August 16, 2017

Colorado Supreme Court: Disclosed Costs Can Be Actionable Under CCPA if Costs Are Not Actual, Necessary, and Reasonable

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in State v. The Castle Law Group, LLC on Monday, July 5, 2016.

In this C.A.R. 21 original proceeding, the State appealed from the trial court’s order barring testimony of market rate prices. The State brought CCPA claims against Castle and several affiliated vendors, alleging that the vendors conspired with Castle to charge above market rate prices for various foreclosure-related services, and the inflated charges were eventually carried by mortgage servicers and the public because they relied on Castle’s representation that the costs were “actual, necessary, and reasonable.”

The trial court limited the State’s ability to provide market rate comparisons because it ruled that charging high prices is not illegal, and as long as Castle disclosed everything it charged, there was no deception. The Colorado Supreme Court disagreed with the trial court’s characterization of the CCPA claims. The court ruled that the trial court misperceived the alleged deception: that the prices charged were not “actual, necessary, and reasonable.” Because market rate comparison evidence directly impacts the determination of whether the charges were “actual, necessary, and reasonable,” the supreme court made its Order to Show Cause absolute and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

Colorado Court of Appeals: State Entitled to Attorney Fees for Successful Subpoena Enforcement Action

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in State of Colorado v. Vaden Law Firm, LLC on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Investigative Subpoena—Colorado Consumer Protection Act—Attorney Fees.

The State of Colorado served an investigative subpoena on respondent Vaden Law Firm LLC (Vaden) pursuant to CRS § 6-1-108(1) of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. The State sought records pertaining to costs Vaden had tried to recover on behalf of lenders in foreclosure actions. Vaden refused to produce any records. The State filed an application to enforce the Vaden subpoena in Denver District Court pursuant to CRS § 6-1-109. The court ordered Vaden to produce the requested records but denied the State’s request for attorney fees.

On appeal, the State contended that the district court’s denial of attorney fees was contrary to the plain language of CRS § 6-1-113(4). Subsection 113(4) requires an award of attorney fees and costs in all actions in which the Attorney General “successfully enforces this article.” This includes an award of attorney fees and costs in favor of the State when the State successfully enforces an investigative subpoena pursuant to the procedure dictated by CRS § 6-1-109. Accordingly, the district court’s order was vacated and the case was remanded for a determination of the State’s reasonable attorney fees and costs to be awarded against Vaden.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Budget Bills, HOA Transfer Fee Bill, and More Signed by Governor

Governor Hickenlooper signed nine more bills into law last Friday, bringing the total of signed bills up to 147 with two vetoed bills. The nine signed on April 18, 2014, are summarized here.

  • HB 14-1057 – Concerning the Colorado Fraud Investigators Unit, by Rep. Clarice Navarro and Sen. Steve King. The bill increases the fraud investigation surcharge on Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings with the Secretary of State from $3 to $4 per filing, effective July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2017.
  • HB 14-1100 – Concerning the Use of Title Documents to Give Notice of Characteristics of Motor Vehicles that Affect a Vehicle’s Value, and, In Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Spencer Swalm & Dan Pabon and Sen. Kevin Grantham. The bill requires that a branding be placed on the title of a motor vehicle if the vehicle meets certain criteria, such as if the vehicle is non-repairable, was constructed from two or more vehicles, is junk, and so on.
  • HB 14-1141 – Concerning the Confidentiality of Social Security Numbers Under Statutes Protecting the Privacy of Individuals, by Rep. Don Coram and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill amends a statute within the Colorado Consumer Protection Act to provide that an organization may not require disclosure of an individual’s SSN in order for that individual to serve on the organization’s board of directors.
  • HB 14-1186 – Concerning the Release of Medical Records to a Person Other Than the Patient, and, In Connection Therewith, Setting Reasonable Fees to be Paid for the Release of the Medical Records, by Rep. Sue Schafer and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill requires health care facilities and providers to release medical records to anyone with a valid authorization or subpoena, and sets reasonable costs for copying the medical records.
  • HB 14-1254 – Concerning a Requirement to Disclose Fees Charged to a Unit Owners’ Association by a Community Association Manager, by Rep. Jeanne Labuda and Sen. David Balmer. The bill requires a licensed community association manager who provides services to an HOA to fully disclose all fees and costs that will be charged to the HOA or unit owners.
  • HB 14-1282 – Concerning the Specification of What Materials May Be Provided in a Language Other Than English by an Insurer to a Customer, by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill specifies that an insurer providing materials to a customer in a language other than English need only supply copies in English of the insurance policies, endorsements, and riders.
  • HB 14-1308 – Concerning Procedures for a Department to Vary an Appropriation, by Rep. Cheri Gerou and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill, a Joint Budget Committee bill, allows agencies to overexpend appropriations or transfer funds between agencies to cover certain costs in certain situations.
  • HB 14-1340 – Concerning the State Toxicology Laboratory, and, In Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Cheri Gerou and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill, a Joint Budget Committee bill, requires the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to operate a State Toxicology Laboratory on or before July 1, 2015 in order to assist local law enforcement authorities in their enforcement of DUI laws.
  • HB 14-1341 – Concerning a Transfer of Moneys from the State General Fund to the Department of State Cash Fund for the Purpose of Repaying a Prior Transfer, by Rep. Jenise May and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill, a Joint Budget Committee bill, requires the state treasurer to make a one-time transfer of general fund moneys to the Department of State cash fund in order to repay moneys borrowed during the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

