If you own a timeshare, you may have found yourself searching “how to get rid of a timeshare legally” at some point or another. Perhaps you’ve attempted to sell the timeshare on the resale market and haven’t had any luck. Or, maybe you’ve contacted your resort and asked them to take it back only to be met with a stern NO THANKS. No matter your situation, there is always something you can do to get rid of a timeshare.
The process of getting rid of your timeshare can vary depending on the type of timeshare you own, its location, whether the timeshare is paid in full or not and the date in which you originally purchased the timeshare. If you purchased the timeshare recently, like within the last week or two, it’s strongly encouraged that you look in to something called a rescission period.
Most states grant you the right to “rescind” your timeshare purchase within a certain number of days after purchase, usually one or two weeks. This means you can legally cancel the timeshare contract, no questions asked. All you need to do is send the resort, via certified mail, a letter stating that you’d like to rescind your purchase within the rescission period time frame. The resort must comply with your request by law. Check with the state in which you purchased the timeshare to see if you’re still eligible for this timeshare cancellation option.
Unfortunately, most of you reading this article likely don’t qualify for the state’s recission option. No worries! You still have options. Your best option is to try and sell the timeshare on the resale market for $1.
Selling the Timeshare
Despite what you may read online, it’s not impossible to sell a timeshare. Before hiring an attorney to help you cancel the contract, why not try advertising the timeshare for sale on websites such as Craigslist, Ebay, Myresortnetwork.com, tug2.com and Redweek.com? Craigslist is free, and all the other sites have a low up-front fee to advertise the timeshare for sale. It may take some time, but selling the timeshare, even for $1 is always going to be a better value than hiring an attorney to attempt to cancel the contract for you. We’d suggest signing up to all sites for a faster sale and offering to pay for the closing costs of the sale.
Some things that will affect your probability of selling the timeshare are the type of timeshare you own, its location and whether the timeshare is paid in full. If you still owe on your timeshare, it’s going to be hard, if not impossible, to sell it someone else. If you own a desirable week at a desirable location such as Las Vegas, Branson, New Orleans, Orlando or Hawaii, you might have an easier time getting rid of it than say if you own at a resort in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska. The resort developer brand can also be a factor.
How To Get Rid of A Timeshare Legally Vs Illegally
If rescinding the contract is out and you’re not able to sell, you’ll need to look in to alternative options. From here there are two ways to get rid of the timeshare – illegally and legally.
Legal Timeshare Cancellation
Legal timeshare cancellation is easier in 2018 than it used to be. Many resorts have opened “take-back” programs that allow distressed timeshare owners to give their timeshare back to the resort developer. These programs are not available to all, but they are a good start.
Get Rid of A Wyndham Timeshare Legally
1. Gather all your timeshare documents together and give them another read. Figure out how much you still owe, if anything, and be prepared to answer questions about your ownership.
2. Visit Wyndham’s “Ovation by Wyndham” page and review their materials. Wyndham offers two timeshare exit options. One is called Limited Edition and it allows you to continue to use the timeshare for three additional years before exiting completely. The second exit option is called Tribute By Wyndham and it is made for individuals who are no longer able to use their ownership as intended when they first purchased.
3. Call Wyndham at 888-752-1362 to discuss your options.
Get Rid of A Westgate Timeshare Legally
2. Visit Westgate’s “The Legacy Program by Westgate” page and review their materials. Westgate claims it will help qualifying accounts exit their Westgate timeshares.
3. Call Westgate at 800-351-0461 to get started.
Get Rid of A Diamond Timeshare Legally
2. Visit Diamond’s “Transitions™ by Diamond Resorts” page and review their materials. If you meet Diamond’s “Conditions to Apply,” the company claims it will help you relinquish all or part of your vacation ownership. This service is only available for those who’ve paid for their timeshare in full and are current in their maintenance fees.
Get Rid of A Bluegreen Timeshare Legally
Bluegreen does not have exit program like Wyndham, Diamond and Westgate publicly advertised as of May 2018, so you’ll need use alternative strategies for cancellation. We’d suggest advertising your Bluegreen timeshare for sale with Bluegreen authorized reseller, Pinnacle Vacations, first. If the timeshare doesn’t sell, consider alternatives such as Craigslist, Ebay, Myresortnetwork.com, tug2.com and Redweek.com.
