How to Escape a Timeshare

How to Escape a Timeshare

( – Timeshares can seem like such a great investment for the traveler who can’t necessarily afford to purchase and maintain a new property outright. Most are nestled into vacation hotspots with plenty of access to local amenities and a distinctly home-like feel. For the right purchaser, they can become like a second home available just often enough to suit their yearly needs.

The only catch? It can feel extremely difficult to legally exit a timeshare once you buy in, even if your needs change along the way. That can make owners feel trapped, anxious, and stressed, much less putting significant pressure on finances along the way.

The good news: if you or someone you love needs to get out of a timeshare, you do have options available. Start with the solutions on this list and make a safe exit.

Work With the Developer

Ask and you might receive! Your timeshare developer might have options available to help you surrender the deed to your timeshare without any penalties. Often, all you need to do is reach out to them and let them know it no longer meets your needs. You’ll read the fine print, sign a few papers confirming that you really do want to move on, and possibly call it a day then and there. The only catch, of course, is that you won’t make any money in the process.

Consider Renting

Most developers allow timeshare owners to rent their slots to others. This can be a fantastic way to bridge the gap in tough financial times. In fact, it’s almost preferable to selling if the only reason you’re considering stepping away is if you know you’ll be back in business and using your timeshare within the next few years.

You can advertise your space on sites such as Airbnb to attract attention. Just be sure to do your due diligence on people before renting to them. Also, remember that landlords do have responsibilities — even in a timeshare.

Sell Your Timeshare

Yes, you can sell a timeshare. And if it happens to be nestled into a particularly hot location, this just might even net you a little bit of money in the process. This might be a good option if you know your future plans probably won’t include vacations or if you want to buy another timeshare in another county.

Unfortunately, most timeshare owners do take at least a small hit when they sell. In most cases, you can expect to break even or even be out a little bit of money on the original purchase. The occasional lucky owner with a property that’s increased in value might do better.

Give It Away

Have grandkids or children who have been eyeing your timeshare? It is possible to give them the deed as a gift. You might even still have access to it in the process. Some older Americans choose this option once they realize traveling will become too difficult, too expensive, or just too unwieldy to manage as they age. Others simply want their loved ones to experience the same years of joy they experienced in a treasured “home away from home.”

If all else fails, you can halt payments on your timeshare. However, it isn’t an option we can recommend. A timeshare contract is legally enforceable which means the developer or manager gains the right to sue you if you don’t meet your obligations. They can also send you to collections or even seek out a lien against other properties in some scenarios.

If you reach the point where you’re considering avoiding payments, it’s better to reach out to a lawyer or seek credit counseling and debt management services instead.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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