Beyond Verbal Assurances: Understanding Timeshare Contract Fine Print
Timeshare contracts are legally binding documents that detail the rights and obligations of both buyer and seller. Nevertheless, verbal representations from timeshare sales representatives during your purchase process may not be dependable – so it is imperative to read through every clause in your agreement before signing! In fact, most timeshare contracts explicitly state consumers should not rely on any representation made by a representative prior to or upon signing the contract. Let’s look at verbal representations in timeshare.
While speaking to sales representatives, buyers should be mindful that verbal representations are typically not binding. This is because they lack the structure of written contracts and could potentially leave out important information relevant to a timeshare agreement. Moreover, the written contract typically contains a provision that the written terms supersede any verbal representations. Unfortunately, verbal representations that are inconsistent with written contract terms can amount to a deceptive sales practice. While deceptive sales practices are generally outlawed in every state, unfortunately, it is not always the case that victims of deceptive sales practices can avoid the obligations set forth in a written contract. Just because your understanding of what the sales representative said may turn out to be wrong is not always enough to relieve you of your contractual obligations when purchasing a timeshare.
Evaluating Verbal Representations
When evaluating a verbal representation, it is important to consider what was actually said compared to what was understood by the other party – when both sides hear and understand the same thing and then agree, this is referred to in contract law as a “meeting of the minds”. When verbal statements are unclear or incomplete, you should seek further clarification from the other party before relying on them. Otherwise, when you later sign a written contract, a court may find a meeting of the minds concerning the written terms even when prior verbal representations contradict those written contractual terms. To ensure clarity and accuracy in your timeshare purchase process, always get everything in writing, make sure you read it, and ask questions if you don’t understand what is written, especially if what is written is inconsistent with what you were told!
“License to Lie” Clause: The Discrepancy Between Verbal Pitches and Written Timeshare Contracts
Before you commit to a timeshare, be mindful of the fact that verbal sales pitches can be misleading and the written contract often states that you agree you are not relying on any verbal statements and agree that the written terms control. Michael Finn coined such a contractual provision as the “License to Lie” clause because it seeks to invalidate any and all prior verbal discussions with the sales representative.
Verbal Promises vs. Timeshare Contract Reality
For example, a timeshare sales representative might tell you that it’s possible to cover your maintenance fees through renting out your unit; however when signing the contract, you may find there are written restrictions on commercial use such as renting your unit to third parties — something which was never brought up during the verbal discussions! This potentially deceptive mismatch could be unlawful under state law, but as said before, might not be enough for you to avoid the payment obligations contained in your written timeshare contract.
By exercising careful consideration and thorough research in your purchase process and understanding the unreliability of verbal representations in a timeshare context, buyers can protect themselves from deceptive practices and ensure their rights are secured under the law. With awareness of verbal omissions, consumers can make informed decisions regarding their timeshare contracts and avoid costly mistakes!
Timeshare Contracts: When to Seek Legal Review for Clarity
Before signing a timeshare agreement, it is important to understand all of its details and how they affect your rights as a timeshare owner. If a company has made misrepresentations of fact or has omitted important information that caused you to purchase, then you may have legal grounds for taking action against them or avoiding your timeshare contract. An experienced timeshare attorney can help you assess verbal representations and determine whether any deceptive trade practices have occurred. Before signing the contract, it is absolutely essential to read it in detail and take an extra step to confirm any uncertainty or contradiction with verbal statements by consulting a timeshare attorney. Your attorney can provide you with the detailed advice and guidance necessary to make a well-informed decision.
As a consumer, it’s essential to invest in your due diligence – and protect yourself from unscrupulous sales tactics. With the help of an experienced timeshare lawyer, you can make sure that you understand what you are signing notwithstanding any verbal promises made by salespeople. Don’t settle for less than what was agreed upon! Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to consult with legal counsel so you are certain that all agreements will be honored and that there has been a true “meeting of the minds.” Take control of your purchase – secure your rights as a buyer today!
Led by attorneys J. Andrew Meyer and Michael D. Finn with over 75 years of combined legal experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare related matters. For a free consultation, contact our office through our website, or call toll-free at 855-346-FINN-LAW.
This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. The Finn Law Group encourages all readers to take an active role in understanding their timeshare contracts and the legal context of verbal representations. With the help of an experienced timeshare attorney, verbal representations can be assessed and deceptive trade practices can be avoided. Doing so is essential for ensuring you have a positive experience with your timeshare.
For any questions or concerns about verbal representation in your timeshare contract, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Finn Law Group – we are always happy to help!