What is a Timeshare Deedback Program? Here’s a Comprehensive Guide


Jason Connolly

May 15, 2023

A timeshare deedback program is a way that allows timeshare owners to give back their ownership rights and responsibilities back to the resort or management company. With the timeshare industry's growth, some owners have found themselves struggling to maintain their annual maintenance fees and other associated travel costs. As a result, timeshare deed back programs have emerged as a way for owners seeking relief from their financial burdens.

We will look to address owners asking “what is a timeshare deedback program?” in detail, discussing their advantages, disadvantages, and the process involved in participating in such a program.

Understanding Timeshares and How They Work

Before looking into timeshare deedback programs, it is essential to understand what timeshares are and how they function. A timeshare is a form of shared property ownership where multiple individuals hold rights to use a vacation property for a specific period each year. These periods are typically divided into weekly increments, and the property's usage rights are distributed among the owners according to their allocated time slots.

Timeshare properties can be found all over the world and usually come in the form of vacation resorts, condominiums, or holiday apartments.

What is a Timeshare Deedback Program?

A timeshare deed back program is a voluntary exit pathway offered by some resorts and management companies to help timeshare owners relinquish their ownership interests. The program allows the owner to "deed back" their timeshare to the resort or management company, effectively terminating their ownership rights and obligations.

However, deeding back a timeshare is not a guaranteed program, and the specific terms of each deedback program can vary from one resort or management company to another.

Advantages of Timeshare Deedback Programs

  • Relief from financial burdens: The most significant benefit of a timeshare deedback program is the relief from the ongoing financial obligations associated with timeshare ownership. By deeding back their timeshare, owners can free themselves from the burden of annual maintenance fees, special assessments, and other associated costs.
  • A feasible exit strategy: A timeshare deed back program provides a viable alternative for owners who are just seeking a way to get rid of their timeshare.
  • Avoiding foreclosure: If a timeshare owner cannot meet their financial obligations, they may face foreclosure, which could have a significant negative impact on their credit rating. By participating in a deedback program, owners can avoid foreclosure and the associated credit damage.
  • Streamlined process: Deed back programs are usually more straightforward compared to other exit strategies, such as donating a timeshare. The resort or management company will often handle most of the paperwork, making the process relatively hassle-free for the owner.

Disadvantages of Timeshare Deed Back Programs 

  • No compensation: because timeshare deedback programs involve giving back the timeshare to the resort, there is no monetary compensation for the owner. This is why most owners prefer to test the timeshare resale market first and begin the process of selling their timeshare.
  • Fees up to date: nearly all resorts and timeshare companies require all annual fees and any mortgages to be paid in full before being considered for a deed back program.
  • Payment requirement: some companies require owners to pay as much as three years’ worth of maintenance fees in advance in order to give back their timeshares. Others are known to charge a transfer or document processing fee. In any case, be prepared to pay a fee and consider it a reprieve if you don’t need to pay.
  • Loss of ownership: By participating in a deed back program, owners are giving up their timeshare. This means that they will no longer have access to the vacation property during their allotted time slot and will lose any equity they may have built up in the timeshare.
  • Limited availability: Not all resorts or management companies offer timeshare deed back programs, and even among those that do, the terms and conditions can vary significantly. Some companies may have strict eligibility requirements, making the option less appealing for certain owners.
  • No guarantee of acceptance: A timeshare deedback program is not guaranteed, as the resort or management company has the final say as to accepting or declining an owner's request for various reasons. For example, the company may be unwilling to take back timeshares if they are not in active sales or do not have a rental program in place.

