How to Get Out of Timeshares

Review the contract and find out what the repercussions are when you stop making principal or maintenance-fee payments. Failure to pay maintenance fees can trigger a default.

Look for refund terms. Some contracts will allow you to get out of the contract during a certain time period following the purchase.

Request a modification. If you can prove financial hardship, request a reduction in the principal, especially if the difference between the current property value and the loan is more than 80 percent of the loan. Timeshare companies want to avoid foreclosure or losing the property to bankruptcy, and they might agree to reduce maintenance fees or make them payable every two years.

Sell your timeshare. Ask your resort to recommend a broker or contact one on your own. Two online marketplaces are RedWeek.com or Tug2.net. If demand is low, consider renting your timeshare out at a lower price.

Ask your resort to buy back your timeshare. Some resorts have buyback programs that are usually outlined in the right to "first refusal clause" in your contract.

Wait for the call and the letter of last resort. If you fail to make a payment, the timeshare will go into foreclosure 3 to 24 months later. After your first missed payment, you will receive a call from your timeshare resort's collection company. You also will receive information by mail explaining the exact amount due, including late fees and your options to take care of your financial obligation. The collectoin company may also report your delinquency to the IRS.