If you are buying a timeshare in Louisiana, it's important to learn about the laws that protect you, including a requirement that the timeshare developer provide you with a public offering statement and the right to cancel a timeshare contract. But you still need to be careful when purchasing a timeshare, and you should understand that if you don't make your timeshare mortgage or assessments payments, you may lose your timeshare through foreclosure.
Read on to learn about a few of the important features of Louisiana’s timeshare law.
Public Offering Statement
A public offering statement contains very detailed information about the timeshare project and important matters you should consider when buying a timeshare interest. In Louisiana, the public offering statement must include, among other things, contact information for the developer, a description of the timeshare project and plan and the timeshare interest you are considering, and information about expenses, special fees, financing (if offered), and how to cancel the contract. (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.9.2).
Cancelling a Louisiana Timeshare Purchase
In Louisiana, you can cancel a timeshare contract without any penalty:
- within seven days from the date you sign the contract, or
- until seven days after you receive the public offering statement, whichever is later (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.10.1).
How to Cancel a Louisiana Timeshare Contract
You can cancel a Louisiana timeshare contract by notifying the developer in writing of your intent to cancel (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.10.1). The developer must provide the name and address to which you should mail any notice of cancellation (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.9.2).
The notice is considered effective as of the date that it is sent (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.10.1). (See Nolo’s article on how to cancel a timeshare contract for more information on how to rescind a timeshare purchase.)
Timeshare Contract Refunds
The timeshare developer must refund all payments you made within:
- 30 days after receipt of your notice of cancellation, or
- five days after receipt of funds from your cleared check, whichever is later (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.10.1).
Louisiana law prohibits timeshare salespersons from making misleading or false statements, advertisements, radio broadcasts, or telecasts when selling timeshares. Among other things, any statements or claims predicting specific or immediate increases in the value of a timeshare are prohibited (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.12).
Prizes and Promotions
Timeshare sellers are notorious for getting people to attend sales presentations by offering free gifts or prizes such as free lodging or a vacation certificate. Sometimes, timeshare sellers then fail to provide the gifts or prizes to potential buyers after the presentation. Louisiana law bans this practice (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.12(G)(3)).
In addition, a developer or timeshare salesperson that uses a prize and gift promotional offer in connection with selling timeshares must clearly disclose all of the following:
- that the purpose of the promotion is to sell timeshare interests
- the name of each developer or other person trying to sell a timeshare interest through the promotion (and the name of each person paying for the promotion)
- the complete rules of the promotion
- the method of awarding prizes, gifts, vacations, discount vacations, or other benefits under the promotion
- a complete and fully detailed description of prizes (including approximate retail value of all prizes, gifts, or benefits under the promotion)
- the quantity of each prize, gift, or benefit to be awarded
- the date by which each prize, gift, or benefit will be awarded, and
- if a game of chance, the odds of winning (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.12(G)(2)).
Timeshare Developers Are Liable for Violations
In Louisiana, the developer must manage all aspects of the timeshare plan. This includes promotions, advertising, contracts, and closings. If any violations of the law occur during any of these activities, the developer is legally responsible along with the timeshare salesperson or whoever actually committed the violation (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.9.1).
Louisiana Timeshare Foreclosures
If you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a deeded timeshare in Louisiana and fail to make your timeshare mortgage payments or keep up with the assessments, you will likely face foreclosure (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:1131.22). (In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” For more information on timeshare assessment foreclosures, see Nolo’s article Can Timeshares Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees and Assessments?)
Finding Louisiana’s Timeshare Laws
To find the Louisiana statutes, go to the State Legislature’s webpage at http://legis.la.gov. Click on “Laws,” then select “Table of Contents” (on the left side of the screen), and click on “Revised Statutes.” The relevant statutes are in Title 9.