Orlando, FL (June 11, 2010) – Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed into law last week legislation that gives much needed relief to timeshare owners associations (HOAs) and developers from the lengthy judicial processes for timeshare interest foreclosures. The “Trustee Foreclosure” bill (FL HB 1411) promises to help HOAs reduce the time and cost involved in reclaiming timeshare interests from owners who are delinquent in paying their maintenance fees, assists timeshare developers in recovering inventory from owners who are unable to make their mortgage payments and will prevent thousands of timeshare foreclosure cases from being filed with Florida courts already overwhelmed by residential foreclosure cases.
“The need for this legislation arose in direct response to the growing challenge faced by HOAs and lenders from timeshare owners who either could not afford to maintain their payments or chose to “walk away” from their maintenance fee or mortgage payment obligations,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). ARDA, in conjunction with its Resort Owners Coalition, (ARDA-ROC), has been a long-time advocate for a non-judicial foreclosure option.
The new process, referred to as a “trustee foreclosure” will shorten the time to complete a foreclosure action from as long as 18 months to as little as 90 days. This will give an HOA the opportunity to replace a non-paying owner more quickly and cost effectively while eliminating the need for assessment increases or reducing or deferring much needed maintenance projects.
“ARDA is very appreciative of the leadership and support from our bill sponsors, Senator Gardiner and Representative Dorworth, who recognized the value of this legislation for timeshare owners and developers alike,” said Jason Gamel, Vice President of State Government Affairs for ARDA.
Though focused on providing relief to associations and owners left with the financial obligations, the bill also offers significant protections for the rights of delinquent owners. Most importantly, it will provide the unqualified right for an owner to opt out of the trustee process and force a judicial foreclosure, or to pay their debt at any time prior to a trustee sale without financial penalty. If the delinquent owner does consent to the trustee foreclosure, the owner will not be subject to any deficiency judgment for amounts not recaptured by the sale of the timeshare interest as can be the case through the judicial process.
“The economy has affected everyone, including timeshare owners. This new legislation provides HOAs in Florida with the tools they need to act quickly and to hopefully avoid the ill effects of owners who are delinquent in paying their assessments. Timeshare owners in Florida will definitely benefit from this new process,” said Ken McKelvey, Chairman of the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition.
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has over 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org
CONTACTS: Lou Ann Burney, ARDA