North Carolina Real Estate Commission Works to Implement New Law Modernizing State’s Timeshare Laws

Passing with Unanimous & Bipartisan Support, Commission Hails New Law as Important for State’s Consumers, Businesses & Industry

With the signing of House Bill 531 into law on October 6, 2021, which updates North Carolina’s laws on timeshare regulation, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission is now working on its implementation. The Commission also hailed the new law, which passed the North Carolina General Assembly with unanimous and bipartisan support before being signed into law, as a needed and an important modernization to the state’s timeshare laws that will have positive impacts for consumers, businesses and the industry.

The new lawsubstantially revises the North Carolina Time Share Act by:

  • Requiring timeshare developers to provide a comprehensive public offering statement to a purchaser before execution of the contract for sale.
  • Providing that any purchaser funds received by the developer prior to closing must be deposited into an escrow account maintained by an independent escrow agent to protect those funds.
  • Specifying conduct that violates the law and giving the Commission the power to take disciplinary action against any regulated party for violations of law.
  • Regulating timeshare resale and exit company activity to protect timeshare owners and making violations of those provisions unfair or deceptive acts or practices that North Carolina’s Attorney General will be able to enforce.
  • Modernizing the law to appropriately regulate the current products and services that the timeshare industry is offering and providing to consumers.

“North Carolina’s timeshare laws haven’t been updated for nearly 40 years, and because of that, they were no longer reflective of the industry and how it’s changed,” said Janet Thoren, Legal Counsel for the Commission. “By updating North Carolina’s timeshare laws, we’ve now brought them into the 21st century and they’re in line with the direction in which the industry is headed. It puts consumer protections in place, like regulating timeshare resale and exit company activity and codifying conduct that violates the law – all things that were needed and welcomed for a stronger, more robust consumer protection program.”

“As the body that regulates timeshare in the state, we’re proud to have gained the support of the North Carolina General Assembly to ultimately pass a law that sets our state ahead with the most up-to-date and current regulations in the nation,” said Thoren.

The Commission also thanked all those that came to the table to lend their outside knowledge and expertise on issues that they’re seeing and needed to be addressed to protect consumers.

“We’re also grateful to have had the help of the American Resort Development Association, the trade association for the timeshare industry, who graciously lent us their knowledge and expertise as we crafted and worked on this legislation,” said Thoren.

Here’s what third parties are saying about the update to the state’s timeshare laws:

“This new law includes language that addresses how the timeshare industry has evolved over the years,” said Robert Clements, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel for the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). “We commend the Commission for putting together a law that can serve as a model for other states looking to update what they have in statute, and we thank the General Assembly and the Governor for their support. We take pride in having been able to help the Commission, and we’re happy to continue to be a resource to them as they implement the law, as well as for any other states looking to modernize their timeshare laws.”

“This is a win for consumers, as this law regulates timeshare exit issues that harm timeshare owners and the industry as a whole,” said Elizabeth Baker, Vice President, State Legislative/Regulatory Official Outreach for the American Resort Development Association-Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC), an organization that represents over 1.6 million timeshare owners. “As we’ve seen time and again, unscrupulous exit companies take advantage of owners looking for exit options, and this is a first-of-its-kind legislation that works to combat that.”