MA Timeshare Advertising and Solicitation Bill Introduced Again

2013-06-26

Issue Brief

Senator Kennedy has introduced SB 117 that impacts timeshare advertising and solicitation by requiring an abundance of information and disclosures to accompany the offering of any inducement to attend a sales presentation or purchase a timeshare. The bill also provides that a developer, its agents, and suppliers of promotional materials are all jointly and severally liable for any acts in violation of the legislation. Similar bills have been filed in each of the previous session years by the Senator and have been defeated.

Impact

ARDA takes the position that many of the requirements in the bill are vague and overbroad, possibly subjecting an individual or entity to the severe penalties associated with a violation, either unknowingly or based on a subjective interpretation by an aggrieved purchaser. For example, an advertisement or solicitation must include among other things “any other details which if disclosed might induce a consumer not to participate in the offer.” Also, the bill would make it a violation for developers to solicit potential purchasers by offering vacations at timeshare resorts at significantly reduced prices – a common practice in the industry.

Position/Call to Action

On June 10, ARDA representatives met with the Senator Kennedy and staff to explain how the current timeshare act provides adequate protections for a prospective purchaser regarding advertising, promotions, etc. The bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and ARDA will continue to work to ensure this bill meets a similar fate as the past bills.

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