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How do I cancel my Diamond Resorts timeshare?

If you’re looking to cancel a timeshare with Diamond Resorts, the first (and most important question) is: how long ago did you sign the contract? If it was recently, and you decide you want to cancel, you need to act now.

Because of state laws, most timeshare contracts have what is called a “cooling off” period. This allows you to rescind the contract within a certain number of days listed in the contract. “Rescinding” a contract means you have legally cancelled it. We’ll discuss this in more detail below, but if you are still within that period, don’t wait. You’ll need to act right away.

If you’re outside the cooling off period, you have a more difficult problem. A lot of companies will claim they have various gimmicks to get you out of a timeshare—sending certain letters, for example, or doing weird transactions with deeds. Other than the cooling off period, you only have two basic ways to cancel the contract: (1) negotiate with Diamond Resorts directly, or (2) take legal action, which will generally mean going to arbitration, which is a lot like a lawsuit but done privately and out of court.

For an arbitration, you will probably want a lawyer to have a good chance of succeeding. Whether you can depends on what state you’re in, what state you signed your contract in, and whether you have any kind of legal claims (for example, fraud in the sales pitch or false advertising). If you think you have a legal claim against Diamond Resorts, we may be able to help. Call us at 657-845-3100 or e-mail us at contact@kneuppercovey.com.

What is the cooling off period in my Diamond Resorts contract?

We’ll cover this option first, because if you just bought your timeshare a few days ago, you’re going to need to act quickly (as in, get something in the mail today or as soon as you possibly can).

A number of Diamond Resorts contracts are publicly available from lawsuits that have been filed against the company, so we’ll look at some examples. But your contract is what matters. These are other people’s contracts, and yours may be different. So you absolutely need to get your contract and read the specifics.

Here’s one example from a Diamond Resorts contract in Hawaii:

It says: “ANY PURCHASER HAS, UNDER THE LAW, A SEVEN-DAY RIGHT OF RESCISSION OF ANY TIME SHARING SALES CONTRACT.”

That may leave you wondering, well, how do I rescind? The contract doesn’t specifically say. But it does say this:

This provision requires all notices to Diamond Resorts to be in writing. Of course, they can send notices to You via phone (a classic one-sided provision). It also says: “Written notices may be delivered, emailed or mailed, to each party at is address shown in this Agreement, or other address provided.”

This suggests you can send a notice that you want to rescind in writing (i.e., just telling them in an e-mail or letter that you want to rescind the contract). But what address are you supposed to send it to? Well, it should be here:

But they just left all that information blank. A lot of their publicly filed contracts have the same problem. Who do you even send the rescission notice to? The only safe answer is to send it multiple places: send it to e-mail addresses from their website and send it to multiple business addresses. In this contract, there’s an address given in the arbitration clause. But since they didn’t fill out any of the contact information, you’ll want to mail copies to everywhere you can, because you don’t want them trying to argue your rescission didn’t come in time or went to the wrong place.

Then there’s the catch, though: your contract with Diamond Resorts could be completely different. Not just because companies change their contracts over time, but because there are different “cooling off” laws in different states. Here’s a clause from a Diamond Resorts contract in Nevada:

Notice how this one has totally different rules. Instead of leaving the address blank, they give a specific address which you need to send to exactly. In this clause, e-mail isn’t enough. In fact, just mailing it isn’t enough. It has to be either (1) hand delivered, or (2) sent by certified United States mail, return receipt requested. So you can’t just drop a letter into a mailbox, you have to use certified mail, return receipt requested.

Now let’s look at a Diamond Resorts contract from Florida:

You can see this one is different, too. It lets you cancel within 10 calendar days instead of 7. It just says it has to be in writing and “sent” to a specific address (which is easier than certified mail).

There are a few important points in all of this:

1) You need to closely read your contract because it could be very different from other contracts online.

2) You need to send notice according to how the contract requires it. Send it in writing, and send it as many ways as you can. Collect proof that you did it. That could be a mailing receipt, photos or video of your letter and you putting it in the envelope or in the mail, whatever you can get. Be clear that you’re exercising your rescission rights and want to rescind / cancel the contract.

3) You need to do it within the time period in the contract. Miss it by a day, and you’re out of luck. So don’t wait even a day if you’re thinking of cancelling. Send out written notices ASAP.

4) Follow what the contract says because if you don’t send a notice to the correct place, within the correct time period, in the correct way, they can claim it wasn’t an effective cancellation.

5) Include personal identifying information and don’t give any reason at all to say you didn’t send a proper notice.

What if I missed the deadline for the cooling off period? Can I still cancel my timeshare with Diamond Resorts?

There isn’t any other contractual way to cancel—but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re completely out of luck. You can try negotiating with Diamond Resorts directly, and they do have a program to cancel timeshares called Transitions. But it’s entirely up to them whether to let you cancel, and you can’t use your timeshare while you’re on the list. You also need to know that waiting for long periods could mean that if you have a legal claim, the statute of limitations could run out.

There are also various reasons why you might have a legal claim that could either get you out of the contract or even result in a monetary award. For example, if there were false or misleading statements made in the sales presentation, or if the timeshare didn’t live up to promises they made when you bought. Many states also have rules that allow you to challenge contracts for various reasons, including if they’re too one-sided.

This means pursuing either a lawsuit or arbitration. Diamond Resorts generally includes arbitration clauses in its contracts, which means you would have to do an arbitration instead of going to court. It’s very similar, but cheaper than a full-blown lawsuit and goes relatively quicker (that’s relatively, because an arbitration can still take a year or even a little longer). And you would actually have to have good legal claims—despite what some “timeshare exit” companies tell you, there isn’t a quick fix. Most of the “fixes” those companies offer end up ruining your credit score or worse.

If you need a timeshare lawyer to help you sue Diamond Resorts, our attorneys have represented clients in hundreds of arbitrations on various consumer protection issues. If you think you have a legal claim against Diamond Resorts, call us at 657-845-3100 or e-mail us at contact@kneuppercovey.com.

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