How to Cancel Timeshare Contracts

Did you just buy a timeshare? Do you feel like you were pressured to buy it at a timeshare presentation? You definitely aren’t the only person to feel this way. Usually it seems like a great idea, but then you get home and realize just how much that timeshare purchase cost you and is going to contnue to cost you over its life. But if you haven’t waited to long, I can tell you how to cancel a timeshare contract and get your money back.

Not waiting too long is definitely the key though. Every state has laws that build in a cooling off period for any timeshare that you buy at a timeshare presentation. But they do vary so you need to know what the laws of your state are. Usually, the period can run anywhere from 5 to 10 days from the day you sign the contract.

The first thing you need to do is sit down and take a look at your paperwork. You should find the information on cancelling your timeshare contract in the bundle of paperwork that the salesperson gave you. Try looking for details about how to cancel the contract at the bottom of the contract or on the back of it. Possibly, it may be on a separate document. But you definitely need to find it because it will spell out exactly what you need to do get out of your timeshare contract.

Once you find that information, follow it to the letter. In all cases, you are going to need to use the postal service. So if you call the company and they say they can accept a timeshare cancellation by email or by fax, ignore them. what you want to do is send them a letter either certified or registered mail. You want something that gives you a receipt with a date stamp so you have proof that you send them the recission letter. In fact, I would suggest not calling the sales office at all because they will simply try and talk you out of it.

Writing the Timeshare Cancellation Letter

For some timeshare contracts, there will actually be a form included in your contract paperwork that you will need to complete and then return to the company. That’s great, if there is one, but if there isn’t, just include the following information in your letter:

1. Your name as written on the contract
2. Contract Number
3. Date of Purchase

How to Get Out of a Timeshare Contract

I’ve also put together and audio-visual slide show showing you the whole how to get out of timeshare contract process. It quickly walks you through the steps, if you need a quick reminder on how to do it.

All you need to do is tell them that you are cancelling or “rescinding” the contract, in accordance with the laws of your state. You don’t need to explain why you changed your mind. If you’ve made a down payment or a deposit, or if you paid in full, request that they send your money back. If you financed, be sure to state that the financing needs to be cancelled too.

Then sign your letter, date it and go to the post office and mail it by either registered or certified mail. Be sure to mail it to the address that is listed in your contract, not to the sales center.

I’ve gone through the timeshare contract cancellation process twice and in both cases it took about 10 days to get my money back, but in some cases it may take up to 30 days. You can always follow-up if it takes too long, but generally you will not have any problems canceling a contract in the US if you follow the instructions and submit your request on time.

53 Responses to How to Cancel Timeshare Contracts

  1. Lena says:

    Thank you so much! We had to cancel the timeshare in Mexico, within the 5 days after signing the contract. We did it and I’m still furious about how much time and energy it took from us. I support you in posting this information. The timeshare methods are evil and people should be aware of that.

    • admin says:

      Lena, you’re welcome and I’m glad that you were successful. I hear that the Mexican timeshare companies are a huge pain to deal with even when you are following the law properly!

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for this page. Just used it to write our letter. While the deal we signed up for was not BAD, we discovered that we can still do better.

    • admin says:

      You’re welcome, Mike! Glad it helped. Yup, sometimes the resorts offer a good deal, but even then if you are willing to look hard enough, you can usually find a better one :)

  3. Marcia says:

    I need to cancell my timeshare, but already pass 4 month, I want to cancelled because they said all was a lie.

    • admin says:

      Marcia, you cannot cancel a timeshare after four months, but if the timeshare company actually lied to you and you can prove it then it might be worth hiring a timeshare lawyer.

  4. Jessica says:

    I have a question if the contract says you have until the 6th day after. The date you sign the contract – that means if you signed on 7/20 u have until 7/26? And if it states you may do so by either hand delivering a notice if cancellation ( can this be done by courier service as I do not live there and am back from vacation? Or by notice by US mail – can I send by Fed Ex?
    Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Jessica, I am not 100% sure on this, but for my rescissions I counted the days including the day I signed the contract. So you should send the paperwork tomorrow, i.e. July 25th. The safest method is always US postal service, certified mail and return receipt. FedEx would probably be fine, as that would give you proof of service as well. I don’t think I would hand deliver unless they give you a receipt for the letter.

