PA 09-156—sSB 897
Insurance and Real Estate Committee
General Law Committee
AN ACT CONCERNING TIME SHARES
SUMMARY: This act replaces the prior, more limited time sharing plan laws with more detailed provisions. It establishes requirements for the sale and management of time shares, including, among other things, advertising, insurance, escrow, assessments, and various disclosures to prospective purchasers and owners. It specifies which of its provisions apply to out-of-state time shares.
The act requires a developer to record a time share instrument in the land records of each town in which an accommodation is located and register the time share plan with the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). The act authorizes the DCP commissioner to adopt implementing regulations, enforce its provisions, and impose penalties on violators. It makes specified actions and omissions unfair trade practices.
The act provides a variety of exemptions from its requirements, including for any time share property established in Connecticut before January 1, 2010. Such properties remain subject to the state laws and regulations in existence on December 31, 2009.
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010
§§ 2 & 3 — APPLICATION OF THE ACT
The act applies to (1) time share plans with accommodations or amenities in Connecticut and (2) exchange programs. Portions also apply to out-of-state time share plans that are sold or offered to people in Connecticut.
The act defines a “time share plan” as any arrangement or method, other than an exchange program, by which a purchaser, in exchange for consideration, receives an ownership right in or the right to use accommodations on a recurring basis for a period of time less than a year during a given year, but not necessarily consecutive years, regardless of whether the time period is determined in advance. “Arrangement” or “method” includes a membership agreement, sale, lease, deed, license, or right-to-use agreement.
Under the act, an “exchange program” is any method, arrangement, or procedure for the voluntary exchange of time share interests among purchasers or owners. A “time share interest” includes time share use or a time share estate. Both give the purchaser the right to occupy a time share property, but a time share estate also gives him or her a real estate interest in the time share property.
The act also specifies that the term “vacation ownership” may be used synonymously for “time share” in advertisements or in disclosures regarding a time share interest or time share plan.
Out-of-State Time Share Plans
Time share plans without accommodations or amenities in Connecticut that are sold or offered for sale to people in Connecticut are subject to most, but not all, of the act's provisions. Specifically, they are excepted from the following provisions:
1. recording of time share plan (§ 5),
2. conveyance and ownership of time share plans (§ 6(a) – (c)),
3. assessments on time share interests (§ 23),
4. collection costs and fees (§ 24),
5. availability of records (§ 25),
6. resale disclosures (§ 27),
7. requirements for resale agreements (§ 28), and
8. disclosures for time share condominiums (§ 29).
§§ 3, 4, & 28 — EXEMPTIONS FROM THE ACT
Exempt Sales Offer
The act exempts from its requirements a sales offer, whether or not an accommodation is located in Connecticut, of a (1) time share plan (a) consisting of seven or fewer time share interests or (b) extending for three years or less or (2) time share interest under which the prospective purchaser's total financial obligation will be $3,000 or less during the term of ownership.
Exempt Offers and Dispositions
The act exempts a disposition pursuant to a court order, by a governmental agency, or by foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure. And it exempts an offering or disposition if it is:
1. gratuitous (e. g. , a gift);
2. by an association (a council or association made up of all time share owners) of its own time share interest acquired as a gift or through foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure;
3. of all time share interests in a time share plan to five or fewer people;
4. of a time share interest in a time share property located outside Connecticut or to a purchaser who is not a Connecticut resident under a contract executed outside Connecticut, if there has been no offering to the purchaser in Connecticut;
5. of a time share interest by a purchaser who acquired the interest for his or her personal use; or
6. of a rental of an accommodation for three years or less.
