Remember the thrill and excitement when you bought your first timeshare? You, your family, and your friends could make plans for a sensational holiday in a dream destination. You could take off for a holiday in the next town or halfway across the world. And you probably enjoyed many years of fun and memorable vacations. Nearly 10 million American households own some form of a timeshare.
But there comes a time when you feel you no longer want this facility. What options do you have to cancel your timeshare?
Most Common Reasons for Cancellation
Nearly 850,000 timeshare owners would like to sell their rights within two years. The reasons include:
- Limited or no availability at the destination of their choice
- High annual maintenance fees
- Extra charges and unexpected hikes in rates
- Advanced age, disability, or deterioration in health condition
- No re-sale value
- Clients are not allowed to rent out their timeshare property
- Marketing pressure to upgrade
- Failure to abide by terms of the contract
- Poor upkeep and maintenance of the property
- Safety concerns
- Heirs don’t want to own this asset
- Not possible to swap properties as promised
Before You Cancel Your Timeshare: Facts To Know
- Recission Period: Most timeshare owners have the right of cancellation during a specific period given by state and some foreign country laws. However, this time can be very short, usually between 3 and 15 days. Some state laws allow cancellation after rescission, but this may be difficult.
- In Writing: Remember that you must cancel in writing. A verbal instruction or telephone call is insufficient, though your contract may allow you to do so.
- Method of Delivering Cancellation: This is determined by state law or the timeshare contract terms: Hand-delivery or registered/certified mail. Clients often send cancellations emails, not realizing that this may not be acceptable.
- Know Your Rights: Read the terms carefully before signing. If possible, run it past a legal professional or consumer protection agency specializing in this area. Some of the crucial details may be buried in reams of fine print that you can easily miss.
Strategies For Cancellation
Read your contract carefully and talk to the resort itself. Speak to the staff that specifically deals with cancellation, deed-back, or surrender. Most timeshare companies do have a facility for surrender, which they don’t always advertise. You may have to pay a fee for this. There may be eligibility criteria. If they offer to upgrade before the surrender, avoid this.
Stop paying fees is a strategy that may work in some cases. Beware that it doesn’t affect your credit ratings. The company may remarket your share and hence may not pursue the case legally.
Timeshare resale markets are available, but be very careful before you approach them, as many unscrupulous players are here. Unless you own a high-value branded timeshare, you may not make any money on the transaction.
Use a cancellation company, but again, beware of scamsters. Ensure that you deal with a reputed company that a trustworthy source has recommended.