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Resale Service Providers and the Timeshare Resale Accountability Act

Everyone has heard about timeshare scams, but many people do not really know the laws protect them or what Resale Service Providers are restricted from doing. A Resale Service Provider is a company that markets advertising services to timeshare owners who are interested in selling or renting their timeshare interest. Under Florida law, these companies … Continue reading »

Vacation Club Memberships

Many people enjoy using their timeshares. However, the sound of not being tied to one location for the same week every year is also enticing. This is not always as enticing as it may seem at first glance. Vacation Club members are required to pay annual maintenance fees in the thousands of dollars as well … Continue reading »

Growing Number of Timeshare Scams

October has been a busy month for timeshare fraud perpetrators. The Minnesota Commerce Department has received many phone calls from individuals from across the United States in connection with the “bait and switch” timeshare scheme. As it turned out, Renaissance Marketing of Property has been soliciting timeshare owners to sell their timeshares to an unknown … Continue reading »

Brighter Perspectives for Timeshare Owners

During the last three years we have seen a sharp drop (about $4 billion) in timeshare revenue. The country has been facing economic struggles and the lack of financing and cash flow materialized itself in a halt on the timeshare industry. However, those dim days are supposedly over. More and more timeshare developers add new … Continue reading »

Timeshare tycoon gets political before the election

David Siegel, whose company, the Westgate Resorts, is one of the Orlando-area’s largest employers, employing over 10,000 people worldwide with approximately 8,000 in Central Florida, decided that he needed to enlighten his employees as to what will happen if Obama gets re-elected. In his recent email to the employees he stated that “another 4 years … Continue reading »

Timeshare in the Bahamas

The Bahamas’s tourism industry accounts for about half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product as it employs about 50 percent of the Bahamian workforce.  The tourism minister Obie Wilchcombe wants to expand the tourism market in the Bahamas by pursuing the religious and sports tourism sector and also by promoting the timeshare industry.  In fact, … Continue reading »

Timeshare in Europe

A potential buyer of timeshare in the United States faces many major problems, such as false claims about resale markets, bogus upgrades, high-pressure sales pitches, substantial fees for transfers or resale topped with a variety of stalling techniques to inhibit owners from reselling, and hefty management fees. Moreover, a timeshare seller can also encounter possible … Continue reading »

Disposing of a Timeshare

When it is time to get rid of your timeshare, there are a few important things to remember.  First, always be cautious of scams and check into any company that you do business with. Also, remember that selling your timeshare is not always the only option. Timeshare owners can consider renting the space or even donating … Continue reading »

Timeshare Complaints

Earlier this week, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators published their 2011 Consumer Complaint Survey Report.  Roughly 300,000 consumer complaints were reported to the consumer protection agencies in 2011.  For the first time, real estate complaints were among the top ten consumer complaints.  Timeshare issues and timeshare resale … Continue reading »

Timeshares Impact U.S. Economy

According to a study performed by Ernst & Young for the American Resort Development Association, the U.S. timeshare industry contributed an estimated $70 billion in consumer and business spending to the national economy in 2011.

Timeshare Fraud Recovery Companies

In a few cases, timeshare owners who have been victims of timeshare resale fraud have subsequently been contacted by timeshare fraud recovery companies. In exchange for an upfront fee, these companies promise assistance in recovering money lost in sales scams.  However, these companies are typically corrupt as well.  As always, be very wary of any … Continue reading »

Timeshare Sales Scam

Most people are aware of the scams involving timeshare resale fraud.  However, you must also be aware of possible scams when purchasing timeshares.  Recently, a California man was arrested for deceiving multiple individuals with his online timeshare sales scam.  The man used Craigslist to lure his victims.  Once someone showed interest and offered to purchase … Continue reading »

Interest in Property and Time

In a timeshare lawsuit, a court determined that a “developer sells not only an interest in real property, but an interest in time. The time-share regime is meaningless unless the time-share purchasers’ continued interests in the project are protected. Thus, when a developer’s interests in the project are transferred to a third party, the transferee … Continue reading »

Disguised Timeshare Sales Pitch

Some timeshare telemarketers are using the upcoming election to get around the national “Do Not Call” registry.  People registered for “Do Not Call” are typically not allowed to be contacted by telemarketers, but there is an exception for political polling. Consumers have been receiving calls asking them to participate in a political poll, but when the poll is over, … Continue reading »

