In Delaware, if you purchase a timeshare and then change your mind, you have the right to cancel the contract, but only for a few days. Also, the timeshare seller must disclose certain information to you before you sign the purchase contract. Read on to find out more about the most important features of Delaware’s timeshare laws.
Right to Cancel a Timeshare Contract in Delaware
In Delaware, the right to cancel a timeshare contract expires at midnight on the fifth business day following the date on which the contract was signed (Del. Code Ann. Tit. 6, § 2824(a)).
The right to cancel cannot be waived. Under Delaware law, it is illegal for a timeshare seller to attempt to obtain such a waiver from you (Del. Code Ann. Tit. 6, § 2824(b)).
How to Cancel the Contract
To cancel the purchase, you must mail notice of your intent to cancel by certified mail to the timeshare seller at the address shown in the timeshare contract (Del. Code Ann. Tit. 6, § 2824(c)). (Learn more about cancelling a timeshare purchase in Nolo’s article How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
If you cancel, the developer must refund your money within 15 days (Del. Code Ann. Tit. 6, § 2824(d)).
In Delaware, a timeshare seller must provide you with a written statement that gives certain disclosures about the project before you sign the contract and no later than the date shown on the contract (Del. Code Ann. Tit. 6, § 2823).
The statement must include the following information (among other things):
- the name and principal business address of the seller
- the location of each of the timeshare accommodations that are available
- a brief description of the facilities at each timeshare accommodation that are currently available
- any initial or special fee due from the purchaser (along with a description of the purpose and method of calculating the fee)
- any fees or charges that purchasers are or may be required to pay for the use of the timeshare unit or any facilities
- any services that the seller currently provides or expenses the seller pays which are expected to become the responsibility of the purchasers (including the projected liability)
- a brief description of the ownership in or other right to use the timeshare unit which is to be transferred to each purchaser, and
- information about the right to cancel (Del. Code Ann. Tit. 6, § 2823).
Consumer Protections Regarding Prizes
Timeshare sellers are notorious for getting people to attend sales presentations by offering free gifts or prizes. Under Delaware law, if the seller offers any item of value as an inducement to get you to attend a timeshare presentation, the seller must disclose in writing the following information:
- a general statement that the advertising program is being conducted by a timeshare seller
- a statement about the odds of receiving each item offered
- the approximate retail value of each item offered
- the restrictions, qualifications, and other conditions that must be satisfied before the recipient is entitled to receive the item
- a statement that the seller reserves the right to provide a rain check or a substitute a similar item (if these rights are reserved), and
- all other material rules, terms, and conditions of the offer or program (Del. Code Ann. Tit. 6, § 2827).
If you take out a loan to purchase a deeded timeshare and subsequently default on your payments or fail to keep up with the assessments, you will likely face foreclosure. (In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” Find out more in Nolo’s article Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
Delaware Timeshare Laws
To find the Delaware statutes that pertain to timeshares, go to http://delcode.delaware.gov. The relevant statutes can be found in Title 6, Chapter 28.