Nobody likes lawyers until they need one, or so the ancient truism goes. When you have a legal dispute that is beyond your experience or know-how, a timeshare attorney can help you find your footing and fight back against unfair business practices. It’s important to know, however, when it’s appropriate to call a lawyer.
Timeshare contracts are, of course, legally binding documents, and the disputes that arise from them are often legal in nature. That doesn’t mean that hiring a timeshare-specialized law firm is always the best option though. Timeshare lawyers don’t work for free, and in real estate cases, they almost never work for contingency fees.
Timeshare owners often find themselves in bad situations regarding their units. It’s difficult to know, though, whether any given problem needs an attorney who specializes in their problem. Often, these issues can be solved with a more economical solution.
This article will examine a few specific kinds of problems that you might have with timeshare agreements. Then, we’ll look at solutions for each of them, including whether hiring an attorney might be an appropriate step. Because every case is different, it makes sense to discuss your own facts with a timeshare exit company like Centerstone Group before making a final decision.
Misrepresentations by Salespeople
Timeshare attorney: sad elderly couple talking to a salesperson
In many cases, the problems with vacation ownership begin with sales presentations by timeshare developers. Maybe you had an overzealous salesman who promised you that you would get a particular unit. Or maybe you were led to believe that your annual fees would be capped, and it turned out they weren’t.
In other words, this problem happens when you have been lied to by the timeshare salesperson. It can also happen when they told you something they believed but didn’t have a good faith basis for believing it. This phenomenon, called negligent misrepresentation, is distinct from fraud but may also affect your rights.
When a salesperson commits fraud or negligent misrepresentation, you might need a timeshare attorney’s help. If you find out about the problem early enough, though, there is often a cheaper fix. You can usually cancel or rescind your timeshare contract within a certain amount of time after you sign.
If your timeshare cancellation or rescission period has already passed, your situation gets more complicated. Serious fraud or misrepresentation may require the contract to be rescinded by a judge, a procedure for which you would definitely need a timeshare attorney.
Before you do that, though, you should speak with a timeshare exit professional. They may be able to negotiate an exit with the timeshare company or pressure the resort into giving you a better option. In the case of Centerstone Group, if we cannot resolve your problem ourselves, we have a list of timeshare attorneys whom we work with and trust to help fix your problem.
Problems With the Timeshare Contract or Deed
Timeshare attorney: Real Estate Deed
Even if there wasn’t a problem in the timeshare presentation, you can still have issues in your timeshare contract. Perhaps your contract, which was written for the law of one state, has a provision that is illegal or unenforceable in your state. For example, if your contract provides that you have to pay all of the resort’s legal fees in any situation, many states wouldn’t enforce it.
The contract isn’t the only place where things can go wrong. If you have a deeded real estate interest in your timeshare, the description or other critical information in the deed could be wrong. If that’s the case, you need it fixed.
Problems like these in the foundational legal documents for your timeshare can present huge legal headaches. They can also be difficult and expensive to fix. Your first move should be to try working with your resort to fix the problem. If the resort offers resistance or isn’t responsive, you may want to look into an exit with a company like Centerstone Group.
If you still cannot resolve these problems after taking these steps, you might want to think about hiring a timeshare attorney. Get ready to pay for the privilege though. In order to reform a contract or recorded deed, an attorney will usually have to file a lawsuit and go through a judge, which will require extensive work and hourly fees.
You Are Sued
Order and Judgement document
The problems above are very fact-specific. They may start small and escalate into legal problems, or they might never reach a level where a timeshare attorney is needed. One situation, however, nearly always requires intervention by an attorney: when you are named in a lawsuit.
The reasons for a lawsuit associated with your timeshare could be many. Perhaps you are being sued for a condition in or around your property. Or maybe you are being sued for breach of contract. In either case, you will need a lawyer to advise you of your rights and duties during the process.
You can also be sued in connection with a foreclosure because you failed to make mortgage payments or pay other assessed fees. Though these happen out of court in many states, some still require a lawsuit for the foreclosure to be completed. This is perhaps the worst scenario. You don’t necessarily need an attorney, but getting one is an excellent idea.
As a rule, if you are served with legal paperwork, particularly with a complaint or similar document starting a lawsuit, you should get legal advice immediately. Failure to do so might have severe consequences for both you and your property rights.