How Do I Get Out of My Unwanted Timeshare Contract?

How Do I Get Out of My Unwanted Timeshare Contract? (Source: - used as royalty free image)

There are countless reasons why consumers may want to exit their timeshare obligation. Perhaps they feel overwhelmed and trapped by rising annual maintenance fees, or they’ve grown to resent paying interest and fees on a vacation week that they may feel challenged to use.

In any case, what are the avenues for consumers looking to get rid of their timeshare legally?

Let’s take a look at some of the options for consumers seeking timeshare cancellation and relief.

Consumers may first turn to the timeshare resale market, only to find that it won’t be as easy or lucrative as they may have anticipated. In fact, it is not uncommon, as our own Michael Finn once discussed with Credit Card Guide, to see timeshare owners listing their obligations for as little as $1, with many even offering to pay the buyer’s transfer or closing fees.

Timeshare development companies have long kept a tightfisted control over the secondary resale market out of fear for their bottom line – though this disadvantages both consumers and the long-term sustainability of the industry itself.

In the absence of the thriving aftermarket that we see with many consumer goods – most notably automobiles – developers may recommend consumers interface with a resort-approved “resale company,” which will require an upfront fee to "list" the interest on a website, where no one can accurately determine who will see it.

Timeshare redemption companies, which work by means by means of exclusive partnerships and deals with resorts and inventory aggregates, similarly tend to require a high upfront fee – meaning that there’s no way to be sure what the company will be able to deliver before you pay them. Redemption companies can be slow to act and unresponsive, and eventual success is far from a certainty – with the market as oversaturated with inventory as it is, there’s simply no guarantee that the developers will be interested in retaining your particular contract. 

At this point, a consumer may have been swayed away from attempting to sell or cancel their timeshare obligation, and instead look into renting out their timeshare. While this can be a viable option, it will force many consumers into the virtual world of message boards and chat rooms, which can be full of misleading information and leads (at best) and predatory scammers (at worst). The timeshare rental market can be competitive – as we’ve discussed, there is quite a lot of unwanted inventory floating around the marketplace. Consumers may not reap enough from the process to successfully cover their interest payments and their steadily rising annual maintenance fees.

In cases where consumers feel trapped and entirely overwhelmed by their timeshare obligation, consulting with a timeshare attorney may be the most viable option. At Finn Law Group, our team has years of experience fighting on the behalf of the consumer against the resort companies. Our resort-release timeshare cancellation department works to achieve practical results in a timely manner, by means of aggressive representation in the form of direct resort negotiation, state and regulatory filings, and litigation.

We encourage you to reach out to discuss your next steps! Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 45 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don't hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns. 

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