Buying a timeshare property in Alabama should not be taken lightly. Alabama law does provide some protections to timeshare purchasers -- such as certain timeshare contract disclosures and the right to cancel if you act quickly. But if you don't make your timeshare mortgage or assessments payments, you could lose your timeshare through foreclosure. Read on to learn more about the most important features of Alabama's timeshare law.
An Alabama timeshare purchase contract must contain the following information (among other things):
You can cancel a timeshare purchase in Alabama within five days. If the fifth day is a Sunday, the deadline is extended to Monday as the fifth day (Ala. Code § 34-27-53).
To cancel the contract, you must send notice to the seller in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested (Ala. Code § 34-27-53). It is a violation of Alabama law for the seller to fail to honor a cancellation request (Ala. Code § 34-27-54).
If you cancel before receiving any benefits under the contract, the developer must give you a refund within 20 days after receiving the notice of cancellation. If you received any benefits pursuant to the contract, the developer must give you the refund within 30 days, less the amount of any benefits you actually received (Ala. Code § 34-27-55).
A public offering statement contains very detailed information about the timeshare project and important matters you should consider when buying a timeshare interest. In Alabama, a copy of the public offering statement must be provided to each prospective timeshare purchaser (Ala. Code § 34-27-51).
Timeshare sellers are notorious for getting people to attend sales presentations by offering free gifts, prizes, or vacations. Alabama law prohibits the use of any promotional device (such as sweepstakes, lodging certificates, gift awards, premiums, or discounts) without fully disclosing:
Alabama law prohibits timeshare sellers from doing the following (among other things):
Timeshare brokers and salespersons must be licensed in Alabama (Ala. Code § 34-27-51).
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?)
You can locate the Alabama Code by going the Alabama Legislative Information System Online website at http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginMac.asp. Click on the "Code of Alabama" tab on the left-hand side of the screen to access the statutes. The relevant statutes are found in Title 34, Chapter 27.