If the timeshare still doesn’t sell, you’ll need to get more aggressive. Call Bluegreen and explain to them that you will no longer be paying the maintenance fees. See what they say. No resort developer truly wants to foreclose on you because it costs them money to do so. If Bluegreen still won’t work with you, your only option left is to seek the assistance of an attorney or simply stop paying your maintenance fees and take the hit to your credit.
Get Rid of A Marriott Timeshare Legally
(Updated 11/20/18) Marriott now has an exit program publicly advertised on its website here. The company also has its own resale program here. Try to work with Marriott’s options first before looking to alternatives such as Craigslist, Ebay, Myresortnetwork.com, tug2.com and Redweek.com.
If the timeshare doesn’t ever sell or can’t be cancelled, you’ll need to consider working with an attorney to cancel the contract. Before working with an attorney though, consider calling Marriott and explaining that you won’t be paying any more maintenance fees. See what they say. They might just let you out if you annoy them enough.
Get Rid of A Hilton Timeshare Legally
(Updated 11/20/18) Hilton has introduced a “buy back” program for some of its timeshares. Read more about the HGV buy back program here.
If you’re unable to resell or give the timeshare back to Hilton, you’ll need to consider working with an attorney to cancel the contract.
Get Rid of All Other Timeshares
As of May 2018, it appears that Wyndham, Diamond and Westgate are the only timeshare resort developers that have exit programs publicly advertised on their websites. Other brands may offer an exit solution, but it is only offered behind closed doors. Most brands don’t want owners to know that their is a way out because they want to keep collecting the maintenance fees.
If you own a timeshare with a brand or resort that doesn’t have an exit solution, you’ll need to either sell the timeshare, stop paying the maintenance fees and take the hit to your credit, or hire the assistance of an attorney. Always try calling the resort first and telling them you’re not paying the maintenance fees anymore no matter what and see what they say. You might be surprised.
Illegal Timeshare Cancellation
If you’d like to go the illegal route you would want to do something called a “Viking ship.” This is a felony crime in some states such as Florida, but not all states have caught up yet. This is basically where you open a fake a company and then transfer the timeshare to the company’s name. Once the timeshare has been transferred to the fake company’s name, you’d stop making payments and let the resort foreclose on the timeshare. Once the foreclosure process begins, you’d simply let the company go bankrupt. In some states this is still sort of legal, so it might be an option for you to consider if legal timeshare cancellation isn’t an option. Though, it’s not something we’d recommend or endorse.
If you go this route, make sure to do your homework as it’s easy for things to go wrong. For example, if you own an LLC by yourself it is treated as a sole proprietorship. If the company you opened is a sole proprietorship, you can’t simply let the company go bankrupt without it influencing your own personal credit score, which defeats the whole purpose of what you’re trying to do.
How To Get Rid of a Timeshare Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey is a well-known personal financial guru who has written several books and owns his own radio show. Thousands of people look to Dave Ramsey for his financial knowledge on a wide variety of subjects, including timeshare. Dave Ramsey is completely against the idea of owning any timeshares. He advises his followers to get rid of their timeshares as soon as possible no matter the circumstance because they are nothing but a black hole. He talks a lot about paying your “stupid tax” in life and considers a timeshare one of these taxes. He makes some valid points. Those searching for how to get rid of a timeshare Davey Ramsey on Google will quickly find validity in Dave Ramsey’s claims.
A timeshare is a legally binding contract that can be hard to get out of. If you own at Wyndham, Diamond or Westgate, consider yourself lucky as many other timeshare owners have no choice but to try and sell the timeshare on the resale market. If you are forced to try and sell the timeshare, make sure not to pay a high up-front fee more than a few hundred dollars to do so. If you work with a timeshare exit attorney, again, make sure not to pay a fee up-front to stay safe.
Contact us through live chat in the bottom right corner of this page or submit a contact form on the right side of this page for your free timeshare exit consultation. We can help recommend the best strategy for you to exit your timeshare and stay safe.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not legal advice. Always contact your timeshare company first before seeking the services of a third party timeshare exit company.