Grand Rapids, MI, June 20, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- Legislation that was recently passed in Florida is actively and effectively seeking to rid the timeshare industry of transfer companies that utilize what has become known as the “Viking Ship” exit model – a practice that ARDA (The American Resort Development Association) alleges is responsible for over $8 million dollars in unpaid maintenance fees annually. In this disposal paradigm, unscrupulous businesses assume ownership only to transfer it to hollow entities in order to avoid all financial responsibilities associated with the property - making it very difficult, and, in some cases, even impossible for Home Owners Associations to collect maintenance fees, which could eventually lead to their bankruptcy. Often times, these fraudulent companies are untraceable, and the resorts simply have to resume ownership of the property, which has a significant effect on the secondary resale market. Viking Ship schemes aren’t just harmful for the timeshare industry, but they also give legitimate and ethical transfer companies a poor reputation, despite the quality service they provide.
The Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act (HB 7025) was passed in the Florida Senate on May 3rd and will go into effect on July 1st of this year. The language relevant to timeshare transfer companies would make it illegal for an owner to knowingly transfer their property to a company that has no intention to pay the fees associated with that property. Although it will likely result in some processing delays, this new bill is a smart and sensible move for everyone involved, as it should eliminate fraudulent Viking Ship transfer companies to the benefit of resort developers, while also protecting the owners from being led into a potentially dangerous transfer arrangement that could hold them liable in the form of financial penalties for any improper dealings. Not only that, but once these entities have been eradicated, honest transfer companies will see their reputations further increase as they continue to operate with success and integrity in accordance with their core principles.
Looking forward, the most important thing is that owners are able to maintain their ability to exit their timeshare in an appropriate manner, should they choose to do so. True, they signed a contract, but circumstances change, and everyone deserves a fair shot at a second chance. The portions of this legislation dedicated to dissolving Viking Ship schemes are a tremendous leap in the right direction for both the resort developers and timeshare transfer companies. But most importantly, this new language also protects current timeshare owners from predatory agencies or any further unnecessary financial issues.
The current reality for many timeshare owners is less than ideal. The resale market has seen a significant decrease over the last several years, and maintenance fees continue to rise near 8% annually. As more and more owners are struggling to find an honest alternative, reputable transfer companies have become the most viable option for many owners to relieve themselves of their property. This being the current reality, Newton Group Transfers enthusiastically supports the wording in Florida House Bill 7025 relating to Viking Ship schemes, as well as the Florida state legislature’s passionate approach to cleaning up an industry whose waters have been polluted by the financial detritus of these fraudulent transfer companies for several years now.
About Newton Group Transfers:Newton Group Transfers
consists of a highly knowledgeable group of professionals with nearly a decade’s worth of experience in the timeshare disposal industry. Our primary motivation, our mission, is ensuring you a quality service, while backing up our promise to you with a 100% guarantee to reinforce our commitment and accountability.
President, Newton Group Transfers
Newton Group Transfers
3148 Plainfield Ave Suite 283
Grand Rapids, MI 49525