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 New Hampshire, the cooling-off period is within five days from the contract date or when you receive the public offering statement, whichever is later. Also, New Hampshire law provides consumers with some protection when it comes to timeshares. For instance, state law requires timeshare sellers to use an escrow account in timeshare transactions.
But you still 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 have to 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, in New Hampshire, you can cancel a timeshare contract within five days from the later of:
To cancel your timeshare purchase, give written notice of your intent to cancel to the developer by:
If you choose to mail the notice of cancellation, you must also provide the developer with telephonic notice of cancellation within the five-day cancellation period. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 356-A:4(II), § 356-B:50(II).)
The developer must return all funds you paid no later than ten days after receiving your written notice of cancellation. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 356-A:4(II), § 356-B:50(II).)
Timeshare salespeople are known for using hard-sell tactics and misrepresentations to get you to make a snap decision about buying a timeshare. New Hampshire law protects timeshare buyers by requiring timeshare sellers to use an escrow account in timeshare transactions.
When you purchase a timeshare in New Hampshire, the timeshare developer must put any money you pay in connection with the purchase into an escrow account until the closing or you cancel the purchase. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 356-A:9-a, § 356-B:57.) The point of the escrow requirement is to protect your right to a refund if you cancel the sales agreement during the cancellation period.
In New Hampshire, 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 referred to as "assessments." In New Hampshire, 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. If you're facing a timeshare foreclosure and have questions about the process or your options, contact a foreclosure attorney.