Q: I purchased a timeshare in Las Vegas in August 2007. Now, due to my own grave financial problems, I would like to divest myself of this timeshare. Short of defaulting, are there any options?

A: One of the problems with buying a timeshare is that in many situations it’s extremely difficult to get rid of it if you no longer want it. The management companies of some of the newer timeshares that have been built recently will try to sell it for you to preserve market value. You can also go online and try to sell your timeshare (or just give it away) online. At least you won’t have the monthly responsibility for it.

It’s a double-whammy that the timeshare you’ve got happens to be in Las Vegas, which is ground zero for foreclosures. That doesn’t bode well for timeshares.

I suggest you try advertising it in your community, and speaking to the management company about what their resale policy is. You might also list it on eBay and on places like Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO.com). You should also list it on Zillow.com and Craig’s List. You can also go to the many web sites that list timeshares for sale and work with them to get the timeshare sold.

Short of giving it away for charity (if you can find a charity that would take it), I don’t have any groundbreaking suggestions. Just a warning – stay away from predatory salespeople who offer to list your timeshare for an upfront fee. You shouldn’t have to pay anyone upfront. If they sell it, they can collect a commission – one I’m sure you’d be all too happy to pay.

May 21, 2009