How to Get Rid of a Timeshare Without Ruining Credit

Two years ago, you spent hours at a presentation inside a high-end resort and got roped into a timeshare, used it twice and now you want O-U-T.

While you’ve heard the horror stories about trying to dump a timeshare contract, try not to fret as there are some ways to make it happen – and without it ruining credit.

Can You Get Rid of a Timeshare?

The first thing you need to do is figure out what your timeshare is worth. If your timeshare is valuable or in high demand, it will obviously be easier to get rid of. After that, there are various things you can try to do to get rid of a timeshare from reselling it to hiring a timeshare exit company. But a few of these options leave your credit at risk.

Will Canceling Your Timeshare Ruin Your Credit?

No, if you decide to cancel your timeshare contract, you won’t ruin your credit but there’s a catch – that’s if you keep paying your timeshare mortgage and annual fees. By keeping the fees up to date, it will also let you rent the property, or help you sell the timeshare because it makes it more enticing to buyers.

It’s also noted that timely payments on your timeshare won’t show up on your credit report and could assist in improving your credit history unless your timeshare company reports to the three major credit bureaus: Experion, TransUnion, and Equifax.

However, a timeshare foreclosure can certainly affect your score causing it to decrease. In fact, a foreclosure will always cause your credit score to drop significantly.

What Will Happen if You Stop Making Timeshare Payments?

This is something you don’t want to do if possible as you are contractually obligated to make these payments. Any delinquency will be reported to those three major credit bureaus, which could again, significantly lower your credit score. If you own a deeded timeshare, you may face foreclosure if you stop making payments, so as you can see it isn’t wise to go this route.

And be aware if you own a right-to-use timeshare, your debt will be handed over to a debt collection agency, and those annoying calls and demand letters will begin. If the timeshare management company is awarded a judgment against you, it may be allowed to execute a bank levy or wage garnishment.

How to Get Out of a Timeshare Without Ruining Your Credit

There are a few ways to legally get rid of your timeshare without destroying your credit.

Is There a Rescission Period?

The right of rescission is a legal right that lets consumers cancel certain types of home loans, like a, refinance, home equity loan, home equity line of credit also known as HELOC, and some reverse mortgages.

The right to recession gives you three days to rescind an agreement and get your money back. So, act quickly if you feel you want to follow this path.

What Can You Do if the Timeshare Cancellation Period has Expired?

One way to begin to get out of the timeshare contract is to try and have a calm conversation with the timeshare company or developer. Ask if it can offer any deed back programs, which will let you return or sell your ownership if you meet certain criteria and requirements.

Work with a Timeshare Exit Company

You can always work alongside a legitimate timeshare exit company to help get you out of the timeshare contract.

What exactly is a timeshare exit company and can it truly help?

Timeshare exit companies offer services to help owners exit or cancel their timeshares and who will have a group of lawyers that will become dedicated to your case.

The cost of a timeshare exit company’s services can vary dramatically as well as the results. Such a company may/may not be able to get you out of the contract. While many timeshare exit companies offer guaranteed exits and cancellations, be aware of what you are getting into with a company offering these services, its guarantees, and promises.

Pros of Hiring a Timeshare Exit Company

There are some pros to working with a timeshare exit company:

It Can Save You Cash

A timeshare exit company may be able to free you of your timeshare contract and you can relax a lot easier knowing it’s now gone.

Once and if you are released, you will be able to place the funds you wasted on timeshare fees toward a vacation of your choice and at any time of the year. It will be a whole lot easier to look for better deals with up-front pricing than to be tied to a timeshare.

They’ll Help Decipher Timeshare Contracts

The timeshare industry can be complicated. A timeshare exit company can explain your contract to find any loopholes or problems with its text. It will have a better knowledge of the legalese than you and be able to tell you exactly what you got into when you signed up for the timeshare.

The main goal of a timeshare exit company is to try and release you from your contract completely, so you can stop paying for the timeshare and everything that goes along with it.

When you choose a timeshare exit company (instead of a timeshare resale company) to assist it can be a good thing – if it’s the right one. A resale company may sublet your timeshare contract to other clients, but you will still be under contract.

Cons of Hiring a Timeshare Exit Company

If you hire a timeshare company it could end up costing you a lot of money and take years to resolve your case.

