Getting out from under a timeshare that you no longer want can be inexpensive and simple. Here’s how to do it…

Adjust your expectations. Many people assume that a timeshare will have gained value over time or that they’ll be able to sell it for around what they paid for it. Reality: Your purchase loses most of its value the minute you sign the contract—whether you’ve purchased a deeded week (a specific week and unit size at one resort) or bought into a points system (which allows more flexibility about timing and location). It’s almost a guarantee that the very thing you just paid $20,000 for is being offered for free online because that is the actual value of the product and there are far more people looking to sell than are browsing for resale timeshares. Asking for any amount more than “free” will attract only scammers.

If you’re still paying off the loan for your timeshare, you have almost no good options—nobody is going to take on that debt when they could get a timeshare for free. If you still owe on the loan: Transfer the balance of the loan to a line of credit that has a better interest rate.

If you no longer have a loan, here are three options…

1. See if the resort will take it back. Most resorts have what’s called a “deedback” program, in which you can sign the timeshare back over to the resort for free or for a small fee. Looking into the deed-back program always should be your first step, even if you believe that you can sell your timeshare on the resale market. If you simply want to be free of your maintenance fees, sign the timeshare over and be done with it.

2. Try to sell it. Go on eBay or my site ( to see what similar properties are selling for and price accordingly. Unless you possess a rare gem, you’ll be effectively giving away the timeshare. You can make your ad more attractive by agreeing to pay the closing costs (It’s usually just a few hundred dollars).

3. Stop paying maintenance fees. Eventually the resort will foreclose, and you no longer will own the timeshare. And yes, this foreclosure likely will show up on your credit report. Important: Never stop paying on a loan, which will significantly harm your credit.

What you shouldn’t do: Never pay an exit company to dispose of your timeshare. Their methods are the same options as above. The exit company will charge you $5,000 simply to call the resort and use the same deed-back program you could have used for free. Or it will charge you thousands to instruct you to stop paying your maintenance fees, which will result in the same foreclosure. There’s no circumstance in which an exit company makes more sense than attempting the steps laid out here by yourself first.

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