• February
  • 3 min read

How to Cancel a Timeshare without Upfront Fees

How to Cancel a Timeshare without Upfront Fees

There is a lot of money sloshing around the timeshare industry. Most companies, including timeshare developers, timeshare exit companies, timeshare resellers, and other service providers know that retirees and other people in the target demographics have more disposable income sitting around in the bank than most Americans. That’s why so much time and effort goes into targeting them (you) with ads and offers.

Whether you own a timeshare or are doing the research before purchasing one, you should know about how to cancel and what costs are involved. Millions of Americans love their timeshare properties. They enjoy the dependability and that they can plan trips with friends and family well in advance. Timeshares are great for people who want to book the same type of trip every year. You can stay in a lovely resort in Hawaii or some other favorite destination without having to worry about as many booking challenges or wondering whether you’ll like a new hotel. Many families book timeshares at the same resort to making large family trips more fun.

Things, however, change. This is true of many things in life and timeshare ownerships. Many people don’t anticipate future life changes like losing a job, having more kids, or wanting to go new places. They also sometimes don’t exactly understand the contract they are signing when they purchase a contract. Perhaps what was presented in the presentation with regard to costs doesn’t end up being entirely accurate. Over time, the costs associated with your timeshare contract will go up. Things like annual fees and maintenance fees will increase as timeshare companies have to pay more to keep resorts in good condition.

Reasons People Want to Cancel Timeshare Contracts

Everyone’s situation is different, for sure, but there are some common reasons people want to cancel timeshare ownership. Too many people go years paying for timeshares they don’t want anymore simply because they don’t know that cancellation is an option. If you see something similar to your position below, then it’s in your best interest to find a timeshare exit company that can help get you out of your contract successfully at the lowest cost to you. Here are some reasons why people cancel:

  • Changes in Financial Situation – This is, by far, the biggest reason people cancel or sell their timeshare contracts. What they originally signed up for during a timeshare presentation turns out to be something totally different. Your salesperson may have misrepresented this at the time, but your ownership costs aren’t static. They rise as time goes on. This isn’t completely nefarious, but it is a frustrating part of having a timeshare.

If you think about it, timeshare companies have a contractual obligation to keep their property in good shape and maintain a certain level of service for owners. If they don’t, then they could be found in breach of contract and owners can sue to get out of their ownership agreement. Costs like landscaping, food and beverage, repairs, and other maintenance expenses go up due to inflation each year. Those costs are, like in most businesses, passed onto customers, or owners in this case.

If your ownership costs become too much for your monthly budget to handle, then canceling makes sense. No one wants to own a vacation property that puts them further into the hole.

  • Changing Travel Preferences – Maybe you purchased a timeshare with several other members of your family so you could all go to the same place on vacation each year. Big family trips are fun, but at some point, kids grow up and travel preferences change. It gets harder to bring everyone together and people start wanting to go to new places.
  • If you’re tired of going to the same resorts or want to expand out of the limited options your timeshare contract provides, then canceling could be a good option.
  • Death in the Family – In many instances, when the owner of a timeshare property dies, it’s a transferable asset that can be passed on to beneficiaries. This can be a blessing and a curse, though. Some people may not want to take on the financial obligation of owning a timeshare, no matter what the costs of the contract are.

The Timeshare Cancellation Process

The cancellation process can be very complex, and it’s not always successful. Timeshare companies go to a lot of effort to make their contracts airtight. After all, they know that many people who sign up for timeshares end up regretting the decision. Even if they enjoy their timeshare for years, something eventually changes and people will want out. This isn’t the same thing as owning a home or a car. People often view timeshare ownership as a discretionary expense, and it’s usually one of the first things people think about canceling when financial priorities change.

Typically, you’ll need the help of a timeshare exit company to successfully navigate the cancellation process. A good company will examine your contract to look for any errors that could help you get out of your ownership agreement without too much trouble. They’ll also review whether your timeshare company is in breach of contract. This can happen if your resorts aren’t living up to what was promised or some other concern.

Most reputable timeshare exit companies offer a free consultation to walk you through the process and understand your situation. They’ll talk to you about different options like donating your timeshare to a charity, negotiating a settlement with your timeshare company, and reselling your timeshare on the secondary market. These are all viable solutions depending on what’s happening with your timeshare and its value.

Remember, timeshare companies deal with people who want to cancel all the time. Don’t expect that you can simply call the customer service number and cancel. They want you to pay your full obligation and don’t care all that much about your circumstances. A good timeshare exit company will help you build a strategy that succeeds.

Timeshare Cancellation Fees

The big question around timeshare exit companies is whether they are worth the cost. Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies of questionable reputations that take people’s money and don’t deliver the expected results. There are even a lot of well-known cancellation scams where companies demand upfront payment and then disappear. This, certainly, is something we want to avoid.

Typical timeshare cancellation costs around $4,000. This fee will go up or down depending on your situation, but you’re going to pay thousands of dollars to get out of a contract because it requires lawyers and experts familiar with the process.

The big question around timeshare cancellation is regarding whether to pay upfront fees. A lot of companies will demand a high fee upfront to lock you in. Once you’ve paid them, you’re essentially on the hook no matter what type of resolution they come to with your timeshare company.

We, along with the BBC and almost every other regulatory and consumer advocacy body, encourage people to NOT pay upfront fees for timeshare exit services. It’s a recipe for disappointment.

How to Cancel a Timeshare without Upfront Fees

There are ways you can cancel a timeshare without upfront fees. Do some research to find a company that offers payment after services rendered and not before. Thankfully, there is more information publicly available than ever, and a quick online search will lead you to online reviews from other customers that tell their stories. Find a highly-rated company and start from there. Don’t pick a timeshare exit business with only a handful of reviews, either. Find a business with a good track record of success.

Once you’ve zeroed in on some companies, start visiting their websites to read about what they offer. Go with a company that gives free initial consultations. You want a business that will spend the time to understand your situation. No business can promise results without knowing the odds of success.

During the consultation, they will talk to you about fees and any other costs associated with canceling your timeshare. Choose a company you feel is being transparent and honest in its dealings.

Finally, avoid paying any upfront fees. Some reputable companies request a small payment that sits in escrow. That is understandable because they want to have some level of commitment before they start allocating resources to your case. As long as the fee is agreeable and you have some control over the disbursement of funds based on their performance, then you should feel confident going ahead.

Canceling a contract is a complicated process. The best companies use seasoned lawyers and insiders who know how timeshare companies operate to win success for their clients. Working with a reputable timeshare exit company can make managing your timeshare painless and help you offload onerous financial obligations. As you engage with these providers, do as much research as possible to make sure you are making the best decision for your family. Talk to your exit company about what you expect and hold them accountable.

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