I'm not an US citizen. I bought a timeshare during a vacation in Florida. When I returned to my country I realized I can't afford a timeshare by any means. What are the consequences of just walking away and not paying anything? I need to know my options.
Fortunately, you have Florida law on your side.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Web site, customers may be able to cancel the purchase of a timeshare in some states:
"Many states -- and maybe your contract -- give you a right of rescission, but the amount of time you have to cancel may vary. State law or your contract also may specify a 'cooling-off period' -- that is, how long you have to cancel the deal once you have signed the papers. If a right of rescission or a cooling-off period aren't required by law, ask that they be included in your contract.
"If, for some reason, you decide to cancel the purchase -- either through your contract or state law -- cancel it in writing. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the seller received. Keep copies of your letter and any enclosures. You should receive a prompt refund of any monies you paid, as provided by law."
See the FTC page Time and Time Again: Buying and Selling Timeshares and Vacation Plans for more information.
Now let us turn to Florida law. Florida law is important to you because you imply that you purchased the timeshare while you were in Florida. If this is true, then Florida law probably applies to you and the timeshare company. According to Florida statute 721.10, a purchaser has the right to cancel the contract until midnight of the 10th calendar day following whichever of the following days occurs later, a) The execution date; or b) The day on which the purchaser received the last of all documents required to be provided to him or her, including the notice required by s. 721.07(2)(d)2., if applicable. Also, the right of cancellation may not be waived by any purchaser or by any other person on behalf of the purchaser.
To see the cooling-off periods for the other US jurisdictions, see the Right to Cancel Timeshare. This document is a second-source document, which means the author reports what he or she thinks the law is. Double-check the cooling-off laws in the state where the agreement was signed before you accept what is written here as gospel. One last caveat: The rules of the state where you sign an agreement usually apply to the contract, but not always. See the contract for which state's rules apply.
See an attorney immediately if you have any questions about canceling a timeshare agreement. Time is your enemy.
I suggest you send a certified letter immediately to the address indicated on the contract stating that you wish to cancel the contract, which is your right under Florida statute 721.10. If you are uncertain about how to write the letter or where to send it, consult with an attorney.
I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.