Wyndham Vacation Ownership applauds yesterday’s signing by Florida Gov. Rick Scott of the new Florida timeshare transfer company legislation (Bill 7025), focused on protecting timeshare owners and associations from unscrupulous transfer companies. Florida State Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Representatives Debbie Mayfield (R-Vero Beach) and Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral) were instrumental in getting final passage of this bill, along with the American Resort Development Association (ARDA).
While the overwhelming majority of timeshare owners use and enjoy their timeshares, those who no longer vacation or can no longer afford ownership are easy prey for unrepentant scam artists. Many of these are fraudulent transfer companies that take advantage of those trying to sell or transfer their ownership, targeting consumers under the guise of offering a service but in the end scamming them out of thousands of dollars. This new legislation will help protect owners who seek assistance in effectively transferring their timeshare.
“I commend Gov. Scott and his legislative partners for taking swift action to guard against timeshare transfer scams,” said Franz Hanning, president and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the world’s largest vacation ownership company. “This new law will further enhance safeguards for timeshare owners and associations, and strengthens our collective efforts to protect consumers.”
The key aspects of this legislation include prohibiting a transfer company from collecting any fee until a written agreement is signed by the timeshare owner. The legislation also requires the transfer company to deposit any funds received from the timeshare owner into an escrow account until the transfer is completed. These provisions will provide additional consumer protection to minimize the risk of the timeshare owner being subject to transfer scams that currently exist, while in no way restricting their ability to transfer or resell their timeshare.
The legislation will also prohibit the transfer of timeshares to anyone they know who does not have the ability, means or intent to pay all assessments. This will further protect timeshare associations and their respective owners against higher than normal delinquencies.
This new law will become effective July 1, 2013.
Wyndham Vacation Ownership, with headquarters in Orlando, operates 17 resorts in the State of Florida. According to research by the ARDA International Foundation, nearly 16 percent of all timeshare properties owned are located in the state of Florida and one-in-five own an Orlando-based resort.
About Wyndham Vacation Ownership
Wyndham Vacation Ownership, a member of Wyndham Worldwide’s (NYSE: WYN) family of companies, is the world’s largest vacation ownership business, as measured by the number of vacation ownership resorts, individual vacation ownership units and owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its four primary consumer brands, CLUB WYNDHAM®, WorldMark® by Wyndham, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Shell Vacations. As of December 31, 2012, Wyndham Vacation Ownership had developed or acquired more than 185 vacation ownership resorts throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and the South Pacific that represent more than 23,000 individual vacation ownership units and more than 900,000 owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership is headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and is supported by more than 15,000 employees globally.