In 2018, a study conducted by the University of Central Florida showed that almost 85% of timeshare owners regretted making the purchase — and that was before the pandemic. After that, most people were locked down and unable to utilize their timeshare property, making their dissatisfaction even worse. You might be one of the many people who regret their decision, but escaping your timeshare contract isn’t easy. It’s going to take a lot of time and energy to do it. The good news is that timeshare termination is possible.
Read on as we tell you everything you need to know about how to get rid of that nasty timeshare contract.
Use the Rescission Period
The rescission period for your timeshare is the window of time where you can still change your mind about your buying decision. Be wary — this period is usually pretty short.
In the United States, it varies by state how long this period is. It usually ranges from three days (the minimum) to 15 days. Make sure you do your research about the rescission laws in your state.
It’s important to know when the rescission period actually starts. It might be the day you buy your timeshare or it could be when you receive your public offering statement.
As for the ending, know what your state’s laws are. Some states don’t count Sundays, and some other states are even willing to give you extra time if you meet certain requirements.
How to Write a Timeshare Termination Letter
There are several different ways to legally get out of your timeshare, but if you’re still in your rescission period, then you’re in luck. All you need to do is write a cancellation letter to tell the resort you’re not in.
You’ll need to send this to the cancellation address. Look carefully — some resorts use unethical tricks like hiding the address or putting it in very tiny print. If you can’t find it, ask the resort for it, and don’t take no for an answer.
Make extra copies and use a trusted delivery service to get your letter there. You never know if shady companies will pretend to “lose” your letter.
Here’s a step-by-step guide with tips on how to write your timeshare cancellation letter.
1. Put Your Cancellation Request in Writing
This step is not optional! You can’t just email your cancellation request. It needs to be in a typed letter and mailed to the resort or provider of the timeshare. Make a few copies and keep them in your records.
2. Make a Clear Request to Cancel Your Timeshare
Be extremely clear about your intentions to cancel the timeshare. You need to be firm and direct (you don’t want to leave them any wiggle room to misinterpret your letter). Your subject line can say something like “Timeshare Cancellation Request” or “Request to Cancel Timeshare.”
Once you get to the body of your letter, state your intent to cancel as early as possible — like within the first two sentences. For example, start your letter by saying “I am writing to request immediate cancellation of my timeshare contract.”
3. List All Important Details Necessary for Cancellation
Remember that the person receiving your letter is not there to help you. In fact, it’s their job to prevent you from canceling! Don’t leave out a single important detail or they could send it back saying you forgot information, causing you to miss the rescission period.
- Your membership ID
- Name of the timeshare (according to your contract)
- Contract number
- Purchase date
- Name of the contract holder
When you list the details, put them in big bold letters and use bullets. Be as clear as possible.
4. Set Expectations in Your Letter
In your letter, make sure you let them know that you aren’t interested in anything other than getting out of the contract. This includes beneficiary transfers, resales, or any other ownership opportunities. They’ll most likely try to convince you to take one of these alternatives.
Also, make sure that you clearly say that you expect a response by certified mail that says they received the letter within 30 days.
5. Use Certified Mail
Not only should they use certified mail, but make sure you do too so you know for sure that they received your letter. Don’t give them the opportunity to say they didn’t receive your mail.
What Not to Do in Your Timeshare Termination Letter
When it comes to writing the letter, there are several things you should avoid doing.
To begin with, keep it simple and straight to the point. Don’t get emotional and start talking about how disappointed you are about the agreement. Getting overly emotional won’t help your cause — the simple request and the facts are what will.
If you want to tell them that you’re annoyed with rising fees or something else, that’s fine — but keep it to a sentence or two. The sad truth is that they don’t care about your satisfaction.
Also use confident and direct language. Don’t be passive, and don’t use hesitant language like this:
“I was wondering if it was possible if I could cancel my timeshare?”
Timeshare salesmen are professionals who can sense your timidity within seconds. Don’t give them an opportunity to open the door back up!
Lastly, don’t expect everything to be resolved after your cancellation letter. Unfortunately, it’s usually just the first step to begin the whole process of getting out of your contract, which could take months to years.
Make sure you don’t go it alone. You can always connect with trusted experts that can help you get out of these tough situations! They’ve dealt with shady companies before and know what to do every step of the way.
Other Options if You Miss Your Rescission Period
Did you miss the rescission period? Don’t panic. There are still other options for making your timeshare exit.
1. Call the Timeshare Developer
One option you can do is to contact the developer of the timeshare. Although different resorts will have different processes and criteria for getting out of your timeshare, some developers allow you to exit through a deed-back program or surrender program.
Through this, you won’t get anything back from your exit, but it is one of the safest and easiest ways to get out of your timeshare.
Some developers may require owners to pay the resort to take it back, though. Although this may hurt, it might be in your best interest to bite the bullet and free yourself from the contract.
2. Rent Your Timeshare Out
Although it may seem like an easy way to make money on your property, there are challenges to renting out.
Some resorts don’t allow you to rent out your timeshare, so make sure it’s actually allowed in the rules. Make sure to factor in any costs that may come with renting out, including damage or the time it takes to find renters.
In the end, it could be a worthwhile short-term solution while looking for other ways to cancel your timeshare.
3. Sell Your Timeshare on the Resale Market
Don’t expect to make a profit by selling your timeshare. They quickly depreciate in value.
You can contact a real estate agent or research similar timeshares to see what the value might be. Factors like the location and the amount of payment left on the mortgage will affect the value of the timeshare.
4. Stop Your Timeshare Payments
You can stop paying your timeshare payments, but expect heavy consequences if you choose this path. Just consider this as a last resort if you’re desperate to get out of your contract.
Defaulting your contract, mortgage payments, or associated fees might affect your credit score negatively and could even lead to foreclosure.
5. Use a Timeshare Exit Company
If you find yourself in too deep with your timeshare, the best option is to hire a team of professionals to take care of your timeshare problem. These people are highly trained and skilled in all of the minute details that come with getting out of your contract.
Make sure you choose a trusted vendor that has lots of experience and testimonials so you know that they will be able to help. There are also shady companies here that can promise the world for low prices — then disappear.
Free Yourself From Your Timeshare
The best way to get out of a bad timeshare contract is to avoid scammy deals in the first place. Make sure you’re always wary of sleazy salesmen that ask for large upfront fees.
If you do find yourself looking for help in your timeshare termination, look no further than Sapphire Timeshare Cancellation. They are licensed, insured, and bonded to take care of any stressful timeshare mistake in a breeze. Contact them today!