Can I get out of a timeshare contract if the seller lied about details when they sold it to me?

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Can I get out of a timeshare contract if the seller lied about details when they sold it to me?

I got pressured into buying a timeshare that I never wanted. I was told that a month after buying the timeshare I could transfer it over to my boyfriend (since he was the one that wanted it but didn’t have the credit to get it) and that was not true, on the contract it says he is my husband which he never was. He had been paying it all this time and now he says he is not going to pay for it any more and I don’t want it, have never used it and it is destroying my credit, which was perfect. I don’t know what to do.

Asked on March 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if the seller knowingly makes material misrepresentations (basically. significant or important lies) to get the buyer to engage in the transation, and the buyer does so, reasonably relying on those misrepresentations, that is fraud; and fraud can give rise to the right to rescind (basically get out of) the contract.

Where you may have trouble is on the "reasonableness" of your reliance, since even if you were "pressured" to sign, if you had the chance to read the contract, and the contract contridicted the misrepresenations, then it may no longer have been reasonable to rely on what the seller said. At that point, you could and should have relied on the actual text of the agreement.

Also, if the seller lied on the form about your relationship status, but you had the chance to review that and see how your boyfriend had been characterized or described before you signed, then you might be held to have collaborated in the deception and therefore might be equitably estopped (or prevented) from relying on it as a basis for terminating or rescinding the agreement.

In short, lies can give you the grounds to get out of the contract, but much depends on what was said, when, and whether you then had a chance to review the contract or not before signing. You should consult with an attorney about this situation; the lawyer can review the situation and the agreement with you. Good luck.


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