elapsed, your options become limited. If your timeshare developer does not offer a deed-back program, which is the case for many, attempting to sell your timeshare on the resale market may seem like the next viable option. However, before proceeding, it is crucial to consult your developer as selling without their approval could breach your contract and result in excessive fees or other unfavorable consequences.
If you decide to explore the resale market, begin by researching similar listings for units in and around your resort. You can get an idea of the prices by checking online platforms such as eBay or Craigslist. Unfortunately, due to the high number of people willing to part with their timeshares for little or no money, prices can be as low as $0.
It’s important to keep in mind that the timeshare resale market is highly competitive and rarely yields profitable sales. Even hiring real estate agents who specialize in timeshare sales may not guarantee success. This is because many timeshare owners find themselves in similar situations, overwhelmed by annual maintenance fees and regretful about their timeshare purchases, resulting in an oversaturated market. Standing out from the competition and finding a buyer can be extremely challenging.
Furthermore, as a timeshare owner, you may have a loan payable to your timeshare company. Even if you are able to sell or give away your timeshare, which may fetch little or no value, you would still be required to pay off the loan in order to transfer ownership.
3. Seek Out an Exit Company
Once the rescission period has elapsed, you may have limited options with your timeshare. If your timeshare developer does not offer a deed-back program, which is the case with many developers, you may consider entering the timeshare resale market as an alternative. However, it’s crucial to seek permission from your developer before proceeding, as attempting to sell your timeshare without their approval could result in contract violations and costly fees or consequences.
If you decide to explore the resale market, start by researching similar listings for units in your resort and surrounding areas. Checking websites like eBay or Craigslist can give you an idea of the prices you’ll be competing against, which unfortunately could be as low as $0 due to the oversaturation of the market with people desperate to get rid of their timeshares without any financial gain.
It’s important to note that timeshare resales are highly competitive and often do not result in profitable sales. Even hiring real estate agents who specialize in timeshare sales does not guarantee success, as many timeshare owners find themselves in the same predicament of being burdened by annual maintenance fees and regretting their timeshare purchases. The market for timeshare resales is oversaturated, making it extremely challenging to stand out from the competition and find a buyer.
Furthermore, as a timeshare owner, you may have a loan payable to your timeshare company. So even if you manage to sell or give away your timeshare, you’ll likely receive little to no compensation, and you’ll still be obligated to pay off the loan in order to complete the sale.
In some cases, timeshare owners may not be allowed to sell their properties by the developer or may not have the financial means to pay off the loan for resale. In such situations, seeking cancellation through a timeshare exit company may be the only option. However, it’s crucial to be cautious of potential scams in the timeshare exit industry. Here are some red flags to watch out for:
- Lack of transparency about their exit strategy: If an exit company claims that their process is too complex for you to understand, it could be a cover-up for their lack of a legitimate exit strategy.
- Request for a large upfront fee without explanation: While it’s common for exit companies to require payment upfront, they should be transparent about how the funds will be used. If they are vague or evasive about this, it’s a warning sign of a potential scam.
- Delayed or no response: Unreliable exit companies may avoid or ignore communication attempts once they have been paid, and may not provide timely updates on the progress of the exit process.
- Request for additional money during the process: Legitimate exit companies typically provide a flat fee for their services. If an exit company suddenly asks for more money during the process, especially without prior disclosure, it could indicate a scam.
- Negative or nonexistent reviews: Established businesses should have customer reviews, so if an exit company has poor or nonexistent social credibility scores on platforms like Better Business Bureau or Google, it’s best to avoid them.
It’s unfortunate that many exit companies in the timeshare industry are scams that prey on desperate timeshare owners. They take advantage of the situation and often do not deliver on their promises of successful exits, with some even considering foreclosure as a form of exit. However, Centerstone Group stands out as a reputable option, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and over 33 years of experience in the timeshare industry. Their unique three-pronged strategy involves working with established law firms to resolve contract issues with timeshare developers, taking the time to understand each client’s contract and situation in order to tailor the best legal strategy for successfully getting out of a timeshare
Choose the Best Route for How to Legally Get Out of a Timeshare
As a reputable timeshare exit company, Centerstone Group understands the challenges of getting out of a timeshare contract once you have signed it and put down a significant amount of money. We have a proven track record of achieving timeshare cancellations for our customers, as evidenced by our positive customer reviews and high rating of 4.78 out of 5 stars.
Our experienced team of professionals will work with you to understand your specific situation and tailor a strategy to legally and effectively get you out of your timeshare. We have a unique three-pronged approach that includes working in tandem with established law firms to resolve contract issues with your timeshare developer when necessary.
Unlike other timeshare exit companies that may engage in scams or charge hefty upfront fees without providing a clear exit strategy, Centerstone Group is committed to providing transparent and reliable services. We offer a free consultation to assess your case and provide you with honest and trustworthy guidance on how to proceed.
When it comes to timeshare cancellation, Centerstone Group has your back. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you exit your timeshare contract and relieve you from the burden of ownership.