Ilyce Glink

Q: I've owned a timeshare for the past decade. I've used it a few times, but mostly, it's just sat there, year after year. I've been paying on it, but I lost my job last year, and frankly, it's more important to me to pay my mortgage than pay my timeshare bills.

Is it possible to quitclaim a timeshare back to the resort?

A: You certainly can quitclaim your timeshare back to a resort if the resort has agreed to buy the timeshare back from you.

Many who bought timeshares over the last 10 years have found out that resale can be difficult, particularly in an environment where there are few buyers.

If you want to sell your timeshare, you should talk to the resort about transferring title back to them. If you can't resell or transfer it back to the resort, you might have to try to sell your week (or whatever time is available to you) for the timeshare on a website that allow people to list vacation rentals.

Some timeshare developers are better than others in handling resales. Last year I attended a presentation for a timeshare whose developer offered incentives to buyers to use the developer for resales. If the resale did not occur through them, any subsequent owner of the timeshare wouldn't benefit from various partnerships, points and benefits available through the developer's timeshare network -- a neat little circle.

Another interesting fact that came out in the presentation was that the developer was eager to offer financing for the purchase. The sales representative encouraged me to later obtain refinance, but they were more than happy to finance my purchase right then and there, before I had time to rethink it.

Some companies will work with timeshares owners who want to sell, but you need to be careful. Don't pay an upfront fee to list your property only to find out that there are no buyers on that site.

Don't transfer your timeshare to these companies, unless it's a true purchase and the company agrees in writing to pay off any amount you owe to your lender and the timeshare developer at the time of the sale. Otherwise, you might end up still owing money to your timeshare lender but have no right to use the timeshare.

Lastly, some developments have rental offices that can help exchange or transfer your timeshare use to another property. If you can transfer your time to another property that can get you a time slot that is more readily rentable, you might want to consider that option.

If you are successful in selling the timeshare, let me know how it goes.