Florida House Bill 435 Workshop Summary
Coalition to Reform Timeshare | Mar. 12, 2019
Members of the House Business and Professions Subcommittee held a workshop on March 12, 2019 in which they heard from representatives from Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBRP), the Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Protection, timeshare developers and exit companies.
The workshop was centered around the proposed House Bill 435, which places restrictions on timeshare owner’s ability to seek an attorney or exit firm to assist in finding an end to a timeshare commitment.
You can view a video of the workshop by visiting https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/3-12-19-house-business-and-professions-subcommittee/ and forwarding to the 1:45 mark of the video.
Here are a few highlights of the session:
- Victoria Butler, from the Florida Attorney General’s Department of Consumer Protection reported 1,500 to 1,600 timeshare complaints in 2017 and 2018, with about 50% involving senior citizens. The majority of complaints were in regard to the initial sales presentation. There have been 700 complaints filed so far in 2019. Overall, they have engaged in 42 enforcement actions since 2011.
- Shannon Zetrouer, an attorney who represents companies who assist consumers with getting out of timeshares, stated, “The average timeshare consumer who is looking to retain [a timeshare exit company] is doing so because they either feel victimized by the developers’ high-pressure sales tactics at the point of sale,” Zetrouer said, “or perhaps they simply can no longer afford the contract or are unable to utilize their timeshare.”
- Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin stated “I myself have sat through one of these presentations, and as an attorney, I found it to be a high-pressure situation.” “A 90-minute presentation turned into a three-hour presentation.”
Additional follow-up requests for information were requested and no vote was taken on HB 435.