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Maybe you were swayed by the swaying palms or a free round of golf. Or the idea that owning a piece of paradise would mean you'd visit more often. Either way, you're on the hook for a timeshare and now you're wondering how to get out of it. (Clearly, you didn't heed our advice about not buying a summer timeshare.)
The contract might seem iron-clad, but you may have a few options if you want to back out of a timeshare:
Purchasing a timeshare can sound like a fantastic idea at the time, only to look a lot worse later. Perhaps recognizing the slick marketing used by timeshare salespeople and the propensity for buyer's remorse among timeshare purchasers, some states have strict regulations on timeshares which allow for cancellations within a certain period of time after the sale.
For example, Nevada and Texas give buyers five days to rescind the purchase, buyers in Hawaii and New Mexico have a week to change their minds, and a timeshare sale in Florida can't legally close until a ten day cancellation period has expired. Many states also have strict consumer protection laws that may allow you to void a timeshare contract if the seller made certain misrepresentations.
You could also try selling your timeshare interest, or simply transferring it to someone who will take over the maintenance payments and other fees. Selling your timeshare could be a challenge, but there are companies that buy and re-sell timeshares, and if you've got a timeshare in a particularly attractive locale, you may be able to find a buyer yourself.
There are also charity organizations that accept timeshare donations. If the timeshare meets certain requirements, the organization will sell your timeshare and pass on the proceeds to charity. It may not get you your money back, but you might feel a little better knowing your interest went to a good cause.
Real estate contracts can be confusing and escaping from a timeshare may require the help of an experienced real estate attorney.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.