Say Goodbye to the Burdens of Timeshare Ownership

timeshareQ. I recently read in your article “Top Ten Things Your Children Want You to Leave Them and the Top Ten Things They Don’t Want” that the number one thing not to leave to a child or grandchild is a timeshare. You refer to a time-share as “the gift that keeps on taking.” I couldn’t agree more. My wife and I have had a timeshare for the past 20 years, and it’s been nothing but a headache. The contract is nearly impossible to get out of, and we have to pay maintenance fees each year, even if we hardly use the timeshare. My daughter already told us that she will never use it if we left it to her and that she doesn’t want to be on the hook for the ever-increasing annual maintenance fees. How can my wife and I get rid of our timeshare while we are still alive, and can your firm or other law firms help us?

A. Nearly 10 million households own some sort of timeshare, according to the American Resort Development Association. And, similar to yourself, about 850,000 of them would like to sell their timeshares within two years! The three main reasons for wanting to exit timeshares are: (1) you are unable to travel regularly due to age, illness, or infirmity; (2) you can’t afford — or just don’t want to keep paying — the ever-increasing and often exorbitant annual maintenance fees that are owed whether or not you use your timeshare or space bank your timeshare with RCI or Interval International, the two major platforms where you can “deposit” your timeshare for others to use in exchange for trading power you earn to potentially use other timeshares around the world; and (3) you are frustrated that you haven’t been able to exchange your timeshare as promised despite space banking your timeshare every year and sometimes several years in advance.

Many people are desperate to exit their timeshares but feel helpless when it comes to finding ways to do so. Many people try the following tactics to exit a timeshare contract:

Offer It For Sale Online Through a Timeshare Listing Platform:

There are numerous websites that purport to successfully help you sell timeshares, such as:


Most companies offering to help you sell timeshares require a nonrefundable upfront fee with grand statements but no guarantee of a sale. In our experience, the overwhelming majority of people who try to sell timeshares are never able to sell them.

The Coalition for Responsible Exit is a program of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and its developers in collaboration with leading exchange companies and ARDA Resort Owners Coalition. The Coalition says its goal is to “educate and provide resources to help timeshare owners responsibly and safely exit their timeshares.” The Coalition’s News and Alerts page has links to dozens of articles and consumer alerts about timeshare exit companies that have been sued for fraud and/or gone bankrupt. AARP also has a good article from 2023 about timeshare exit scams, and how to avoid them.

Offer It For Sale Online Through Miscellaneous Websites

Some people try listing their timeshares for sale on miscellaneous, classified ad websites, including Craigslist, or auction websites, such as eBay, almost always with no success.

Give Away Your Timeshare!

This tactic should surely work, right? Who doesn’t want to get something for free? You can try to donate your timeshare to your church or a local charity, or pawn it off to an unsuspecting “friend.” Unfortunately, this tactic of trying to give away your timeshare almost never works because most charities and most people are smart enough to not accept this type of “gift that keeps on taking.” If a timeshare were truly a valuable asset, charities and individuals would love receiving timeshares as gifts, but in reality, timeshares are liabilities and not assets because of the never-ending and ever-increasing annual maintenance fees.

The Timeshare Users Group, which has been online since 1993 — the very first timeshare website on the Internet — has a “timeshare marketplace” where you can try to sell your timeshare, but if you click the link to their marketplace, you will notice that the very first link is for “Free Timeshares!” where you can scroll through seemingly endless listings for people desperately trying to give away their timeshares for free.

As evidenced by the number of free listings offered, not only is it virtually impossible to sell a timeshare, but it is almost impossible to give away a timeshare. This is because, as a general rule, nobody wants the liability of having to pay the annual maintenance fees on a property they may rarely or never use, and people typically only buy timeshares when they are under high pressure from an experienced timeshare salesperson using specially designed high pressure (and often misleading) sales tactics.

Hire a Real Estate Agent to Try to Sell Your Timeshare

There are some licensed real estate agents who purport to specialize in selling timeshares, and most of them work in specific geographical areas where timeshares are more common. For example:

  • com in Florida
  • com helps people sell timeshares in the Williamsburg, Virginia, area.

More of these companies are listed on the Coalition for Responsible Exit website.

Though we do not endorse any companies that try to sell timeshares or any realtors who offer to sell timeshares, legitimate realtors, who offer to sell timeshares will not charge you any fees upfront. They will only charge a commission if they actually sell your timeshare, just like a typical real estate sale.

Hire a Timeshare Exit Specialist or Timeshare Exit Lawyer

There are legitimate timeshare exit companies, including law firms such as ours, the Farr Law Firm, though they are difficult to find among all of the con artists and crooks happy to take your money and disappear. One legitimate company we know of is the Newton Group, run by Gordon Newton, who is not an attorney, but is a non-attorney partner of a DC law firm that also specializes in timeshare exits. (Note that DC is one of the only jurisdictions in the country that allows non-lawyers to be owners of law firms.)

Another law firm we know that has developed a specialty in timeshare exits is Connor Law based out of South Carolina, run by attorney Andrew Connor, also an AV preeminent-rated attorney, as I am.

