Demand reform of the timeshare industry’s unfair and deceptive practices
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The timeshare industry is infamous for its perceived high-pressure sales techniques, for locking millions of people in perpetuity with non-cancelable contracts, and for practices that can make it difficult for owners to vacation where and when they want.
Just read this recent Arizona Republic feature for a heartbreaking look at how these practices affect real people.
Dozens of lawsuits have alleged that consumers are subjected to fraud, deception and preying on the elderly, along with violations of numerous local, state and federal regulations. Concurrently, state legislatures in Arizona, Florida and Nevada have introduced bills that would either increase or lessen the rights of timeshare owners.
Now, the Coalition to Reform Timeshare (CRT) has been launched to advocate for the rights of more than 9 million timeshare owners in the U.S. By signing this petition, you will be helping CRT expose the industry's dark underbelly by forcefully advocating for a strict code of ethics for timeshare companies, transparency in its sales techniques, and for the rights of all timeshare owners.
Signing this petition will also signal your support for establishing a Timeshare Bill of Rights that will promote fair and ethical business practices. The Timeshare Bill of Rights aims to enhance the owner-developer relationship in the long-run by promoting healthy, respectful communication and business practices:
1) The right to a 24-hour cooling-off period prior to signing a timeshare contract to allow for the review of all sales and contract information including, but not limited to, other governing documents, public offering statements and covenants that run with the land.
2) The right to receive complete disclosure of the true market value of the timeshare, prior to the timeshare being purchased.
3) The right to be free of any high-pressure sales techniques and verbal misrepresentations intended to circumvent the assessment period. For example, “Today Only” offers or the requirement of any form of advance payment to attend a timeshare presentation. Developers would be prohibited from collecting and withholding a credit card, driver’s license or other item before or during the timeshare presentation.
4) The right to record the entire sales presentation or to require the developer to record the entire sales presentation, including the closing of the sale, and to retain the recording for a period of 24 months with no waiver.
5) The right to full transparency during the sales presentation without any waiver of verbal representations during the closing of the sale. This right also prevents owners from being required to attend “update meetings” or similar meetings if a sales presentation is conducted during this meeting.
6) The right to full disclosure of the resort owners’ association financials, as well as disclosure of any and all HOA fees, including indirect resort costs imposed on owners which may increase maintenance fees and special assessments. This right also includes yearly owner roster notifications that disclose the number of weeks or points under developer control with the HOA, not excluding resale and rentals the HOA has control over.
7) The right to have the rescission period for a contract extended to one week after a person returns from their vacation to allow appropriate family and/or legal counsel review. The rescission date would be clearly noted in the contract based on input from the consumer on when they return home.
8) The right to be free of sales calls from the timeshare developer before or after the sale and the right to be free of attempts by the timeshare developer to have a consumer re-activate a previously rescinded sales contract.
9) The right to full disclosure of the entire cost of timeshare ownership, including available interest rates, before a consumer signs a contract. This would include projected increases in maintenance fees based on the average maintenance fee increase for the past five years for an individual property.
10) The right to have sales agents and timeshare companies subscribe to an industry code of ethics.
11) The right as a timeshare owner or vacation club member to have priority booking of reservations over the general public.
12) The right to unilaterally terminate an unencumbered, non-deeded timeshare interest with written notice to the developer upon making the current “use year” maintenance fee payment.
CRT is inviting timeshare owners to become members, share personal stories of problems with timeshare ownership, and show lawmakers and the timeshare industry that there is a real demand for change. To join the Coalition or share your story, go to ReformTimeshare.org.
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