It can be easy to get caught up in a high-pressure timeshare presentation and sign on the dotted line. You can be swayed by promises of luxurious vacations at a minimal cost. Unfortunately, when the initial euphoria wears off, you may realize that a timeshare is not right for you after all. Most states provide a legal way to get out of a timeshare if you do it within a certain time period. You must know your rights and do the cancellation properly in order to legally get out of the timeshare.
Research state laws on getting out of a timeshare contract prior to attending a sales presentation. Different states have different laws about how you can legally get out of a timeshare. Normally you have a certain period of time after you sign a contract, such as five says, during which you can cancel with no obligation. Timeshare companies do not like to disclose this information, so you need to find it on your own.
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Ask the timeshare company to clearly disclose its cancellation policy when you sign a timeshare contract, and get this information in writing. Their policy should match the appropriate state laws, and it should also spell out requirements such as how they must be notified of the cancellation. Do not rely on verbal promises as these are not enforceable.
Notify the timeshare company of your cancellation in writing, sending it with a return receipt requested so you can prove that it was received within the proper time frame. Follow any other cancellation instructions spelled out in your contract when you send this notice.
Call the timeshare company after you receive notification that they received your written cancellation. Ask them to verify the fact that they are processing the cancellation and to tell you when you will receive written confirmation. They may try to convince you not to cancel, so hold firm and insist on knowing when the process will be complete and receiving written verification of the cancellation.
Work with an advocate. There are advocate websites, such as The Owner's Advocate, that work with people who are trying to legally get out of a timeshare. They have extensive experience in this area that they can apply to your situation.
Some timeshare companies may refuse to process your cancellation, even if you followed the proper procedure and are legally entitled to do so. If they refuse, let them know you will report them to the appropriate state regulatory agency and the attorney general. This may be enough to get them to process your cancellation. If they will not, proceed with the reporting.
Keep copies of all your correspondence with a timeshare company when you are doing a cancellation, and take notes during phone calls. Record the calls if your state's laws allow you to do this.
- Keep copies of all your correspondence with a timeshare company when you are doing a cancellation, and take notes during phone calls. Record the calls if your state's laws allow you to do this.
Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."