In this article, we cover the details of how timeshare cancellation works. You will learn what to expect and what different options you have for attempting to cancel your timeshare.
Factors that influence the timeshare cancellation process
Getting out of a timeshare is not a one size fits all process. Many times the situation of the timeshare owner is unique, the timeshare developers all work a little bit differently, and also the financial status of the timeshare has a big implication in the process. Simply put these factors will have an influence on the process and will have an impact on the probability of your successful termination of the timeshare:
- How long you have owned the timeshare
- Timeshare financed vs. paid off
- The timeshare developer or company who you own with
- How often you have used the timeshare
- Changes in personal health, financial or other hardships
- The total number of purchases made from the timeshare developer
Although there are more factors that can have an effect on the timeshare cancellation process, these are the main considerations when selecting how to cancel your timeshare.
Timeshare Cancellation Options
💵 Cancelling Financed Timeshares
The only way for a financed timeshare to be terminated is for the timeshare developer to agree to cancel the timeshare OR to win a lawsuit. That's it. There is no secret or special third option.
🧾 Cancelling Paid-Off Timeshares
For paid-off timeshares there are many ways to cancel the timeshare - selling the timeshare, giving it away, the resort taking it back, or hiring a third party to find the fastest route to get you out of your timeshare.
After examining your situation and options - Here are the different options available to cancel your timeshare, the costs of each different method, and the advantages vs. disadvantages from our perspective.
⚖️ Timeshare Cancellation Attorneys
Also known as Timeshare Exit Attorneys, Timeshare Cancellation Attorneys are lawyers who advertise services to cancel timeshares directly on behalf of their clients. These are lawyers who can represent you directly to the timeshare developer. However, they approach the timeshare cancellation in the same manner as traditional Timeshare Cancellation companies - the exception is they will be overt in their correspondence with the timeshare developer. You can expect your timeshare attorney to send a series of disputes alleging misconduct to your timeshare company. At the end of the day though, the timeshare company is very unlikely to be threatened by your timeshare attorney - they know you do not have the cash to take them to court.
💰💰💰 Estimated Cost: $5,000 - $10,000
- Can File a Lawsuit
- No 'cloak and dagger'/ can represent you directly (no middleman - see below)
- You will likely get refunded if the timeshare attorney fails (if the timeshare attorney offers a 'Money-back Guarantee')
- Less likely to get refunded from Timeshare Company (timeshare companies discourage working with 3rd Parties...shocker right?)
- Most lengthy method to cancel your timeshare
- Least likely to get results
- Can be fee-based (billed by the hour)
- Second most costly method
✍️ Timeshare Cancellation Companies
Also known as Timeshare Exit Companies, Timeshare Cancellation Companies operate on two distinct models that are both very different. Some companies will infer that they have an attorney on staff (advertised as their General Counsel) - this is misleading because their attorney represents the company's interests, not yours. Be careful about the scope of service and check your Service Agreement/Contract for details on what the Timeshare Cancellation Company will actually provide.
👎 Lawyer/Attorney Based Timeshare Cancellation Companies
This method will result in the same process as hiring a Timeshare Cancellation Attorney with one major exception - you will pay a higher premium than finding your own Timeshare Cancellation Attorney. This is usually the most expensive option and the worse option to get rid of your timeshare. In this scenario, you are now paying an intermediary to find you an attorney. The middleman (the timeshare exit company) has the incentive to make as much money off the deal as possible. The Timeshare Cancellation company does not have a financial incentive to find the best attorney, but rather the cheapest Timeshare Cancellation Attorney.
💰💰💰💰 Estimated Cost: $10,000 - $15,000
- Most costly method
- You don't get to select your attorney
- Likely paying a premium for the cheapest lawyer
- Less likely to get refunded
- Most lengthy method
- Unlikely to file suit for original timeshare cancellation costs (timeshare companies have endless legal budgets that you cannot compete with)
- Can be a fee (billed by the hour) based
👍 First Person Dispute Timeshare Cancellation Companies
This process of timeshare cancellation embraces that the quickest and most effective route to cancel your timeshare is getting an agreement to do so from your timeshare company. These Timeshare Cancellation Companies (Cancel Timeshare falls into this category) operate 180° differently than the other two options mentioned above.
Although you could potentially file a lawsuit to cancel your timeshare, the cost to do so would likely negate the potential reward. Would you spend several hundred thousand dollars on legal fees to cancel a timeshare debt that is a fraction of that amount? Of course not. Timeshare companies know this too and are prepared to wage a protracted war of attrition in the courtroom. The only time a lawsuit is beneficial for a timeshare owner is when it is a class action suit (no out-of-pocket costs and no intention or goal of cancelling your timeshare).
With First Person Dispute based timeshare cancellation - the timeshare cancellation company will examine your situational factors (where you bought, when you bought, the sale rep you purchased from, the timeshare company, etc.) and will game plan a series of first-person dispute letters, actions (phone calls or supporting evidence to give credence to your dispute), and will game plan the timing or delivery of each dispute letter. Just like any other industry, each timeshare company operates differently, and each timeshare cancellation company operates this process in its own manner.
At Cancel Timeshare, we have found that the keywords, sequence, and supporting breadcrumbs (non-dispute actions by the client) are critical to getting successful results from your timeshare company. This is especially important since 2020 was the roughest year financially for most major timeshare developers. Now the timeshare companies have made it tougher on their customers and are more rigid in holding customers to their boilerplate contracts.
💰-💰💰💰💰 Estimated Cost: $3,000 - $12,000 (varies wildly between companies)
- The fastest way to cancel a timeshare
- Support network throughout the process
- Prevents you from making a mistake that would result in the timeshare company refusing to cancel the timeshare
- Most companies overcharge for this service
- Not all companies have the same level of due diligence for their clients
🎲 Attempting to cancel your own timeshare
One option to cancel your timeshare is attempting to dispute your timeshare yourself. This is your right and might be the best option for your situation. However, because of the complexity with timeshare developers, it is also extremely risky. You may miss all the major keywords or dispute factors that would influence the timeshare company to cancel your timeshare - or even worse: You could potentially ruin the ability for another entity (like an attorney or timeshare exit company) to come in later and escalate your dispute.
Unless you have supporting evidence of massive wrongdoing (something that could put the company in jeopardy of losing their license to sell real estate or worse) then we do not recommend going at it alone.
⚠️ Some timeshare companies have set up their own internal departments to discuss exiting timeshares directly with consumers. Although this seems like a great idea💡- they are unlikely to assist you in any meaningful way. Most of the time their websites for these 'certified' exit programs will have disclaimers that they are soliciting timeshare sales (example below from an unnamed major timeshare company that starts with a W):
💰 Estimated Cost: Free (but you may be stuck with your timeshare)
- No out of pocket expense
- Most likely will not get timeshare cancelled (especially if financed)
- May make a mistake that prevents future dispute escalation
Choosing the best option to cancel your timeshare
When you're out there examining the best way to cancel your timeshare follow these tips to find the best option for you and your family.
⏳ Take your time - there's no rush to find the right fit
🔎 Do your research - look at as many options as you can
🙅♂️ Avoid overpriced services
💰 Avoid hefty upfront fees
🧰 Keep reading our blog for more useful tips
Ready to cancel your timeshare?
Start with your free copy of The Cancel Timeshare Handbook.