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Timeshare Buyer Laws
The following are general guidelines and should not be relied upon without consulting a timeshare attorney about your unique situation. Please see disclaimer.
When you purchase a timeshare, it is imperative to recognize the timeshare laws that protect your rights as a consumer. Working with a timeshare lawyer is always the best course of action to ensure that you sign an accurate and fair contract. Timeshare attorneys will work with you to protect your rights as a timeshare buyer.
Right to Cancel a Timeshare Contract
Nearly every timeshare buyer has the right to timeshare cancellation within a certain time period. Typically this is referred to as the “cooling off” or rescission period. These timeshare buyer laws allow some leeway for those feeling buyer’s remorse or if they find an error within the contract. The time period will vary by state but is typically anywhere from 3-10 days. (These days can either be business or calendar days). Some states will even extend the right to cancel a timeshare contract, if the last day falls on a Sunday. Alabama for example follows this policy. If you’ve recently signed a timeshare contract you should contact a timeshare attorney quickly to protect your rights.
Timeshare Cancellation Due to Invalidity
In some cases, you may be able to cancel a timeshare contract after the right of recession. For example, under Arkansas timeshare law you have the right to timeshare cancellation for up to four years after the contract is executed if the contract is found to be inaccurate or invalid under timeshare contract law. An owner may be able to take legal action against the resort to complete the timeshare cancellation or modification. This is not a common timeshare buyer law, but may be an option for some.
Timeshare Special Assessment Dispute
The buyer-related timeshare laws in some states now give consumers the right to dispute a financial charge or assessment that was not included within their timeshare contracts. Although the maintenance fees are outlined in the contract, there may be other fee or fines that are charged over time. Usually under timeshare law the contract does give the managing entity the right to charge “special” assessments to update the resort. However, sometimes these fines can be outrageous and unreasonable. Some legislation provides timeshare buyers with the right to dispute a charge before they have to pay or face penalties. If you have been charged an outrageous special assessment, a timeshare attorney can review the situation for you to determine your options. If you have a timeshare dispute to file, we can evaluate that as well.
Foreign Timeshare Buyer Law
Be cautious when purchasing a timeshare in a foreign country. Maintaining a complaint or enforcing the contract may be more difficult or prohibitively expensive with very few remedies available to you. In fact, many state governments will not protect or assist you in helping with a foreign timeshare dispute.
If you purchase a timeshare in Mexico, for example, the Mexican Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO) may help you, but the requirements and documentation are extensive. Although they do maintain a five day right of rescission and general business laws, they vary from the laws in the U.S. in how effective they are in protecting owners/buyers from scams.. If a timeshare salesperson makes you false promises during the presentation at a foreign resort, there may be little that the buyer can do outside their right of rescission. However, there may be other options to permit U.S. jurisdiction. If you purchased a timeshare in Mexico or another foreign country and feel that you were the victim of a timeshare scam, speak with one of our attorneys right away to see what options you still have.
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