Timeshare Industry Applauds Actions, Hopeful that Legislation Will Lead to Better Consumer Protections
ORLANDO, FL (February 1, 2012) — Today, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and the American Resort Development Association Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) announced its support of the Timeshare Resale Accountability Act, sponsored by Florida State Senator Andy Gardiner and Florida State Representative Eric Eisenaugle and supported by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
This bill was enacted to protect Florida consumers and help put an end to such 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. Timeshare owners can now hold resale companies that use deceptive business practices accountable for their actions. Also, the legislation seeks greater transparency and will require, among other things, timeshare resale companies to disclose all terms and conditions of their business relationship with a consumer, provide for a right of rescission for consumers to cancel a contract for resale services, and impose penalties on companies who continue these deceptive practices.
“General Bondi, Senator Gardiner, and Representative Eisenaugle are to be commended for their commitment to consumer protection and transparency,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA. “ARDA and the ARDA-Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) support their efforts to ensure that these important safeguards are put into Florida law,” added Nusbaum.
CS/HB 1001 and CS/SB 1408 are in the legislative committee hearing process during the 2012 legislative session and will likely be passed by the legislature prior to its scheduled adjournment in March.
Nearly 25% of all timeshare resorts in the United States are located in Florida and represent a large and growing share of Florida’s tourism market. The Timeshare Resale Accountability Act is proactive legislation that is vital to ensuring the long-term health of a key sector of Florida’s tourism industry.
“This legislation is a needed first step by state authorities to take action against dishonest companies whose actions taint the industry’s reputable resale companies,” continued Nusbaum. Similar legislation has been enacted in Colorado, and is being pursued in South Carolina.
The timeshare industry continues to work with its members to ensure transparency on both the buying and selling process. Over the years, ARDA and its members have provided information on the resale process to consumers, monitored resale company practices, held symposiums for its members, and created think tanks with industry leaders to discuss the best solutions to ensure consumer protections and adherence to resale standards.
For further information about how to ensure a safe and positive timeshare resale experience, visit the ARDA-ROC Timeshare Resale Resource Center.