Steps to the Deedback Process

If a timeshare owner is interested in entering a deedback program, they should follow these steps to navigate the process:

  1. Research and verify eligibility: The first step is asking whether the resort or management company offers such a program, then whether the owner is eligible to participate. This information can usually be found by contacting the resort or management company directly.
  2. Gather documentation: If a deedback program is available and the owner is eligible, the owner should gather all necessary ownership documentation. This may include the original timeshare deed, proof of ownership, and any other relevant documents.
  3. Submit a written request: To begin the deed back process, the owner must submit a formal request to the resort or management company. This request should include a letter explaining their desire to participate in the program, along with all required documentation. Some companies may also require the owner to complete a deedback application form.
  4. Negotiate terms: Once the resort or management company has received the owner's request, owners can engage in negotiations to determine the specific terms of the agreement. Although owners have little leverage, they can try discussing any outstanding fees that must be paid before the deedback can be completed.
  5. Complete the agreement: If the owner and the resort or management company come to an agreement, they will need to complete the necessary paperwork to finalize the deedback process. This may include signing a deed transfer or quitclaim deed, which legally transfers the timeshare ownership back to the resort or management company.
  6. Post-deedback follow up: After the transaction has been completed, the former timeshare owner should request a written confirmation that the transfer has been completed and there are no ongoing obligations.

Tips for a Successful Process

Be proactive: Being proactive and initiating the process early may increase the likelihood of a successful deedback transaction, especially if there are no detrimental financial issues involved.

Stay organized: Keeping all timeshare-related ownership documentation readily available to help streamline the process and prevent delays.

Understand the terms and conditions: Owners should carefully assess the terms and conditions to ensure they fully understand the implications of the deed back and any potential consequences.

Additional Factors to Consider

Comparing exit strategies: Before entering into a timeshare deedback program, owners should explore all available exit strategies to determine the best course of action for their specific situation. This may include selling your timeshare on the timeshare resale market, renting it out, or donating it to a charitable organization, all of which result in some type of additional benefit back to the owner.

Seek assistance from a reputable timeshare resale company: If an owner is struggling to navigate the process or is unsure whether a deedback program is the best option for them, they may consider seeking assistance from a reputable timeshare resale company such as SellaTimeshare.com. We specialize in helping timeshare owners find the most suitable exit strategy and can provide additional guidance throughout the process.

Be wary of scams: Unfortunately, the timeshare industry has attracted a number of scams and fraudulent schemes, including those targeting owners seeking to exit their timeshares. Owners should be very cautious when dealing with third-party timeshare exit companies who charge exorbitant upfront fees and claim to facilitate deedbacks or other exit strategies. Thoroughly research any company before engaging their services.

Consider the impact on future vacations: While a timeshare deedback program can provide quick financial relief, owners should also consider the long-term implications of relinquishing their timeshare ownership. For some owners, the loss of access to the vacation property may lead to increased costs for future vacations through high rental fees or difficulty in finding suitable accommodations during peak travel seasons.

Engage in open communication with the resort or management company: Maintaining open communication with the resort or management company is essential and can help facilitate a smoother transaction. Owners should be transparent about their reasons for wanting to participate in such a program.

Is a Timeshare Deedback Program Right for You?

Now that you have the answers to the question “what is a timeshare deedback program,” you know that the program can offer a possible exit strategy for owners facing financial difficulties. By carefully weighing the advantages and disadvantages, understanding the process, and consulting with professionals, timeshare owners can make informed decisions about whether a deed back program is the right option for them.

As the timeshare industry continues to evolve, it is essential for owners to stay informed about the various exit strategies available to them and to remain vigilant against potential scams and fraudulent schemes.

One exit strategy that is risk-free is the program offered here at Sell a Timeshare. No upfront fees are involved from sellers, and our automated program lets owners upload their timeshare details and advertise their timeshare for sale when they are ready to proceed.

Once the advertisement is in place, inbound buyer offers are verified by licensed agents through our sister company, Timeshare Broker Associates, to ensure the offer is legitimate and not some type of personal information phishing scam. Once verified, sellers can either accept the offer or have the TBA agent negotiate the best deal possible.

Ready for a real exit strategy? Get started today!

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