California – Timeshare Know Your Rights

Cancellation Period is seven days from date of purchase agreement or receipt of the public report, whichever is later.

  • See California’s timeshare contract cancellation procedure here.
  • Follow the process carefully and document your actions (ex: use certified mail)
  • Legal remedies to void or recover damages for illegal timeshare sales (see BPC 11285)

California code 11238(d)(7) states in part:  “You may cancel this contract without any penalty or obligation within seven calendar days of receipt of the public report or after the date you sign this contract, whichever date is later. If you decide to cancel this contract, you must notify the developer in writing of your intent to cancel. Your notice of cancellation shall be effective upon the date sent and shall be sent to (name of developer) at (address of developer).”

Arbitration opt-out: Review your purchase agreement to see if you can opt-out of arbitration. If you opt-out of an arbitration clause, you’ll have the option to file legal action in court against the company if it wrongs you, including possible jury trials or class action lawsuits. Again, follow the process and timeline carefully, use certified mail and keep records of your actions.

File a consumer complaint

  • File a Californian complaint against a timeshare here.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission here.

California timeshare law

Read California’s timeshare laws here (California Code 11210-11288).

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • Wouldn’t it be cheaper, less complicated and more flexible to pay cash and use online travel sites for my vacation plans?
  • What benefits are there to timeshares with locked-in yearly mandatory fees, limited resort networks, initiation fees, and program rules restrictions?
  • Is my Diamond timeshare membership and yearly maintenance fee obligation life-long?
  • What if I want to get out? Are there viable options to get rid of a timeshare financial obligation?
  • Did I comparison shop before committing to such a long-term financial obligation? Could Hilton, Marriott, RCI, ILG or Wyndham provide better timeshare deals?
  • Why are sales presentation used to sell timeshares?
  • How much am I really paying for a vacation if I include ALL the costs, taxes, fees and loan interests applicable to my Diamond membership?
  • If there is a special assessment fee and I can’t afford to pay it, what can I do?
  • What’s the cash equivalent conversion rate of my Diamond points for room nights, maintenance fees or other travel purchases like flights, cruises or car rentals?

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DIAMOND RESORTS SALESPERSON

  • Will you put your oral promises and representations to me in writing?
  • What’s the difference between Diamond’s right-to-use points vs. deeded real estate timeshare?
  • How much will I pay annually in maintenance fees, taxes, club fees, interest expense and other costs?
  • Will I be able to access and use the Diamond reservation system within 7 days after signing the contract?
  • Which Diamond “Collection” am I buying into and can I use my points at resorts outside my Collection without extra cost or procedure?
  • What’s the maximum annual percentage increase of maintenance fees allowed for my timeshare?
  • Are there Diamond “loyalty levels”? If so, which would I be eligible for?
    • What are the benefits and restrictions for each loyalty level?
    • If my loyalty level doesn’t include a benefit you represented to me, what do I have to do to get it?
  • If I use points to pay yearly maintenance fees, what is the exchange rate of points to cash?
  • THE Sampler: is there down payment, waiting period, stay requirement or other restrictions?
  • If I want to rollover unused points year to year, are there lead-time restrictions or cost? Is it automatic?
  • If I’m allowed to use Diamond points to book flights, cruises or rental cars, is it cheaper than paying cash?
  • Will I be able to refinance my Diamond loan with a loan from a lender? What if I try but the banks refuse? How does Diamond’s finance interest rate compare to current market rate?
  • What is the foreclosure rate of Diamond timeshare owners’ interest or loans?
    • How many of the foreclosures are bought and resold by Diamond?
  • Does Diamond allow me to advertise and rent my timeshare for cash to the public if I’m not using it for myself?
  • Can I leave the sales presentation after I fulfilled my minimum time obligation?