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House Bill 1001 passes first committee! [merged]

TUGBrian

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http://www.ardaroc.org/roc/legislative-issues/issues.aspx?id=3263

This might just be the first legislation targeted towards protecting timeshare owners and making it easier for law enforcement to shut down and go after the scammers that litter this business!

Its also of note that Judi Kozlowski has taken a HUGE role in helping lawmakers get this bill correct!
 

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SOS8260456

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Interesting. Judi sold us our very first timeshare. We were so anxious to close on it that she even had someone from her office take it to the courthouse for recording.

Lisa from PA
 

TUGBrian

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passed 2nd committee yesterday with a 10-0 vote!

(no idea how many committees there are to get something made into law...but clearly it has at least one more!)

here is a nice writeup of the overview of the bill:

http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/blog/senate-committee-backs-bondi-crackdown-timeshare-fraud


Under the proposed legislation:

• A timeshare resale advertiser may not misrepresent a pre-existing interest in the owner’s timeshare.

• A timeshare resale advertiser may not mislead a customer as to the success rate of the advertiser’s sales.

• A timeshare resale advertiser may not provide brokerage or direct sale services.

• A timeshare resale advertiser must honor a cancellation request made within seven days following a signed agreement.

• A timeshare resale advertiser must provide a full refund by a timeshare owner within 20 days of a valid cancellation request.

• A timeshare resale advertiser must not collect any payment or engage in any resale advertising activities until the timeshare owner delivers a signed, written agreement for the services.

• A timeshare resale advertiser must also provide a full disclosure statement printed in bold type, with no smaller than a 12-point font, and printed immediately preceding the space provided for the timeshare owner’s signature.

• A timeshare advertising agreement must be put in writing.

• A company that violates these provisions has committed a violation of the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act with a penalty not to exceed $15,000 per violation.
 

TUGBrian

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TUGBrian

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intentions are certainly good...now to see if it works!
 

lancejr

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I wonder if this means every client has to physically sign and then fax/email/mail the contract back. Does anyone know if e-signature is acceptable?
 

Talent312

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I wonder if this means every client has to physically sign and then fax/email/mail the contract back. Does anyone know if e-signature is acceptable?
Why? Planning to use one of these scam artists?

The law is expressly designed to make it more difficult for these theives to prey upon marks who are all too eager to give their $$ away to anyone who gives them false hope.

The disclosure ought to say:
"Pay us thousands, but the odds that title will be transferred or that it will ultimately sell for more than $1.00 is virtually nil. There's a much better chance that we will disappear along with your $$."

Sign up for that, if it floats your boat.
 
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Dave*H

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This is a good start, but it does nothing to address the environment that allowed the scam artists to flourish. Specifically, too many people who own timeshares worth very little. Two primary factors cause this:

- Too many people buying new timeshares. Requirements for more a more realistic sales pitch would be start. When a timeshare salesman's lips are moving, it should be truth.

- An extremely inefficient resale market. Most new purchasers probably don't know the resale market exists. Many owners looking to sell probably don't know about it either or have the wherewithal to sell themselves.

If changes aren't made to make the resale market better, the only thing this law will accomplish is to reduce the resale scams. Owners will still be stuck with timeshares they don't want.
 

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Timeshare companies are as bad as resale companies

The sales people at the timeshare companies are just as bad if not worse than the resale companies. The timeshare industry should also be held accountable for all the lies that their sales people say to customers in order to make a sale.

I own several timeshares which I purchased over 20 years ago, and I asked each sales person what do I do when I can no longer use the timeshare, and every single one said I could sell it to anyone I wanted, and if I had trouble selling it, they said YOU CAN ALWAYS SELL BACK TO THE TIMESHARE COMPANY. I asked how much a timeshare depreciates after being sold, and one sales person said THEY DON'T DEPRECIATE, THEY APPRECIATE IN VALUE. So asked how much I would get back from the timeshare company, and the sales person said YOU'LL AT LEAST GET BACK WHAT YOU PAID BECAUSE THE PRICES ARE ALWAYS GOING UP. Now I find out that the timeshare companies do not buy timeshares back because the maintenance fees are their "easy money".

The laws for timeshare resale companies need to also apply to the initial sellers of timeshares. The timeshare sales contracts should include all the statements about selling it back to the timeshare companies that the sales people profoundly state to potential buyers as the way the timeshare industry works.
 

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New Florida Law

This is a good start, but the needs to be a national law. Because my guess will be if these scammers get shut down in Florida, they will just move someplace else. In fact I got hounded by one of these scammers out of Seattle. I have also had calls from California.
 

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So what happens if a buyer purchases a timeshare in Florida and the 10-day cancellation information is NOT part of the contract? Does that buyer have one year after they signed the contract that did NOT include the 10-day cancellation noice to get my money back for their timeshare?

Also, is there a monetary penalty for companies or indivduals that sell a timeshare in Florida or reside in Florida that do NOT use the 10-day cancellation information on their contract? Or would the only penalty to the seller be that the buyer now has one year to to cancel the contract?

