What Should I Consider Before Purchasing a Timeshare in South Carolina?

As a real estate attorney, located in Summerville, South Carolina, I have counseled clients on purchasing timeshares in South Carolina and even those facing a timeshare foreclosure. There are important questions that require answers before purchasing a timeshare. In this article, I will discuss canceling a timeshare contract, refunds and foreclosure procedures in South Carolina.

Can I Cancel a Timeshare Contract in South Carolina?

South Carolina law outlines timeshare contract cancellation as follows:

YOU MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT WITHOUT PENALTY OR OBLIGATION WITHIN FIVE DAYS AFTER THE DATE YOU SIGN THIS CONTRACT, NOT INCLUDING SUNDAY IF THAT IS THE FIFTH DAY, OR THE DATE YOU RECEIVE THE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 27-32-100, WHICHEVER OCCURS LATER. IF YOU DECIDE TO CANCEL, YOU MUST NOTIFY THE SELLER IN WRITING OF YOUR INTENT TO CANCEL BY SENDING NOTICE BY CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, OR BY ANOTHER VERIFIABLE MEANS, TO (NAME OF SELLER) AT (SELLER’S ADDRESS).

(b) in the case of a vacation time sharing lease plan the following statement also must be included:

YOU ALSO MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT AT ANY TIME IN CASE THE ACCOMMODATIONS OR FACILITIES PROVIDED IN THE CONTRACT OR COMPARABLE ACCOMMODATIONS OR FACILITIES ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

(B) Notice of cancellation pursuant to this section is considered given on the date postmarked if mailed, or when transmitted from the place of origin if telegraphed, so long as the notice is actually received by the seller. If given by means of a writing transmitted other than by mail or telegraph, the notice is considered given at the time of delivery at the seller’s address as identified on the contract.

How Can I Cancel a Timeshare Contract in South Carolina?

If you want to cancel the purchase contract, you must notify the seller in writing by sending notice via certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice of cancellation is considered given on the date postmarked so long as the notice is actually received by the seller.

South Crolina law states:

It is a violation of this chapter for the seller of vacation time sharing plans, or his assignees, to fail or refuse to honor a purchaser’s request to cancel a contract as provided by Section 27-32-40 if the request is made; except that this section does not deny the seller the option to repair, replace, or reconstruct within a reasonable time the accommodations or facilities if destroyed or damaged.

Does South Carolina State Law Include Refunds?

Yes, it does.

It is a violation of this chapter for a seller of vacation time sharing plans to:

(1) fail to refund payments made by the purchaser pursuant to the contract and return a negotiable instrument, other than a check, executed by the purchaser in connection with the contract or services within twenty days after receipt of notice of cancellation made pursuant to Section 27-32-40, if the purchaser has not received benefits pursuant to the contract;

(2) if the purchaser has received benefits pursuant to the contract, fail to refund within thirty days after receipt of notification of cancellation made pursuant to Section 27-32-40 or 27-32-50 payments made by the purchaser to the seller which exceed a pro rata portion of the total price, taking into consideration the cost and use of the time share facilities at an average rental rate, representing the proportion of contract benefits actually received by the purchaser during the time preceding cancellation;

(3) fail to place in a real estate broker’s trust account, or another escrow arrangement approved by the commission, one hundred percent of the funds received from the purchasers of the plans, which trust account must provide that:

(a) its purpose is to protect the purchaser’s right to refund during the five-day right to cancellation period as provided in Section 27-32-40 or 27-32-50;…

What is a Disclosure Agreement and Public Offering Statement in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, every purchaser must be given a comprehensive disclosure document that includes the material terms and conditions of the vacation time sharing plan.

A timeshare seller must also provide the purchaser a written public offering statement regarding the purchaser’s rights and obligations associated with the purchase of an interest in that vacation time sharing plan.

The purchaser must receive the statement before signing a purchase contract and the statement must include:

  • the name and address of the seller
  • a  description of the interest being offered in the vacation time sharing plan
  • the name of a person with the right to alter, amend, or add charges which the purchaser must pay
  • a description of provisions to protect the purchaser’s interest from loss due to foreclosure on an underlying financial obligation of the vacation time sharing plan
  • a statement similar to the following: “You should purchase a time sharing interest as a vacation experience and for your personal use and enjoyment. You should not purchase a time sharing interest as an investment or for profit upon its rental or resale.”

What is the Timeshare Foreclosure Procedure in South Carolina?

If you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a deeded timeshare and fail to make your timeshare mortgage payments or keep up with the assessments, you will likely face foreclosure. In South Carolina, there is a statute known as the Timeshare Lien Foreclosure Act, S.C. Code § 27-32-300 et seq. (‘TLFA”), which permits licensed attorneys in South Carolina to be appointed as trustee to foreclose the lien created by a delinquent timeshare account in a non-judicial foreclosure process.

This transfers legal title to the purchaser who is obligated to pay authorized assessments as they become due. Compared to the traditional judicial foreclosure process, the TLFA non-judicial foreclosure process is significantly less costly and time-consuming. A non-judicial foreclosure under TLFA can be completed in 5-6 months, start to finish.

This transfers legal title to the purchaser who is obligated to pay authorized assessments as they become due. Compared to the traditional judicial foreclosure process, the TLFA non-judicial foreclosure process is significantly less costly and time-consuming. A non-judicial foreclosure under TLFA can be completed in 5-6 months, start to finish. This means that timeshare resorts in South Carolina can collect the amount owed or remove delinquent owners from the ownership roles each year and start the next billing cycle with a  roster free of delinquent owners.

Contact the Watts Law Firm to further discuss timeshares and the various laws and procedures surrounding them.