Vacations are some of the most important, if not the most important part of our lives. Yes, work will make you money, but what’s the point in making said money if you never enjoy yourself?
For many they have decided to buy a timeshare, thinking that would be a way to go on vacation more often, possibly saving money in the process.. But, they soon find out that not only was it not a good investment, but it’s one that is incredibly difficult to get out of. So here is how to get out of a timeshare.
What Is A Timeshare?
A timeshare is a part ownership of a vacation home, or rather the rights to the said home. Most of the time you get 1 week with said property and usually the same week per year, though many have some exchanges of weeks.
On top of the initial investment (which can range from nothing to hundreds of thousands), you also have maintenance fees to pay yearly. Though this isn’t always excessively high, they can be sometimes more than the cost of the timeshare in the first place.
Why Would You Want To Get Out Of A Timeshare?
For some people having a timeshare is great (my aunt and uncle have had one for as long as I can remember). Other people would gladly give them away for nothing, why? Because of the fees involved, and the restrictive nature of said timeshare.
Like I mentioned earlier the fees are typically excessively high sometimes $500 to $1,000 a year. However, it can become much much more making it not cost effective to keep the timeshare. Consider staying at an Airbnb with the cost of $75 a night. This would come out to only $525 for a week saving you thousands over the maintenance fees, and more so considering you have to make an initial investment.
How To Get Out Of A Timeshare
1) See If There Is A Grace Period.
If you have just got your timeshare you may still be able to get out of it. Most timeshare contracts have a grace period where you can cancel. So, the first thing I would check if trying to get out of a timeshare is to see if you are still in that grace period. Also if you bought from a resort, they may have a program that will allow you to return it.
2) Sell It.
If the grace period is past, find out if it’s possible to sell the timeshare. You may call a real estate agent who is familiar with your area or even in timeshares themselves and asks for their advice. They may even have buyers in mind looking for a place. You could always get in contact with the place you bought the timeshare from as a potential customer. Find out from them what similar units are selling for and try to get a sense of your options so you can either sell it back or sell it someone else. If the sales people give you trouble, contact whoever is in charge of sales and offer to sell it back for half the price and double the commission. You’ll be better off in the long run.
3) Hire Someone To Get You Of The Contract.
Another way to get out of a timeshare is to hire someone to get out of the timeshare. Most of the companies in the timeshare exit space don’t have a great reputation, but here are a couple better ones:
Be forewarned: neither of these companies are cheap. Both can cost at least $5,000 to $10,000 and take months if not years to make the exit happen. This is because they usually have to sue to get you out of the contract. You’ll want to exercise due diligence if you want to go this route. Another option is to hire an attorney yourself. Good private attorneys are not cheap, so you’re looking at paying thousands if you go this route.
4) Give It Away.
If cant sell it and don’t have the money to hire someone, then give it away. This may feel like throwing money away, but it may save you money in the long run since you no longer have annual fees to pay. Be up front with whoever you are giving it to as to the reasons why. Especially if it is a friend of family member, never sacrifice personal relationships for money – it’s too high a price to pay.
5) Stop Paying And Accept The Consequences.
Lastly, you could always simply stop paying your timeshare bills. This is a bit of an extreme step. If you stop paying your timeshare loans or maintenance fees you could be subject to foreclosure. At the very minimum, you can expect your credit score to plunge if the developer sends your account to collections. Lawsuits and wage garnishments are also possibilities depending on how nasty the developers want to be.
Other resources you might check out are:
Have you had any trouble with timeshares? Did you get out of one? If so, please leave us a comment below.