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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XL
REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
Chapter 721
VACATION AND TIMESHARE PLANS
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F.S. 721.18
721.18 Exchange programs; filing of information and other materials; filing fees; unlawful acts in connection with an exchange program.
(1) If a purchaser is offered the opportunity to subscribe to an exchange program, the seller shall deliver to the purchaser, together with the purchaser public offering statement, and prior to the offering or execution of any contract between the purchaser and the company offering the exchange program, written information regarding such exchange program; or, if the exchange company is dealing directly with the purchaser, the exchange company shall deliver to the purchaser, prior to the initial offering or execution of any contract between the purchaser and the company offering the exchange program, written information regarding such exchange program. In either case, the purchaser shall certify in writing to the receipt of such information. Such information shall include, but is not limited to, the following information, the form and substance of which shall first be approved by the division in accordance with subsection (2):
(a) The name and address of the exchange company.
(b) The names of all officers, directors, and shareholders of the exchange company.
(c) Whether the exchange company or any of its officers or directors has any legal or beneficial interest in any developer, seller, or managing entity for any timeshare plan participating in the exchange program and, if so, the name and location of the timeshare plan and the nature of the interest.
(d) Unless otherwise stated, a statement that the purchaser’s contract with the exchange company is a contract separate and distinct from the purchaser’s contract with the seller of the timeshare plan.
(e) Whether the purchaser’s participation in the exchange program is dependent upon the continued affiliation of the timeshare plan with the exchange program.
(f) A statement that the purchaser’s participation in the exchange program is voluntary. This statement is not required to be given by the seller or managing entity of a multisite timeshare plan to purchasers in the multisite timeshare plan.
(g) A complete and accurate description of the terms and conditions of the purchaser’s contractual relationship with the exchange program and the procedure by which changes thereto may be made.
(h) A complete and accurate description of the procedure to qualify for and effectuate exchanges.
(i) A complete and accurate description of all limitations, restrictions, or priorities employed in the operation of the exchange program, including, but not limited to, limitations on exchanges based on seasonality, timeshare unit size, or levels of occupancy, expressed in boldfaced type, and, in the event that such limitations, restrictions, or priorities are not uniformly applied by the exchange program, a clear description of the manner in which they are applied.
(j) Whether exchanges are arranged on a space-available basis and whether any guarantees of fulfillment of specific requests for exchanges are made by the exchange program.
(k) Whether and under what circumstances a purchaser, in dealing with the exchange program, may lose the use and occupancy of her or his timeshare period in any properly applied for exchange without her or his being provided with substitute accommodations by the exchange program.
(l) The fees or range of fees for membership or participation in the exchange program by purchasers, including any conversion or other fees payable to third parties, a statement whether any such fees may be altered by the exchange company, and the circumstances under which alterations may be made.
(m) The name and address of the site of each timeshare plan participating in the exchange program.
(n) The number of the timeshare units in each timeshare plan which are available for occupancy and which qualify for participation in the exchange program, expressed within the following numerical groupings: 1-5; 6-10; 11-20; 21-50; and 51 and over.
(o) The number of currently enrolled purchasers for each timeshare plan participating in the exchange program, expressed within the following numerical groupings: 1-100; 101-249; 250-499; 500-999; and 1,000 and over; and a statement of the criteria used to determine those purchasers who are currently enrolled with the exchange program.
(p) The disposition made by the exchange company of timeshare periods deposited with the exchange program by purchasers enrolled in the exchange program and not used by the exchange company in effecting exchanges.
(q) The following information, which shall be independently audited by a certified public accountant or accounting firm in accordance with the standards of the Accounting Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and reported annually:
1. The number of purchasers currently enrolled in the exchange program.
2. The number of accommodations and facilities that have current written affiliation agreements with the exchange program.
3. The percentage of confirmed exchanges, which is the number of exchanges confirmed by the exchange program divided by the number of exchanges properly applied for, together with a complete and accurate statement of the criteria used to determine whether an exchange request was properly applied for.
4. The number of timeshare periods for which the exchange program has an outstanding obligation to provide an exchange to a purchaser who relinquished a timeshare period during the year in exchange for a timeshare period in any future year.
5. The number of exchanges confirmed by the exchange program during the year.
(r) A statement in boldfaced type to the effect that the percentage described in subparagraph (q)3. is a summary of the exchange requests entered with the exchange program in the period reported and that the percentage does not indicate the probabilities of a purchaser’s being confirmed to any specific choice or range of choices.
(2) Each exchange company offering an exchange program to purchasers in this state shall file with the division for review the information specified in subsection (1), together with any membership agreement and application between the purchaser and the exchange company, and the audit specified in subsection (1) on or before June 1 of each year. However, an exchange company shall make its initial filing at least 20 days prior to offering an exchange program to any purchaser in this state. Each filing shall be accompanied by an annual filing fee of $500. Within 20 days after receipt of such filing, the division shall determine whether the filing is adequate to meet the requirements of this section and shall notify the exchange company in writing that the division has either approved the filing or found specified deficiencies in the filing. If the division fails to respond within 20 days, the filing shall be deemed approved. The exchange company may correct the deficiencies; and, within 10 days after receipt of corrections from the exchange company, the division shall notify the exchange company in writing that the division has either approved the filing or found additional specified deficiencies in the filing. If the exchange company fails to adequately respond to any deficiency notice within 10 days, the division may reject the filing. Subsequent to such rejection, a new filing fee and a new division initial review period pursuant to this subsection shall apply to any refiling or further review of the rejected filing.
(a) Any material change to an approved exchange company filing shall be filed with the division for approval as an amendment prior to becoming effective. Each amendment filing shall be accompanied by a filing fee of $100. The exchange company may correct the deficiencies; and, within 10 days after receipt of corrections from the exchange company, the division shall notify the exchange company in writing that the division has either approved the filing or found additional specified deficiencies in the filing. Each approved amendment to the approved exchange company filing, other than an amendment that does not materially alter or modify the exchange program in a manner that is adverse to a purchaser, as determined by the exchange company in its reasonable discretion, shall be delivered to each purchaser who has not closed. An approved exchange program filing is required to be updated with respect to added or deleted resorts only once each year, and such annual update shall not be deemed to be a material change to the filing.
(b) If at any time the division determines that any of such information supplied by an exchange company fails to meet the requirements of this section, the division may undertake enforcement action against the exchange company in accordance with the provision of s. 721.26.
(3) No developer shall have any liability with respect to any violation of this chapter arising out of the publication by the developer of information provided to it by an exchange company pursuant to this section. No exchange company shall have any liability with respect to any violation of this chapter arising out of the use by a developer of information relating to an exchange program other than that provided to the developer by the exchange company.
(4) At the request of the exchange company, the division shall review any audio, written, or visual publications or materials relating to an exchange company or an exchange program filed for review by the exchange company and shall notify the exchange company of any deficiencies within 10 days after the filing. If the exchange company corrects the deficiencies, or if there are no deficiencies, the division shall notify the exchange company of its approval of the advertising materials. If the exchange company fails to adequately respond to any deficiency notice within 10 days, the division may reject the advertising materials. Subsequent to such rejection, a new division initial review period pursuant to this subsection shall apply to any refiling or further review.
(5) The failure of an exchange company to observe the requirements of this section, or the use of any unfair or deceptive act or practice in connection with the operation of an exchange program, is a violation of this chapter.
History.s. 1, ch. 81-172; s. 158, ch. 83-216; s. 18, ch. 83-264; s. 55, ch. 85-62; s. 902, ch. 97-102; s. 10, ch. 98-36; s. 26, ch. 2000-302; s. 17, ch. 2004-279.