  5. Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for responding! So I send, as you said by USPS certified return receipt and just as long as it has tomorrow’s POSTMARK date I am good? I will go there first thing in the morning. I was so scared it had to be in their hand tomorrow and was hoping it was postmark.

  6. Shreen says:

    I joined a vacation membership through westgate and I want to cancel. I joined on July 25,2011 and on contract it says 3 days to be canceled. The office is in Florida and I live in ny. How would this work?

  7. rock 98 says:

    this is how i wrote letter.Date :August ,01/2011

    Name:xxxx wife xxxxxx husband
    Contract Number:xxxxxxx
    Date of Purchase:07/28/2011

    Subject:Cancellation letter for contract number:xxxxxx

    Dear sir/madam

    I am writing this letter to cancel the contract Number:xxxxxxxpurchase made on 07/28/2011 by me and my wife .We are exercising our legal right to cancel this contract in accordance with the laws by state of virginia.We expect full refund of our deposit of $300.00 plus future deposit of $12000 and amount of $13495 financing needs to be cancelled .Do not make any additional charge to my debit card/credit card or any future payment.
    Please confirm my legal rescission in writing.

    Sincerely, sincerely
    xxxxxxxx(wife) xxxxxxxxx (husband)

    Signature signature
    Date:08/01/2011 Date:08/01/2011

  8. rock 98 says:

    should i contact my bank or the credit card company about this transaction and cancell both of our cards.so we could avoid these payments for future if they try to charge in our account.i forgot to state this happen to us in virginia beach in gold key resorts.

  9. Denice Dixon says:

    I purchased a time share on 7/16/2011 with Festiva and I want to cancel it. Im passed the 7 day mark, but is there anything that i can do? Is it too late?

  10. rock 98 says:

    i sent cancellation letter today over night mail with return receipt .i signed the contract on 28th of july 2011.where should i call for confirmation for virginia beach golden key resort

  11. Stephy says:

    I just cancelled my timeshare with Silverleaf resorts, do they usually send a confirmation letter that it has been cancelled?

  12. Shelli says:

    I bought a timeshare without a deposit about 20 days ago can I cancel

  13. George says:

    I just sent a cancel letter to HGVC. How will I know if they will honor the letter. I sent the cancelation letter within the 10 years mentioned in the contract.

  14. George says:

    oops. I meant 10 days.

  15. ry1231 says:

    According to the contract, if I cancel, I need to return all the document. Should I send those with the cancellation letter or separately?

    • admin says:

      I would probably send them with the cancellation letter since that is part of the terms. Just make sure that you make copies of everything.

  16. Steiner says:

    Hi,
    we are back in Germany coming from Florida. We signed a contract at Disney Vacation Club and cancelled it by fax as the cancellation policy said this. Besides we sent the text via post office. We have a receipt. Now Disney Vacation Club called and said to me that I have to sent a email to get money back and I should write again my text.

    Besides I sent the cancellation to the adress shown on the receipt for Vacation Club Documents not which is on the contract. It is the same street but another number. Is this a problem. Please answer soon as we are now back in Germany and we do only have 2 days for a further letter.

    • admin says:

      I’m a little confused by your message. Did you follow the instructions in your purchase documents for cancelling? Another number on the same street could mean that your document ends up in the wrong building and would need to be transferred back to the right one. I think your best bet is to follow the instructions from DVC and send them an email requesting your cancellation. I have never cancelled with DVC, so you might want to post at the DVC forums on wdwinfo.com for more help if you need it. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance.

  17. David says:

    Urgent help needed!

