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FAQ - Rescinding/Canceling a Timeshare Purchase

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Jun 6, 2005
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Northern, CA
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim) NEW: 2 Lawa'i Beach Resort!
What is "Rescinding" or the "Right of Rescission?"

Rescinding is a completely legal way to cancel the purchase of a timeshare and get all of your money back, within a certain number of days. The number of days you have to rescind differs from state to state - See the list below for the states in which Starwood has active sales. The right to rescind during a "cooling off period," is your legal right, and the developer can't change that, no matter what you may have been told.

Your salesperson may have verbally asked you to promise not to rescind - all that means is that he was trying to manipulate you into giving up your legal rights! Neither the salesperson, or the developer, have any say about your right to rescind - this right is established by local law and is not affected by any verbal promise not to rescind. Some salespeople in Mexico have even been known to ask buyers to sign away their right to rescind, but that isn't legal either. So even if you signed a paper stating that your don't have a right to rescind, or that there is no right of rescission in Mexico, you still DO have the right to rescind.​

Why should I rescind?

1) The main reason to rescind from a developer purchase is that you can usually buy the exact same timeshare on the resale market for 50% - 95% less than what the developer is asking!​

Other reasons for rescinding:

2) You may have felt pressured into making a large purchase without having time to do any research.

3) You may have made a bigger financial commitment than you are comfortable with.

4) You may not really understand exactly what you bought and how it works.

5) You may have financed your purchase through the developer at a high interest rate.

6) You may have buyer's remorse.​

What if I rescind and then later decide I want the deal after all? My salesperson said it was only available that day.

This kind of statement is just a ploy to pressure you into purchasing on the spot. They know that if you leave without buying a timeshare, you will find out about your other options. No matter what your salesperson told you, if you decide to rescind, and then later decide you want the same deal after all, it will be available next week, next month, and probably even next year. But if you don't rescind in time, because you can't decide what to do - you will be stuck with the purchase.​

How many days do I have to rescind with Starwood?

*This is just a general guideline - check the form in your purchase paperwork for specific dates.

Harborside Resort Atlantis - 7 days
Sheraton Broadway Plantation - 5 days
Sheraton PGA Resort - 10 days
Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas - 5 days
Sheraton Vistana Resort - 10 days
Sheraton Vistana Villages - 10 days
Westin Desert Willows - 7 days
Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas - 5 days (Mexico)
Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas North - 7 days
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas - 7 days
Westin Nanea Ocean Villas - 7 days
Westin Riverfront Villas - 5 days
Westin St. John - 10 days

*Developer contract cancellation / rescission periods are actually determined by individual states' law. Accordingly, rescission / cancellation periods vary among resorts located in different states.​

How do I rescind?

In your purchase papers there is a form explaining how to rescind. It may be entitled: "Notice of Mutual Right of Cancellation of Time Share Purchase." These instructions need to be followed exactly for your rescission to be legal and valid.​

Sample rescission letter:


Regarding contract "123" for purchase of a timeshare at "ABC" resort. We are exercising our legal right to cancel this contract. We expect a full refund of our deposit of "$123." Do not make any additional charges to my credit card. Please confirm my legal rescission in writing.


John Husband
Jane Wife
Along with the letter, send a copy of the main page of the contract.

Be sure you send your rescission letter using the exact form of mail/communication stated in the instructions - you may be required to FAX or mail your rescission - follow these instructions exactly.

If you are required to mail your rescission, make sure it is postmarked within the required time and that you get a return receipt when it's delivered.

If you are required to FAX your rescission, make sure you keep a copy of the FAX receipt to document the date and time.

If the rescission instructions require you to send a FAX, you should also mail a copy of your rescission papers via a trackable mail delivery service with proof of delivery.

Make copies of everything you send - don't send any original documents.

Expect your salesperson to try and talk you out of it. Don't get embroiled in a long discussions, just keep politely repeating, "I'm not interested."

You may be required to return the owner's guide or other materials you got as a new owner.
OK - I've rescinded - what now?

1) Make a commitment not to buy a timeshare for 6 mos.

2) Do some thinking:
What are your vacation goals?
How much money do you want to spend?
What size unit does your family need?
What to Buy Survey
3) Hang around TUG - do a lot of reading and ask a lot of questions.

4) Don't limit yourself to just the Starwood Board - read up on other systems.

5) If you can, try renting a timeshare before you buy, to see if it's for you.
Good luck!
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