Washington’s timeshare laws are designed to ensure that sellers disclose pertinent information and potential risks to prospective purchasers. If you have purchased or are thinking of purchasing a timeshare in Washington, or are facing a timeshare foreclosure, it’s important to learn the answers to the following questions:
- What disclosures are required in a timeshare purchase?
- How do I cancel a timeshare contract in Washington?
- What are Washington’s timeshare sales laws?
- Are there any laws to protect consumers in timeshare transactions?
- If I stop making payments, what is the foreclosure procedure in Washington?
Keep reading to find out some of the most significant features of Washington 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.)
Timeshare Disclosure Document
Any person who offers or sells a timeshare must provide the prospective purchaser with a written disclosure document before the prospective purchaser signs an agreement for the purchase of a timeshare. The disclosure document must include (among other things):
- the location of the timeshare property
- a general description of the timeshare property and the timeshare units
- the types, prices, and number of units
- the types and durations of the timeshares
- the maximum number of units that may become part of the timeshare property
- a description of any financing offered
- a statement of ownership of all properties included in the timeshare offering including any liens or encumbrances affecting the property
- copies of any agreements or leases to be signed by timeshare purchasers at closing and a copy of the timeshare instrument
- a description of the nature and purpose of all charges, dues, maintenance fees, and other expenses that may be assessed
- the current amounts assessed, the method and formula for changes, as well as the formula for payment of charges if all timeshares are not sold (and a statement of who pays additional costs)
- information about cancelling the purchase, and
- any additional information necessary to fully inform prospective timeshare purchasers (Wash. Rev. Code § 64.36.140).
Cancelling a Timeshare Purchase in Washington
Washington provides a timeshare purchaser seven days to cancel the deal after:
- signing the timeshare agreement, or
- receiving the disclosure document, whichever is later (Wash. Rev. Code § 64.36.150).
To cancel, you must provide written notice of the cancellation either by mail or hand delivery (Wash. Rev. Code § 64.36.150).
(Learn more about cancelling a timeshare purchase in Nolo’s article How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
Timeshare Sales Law
In Washington, any individual offering timeshares must be registered with the state as a timeshare salesperson (unless the timeshare offering is exempt from registration or the timeshare salesperson is licensed as a real estate broker or salesperson) (Wash. Rev. Code § 64.36.070).
Washington law allows for disciplinary action against a timeshare salesperson if he or she has engaged in dishonest or unethical practices in the timeshare business (Wash. Rev. Code § 64.36.090).
Washington law makes it unlawful (a class C felony) for any person in connection with the offer, sale, or lease of any timeshare in the state:
- to make any untrue or misleading statement of a material fact
- to omit a material fact
- to employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud, and
- to engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person (Wash. Rev. Code § 64.36.210).
Jurisdiction: Timeshare Sellers Cannot Avoid Washington Protections
Washington timeshare sellers might be tempted to evade the Washington timeshare protections by stating in the contract that another state's law will control. But Washington law puts a stop to this -- saying that any such provision in a contract cannot be enforced. This essentially means that Washington timeshare sellers are bound by Washington law. (Wash. Rev. Code § 64.36.120).
Timeshare Sellers Must Provide Promised Gifts, Awards, and Prizes
Timeshare sellers are notorious for getting people to attend sales presentations by offering free gifts or awards. Sometimes, timeshare sellers then fail to provide the gifts or prizes to potential buyers after the presentation. Washington law bans this practice.
In Washington, timeshare sellers must provide a bond, letter of credit, cash depository, or other security arrangement that will assure delivery of a promised gift before advertising or promising a free gift, an award, a prize, or other item of value as a condition for attending a sales presentation or touring a facility. People who are promised a gift, but do not receive it, and then prevail in a lawsuit, are entitled to treble the stated value of the gift, prize, or award, plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees (Wash. Rev. Code § 64.36.320).
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 Washington, the foreclosure can be nonjudicial or judicial. (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 Washington foreclosure process.)
How to Find Washington’s Timeshare Laws
You can access the Revised Code of Washington by going to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw. The statutes that govern timeshare transactions in the state are located in Title 64 (Real Property and Conveyances), Chapter 64.36 (Timeshare Regulation).
(For general articles on foreclosure in Washington, visit our Washington Foreclosure Law Center.)