Some timeshare exit companies promise the moon and never deliver; thus, you’ve entered another scam.

Check the American Resort Development Association and the Better Business Bureau to help locate legitimate companies and only opt for the legit ones.

Here are some timeshare exit companies from My Credit Summit’s top recommendations

TimeShatter, our pick for “Best Overall Timeshare Exit Company,” will analyze the present contract and set you up with an expert who can help you legally exit the contract, saving you possibly thousands of dollars in fees and return your vacation freedom. TimeShatter is new, but since its beginning, it says it has assisted 2,500 people “escape from timeshare hell,” saving them an average of $10,000 a year. TimeShatter’s experts have an average of 10 years of experience, according to My Credit Summit, and clients give the service five stars.

Another is The Newton Group. Our pick for “Best Timeshare Company for People who Might Also Have Legal Claims” partners with a law firm to ensure any potential eligibility for legal claims is discussed during the timeshare exit process. According to the company website, “your timeshare exit solution is protected by personal legal representation. … Our law firm of timeshare exit attorneys work on your behalf acting solely in your best interest to ensure a safe and legal end to your timeshare contract(s).” The Newton Group has been in business for 15 years and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and positive online reviews.”

In our ranking, Seaside Consultants was our pick for “Best for Timeshare Termination Without Hurting Your Credit.”

Seaside Consultants has been “advocating for consumers since 2014.” It offers a free consultation and promises to execute a proven timeshare plan to leave while guaranteeing credit protection. Seaside has positive reviews and an A- BBB rating. Seaside Consultants has been “advocating for consumers since 2014.” Seaside has positive reviews and an A- BBB rating. It will work with properties with delinquencies and collection or foreclosure accounts. And the company promises that your payment will stay in escrow until you’re completely satisfied. Escrow — a word that is probably familiar to homeowners —  is a legal arrangement. During your exit process, a third party temporarily holds the money until your timeshare is gone. It is valuable protection if the company you choose runs into financial trouble or suddenly declares bankruptcy.

Rent Your Timeshare

If you can’t use your timeshare, advertise it by listing it for rent on a rental site. People are always looking for properties with more space and amenities without the hassle of timeshare ownership or spending time in a sales presentation. It’s possible if you rent it out, you could get enough to cover those annual fees you dread putting out.

Sell Your Timeshare

Another effective exit strategy is to either DIY by posting on eBay, Craigslist, Redweek.com, Timeshares Only, Timeshare Users’ Group or through a broker.

Before heading down this path, do your research on the resale market to see how much people are getting for comparable properties. Timeshares at highly desirable properties — those owned by companies such as Disney, Marriott, Wyndham, or Hilton, for example — sell for about 15% of their original price.

If you own a specific week, see if the people who own the weeks before/after yours are interested in an extra week. You might be surprised as they might want to snatch up more time and would be at the ready to take over your time.

File Complaints with Regulators and Law Enforcement

Many state and federal agencies investigate consumer scams and frauds affecting timeshare owners and they encourage consumers to file complaints. Bear in mind, these agencies will not help you exit your contract, but if a law has been broken or committed you may be owed restitution and they could help you.

For example, timeshare owners at The Manhattan Club won a high-profile settlement from the developer over false claims. As part of the settlement, the developer acknowledged that it repeatedly misled shareowners about the club’s reservation process, their ability to sell back their shares, and the details of the club’s state-approved offering plan.

Give or Sell It Back to the Timeshare Developer

Some timeshare companies will take the timeshare back or let you sell the unit back at a discounted price. Yes, you’ll surely lose money (a lot), but you won’t have to worry about the annual fees or anything else associated with the timeshare moving forward. If you own a Bluegreen timeshare, for example, there is an option to give it back to the developer.

What is a Deed-Back Clause?

If your contract has a deed-back clause, this means you can return the ownership rights or timeshare to the resort or developer. However, you will need to meet the conditions stipulated in the contract and follow it from start to finish.

No money will be involved and any equity you may have built up through the timeshare is forfeited.

What is a Deed-Back Program?

