It’s not a new thing that anybody is probably got stuck with a timeshare contract. Why? Timeshare contract is an obligatory lawful agreement. However, many companies that deal with timeshares do not make provisions of the law about timeshares very clear to their client. This situation leads to agreements that cannot be cancelled. Before talking about 10 best strategies to get out of timeshare contract, let’s get to know more about timeshare.
What is Timeshare?
A timeshare is simply a property which multiple parties own and has certain forms of ownership or rights of usage. There are many benefits to timeshare ownership. It is not a new thing that many people got interested investing in timeshare due to the possibility to save expenses during holiday. Many also hold the view that timeshares offer the guarantee of having a vacation time. If you have timeshare, you can have larger accommodations and abundant facilities, like washing machines, complete kitchen utensils, amenities, rather than just a plain hotel room. Many world travelers also tend to consider timeshare because of the ability to “exchange” their shares for accommodations at other resorts around the world.
Having Timeshare, Is It Good or Bad?
Within difficult economic situations nowadays and more importantly, the growth of alternative home exchange program like Airbnb, many timeshare owners are beginning to look for ways to opt out of timeshare deals. Wyndham is the only one major timeshare company that has created a public comprehensive exit program, called Ovation. Through this program, owners can terminate their timeshares effectively.
10 Best Strategies to Get Out of Timeshare
Though getting out a timeshare may be difficult, but it is possible. When you are having a financial burden, instead of a benefit, on the charity, just take your time, do your research and, most of all, don’t fall for a sales pitch from a company that “guarantees” to get you out of your contract. Here are 10 best strategies to get out of timeshare contract. Let’s learn about it.
1. Contact Your Timeshare Company
Actually there is no instant formula for owners to get out of timeshare contracts. But we can recommend you one recommended starting point: contact your home resort owner. Find out if the developer or HOA has a resale program or a “deed-back/surrender” option for owners who need to get out of their timeshares and have no outstanding mortgages. Most major brands have below-radar (unpublicized) programs to help owners with hardships, and some have outright surrender programs where owners are allowed to walk away from their timeshares after paying some upfront fee (usually equivalent to two-years’ maintenance fees).
2. Sell It
Honestly, it is a big deal to sell timeshare on the resale market. Remember the first time you decided to buy the timeshare? The seller most likely would tell you that it’s easu to resell your asset. This misconception has resulted in many timeshare owners spending a lot of time trying to sell their timeshares with little success. Competing with timeshare resorts might not just work.
So, try to sell your timeshare at a relatively low price during the time of high demand. Also, consider the possibility of listing the timeshare on eBay, Craiglist, and other timeshare classified site. Just make sure you use the low price-high demand time strategy mentioned above.
3. Find Out the Realistic Value
Many timeshare owners assume their timeshares have an inherent value, like real estate, that can be sold easily on the resale market. Unfortunately, this is not always applicable. We recommend you to do as much research as possible to determine the realistic resale value of their intervals. There are many ways to do this, not just searching blindly on the Internet with the possibility to got bluffed by companies. The member of Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association (LTRBA), may help you to overcome this issue. LTRBA is a group of 64 brokers, expert in selling and renting timeshares. By doing this you will now the estimate for free. You can also access a free tool called What’s My Timeshare Worth, which will give you active and historic resale (and rental) prices for any resort, so you can do your own poking around and estimating.
No matter what service you use, owners who want to cancel their contract will look for professional advice about the value of their timeshare. That information will influence your decision to sell, rent, or even abandon your interval. Also, be prepared to face the fact that your timeshare is not worth what you paid for it.
4. List Your Timeshare for Sale or Rent
You can also consider posting your timeshare for sale or rent it to recover some of your expenses. As we know, LTRBA brokers prefer to handle high-value and known timeshares like Disney, Marriott, Vistana, Hyatt, Wyndham and Hilton that can be resold easily. These brokers typically charge $1,000 or more to handle a transaction, but they also take care of all the paperwork.
There is no such thing as quick-sale of timeshares. Prepare yourself to wait for many months, and be patient. At the same time, high-value, high-season timeshares do tend to rent fairly quickly. Renting your timeshare is a good choice that will give you some time to figure out the exit plan. The major challenge of this procedure is the timeshare resorts still rent out unoccupied timeshare units at cheaper prices than the cost of owning one. This will be a hectic for the timeshare owners to rent out theirs.