The act exempts an offering or disposition of a time share interest in a time share property outside Connecticut to a purchaser who currently owns a time share interest from the same developer or an affiliated entity under common ownership and control, if the developer or affiliated entity:
1. has a time share plan currently registered with DCP that was originally approved within seven years from the date of the offer or disposition;
2. complies in all material respects with certain of the act's provisions relating to advertising, cancellation of a purchase contract, required contract language and information, and acts and omissions that constitute an unfair trade practice;
3. provides the purchaser with all time share disclosure documents required to be provided to purchasers as if the offer or disposition occurred in the state or jurisdiction where the time share property is located;
4. includes a notice in the purchase contract that is the same as or substantially similar to that required by the act (§ 15(a)) and a right of rescission of at least five days; and
5. provides the purchaser, either in the disclosure documents or supplementary or additional materials, the following if the state or jurisdiction where the time share property is located does not require such documents:
a. a description of the type of time share plan offered, including the plan's duration and operation;
b. a description of the existing or proposed accommodations and amenities, including the type and number of time share interests expressed in use increments, a categorization by numbers of bedrooms for each type of accommodation and, if the accommodations or amenities are proposed or incomplete, a schedule for their commencement, completion, and availability;
c. a description of the method and timing for performing maintenance on the accommodations;
d. copies of the declaration and association articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules and regulations, if applicable; and
e. the time share plan's current annual budget.
To qualify for the exemption, the developer (but presumably not the affiliated entity) is deemed to consent to DCP's jurisdiction in the event of a dispute with the purchaser in connection with the offering or disposition.
The act exempts from its requirements, if delivered to a person who owns, or has previously executed a contract to purchase, a time share interest in a time share plan, any (1) communication addressed to the person and relating to his or her account or (2) audio, written, or visual publication or material relating to an exchange company or program if the person is a member of that company or program.
Time Share Established before January 1, 2010
The act exempts from its provisions a time share property established in Connecticut before January 1, 2010. It specifies that such property is subject to the state statutes and regulations that exist (and presumably are in effect) on December 31, 2009.
§ 5 — RECORDING THE TIME SHARE PLAN
The act requires the developer of a time share plan, any part of which is located in Connecticut, to properly record the time share instrument in the land records of all towns where an accommodation is located. Under the act, property is established as a time share plan when a person expressly declares an intent to subject the property to a time share plan by recording a time share instrument that contains certain information.
Required Information in Recorded Declaration
The act requires the recorded declaration to include:
1. a legal description of the time share property, including a ground plan indicating the location of each existing or proposed building included in the time share plan;
2. a description of each existing or proposed accommodation, including the location and square footage of each unit and an interior floor plan of each existing or proposed building;
3. a description of any amenities furnished or to be furnished to the purchaser;
4. a statement of the fractional or percentage part that each time share interest bears to the entire time share plan;
5. a statement that the time share property is part of a multisite time share plan, if applicable; and
6. any additional information consistent with these requirements.
Exemption from Licensing Requirement
Any sales agent who offers a time share interest in Connecticut must be licensed as a real estate broker or salesperson, unless exempt from licensure by law. The act also exempts from the licensure requirement (1) an exchange company exchanging time share periods and (2) a person who only distributes time share literature or advertises a time share, as long as a sales agent or a Connecticut-licensed real estate broker or salesperson handles the sale of the time share interest. A “sales agent” is a person who, directly or through employees, agents, or independent contractors, sells or offers to sell time share interests in a time share plan to any person located in Connecticut.
§ 6 — TIME SHARE CONVEYANCE AND OWNERSHIP
The act specifies that once a property is established as a time share plan, each time share interest may be individually conveyed or encumbered and is independent of all other time share interests in the same time share property. It allows any title or interest in a time share interest to be recorded.
The act allows any time share (1) interest to be jointly or commonly owned by more than one person and (2) estate to be jointly or commonly owned in the same manner as any other real property interest in Connecticut. It prohibits an action for partition (e. g. , dividing a time share interest) during the term of a time share plan.
§ 7 — REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Reservation or Deposit Accepted Before Registration
The act generally prohibits a developer from offering or disposing of a time share interest unless the time share plan is registered with DCP. But it permits a developer or any person acting on the developer's behalf to accept a reservation and a deposit from a prospective purchaser before submitting or completing a time share plan registration application if the deposit is (1) placed in an escrow account with a closing agent and (2) fully refundable at any time at the purchaser's request. The deposit cannot be forfeited unless the purchaser affirmatively creates a binding obligation by a subsequent written instrument consisting of a binding contract to purchase, in which case the release of funds is governed by § 17 of the act.
