Figuring out how to get rid of a timeshare without ruining credit is tough and won’t always work out the way you want it to. The bottom line is timeshare companies want their customers to keep their timeshares for life and will make it very difficult for you to do otherwise.
This isn’t to say it’s impossible to forfeit your timeshare purchase without ruining your credit, it’s just difficult. So to make getting rid of your timeshare without ruining your credit a little easier, here’s a breakdown of why timeshare cancellation can affect your credit and how to get rid of your timeshare without impacting your score.
The reason timeshare cancellation can lead to a credit score drop is that your collection agency is not concerned about why you suddenly can’t make your timeshare payments. They just want to charge your credit card for the money you owe.
Because foreclosures have dire effects on your credit score, many timeshare owners try to come to a mutual agreement with their timeshare company about no longer making payments without having to declare foreclosure. This agreement is called a deed-in-lieu. While your credit will report your ended timeshare contract as a deed-in-lieu rather than a foreclosure, your credit rating can still be significantly affected.
If you have special assessments, maintenance fees, or other recurring utility payments linked to your timeshare, failure to pay them can lead to a lien on your timeshare ownership. This means your property owner now has control over your timeshare and is able to take legal action to settle any debts. This can negatively impact your credit score and prevent you from transferring your timeshare until the debt is paid off.
Additionally, if you aren’t making your timeshare mortgage payments, your timeshare company can foreclose on your timeshare. This can stay on your credit report for seven years and prevent you from making property purchases in the future.
The very best option when it comes to getting rid of your timeshare is cancelling during the rescission period. This is a 3- to 10-day period after you’ve signed your timeshare contract where you’re allowed to cancel. The rescission method of timeshare exit comes with a money-back guarantee. You will be fully refunded for any payments you’ve made at the time of sale, and you will give your timeshare back to the company.
Unfortunately, the timeshare industry is notorious for failing to discuss rescission periods during the sales process. Even though they’re legally obligated to allow you this period, many salespeople blow through this section of the timeshare sales process and hope you don’t notice rescission on your contract. Some companies even decline your request to rescind, even when it’s in direct violation of your rights. Though this is illegal, many timeshare companies are able to get away with it, trapping buyers into an unwanted timeshare purchase that they feel there’s no way out of.
So what do you do if you missed your opportunity to rescind your contract and need to know how to get rid of a timeshare without ruining credit? Here are a few other options for escaping your contract without your credit score taking a hit.
The timeshare resale market may be the best option for you if you’ve waited past your rescission period to cancel your contract. You can sell a timeshare by doing your research to determine the true value of your property and finding a real estate agent with experience in timeshare sales.
Keep in mind that, when taking the timeshare resale route, you will almost never get back your initial investment. Even properties from glitzy companies like Wyndham and Disney Vacation Club lose the majority of their value when resold. This is partially because certain point-earning services that come with direct timeshare purchases are lost when they are resold. And in these tough times, the resale value for almost all timeshares is at $0.
If you decide that reselling is the route for you, there are many factors to take into consideration when determining the resale value of your property. Don’t rely on your timeshare company to determine the resale value for you because they will likely give you an underestimate.
Instead, compare your property to similar ones at the same timeshare resort or location. Remember to consider the details of your specific unit, like square footage, number of bedrooms, and proximity to local attractions. These features can significantly affect the overall resale value and be major selling points for potential buyers.
While reselling your timeshare won’t affect your credit score, it can be a lengthy, costly, and often inaccessible option. In fact, many timeshare owners end up giving their property away and paying the transfer of ownership fees if they are even able to sell it. That’s because timeshare companies aren’t big fans of the timeshare resale market and can make it nearly impossible for you to resell your timeshare. A lot of timeshare contracts have a clause that precludes owners from selling their property, and if they do so, the sellers are forced to remit the funds to their timeshare company for violating the policy. If this is the case for your timeshare contract, an alternative option you can take is renting out your timeshare.
If your company allows it, renting out your timeshare may be a more feasible alternative to reselling. Doing so can help partially offset the funds put toward your mortgage payments and annual maintenance fees.
To get the renting process started, familiarize yourself with your timeshare company’s rental policies. This ensures that you and your future renters won’t violate any rules that’ll result in financial penalties. Make sure your unit maintenance is up to date and contact your resort to fix any paint, plumbing, flooring, or appliances that aren’t up to snuff.
The next step is to create a rental agreement that includes rates, terms, and due dates for potential renters, making sure to include exactly when your timeshare will be available during the year. To determine how much to rent out your timeshare for, familiarize yourself with the rates that your timeshare company offers for similar units. Oftentimes, they’ll offer much lower than regular market prices because they want to sell non-owners on buying a timeshare from them. Once you’ve settled on a rate, start advertising your rental on real estate websites, at your timeshare resort, on social media, or even in newspaper advertisements. Keep in mind that many states require rental insurance as well as a business license for tracking taxable dollars you earn from renting your vacation home.
Managing a timeshare rental requires adequate research and planning to ensure you’re earning a fair profit while abiding by the rules of your timeshare company and state laws. And unfortunately, it’s pretty rare to earn a profit off of renting because you’re competing against timeshare companies who rent inventory for very low fees. This can undercut your ability to earn an amount that’s worth the effort that goes into preparing a timeshare for renting.
Getting rid of your timeshare may not be an option for you if your rescission period is up and your contract doesn’t allow you to sell or rent your timeshare. If you’ve been a victim of fraud, high-pressure sales tactics, or misrepresentation during the timeshare sales process, Centerstone Group may be able to help you figure out how to get rid of a timeshare without ruining credit. Centerstone can also get you out of timeshares if your resort is transfer-eligible, and we have a receiver that is ready to take it over from you — an option that is relatively quick (3-6 months) and less expensive than trying to sell.
Centerstone Group is a full-service advocacy group that specializes in resolving timeshare contracts for our clients. Our timeshare exit team has more than 33 years of combined experience within the timeshare buying and exit industry. We have deep knowledge of how to navigate release for our clients without damaging credit scores.
If you’ve been tricked into a contract by a fraudulent timeshare company, or if your timeshare mortgage is paid off and is eligible to be transferred, Centerstone can analyze your situation and determine how to proceed with the timeshare exit process.
At Centerstone Group, results matter. Our 3-pronged timeshare exit strategy gets our clients out fast and at a competitive price point. We successfully negotiate releases with clients in as short as a month, and on average, we provide quicker resolutions than any other law firm or timeshare exit company.
There is no doubt that Centerstone Group is the best in the industry for achieving real results. So if you’re unable to go through the rescission, selling, or renting process, and you want to get rid of your timeshare without ruining your credit, contact Centerstone Group for a free consultation.