New Jersey timeshare law provides timeshare purchasers with a number of protections, such as the right to cancel the contract if you make a purchase and subsequently get cold feet. Also, the timeshare developer must provide several disclosures to you, including a public offering statement. However, while New Jersey law provides quite a few protections for timeshare purchasers, you still need to be careful if you’re thinking about purchasing a timeshare. In addition, 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 more about the most significant aspects of New Jersey’s timeshare law.
Public Offering Statement
A public offering statement contains general information about the timeshare development and important matters that you should consider when acquiring a timeshare. In New Jersey, the timeshare developer must provide you with the public offering statement at the time of purchase (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.59).
In New Jersey, the public offering statement must disclose certain information about the timeshare to you, such as the name and address of the developer, a description of the timeshare plan, a description of the method by which a purchaser’s use of the accommodations is scheduled, and information about how to cancel the contract (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.59).
Along with the public offering statement, the developer must provide the purchaser with copies of the timeshare document, association articles of incorporation, association bylaws, association rules, and any lease or contract (excluding the purchase contract) that you must sign. (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.59).
Cancelling a Timeshare Contract in New Jersey
New Jersey law permits timeshare purchasers to cancel the contract, without penalty, within seven days after:
- receiving the public offering statement, or
- signing the purchase contract, whichever is later (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.67).
The developer can also give you a longer period of time to cancel the contract if it so chooses (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.59).
How to Cancel a Timeshare Contract in New Jersey
To cancel the contract, you must notify the seller in writing of your intent to cancel either by:
- hand delivering the notice of cancellation to the developer, or
- mailing the notice of cancellation to the developer by certified mail, return receipt requested (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.67).
The developer must include the name and street address to which you should send any notice of cancellation in the public offering statement (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.59).
The notice of cancellation is effective as of the date sent and is considered timely so long as it is mailed no later than midnight on the seventh day (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.67). (Learn more about cancelling a timeshare purchase in Nolo’s article How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
If you cancel, the timeshare developer must refund all of the money you paid within 30 days after:
- receiving your notice of cancellation, or
- receiving funds from your cleared check, whichever occurs later (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.67).
Escrow Account Required in New Jersey Timeshare Transactions
The timeshare developer must put any money you pay in connection with a timeshare purchase in New Jersey into an escrow account (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.59).
Consumer Protections Regarding Timeshare Sales
Timeshare salespersons are notorious for using hard-sell tactics and misrepresentations to get potential purchasers to buy a timeshare. New Jersey law provides protections to shield timeshare purchasers from deceptive sales practices. For example, timeshare developers and others who offer timeshares for sale may not:
- misrepresent information to get you to buy a timeshare interest
- predict any increase in the value of a timeshare
- misrepresent the qualities or characteristics of the timeshare unit, or
- misrepresent how you may use or exchange the timeshare (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.70).
Prizes and Promotions
Timeshare sellers often use prizes and promotions to get people to attend sales presentations. In New Jersey, a developer or other person using a promotion to sell timeshares must clearly disclose that the purpose of the promotion is to sell timeshares, as well as disclose the complete details of the promotion and the method by which any prizes or other benefits will be awarded under the promotion (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:15-16.70).
New Jersey Timeshare Foreclosures
Often, timeshare purchasers take out a loan to finance the transaction. If the deadline to cancel the purchase has expired and you don't make your timeshare mortgage payments, you could lose your New Jersey timeshare through a New Jersey foreclosure. (Learn more in Nolo’s article Timeshare Foreclosures.)
In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are generally responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” You will also likely face foreclosure if you fall behind in the timeshare assessments. (For more information on timeshare assessment foreclosures, see Nolo’s article Can Timeshares Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees and Assessments?)
Finding New Jersey’s Timeshare Laws
The New Jersey Real Estate Timeshare Act governs timeshares located in New Jersey and out of state timeshares (if the timeshare is sold within the state, regardless of whether the offer originates within or outside of New Jersey).
To find New Jersey’s timeshare statutes, go to the State Legislature’s webpage at www.njleg.state.nj.us. Under the heading “Laws and Constitution,” which can be found on the left of your screen, click “Statutes.” You will then see a list of titles. You will need to look in Title 45 so click on the “+” sign next to “Title 45 Professions and Occupations” to bring up some of the sections in Title 45. To get to subsequent sections, click the arrow at the bottom right of your screen.
Alternatively, you can use the search box at the bottom of screen to find the statute you want to review. For example, if you want to read § 45:15-16.50, enter “45:15-16.50” (use the quotes) in the search box, and then click “search.”