Governor Hickenlooper plans to sign HB 14-1337 – Concerning an Increase in the General Fund Reserve, a Joint Budget Committee bill, today, April 21, 2014, at a press conference.

For a list of Governor Hickenlooper’s legislative decisions, click here.

HB 14-1285: Amending Colorado Consumer Protection Act to Include Colorado Taxpayer Protection Act

On February 19, 2014, Rep. Su Ryden and Sens. Irene Aguilar & Mike Johnston introduced HB 14-1285 – Concerning a Requirement that a Professional Tax Preparer Provide Certain Disclosures to a Client When Preparing Tax Documents for the Client. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill requires a person who prepares, for a fee, an income tax return or a claim for a refund on an income tax return for a taxpayer (professional tax preparer) to make certain disclosures to the taxpayer concerning the professional tax preparer’s qualifications, fees, year-round contact information for the tax preparer or the tax preparation company, willingness to represent the taxpayer in a government audit, and obligation to sign the tax documents prepared. The bill exempts certain certified public accountants, attorneys-at-law, enrolled agents, and individuals employed by a local, state, or federal government agency from having to comply with the disclosure requirements.

The bill makes a professional tax preparer’s failure to provide a taxpayer with the requisite disclosures a deceptive trade practice, and provides the penalty scheme for the deceptive trade practice.

The bill requires the department of revenue to provide a disclosure form available on its web site and requires every professional tax preparer to provide a copy of either the department’s disclosure form or a substantially similar disclosure form to each taxpayer before commencing work on preparing the taxpayer’s income tax return or claim for refund on an income tax return.

The bill criminalizes the act of providing fraudulent information in a professional tax preparer’s disclosure form and makes the crime a class 2 misdemeanor.

The CBA Legislative Policy voted to amend the bill to exempt attorneys at law from the provisions of the act; the bill has been amended accordingly.

The bill passed out of the House on March 17 and is assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.

Since this summary, the bill was amended in the Senate Finance Committee and referred to the Senate Committee of the Whole for consideration on Second Reading.

Colorado Court of Appeals: County Court’s Judgment was Final Determination of Fraud and Plaintiffs Could Recover on Surety Bond

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Mendoza v. Pioneer General Insurance Co. on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Surety Bond Recovery—Declaratory Judgment—Colorado Consumer Protection Act Fraud Claim.

In March 2009, plaintiffs Mendoza and Gonzales bought an action against Fitzgerald Automotive Group, alleging a claim that Fitzgerald violated CRS § 6-1-708, a provision of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) that expressly prohibits motor vehicle dealers from engaging in certain specified deceptive trade practices. After a trial to a jury, the jury found in favor of plaintiffs on their CCPA claim and also found in a special interrogatory that Fitzgerald had engaged in bad-faith conduct under CRS § 6-1-113(2)(a)(III), which allows for an award of treble damages. Judgment was entered in the amount of $3,500, which was trebled. The court also awarded attorney fees of $15,475 and costs of $436.61.