This law is starting on July 1, 2012 correct?
 

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Questions About House Bill 1001

I read the House Bill 1001 and I have a couple of questions:

What happens if a buyer purchases a timeshare in Florida and the 10-day cancellation information is NOT part of the contract? Does that buyer have one year after they signed the contract that did NOT include the 10-day cancellation notice to get my money back for their timeshare?

Also, is there a monetary penalty for companies or indivduals that sell a timeshare in Florida or reside in Florida that do NOT use the 10-day cancellation information on their contract? Or would the only penalty to the seller be that the buyer now has one year to to cancel the contract?

This law is starting on July 1, 2012 correct?
 

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TUGBrian

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anxiously awaiting the first reports of companies being shut down under the new laws.
 
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pacodemountainside

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Wyndham Likes

My question is since Developers take time shares on trade in, foreclosure and sometimes just take deed back does this make them a reseller.? They are certaily selling "used" previously titled Intervals!:ponder:


"Wyndham Vacation Ownership Applauds Enactment of Timeshare Resale Fraud Bill
New Bill Cracks Down on Fraudulent Timeshare Resellers

Orlando, Fla. (June 22, 2012) – Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), the world’s largest vacation ownership company and member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE:WYN), applauds the enactment of the Timeshare Resale Accountability Act. Florida Gov. Rick Scott will hold a ceremony in Orlando today officially signing into law this new bill aimed at tackling fraud by timeshare resale companies.

"We remain committed to protecting our owners and the integrity of our industry at large. This new law will help to ensure deceptive companies can no longer take advantage of timeshare owners," said Franz Hanning, President and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership. "I commend Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott, along with bill sponsors Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and Rep. Eric Eisnaugle (R-Orlando), for aggressively pursuing action against the fraudulent and deceptive practices that have become commonplace among many timeshare resale companies."

The Timeshare Resale Accountability Act was enacted to protect Florida consumers, and help put an end to deceptive marketing practices conducted by fraudulent timeshare resale companies that have been targeting consumers under the guise of offering a service to help sell their timeshare product. The new Act requires full and fair disclosure of the terms and conditions of services being offered, a reasonable rescission period for consumers to cancel a contract and penalties for those individuals and companies that engage in misleading and fraudulent practices. The bill will become effective July 1, 2012.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership, with headquarters in Orlando, operates 16 resorts in the State of Florida. According to research by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) International Foundation, nearly 25 percent of all U.S. timeshare resorts are located in the state. In 2010, Florida timeshare sales equaled $2.2 billion of the U.S. total of $6.4 billion."
 

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While you certainly have timeshare sales weasels pegged correctly, you miss several other points.

Your comments about the MO or some timeshare developers is certainly close to accurate, but you paint with far too broad a brush.

As to buybacks by developers, the only one I know of that does so is the world's first timeshare developer, Hapimag, which puts that policy in writing and honors it. After someone has owned a Hapimag timeshare a set number of years, they are allowed to sell it back to Hapimag for a price that is based on a set percentage of the then current retail price. That is one reason that you do not see Hapimag resales going for a dollar (or in their case, a Swiss franc). Hapimag is one of Europe's largest timeshare developers and the practices of some who have come after them in the industry is one reason that they do not like to use the word ''timeshare'' for their product any more.

You seem to assume that the developer is always in control of a timeshare, and this is certainly not so. Many developers these days do seem to want to manipulate things so that they always keep control and management, but that is not always the case. Some developers voluntarily turned over control and management to elected owners committess and others were forced out by action of their members. Timeshares with member-controlled HOA's are much more user-friendly and they are the ONLY type of timeshare I would consider owning at. On the Outer Banks, for example, all but two of the timeshare resorts are controlled by member-controlled HOA boards and the developer is completely out of the picture.

The sales people at the timeshare companies are just as bad if not worse than the resale companies. The timeshare industry should also be held accountable for all the lies that their sales people say to customers in order to make a sale.

I own several timeshares which I purchased over 20 years ago, and I asked each sales person what do I do when I can no longer use the timeshare, and every single one said I could sell it to anyone I wanted, and if I had trouble selling it, they said YOU CAN ALWAYS SELL BACK TO THE TIMESHARE COMPANY. I asked how much a timeshare depreciates after being sold, and one sales person said THEY DON'T DEPRECIATE, THEY APPRECIATE IN VALUE. So asked how much I would get back from the timeshare company, and the sales person said YOU'LL AT LEAST GET BACK WHAT YOU PAID BECAUSE THE PRICES ARE ALWAYS GOING UP. Now I find out that the timeshare companies do not buy timeshares back because the maintenance fees are their "easy money".

The laws for timeshare resale companies need to also apply to the initial sellers of timeshares. The timeshare sales contracts should include all the statements about selling it back to the timeshare companies that the sales people profoundly state to potential buyers as the way the timeshare industry works.
 

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If you read the definitions in the legislation, developers and ''management entities'' are specifically excluded from the provisions of the bill.