Check your contract to see if it supports a deed-back program. Again, this will let you return your timeshare to the resort or developer if certain requirements are met. Eligibility differs but most resorts or developers mandate that all charges must be paid in full. Some require an upfront fee; others may offer to buy it back at a fraction of what you doled out for it.

Ask your Developer for Help

If you’re struggling financially the developer may offer a relief package. Ask if it can offer you some type of loan deferral options or other financial assistance that could help while you work to get rid of your timeshare.

How to Write a Timeshare Cancellation Letter

When you cancel your contract do devise a timeshare cancellation letter and put everything in writing. Include the following:

  • The date
  • Name of the timeshare company
  • Names on the timeshare contract
  • Your address, phone number, and email address
  • Contract number
  • Date of purchase
  • Brief description of the timeshare
  • A statement of cancellation

Make sure to keep a copy of the letter and send it through certified mail with proof of mailing date and receipt. Here’s a sample link on how to create such a letter if you need help.

What is the Average Cost to Get Rid of a Timeshare?

It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that you will almost certainly lose money on your timeshare. Timeshare purchase prices are expensive.

The costs vary and companies don’t typically publicize how much they charge because they need to know the details of each individual case. According to customer reviews posted online, it will cost $3,000 on the low end up to a high of $14,000.to a high of $14,000.

According to data from Timeshare Exit Team, the average cost is about $4,000. This includes the annual maintenance fees, closing costs, broker fees, and lawyer fees. It will be even more costly depending on the number of contracts you have.

A new contract is added to your timeshare every time you make any form of change or upgrades to your timeshare agreement. When you try to get out of a timeshare, every one of the contracts must be canceled. Yes, this does mean more work on your part, which equates to higher costs.

What are the Considerations if You Want to Get Out of a Timeshare?

There are a few issues to consider before you choose an exit strategy:

Your Annual Costs

A timeshare’s average cost is about $22,942, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). There will be annual fees, which can range from $900 to $3,000 a year. Plus, any mortgage payments.

Depreciation

Like most things, timeshares lose their value over time. If you decide to sell your timeshare, you will get a lower resale price than what you initially paid for it.

Is It Worth It to Get Out of a Timeshare?

If you’re having financial problems or not getting your money’s worth out of the annual fees, yes it’s worth it to exit. Even if you lose the purchase price it will rid you of the burden of those fees and help you breathe a little easier.

Watch Out for Scams

Scams abound in this sector so be prepared like taking the time to double-check any correspondence you receive from anyone claiming to represent a timeshare opportunity. Is their email address legit, or is it a Gmail/Hotmail/ or another free one?

Many of these scammers will ask you to help cover the costs and fees associated with the buying and the re-selling process, and they will require that you pay an upfront fee. These are red flags that you hope to avoid from the get-go.

Steps to Protect Yourself

  • Read the contract
  • Verify the company you choose to work with
  • Don’t pay money upfront
  • Hang up on anyone who promises you a guaranteed plan to leave

Want to learn the truth behind timeshare scams? Watch this video:

The Bottom Line

While a timeshare may sound like a wonderful thing to have, vacation ownership can be an albatross around your neck. Timeshare sales professionals are experts at making it sound like a dream come true, but then a few years later you might find yourself trapped. If you find yourself unable to pay the annual fees as well as not being able to use the property as much as you thought, it may be time to try and get out of your timeshare contract. It can be costly, and you might need the help of a timeshare exit company. If this is the case, make sure you explore all possibilities and check out the company before hiring them to get you out of the contract.

FAQs

How Does an RCI Timeshare Work?

RCI Points membership offers timeshare owners at RCI-affiliated resorts the chance to swap their ownership week for an allocation of points.

What are the Benefits of Timeshare Ownership?

Reports say 70% of owners agree that owning a timeshare makes them vacation more regularly. 72% of owners said that owning a timeshare improves their quality of travel while 69% of owners said owning a timeshare gives them better value for their hard-earned vacation dollars.

Are Timeshare Owners Property Owners?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, right-to-use timeshares are considered individual property.

What is a Timeshare and How Does it Work?

A timeshare is a form of a vacation property with shared ownership. With the usual timeshare, you share the cost of the property with other buyers, and in return, you get a guaranteed amount of time at the property yearly. In many cases, timeshares are smaller units within a larger resort property.