How to Legally Get Out of a Timeshare: 3 Methods

How to legally get out of a timeshare: stressed entrepreneur holding her credit card

If getting out of ownership was easy, timeshares wouldn’t be the multibillion-dollar industry that they are. When you sign a contract during the timeshare sales process, you are agreeing to a lifetime of paying expensive maintenance fees to your timeshare resort


Unfortunately, few people realize this. They are so caught up in the hype of having seemingly endless vacation options that they don’t realize their timeshare purchase will be a permanent financial burden upon their life.


It doesn’t matter if you purchased a timeshare with Wyndham, Marriott Vacation Club, or Hilton Grand Vacations. Each glitzy timeshare brand comes with its share of inconveniences that’ll make you question why you ever agreed to the purchase. If you’re in this situation, you’re probably wondering how to legally get out of a timeshare. So here are three ways for escaping ownership legally.


1. Pursue the Timeshare Rescission Method

Timeshare salespeople are notorious for using manipulative methods to sell you on the dream of timeshare ownership. They use the “start high, go low” method to get you to agree to a sales price. They give you tours of the beautiful resort they want you to buy from. And they throw in perks like complimentary breakfasts, gift cards, and free hotel stays. 


This overstimulation causes people to make impulsive purchases that they wouldn’t otherwise. Because of this, timeshare developers are obligated to provide a rescission period.


The rescission period is a cooling-off time where customers can cancel their contract and give their timeshare back if they’ve changed their mind about the purchase. This amount of time is usually around 3-10 days after you’ve put pen to paper, depending on state law.


So if you’re reading this within the first few days of signing a timeshare contract, you’re in luck. Rescission may be your solution for how to legally get out of a timesharebut proceed with caution.


Rescission is a very technical process that requires you to follow specific guidelines. The first step is writing a cancellation letter to your timeshare developer. In this letter, you must reference the exact day you made the purchase and what type of timeshare you bought. The letter needs to mimic the language used in your timeshare agreement. Reference the parts of the contract that discuss the developer’s timeshare cancellation protocols.


Some developers will see your cancellation letter as an opportunity to sell you a different type of timeshare. So you have to be crystal clear that you’re not interested in any other type of deal and that cancellation is the only option you’ll settle for. Tell them you intend on receiving a full refund of any fees paid and keep track of how the letter will be delivered to them. Assure that it’s sent through a secure postal method or delivered in person within your rescission period. If it arrives in your developer’s hands too late, you won’t be let out of your contract.


2. Put Your Timeshare on the Resale Market

Person using a laptop

Once the rescission period has passed, your options are limited. If your timeshare developer doesn’t have a deed-back program — as many don’t — entering the timeshare resale market can seem like the next best option. If this is your choice, don’t do it without asking your developer first. Doing so could be a violation of your contract and may cost you excessive fees or other unwanted consequences.


If you decide to try your hand at the resale market, start the process by looking up similar listings to yours. See what other units in and around your resort are selling for. If you search through eBay or Craigslist, you’ll get a good idea of the prices that you’re competing with. Unfortunately, these prices can be as low as $0 because so many people are willing to part with their timeshare for no money at all.


Keep in mind that timeshare resales are very competitive and rarely result in a profitable sale. Even people who hire real estate agents that specialize in timeshare sales are unsuccessful. That’s because people are constantly finding themselves in the same situation that you are: overwhelmed with their annual maintenance fees and regretful about their timeshare purchases. The market for timeshare resales is extremely over-saturated. Setting yourself apart from the competition and finding a buyer is nearly impossible.


After all, buyers don’t want to be stuck with the financial burden of a timeshare either.


It’s also important to note, as a timeshare owner, you’re likely holding a loan payable to your timeshare company. So even if you’re able to achieve a sale or give your timeshare away, whatever you get for your timesharewhich is most likely nothingyou’ll still need to pay off the loan in order to sell it.


3. Seek Out an Exit Company

Many developers don’t allow customers to sell their timeshare properties, or most timeshare owners don’t have the cash to pay off the loan in order to sell it. If that’s the case for you, pursuing cancellation with a timeshare exit company may be your only way out. There are plenty of exit companies in the timeshare industry. But many of them are scams with hefty upfront fees and no actual follow-through. Here are some of the biggest timeshare exit scams you should look out for:


  1. They don’t tell you their exit strategy: The process of pursuing cancellation is not so nuanced that customers can’t understand it. If their excuse is that you won’t understand the legal jargon and processes, it’s really just a cover-up for their lack of exit strategy.
  2. They ask for a large upfront fee without explanation: Most exit companies will ask you for money from the start. But they should tell you what this money is going toward. If they are indirect about that, don’t expect them to give the funds back to you because you’ve already been scammed.
  3. They don’t get back to you for weeks: Bad timeshare exit companies are notorious for avoiding their customers once they’ve been paid. They will dodge your attempts to contact them and will give you the runaround every time you ask for an update.
  4. They ask for more money during the process: Exit companies should provide a flat fee for how much the process will cost. If they tell you they can’t proceed to the next step without more money, especially if it’s an amount they never disclosed before, it’s a scam.
  5. They have no or bad reviews: If a business has been around for a significant amount of time, it should have customer reviews. So if an exit company’s social credibility scores on websites like Better Business Bureau or Google are poor or nonexistent, you shouldn’t work with them. 


The unfortunate truth is that many exit companies are timeshare scams. They see your dire situation as an opportunity to take your money and run. They won’t tell you what they’re doing to achieve a successful exit because it’ll never actually happen. Some exit companies even consider foreclosure to be a successful form of exit. But not Centerstone Group.


Centerstone Group is a Better Business Bureau A+-rated, full-service advocacy group with over 33 years of experience in the timeshare industry


We employ a unique three-pronged strategy for achieving successful timeshare exits. When necessary, our team will work in tandem with established law firms to resolve contract issues with your timeshare developer. We take the time to understand your contract and situation and tailor the best strategy for how to legally get out of a timeshare.


Choose the Best Route for How to Legally Get Out of a Timeshare

Entrepreneurs having a meeting

Once you sign your timeshare contract and put a significant amount of money down, getting out is bound to be difficult — especially when you’re outside of your rescission period. You can try to put your property up on the resale market or reach out to a timeshare exit team, but no one has your back better than Centerstone Group. 


Our positive customer reviews and 4.78-out-of-5-star rating proves that we know how to achieve timeshare cancellation. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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