New Florida Law

A new Florida law effective July 1, 2012 will help protect timeshare owners from fraudulent companies.  The law prevents companies from saying they have a “buyer waiting,” and all the owner has to do is pay an upfront fee to sell their timeshare that day.  It will be illegal for companies to charge an upfront fee of more than … Continue reading »

Timeshares for Pennies

Many timeshare owners are willing to sell their timeshare for mere pennies in order to escape the yearly maintenance fees that continue to rise.  Some owners have elected to pay large upfront fees for a company to sell their timeshares. However, be wary of any company who offers to provide this service requiring an upfront fee. More … Continue reading »

Number One Consumer Complaint

The number one consumer complaint in Florida is not insurance fraud or mortgage fraud. No, it is timeshare resale fraud. While Florida is taking action to try to combat this problem, many Floridians believe this nasty practice of timeshare resale fraud is rampant.

The Rights of a Timeshare Board

I have been involved in timeshare litigation where the timeshare developers/manager refused to produce documents in the state where the timeshare is located, even though the state statute requires the developer to produce the documents in the state where the timeshare is located. Your Board of Directors is entitled to view the records at the … Continue reading »

FBI Warns of Timeshare Marketing Scams

The FBI recently released the following statement. 01/25/12—Timeshare owners across the country are being scammed out of millions of dollars by unscrupulous companies that promise to sell or rent the unsuspecting victims’ timeshares. In the typical scam, timeshare owners receive unexpected or uninvited telephone calls or e-mails from criminals posing as sales representatives for a … Continue reading »

Timeshare Resale Bill Formally Introduced

Last week, House Bill 1001 was introduced by Florida State Representative Eric Eisnaugle. As discussed before, that bill adds several protections for owners trying to sell their timeshare in the secondary market, and impliments part of Attorney General Bondi’s plan to go after fradulent practices in the timeshare industry.

Timeshare Director Serves Jail Time

In an action brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) against a timeshare director, the court ordered him to be enjoined from participating in any vacation timesharing due fraudulent and deceptive practices. In violation of that injunction, the court ordered the defendant to two years imprisonment, plus a third year suspended on condition that he … Continue reading »

Timeshare Points Similar to a Lease

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that ownership points in a timeshare system are comparable to that of a lease arrangement, and therefore the timeshare management company is much like a landlord and can be liable for claims of implied warranty of habitability. The timeshare management company has a duty to maintain leased … Continue reading »

Failure to Act and Fraudulent Practices

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that plaintiffs sufficiently plead a claim for fraudulent practices even though specific timeshare dwellings were not identified and specific defendants who had knowledge of the fraudulent practices were also not identified. The court found that for fraudulent practices the plaintiff had sufficiently plead enough facts to … Continue reading »

Timeshare Points Equal Property Interest

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a claim for private nuisance may go forward even though the plaintiff’s property interest consists of ownership points in a timeshare system. The court found that “membership interests, which entitle members to the use of timeshare units, ‘constitutes an interest in real property’ as they … Continue reading »

Timeshare Resale Accountability Act

The Timeshare Resale Accountability Act is an effort on the part of Florida’s Attorney General to combat fraudulent timeshare resale practices. The Act focuses mainly on misrepresentations that timeshare resale advertisers make to owners of timeshares. Under the Act, an advertiser may not misrepresent potential buyers’ interest in the owner’s property, a timeshare sales agent … Continue reading »

Timeshare Resale Fraud

This type of fraud generally happens when timeshare resale advertisers contact desperate owners, anxious to sell, and tell them that they have a buyer lined up to buy the property. For an upfront sales fee, the advertiser tells the owner that they will sell the timeshare. However, once the upfront fee is paid, the timeshare … Continue reading »

Timeshare Resale Fraud Big in Florida

Florida’s Attorney General has recently stepped up efforts to combat timeshare resale fraud in Florida. According to the Attorney General, her office receives more complaints about timeshare resale fraud than any other type of consumer fraud. Resale fraud has become more prevalent in today’s economy because more and more people are trying to get out … Continue reading »

Constructive Fraud and Misrepresentations

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court found that a timeshare company was liable for constructive fraud for promising its patrons that they would have access to hotel amenities. The court stated that even if the misrepresentations were not made with “evil intent,” they were still false misrepresentations and the company was liable for such … Continue reading »

Breach of Contract Requirements

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court held that the plaintiff sufficiently plead a breach of contract claim as to the defendant whom they actually signed the contract with. The court held that in order to state a claim for breach of contract, the plaintiff needed to plead a valid contract, a material breach, and … Continue reading »

Future Promises and Action for Fraud

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court held that future promises to perform were actionable in a fraud complaint because the future promises represented current logistics of the timeshare program, as well as current ownership interest.