    My wife and I recently purchased a timeshare package from HGVC on August 14th 2011. I believe we have 10 days to cancel as stated in caps on the signature page. However, in reading parts of the contract it says we have 5 days. I’m hoping that its 10 days because I sent my cancellation letter yesterday via registered mail. Just so you know the deed is in south carolina (myrtle beach) but we agreed to and signed the contract in florida. Does anyone know which state has jurisdiction and why I see two different cancellation periods? From research it seems florida uses the 10 day cancellation period. Any insight is greatly appreciated.

    • admin says:

      Florida is definitely 10 days and since that is where you actually did all the paperwork, I would think that Florida law would be the one that applies.

  18. Jeanne Stone says:

    My husband an I purchased a time share in Florida. We sign the contract on July 31 st. The last day we were there we recieved a call from the sales rep. to sign new papers because of an mistake on there part due to a promotion we qualified for, we signed new documents again and saw we had 10 days to cancel from the last peice of paper in regards to this contract, wich was on Aug 6th and we had to sign all the papers again, I did not notie that the date was not changed to Aug 6th. When we got home we both realized this was not the best choice for us finacaily. I called to cancel within the ten days, nine to be exact, sent all the information the corporate office asked for and explained to the corporate person, that the last papers we signed were on August 6th not the 31 st and the sales office lied about the new date and they did not change any of the dates to the august 6th . Now we are waiting for the corporate office to get back to us on this .We are very put off by the dishonesty from three of there sales people and are not financailly able, we may have to change are bank so that they can not withdraw. What is your advice ?

  19. erma says:

    I signed paperwork today for silverleaf resort. I do not have a contract number, but I do have an account number. Will the account number work in the cancellation letter in lieu of a contract number?

  20. Chris D. says:

    Thanks for the advice I literally just bought from festiva and am already ready to rescind. My question is they opened a credit card in my name for the financing? Do you think the credit card and the charges incurred will be cancelled upon receipt of my cancellation letter will I have to cancel the card myself.

    • admin says:

      Chris, you will probably need to cancel the credit card separately, but any charges put on the card as a result of the sale should be reversed by the timeshare company once they process your cancellation.

  21. Michelle says:

    All of this information was great and really informative! May I have your email in order to send you my letter. I’m sorta of paranoid and want to make sure that I did everything correctly- if not thanks anyways! We had a great deal as far as I’m concerned but really we could put that money towards other things! Like you said- you can always buy another time.

  22. Michelle says:

    Also- I forgot I wanted to ask if we need to cancel any memberships that came along with buying the timeshare such as a gold membership for entertainment and a membership with interval?

  23. Ali says:

    We recently experienced the same situation like everyone else did in Puerto Vallarta. We bought the timeshare with villa del plamar but when we got back to the hotel…we realized that it’s a very big commitment and we r not ready to get in to this. 
    Note: Eventhough they never mention that you can cancel in 5 business days but by Mexico law you can.

    Process to cancel timeshare within 5 days at Puerto Vallarta. 
    1. Make two copies of your picture ids.
    2. Make two copies of the complete contract front and back.
    3. Write a letter for canceling the contract with everything including your and your wife’s name, contract number, your address, money you deposited for down payment and the total amount for the membership.
    4. Go to PROFECO and ask for Ricardo and tell him you are here to cancel the timeshare. They will give you a written letter on their letter head. 
    5. Go to the timeshare sales office where you bought it from, and ask them to cancel the membership. 
    6. Make sure you get your refund receipt and letter from them saying that they canceled your membership. 

    You will be talking to the same sales person…he will tell you all the BS and will try to get you into that again…but stick to your decision. 

    Good luck everyone.

