What’s Your Timeshare Rescission Period aka Cooling Off Time?

We’ve all done it – been impressed by a salesperson’s charm and persistence and written a check for more than we knew we should.

What if you realize you made a mistake the next day?

Timeshare Relief appointmentSome states have “cooling off” time, a period after a purchase during which the purchaser has the right to return goods for a refund, or to cancel a contract without penalty.  The right to cancel a contract is governed by both state and federal law.  Please check with your attorney for specifics.  The remainder of this post is not intended to be legal advice.

There are very specific circumstances when these statutes and regulations apply; they do not apply to all circumstances.  Usually real estate, stocks or securities are not covered.

Under the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s cooling-off rule, you have the right to cancel a purchase of $25 or more for a full refund as long as certain conditions are met:

  • If you make a purchase entirely by mail or telephone, the rule does not apply.
  • When you initiate the sale at the seller’s permanent business location, the rule does not apply, even if the deal is closed in your home.
  • Despite popular misconception, there is no cooling-off rule for automobile purchases. Make sure you want that car before you buy it.
  • In order for the rule to apply, the purchase must be for personal, family, or household purposes.
  • This rule isn’t applicable to purchases made to meet an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a home insect infestation. Nor does it apply to repairs and maintenance on your personal property.

If you just bought the timeshare, many states have a mandatory “cooling off” period when you can undo the deal and demand a return of your payment. Of course, those periods are usually only a week or 10 days, not months, so they relieve are only going to relieve short-term buyers’ remorse.  If you are a timeshare owner, you must be aware of your state’s laws.  Do not rely on a timeshare company to tell you what the law allows you to do.

If you have questions about your state’s cooling-off period, call your state attorney general’s office.  If you’ve experienced buyer’s remorse and you’ve passed your state’s cooling off period, then you may have to consider other options to let go of your timeshare purchase.