If you buy a timeshare and regret it, most states have "cooling-off" laws. These laws let you get out of a timeshare contract if you act quickly, usually within three to ten days. In Alaska, the cooling-off period is usually 15 days after you receive the public offering statement. However, you don't get a right to cancel the contract if you get the public offering statement more than 15 days before signing the sale agreement.
Still, you need to be cautious when buying a timeshare. And you should understand that if you take out a mortgage loan to buy a deeded timeshare and stop making the payments, the lender, usually the resort developer, will probably foreclose.
Also, timeshare owners typically must pay annual maintenance fees and special assessments. If, as an owner, you don't pay the fees and assessments, you might face a lawsuit for a money judgment or a foreclosure of your timeshare. (With a right-to-use timeshare, people generally sign a contract and agree to make monthly payments. While a developer may foreclose a deeded timeshare, a right-to-use timeshare is typically repossessed, which is a different legal process than a foreclosure.)
Again, you can generally, before conveyance, cancel a timeshare contract within 15 days of receiving the public offering statement (or preliminary version of the public offering statement). But you can't cancel the purchase if you get the public offering statement more than 15 days before signing a contract. (Alaska Stat. § 34.08.580(a).)
A "public offering statement" contains basic information about a timeshare development. In Alaska, if a condominium or shared development provides an option for timeshare ownership, the public offering statement must disclose specific details about the project, including:
Under Alaska law, the developer must give you a copy of the public offering statement before the conveyance of the timeshare unit and no later than the date you sign the contract. (Alaska Stat. § 34.08.580(a).)
To cancel your timeshare purchase, you must:
The seller can't charge you a cancellation penalty and must refund your payments promptly. (Alaska Stat. § 34.08.580(b).)
In Alaska, if you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a deeded timeshare and fail to make your mortgage payments, the lender (again, typically, the developer) might foreclose.
In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively called "assessments." You might also face a foreclosure if you fall behind in the timeshare assessments.
A few of the various options to avoid a timeshare foreclosure include:
If you want more information about timeshare laws in your state or need assistance canceling a timeshare, consider talking to a real estate attorney. Contact a foreclosure attorney if you're facing a timeshare foreclosure and have questions about the process or your options.
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