The State of Florida: Working Hard for Timeshare Consumers
by Jason Gamel, ARDA State Affairs
May 7, 2012
What do the Florida Office of the Attorney General, Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) all have in common?
They are all working tirelessly to protect timeshare owners from fraudulent actors in the secondary resale market. In the past six months, the industry has seen the passage of landmark timeshare resales legislation (thank you to Attorney General Bondi and her staff), dozens of investigations and arrests made by DACS related to timeshare resales fraud, and educational efforts spearheaded by DBPR to inform consumers about their rights as timeshare owners. After meeting with representatives from each of these offices this week, I am more convinced than ever that Florida is truly finding ways to help those who take their hard-earned vacations there.
Expect plenty of industry cooperation in the upcoming months to help identify fraudulent businesses (that have targeted timeshare owners as their victims) and to aid in the drafting of future legislation to put more tools in the hands of law enforcement to eradicate fraud in the industry. Along the same lines, expect increased educational efforts to come from the state and the industry that will put consumers in a better position to make good decisions about how they sell their timeshare interests. You can also visit www.arda-roc.org/resales for information related to timeshare resales and other consumer protection issues.
For now, if a consumer wishes to file a formal complaint against a person or company who they suspect may be involved in fraudulent activity, we encourage them to visit the Florida Attorney General’s website, the Florida DBPR website, and the Florida DACS website.
ARDA and ARDA-ROC are very excited about working with these agencies and see great things happening for the industry and consumers in 2012 and beyond.