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“As many people have learned the hard way, timeshares are easy to acquire, expensive to maintain and hard to get rid of,” Flynn wrote. “This set of circumstances has given rise to numerous companies offering timeshare re-sale services.”

As Flynn noted, these companies are known for going through public ownership records to find new customers, cold calling many to see if they want to sell their timeshare – and then making sometimes wildly exaggerated claims about how they can get rid of an unwanted vacation property.

These scam artists have left behind a sorry number of people who have been ripped off, sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars.

House Bill 12-1116, Flynn noted, “attacks this problem in a couple of ways.”

First, the legislation, if approved by the Colorado House and Senate and signed by the governor, would make it a deceptive trade practice for a timeshare resale entity to misrepresent the existence of buyers for a timeshare interest, the value of the property, the projected future costs of owning the timeshare, and the terms and conditions of the proposed sale.

It also would require timeshare resale businesses to use written contracts. Those contracts would be required to contain detailed information about what the resale entity has to do to earn its fee. The House bill would also set the amount of that fee, dictate how a resale would be documented, and mandate that the costs the customer is required to pay need to be stated up front.

“The contract must state that the timeshare resale entity is not entitled to compensation until it provides its customer with a copy of a deed or equivalent document evidencing the transfer of ownership of the customer’s interest and a written acknowledgement from the owners’ association that a transfer of ownership has in fact been completed,” Flynn wrote.

The contract also needs to contain a statement that the timeshare resale business will use “commercially reasonable good faith efforts” to get a sale of the property within 180 days and remind the customer that timeshare assessments will continue to accrue until a transfer of ownership has been completed. The re-sale firm also would be required to let the customer know they have five days to rescind the contract.

A violation of the Consumer Protection Act in Colorado, Flynn noted, “can result in government agency fines and other sanctions, as well as private civil lawsuits for damages and attorneys fees.”

Owners’ associations and timeshare developers offering resale services for their own properties would be exempt from these proposed regulations.

Next: Port St. Lucie Man Sentenced in Timeshare Fraud case

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