  24. jessica says:

    We just got a timeshare in Florida on 9/21/2011. I want to cancel already it just all feels like a scam. I read the paperwork I have 10days. It Also states any attempt to obtain a waiver of your cancellation rights is void and of no effect. Followed by while you may excute all closing documents in advance, the closing as evidence by delivery of the deed Or other document, is prohibited from taking place before expiration of your ten days cancelling period. So what does this mean?? Need help please…

  25. Lilibeth says:

    We just got a timeshare in Florida last August 30,2011 and 10 days cancellation time is over. I called 20 days after to cancel and they said I can’t cancel anymore. I called again today to cancel because I can’t pay anymore the remaining balances. I pay $500.00 on 1st day of signing the contract and $317.00 last Sep.29,2011 from authomatic payment every month up to December. I told them I’m broke and can’t pay them anymore.They will hold my automatic monthly payment and they will give me a call every due date according to them. Timeshare is a scam which I realized only when I came back from vacation. The presentation really makes you feel answer YES for them and no time to review and think all about it specially your on vacation and when you realized its late, you sign already.What will I do? I’m planning to send a cancellation letter even over 10 days already and they said over the phone that I can’t cancel anymore is this a good idea?What will happen if I can’t pay anymore? I cancelled already the credit card I gave to them.

    • admin says:

      Lilibeth, if you can’t afford it why did you sign up for it? Timeshare isn’t a scam. Yes, the presentations are pretty hardcore when it comes to selling, but you really do need to take some responsibility for thinking for yourself and not signing contracts for things you cannot afford — at the very least, you should have acted within the generous 10 day cooling off period that Florida law provides. It is too late to cancel your timeshare now. If you stop paying for it, they may pursue legal means, but I honesty cannot say what they will do.

  26. ann says:

    We got a timeshare last year thru bluegreens. Is it still possible to cancel our timeshare at this time? We are experiencing financial problem. We purchase the time share at las vegas bluegreen resort and did a down payment. We need help how we can cancel the timeshare legally? Need help please…

  27. Mark J says:

    Admin, (or anyone that can help)

    My wife and I purchased a timeshare in Cabo San Lucus, Mexico. We immediatly found out we were lied to and persuaded with many promises that were false, and were given alcohol throught the buying process… We sent in a certified overnight letter to cancel within the specified amount business days to cancel and return our $2500 deposit. The charges finally showed up on our account. We have not heard back from the company as far as cancellation even though we send confirmation that the letter was received. What i’m wondering is
    1. If we did not give our social security numbers how do that inforce the contract if they do not honor our cancellation? ( I mean if we close our card how do they get more $$$)
    2. Should we dispute the charge on our credit card, close and open a new one?
    3. They said that the deposit was non-refundable… How is that possible???

    We were on our honeymoon and really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, but it seems like this is way to crazy and unethical to not be able to get our $$$ back if the services were not rendard. At this point i may be jumping the gun because we have not heard anything back from them and the Deposit has already come thru the account with out a refund, but after reading all the horror stories on various website blogs I kinda want to be on the safe side and have my ducks in a row if i have to go to bat with this company. But I figure if we sent the Cancellation letter, then dispute the charge, we should be in the clear…. RIGHT?…

    Any input would be great

    • admin says:

      Mark, under Mexican law the five day cooling off period is not waivable, so the resort is spinning a line of BS telling you that you can’t get your deposit back. You want to contact the consumer protection agency, Profeco, in Mexico for help in getting your money back. Their website (in English) is http://www.profeco.gob.mx/english.htm

      And yes, I would probably go ahead and call the credit card company and do a chargeback. I don’t think there is a reason to open and close a new card. Just do a chargeback and explain the situation to your credit card co.

  28. Misty says:

    me and my husband bought a timeshare with silverleaf on 3-3-2011 , after getting home the contract said 5 days so day number 2 came and i called and called and noone would return my call. day 3 samething. finally day 5 comes and i recieve a call from silverleaf and they disconnect on my. and of corse it as 430pm. so the next day i called and what do u know it was to late… so i them started the search to get rid of it.. i placed it for sale with buyatimeshare.com for 600.00 in may and of corse nothing here it is october and i still have this usless timeshare.. im really skeptical about using these so called professional timshare services that say they can get you out of your contract for about 2000.00.. are they legit? is it possible? for once i just want something to work . i hate scams, all it is, is people to lazy to go out and earn real money.. please help me

    • admin says:

      Hello Misty, I have never used one of those services and I don’t see how they could legally get you out of a legitimate contract.