Reading definitions in legislation is important, because they can define terms in much broader or much narrower fashion than the same term may be generally used by the public. For example, the definition of a timeshare developer (who has to be licensed by the state Real Estate Commission and pay an annual fee) in North Carolina is anyone who sells a timeshare week located in North Carolina, but then excludes those who sell a week owned by themselves which has been used for personal use. That is pretty darn broad, and would include eBay sellers, for example, and I suspect not a one of them has complied. Of course, that gives good leverage with eBay sellers for a buyer to demand that they back off of some of their crap like requiring a buyer to use their closer at an inflated cost.


My question is since Developers take time shares on trade in, foreclosure and sometimes just take deed back does this make them a reseller.? They are certaily selling "used" previously titled Intervals!:ponder:


"Wyndham Vacation Ownership Applauds Enactment of Timeshare Resale Fraud Bill
New Bill Cracks Down on Fraudulent Timeshare Resellers

Orlando, Fla. (June 22, 2012) – Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), the world’s largest vacation ownership company and member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE:WYN), applauds the enactment of the Timeshare Resale Accountability Act. Florida Gov. Rick Scott will hold a ceremony in Orlando today officially signing into law this new bill aimed at tackling fraud by timeshare resale companies.

"We remain committed to protecting our owners and the integrity of our industry at large. This new law will help to ensure deceptive companies can no longer take advantage of timeshare owners," said Franz Hanning, President and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership. "I commend Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott, along with bill sponsors Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and Rep. Eric Eisnaugle (R-Orlando), for aggressively pursuing action against the fraudulent and deceptive practices that have become commonplace among many timeshare resale companies."

The Timeshare Resale Accountability Act was enacted to protect Florida consumers, and help put an end to deceptive marketing practices conducted by fraudulent timeshare resale companies that have been targeting consumers under the guise of offering a service to help sell their timeshare product. The new Act requires full and fair disclosure of the terms and conditions of services being offered, a reasonable rescission period for consumers to cancel a contract and penalties for those individuals and companies that engage in misleading and fraudulent practices. The bill will become effective July 1, 2012.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership, with headquarters in Orlando, operates 16 resorts in the State of Florida. According to research by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) International Foundation, nearly 25 percent of all U.S. timeshare resorts are located in the state. In 2010, Florida timeshare sales equaled $2.2 billion of the U.S. total of $6.4 billion."
 

rrlongwell

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My question is since Developers take time shares on trade in, foreclosure and sometimes just take deed back does this make them a reseller.? They are certaily selling "used" previously titled Intervals!:ponder: ...
http://laws.flrules.org/files/Ch_2012-076.pdf

Extracts from the above:

“Resale service provider” means any resale advertiser, or other person or entity, including any agent or employee of such person or entity, who offers or uses unsolicited telemarketing, direct mail, or e-mail, or any other means of communication in connection with the offering of resale brokerage or resale advertising services to consumer owners of timeshare resellers interests.

The term does not include developers or, managing entities, or exchange companies to the extent they offer resale brokerage or resale advertising services to owners of timeshare interests in their own timeshare plans; resale brokers to the extent that resale advertising services, are offered in connection with resale brokerage services and no fee for the advertising service is collected in advance; or a consumer timeshare reseller who acquires a timeshare interest or timeshare interests for his or her own use and occupancy and who later offers the timeshare interest or timeshare, interests for rent or offers for resale in a given calendar year seven or fewer of the timeshare interests that he or she acquired for his or her own use and occupancy or members of their own exchange programs.

“Resale advertiser” … The term does not include:

A developer or managing entity to the extent that either of them offers
resale advertising services to owners of timeshare interests in their own
timeshare plans …
A resale service provider may not engage in those activities described
in s. 475.01(1)(a) without being the holder of a valid and current active
license in accordance with chapter 475.
 
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Tia

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This is a good start, but the needs to be a national law. Because my guess will be if these scammers get shut down in Florida, they will just move someplace else. ..........
Agree it needs to go national!
 

ace2000

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"Wyndham Vacation Ownership Applauds Enactment of Timeshare Resale Fraud Bill
Wyndham applauds this bill? That definitely concerns me.

What's more unethical... taking a thousand from someone for offering to falsely sell a timeshare, or a developer selling something for tens of thousands that is worth pennies the day after the sale? And then throw in the lies and misrepresentations. It seems like our anger on TUG is more focused on these resellers, but the developers are committing a far greater crime.
 

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Wyndham applauds this bill? That definitely concerns me.

What's more unethical... taking a thousand from someone for offering to falsely sell a timeshare, or a developer selling something for tens of thousands that is worth pennies the day after the sale? And then throw in the lies and misrepresentations. It seems like our anger on TUG is more focused on these resellers, but the developers are committing a far greater crime.
There are lots of other bad things developers do, as well, like keeping control of HOA boards and management after the resort sells out, that need to be cranked down on.

The unfortunate reality is that developers can and do hire high powered lobbyists to look after their interests. The worst thing is they take money from individual members through ARDA-ROC to represent timeshare interests but then use that to represent developer interests.
 
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