Fitzgerald then ceased operations and plaintiffs were not able to recover on their judgment. They brought this action against Pioneer General Insurance Company (Pioneer), requesting a declaratory judgment that the motor vehicle dealer’s licensing bond required by CRS § 12-6-111 “is available to consumers who have been damaged by car dealers that commit deceptive trade practices . . . and that the bond is applicable to costs and attorney fees incurred by the consumer. . . .” The district court denied the motion.

On appeal, plaintiffs argued the district court erred because the county court’s judgment was a final determination of fraud or fraudulent representation that was sufficient to satisfy CRS § 12-6-111(2)(b). The Court of Appeals agreed.

Plaintiffs argued that CRS §§ 6-1-708 and 12-6-111 should be read together to accomplish their legislative purpose of providing remedies for consumer fraud. The Court held that § 6-1-708(1)(a)(I) has “at the very least, the element of an intent to deceive.” In essence, the Court found that a prohibited deceptive trade practice requires, as a matter of law, an intent to deceive, which, if found guilty of so doing, is a determination of fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation sufficient to satisfy CRS § 12-6-111(2)(b).

The Court also found that because the CCPA specifically authorizes the recovery of costs and reasonable attorney fees, plaintiffs can recover those fees and costs from Pioneer, as the surety on the bond, in addition to their actual damages of $3,500. Accordingly, the judgment denying plaintiffs’ motion for declaratory judgment was reversed and the case was remanded.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Colorado Consumer Protection Act Does Not Provide for Trial by Jury

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Shifrin on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

Deceptive Trade Practices—Colorado Consumer Protection Act—CRCP 41(b).

The Attorney General (AG) brought this action against defendant, Leonid Shifrin, Jerry A. Johnson, and five companies with which defendant was involved. The complaint alleged a pattern of deceptive trade practices whereby defendants, acting in concert, fraudulently placed consumers in high risk “option” adjustable rate mortgage loans.

The trial court ruled that defendant was not entitled to a jury trial. The Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) does not provide for trial by jury. Further, based on the equitable nature of the relief sought under the CCPA, defendant was not entitled to a jury trial.

The trial court refused to stay the trial, pending resolution of federal criminal proceedings against him. The court did not abuse its discretion in this regard because the two proceedings had minimal overlap.

The trial court found a CCPA violation based on the testimony of representative witnesses, without requiring testimony from all thirty-seven borrowers allegedly harmed. Although the CCPA permits the AG to subpoena witnesses, the CCPA does not require the AG to elicit testimony from every consumer who was harmed to prove a violation. Thus, the question becomes whether the evidence was sufficient to prove a CCPA violation.

The trial court admitted the affidavits of borrowers who did not testify at trial. These affidavits constituted inadmissible hearsay, and allowing them into evidence was an abuse of discretion. However, because the trial court found that the affidavits were relevant only to determine the remedy for defendant’s violations of the CCPA, their lack of admissibility affects only restitution and disgorgement. Therefore, the amount of restitution awarded to the borrowers who did not testify was set aside. Further, the disgorgement also reduced by those amounts established through the affidavits.

Defendant contended that the trial court’s restitution award was barred by the credit agreement statute of frauds, CRS § 38-10-124. This statute requires the existence of a debtor–creditor relationship. Defendant, who was a mortgage broker, is not a creditor pursuant to § 38-10-124; therefore, it does not apply and the trial court’s restitution award was not barred. Also, the trial court’s formula for calculating restitution was within its discretion under § 6-1-110.

The trial court concluded that defendant was not entitled to a setoff for the amount paid by codefendant Johnson in settlement. Because tort damages are not recoverable by the AG under the CCPA, defendant was not entitled to a setoff.

