If youbuy a timeshareand regret it,most stateshave "cooling-off" laws; these lawslet you get out of a timeshare contractif you act quickly, usually within three to ten days. In Texas, you may cancel a purchase contract before the sixth day after the date you sign and receive a copy of the purchase contract or receive the required timeshare disclosure statement, whichever is later. Also, Texas law provides consumers with several protections when it comes to timeshare transactions. For instance, state law prohibits timeshare developers or salespeople from engaging in deceptive trade practices.
Even though Texas law provides quite a few protections for timeshare purchasers, 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 andstop making the payments, the lender, usually the resort developer, will probablyforeclose. 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 amoney judgmentor 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.)
How Do I Cancel a Texas Timeshare?
Again, in Texas, you have the right to cancel a timeshare contract so long as you do it before the sixth day after the latter of:
the date you sign and receive a copy of the purchase contract, or
when you receive the required timeshare disclosure statement. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 221.041.)
The right to cancel can't be waived. If your contract contains a waiver of this right, the contract is voidable. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 221.041.)
How to Cancel a Texas Timeshare Contract
To cancel a timeshare purchase contract in Texas, you may:
hand-deliver a notice of cancellation to the developer
mail notice by prepaid United States mail to the developer or to the developer's agent for service of process, or
overnight your cancellation notice by common carrier delivery service to the developer or the developer's agent for service of process. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 221.042.)
Getting a Timeshare Refund in Texas
If you decide to cancel the contract, the developer must refund all payments you made before the cancellation:
on or before the 30th day after the date on which the developer receives a timely notice of cancellation, or
on or before the fifth day after the date the developer receives good funds from you (whichever of these events occurs later). (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 221.042.)
Other Protections for Timeshare Purchasers in Texas
Timeshare salespeople are known for using hard-sell tactics and misrepresentations to get you to make a snap decision about buying a timeshare. Texas law protects timeshare buyers by prohibiting certain deceptive acts in practices in timeshare sales, including:
failing to disclose important information concerning a timeshare interest
making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the characteristics of accommodations or amenities available to a consumer
predicting specific or immediate increases in the value of a timeshare interest without a reasonable basis for such predictions
making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the duration that accommodations or amenities will be available to a consumer
making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the conditions under which a purchaser of a timeshare interest may exchange the right to occupy a unit for the right to occupy a unit in the same or another timeshare property, and
representing that a prize, gift, or other benefit will be awarded in connection with a promotion with the intent not to award that prize, gift, or benefit in the manner represented. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 221.071).
Timeshare Foreclosures in Texas
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." You might also face a foreclosure if you fall behind in the timeshare assessments.
donating the timeshare to a charity (not all charities will take a timeshare, but some might, and you'll have to get current on payments first)
arranging a repayment plan, or
working out a deal to give the timeshare back to the resort (called a "deed in lieu of foreclosure" or "deedback").
Talk to a Lawyer
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 aforeclosure attorney.