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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38892
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired (mostly)
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How do i get out of a time share contract Specifically; WorldMark

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How do i get out of a time share contract? Specifically; 'WorldMark by Windham'. We have had the contract for 2 years. We are extremely dissappointed with what we have gotten out of it. I can make a list of things that we feel were false pretenses.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

First, the Worldmark product is not, to my knowledge, a "timeshare," because a timeshare grants the participants title ownership in some specific real property -- whereas, the Worldmark resort is a point system under which participants purchase points that can be used at any of the Worldmark properties (or, other properties listed in the reservation system).

The difference between the two systems, is that the point system is simply a personal services contract, without any real property title to dispose of.

There are basically three ways to avoid a contract:

1. Prove that the contract was entered into based upon a misrepresentation, or mistake, under which the other party knew of the false representation or mistake at the time of contract making -- or based upon coercion, undue influence, incapacity, illegality or shocking unfairness.

The most utilized claim is that the resort salesperson plied the customer with alcoholic beverages and then obtained the customer's signature on the contract. If this can be proved, then it is extremely persuasive to a court, because it demonstrates that the customer was incapable of voluntarily entering into the contract -- or, unduly influenced.

Proving a misrepresentation usually requires either marketing literature that flatly contradicts the contract provisions, or a witness who will testify that the salesperson misrepresented the deal. Similar evidence is required for a mistake.

Those are pretty much the only ways to avoid the contract directly.

2. The indirect method is to file for bankruptcy protection, and thereby discharge the personal obligation to pay.

3. The only other alternative is to try to negotiate a lump sum settlement, whereby the customer pays $X to get a release from further liability from the resort operator. Exactly how much would be necessary to obtain a release is unknown -- but there usually is a number that the resort will accept.

Hope this helps.

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