While it is true that a timeshare contract is a binding legal document, it is often mistakenly thought that such a contract can not only be cancelled. In fact, most timeshare companies maintain that their contracts cannot be cancelled.
This misconception is perpetuated by timeshare companies and user groups that are funded, maintained and controlled by the timeshare industry.
The truth of the matter is that under the law, contracts are subject to being canceled for a variety of reasons, including fraud and error.
In addition, a person who is saddled with the obligations of a contract can “rescind” it and cease to be bound by the contract for reasons other than breach.
“Termination” occurs when either party terminates the contract for breach of the other and has the same effect as “termination” except that the canceling party also retains any remedies for breach of the entire contract or any outstanding balance. “Uniform Commercial Code 2106(4); see 13 Corbin (rev. ed.), §73.2; 13 Am.Jur.2d (2000 ed.)
“Termination” occurs when either party, by virtue of a power created by agreement or by law, terminates the contract other than by its breach. Uniform Commercial Code sec. 2106 (3)
Since it is the law of the land that a breach of contract by the contract may result in the other party being released from their obligations under the contract, the notion that one is forever bound by a timeshare contract is wrong as a matter of law.
The purpose of this article is to provide a ray of hope to those timeshare owners who are no longer interested in being tied to their timeshare and financial obligations for life.
For starters, when you first purchase your timeshare, most states have a rescission or “cooling off” period, during which timeshare buyers can cancel their contracts and get their deposit back. This is known as the “right of termination.”
However, once this period expires, most timeshare companies will have you believe that your contract cannot be cancelled, and thereafter you are obligated to pay the ever-increasing maintenance fees that accompany it in perpetuity. to timeshare ownership.
Furthermore, timeshare ownership advocates would have you believe that once the initial “right of termination” expires, the only legal way to end timeshare contracts involves a transfer of ownership, either by selling, donating, or giving it away. .
In fact, most timeshare user groups and virtually all timeshare companies want you to believe that under no circumstances will a timeshare company voluntarily repossess your timeshare. This again, is not true.
What is true is that most timeshare companies are not willing to take your timeshare back. As will be seen below, when faced with litigation or the potential for litigation, many timeshare companies will actually repossess their timeshare or simply agree to release the timeshare owner from any future liability in connection with the time contract. shared.
Before I discuss the latest developments in timeshare cancellation, I’d like to spend a little time on the more traditional means of canceling or getting rid of an unwanted timeshare.
As mentioned above, the traditional means of getting rid of an unwanted timeshare is through a sale, gift, or transfer.
On the subject of selling a timeshare, many unsuspecting timeshare owners looking to get rid of their timeshare fall praying to publicly traded companies proposing to put their timeshare up for sale. Such companies have been investigated by the state Attorney General for fraudulent and deceptive practices and a proposed timeshare seller wishing to sell their timeshare obligation should first consider selling their timeshare by listing it on sites such as eBay or Craigslist.
Other options are to post it through the developer, if the developer handles resales, or through a timeshare resale broker. One thing the proposed timeshare seller should not do is pay an upfront fee for the sale of your timeshare. It is these upfront fee practices that have come under the scrutiny of state attorneys general.
Another frequently discussed solution to the problem of how to free yourself from the financial burdens of your timeshare is to donate the timeshare. Where once there were a number of organizations that accepted deeded timeshare donations, with the ever-increasing burden of maintenance fees that seem to increase every year, such organizations are a dying breed.
Transferring ownership to a third party who will simply take over the annual maintenance obligations is another “exit strategy.” These people, however, will not pay you for the timeshare, and in many cases, the timeshare company will simply refuse to acknowledge the transfer or, alternatively, impose expensive resort transfer fees, making the transfer to a third is prohibitively expensive for those facing financial hardship.
In recent years, however, new techniques have emerged pioneered by real estate attorneys who specialize in timeshare litigation. These techniques reached their peak in a series of lawsuits filed in California that resulted in the release of each and every plaintiff from their timeshare contracts.
Other similar actions have followed, all seeking damages for the kind of fraudulent and deceptive conduct often used by timeshare sellers to induce unwitting potential owners to sign on the dotted line.
Such conduct includes the following representations, generally made at the time the timeshare was sold:
A. Purchased timeshare interest to appreciate and increase in resale price and value over time.
b. That the acquired timeshare right can be freely exchanged, transferred and sold.
vs. That the timeshare interest purchased was a financial investment.
d. That the purchased timeshare interest would result in the buyer receiving reservation priority over non-purchasing vacationers who wish to stay at one or more of the defendant-owned and/or maintained timeshare properties.
As a result of filing such actions, timeshare companies have become much more willing to release timeshare owners from their timeshare obligations, even without resorting to litigation.
To take advantage of this solution, you should hire an attorney who is familiar with timeshare law and the various techniques for terminating a timeshare contract.
In short, don’t believe naysayers who tell you it’s impossible to get out of a timeshare contract. If you are the victim of one or more of the above misrepresentations, you may also cancel your timeshare contract.