The nation’s first law to prevent timeshare resale scams is gaining some serious ground in Florida. The law, which i known as Florida’s Timeshare Resale Accountability Act (S.B. 1408), was unanimously approved by the state senate and house committees and is on course to become the first law of its kind.
The bill aims to protect timeshare owners who are trying to sell their timeshares after years of complaints and growing instances of fraud. It requires timeshare resale companies to provide sellers information on buyers they claim are interested in buying the property, including the buyer’s name, address, and telephone number. Legislators hope this will discourage fraudulent companies from lying to sellers about having interested buyers when there is none in order to get them to work with them.
It also forces companies to disclose fees before the seller signs any agreement and provides the seller with an “unwaivable right to cancel” the listing within 10 days, but exempts condos and other developers that offer timeshare resale services. Other states have also begun to draft laws to protect consumers and timeshare owners from the ever-growing threat of timeshare fraud.
The Better Business Bureau ranked timeshare resale scams at the #4 spot on their annual list of common consumer scams for 2010 and these frauds take millions of dollars from timeshare owners each year. Since Florida is home to 25% of the country’s timeshares, and these properties make up a large percentage of the state’s real estate business, legislation that not only helps protect these properties but their owners is absolutely essential.
The only way to 100% avoid timeshare resale scams is to educated yourself so you can identify these fraud and only work with reputable and successful timeshare resale resources. Timeshares are already enough of a financial burden, so leaving yourself open to fall victim to these scams only deepens the potential trouble.