Is there a 5-day right to cancellation for a time-share contract?

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Is there a 5-day right to cancellation for a time-share contract?

We sat in a timeshare presentation yesterday in WI and signed an agreement to purchase a property deed.  They said we had 5 days to cancel, true?

Asked on March 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Iowa

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is true.  Each state passes its own laws regarding the amount of time you have after buying a timeshare to return it for a full refund.  The process of returning an unwanted timeshare shortly after purchasing is known as "rescission".  Under IA law, a purchaser as 5 days to rescind. 

Each set of documents/purchase papers accompanying a timeshare sale will include form explaining how to rescind (typically it's titled something similar to, "Notice of Mutual Right of Cancellation of Time Share Purchase").  Be sure to follow all steps for rescission exactly as outlined in your contract.  Some time restrictions are according to calendar days; some are according to business days.  In some states, the day you signed the contract is counted as a day; in others it is not.  Typically Sundays and public holidays are not counted, but Saturday may be.  If you have any doubts about the time period in which you have to rescind your contract, always calculate sooner rather than later.  Finally, the method used to send the rescission notice is important.  Again, read your contract. Typically, you cannot e-mail or phone in a cancellation.  Whether or not required, it is a good idea to sent your notice by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.  This will give you a paper trail should you need it in the future.  Also, it's a good idea to make copies of all paperwork.

If you still have questions, you should contact an attorney directly for help with this.  The clock is running.


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