Can You Give Back Timeshare?
If you’re stuck with a vacation program that you no longer want or can use, you may be wondering can you give back timeshare? While this can sometimes be an option, it’s important to understand a few things. First, giving back your timeshare may not cancel your contract. The developer must be willing to provide you a form of release in order for you to relinquish your member beneficiary use rights or to give back timeshare where there is a deeded interest.
In most cases, for this to even be considered you may be required to pay off the promissory note in advance as well as pay other substantial fees associated with timeshare cancellation. Secondly, the developer may not be willing to take the property back, even if there is nothing owed on the timeshare. This is especially true if it’s a points based vacation membership that can’t easily be resold by the owner or the developer. To highlight a major difference between timeshare programs, we can illustrate that unlike deeded ownership where there are specific use rights which are legally recorded, the developers say that members with points represent the opportunity to use and enjoy accommodations and facilities subject to the trust declaration and have been determined by the current occupancy demand of the vacation interest.
Timeshares are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and many people end up paying for their vacation program long after they stop or can’t continue vacationing. Before timeshare owners try to give back timeshare, many will attempt to sell or rent their timeshare themselves to recoup any monies already paid. With so many of these timeshare properties available on the secondary market, this can become a daunting task. For example, auction sites like eBay have hundreds of listings posted online for as little as a dollar that won’t sell due to lack of demand, leaving those owners unsuccessful and frustrated in their efforts.
There are a few real estate companies that specialize in timeshare resales. The Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association (LTRBA) may be able to give you some idea as to what your property is worth on the secondary market. There are often substantial fees and commissions associated with these services which in the end may offset any monies gained or even cost more money than the timeshare is worth. The intervals that timeshare brokers handle are limited and that’s in part to the fact that timeshare companies also have strict rules regarding secondary market resales. Developers can even restrict the purchase of a resale with a first right of refusal and/or deny the transaction if they believe the new prospective buyer or renter is unsuitable. Other timeshare companies will attempt to rent an owners interval first to give the appearance that the property is in high demand, and only offer a resale once they’ve been unsuccessful in renting it.
Even if giving timeshare back to the developer is your last reasonable option, your best bet is to reach out to the resort directly and explain your situation and the responsible steps you’ve taken to exit. Some developers know their programs have no resale value and have created timeshare exit programs instead. In certain situations, they may be willing to work with you to cancel your contract and take back the property, but it’s important to remember that they are under no obligation to do so. You also won’t find much information published in advance about how developer exit programs work or even if you qualify. Few, if any of these programs are free or low cost but they may be worth considering if you’re struggling to find another way out. Finally, the timeshare developer or association you own with may simply refuse to work with owners who want to give back timeshare. In these cases, the only thing you can do is explore your other options or continue paying for a vacation program you no longer want or can use.
Giving your timeshare back to the developer may not be the best solution for your particular situation but you won’t know until you look into it. Before you make any decisions, it’s important to consult with an experienced timeshare attorney who can help you understand your options and rights. An attorney can review your contract or agreement with you and help you determine the best way to move forward.
Led by attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with more than 75 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm that specializes in timeshare related matters. If you feel you have a timeshare problem and need assistance, contact us today for a free consultation.