Canceling Timeshares. So you think you want to cancel. I can just imagine the scenario.
Some telemarketer called you up and told you they'd give you a free trip to Vegas for two if you'd come to their timeshare presentation. Or you were on vacation and they offered you free gifts you just couldn't pass up.
You went -- and succumbed. You've purchased a timeshare. Hopefully the salesperson wasn't too hard on you and you may have even left the place feeling good about it.
But then you got home. You told your family and friends. They think you're crazy. Or, out of under the "spell" of the salesperson, you just feel like you haven't had the chance to think it through properly, and if they are going to pressure you into making such a big decision in so little time -- there must be something wrong.
It's the next morning and you want to cancel.
Before canceling timeshares, let's think this through. I realize the effect the high pressure sales environment can have on a person. After feeling like you need to take a shower to get the slime off, you feel buyer's remorse in a major way because of the high pressure approach. But let's put that aside for a moment, and talk about whether canceling timeshares makes sense. I first want you to review Why Timeshare. Then I'm asking you to review Buying a Timeshare.
Okay, after you've reviewed this information, is canceling timeshares still what you want to do?
If you purchased a timeshare yesterday, high pressure aside, you must have felt you wanted to make vacationing with the people you love a bigger priority. You must have also wanted to save significant dollars and stay in a home away from home instead of a hotel. You may have also liked the idea of trading into other timeshares all over the world, and even cruises. Leaving a legacy of vacationing to your children may have been the final touch.
Does the timeshare you bought meet my Buy Right Rules in Risks of Buying Timeshares? If it does, then are you sure canceling timeshares is still what you want to do?
Perhaps after reviewing this information you have reinforced that buying a timeshare is a good idea, but you've now read about my recommendations on the best timeshare and want to switch to Worldmark. Remember owning another timeshare is an asset at Worldmark, if the money works for you. You would need to compare what you paid for the timeshare you purchased yesterday and how much the maintenance fee is, and see if it's a good deal to keep the one you purchased and just exchange your time into Worldmark credits like I do.
Or you may decide you want to go ahead and cancel that one, if the money doesn't make sense, and purchase Worldmark instead. I know with my two bedroom lock-out at Polo Towers, I can exchange the studio week for 4000 credits and the one-bedroom week for 7000 credits.
I pay about $750 annual maintenance fee at Polo Towers. I also considered the "goodies," like Ice Gallery that I received in my developer package that I didn't want to give up. I've accepted that Polo Towers hits me with special assessment fees (I've had two $1200 fees since 2000). When I do the math, I still come out ahead.
Of course, I couldn't afford to pay payments for two timeshares at once, which may also be a consideration for you. I paid my Polo Towers off early, before considering Worldmark.
So, all of these things should come into your consideration of whether canceling timeshare is what you want to do.
If you STILL feel canceling the timeshare is what you want to do, and you just bought yesterday, then you need to call the timeshare company right away and let them know. They will probably try to talk you out of it. They will also probably need a cancelation request in writing to be faxed or emailed to them. They will most likely request your owner's package back as well.
If you're reading this, and you bought longer ago then yesterday -- you may have a problem. You will have to find out what the rescission laws are where you bought the timeshare. When canceling timeshares, they are required to abide by the laws for their state or country. In some places it's 7 days, in some places it's 3 days, in some places it is less or more.
The rescission period should be included in your timeshare contract. If you can't find it, contact the timeshare company. If you don't trust them or want to double-check, you can contact your attorney. Your real estate agent should know, as well. Timeshare should be governed by real estate laws. If you bought in another country while on vacation, some countries such as Mexico could be a little dicy.
If you find out you're past the rescission period, you are legally-bound to the contract. Canceling timeshares then becomes a matter of diplomacy and you may or may not succeed.
Whatever you do, don't just stop paying the payments. Remember, this is their business -- they will send you to collections and ruin your credit along the way! Communicate with the timeshare company. Tell them that you realize you are beyond the rescission period, but that you still want to cancel and why. Depending upon the company they may work with you, they may not.
If you don't succeed in canceling the timeshare and they won't work with you, are you willing to accept that you are bound to the contract and will you follow through? Will you decide to use your timeshare?
I highly recommend this over trying to sell your timeshare or ruining your credit by not paying the payments. If you try to sell your timeshare, you'll have to pay the difference between the contract and what you sell it for, which is about guaranteed to be 50% or more of a gap. You're "upside-down" between market value and purchase price. I hope I don't have to tell you why you don't want to ruin your credit!
If you're stuck, readjust your attitude, realign your point of view, turn lemons into lemonade -- and USE your timeshare. That's the only way it can be of value to you. Maybe you'll decide it wasn't such a weak moment after all.