How to Cancel a Timeshare Contract in Florida
Florida has strong consumer protection statutes when it comes to the purchase and sale of timeshares. If you are seeking to cancel a timeshare contract, it is important to check if the timeshare company complied with all state statutes. One of the strongest protections for timeshare consumers is the ten-day cancellation provision. If you have purchased a timeshare, your contract may be void, if the timeshare company did not abide by the cancellation provision. Any timeshare seller who is located within the State of Florida or an out of state seller who is selling a timeshare located in Florida must allow the purchaser of a timeshare ten (10) days after the purchase to cancel the timeshare contract without any penalty. The purchaser has the right to cancel the timeshare for any reason and without any penalty. However, the cancellation must be in writing. Section 721.10, Florida Statutes, provides that:
(1) 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.
Section 721.10, Florida Statutes goes on to state that the “right of cancellation may not be waived by any purchaser or by any other person on behalf of the purchaser. Furthermore, no closing may occur until the cancellation period of the timeshare purchaser has expired. Any attempt to obtain a waiver of the cancellation right of the timeshare purchaser, or to hold a closing prior to the expiration of the cancellation period, is unlawful and such closing is voidable at the option of the purchaser for a period of 1 year after the expiration of the cancellation period.” Section 721.10, Florida Statutes (emphasis added). If the timeshare company improperly advised you that the cancellation window was less than ten (10) days or if they stated that you must pay a fee to cancel the timeshare agreement, you may be able to void the timeshare contract up to a year after the expiration of the cancellation period.
After you sign the documents to purchase a timeshare, the timeshare company may state that the documents will be mailed to you at your home and that you have ten-days from when you receive the packet in the mail to cancel the agreement. Be very careful concerning these claims, as timeshare companies will usually provide you all of the written documents in the initial sales session, so that the ten-day clock begins to run. Some timeshare companies have even utilized hidden Velcro pockets in notebooks to unknowingly provide the required documents to the timeshare purchaser. Be careful of these tricks so that you do not unintentionally waive your ten-day cancellation window.
It is important to carefully review the timeshare contract prior to executing it. While timeshare resort may utilize high pressure sales tactics, you still have an obligation to be informed about the contract and your responsibilities under the contract. It is important that you review all of your timeshare documents within the ten (10) day cancellation period, so that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities under the timeshare agreement. Never rely upon any oral representations from a timeshare sales employee. Unless the provision is in writing, it is not enforceable. The most important lesson when dealing with the purchase of a timeshare is review everything within the ten-day window and if you aren’t’ happy, cancel immediately before the cancellation period expires.