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Governor Signs New Connecticut Timeshare Law The new Connecticut Timeshare Act (SB 897) unanimously passed the House in the General Assembly on June 1. Governor Jodi Rell signed the bill into law on June 29, and it will take effect on January 1, 2010. It resulted from more than three years of work by the ARDA State Affairs office and a task force of ARDA members, at the request of the state’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). DCP staff has indicated they will likely work on any needed new rules and forms in September 2009 to be ready for the 2010 implementation. The new law, roughly based on the 2005 Texas Timeshare Act, modernizes definitions, permits abbreviated filings for out-of-state timeshare plans, and requires certain disclosures in timeshare resale transactions. Two Louisiana Bills Affect Timeshares Louisiana HB 120, which will reduce the number of units required to build a new timeshare resort in the state from 65 to 40, passed the Legislature in June and has been sent to the governor. Special thanks go to Malcolm Young, CEO of the Louisiana Realtors, and Norman Morris, senior VP of government affairs, for pushing the bill through. Also enacted is SB 256, which could allow the New Orleans French Quarter to establish a parcel tax on properties in the Historic District. The bill requires a voter referendum before the tax can be imposed. Timeshares would clearly be covered by the tax, but a timeshare parcel is defined as the whole “unit,” thus avoiding a parcel tax applied to individual intervals, which the industry previously fought in California. Ohio Timeshare Amendments Delayed After an ARDA “fire drill” last December, to review language the Ohio Department of Commerce wanted (but failed) to enact before January 1, 2009, the proposed extensive timeshare and subdivision amendments have not yet surfaced. The timeshare language did not go into the Ohio budget bill because the House and Senate are both solely focused on fiscal issues, like so many other states. It also did not get into the home inspector bill (as was attempted in 2008) because the home inspectors group rejected the amendment. Nonetheless, the Department of Commerce still considers the timeshare/subdivision bill a priority for 2009. Commerce is apparently looking to introduce it as a stand-alone bill in late summer or early fall and still plans to use the language ARDA worked out earlier this year with their Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing. Non-Judicial Foreclosure Issues Rank High on Priority List by Keith Stephenson Throughout the 2009 state legislative season, the state affairs team, working in conjunction with a variety of ARDA state and regional committees, managed a whirlwind of legislative and regulatory issues affecting developers and owners around the country and in the Caribbean region. While the volume of legislative and regulatory priorities was (and still remains) large, non-judicial foreclosure related issues ranked among the top of the list. In fact, during the 2008-2009 legislative seasons, ARDA state affairs passed non-judicial foreclosure legislation in Arizona (SB 1258), Illinois (SB 2112), and Colorado (HB 1365). Colorado was a unique case in that the state affairs team successfully amended and streamlined judicial foreclosure statutes that govern assessment liens, which essentially produced the same benefits provided by a non-judicial process. Each of these new laws represents a critical victory for ARDA state affairs, ARDA-Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC), timeshare owners, and timeshare HOAs—given the significant and onerous financial impact associated with previous foreclosure practices, procedures, and expenses in each particular jurisdiction. In addition to passing new laws, for the second year in a row, we successfully stopped Utah State Representative Curt Webb from passing legislation that would have eliminated the current right available to timeshare developers and HOAs to pursue a non-judicial foreclosure process. Beginning in early 2008, we worked with the ARDA-New England Committee to begin moving a twoyear strategy forward that would introduce non-judicial foreclosure legislation in Massachusetts. The benefits of this protracted strategy culminated on June 30, 2009, when representatives of ARDA and the ARDA-New England Committee testified in support of HB 1287 (an act relative to timeshare ownership) before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on The Judiciary. The following testimony will provide real-time insight on the state affairs team at work and why foreclosure related legislative issues will remain a top priority for the foreseeable future. Proponent Testimony for HB 1287 Joint Committee on The Judiciary Chair, State Representative Eugene L. O’Flaherty Chair, Senator Cynthia Stone Creem Submitted by: The American Resort Development Association Resort Owners Coalition Thank you, Mister Chair—Madam Chair—Members of the Committee—ladies and gentlemen. My name is Keith Stephenson, and I am the director of legislative and industry affairs for the American Resort Development Association. I am joined today by the following people: • Rich Muller, senior vice president of resort operations for Vacation Resorts International—he is here today representing nine timeshare HOAs, which represent 20% of all timeshare HOAs operating in the Commonwealth; • Alan Fletcher, a resident of Massachusetts, a timeshare owner, and a board member of the Cove at Yarmouth; • Thomas Moriarty, a partner with the law firm Marcus, Errico, Emmer, and Brooks, and president-elect of the Real Estate Bar Association—he is here today representing REBA; • Matt Gaines, chair of the Community Associations Institute; and Developments • October 2009

October 2009 Developments

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of October 2009 Developments

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