Nearly all of us have experienced the timeshare sales move, or know someone who has. In exchange for agreeing to sit through a ruthless sales pitch by a timeshare salesman, you get tickets to a theme park, a new microwave, or some other amenity. A total of 3% of American own a timeshare (average age: 46.8 years old) and there are 1,547 timeshare resorts in the United States.
The Lure of the Timeshare
The timeshare itself can seem like a great deal. Instead of having to own a vacation home and be responsible for all the hassles that come with owning and maintaining a property, you share a home. You get access to a lovely vacation property for a couple weeks out of the year, and someone else does all the work of upkeep, maintenance, figuring property taxes, and whatever else needs to be done. It sounds perfect, even at the average timeshare price of about $20,000; until you find yourself popping “get rid of timeshare” in the search engine all the time just a few years later.
The Problem With Timeshares
The first reason so many people are Googling “get rid of timeshare” and hunting for a timeshare cancellation attorney is largely down to fees. Financial hardship is actually the primary reason that people want to find out how to sell a timeshare legally. An Ernst and Young industry survey found that 56% of the time that timeshares are reclaimed, it’s because of foreclosure. A 2016 survey found that 66% of those who own timeshares gave “maintenance fees too high” as a reason for ticking “get rid of timeshare,” and almost half listed it as the primary or only reason. Yearly dues tend to go up exponentially, and timeshare contracts are written to make it difficult, if not impossible, to do anything about this. Furthermore, many contracts are full of scary language claiming that the buyer has no right to default, sell, or donate the property to anyone else; or saying that even if the buyer does, he or she will still be considered responsible for all maintenance fees. As more and more people become aware of what a scam timeshares can be, the existing properties become worthless. No one wants to buy them and the bills just keep piling up.
How Can I “Get Rid of Timeshare?”
- Try to sell The first step is always to try to sell, but there are two issues here. First, your contract may forbid it or make it very difficult. Second, even if you’re allowed to sell, it’s hard to find anyone who wants to buy. Try selling on sites where you’re not competing with resorts, and offer a good price during the busy season.
- Donate it Again, this might not work because your contract may forbid it. But if you’re not going to be able to sell it, you might try donating it. Some charities have a strategy in place to make money off of timeshare donations.
- Rent it This is one possible way to cover the maintenance costs, especially if the end is in sight and you’re in the process of litigating your way out of a contract or have hopes to sell it soon. The problem with this solution is that timeshare resorts frequently rent out their empty properties for less than you can afford to rent it for and still cover costs. That alone should tell you something about what’s going on here.
- Give it back Many contracts stipulate that the timeshare owner isn’t obligated to take it back, but this is where having a good timeshare attorney can really save your bacon. Each case is different, but often a good timeshare lawyer will be able to make a case that the whole situation was misrepresented to you, meaning that the resort will have to take it back.
How to “get rid of timeshare?” Sell, rent, donate, or give it back. Whatever you do, don’t sit back and continue to watch your money drain away. Timeshare lawyers are able to help, so contact one today and find out your options.