  29. Kathy says:

    hi there on my contract it says 5 days by certified mail or telegram, what is telegram these days as nobody seems to use them. and as fas as certified mail goes it takes to long through postal, would UPS requiring signature do it? thanks so much

    • Jenn says:

      Kathy, send it certified mail. Your letter doesnt’ have to arrive within five days. It has to be postmarked in five days. So you should be fine.

  30. Lola says:

    We purchased a 2 yr package through BG Branson. It was a 2 yr 24000 pts for 3000 contract. We paid in fill via our debit card. We did it earlier today, but now I feel like we were lied to. I thought we had 5 days to cancel but when reading the contract it says there is no cancelling the contract. period. Is there anything I can do? I guess the 5 days only applies if we bought the actual timeshare since its deeded. Any help?

  31. Liz says:

    Hey I send my cancelling letter today for silverleaf resorts we sign on Nov 6 but I called on Nov 9 n didn’t realize I need to write a letter until today so I wrote it n send it. Now they r saying i didn’t but they r lie. When i called Nov 9 to cancel I ask them that’s it n they said yes u should get a letters saying I cancel I said ok thanks n I called again to.ask if we would get our dwn payment back she said n I called to make sure I cancel n she said it I said ok thank u. Now they say they told me I needed that paper send I was what they didn’t tell me nothing about that. So I’m very upset. Do u think they will cancel its been a wk Sunday n today would be a wk that I called. But I did call today to tell them that at leat I called n i already send the letter.. what should I do. What if I don’t pay then at all I don’t want it or etc. Thanks Liz

  32. Lizliz says:

    I meant at least I call to tell them within in six days. I’m hoping they will. Cause I’m not paying something that they lie. Would it hurt me. I meant i know it would hurt my credit but don’t have any. Also sorry if miss spell lol I’m on my cell phone n it pushing crazy words out of the blue thanks

  33. Hillary says:

    I just cancelled the timeshare contract yesterday which my husband and I bought in Hawaii during our honeymoon on 12 of November 2011. When we came home we reallized a huge mistake we made, but it was already 7days passed then.
    The reason why they accept our cancellation request easily even after the particular period is that we have not yet signed on the proper contract for the loan payment.
    I was not sure what years of loan shold we have when we bought the timeshare and the all the procedures was really in rush with the salesperson so we didn’t have enough time to consider. She told us “you can change the loan type after you go home, so have 10 year loan right away” .
    We thought 10 year loan doesn’t suit us so requested to change it to 3year.
    All the docuemnts for our payment were delivered to us by Fedex on 24th of November when we were just about to give up the cancellation. We found that we are still so many documents to sign means we can still cancell.
    We send an emal to the her which includes the reason we cancell and she accepted our cancellation request.
    The problem is she said we can cancell the contract but we can NOT refund deposits back. I believe there is still hope of our deposite back, because the main reason we cancelled is that she gave us some wrong information at the presentation which became the key to purchase for us.
    Should I employ the lawyer?

  34. Dik says:

    We just purchased/signed paperwork in Missouri for a timeshare in Missouri, but reside in Texas. Checked rescission date for Missouri and it is 7 business days… We sent rescission letter postmarked on the 5th business day after our closing in accordance with Missouri law. Texas law states 5 days. Are we under Missouri Jurisdiction or Texas? I’m assuming since we bought Missouri property while in Missouri that the Missouri law would prevail here. Am I correct in that assumption?
    Thx

  35. Natalia says:

    Thank you for writing this, it has helped a lot. I just have a question, we signed our contract on Saturday the 17th, sent out the cancellation letter via certified mail monday the 19th, I am worried it wont get there by “the 5th calender day after the execution of the contract” due to the Holidays, do you know if it should be there by the 21st or 22nd? Or is it when it the date that it was shipped what matters?

