Can you cancel a timeshare you have just purchased?

You might be able to cancel, but you will need to act fast.

You might be able cancel the contract if you regret having purchased a timeshare. But you’ll need to act quickly. State law will determine how long you have to cancel your purchase. This is called the “rescission time”. You usually have a few days to cancel the purchase.

State law outlines how long you have to cancel (rescind) a timeshare purchase

Most timeshare buyers have the right to cancel the contract within a certain time period. Many states and some countries have laws that allow timeshare purchasers to cancel their agreement within a reasonable amount of time. This is usually between 3 and 15 to submit your timeshare cancellation letter.

For example, in Colorado, a buyer can cancel a timeshare contract within five calendar days of the sale. 

The contract must also include information regarding the right to cancel under state law. This means that the seller cannot ask you to waive your right to cancel, and timeshare cancellation is always an option.

Cancellation of Timeshare Contract

You must cancel your contract in writing. It is a good idea, even if you are allowed to cancel the contract verbally by law, to write and send a timeshare cancellation letter to the seller.

What to include in a Timeshare Cancellation letter

The following information should be included in a timeshare cancellation letter:

  • The current date
  • The letter should include the name of the buyer as it appears on the contract
  • The purchaser’s name, address, phone number and email address
  • The name of the timeshare company or the timeshare provider
  • The timeshare description (use this description from the timeshare paperwork).
  • The date that the timeshare was purchased.
  • A clear statement from the purchaser that they are canceling the contract.

Although it is not usually necessary to give a reason for canceling the timeshare contract you must state explicitly that the purpose of your letter is to rescind the contract. A simple statement such as “I am contacting you within the rescission time to cancel this timeshare contract” is usually sufficient. You should be aware that your cancellation notice may need to contain specific information due to state law so it may not be such a bad idea to add a few more details to your timeshare cancellation request such as maintenance fees being too high, the sales presentation being too pushy, buyer’s remorse, the resale market looking poor at best, etc.

Sending a Cancellation Notification

State law usually outlines the method you must use to cancel your timeshare contract early. You might also find instructions in the timeshare contract. Some timeshare companies permit hand delivery of cancellation notices. Some companies only allow you to send your timeshare cancellation notice by registered or certified mail. Follow the instructions and ensure that the letter is received within the applicable rescission time. Otherwise, your cancellation may not be accepted. In doubt, do not hesitate to ask for legal advice or to contact a timeshare cancellation lawyer.

Cancelling a Contract to Purchase a Foreign Timeshare

You can cancel a timeshare purchased in a foreign country by following the laws of that country or the state within it. If you do get the right to cancel, you will usually only have a few business days to do so.

Consider speaking with a local lawyer before you purchase a timeshare abroad. They can help you understand the rescission deadline in foreign countries. You should also reach out to timeshare owners there to hear of they like it or not.

Cancellation of a Timeshare after the Rescission Period has Expired

If your rescission or cancellation period is over and you wish to unload your timeshare you will likely have to sell it to someone else rather than receive a refund. Be aware of resale frauds. 

In certain circumstances, however, you might be able to terminate a timeshare contract if the rescission period has ended.

Arkansas gives buyers five days to cancel timeshare contracts after the execution of the contract or until they receive the public offering statement. If the buyer is not satisfied with the accuracy or validity of the public offer statement, the purchaser / timeshare owner can bring a suit in court within four year to cancel the contract.

Timeshare deals: How to protect yourself

When purchasing timeshares, it is important to fully understand your rights. The rescission period may expire if you sign a timeshare contract too early during your vacation. You should read the entire contract before you buy the timeshare. This will ensure that you don’t miss the opportunity to cancel the contract. Timeshare laws generally require that the seller includes information about the timeshare cancellation period and the procedure for sending a cancellation letter. These details might not be included in the paperwork, or instructions may be unclear. Before you sign an agreement, it is important to be familiar with the timeshare laws.

Talk to a timeshare attorney or a consumer protection agency in your state to find out how long you have to cancel your timeshare contract. You can also reach out to timeshare exit companies or a timeshare cancellation company (you can contact them by using one of the form on our site).

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