The Minefield of Timeshare - Timeshare.Lawyer
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Getting out of your timeshare ownership is considerably more difficult than getting in. When purchasing a Timeshare everything is so easily dealt with and your purchase is finalised in a flash. Whereas the bleak reality of re-sale is that it can be an obstacle course trying to find your way out.

Here, we help you navigate the minefield of timeshare. We aim to give an invaluable insight to timeshare ownership with some personal experiences of owners trying to exit their Timeshare:

After many happy years with her Californian timeshare, the owner now in retirement, decided the ownership no longer fitted the lifestyle she lived. In the hope of offloading her timeshare she chose to contact the resort to request relinquishing her ownership back to them. After a lengthy conversation with a customer service assistant, she was reminded of two things, the perpetuity clause written into the contract she had signed with them, basically tying her to the timeshare for the entirety of her life and the lives of her next of kin. Also, the annual maintenance fee of $1300 dollars which customer service went on to inform the owner if she failed to pay, the resort administration would have no choice but to report her to the necessary credit agencies.

Feeling backed into a corner the owner began to contact the resort on a monthly basis, asking to voluntary relinquish her timeshare, to be told a polite but resounding no and again be reminded of the fact that the timeshare would be hers for life. Trying to bargain with the seller, the owner explained she would no longer be paying the maintenance fee going forward, the resort rebutting by threatening to ruin the owners credit rating, which she ignored. Without delay, the owner ceased all payments to the seller and carried on her monthly call campaign. Within three months the resort relented, and the owner was sent appropriate documentation to release her from their contract, which she promptly signed in the notary which finalised the termination before the resort changed their minds. This option is often referred to as a deed back but is not made common knowledge to owners.

You may find that to exit your timeshare ownership that you prefer to take professional help. In this case the owner ‘X’, who had purchased in haste, decided within the cooling off period to rescind the purchase which she was within her rights to do. The resort refused to allow her to cease the contract, dragging out the process for nearly three months with alternative offers that would allow the resort to keep the owners money, all of which were instantly refused. Finally, the owner employed a legal team to enforce the cancellation she had originally made, after 10 months the law firm succeeded in reclaiming the monies that their clients had paid out. Some resorts can be tougher than others when it comes to the subject of exiting your timeshare. In these instances, most would seek legal professionals to help their cause which can speed up the process considerably.

In another case where the owner involved an exit company to assist them, the client who owned an unwanted timeshare in the Bahamas firstly asked the resort to buy it back, which they refused to do. Then the owner offered to give the timeshare back at their loss, the resort also declined this offer. The owner was then advised by his legal team to cease paying the annual $1500 maintenance fee immediately. Eventually the seller took the ownership back. However, if you decide to follow this route you must take caution, as dumping your timeshare in this way can be very risky, especially if you are in the process of any sort of large purchase or re-financing as it could affect your credit rating.

A different approach to exiting your timeshare may be the option of consulting a licenced broker that deals with timeshare re-sale. If you choose to follow this route, you must be realistic with the expected return you may be offered. It is important to understand that the price that someone is willing to pay on the re-sale market will be nowhere close to the figure you shelled out originally for your ownership. Prepare yourself mentally to lose in the region of 30-50% of your investment and if it turns out to be any less, you shouldn’t be shocked or disappointed.

There are many people that aren’t even able to give away their timeshare for free. The length of time that your ownership may be on the market attracting interest is really anyone’s guess. Due to many people having no option but to re-sell due to change in their circumstances. The secondary market for timeshare is flooded and this then forces the price down to attract buyers. The expense for this service may vary but please check all fees payable before signing any contract, there should always be a cooling off period and we would not advise paying any fees up front.

Exiting your timeshare is never an easy feat, even if you utilise the information in this article your ownership may still be extremely difficult to exit, but not impossible… There is hope.