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How do I get rid of a Welk Resorts timeshare?

Welk Resorts is a timeshare company originally founded by TV star Laurence Welk. The company was sold to Marriott and is being rebranded as Hyatt Residence Club. But lots of people still have timeshares with them from the decades they’ve been operating. What do you do if you want to get rid of your Welk timeshare?

Some people have reported online that they were subjected to high pressure sales tactics, misrepresentations, or have even sued Welk Resorts Group over alleged false statements that were made during the sales process. If something like that happened to you, you may have a legal claim—and may be able to get out by pursuing it in court or arbitration. If you’re looking for an attorney to help try to get you out of a Welk Resorts timeshare, call us at 657-845-3100 or e-mail us at contact@kneuppercovey.com. We may be able to help.

Here’s the general ways you could try to rid of a Welk Resorts timeshare:

1) Exercise your right to rescind during the cooling-off period.

Because of state laws, most timeshare contracts have a short period where you can cancel the agreement or “rescind” it if you do so very quickly. Here’s a clause from a contract with Welk Resort Group, Inc. that was filed publicly in a lawsuit filed against them in Missouri:

“NOTE: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CANCEL THIS AGREEMENT WITHIN FIVE DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THIS AGREEMENT. CANCELLATION MUST BE IN WRITING AND IF SENT BY MAIL, ADDRESSED TO THE OTHER CONTRACTING PARTY AS SHOWN ON THIS AGREEMENT, CANCELLATION WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED AT THE MOMENT THE LETTER IS POSTMARKED. IF SENT BY MAIL, THE LETTER MAY BE CERTIFIED WITH A RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED. YOU RIGHT TO CANCEL CANNOT BE WAIVED.”

First of all – you have to look to your own contract. This one is just an example. Your contract may be different. This one was signed in Missouri, but other states have different cooling off periods required. So the first step is to take your contract and look for the clause. You can see a picture of the one from the Missouri Welk Resort contract here:

You’ll also see that right above this clause, there’s a small print, detailed section about how to send written notice. It gives a specific address and a specific company you have to address it to. It requires certified or registered mail. But you only know that if you read the contract closely. So make sure you read yours and follow what it requires – you don’t want the company coming back at you saying “gotcha” over something minor.

You also need to do this right away. Don’t wait. The cooling off period is so short that you should be doing this as soon as you decide to cancel. If you’re even a day late sending it off, you’ll have missed the legal window to do it.

2) Contact Welk directly to see if they’ll let you out.

This is always a good first step. If you just want out, you should at least try it – we have seen conflicting reports online about whether they are letting people out, or whether they are charging a substantial fee to do so. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. While we’re happy to represent people in litigation or arbitration, if you can get out more cheaply yourself then it doesn’t make sense to hire a lawyer. But do be very careful about a couple of things: (1) read anything you sign closely, because you don’t want to be trapped in an even worse contract than what you started with, and (2) don’t let the process drag out forever, because if you have been lied to or have other legal claims, the statute of limitations on those will be ticking.

3) Pursue claims against Welk in arbitration or litigation.

If you bought your timeshare based on misrepresentations during the sales process, or they breached promises that they made you, then you may have a legal claim against Welk Resorts. It’s also possible that you can make legal challenges to the validity of the contract you signed (for example, if it is so one-sided that it is considered unconscionable).

Most timeshare companies include arbitration clauses in their contracts, which mean you can’t go to court. You can still “sue” them, but it happens in a binding arbitration, which is a private mini-lawsuit that happens before a lawyer who acts as the arbitrator. An arbitrator is essentially a judge, but who is hearing the dispute by agreement.

In the contracts with Welk Resorts we’ve seen, they require the arbitration to happen in San Diego – we have California-barred attorneys at our firm and offices in Southern California. However, the vast majority of the arbitrations we do take place over Zoom or other remote software because it’s easier for everyone, particularly if you live somewhere else in the country.

Because arbitration works like a shorter, cheaper lawsuit, you will still want an attorney. The arbitrator will be a lawyer and will expect legal argument, particularly about what kinds of laws might have been violated and what your remedies are.

We sue companies over all kinds of abusive or deceptive business practices, so if you hire us you’re getting a real law firm whose experience is in winning lawsuits and arbitrations. If you think you may have a legal claim against Welk Resorts and want to get rid of your timeshare, call us at 657-845-3100 or e-mail us at contact@kneuppercovey.com.

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