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How To Get Out of a Large Timeshare Debt

Finding yourself stuck in a timeshare contract you can no longer afford can be an incredibly stressful situation. The good news is there are options available to help relieve you of this financial burden. Getting out of a timeshare may seem daunting, but taking it step-by-step can set you on the path to freedom.

Assess Your Current Financial Situation

The first step is to fully understand your current financial standing when it comes to your timeshare obligations. Make a list of all details related to your timeshare contract such as:

- -
  • Original purchase price and date
  • Total remaining balance
  • Interest rates
  • Monthly payments
  • Any fees you pay annually or at intervals

Also take into account other debts you may have like credit cards, auto loans, student loans, medical bills, etc. Look at your current income, savings, assets, and expenses. This complete financial picture will help you determine what options are viable for getting out of your timeshare commitment.

Explore Your Exit Options

There are several ways to potentially get out of a timeshare contract. The options that make the most sense for you will depend on your specific financial situation. Common routes to exit a timeshare include:

Sell Your Timeshare

If your timeshare is paid off, you may be able to sell it and use the proceeds to eliminate outstanding maintenance fees or other debts. However, timeshares can be very difficult to sell on your own these days. Most people use a licensed timeshare resale broker to list it on multiple resale sites. But even with a broker, timeshares typically sell for far below original purchase price.You can research reputable licensed timeshare resale companies like Timeshare Broker Associates and Sell My Timeshare Now to understand the resale process and get a valuation on your specific timeshare. While you may not recoup your initial investment, selling can still allow you to exit the binding contract and stop paying ongoing fees.

Transfer Ownership

Another option is to transfer ownership of your timeshare to a family member or friend. They would take over all future payments and usage rights. The transfer process involves filing paperwork and paying transfer fees to the resort company. Transferees may also need to pass a credit check.While transferring gets you off the hook, it does pass the burden on to someone else. Tread carefully if considering this route.

Donate Your Timeshare

Certain charitable organizations accept timeshare donations. Timeshare Users Group provides a list of charities that take timeshare donations.To donate, you file a deed with the resort company showing transfer of ownership to the charity. Doing this terminates future payment obligations and usage rights. While donating can provide tax savings, you need to itemize deductions to reap the benefits.

Rent Your Timeshare

If selling or transferring ownership seems unlikely, renting out your timeshare when you’re not using it can help offset maintenance fees. Rental income probably won’t cover all your costs but it mitigates the expense.You can work with an established timeshare rental service like RedWeek or Timeshare Rentals to list and rent out your unit.

Refinance Your Timeshare

If you have decent credit, refinancing may allow you to lower your interest rates and reduce monthly payments to a more affordable level. Timeshare Refinance Loans and Capital One are a couple options to explore for timeshare refinancing.Refinancing stretches payments over a longer period. While it makes costs more manageable in the short term, you end up paying more in total interest over an extended timeframe.


Declaring bankruptcy forces creditors to eliminate or restructure debts you can’t reasonably pay off. This usually involves liquidating assets to repay creditors at reduced balances. Bankruptcy laws vary by state. And rules differ depending on whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.Timeshares often get discharged in bankruptcy. However, resort companies frequently object upon filing. You may need to prove significant hardship to get your timeshare debt excused. Consulting a bankruptcy attorney familiar with dissolving timeshares is wise if considering this path.While bankruptcy provides much needed relief, it devastates your credit for years. And there may be unwanted outcomes like losing a house or car. It’s a last resort when you’ve exhausted all other options.

Pick an Exit Strategy

As you weigh these timeshare exit alternatives, consider:

  • Your current financial circumstances
  • How quickly you need relief
  • If you can afford any upfront fees
  • Whether credit damage over time is acceptable

There are also scams out there preying on desperate timeshare owners so beware of any option that seems too good to be true. Vet any third party exit company thoroughly before paying fees you may never recoup.Sometimes a combination of tactics like renting while attempting to sell or transfer ownership works best. Consult an attorney to understand the implications of each strategy for your situation. Arm yourself with knowledge before making any decisions.

Act Fast Once You Choose an Option

Getting out of a troublesome timeshare requires actively working towards a permanent exit until achieved. Whichever route you decide on, waste no time in starting the process.

  • Sell or transfer ASAP: List your timeshare for sale immediately upon choosing this path. The longer you wait, the more fees pile up.
  • Begin rental efforts quickly: Don’t leave your unit sitting vacant while paying for it. Rent it out right away even as you work towards offloading ownership.
  • Consult attorneys promptly: If considering bankruptcy or needing legal advice, meet with lawyers quickly to understand your standing and options.
  • Stay diligent: Follow up frequently with all involved parties – brokers, title companies, resorts, attorneys, renters etc. Persistence pays off.

Exiting a timeshare trap takes significant effort. But numerous people have successfully escaped expensive contracts through persistence and not giving up until free of ongoing financial obligations. With the right exit plan and discipline to see it through, you can be timeshare debt free as well. Relief from this burden is possible.

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