Fraudulent Promises of Future Performance

In a timeshare lawsuit, a court held that a plaintiff’s claim of fraud for a timeshare salesperson promising to be their only point of contact and knowingly failing to perform was actionable. The motion to dismiss was denied, and the claim was allowed to go forward.

Timeshare Salesperson’s Misrepresentations Create a Claim for Fraud

In a timeshare lawsuit, a Court denied a timeshare company’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim. Timeshare sales staff had promised that the property would be pet friendly, that there would be daily maid service, and that the plaintiff would have a fixed booking every New Year’s Eve. All of these promises turned out to … Continue reading »

Requirements for an Unjust Enrichment Claim

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court granted a plaintiff leave to amend their complaint for an unjust enrichment claim against a timeshare company. The court stated that they needed to show that the timeshare company was unjustly enriched at the plaintiff’s expense; that the timeshare company received some benefit; and that it would be inequitable for the … Continue reading »

Article Concerning a “Scam” Timeshare is Constitutionally Protected Speech

In a lawsuit concerning timeshare sales practices, a court found that an article written by an individual, who was subjected to timeshare sales practices, was an opinion and therefore qualifies as constitutionally protected speech. The individual had been approached by a timeshare salesman, who promised he and his wife a lobster dinner if they attended … Continue reading »

Settlement Reached Concerning Breach of Duty of the Board of Directors

    In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court approved the settlement agreement between timeshare owners, bringing an action on behalf of the timeshare association, and the Board of Directors.     The Settlement Agreement provides: (1) that a current Director will resign and a new Director who is not affiliated with Wyndham will be appointed to … Continue reading »

Third Party Buyers are Subject to Obligations of Developer

    In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court held that a third party taking over the developer’s interest in a developed property after a foreclosure sale is still subject to the obligations of the developer. All obligations of the developer are assumed and not just the record-keeping duties.

Developer in Violation of Consumer Fraud Act

   In a timeshare lawsuit, a court held that the “Consumer Fraud Act was violated through the misrepresentations regarding ownership of the mountain and through the failures to inform prospective buyers of the speculative nature of the time-sharing scheme.” 149 Vt. 594; 547 A.2d 1333 (1988).    The defendant in this case was in negotiations … Continue reading »

Condominium Association Authorized to Bring Lawsuit on Behalf of Owners

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that the Rules of Civil Procedure grant a Condominium Association standing to sue on behalf of the members. A condominium association “may institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions or hearings in its name on behalf of all association members concerning matters of common interest to the members… … Continue reading »

Condominium Association has Standing to Sue Over Voting Scheme

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that a condominium association is directly affected by the voting scheme employed by the developer to maintain control of the board. A plaintiff has standing where it has a sufficient interest in the outcome of the case. See, e.g. Nedeau v. Gallagher, 851 So.2d 214 (Fla. 1st … Continue reading »

Right to Vote for Directors is a Vested Right

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that condominium units owners have a vested right to elect their condominium and timeshare board members. Under the Condominium Act, [a unit owner] is directly affected by the manner in which directors are elected to the board…. The right to vote in condominium and timeshare associations is … Continue reading »

Each Timeshare Owner is Entitled to Vote

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that pursuant to Florida law the condominium timeshare unit owner’s right to vote for board members is a vest right appurtenant to each unit: 718.106 Condominium parcels; appurtenances; possession and enjoyment. (2) There shall pass with a unit, as appurtenanaces thereto; (d) Membership in the association designated … Continue reading »

Mixed-Use Condominiums Defined

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that Florida courts and the Division of Condominiums have acknowledged that condominium developments containing commercial, retail or parking units, in addition to residential units, are mixed-use condominium developments. Cf. United Grand Condominium Owner, Inc. v. Grand Condominium Association, Inc., 929 So.2d 24, 24-25 (3rd DCA 2006) (the … Continue reading »

