If you are considering purchasing a timeshare in Georgia (or have already done so), you should take the time to learn the answers to the following questions:
- What disclosures are required in a timeshare purchase in Georgia?
- How do I cancel a timeshare purchase in Georgia?
- Are there any laws to protect me from timeshare advertising scams?
- If I stop paying the mortgage or assessments, can my timeshare be foreclosed?
Keep reading to find out some of the most noteworthy features of Georgia law that pertain to timeshares.
Public Offering Statement
A public offering statement is a document that contains very detailed information about the timeshare project and important matters you should consider when buying a timeshare interest. In Georgia, a copy of the public offering statement must be provided to each prospective timeshare purchaser before the transfer of the timeshare and no later than the date of any sales agreement (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-3-172(a), § 44-3-174(a)).
The statement must include the following information (among other things):
- the name and address of the developer
- the address of the timeshare intervals offered
- the nature of the interest in the timeshare interval being offered (such as real property ownership, leasehold interest, right to use or occupy the facility, or some other interest)
- a general description of the timeshare units
- the projected common expense liability (if any)
- any initial or special fee for the use of the unit or amenities due from the purchaser at closing (together with a description of the purpose and method of calculating the fee)
- any current or expected fees or charges for the use of any facilities related to the property
- the extent to which a timeshare unit may become subject to a tax or other lien arising out of claims against other owners of the same unit, and
- information about how to cancel the contract (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-3-172).
Right to Cancel a Timeshare Contract in Georgia
In Georgia, you can cancel a timeshare purchase within seven days (not including Sundays and holidays) after:
- signing the sales agreement, or
- receiving a copy of the public offering statement, whichever is later (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-3-172(a)(1)(P), § 44-3-174(a)).
You cannot waive your right to cancel (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-3-174(d)).
How to Cancel the Contract in Georgia
To cancel the contract, you must send notice to the seller in writing by certified mail or overnight delivery, return receipt requested. Your notice is effective as of the day you mail it (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-3-172(a)(1)(P)).
You can cancel the contract without penalty or obligation, and all payments must be refunded to you within 30 days after the developer receives the notice of cancellation (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-3-174(a)).
False and Misleading Statements in Timeshare Sales Are Illegal
Georgia law prohibits false or misleading statements and advertisements when it comes to timeshare sales (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-3-185). For example, an advertisement may not:
- contain any asterisk or other reference symbol as a way of contradicting or changing the ordinary meaning of any previously made statement
- misrepresent the size, nature, extent, qualities, or characteristics of the accommodations or facilities of the timeshare project
- contain an offer to induce you to purchase a timeshare that claims to be limited in quantity or restricted as to time unless the quantity or time applicable to the offer is clearly and conspicuously disclosed
- misrepresent the conditions under which you may participate in a timeshare exchange program
- represent that any federal, state, county, or municipal agency, board, or commission has recommended the timeshare project or any of its documents, or
- contain any statement guaranteeing or offering to guarantee the sale or resale of any timeshare (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-3-186).
Georgia Timeshare Foreclosures
If you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a deeded timeshare and subsequently fall behind in payments, you will likely face foreclosure. (Learn more in Nolo’s article Timeshare Foreclosures.)
In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” If you fail to keep up with the assessments, you will also likely face foreclosure. (Find out more in Nolo’s article Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
How to Locate Georgia’s Timeshare Law
You can find the statutes governing Georgia timeshare transactions by going to the Georgia General Assembly’s webpage at www.legis.ga.gov. Click on “Georgia Code” and go to Title 44, Chapter 3, Article 5.