How You Can Exit a Timeshare Contract in a Safe Way

If you find yourself in a timeshare contract that you no longer want or had signed up for originally, it can be hard to find a way out of it. Salespeople make timeshares look and sound amazing, though when someone commits to one, they are disappointed or realise that they have tied themselves into paying ridiculous fees for the rest of their lives. Rather than living a life of stress and worry over your timeshare and money, you can try and find a way out instead.

Keep reading to learn more about timeshare contracts and how you can find a way out. With our expert advice and expertise, we can help you exit your timeshare for good and put your money worries behind you.

Case Study

Kathie Asaro knows how hard it is to exit a timeshare contract after she decided that her timeshare for Rancho Mirage in California wasn’t worth keeping. Mrs Asaro paid the contract off in full years ago but has recently decided that it no longer suits her lifestyle. However, there was one problem: her contract. 

Her contract, like most timeshare contracts, had a perpetuity clause tied to it, meaning there is no specific end date. So, when she phoned the timeshare company to request that they take back her unit, they told her she was stuck with the condo. And the $1,300 annual maintenance fees that came along with it, too. If Kathie could not meet these payments, the company threatened to report her to a credit agency.

Kathie isn’t the only one suffering like this. The University of Central Florida (UCF) did a study which found that 85% of timeshare owners who go into a contract regret buying one. That’s an astonishing figure, so it is no surprise that most people are trying to find a way to exit their contract.

Negotiating Your Way Out

So, how can you try and exit your timeshare contract? Kathie’s case study proves how hard it is to achieve this. Starting in 2017, she phoned her timeshare company monthly asking for voluntary surrender. But, the answer was always ‘no’. Company representatives explained to her that the timeshare was hers, for the rest of her life. 

Kathie said, “I would explain very slowly that I had no intention of ever paying the maintenance fee”. Failing to pay this fee would cause the timeshare to foreclose, which would mean paying a lawyer. So Kathie argued the timeshare company and said: “why not just take it now, voluntarily, with no legal expense?”

The timeshare company threatened to “ruin” her credit rating, but she persevered and stopped paying her fees. A month later, the timeshare company agreed to release her from the contract.

This is more commonly referred to as a deedback. And it isn’t well known. Though, some timeshare companies do offer them like Diamond Resorts, Marriott and Wyndham. But a list of which companies do isn’t well publicised; so, when you buy a timeshare, you might not know whether or not this is an option in the future. 

If you want to exit your contract now, however, looking into negotiation and deedbacks in your agreement is step one. If you can’t do this, there are other options on offer to you.

How to Litigate Your Way Out

Negotiation won’t work for everyone. Your contract might not allow a deedback because timeshare companies might go through with their threats or hold out and not give in as they did for Kathie. If it comes to this, the next step to take is to hire an attorney. Peggy Bendel’s story shows this in action. She contacted her timeshare company to cancel the timeshare purchase within the rescission period (a cooling-off period which allows the cancellation without penalty). However, the timeshare company wouldn’t let her cancel.

So, what could she do? Peggy recalled how they dragged out the process to nearly three months, offering her various alternatives to cancelling which would allow them to keep her money. In the end, she hired an attorney to cut the cord and set her free. The law firm said it would take 9 to 10 months to get her the money back, a process she described as a “nightmare”, all because the timeshare company won’t let go.

In tricky situations like this, where you don’t know how the timeshare company will react to you not paying fees, or to you demanding the money back that you are owed, it’s best to hire a lawyer. A lawyer, like us here at Athena Law, will have a better understanding of how you can take your case to the next level and succeed in the cancellation of your contract.

Selling Your Timeshare

Another way that could free you of your timeshare contract is to sell it. Various brokers specialise in timeshares and could help you sell yours. However, there seems to be a neverending number of companies who claim that they can get you out of your timeshare, even though they only to let you down. 

You need to be careful who you hire when trying to sell your timeshare. Take a look at this blog to learn more about the dangers of scammers. The top thing to remember is to never pay someone upfront in exchange for a promise to sell your timeshare. This is a prime tactic of scammers who will take your money and then disappear.

Check out our website today to learn more about Athena Law and how we can help you exit your timeshare contract. With many timeshare owners being scammed and pressured into their contracts these days, there’s no surprise that they’re trying to exit them from day one. With our support, we can help you understand the best way to exit your contract successfully.