The AG argued that the trial court erred in granting Shifrin’s directed verdict motion, because it applied the wrong legal standard. When an action is tried to the court without a jury, a directed verdict motion can be dismissed pursuant to CRCP 41(b). The standard for ruling on a CRCP 41(b) motion is “whether judgment in favor of defendant is justified on the evidence presented.” Because the court applied the wrong legal standard, the case was remanded for the court to consider the motion under CRCP 41.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Claims Correctly Dismissed Where Plaintiff Failed to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Barry v. Bally Gaming, Inc. on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

Limited Gaming Act of 1991—Administrative Remedies—Outrageous Conduct—Contract Claims—Colorado Consumer Protection Act—Jurisdiction.

Plaintiff Charles Barry brought this action after he played a slot machine manufactured by Bally Gaming, Inc. (Bally) in the Lady Luck casino owned and operated by CCSC/Blackhawk, Inc. (Lady Luck). The slot machine indicated that he had won $31,202.41, but it was later determined that the machine had malfunctioned, voiding his winnings. The trial court dismissed Barry’s claims, finding that he failed to exhaust administrative remedies.

On appeal, Barry asserted that the district court erred in dismissing his outrageous conduct and contract claims because the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (Commission) did not have exclusive jurisdiction over those claims. Through the Limited Gaming Act of 1991 (Act), the General Assembly vested in the Commission the authority to regulate limited gaming, and this regulatory power was intended to embrace all aspects of the operation of gaming in Colorado. Barry’s outrageous conduct and contract claims present precisely the type of patron dispute governed by the Act and the “patron disputes” regulation. Accordingly, the district court correctly ruled that these claims fell within the Commission’s exclusive regulatory authority and properly dismissed them.

Barry also contended that the district court erred in concluding that his Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) claim was within the Commission’s exclusive jurisdiction. Barry, however, failed to assert a CCPA claim that was distinct from a claim falling within the Commission’s exclusive regulatory jurisdiction. Accordingly, the district court correctly ruled that the Commission had original and exclusive jurisdiction over Barry’s CCPA claim and properly dismissed that claim.

Barry further asserted that even if he were required to pursue his administrative remedies, exhaustion here was unnecessary because (1) the matter in controversy raised questions of law that were not within the Commission’s expertise or capacity, and (2) further administrative review before the Commission would have been futile. The Court of Appeals disagreed. Barry’s claims centered not on questions of law but on factual issues falling squarely within the Commission’s regulatory authority and expertise. Moreover, Barry failed to show that exhausting his administrative remedies would be futile. Barry’s remedy was to file an appeal and not a separate action in district court after he had exhausted his administrative remedies. The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.

SB 13-248: Allowing the Attorney General or a District Attorney to Enforce Subpoenas Against Out-of-State Persons for Cases Involving Consumer Protection Violations

On Monday, April 1, 2013, Sen. Irene Aguilar introduced SB 13-248 – Concerning the Authority of the Attorney General or a District Attorney to Enforce Subpoenas for Consumer Protection Violations Against Persons Located Outside Colorado. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

For the purposes of the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act,” the “Refund Anticipation Loans Act,” the “Colorado Rental Purchase Agreement Act,” the “Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,” and the “Colorado Credit Services Organization Act,” the bill states that the power of the attorney general or a district attorney to issue subpoenas includes the right to issue a subpoena to any person, whether in this state or elsewhere, who has engaged in or is engaging in violations of these acts.

For the purposes of the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act,” if the records of a person who has been issued a subpoena are located outside this state, the person shall either:

  • Make them available to the attorney general or district attorney at a convenient location within this state; or
  • Pay the reasonable and necessary expenses for the attorney general or district attorney, or his or her designee, to examine the records at the place where they are maintained.

The attorney general or district attorney may designate representatives, including comparable officials of the state in which the records are located, to inspect the records on behalf of the attorney general or district attorney. The bill was introduced on April 1 and is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

Since this summary, the bill was referred, unamended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole for Second Reading.

