11 Steps On How To Cancel Timeshare Contract For Free

At the time, the deal seemed so amazing, the amenities alluring and the price simply too good to be missed. Plus, the salesperson pushed all the right buttons and you caved in.

But, now that you know the financial implications of your timeshare purchase you want out. Well, you are certainly not the only one! Buyer remorse is common among folks who venture into the timeshare terrain, with as many as 85% regretting their purchase (As per a University of Florida study).

So, if you are in this group, here are 11 STEPS ON HOW TO CANCEL TIMESHARE CONTRACT FOR FREE.

1. USE THE COOLING-OFF PERIOD: Timeshare purchases are notoriously hard to get out of. In fact, the internet is full of horror stories of how people had to pay hefty fees when they wanted out.

Without a doubt, you will find your seller/developer less than enthusiastic when you approach them for contract cancellation. But, you have the right to demand a full refund if you are within the cooling-off period.

Read the contract carefully to check if a rescind/cancellation period has been worked into it. If not, the seller may try to use the lack of such a clause to tell you that termination is not possible. However, even when the agreement does not expressly mention such a period, state and federal laws give you a few days to change your mind after a big purchase.

The cooling-off period varies between states. For instance, in California, you get 8 days while in Florida you get 10 days. The common factor here is that if you ask for the termination of the contract within this period, the seller has to comply and issue a full refund, unless there is a clause in the contract that allows for a deduction.

2. BREACH OF CONTRACT IS GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION: If you want to terminate the contract because you feel you were cheated and have proof of wrongdoing during the marketing or selling process, this could be a way out of the deal.

While timeshare vendors/developers want to snare you for life, few are interested in expensive litigation and the bad press that comes with it. Of course, you will need solid proof that will stand in court to use this “get-out” card. However, if this step applies to your case, it can get you a full refund.

3. TAKEBACKS ARE ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION: If you have lost the window of opportunity afforded by the cooling-off period and if there is no proof of fraudulent behavior, the next step should be to negotiate with the developer.

If you have bought from a reputable business, they will certainly not want a disgruntled customer on their hands. But, if you are taking this approach, expect to take a hit on the refund. Typically, timeshare developers charge at least a few thousand dollars when you ask out of the agreement.

4. HIRING AN ATTORNEY IS AN OPTION: Sure timeshare sellers would like you to believe that the agreement is for life. Well, it isn’t! But in order to prove that, you will need to hire an attorney who has experience in handling timeshare litigations.

Because legal representation will cost you and the company may not agree to a full refund, you should keep realistic expectations from this step. Usually, around 50-70% of the deposit is what you should expect.

5. YOU COULD APPROACH A TIMESHARE EXIT COMPANY: A timeshare exit company will negotiate on your behalf, sometimes with an attorney and sometimes without. In either case, you will pay less than what you’d pay an attorney.

But, there is a catch! Just like the growth in the travel and tourism industry spurred the timeshare market, the increase in the number of buyers wanting out of timeshare agreements spurred the timeshare exit industry.

Truth be told, it’s hard to find reputable and trustworthy businesses in both sectors. So, you will need to tread carefully with this approach.

6. A TIMESHARE TRANSFER COMPANY IS THE NEXT BEST SOLUTION: If your timeshare property is paid off, a transfer of ownership will be a quick solution as compared to a sale which can take months.

However, you will have to notify your timeshare provider. Be warned that some companies actually make this process hard to navigate, so you may, once again, need legal assistance.

Having said that, a transfer is certainly a way out of regular maintenance payments. Depending on the type and location of the timeshare property, you may end up with just a percentage of your deposit or you may actually make a profit.

Usually, if a financial gain becomes a part of the deal, the timeshare provider may cap the transfer price or dictate that you transfer only through them.

7. RENTING YOUR TIMESHARE IS ANOTHER WAY TO GO ABOUT IT: Although it isn’t a surefire way to cut your losses, renting out does allow you to lower the amount lost. At the least, the rent can make up for some or all of the maintenance fees.

Both VRBO and Airbnb allow timeshare owners to rent out their properties to vacationers the world over. You will also find other agencies that handle the complete renting process, including guest management, payment processing, and of course property listing. While this option may not get you the deposit back, it is a good way to monetize unused time.

8. TRADE YOUR TIMESHARE: Both internal and external time share exchanges can be used to trade your timeshare/unused time with other vacation property owners. This approach won’t get you your money back nor will it pay the maintenance fees. But, it will get you time at another holiday hotspot for free.

So, in the end, it will be a win-win situation for all parties involved. It would be best to check with your timeshare resort first before opting for an external exchange platform.

9. SELL YOUR TIMESHARE: While this may seem like a straightforward process, it never is, for the simple reason that a lot of buyers are wary of timeshare properties given all that they entail. Furthermore, like with transfers, sales, too, have to be cleared by or go through the timeshare vendor.

And if the long drawn-out sales process isn’t enough to rattle you, the offer price may do that. Selling your timeshare property will seldom get you more than 50% of your purchase price. In fact, frequently, the offer can be as low as 20% to 30% of the original investment.

10. GIFT YOUR TIMESHARE: If none of the above are viable solutions for you, and if you want nothing more than to simply get rid of that timeshare, you can always gift it. But, don’t make it a surprise gift.

Remember that at the end of the day, as the owner of the timeshare property, you will be liable to pay all outstanding dues, such as maintenance fees, local taxes, etc., no matter who uses the property.

So, you have to ensure that the recipient of the gift knows what he/she is getting into and accepts it. In fact, go ahead and put it all down on paper and make it legit by transferring your timeshare in the name of the recipient.

11. DONATE YOUR TIMESHARE: If you cannot find a recipient for your timeshare gift, you could try donating it. However, your timeshare will have to be completely paid off, with no mortgages or liens on it.

The only advantage of taking this approach is that depending on who you donate it to, you could get a tax deduction for the fair market value of the property. But, you will need to confirm this with your tax professional.

While reaching out to a charity to donate your timeshare do not let any organization lure you into donating money before they accept your timeshare. That’s almost always a scam.

Finally, if none of the above work out for you, there is one more way to terminate an agreement- To default on your liabilities towards the timeshare. You can do this by simply stopping all payments to the vendor.

However, in this case, a timeshare is no different from any other asset purchase, if you default on your mortgage or other obligations, your credit rating will suffer. So, take this path only if there is absolutely no other option and there is no way for you to continue incurring the cost of maintaining your timeshare.