How to Rescind Your Timeshare After You Purchase

If you, or someone you know has just purchased a timeshare, it’s important to know that you have a legal, but limited time to rescind your timeshare or effectively cancel your timeshare purchase, and get a full refund.

When our consumer advocate team informs our clients of this right, many of them are shocked and surprised that they were not informed about it at the time of the sale.  While there are some timeshare and vacation clubs that enjoy a good track record of quality service to their customers, the average timeshare relationship starts with an under informed and high-pressure sales tactic.   One that presses the consumer to buy, even when they have misgivings about the commitment of a fifty-year or longer vacation time lease.

Was this your experience when you purchased your timeshare?  If you have just returned from vacation, or you are within days of buying of signing your timeshare agreement, and regret your purchase, there are legal, immediate steps that you can take to get your money back, and cancel your contract.

Laws Provide Time to Change Your Mind

Lawmakers in the United States understand that in certain industries, the high-pressure sale is common.  And they also understand that the average consumer is not prepared, and frequently that consumers can experience so much intimidation in a sales pitch, that they feel they have no options other than to sign the agreement.

In the United States, signing a contract under pressure, or duress (stress) isn’t illegal, but there are consumer protection laws that offer recourse to undo a contract that was signed in that manner.   There is a built in “back out” period in American law that pertains to contracts, and there are stipulations that vary by state for timeshare buyers.

If you walked away from a timeshare proposal, and regretted signing the contract, or if you felt that you were bullied into signing up, and paying for a vacation membership, you do have the ability to cancel the arrangement and get a full refund, if you act within days of your purchase.

The Process

In order to cancel your timeshare purchase within days of purchasing it (you must act quickly), you are required to file a consumer complaint with your local state government.   Each state provides a maximum time limit, after which all contracts with the purchaser (timeshare company) are legally binding.

  1. Research and find your local state consumer complaints or consumer protection division.
  2. File a complaint form, and explain how the contract was signed under duress (pressure) from the timeshare sales team. What qualifies as duress to government agencies? If you said “no” several times in the presentation, but they continued to pursue the sale.  If the timeshare sales team refused to allow you to leave the presentation room to “think about it”, or if they kept you in the meeting for an extraneous period of time, and demonstrated aggressive tactics to get a deposit for full purchase fee for the timeshare.  There are other criteria that qualify as pressured sales.
  3. If your complaint is submitted with documentation within the rescinding period allowed by your state, it is probable that you will be permitted to cancel your timeshare contract, and get a partial, or full-refund, depending on the terms of the contract you signed with the timeshare company.

Guidelines and Restrictions by State

District of Columbia15
Indiana72 hours
Massachusetts 3
New Hampshire5
New Jersey7
New Mexico7
New York7
North Carolina5
North Dakota
Pennsylvania 5
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island5
South Carolina5
South Dakota7
Tennessee 10
Virgin Islands
West Virginia10
Wyoming 3
This table is provided as a free resource and guideline.  Please note that the right to cancel time limits may change without notice.  Consumers are advised to take immediate (next day) action or consult with a legal professional where they wish to file a complaint and apply for a rescission of their timeshare contract. Please consult with your local state consumer protection agency for verification.   Source: Nolo. (2016, September 15) [Article] (Buying or Selling Timeshares)

In some states, there is no legal “back out” period for timeshare buyers, or a specific rescission law, but the terms of your purchase agreement with the timeshare company may provide some legal recourse to cancel your contract immediately after purchase.   In all cases where the consumer wishes to cancel a signed contract, taking action quickly is advised, as rescinding periods vary from as little as 72 hours to as long as 15-days post-purchase.

What Happens If the Rescindment Period Has Passed? 

If the maximum time period after signing your agreement has passed (per your state consumer protection laws and guidelines), the contract is declared legally binding.  Much like a mortgage, your timeshare contract carries with it the same responsibilities and personal credit liabilities.  If you opt to dispute your timeshare, ensure that you make your scheduled payments to avoid damaging your credit, and additional late payment penalties.

One of the greatest problems for individuals who purchase  while on vacation, is access to computers and resources to help them take the next steps to rescind their timeshare agreement within the period allowed for full refund.  Additionally, some consumers may take longer periods of time to reflect during their vacation (where they were sold the timeshare), before deciding that the purchase really is not right for their needs.

After the period of legal rescindment is over, consumers should consult with a legal team to start the process of timeshare cancellation.  At American Consumer Credit, we have helped hundreds of families since 2004, by advocating on their behalf with vacation clubs and timeshare companies.  We provide a pathway to permanently cancel a timeshare contract, and help save time and money by avoiding the expensive pitfalls of timeshare resale and rental.

Call us today for a free consultation 1 – (800) 587-3948, or read the reviews of our service on Trustpilot.  Start the process today and be free of your timeshare obligation in twelve months or less, with American Consumer Credit.