Phoenix, Arizona - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Friday that Governor Ducey has signed HB2639, a bill introduced by Representative Shawnna Bolick that adds additional future protections for Arizona consumers considering timeshare purchases. In an effort to address ongoing consumer issues in the timeshare industry, Representative Bolick introduced HB2639 with the assistance of the Attorney General’s Office.
Thanks to the leadership of Representative Bolick, Arizona consumers will now have 10-days to cancel their timeshare purchases without penalty from the time they sign their agreement. Timeshare sellers in Arizona must also now provide additional disclosures to consumers at the time of sale, including information related to additional fees and charges (including potential assessments), once the law becomes effective.
“This legislation is the first of its kind to be passed in Arizona and has put the state on the map as a national leader in enacting consumer protections for future timeshare owners," said Representative Shawnna Bolick. "This bill adds consumer protections necessary to curb deceptive practices by some in the timeshare industry. No other American business has spawned an entire industry devoted entirely to helping disenfranchised owners cancel timeshare ownership. Timeshare owners are often hit with a double-whammy: some buyers are taken advantage of when they purchase them, and again a second time when they try to get rid of them. Next session I will look at removing the bad actors involved in the timeshare exit industry.”
Attorney General Brnovich also announced that his office estimates consumers have saved $25 million in future timeshare fees to date — savings obtained by the Attorney General’s Office helping consumers relinquish their timeshare contracts with Diamond Resorts. The “relinquishment program” is part of a previous settlement between the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Diamond Resorts in December 2016. Hundreds of eligible consumers took advantage of the program allowing them to leave their timeshare contracts.
Consumers had complained that Diamond used deceptive sales practices and made numerous oral misrepresentations and false statements during timeshare sales presentations. Some of the alleged misrepresentations were related to:
- Annual increases in maintenance fees;
- Membership resale and buy-back programs;
- Timeshare membership resale market;
- Ability to rent timeshare vacations; and
- Discounts on other travel needs.
“Buying a timeshare can obligate a consumer to a lifetime of annual fees that can increase without limit," said Attorney General Brnovich. "Consumers deserve to know the truth when considering whether to purchase a timeshare and need time to think about whether buying a serious investment such as a timeshare is right for them.”
The Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed a version of the timeshare bill with stronger protections for consumers, including a “cooling-off period” of one business day after the sales presentation and a requirement that the timeshare company provide specific estimates of the actual cost of the timeshare. Unfortunately, these additional consumer protection requirements were stripped in the Senate and did not make it into the final legislation sent to the Governor.
If you believe you have been a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the metro areas at 1(800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist.