In Iowa, timeshare sellers must provide you with various disclosures when you purchase a timeshare and you get the right to cancel the contract (so long as you act promptly). If the time allotted to cancel the purchase has expired and you don't make your timeshare mortgage or assessments payments, you may lose your timeshare through foreclosure. Read on to learn more about the most important features of Iowa’s timeshare law.
If you purchase a timeshare in Iowa, the developer (or an agent of the developer) must provide you with a current property report no later than ten days after you sign the purchase agreement (Iowa Code § 577A.11).
The property report must contain the following information and disclosures (among others):
One of the common features of timesharing is the ability to exchange your timeshare week (or other designated period of time) for someone else’s.
In Iowa, if a timeshare owner is permitted or required to become a member of or participate in any exchange program, the developer (or an agent of a developer) must give the following disclosures:
In Iowa, you have the right to cancel a timeshare contract within five business days after your receive the above disclosures (Iowa Code § 577A.14(1)).
The right to cancel is not waivable ((Iowa Code § 577A.14(6)).
To cancel the contract, you may provide notice by:
If you cancel, the seller of the timeshare must refund your payment within 30 days after he or she receives your notice of cancellation (Iowa Code § 577A.14(1)).
Under Iowa law, a developer who makes a false or misleading statement of fact in the disclosures (or omits a fact) that reasonably could influence your decision to purchase the timeshare can be held liable for damages and you may choose to void the contract (Iowa Code § 577A.14(5)).
Often, timeshare purchasers take out a loan to finance the purchase of a timeshare. If you don't make your timeshare mortgage payments, you could lose your timeshare through 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?)
To find the statutes that govern timeshares in Iowa, go to the Iowa Legislature’s webpage at www.legis.iowa.gov and click on “Iowa Code” in the middle of the page. Then, go to the left-hand side of the page and click on the “+” next to “Iowa Code” and again next to “2013 Iowa Code” to view the statutes. Look in Title XIV (Property), Subtitle 2 (Real Property-Gifts), Chapter 557A (Time-Shares).