5. Consult with Attorney
Besides these strategies to get out of timeshare contract, there is also one considerable cottage industry of lawyers who can guide you to get out of the contracts. They have numerous experiences dealing with timeshare HOAs and developers. Thus, they have broad perspective on possible solutions. Legitimate timeshare attorneys will give you proper advise about legitimate legal claims during contract cancellation. You can also consider this to get your money back. They know how to contact your resort with demand letters, and will be your representative within the negotiation process. Another advantage of hiring an attorney is once your lawyer has contacted your resort, the HOA can no longer communicate directly with you. Everything must be done according to the procedure. From this phase, all resort-to-owner and creditor communications will go directly to your preferable lawyer.
But there are two downsides about timeshare lawyers: they cannot offer guarantees, so it is possible that you have paid the down payment but not succeed in getting out of the contract eventually. The other downside is it won’t be easy for timeshare owner to determine legitimate lawyers, there is possibility that they just take advantage from unsophisticated owners. Major timeshare companies are highly suspicious to timeshare exit attorneys. So it’s important to do research before you hire an attorney. Do consult with as many sources as you can. A proper way to review an attorney’s credibility is to check out the actual lawsuits that they have handled, with proof. Legitimate law firms will post their cases on their own websites transparently.
6. Timeshare Relief
Recently there are a lot of timeshare owners who pay somebody else to take over the timeshare. By doing this, they relieve them of the obligations. This procedure is known as “timeshare relief”. In fact, There are company that offer this exit solution entirely from a contract.
However, with this one of these 10 best strategies to get out of timeshare contract, the owner has to give another money for timeshare removal services. After the payment, they wouldn’t have to deal with any timeshare related charges or maintenance fees.
7. Donate Your Timeshare
Another way to get rid of this complicated situation is dumping the timeshares contracts. One common way to do this is by donating the contract to charity organizations. There are a lot of charity organizations that accept such donation, especially if they know what to do and how to get profit from such timeshares.
But please remember never deal with a third party that said will take over the negotiation process. This person will ask you thousand dollar upfront fee. It’s better to contact the charitable organization directly and make the agreement. You can also pay them the privilege of helping you out of timeshare contracts.
8. Avoid Guaranteed Exit
When you are facing this problem, there is big possibility that there will be a group of unreliable companies that can help you to get out of timeshare contracts. Mostly they are scammers who promise to sell your timeshare with a good price. They will say that your timeshare already have an interested buyer. Of course, these companies will ask you upfront nonrefundable fee within the amount of several thousand dollars. In the end, nothing good happens, and you will stuck in the first place, but poorer. So when there is a company you’ve never heard contacting you out of the blue, reject it.
9. File Complaints to Authority
Both state and federal agencies always promise to investigate consumer scams and frauds related to timeshare owners. They also ask consumers to file the complaints. These agencies’ concern is about criminal cases, such as charity scammers or timeshare transfer companies. They detect the fraud by upfront unrefundable fees. But actually, none of these law enforcement agencies help owners to get out of their contracts. They do not negotiate on behalf of owners, during the negotiation process with timeshare companies or HOAs. You can see the example from the Manhattan Club case, which is now still under investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office. Three years later, the case has no solution. The owners remain uncertain about resolution of the case. The worst part is the maintenance fees increase.
10. Just Walk Away
The last best strategy to get out of a timeshare contract is the obvious one: stop making payments. If necessary, let it go into foreclosure. This is a risky strategy, of course. You won’t have the ability to control how company will respond to your position. You can also being chased aggresively with collection efforts. Many timeshare owners don’t like this strategy due to the possibility of credit wreck. This is getting real, especially for you who still have the plan to buy cars or mortgages. But for older timeshare owners, this won’t be a real threat as they have no plan for big investment. There is also possibility that you will be the subject of threatening letters from creditor harassment or foreclosure proceedings. But in the end, the owner is done. The developer will pull the timeshare and resell it at high prices to brand new buyer.
Besides these 10 best strategies to get out of timeshare contract, you can also do the most feasible strategies in getting out of a timeshare contract: return it to the resort. So, if you consider to purchase a timeshare, make sure that your contract have an exit plan.
In conclusion, to purchase a timeshare is basically aimed to have a vacation property that you can use at least once a year. Be it holiday with family or else. However, considering how rare you use the unit, it is often an emotional and impulsive decision. Timeshare is okay to be purchased if the other options of property ownership have been explored thoroughly. If you are already into one, you could use one of 10 best strategies above to get out of timeshare contract.