According to one study, 85% of timeshare owners regret their purchase of a timeshare. This study was conducted prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the travel industry shutdown and recovery still a long ways away, those owning a timeshare have been hit hard.
So what are your options? You can’t just walk away from a timeshare given the obligations that come with a timeshare contract. Getting out of a timeshare is much more difficult than getting in. Here are some SMART tips to help!
Try giving it back to the developer
Look through your contract to see if there is a deed back clause. This clause or program allows you to give your timeshare back to the resort. This may require negotiating with them based on your situation. You are essentially asking for a voluntary surrender of your timeshare.
You won’t receive any money you put in, but the goal is to get out of the contract so you don’t have to continue paying the timeshare maintenance or membership fees associated with your timeshare.
Timeshares generally do not appreciate in value. The primary benefit of a timeshare is that it may be a good alternative to booking a hotel when you are on vacation. You are paying for future vacation experiences.
If you do not want the financial burden of having to pay for a timeshare you own, then a deed back can be a low-cost way to get rid of your timeshare.
Talk to the experts
Sometimes it takes a professional to extricate yourself from a timeshare contract. You can hire an attorney or look at enlisting the help of a timeshare exit company. Companies like Timeshare Compliance are dedicated to helping you get out of your timeshare.
Look for companies with experience, check references, and do your research. Due to the many different types of timeshares and contracts, it is important to find one that knows the right legal strategies. Check the FTC websites and don’t pay an up-front payment.
There have been many companies that have recently entered the market that don’t have the experience and may be hoaxes.
Sell or transfer your timeshare
Look at your contract to see if you are allowed to sell your timeshare. If you still have a mortgage or loan, then generally it is listed as “encumbered” and you can’t sell it until it is paid off.
If you can sell it, check with real estate agents and other experts to see what it is worth. Understand that it may not be worth what you paid for, but the goal isn’t to get all of your money back, but it is to avoid future expenses. You don’t want to throw good money after bad, especially if you find no value in a timeshare.
Timeshares are legal contracts that can be transferred to others. If you can’t sell it, check to see if you can transfer it to someone else that can make the payments and will make better use of it. Ensure that all the details and paperwork are handled preferably with a professional to ensure a smooth transfer process.
Be transparent and ensure that the party you are transferring it to understands what they are getting themselves into. You don’t want to be involved in future legal issues.