ARDA RESORT OWNERS’ COALITION LAUNCHES RESALE RESOURCE CENTER TO HELP OWNERS NAVIGATE SECONDARY TIMESHARE MARKET
Model Resale Legislation Enacted as Part of Industry Efforts to Ensure Safe Resale Experience
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WASHINGTON, August 24, 2011 – Today, the American Resort Development Association’s Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) launched the Timeshare Resale Resource Center(http://www.ardaroc.org/resales), an online information resource for timeshare owners who desire to better understand how to safely maneuver the uneven timeshare secondary market. As a result of a growing need to create more clarity and transparency for timeshare owners who wish to sell their timeshare interest, the Resale Resource Center was born to provide objective information on the resale process, tips on selling, and consumer advisories on the various resale scams currently being investigated by state authorities.
While regulation of the timeshare industry has developed and matured over the past 30 years, specific regulation of the secondary market is still in its infancy. The current economic environment has led to a rise in disreputable resale companies trying to profit from vulnerable timeshare owners and as a result the resale process has become confusing to many consumers. “With the rise in fraudulent resale practices and the far too many dishonest resellers preying on consumers, it is necessary to establish legitimate guidelines to help safeguard consumers and ensure a safe resale experience with reputable companies,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA (the industry’s not-for-profit advocacy group).
Over the past eighteen months, ARDA and its member task force have worked diligently to propose model legislation for the secondary resale market as part of an effort to standardize and legitimize timeshare resellers and the resale process. The Model Resale Act calls for specific guidelines related to resellers, including standards for sales and marketing practices and more stringent penalties for fraudulent behavior.
“Our industry has long advocated for a systemic solution to the issue of timeshare resale companies to foster the continued healthy development of the secondary market,” said Nusbaum. The Model Act will be used in efforts with state legislators and other policymakers as a recommended policy to help guide state legislative solutions to the timeshare secondary market.
Secondary market issues have frustrated timeshare owners and their governing homeowners’ associations. ARDA and its members have monitored resale company practices, provided information to consumers, held symposiums, and created think tanks with industry leaders to discuss the best solutions to ensure consumer protections and adherence to resale standards.
“Leaders in our industry – developers, managers, homeowners’ associations and resellers – have tirelessly worked together to develop new business models for the secondary market as a way to address basic problems rather than treat symptoms,” said Ken McKelvey, Chairman of ARDA-ROC. “Existing owners are just as concerned as would-be consumers about the misinformation regarding resales and have supported efforts to educate owners about the process to buy or sell a vacation product from the secondary market,” said McKelvey.
ARDA is committed to working with ARDA-ROC on issues pertaining to the secondary market. “We hear daily from our resort coalition members with concerns about misrepresentations and confusion in the secondary market of timeshare. We are committed to working with regulators, law enforcement and reputable resellers to create a robust secondary market where laws are respected and enforced and consumer expectations are met,” said Sandra DePoy, ARDA-ROC’s Administrator.
For more information, visit http://www.arda-roc.org.
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit www.arda.org or ARDA’s consumer website at www.VacationBetter.org.
The ARDA-Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) is an alliance of one million-plus timeshare owners, developers and managers who advocate for public policy positions that protect the interests of individual timeshare owners, preserve the integrity of vacation products, and enhance the vacation purchase. Collectively, timeshare owners all across the country voluntarily contribute between $3 and $10 each year. Since 1989, these resources have enabled ARDA-ROC to unite owners in support of legislative and regulatory policies that enable the timeshare industry to continue to provide high quality vacation products that remain accessible and affordable to consumers. www.arda-roc.org