If you are thinking about purchasing a timeshare in Vermont (or have already done so), you should take the time to learn the answers to the following questions:
Read on to find out some of the most noteworthy features of Vermont law that pertain to timeshares.
(Learn more in 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.)
Vermont law does not specify a cancellation (rescission) period for timeshare purchases, however the purchase contract may provide a right to cancel.
If the timeshare sales transaction takes place as the result of a telephone solicitation or at a transient location (like a hotel or any other place utilized as a temporary business location), the purchase falls under Vermont’s "home solicitation sales" statute. A purchaser in this type of transaction has the right to cancel the contract up until midnight of the third business day after the day on which the contract is signed (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9 § § 2451a(d) and 2454).
The seller must disclose the right to cancel. The right to cancel must be disclosed both verbally and in written disclosures on and attached to the consumer’s contract or receipt (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9 § 2454).
Cancelling the timeshare contract. The notice of cancellation does not need to be in any particular form. The notice simply must indicate the intention of the buyer to cancel the home solicitation sale. If given by mail, the notice of cancellation is deemed given when deposited in a mailbox properly addressed and postage prepaid (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9 § 2454).
If you cancel, the seller must return your money within ten business days after receiving the cancellation notice (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9 § 2454).
(Learn more about cancelling a timeshare purchase in Nolo’s article How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
It is not unheard of for timeshare salespeople to use high-pressure sales tactics and half-truths to get you to make a spontaneous decision about purchasing a timeshare. Vermont law makes it illegal for a person to engage in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the course of business (such as timeshare sales) (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9 § 2453(a)).
Timeshare owners can often have trouble selling their timeshares since there is virtually no after-market for them. Consequently, scam artists have popped up who will falsely tell a timeshare owner that there is a ready and willing buyer waiting in the wings to purchase the timeshare -- but the timeshare owner must pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in upfront fees to process the transaction. After the timeshare owner pays the fees, the scammer often disappears or the buyer never materializes. To prevent this type of scam, Vermont law only permits licensed real estate brokers to complete timeshare resale deals.
If you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a deeded timeshare and fail to make your timeshare mortgage payments, you will likely face foreclosure.
In Vermont, the foreclosure can be judicial (via a judicial sale or strict foreclosure) or nonjudicial (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12 § § 4941, 4945, and 4961). (To learn more about the difference between judicial and nonjudicial foreclosure, and the procedures for each, visit Nolo's Judicial v. Nonjudicial Foreclosure page.)
(Learn more about the Vermont foreclosure process.)
To find the relevant Vermont statutes, go to www.leg.state.vt.us and click on “Vermont Statutes.” Go to Title 9 (Commerce and Trace), Chapter 63 (Consumer Protection) and Title 12 (Court Procedures), Chapter 172 (Foreclosures of Mortgages).
(For general articles on foreclosure in Vermont, visit our Vermont Foreclosure Law Center.)