If you’ve purchased or are considering buying a timeshare in South Carolina—or are facing a timeshare foreclosure—it’s important to learn the answers to the following questions:
Read on to find out some of the most important features of South Carolina’s timeshare laws.
In South Carolina, if you buy a timeshare, you can cancel the contract within five days from:
South Carolina law also provides the right to cancel a timeshare contract if at any time the timeshare is no longer available as described in the contract and the resort is unable to provide you with a comparable accommodations. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-40).
The right of cancellation can't be waived.
If you want to cancel the purchase contract, you must notify the seller in writing by sending notice via certified mail, return receipt requested or another verifiable means. The notice of cancellation is considered given on the date postmarked so long as the notice is actually received by the seller. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-40).
If you give notice in writing and transmit it other than by mail, the notice is considered given at the time of delivery at the seller's address as identified on the contract. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-40). (To learn more about canceling a timeshare purchase, see How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
If you cancel and have not received benefits pursuant to the contract, the seller of the timeshare must refund your payment within 20 days after it receives your notice of cancellation. If you received benefits pursuant to the contract, the seller must refund your money—less the benefits received—within 30 days. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-60).
In South Carolina, every purchaser must be given a comprehensive disclosure document that includes the material terms and conditions of the vacation timesharing plan. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-405).
A timeshare seller must also provide to the prospective purchaser a written public offering statement regarding the purchaser's rights and obligations associated with the purchase of an interest in that vacation timesharing plan. The purchaser must receive the statement before signing a purchase contract and the statement must include, among other things:
Timeshare salespeople are known for using hard-sell tactics and misrepresentations to get you to make a snap decision about buying a timeshare. South Carolina law makes it illegal for a timeshare seller to use fraud, misrepresentation, or to fail to disclose material facts in order to induce a timeshare sale. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-110).
South Carolina timeshare law also prohibits a developer or salesperson from using false or misleading advertisements in order to sell timeshares. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-190).
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.” To learn more, see Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
In South Carolina, residential foreclosures are judicial, but state law provides for the nonjudicial foreclosure of mortgages and assessment liens when it comes to timeshare properties. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-325).
In a foreclosure, the total debt that the borrower owes sometimes exceeds the foreclosure sale price. The difference between the total debt and the sale price is called a deficiency. In some states, the lender may then get a personal judgment, called a deficiency judgment, against the borrower. Whether or not you’ll face a deficiency judgment after a timeshare foreclosure depends on state law.
In South Carolina, the borrower is not subject to a deficiency judgment after a nonjudicial timeshare foreclosure—even if the proceeds from the sale of the timeshare are insufficient to cover the debt. (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-32-320).
If you have questions about timeshare laws in South Carolina or want to learn about foreclosure, consider talking to a real estate attorney or a foreclosure attorney.