Renting and reselling timeshares is a thriving business across the country — particularly in Florida. Unfortunately, the industry also sees more than its fair share of fraud. Consequently, even those who are legitimately and legally engaged in renting or reselling timeshares may become the target of a federal investigation for fraud.
If you’ve been targeted or accused of fraud, you could be facing very serious consequences, with long-term effects on your livelihood and your family. Therefore, it’s crucial to get help from an experienced federal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Haas Law, we have extensive experience successfully defending clients accused of fraud and want to help protect your rights, your assets and your freedom.
Federal Timeshare Fraud Charges
Timeshare fraud involves knowingly making false or misleading statements, acting recklessly in terms of finding out the truth of statements or omitting material information in relation to the sale, resale or “gifting” of timeshares. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be charged with one or more serious federal crimes, including:
Timeshare Rental and Resale Fraud Laws
Renting and reselling timeshares is a thriving industry in resort hotspots — and Florida is certainly no exception. While it is perfectly legal to rent or resell a timeshare, there are several federal and state laws that govern the policies and practices within the industry, including:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, which provides broad authority for the FTC to investigate and prevent unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices affecting commerce. The Act also gives the FTC the authority to seek injunctions and restitution on behalf of consumers and even to seek civil penalties from wrongdoers in some cases.
The FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule, a federal rule that:
- Requires telemarketers to make specific disclosures of material information
- Prohibits misrepresentations
- Sets limits on the time of day that telemarketers may call consumers
- Prohibits calls to a consumer who has asked not to be called again
- Sets payment restrictions for the sale of certain goods and services
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), a state law modeled after the federal FTC Act. FDUTPA broadly prohibits unfair competition, as well as illegal or dishonest trade practices. The primary difference is that while only the FTC can enforce the federal FTC Act, the FDUTPA offers individuals the right to pursue civil litigation for an alleged violation.
The Florida Timeshare Resale Accountability Act, a state law directed specifically at the timeshare industry and includes the following provisions:
- A timeshare resale advertiser may not misrepresent a pre-existing interest in the owner’s timeshare.
- A timeshare resale advertiser may not mislead a customer as to the success rate of the advertiser’s sales.
- A timeshare resale advertiser may not provide brokerage or direct sale services.
- A timeshare resale advertiser must honor a cancellation request made within 7 days following a signed agreement.
- A timeshare resale advertiser must provide a full refund to a timeshare owner within 20 days of a valid cancellation request.
- A timeshare resale advertiser must not collect any payment or engage in any resale advertising activities until the timeshare owner delivers a signed written agreement for the services.
- A timeshare resale advertiser must also provide a full disclosure statement printed in bold type, with no smaller than a 12-point font, and printed immediately preceding the space provided for the timeshare owner’s signature.
- A timeshare advertising agreement must be put in writing.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Timeshare Rental/Resale Fraud Federal Defense Attorney
If you are engaged in renting or reselling timeshares in the State of Florida, it is crucial that you understand the various state and federal laws that govern the industry. The line between acceptable and unacceptable business practices can be difficult to discern — and may cause you to run afoul of the law without intending to do so.
If you find yourself the target of a federal investigation for fraud in relation to the rental or resale of timeshares, it is imperative that you act immediately to protect yourself by retaining the services of an experienced fraud attorney. You could be facing criminal penalties, including incarceration, as well as hefty monetary fines, penalties, and restitution, if convicted.
Whether charges have already been filed or you are the target of an investigation for fraud, consult with a federal timeshare rental and resale fraud defense attorney at Haas Law as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. We are committed to putting our extensive knowledge, skill, and experience to work defending you and your business.
Call us at 407-755-7675, chat with us online, or submit our online form today. Because we understand that time is of the essence when federal law enforcement authorities are investigating you, our calls are answered 24 hours a day, so you can schedule an appointment as soon as possible to discuss your case.