Beware of Timeshare Fraud in the First Place

Maybe you are reading this article before purchasing a timeshare, and hopefully it will stop you, or at least make you think twice before making an unwise purchase. Please note that timeshare companies are of course, legally prohibited from committing fraud, yet most of them do so almost every day, including using tactics such as:

  • Offering promotional items without disclosing that the item is being used to sell timeshares;
  • Misrepresenting the availability of timeshare reservations;
  • Misrepresenting or deceptively representing the location of the timeshare;
  • Misrepresenting the size, nature, extent, qualities, or characteristics of the timeshare being sold;
  • Misrepresenting the nature or extent of services offered at the timeshare;
  • Making misleading or deceptive representations concerning the timeshare contract or the purchaser’s rights under the contract;
  • Misrepresenting the conditions under which, and the likelihood of being able to, swap rights from one timeshare location to another;
  • Failure to provide the buyer with a separate written public offering statement before the buyer signs the contract;
  • Failure to provide the buyer with a complete copy of the contract at the time of sale;
  • Failure to honor the company’s obligations under the timeshare contract;
  • Failing to disclose that annual maintenance fees increase every year as the resort ages and requires more and more maintenance and repairs;
  • Committing any other act of fraud, misrepresentation, or failure to make a disclosure of a material fact

Better Business Bureau Complaints Against Timeshares and Timeshare Exit Companies

According to the Better Business Bureau — timeshares (and vacation clubs) are well-known for high-pressure sales tactics and worse. A recent Better Business Bureau study found that “high-pressure sales, deceptive exit schemes, and impostor scams” have pervaded the entire industry.

According to the Better Business Bureau, “[f]rom the beginning of 2020 until the end of 2022, the BBB received nearly 30,000 business complaints and almost 10,000 negative reviews related to travel companies. A majority of those were related to the timeshare industry, with $32 million in disputed funds. Most commonly, consumers said they felt reality didn’t match the big promises made in timeshare pitch meetings.

“Complaints to BBB also reflect consumers’ opinions that timeshares can be nearly impossible to sell, and consumers often feel misled about the amount and frequency of maintenance fees associated with timeshares. Some say their timeshare became unaffordable after several years of ownership due to increased fees.”

Timeshares Are Worthless Liabilities

The reality is that unless you are regularly using your timeshare every year, which most people don’t, your timeshare is completely worthless on the resale market and therefore not sellable. In fact, it is worse than worthless, because it is an ongoing liability due to you having to pay annual maintenance fees that typically increase every year.

How the Farr Law Firm Can Help with Timeshare Disposal

At the Farr Law Firm, we understand that timeshares are not actually assets, but burdensome financial liabilities. This is true when you’re alive and when you leave them to your children or grandchildren after your death. As mentioned, a timeshare is “the gift that keeps on taking” because of the required annual maintenance fees associated with timeshare ownership. If you are looking to relieve yourself and your beneficiaries of the obligations tied to your timeshare, look no further than the timeshare disposal attorneys at the Farr Law Firm.

At the Farr Law Firm, our Estate Planning attorneys and Elder Care lawyers have developed an expertise in efficiently and legally disposing of timeshares, providing you with a multipronged timeshare exit strategy tailored to your needs.

  • Our personalized solutions aim to alleviate your timeshare-related stress effectively.
  • We navigate the complexities of timeshare contracts and applicable laws, safeguarding your interests throughout the process.
  • We recognize that every timeshare situation is unique. Whether you’re burdened by maintenance fees, disillusioned with ownership, or facing other challenges, we tailor our approach to suit your specific circumstances.
  • We understand timeshare laws and negotiation techniques.
  • We pursue the most favorable outcomes on your behalf.
  • We work diligently to minimize your financial liabilities and facilitate a swift exit from your timeshare obligations.
  • We help clients avoid scams.
  • We give our clients the peace of mind of knowing that seasoned legal professionals are advocating for your best interests.
  • We assist you with all the intricacies of the process, allowing you to focus on moving forward with confidence.

Plan Ahead and Get Rid of Your Timeshare!

At the Farr Law Firm, our timeshare disposal service is only for clients of the Farr Law Firm who are using us or have used us for other legal services, such as Estate Planning, Incapacity Planning, Medicaid planning, or Alzheimer’s Planning.

As mentioned in the recent newsletter article that you described, Estate Planning is all about what you leave behind to your children, grandchildren, or other intended beneficiaries upon your death. It also includes what is left in your retirement accounts, savings, your real estate, and your life insurance policies, as well as tangible items of value and importance. If you do have a timeshare that you want to leave to a child or grandchild, make sure the person who inherits it actually wants it. Make them aware of fees and other things they should know ahead of time.

If you die without proper Estate Planning, it could create unnecessary headaches for those left behind and needlessly waste a significant portion of your assets on taxes, attorney’s fees, and probate expenses. This is why it is important to have an experienced Estate Planning attorney, such as those here at the Farr Law Firm, create your estate plan to ensure that everything is up-to-date and appropriate for your stage in life.

Once completed, be sure to review your estate plan at least every 3-5 years and make necessary updates accordingly, or to join our Lifetime Protection Program to ensure that your documents are up-to-date each year.

We here at the Farr Law Firm have strategies in place to help our clients plan for themselves and their loved ones. If you have not done your Estate Planning or Retirement Planning or had your planning documents reviewed this year, please give us a call:

Estate Planning Fairfax: 703-691-1888
Elder Law Fredericksburg: 540-479-1435
Elder Care Rockville: 301-519-8041
Estate Lawyer DC: 202-587-2797

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.