SB 13-182: Amending Provisions of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act Relating to Time Share Transactions

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, Sen. Jeanne Nicholson introduced SB 13-182 – Concerning Deceptive Trade Practices Related to Time Share Resale Services. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill amends provisions of the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act” relating to time share transactions and, in particular, transactions involving resale time shares. The bill requires entities that provide time share resale services to disclose specified information about the services to the owner of the resale time share, and makes failure to disclose the information a deceptive trade practice. A time share resale entity is prohibited from knowingly transferring or offering to transfer, or receiving compensation in connection with a transfer of, a resale time share to a transferee who is unable or does not intend to fulfill the obligations of ownership. A person injured by a violation of the requirements relating to time share resale services may bring an action for damages within three years after discovering the violation.

The bill defines specified activities as deceptive trade practices in the advertisement or sale of a time share or the provision of a time share resale service.

The bill defines the following terms: “Resale time share,” “time share resale entity,” “time share resale service,” and “time share resale transfer agreement.” On March 8, the bill passed 2nd Reading in the Senate.

Since this summary, the bill passed the Senate on Third Reading and was introduced in the House. It is assigned to the Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development Committee.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Plaintiffs’ Unexplained Delay in Filing Complaint Not Attributable to Defendant and Therefore Extension of Statute of Limitations Not Applicable

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Damian v. Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. on Thursday, December 27, 2012.

Colorado Consumer Protection Act—Deceptive Trade Practices—Statute of Limitations—Extension—Equitable Tolling.

Plaintiffs Ann Damian and John Taylor, Jr. appealed the summary judgment in favor of defendant Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. The judgment was affirmed.

Plaintiffs filed a complaint against defendant, asserting claims under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) for damages allegedly caused by defendant’s deceptive trade practices in the marketing and sale of a heating system.

Plaintiffs contended that the district court erred in not applying the one-year extension of the statute of limitations set forth in CRS § 6-1-115. The CCPA provides for a limitations period of three years, but extends that limitations period by one year if the plaintiff proves that the defendant caused the plaintiff to delay or refrain from filing the action. Here, it was not defendant’s conduct that caused the statute to run, but rather plaintiffs’ unexplained eighteen-month delay in instituting the administrative proceeding through the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.. Therefore, the district court did not err in ruling that the one-year extension of the statute of limitations was not applicable based here.

Plaintiffs also argued that the district court should have held that the statute of limitations was equitably tolled in light of the facts and procedural history of this case. Because the CCPA already provides a one-year extension of the limitations period if a defendant engages in conduct calculated to induce the plaintiff to refrain from or postpone the commencement of the action, application of the equitable tolling doctrine to the CCPA would be redundant. Accordingly, the district court did not err in dismissing plaintiffs’ complaint on statute of limitations grounds.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: When Calculating Lodestar Amount, Court Should Have Applied Percentage Reductions to Total Hours Billed Before Applying Hourly Rate Multiplier

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Payan v. Nash Finch Co. on August 16, 2012.

Colorado Consumer Protection Act—Civil Theft—Fee Award—Lodestar Amount.

Plaintiffs appealed the trial court’s order awarding attorney fees in their favor against defendant Nash Finch Company, doing business as Avanza Supermarket (Nash Finch). The order was affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case was remanded.

In June 2008, Nash Finch implemented a misleading pricing scheme in two of its Denver metro area supermarkets. Customers were led to believe they would receive an additional 10% savings compared to regular prices, when in fact, the cashier added 10% to the price at checkout. Plaintiffs were customers at these supermarkets who did not immediately realize they had paid more than the advertised price. Plaintiffs ultimately litigated their Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) and civil theft claims at trial. Three days before trial, Nash Finch filed an admission of liability and confession of judgment for the full amount of the statutory damages sought by plaintiffs, a total of $4,200. The trial court entered an order awarding plaintiffs attorney fees.

Plaintiffs asserted that the trial court’s fee award was in error in numerous respects. First, plaintiffs contended the trial court did not take the proper arithmetical steps in calculating the lodestar amount before it made subsequent adjustments to that amount. The trial court should have applied the percentage reductions to the total hours billed before applying the hourly rate multiplier. Therefore, the court’s calculation of the lodestar amount was in error, and that amount should be recalculated on remand.

Plaintiffs further contended that the trial court abused its discretion and committed legal error in making certain downward adjustments to counsel’s billed hours. A trial court retains discretion to reduce the hours billed based on block billing if the court is unable to determine whether the amount of time spent on various tasks was reasonable. Therefore, the court did not abuse its discretion in making such adjustments to counsel’s billed hours.