Residential Owners Control Board in Mixed-Use Condominiums

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that Florida Statute, Section 718.404, provides that where the residential units in a condominium equals or exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the commercial units in the condominium, the residential unit owners shall have the right to elect the majority of the board members: 718.404 Mixed-use condominiums: When a … Continue reading »

Florida Statute Designed to Give Owners Board Control

                In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that a partnership’s aggregate control of the condo association’s board of directors violated both the plain language of § 718.301 and the Florida Legislature’s intent. See Id. at 160, 161. Appellants obtained control of the condominium association because they owned a number of units as a … Continue reading »

Partnerships Leasing Condos Could Be Considered Developers

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held in Bishop Associates, ten limited partnerships each purchased a number of units in a condominium and leased the units in the ordinary course of business. Their aggregate ownership in the condominium allowed them to elect two of the association’s three directors. The appellate court affirmed the Department … Continue reading »

Developer Cannot Use Voting Block

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that a condominium developer cannot abrogate the unit owners’ right to control the association using a voting block. See Bishop Associates, 521 So.2d at 159.

Florida Timeshares are Subject to Both Florida Timeshare and Condominium Acts

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that a condominium timeshare plan is subject to both the Florida Timeshare Act as well as the Florida Condominium Act, including § 718.103, which is the definitions section of the Condominium Act.

Developer Status Does Not Require Actual Construction

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that an entity need not create a condominium in order to fit within the statutory definition of a developer. A company is a condominium developer within the meaning of the Florida Condominium Act, § 718.103(16), because it offers condominium parcels for sale in the ordinary course of … Continue reading »

Developer Not Permitted to Control Board of Directors After Declarations Have Been Recorded for 7 Years

     In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that, in addition to being a timeshare developer; the developer is also a condominium developer. Hence, it cannot control the election if a majority of seats on the condominium board under Section 718.301(g), Fla. Stats. Because it has been more than seven years since the Condominium … Continue reading »

Florida Statute Designed to Give Owners Control

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held an aggregation of voting rights (one commercial and two timeshare seats) is prohibited by the holding in Bishop Associates Ltd. Partnership v. Belkin, 521 So.2d 158, 159, 160 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988): “Appellants obtained control of the condominium association because they owned a number of units as … Continue reading »

Ownership and Right to Vote

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that a cotenancy agreement, which was not signed by timeshare owners and which purported to empower the developer-controlled timeshare association to vote in annual elections for board seats, improperly usurped the right of timeshare owners to vote in condominium board elections, in violation of Fla. Stat. § 718.106(2)(9)(d), … Continue reading »

Condominium Developer May Not Elect Majority of Board

In a timeshare management lawsuit, the court held that a condominium developer, as that term is defined in Fla. Stat. § 718.103(16), because it “offers condominium parcels for sale… in the ordinary course of business,” is subject to the mandatory control transfer provisions in § 718.301 of the Condominium Act and may not elect a … Continue reading »

Developer Must Comply With Bylaws as an Owner

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held although the timeshare developer has a special position as a developer, it is an owner; and as such it is required to comply with the bylaws. If the timeshare developer does not like the bylaws, it can seek amendment to the bylaws; it cannot simply declare … Continue reading »

Developer Must Abide by Bylaws

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held a bylaw of each timeshare association states “[t]he Unit Week Owners other than the Developer shall be entitled to elect all of the Board Members three months after the sales have been closed by the Developer on ninety (90%) percent of the Unit Weeks.” At various … Continue reading »

Changing Property Managers

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a timeshare association stated a cause of action by alleging that the timeshare association entered into a new property management contract, and the former property manager interfered with the timeshare association’s contractual relations by denying the new timeshare manager access to the front office, storage, … Continue reading »

Developer Owned Units are Required to Pay Assessments

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that timeshare developers who retained ownership in any units in any timeshare association were obligated to pay assessments on those units.

