While it is true that a timeshare contract is a binding legal document, it is often mistakenly thought that such a contract cannot only be cancelled. In fact, most timeshare companies maintain that their contracts are non – cancellable. This misconception is perpetuated by timeshare companies and user groups that are funded, maintained and controlled by the timeshare industry.

Under general contract law, the truth of the matter is contracts are cancellable for a variety of reasons. Common grounds for cancellation include mistake and fraud. But there are others. Burdened by the obligations of a contract, a person moreover, may “terminate” it for reasons other than breach and as a result may no longer be bound by the contract.

“Cancellation” occurs when either party puts an end to the contract for breach by the other and its effect is the same as that of ‘termination’ except that the canceling party also retains any remedy for breach of the whole contract or any unperformed balance.” Uniform Commercial Code 2106(4); see 13 Corbin (Rev. ed.), 73.2; 13 Am.Jur.2d (2000 ed.)

“Termination” occurs if either party, pursuant to a power set forth in the contract or by law, puts an end to the contract otherwise than for its breach. Uniform Commercial Code sec. 2106 (3)

A breach of contract by a party to the contract may lead to the non – breaching party being released from their contractual obligations. As such, being bound forever by a timeshare contract is a notion that is erroneous as a matter of law.

The purpose of this article is to provide a ray of hope to those timeshare owners who are no longer interested in being tied to their timeshare and its lifetime of financial obligations.

When first sold a timeshare, a “right of rescission” exists. This provides is a “cooling off” period in most states that have enacted timeshare legislation. During this period timeshare buyers may cancel their contracts along with having their deposit returned.

Once the ” cooling off” period has expired, most timeshare companies will have you believe that upon this periods expiration, their contract is non – cancellable and you are bound in perpetuity to pay the maintenance fees that go along with timeshare ownership.

Proponents of timeshare ownership would have you believe that once the “right of rescission” expires the only way to rid oneself of the timeshare contract involves a transfer of ownership to a third party willing to take over the maintenance obligations.

In fact, most timeshare user groups and virtually all timeshare companies want you to believe that under no circumstances will a timeshare company voluntarily take back their timeshare. This again, is not true.

What is true is that most timeshare companies will not willingly take back their timeshare. As will be seen below, when faced with litigation or the potential of litigation, many timeshare companies will in fact either take back their timeshare or simply agree to release the timeshare owner from any future liability in connection with the timeshare contract.

There are some new developments that a timeshare owner can use to terminate and cancel their timeshare. Before I discuss the latest techniques in cancelling a timeshare, I’d like to devote a little time to the more traditional means of getting rid of an unwanted timeshare.

As mentioned above, the traditional means of ridding oneself of an unwanted timeshare is through a sale, donation or transfer.

Unwary timeshare owners, seeking to rid themselves of their timeshare, may fall prey to listing companies that propose to list their timeshare for sale. Such companies have been under investigation by state Attorney General’s for fraudulent and deceptive practices and a proposed timeshare seller wishing to sell his or her timeshare obligation should first consider selling their timeshare by listing it on sites like eBay or Craigslist.

Listing it through the developer is another option, should the developer handles re-sales, or through a timeshare resale broker. Paying an advance fee for the sale of a timeshare is the one thing the proposed timeshare seller should not do. Advance fee practices have fallen under the scrutiny of state Attorney Generals.

Another frequently discussed solution to the problem of how to be released from your timeshare’s financial burdens, is to donate the timeshare. Where there once were a number of organizations that accept deeded-timeshare donations, with the ever increasing burden of maintenance fees which seem to go up every year, such organizations are a vanishing breed.

Simply transferring ownership to a third party who will merely take over the yearly maintenance obligations is another “exit strategy.” Such persons won’t pay you for the timeshare and in many cases the timeshare company itself will simply refuse to recognize the transfer. In addition, with the transfer to a third party the timeshare resort, more often than not, will charge or impose their own fee, known as a “resort transfer fee.” These fees, themselves, may make a transfer to a third party prohibitive for those faced with financial difficulties.

In recent years, however, new techniques pioneered by real estate attorney’s who specialize in timeshare litigation have emerged. These techniques reached their ultimate fruition in a series of lawsuits filed in California on behalf of a group of timeshare owners who wanted nothing more than the complete release, termination and cancellation of their timeshare interests.

Other similar actions have followed, all seeking damages for the type of fraudulent and deceptive conduct that is frequently utilized by timeshare sales people to induce unwitting potential owners to sign on the dotted line.

Such conduct includes representations typically made at the initial timeshare presentation:

a. That the timeshare interest purchased would appreciate and increase resale price and value over time.

b. That the timeshare interest purchased could be freely

exchanged, transferred and sold.

c. That the timeshare interest purchased was a financial


d. That the timeshare interest purchased would result in the

purchaser receiving booking priority over non – purchasing

vacationers wishing to stay at one or more of the

properties owned and/or maintained by the defendant.

As a result of the filing of the aforementioned legal actions, timeshare companies have become more willing to release timeshare owners from their timeshare obligations, even without resort to litigation.

If you are interested in getting out of your timeshare, you should retain an attorney who is familiar with timeshare laws and the various methods of terminating a timeshare contract.

In conclusion, do not believe the unscrupulous companies who tell you that it is impossible to get out of a timeshare contract. Should you be victim of timeshare fraud, you too may be able to terminate your timeshare contract.

Want to find out more about how to be freed of yourtimeshare obligations, then visit attorney Mitchell Sussman’s website and learn more about the many ways of getting rid of yourtimeshare, even if you have a mortgage.