Plaintiffs next contended that the trial court abused its discretion by making a reduction for time spent on dismissed claims and the class action complaint. Plaintiffs failed to present any proof as to the number of hours actually spent on the dismissed claims. Therefore, the trial court’s decision was not disturbed on appeal.

Plaintiffs also argued that the trial court erred in making a reduction for lack of complexity. The trial court was in the best position to observe and determine the relative complexity of the issues and arguments presented to it. Therefore, the trial court’s reduction of 5% for lack of complexity was not an abuse of discretion.

Plaintiffs also contended that the trial court erred in determining reasonable hourly rates for plaintiffs’ counsel based on its view of appropriate staffing of the case. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in making such a determination.

Furthermore, the trial court correctly determined that (1) the rule of proportionality could not be applied; (2) the court’s 10% reduction in the lodestar amount for lack of public importance was not an abuse of discretion, because the record supports the conclusion that plaintiffs’ suit was not a factor in inducing Nash Finch to cease its improper conduct; and (3) the court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiffs’ motion for discovery of Nash Finch’s billing records, given that both experts were able to produce their reports without the aid of such discovery.

Summary and full case available here.

HB 12-1116: Time Share Sales and the Colorado Consumer Protection Act

On January 20, 2012, Rep. Carole Murray and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson introduced HB 12-1116 – Concerning Deceptive Trade Practices Related to Time Share Resale Transactions. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill amends provisions of the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act” relating to time share transactions and, in particular, transactions involving resale time shares. The bill requires entities that provide time share resale services to disclose the following information to the owner of the resale time share, and makes failure to disclose the information a deceptive trade practice:

  • Contact information for the time share resale entity and any agent or third-party service provider who will perform any time share resale services for the entity;
  • A legal description of the resale time share;
  • A description of the method or documentation by which the transfer of the resale time share will be completed;
  • If the owner of the resale time share will retain any interest in the resale time share, a description of the interests retained by the owner of the resale time share;
  • A listing of any fees, costs, or other consideration that the owner of the resale time share must pay or reimburse for performance of the time share resale service;
  • A statement that the time share resale entity and its affiliates and agents will not collect from the owner of the resale time share any fees, costs, or other consideration until the entity provides the owner a copy of the recorded deed clearly demonstrating the transfer of the resale time share and a written acknowledgment from the association of time share owners or other responsible person that the time share resale entity has complied with the association’s policies governing the transfer of resale time shares, if any;
  • The date by which all acts sufficient to transfer the resale time share in accordance with the time share resale transfer agreement are estimated to be completed, which should be within 180 days after entering the agreement;
  • A statement as to whether any person, including the owner of the resale time share, may occupy, rent, exchange, or otherwise exercise any form of use of the resale time share during the term of the time share resale transfer agreement;
  • The name of any person, other than the owner of the resale time share, who will receive any rents, profits, or other consideration or thing of value, if any, generated from the transfer of the applicable resale time share or the use of the applicable resale time share during the term of the time share resale transfer agreement;
  • A statement detailing the owner’s responsibilities in the event the entity does not transfer ownership of the resale time share within 180 days after entering the agreement;
  • A statement that the time share resale entity will notify the specified persons or entities, in writing, when ownership of the resale time share is transferred.

The bill defines the following activities as deceptive trade practices in the advertisement or sale of a time share or the provision of a resale time share service:

  • Making false or misleading statements in connection with a time share resale service;
  • Making false or misleading statements concerning the method or source from which the name, address, telephone number, or other contact information of the owner was obtained;
  • Making false or misleading statements concerning the identity of the time share resale service entity or that entity’s affiliates or the terms and conditions upon which the time share or the time share resale services are offered

The bill defines the following terms: “Resale time share,” “time share resale entity,” “time share resale service,” and “time share resale transfer agreement.” On February 9, the Economic and Business Development Committee took testimony and laid the bill over for action on Tuesday, February 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Since this summary, the bill was amended and referred to the House Committee of the Whole.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.