Lawmakers in the U.S. have passed new legislation giving people who sign up to timeshare contracts, a 14 day cooling off period. That’s twice as long as currently required.
The new legislation would also allow buyers to receive a 90 percent refund if they do cancel within the 14 day period. In addition, they have also proposed another clause whereby future timeshare owners, could end their contracts after ten years of ownership. Meaning all future owners would not be stuck in perpetuity contracts and lifelong maintenance fees.
The new legislation was voted on by the House Committee on Regulatory Affairs, however, it remains unclear whether it will become law.
In making their decision, house committee members, listened to the evidence of timeshare owners who had experienced financial hardship due to their ongoing membership’s and contractual obligations.
Gloria Johnson, told how she had purchased her timeshare in 1980 and said the option of having a week at a resort, and being stuck paying annual maintenance fees, makes no sense. “My children don’t want them, my children can’t afford to pay the maintenance fees. There is no way out of this. You own this for life and you own it beyond your life.”
Johnson also said she knew any new legislation brought in by government, would not necessarily help her, but it should be introduced to protect future timeshare owners.
Amanda Rusing, for the Attorney General’s Office, said her agency wanted to see the legislation passed into law, to help deal with specific complaints by timeshare owners. She said: “People aren’t even home from their vacations and sobered up by the time they’re completely locked in to these contracts. What we wanted to do is give people a more meaningful opportunity to use the unit that they’ve bought for one week a year. By the time they use it, they are stuck in that contract. And as far as getting out goes, good luck”.
The bill is likely to face further objections and lobbying from the timeshare resorts, and may not actually see it being introduced at all. A lobbyist speaking on behalf of the timeshare industry, spoke to the committee and said: “The state should not step in to protect people who didn’t bother to understand the nature of the deal. It’s very difficult to legislate good decision making.”
People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
It is also important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.