How to Cancel Timeshare Contracts and Other Ways to Get Out

Cancel timeshare contract: woman happily tearing a contract

Almost everyone who has ever owned a timeshare has found that it costs way more money than the salespeople said at their pushy, aggressive sales presentation. Between ever-increasing annual maintenance fees, special assessments for repairs and improvements, and various other fees you’ll have to pay just to use the unit, you may quickly find that a timeshare just isn’t worth it.


Of course, by the time you discover exactly how much of a money pit your timeshare is, you’ve probably also learned the other eternal truth of timeshares: They are notoriously hard to escape. Tricky contracts, bad-faith tactics by timeshare companies, and a general lack of value combine to make owners feel helpless and strapped for cash.


The good news is that you don’t have to open up your checkbook and keep paying timeshare fees for the rest of your life. There are ways out of your timeshare. Some are more difficult than others, and it’s always a good idea to have an expert like Centerstone Group at your side to make sure that you get out legally, ethically, and permanently.


In this article, we will take a look at three common methods of getting out of the timeshare trap: using the law to cancel timeshare contracts, listing a timeshare for sale or rent, and hiring an attorney to sue timeshare companies and get out of contracts. Not every method works in every case, and you should talk with an experienced timeshare exit company to figure out whether any of these methods (or even a different one) is right for you.


Method 1: Cancel Timeshare Contracts Using the Contracts’ Own Terms

Cancel timeshare contract: person reading a document using a magnifying glass

Most timeshare purchase agreements will have terms that allow you to cancel the sale and get out of the contract. Timeshare companies don’t put these legal terms in out of the goodness of their hearts, however. In almost every case, they have to put them in as a matter of state law. As a result, most contracts will strictly limit your right to pull out.


In most cases, you can only cancel timeshare contracts under these circumstances:


  • You recently entered into the contract: The laws of most U.S. states, for example, will usually give you around 5-10 days to cancel timeshare contracts for any reason. This is sometimes known as a “cooling off” or rescission period.
  • You cancel the contract in a specific way: You can’t just call a timeshare developer, say, “Cancel my contract,” and expect anything to happen. Most of the time, you will need to send a cancellation letter to a specific address in a specific way. If you don’t follow the rules of the contract exactly, your cancellation won’t work.
  • You can prove that you followed the rules of the contract: This may be the most crucial point. Even if you do everything right, it won’t mean anything unless you can prove it. That means getting receipts, proof of delivery, and documentation for every step of the cancellation letter process. If you don’t have proof, you may not be able to get out of your timeshare agreement, even if you did everything right.


It’s possible to draft and successfully send a cancellation letter yourself. Beware though: Timeshare companies have done a lot more of these than you have, and they will take advantage of any mistake that you make. For this reason, it often makes sense to have the guidance and support of an experienced timeshare exit company.


Method 2: List Timeshare Units and Interests for Sale or Rent

Person filling-out a Real Estate Listing Form

One of the reasons so many people fall for aggressive sales tactics is that salespeople love to tell you that a timeshare is an investment. Perhaps, but it’s always a bad one. The fact is that the vast majority of timeshares lose value and are worth next to nothing on the resale market.


The internet is filled with stories of timeshare owners who literally can’t give their units away. They often resort to listing their timeshares on eBay or Craigslist for free or nearly free, willing to accept pennies on the dollar just for the blessing of getting out from under oppressive timeshare maintenance fees.


Perhaps the timeshare salespeople told you that you can rent your timeshare for extra income. Unfortunately, the ability to rent out a timeshare is, in most cases, a myth that will just cost you more money:


  • Some timeshare contracts forbid you from renting the units: This is often because the timeshare developer also rents units at the same property and doesn’t want you competing with its business. Breaking these rules can result in fees, penalties, and even legal trouble. Some contracts may even suspend your right to use the timeshare while still obligating you to pay the normal fees!
  • Even if you can rent your timeshare, get ready to pay more fees: Companies that allow you to rent your timeshare will demand their cut. This often comes in the form of something like a guest certificate, which you will have to purchase. Of course, you can pass the cost on to a renter, but that will likely make your rental more expensive than if the renter got their unit directly from the resort. (And of course, that’s the point of this requirement!)


The best of the bad options in this method would be to get an experienced real estate agent who specializes in timeshare sales. Unless you have a very desirable timeshare, though, you’re probably not going to be able to get anything for your unit. (Also, you have to make sure not to get involved with fraudulent timeshare resale companies or similar scams.)


(If you’re wondering what “desirable” is, think of a Maui beachfront condo in December. Any less than that, and you’re likely wasting your time and money.)


Finally, many timeshare companies will advertise “deed-back” programs for your unit. Those programs will generally require your fees to be up-to-date and your unit paid off. They also only work if the timeshare company will agree to cooperate, which isn’t usually the case. 


And forget making any money on that deal — the company just takes the unit back from you and you’re meant to walk away — after paying the deed-back fee, of course. 


Method 3: Get a Lawyer and Sue the Timeshare Company

Lawyer talking to a client

In some cases, timeshare owners may feel the need to file a lawsuit against a timeshare company. Note that this is an extreme and expensive measure that should only be used in a handful of cases. Some examples where a lawsuit might be appropriate are:


  • Fraud: Let’s say a timeshare salesperson tricked you into signing a contract by telling you that it was just a sign-in sheet. That would be a fraudulent inducement and a rescission (contractual unwinding) by a court would be the appropriate remedy.
  • Breach of contract by the timeshare company: If the company fails to perform a material (i.e., important) term of your contract, you may be able to get out of it. Note, however, that the breach would have to be material or make your performance of the contract difficult or impossible.


Though it’s possible to file a lawsuit by yourself, you’ll have virtually no chance of succeeding in most cases without legal advice and assistance from a timeshare attorney or law firm. Most of them will charge by the hour, and it can take years to resolve a lawsuit. Therefore, it’s important to use lawyers and lawsuits as a measure of last resort.


Method 4: Talk to a Centersone Group Expert for a Customized Timeshare Exit Strategy

The options to cancel timeshare contracts can seem difficult and depressing. The odds are often stacked against timeshare owners. There is, however, an easier way: hiring an experienced timeshare exit professional to find and execute the best timeshare exit plan for you. 


Centerstone Group is a family company composed of people with decades of experience in the timeshare industry. We know their tricks and techniques, but more importantly, we know their weak points. We can help new owners get contract cancellations. For people who have had their units for longer, we can use our proprietary pressure campaign to get the timeshare company to end those contracts.


And, if we need to, we can help you get an attorney from our network of trusted legal partners. We can even get you a discount on their hourly rate.


The important thing is this: You don’t have to do it alone. Centerestone Group is an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau. We also have an A+ rating with the BBB and hundreds of reviews from satisfied customers we’ve helped. Give us the chance to help you too. Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.


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