  36. Liz says:

    According to what I have been reading on your site I assume I have no recourse .My husband and I bought into the Palace Resorts vacation club while in Punta Cana on November 13, 2011. I could not find anywhere in our contract about cancellation window so I went by what the salesman said that there is no cancellation available. After reading your site I guess I could have cancelled if I did it right away. So does this mean we are stuck with it because it is now almost 60 days? Will an attorney be able to do something for us?

  37. Maria says:

    I purchased a timeshare from holiday in club vacations at orange lake, during my honey moon in June 2011, I put the down payment on a payment plan. Unfortunately my husband lost his job I can no longer make the payments for the down payment. Can i still cancel the contract? If so how? or what can we do ?we have not used any of the time since the down payment has not been paid in full. Any information would be greatly appreciated I feel the only way out would be to file bankruptcy

  38. Kassie says:

    Thank you for an informative post! The cancellation letter posted in the comments is a lifesaver!

    My husband and I went to a Bluegreen presentation this weekend.
    To start things off, we paid $199 for a 3 night/4day stay. When it came to scheduling, I thought we had thursday-Sunday.. and it turns out when I got the confirmation letter, it was 2night/3day! (but no refund was offered). I called to ask about it, but to change the reservation wouldve been another $75. So I figured we’d just make the trip count.
    checking in was fine.. the room, eh.. I couldve stayed at a better place w coupons for less. The people were nice and the hotel wasnt bad. I just think that if you’re trying to sell me a hotel/condo, shouldnt i get to stay inone and become attached?
    So the 2nd day we’re there, we are scheduled for the 1st meeting of the day (830 am, one hr ahead of our normal timezone).. When I called and asked, I was told there was no childcare, so I was prepared (coloring books, cars, etc) to entertain the kids and use them as our out for saying no. Instead.. there was a kids camp.. and ONE of us had to stay with them :/
    My husband went to the presentation and I was in a small room full of kids for 2 hours.. (NOT 90 minutes!) I trusted that the husband had made an informed decision when he whispered to me that he was interested, I wasnt, but he’s the moneymaker and we could afford the monthly payments. When the question of the yearly fees came up, I thought it was just for the length of the loan (10 years).. but NO, after the fact, we read that its For-E-VER..
    That and the 16% on the loan made me a little queasy.
    I figured I could pray and sleep on it and we could cancel in the morning. So , we went on with our vacation (and it was a good one when we got out of the hotel)… and on the way home at our home state Welcome center, I broke down and told the husband I wasnt comfortable.. I looked through the book on the way down and any of the vacations we might take took twice the amount of points we had.. ($4000 over two years for one vacation!?) And the local places (for us, gulf shores and orange beach) were all week long stays that would eat up almost all of our points bc they are not owned by BG and are week-long only stays.. for $4,000, I can rent a 8 bdroom house and stay for a month down there! Then you figure Im paying another $700+ in maintenance fees?! for life?! for $700, I can go anywhere for a weekend!
    And the fees wouldve come out August 1st. Any parent wanna take a stab at school fees following shortly after that (bad timing!).. and theres the interest on the $1400 down payment we had to charge (bc I honestly wasnt expecting to accept)…. I was suckered in by the discounted airfare/car rental side package.. which I can use, but I can also find other ways.

    long story short, after our rest-stop discussion.. the husband spent the next hour reading through the whole contract and found the cancellation policy.
    We just bought a house last year and they offered 15 days to cancel.. so I knew the timeshare had to have some kind of policy even if they didnt tell us at the contract signing.

    If you have the money and the dispensable income, timeshares can be cool.. At this point in time, Im a coupon-mom and can do better! Heck, Groupon has better deals!

    My husband mailed our paperwork an hour ago via certified mail with all copies and an edited version of the letter you posted here! Thank you for an informative and very useful post. We figure that maybe later in life, we can consider something like this, but no “free” 5 day cruise is worth $10,000 + $700 a yr for life!

    and Bass-Pro should be ashamed to promote these companies! I intend on going up and speaking to a manager about it soon.

    good luck to those of you in a bind. Maybe try selling on craig’s list or ebay? or split it with someone?

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