Duties Owed to the Condominium Association

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that unit owners in a condominium property regime must pay assessments and common charges, including timeshare developers and managers who are also timeshare owners. Restatement (Third) of Property (servitudes) § 6.20(5) (“until the developer relinquishes control of the association to the members, the developer owes the following … Continue reading »

Breach of Contract Claim Against Timeshare Developer

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that with respect to Defendants who were property managers and/or members of the Board of Directors, the timeshare association alleged a proper breach of contract claim by demonstrating there was a manifestation of assent between the timeshare association and the corporate timeshare developers and managers for … Continue reading »

Timeshare Developer Must Follow Through With Promise

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a timeshare association adduced facts to support a reasonable inference that the timeshare developer, in its capacity as property manager for the association, made a promise that it would procure insurance or manifested an intention to procure insurance on behalf of the Association, which was … Continue reading »

Timeshare Developer Must Act in Timeshare Association’s Best Interest

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a timeshare developer managed property on behalf of the Condominium Associations as the collective embodiment of the 10,000 individual owners. It is the Condominium Associations that a duty of loyalty and care is owed, and the Board of Directors of the Condominium Associations reasonably relied on … Continue reading »

Timeshare Developers Must Account for Associations’ Funds

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that as property managers, timeshare developers were charged with stewardship of Associations’ funds and accounting for those funds by providing annual budgets to the Condominium Association. Additionally, timeshare developers were responsible for maintaining a capital reserve fund for major repairs and replacements and expending such monies … Continue reading »

Timeshare Developer Sued for Conversion

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a condominium association is entitled to bring a claim of conversion on the basis that they conveyed monies to the timeshare developers who have refused a demand for those monies, and who may be liable under both legal and equitable remedies.

Condominium Association Acts as Trust for Individual Owners

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a condominium association has a personal interest in the funds deposited with the timeshare developer, since condominium associations operate as trustees who collect monies to hold in trust on behalf of individual unit owners.

Developer Cannot Control Homeowner’s Counsel

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held a timeshare developer cannot control the litigation decisions by the timeshare association. Appointing people who had a well-established opinion on the litigation, the timeshare developer found a back door to allow it to control the timeshare associations’ choice of counsel. The developer created a conflict of … Continue reading »

Developer Control Against Public Policy

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a provision in a bylaw that gives a timeshare developer control of the board of directors of a homeowners’ association, even though valid initially, may be contrary to public policy and become void when used to defeat the quasi-municipal  functions of a homeowners’ association and that … Continue reading »

Board Members Held to a High Standard

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a high standard for appointed board members of a timeshare is imposed, because the board is vested with great power over the property interests of unit owners and great potential for conflicts of interest exist between owners and developers.

Developer’s Control of the Board

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a timeshare developer eliminated its capacity to elect any Directors once ninety percent of all units had been sold. Because there was no dispute that the developer had sold 90% pursuant to the by-laws, the developer may not elect any member to the Board of … Continue reading »

Timeshare Developers have to Pay for Their Fair Share

In a timeshare management lawsuit, a court has held that a timeshare developer cannot exempt itself from paying its proportionate share of common expenses. (“No apartment owner may exempt himself from liability for his contribution towards the common expense…”).

Agressive Timeshare Sales Practices

Pennsylvania Attorney General Corbett sued Florida timeshare & vacation companies accused of advertising, real estate and telemarketing violations Attorney General Tom Corbett sued four Florida-based companies accused of illegally marketing vacation packages, using “free: airline ticket offers and other worthless prizes to lure consumers into aggressive and deceptive timeshare presentations. As a major part of … Continue reading »

Learn About Your Timeshare

Important Information About Protecting Your Timeshare! Experience You Can Trust to Protect Your Timeshare Investment for You and Your Family. Does your timeshare developer and management company: • Fail to maintain your common areas? • Raise your timeshare dues without giving you value? • Use your dues for its own sales? • Waste your dues … Continue reading »

Paul Platte, Esquire

I practice law in the areas of Timeshare, Commercial, Labor, and Personal Injury Litigation at Rogers, Townsend, & Thomas, PC. I am admitted to practice in the Superior Courts of the United States Virgin Islands, the United States District Court for the Virgin Islands, State Courts of South Carolina, the United States District Court for South Carolina, the State Courts of Florida, the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida including Trial Bar, the United States District Court, Middle District Court of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Contact Information

Roger Townsend & Thomas, PC
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220 Executive Center Dr. Ste. 109
Columbia, SC 29210
Tele: (803) 771-7900
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