Oregon law protects timeshare purchasers by providing a right to cancel a timeshare contract and prohibiting any timeshare developer or salesperson from using advertisements that include false or misleading statements, among other things. Oregon law also provides that, if you don’t make your timeshare mortgage or assessments payments, the timeshare is subject to foreclosure. Read on to learn about a few of the important features of Oregon’s timeshare law.
Right to Cancel a Timeshare Purchase in Oregon
In Oregon, a timeshare purchaser can cancel the contract within five calendar days from the date the purchaser signs the first written offer or contract to purchase (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.836(1)). However, if the developer does not provide an address to the purchaser for cancellation purposes, the cancellation period does not begin until the developer provides the purchaser with developer’s address (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.836(2)).
How to Cancel an Oregon Timeshare Contract
To cancel, the purchaser must give written notice to the developer at the developer’s address (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.836(2)). The notice of cancellation does not need to be in a particular format. The notice is sufficient if it indicates the intention of the buyer to cancel the contract (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.836(3)). See Nolo’s article on how to cancel a timeshare contract for more information on how to rescind a timeshare purchase.
Upon receipt of a timely notice of cancellation, the timeshare developer must immediately return your payment (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.836(5)).
Disposing of a Timeshare After the Cancellation Period Has Expired
If the cancellation period has already expired and you’re having difficulty making your timeshare payments (or just want to be relieved of your timeshare obligation), see Nolo’s article Options to Avoid a Timeshare Foreclosure to learn about different ways to dispose of a timeshare.
Escrow Account Required in Timeshare Purchases
The timeshare developer must put any money you pay in connection with a timeshare purchase into an escrow account with an escrow agent (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.873(1)).
It must release the funds:
- if you cancel the agreement
- if you or the developer defaults in performing an obligation under the sales agreement, or
- after escrow closes for the sale of the timeshare (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.873(3)).
(The purpose of the escrow account is to protect your right to a refund.)
False Practices Prohibited in Timeshare Transactions
Oregon law makes it unlawful for a timeshare developer or salesperson to:
- employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud
- make any untrue statement of a material fact
- fail to state a material fact necessary to make a statement clear
- publish false or misleading statements in any prospectus, circular, advertisement, document, pamphlet, leaflet or other literature, or to leave out a statement that then makes the document misleading
- issue an advertisement or written document without naming the person responsible for publishing it, or
- make any statement or publish any advertisement that the timeshare plan has been approved or endorsed by the Oregon Real Estate Commissioner (unless the statement is made together with a public report issued by the commissioner) (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.940).
In Oregon, the Real Estate Commissioner may examine a timeshare plan to be offered for sale and make a public report of the findings. The timeshare developer must give a copy of the public report to the prospective purchaser before signing the contract (Or. Rev. Stat. §94.829).
If you are buying a timeshare, be sure to carefully examine the public report before the five-day cancellation period ends.
Oregon law prohibits a timeshare developer (or its agent or employee) from putting false or misleading statements, pictures, or sketches in advertisements, radio broadcasts, or telecasts. (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.945).
Oregon Timeshare Foreclosures
In Oregon, if you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a deeded timeshare and fail to make your mortgage payments, you will likely face foreclosure. Find out more about Oregon 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.” In Oregon, you will also likely face foreclosure if you fall behind in the timeshare assessments (Or. Rev. Stat. § 94.856). For more information on timeshare assessment foreclosures, see Nolo’s article Can Timeshares Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees and Assessments?
How to Find Oregon’s Timeshare Laws
To find the statutes that govern timeshare transactions in Oregon, go to the Oregon State Legislature’s webpage at www.oregonlegislature.gov. Hover over “Bills and Laws” and then click on “2011 Oregon Revised Statutes.” The relevant statutes are in Chapter 94. You can find Chapter 94 by clicking on the “+” next to “Volume 03.”