If you purchase a timeshare in West Virginia, the timeshare developer must provide you with certain information and allow you to cancel the contract if you change your mind (as long as you act quickly). If the time provided to cancel the purchase has expired and 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 important features of West Virginia’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 West Virginia, the timeshare developer must provide you with a copy of the public offering statement (W. Va. Code § 36-9-6).
The public offering statement must disclose certain information about the timeshare to you, such as the name of the timesharing plan, an explanation of the timeshare form of ownership that is being offered (such as deeded or right-to-use), any restrictions on the transfer of any timeshare period, and an explanation of your right to cancel the contract (W. Va. Code § 36-9-6).
Cancelling a Timeshare Contract in West Virginia
In West Virginia, you can cancel a timeshare contract without any penalty within ten days from:
- the date you sign the contract, or
- the date you receive the public offering statement (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-5(f)).
You can also cancel the contract at any time if for some reason the timeshare offered in the contract is no longer available (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-5(f)).
How to Cancel a Timeshare Contract in West Virginia
To cancel the contract, you must notify the seller in writing of your intent to cancel. The notice of cancellation is effective as of the date sent (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-5(f)). (Learn more about cancelling a timeshare purchase in Nolo’s article How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
If you cancel, the developer must refund all of the money you paid (less any benefits received) within 20 days after receiving your notice of cancellation (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-9).
Advertising Regulations in West Virginia Timeshare Sales
In West Virginia, timeshare advertisements may not:
- misrepresent a fact or create a false or misleading impression regarding the timesharing plan
- make a prediction that the price or value of the timeshare will increase, or
- contain any asterisk or other reference symbol as a way to contradict or substantially change any previously made statement (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-10).
Required Disclosures Regarding Promotions, Gifts, and Prizes
Timeshare sellers sometimes use promotional devices and offer gifts or prizes to potential buyers to get them to attend a sales presentation.
In West Virginia, if a timeshare developer uses a promotional device, including any sweepstakes, lodging certificate, gift award, discount, drawing, or display booth, the developer must disclose that the promotional device is being used to sell timeshares (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-10(c)).
Also, if the timeshare developer uses free offers, gifts, drawings, sweepstakes, or discounts as part of a promotional program, the rules of the program must be disclosed to the public and must state the day and year by which all prizes listed will be awarded, as well as the method by which the prizes will be awarded (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-10(d)).
Timeshare Transactions Must Be Escrowed
West Virginia law requires that all funds you pay to the developer must be placed in an escrow account during the cancellation period to ensure that your right to a refund is protected (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-7).
West Virginia Timeshare Foreclosures
If you take out a loan to finance the purchase of a timeshare and don't make your timeshare mortgage payments, you could lose your timeshare through a timeshare 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.” If you don't pay the assessments, the timeshare management entity can place a lien on the timeshare. In West Virginia, an assessments lien may be foreclosed in the same manner that a mortgage of real property is foreclosed (W. Va. Code Ann. § 36-9-15(b)). (Find out more information about timeshare assessments foreclosures in Nolo’s article Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
Timeshare Laws in West Virginia
The West Virginia Real Estate Time-Sharing Act governs timeshare transactions in Virginia. To find this Act, go to the West Virginia Legislature’s website at www.legis.state.wv.us and click on “WV Code.” Look in Chapter 36 (Estates and Property), Article 9.