If you have purchased or are thinking of purchasing a timeshare in South Carolina, or are facing a timeshare foreclosure, it’s important to learn the answers to the following questions:
- How do I cancel a timeshare purchase in South Carolina?
- What disclosures are required in a timeshare purchase?
- Are there any timeshare sale laws in South Carolina?
- If I stop making payments, what is the most common type of timeshare foreclosure procedure (judicial or nonjudicial)?
- Will I be liable for a deficiency judgment after a timeshare foreclosure?
Read on to find out some of the most important features of South Carolina timeshare law.
(Be sure to check out Nolo’s Buying or Selling a Timeshare and Timeshare Foreclosures topic areas where you can find information about selling or donating your timeshare, timeshare foreclosures, options to avoid a timeshare foreclosure, and consequences of a timeshare foreclosure.)
Right to Cancel a Timeshare in South Carolina
In South Carolina, if you buy a timeshare, you can cancel the contract within five days from:
- the date you sign the contract (not including Sunday if that is the fifth day), or
- the date you receive the disclosure agreement, whichever is later (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-40).
South Carolina law also provides the right to cancel a timeshare contract if at any time the timeshare is no longer available as described in the contract and the resort is unable to provide you with a comparable accommodations (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-40).
The right of cancellation may not be waived.
How to Cancel a South Carolina Timeshare Contract
If you want to cancel the purchase contract, you must notify the seller in writing by sending notice via certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice of cancellation is considered given on the date postmarked so long as the notice is actually received by the seller (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-40).
If you cancel and have not received benefits pursuant to the contract, the seller of the timeshare must refund your payment within 20 days after it receives your notice of cancellation. If you received benefits pursuant to the contract, the seller must refund your money (less the benefits received) within 30 days (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-60).
(Learn more about cancelling a timeshare purchase in Nolo’s article How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
Disclosure Agreement and Public Offering Statement
In South Carolina, every purchaser must be given a comprehensive disclosure document that includes the material terms and conditions of the vacation timesharing plan (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-405).
A timeshare seller must also provide to the prospective purchaser a written public offering statement regarding the purchaser's rights and obligations associated with the purchase of an interest in that vacation timesharing plan. The purchaser must receive the statement before signing a purchase contract and the statement must include (among other things):
- the name and address of the seller
- a brief description of the interest being offered in the vacation timesharing plan
- the name of a person with the right to alter, amend, or add charges which the purchaser must pay (and the terms and conditions under which those charges may be imposed)
- a description of provisions to protect the purchaser's interest from loss due to foreclosure on an underlying financial obligation of the vacation timesharing plan, and
- a statement similar to the following: "You should purchase a timesharing interest as a vacation experience and for your personal use and enjoyment. You should not purchase a timesharing interest as an investment or for profit upon its rental or resale."
South Carolina Timeshare Sale Laws
Timeshare salespeople are known for using hard-sell tactics and misrepresentations to get you to make a snap decision about buying a timeshare. South Carolina law makes it illegal for a timeshare seller to use fraud, misrepresentation, or to fail to disclose material facts in order to induce a timeshare sale (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-110).
South Carolina timeshare law also prohibits a developer or salesperson from using false or misleading advertisements in order to sell timeshares (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-190).
Timeshare Foreclosure Procedure
If you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a deeded timeshare and fail to make your timeshare mortgage payments or keep up with the assessments, you will likely face foreclosure. (In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” Find out more in Nolo’s article Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
In South Carolina, residential foreclosures are judicial, but state law provides for the nonjudicial foreclosure of mortgages and assessment liens when it comes to timeshare properties (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-325).
(To learn more about the difference between judicial and nonjudicial foreclosure, and the procedures for each, visit Nolo's Judicial v. Nonjudicial Foreclosure page.)
Timeshare Deficiency Judgments
When a lender forecloses on a mortgage, the total debt owed by the borrowers to the lender can exceed the foreclosure sale price. The difference between the sale price and the total debt is called a deficiency.
Example. Say the total debt owed for a timeshare is $15,000, but it only sells for $10,000 at the foreclosure sale. The deficiency is $5,000.
Whether or not you face a deficiency judgment after a timeshare foreclosure depends on state law. In South Carolina, the borrower is not subject to a deficiency judgment after a nonjudicial timeshare foreclosure even if the proceeds from the sale of the timeshare are insufficient to cover the debt (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-320).
(To learn more about deficiency judgments, see our Deficiency Judgments After Foreclosure area.)
South Carolina Timeshare Laws
To find the laws governing timeshares in South Carolina, go to www.scstatehouse.gov and click on “Code of Laws.” The statutes describing South Carolina timeshare law can be found in Title 27 (Property and Conveyances), Chapter 32 (Vacation and Time Sharing Plans).
(For general articles on foreclosure in South Carolina, visit our South Carolina Foreclosure Law Center.)