Timeshare vacations can seem great if you spend enough time with a resort salesperson. Alas, a fair number of people regret their involvement with the industry and seek a way out of their signed agreements. When that is the case, a buyer's first option for cancellation is to exercise their right of rescission.
Folks rethinking their timeshare purchase after realizing the financial implications can learn more about the timeshare rescission period below.
With most sizable purchases and investments made in the real estate market, buyers are granted the right of rescission for a specified time. This right of rescission, also known as a cooling-off period, refers to the legal right that consumers have to cancel a loan or acquisition if they have a change of heart. Exercising this privilege has no penalty and is often the only way to back out of the transaction while receiving a full refund of their deposit.
Albeit, the right of rescission has limitations. For example, with timeshares, there are restrictions on how long it is permissible to exercise this right.
A timeshare rescission period is a brief time following a resort's sales presentation that allows attendees to exercise their right to rescind a purchase agreement. The length of rescission periods varies by resort location, with most purchasers having three to fifteen days to legally cancel their timeshare. If this period expires, the process of timeshare cancellation becomes more complicated and often requires assistance outside of the resort company.
Timeshare rescission periods are short-lived. The number one condition to be eligible for exercising the right of rescission is completing the necessary procedures on time. In short, timeshare buyers must act fast. However, owners should review their copy of the receipt and other documents about the purchase.
Since timeshare presentations and their subsequent purchases often take place while customers are on vacation, it means some buyers have just a few days to return home, read through all the paperwork, decide whether they want to rescind it and if so, must then follow a list of cancellation instructions in what little time is left.
For many years, state legislators and concerned citizens alike have been concerned about the use of high-pressure sales practices by timeshare companies. Too often, consumers are bound in a perpetual deal. One way to counteract this was for state governments to regulate timeshare transactions.
As of 2022, almost all states have regulations regarding timeshare rescission periods. Often, the Real Estate Commission in every state oversees these respective regulations. Given that the rescission period varies by state, it is essential to become familiar with the relevant rules before buying. See the chart below to confirm the length of time to exercise the right of rescission in each state:
*This information came from Nolo.com and is subject to change at any time. You should check with your state for the most recent laws regarding the rescission time period. This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be relied upon.
If you are still within the rescission period, examine the agreement and follow its cancellation instructions. Make copies of written documents from the initial transaction as proof in case of a future dispute.
Most timeshare resorts require a written notice of cancellation delivered before the rescission period expires. Writing a timeshare cancellation letter should be easy. Write a statement to the resort developers expressing your desire to rescind the agreement. It is unnecessary to go into detail about why; just let them know in a concise letter. Contact the resort's sales management if you have questions, though be warned that the vendors may try to change your mind.
The last step in exercising the right of rescission is to ensure the secure delivery of the request to the timeshare company. Again, check the original agreement for delivery instructions and where to send the notice. Failing to follow the requested process could result in an invalid cancellation. Some resorts accept in-person delivery, while others require shipment via certified mail. Either way, confirm that the delivery takes place before the cooling-off period expires.
Research the specific state regulations and study the timeshare agreement. Often, timeshare cancellation letters must contain a variation of the following details:
Failing to exercise the right of rescission of a timeshare property will result in a binding purchase agreement with the resort. While some right-to-use timeshare products can be leased to a buyer for a specified time, it is a perpetual sale more often than not. That means retaining permanent timeshare ownership and losing cancellation rights for deeded buyers.
While owning a piece of property sounds fantastic, the ongoing maintenance fees often have the opposite effect. Many timeshare owners would agree that the potential lifetime consequences of not rescinding can outweigh the constraints of the process.
Following the requested instructions and delivering the cancellation notice will ensure that the resort must relent to the request. Alas, timeshare companies often make completing the rescission challenging. Some sellers never even mention the right of rescission to prospective buyers. Others may conceal the instructions and contact information to prolong the process.
If a resort is not content with your cancellation request, it is essential to understand how to file a consumer's complaint. That often entails reaching out and sending proof of documentation to the state Attorney General's office. The procedure for filing a timeshare dispute may also depend upon the property developer and state law.
If you suspect you have been the victim of a timeshare scam, report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Many timeshare buyers do not act fast enough to exercise their right of rescission. Some folks do not even know they have such a possibility. Another cancellation option for those misled into their purchase is to hire a credible and experienced timeshare exit company. Wesley Financial Group, LLC ("WFG")* is an excellent example of such an opportunity.
WFG has terminated over 30,000 timeshares for families and individuals in the past decade alone. If you know someone interested in learning more about their cancellation services, contact a representative and schedule a free consultation today.