The vacation is over, and you are back in the real world: where the timeshare you just paid a hefty deposit for is worthless, and you’re desperate for a way out.
If you are one of the 9.2 million families that own a timeshare, you might be familiar with this dread. Luckily, timeshare termination is possible, and all you need to do to get the ball rolling is write a cancellation letter.
But how do you write a cancellation letter for a timeshare contract?
Timeshare Cancellation Letters: The Basics
For any timeshare cancellation letter, you need to include the facts about who you are and the timeshare you’re cancelling. Your timeshare contract will list all of the information they require in a cancellation letter, but most will include:
- Your name
- Your contact information (include address, phone number, and email)
- The legal name for your timeshare company
- Your timeshare contract number
- All of the names on the timeshare contract
- The date you made the purchase
- The amount you paid
- A request for a refund of that amount (if eligible)
- A statement declaring your cancellation
You should avoid the schmaltzy language they used to persuade you into buying the timeshare in the first place. The cancellation letter should be brief and to the point so that all the important information is easy to find.
The tone of your letter should be respectful, but firm. Save your grievances for a review site, or complaint to the Better Business Bureau!
Take care to include absolutely everything the contract says you need for a cancellation letter, even if it seems ridiculous. If your letter does not meet their standards exactly, that gives them the opportunity to drag out the process and therefore take more of your money.
You will also want to mail the letter via certified mail, or another method that requires a return receipt. You don’t want to risk the letter being lost in the mail and not arriving in time.
Timeshare Termination During the Cooling-Off Period
After you make a purchase, there is a narrow window of time called the cooling-off period where you can change your mind. Changing your mind can also be called “buyer’s remorse,” and it’s a common feeling among those who purchase timeshares!
If you cancel your timeshare during the cooling-off period, also known as the rescission period, you are entitled to a refund of any deposit you made. That’s why it’s best to cancel your timeshare as soon as possible!
The Federal Trade Commission has a three-day cooling-off period for purchases, but real estate purchases are exempt from this rule. This means each state sets its own rescission period.
As soon as you know you want to cancel your timeshare, you should check the rescission period for the state where you purchased your timeshare. The average is 5 days, but there are states where it is shorter.
In some states, the rescission period is also dependent on how the timeshare was purchased. North Dakota doesn’t have a rescission period at all, so the timeshare contract determines it.
If you’re lucky enough to be within your rescission period, you’ll want to write and send your letter as soon as possible.
The timeshare cancellation letter should be concise and confident. You should include every piece of information that they request in the contract and a clear, definitive statement that you want to cancel.
During the rescission period, you are able to receive a refund of your deposit. Your letter should clearly state that you would like to receive this refund.
Do not assume the timeshare company will give you a refund just because you are entitled to it! They want to take as much money from you as they possibly can, for as long as they can.
Paperwork to keep
It’s a good idea to keep a copy of every single item you send to the timeshare company, and every single item they send back. Make sure you put the date you sent or received every piece of mail.
If you are required to send your cancellation letter via fax or email, keep records of those communications too. Save fax receipts, and keep printed copies of any emails as well as the original digital communications.
It will be helpful to have these records if anything goes wrong during the course of cancellation.
Timeshare Termination After the Cooling Off Period
It isn’t always possible to cancel your timeshare during the rescission period. While you may have lost your deposit (and years of maintenance fees!) don’t give up hope! Even if you’ve used your timeshare for years, it is still possible to cancel it.
Know Your Contract
The first step to getting out of a contract is knowing what is in that contract to begin with. Check your timeshare contract for any information about cancellation, and start there.
A cancellation letter written after the cooling-off period should include all of the same information as a letter written during the rescission. It may take longer to get results, but the basic facts are the same.
In short, you want to tell the timeshare company exactly who you are and exactly what you want them to do: cancel your timeshare contract!
When to Hire a Team to Help
Cancelling a timeshare can be a long, difficult process. Sending in your letter is just the first step. The average amount of time it takes to get out of a timeshare contract is six to eight months.
After they receive your letter, your timeshare company may dispute your cancellation or ignore your letter, or take any number of unethical actions. A reputable timeshare exit company can help you navigate this process.
There are as many shady exit companies as there are timeshares, so make sure to research a company’s reputation before you start paying them!
Write Your Letter Today
It’s important to remember that no matter when you send it, your timeshare termination letter is just the beginning. Schedule a free consultation today and we can help you finish the journey, one step at a time.