Florida bill could make it harder to sell your timeshare

Florida bill could make it harder to sell your timeshare

A bill that's currently in the works in the Florida legislature could make it more difficult to sell a timeshare you own in that state.

The bill, known as HB 7025 was originally about timeshare details like board elections, foreclosure procedures, and reserve calculations. Then at the last minute, lobbyists for timeshare developers inserted an amendment that could hamper your ability to sell your timeshare.

House Chamber at the Florida State Capitol The Florida Capitol, where this timeshare bill will be decided

What the bill says

No person shall participate, for consideration or with the expectation of consideration, in any plan or scheme, a purpose of which is to transfer a consumer resale timeshare interest to a transferee that the person knows (or should reasonably know) does not have the ability, means or intent to pay all assessments and taxes for the consumer resale timeshare interest that are due or that come due during the transferee's ownership...

Notwithstanding any other penalties provided for in this subsection, any violation of this subsection is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per violation ...

A managing entity may bring an action to enforce the provisions of paragraph (e). In any such action, the managing entity may recover its actual damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs.

What's the reason behind this?

Many people have been stuck owning timeshares where they can't afford to make their payments. Many timeshares have little or no resale value, so owners have trouble selling them.




In some cases, companies have been created that take ownership of multiple timeshares. The owner transfers the timeshare to the company, which has no intention of ever paying the fees. The company can go into bankruptcy, and take all the timeshares it owns down with it. Florida has the most timeshares in the US, so this is an issue there.

The industry would like to end this practice, so this amendment to the bill creates steep penalties for anyone who participates in such a deal.

Why is this a problem for timeshare owners?

As a timeshare owner, how do you know whether the person you are selling to has the "ability, means and intent to pay"? Unless you're giving it to a friend, chances are you know nothing about whoever is buying it. And what does that vague "or should reasonably know" mean?

Companies involved in timeshare resales are leery of this, because their potential for liability here is high. Each violation could cost a fine of up to $10,000 + legal fees + court costs + damages (presumably this would include unpaid maintenance fees, and I'm not sure what else).

The Orlando Sentinel reported that a lobbyist for a timeshare resale closing company

accused developers of trying to trap buyers into keeping their properties so they must continue paying annual dues "because that’s the income stream". He said his client would never buy another time-share unit under the proposal.

If fewer companies participate in timeshare resales, that limits your options as an owner. If you face the possibility of significant liability if you sell to someone who doesn't pay the on-going fees, then that's another problem. Making it more difficult and/or expensive to sell your timeshare is not a good thing for owners.

What's the latest?

According to the Orlando Sentinel,

A hand-written amendment to remove the "reasonably know" standard and then a unanimous vote [to approve the bill]. Sausage-making in action.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. The bill passed the committee, but has more votes yet to come. If the industry gets this passed in Florida, I wouldn't be surprised to see similar bills arising in other states.

I'm no lawyer, but it seems that this benefits only the developers, and could be detrimental to the interests of Florida timeshare owners.

For more information, see
* Orlando Sentinal article
* Official text of HB7025 amendment quoted above

Comments? Questions?

Do you have any comments, questions, or insights on this issue? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!

Timeshare Owner's Guide to Winning the Timeshare Game~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Are you frustrated and disappointed with your timeshare? You're not alone! Timeshares can provide some great benefits, but with confusing rules and jargon, it's not easy to figure out how to make the most of them. My new Timeshare Owner's Guide to Winning the Timeshare Game explains your options clearly, with a wealth of tips and techniques to help you get more value from your timeshare. Check it out!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi! I'm Deanna, founder of Winning the Timeshare Game, and author of the books. After running an international tour company, I'm now into the fascinating world of timeshares. I enjoy sharing all the tips I discover, and I'd love to see everyone have as much fun with their timeshares as we do!

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6 Comments

  1. Ali Falin

    Hey I am so grateful I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Yahoo for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a incredible post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.

  2. J Wilson

    In what other industry could you get away with this?

    Imagine if when you sold your car you had to underwrite the cred worthyness of the person buying your car.

    Or for your main residence.

    To be this just suggests that Florida politicians are bought and paid for by the evil Timeshare Developers who use the most unscrupulous methods.

    This is not going to stop sites like getridofatimeshare.com because they will surely just create paper structures to overcome it, in fact it will increase them because a consumers will never be free of the timeshare as the cloud of the financial risk of the person they sell to will always be a concern.

    NEVER BUY A TIMESHARE but if you really are desperate to give a company unlimited access to your wallet and the wallet of your children, please make a donation to charity.

    • Hi J -
      It definitely is an unusual industry. In fact, it's kind of mind-boggling at times. I'm not in favor of legislation that makes it more difficult for timeshare owners to get rid of their ownership when the time comes, because I think there always needs to be an exit strategy.

      On the other hand, I do find a lot of benefit from timeshares, and know other people who do, too. The important part is to go into it with your eyes open and knowing what you're doing. Buy smart, and make an educated, intelligent decision. Before you even think about buying a timeshare, get a copy of our FREE consumer awareness guide to timeshares. It could save you money, headaches, and frustration.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...Free Timeshare Consumer Awareness Guide

  3. Mary Vaughn

    I would like to start a petition to outlaw this kind of robbery. I guess false advertising is alright anymore. I plan on taking this to every news station I can get to listen to me. I plan on fighting these low down dirty crooks till the day I die. You people have already made me wish I was dead and then I find out that even dying will not get me out of this farce. It will be passed on to my children to destroy their lives. I cannot believe that this country has sunk this low. I cannot believe that people have sunk to this kind of depravity . I pray that all of you will have to answer to God for the evil you are doing.

    • Hi Mary -

      I can certainly understand your frustration and anger! I agree that there are big problems in the timeshare industry. Just a couple of points...
      - I'm not one of the evil-doers here. I'm just providing information like this article, that I hope can be helpful to people.
      - Your children are not obligated to take over your timeshare. Rules vary by location, but in general, they cannot be forced to accept an inheritance that they don't want. Consult a lawyer for details.

      I wish you the best, - Deanna.
      Deanna Keahey recently posted...Are timeshares still about timeshares?

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