Offer or Disposition During Registration Suspension or Revocation Prohibited
The act prohibits a developer or any person acting on the developer's behalf from offering or disposing of a time share interest during any period in which a DCP or court order is in effect revoking or suspending the time share plan registration.
Pre-Sales Permitted with Approval
The act authorizes DCP, at the developer's request, to authorize the developer to conduct pre-sales before a time share plan is registered if the registration application is administratively complete, as determined by the commissioner or established by regulations. The pre-sales authorization permits the developer to offer and dispose of time share interests while the registration application is being processed. To obtain a pre-sales authorization, the developer must submit:
1. a written request to DCP;
2. an administratively complete application for registration, including a $300 application fee and any exhibits DCP requires; and
3. evidence acceptable to DCP that all funds the developer receives will be placed with a closing agent with instructions requiring the funds to be retained until DCP determines the registration application is complete.
Final Time Share Disclosure Statement
The act requires the developer, after DCP approves the final time share disclosure statement, to (1) give each purchaser and prospective purchaser a copy of it and (2) provide the purchaser a second opportunity to cancel the purchase contract if the commissioner determines there is a material, adverse difference between the proposed and final time share disclosure statements.
Act Remains in Effect until All Time Shares are Offered or Disposed
The act specifies that its requirements remain in effect for as long as a developer offers or disposes of time share interests in the registered time share plan. The developer must notify DCP in writing when it stops offering the time share interests in Connecticut.
§ 8 — REGISTRATION APPLICATION
The act requires a registration application to include:
1. a time share disclosure statement (see § 11),
2. a exchange disclosure statement, if required (see § 12),
3. recorded copies of all time share instruments, and
4. other information the commissioner may require.
If the time share property is a newly developed property, the recorded copies of time share instruments must be provided promptly after they become available.
Time Share in a Condominium or Similar Development
If existing or proposed accommodations are in a condominium or similar development, the act requires that the registration application contain the development's project instruments and affirmatively indicate that they do not prohibit the creation and disposition of time share interests.
If the project instruments do not expressly authorize the creation and disposition of time share interests, the application must contain evidence that existing owners were provided written notice within 60 days before applying for registration that time share interests would be created and sold.
If the project instruments prohibit the creation or disposition of time share interests, the application must contain a certification by the authorized representative of all existing owners that the project instruments have been properly amended to permit such creation and disposition.
Abbreviated Registration Allowed in Certain Situations
The act allows the DCP commissioner to accept an abbreviated registration application from a time share developer for any accommodations located outside Connecticut.
It permits a developer with any accommodation in Connecticut to file an abbreviated application, but only if the:
1. developer is (a) a successor in interest after a merger or acquisition or (b) in a joint venture with the previous developer or its affiliate and
2. the previous developer registered the time share plan in Connecticut before the merger, acquisition, or joint venture.
The act prohibits an out-of-state developer from filing an abbreviated application unless the state in which it is registered has registration and disclosure requirements that are substantially similar to, or more stringent than, the act's requirements.
Abbreviated Registration Requirements
A developer filing an abbreviated application must identify and provide information about the (1) developer and, if the developer is not located in the state, its authorized or registered agent for service of process in Connecticut and (2) time share plan's primary contact person and managing entity. Specifically, the application must include the:
1. developer's legal name, any assumed names, principal office location, mailing address, telephone number, and primary contact person;
2. name and address of the developer's agent for service of process, if required; and
3. name, location, mailing address, and telephone number for the plan's primary contact person and managing entity.
In addition, the abbreviated application must include:
1. a declaration of whether the time share plan (a) is single or multisite and (b) if multisite, consists of specific or nonspecific time share interests;
2. each jurisdiction in which the time share plan is (a) approved or accepted and (b) pending;
3. each jurisdiction in which the developer or managing entity has been denied registration of the time share plan or, during the five years before the registration application date, was the subject of a final adverse disposition in a disciplinary proceeding;
4. if the commissioner requests it, copies of any disclosure documents required to be provided to purchasers or filed with any jurisdiction that approved or accepted the time share plan;
5. any other information required by the commissioner, statute, or DCP regulation or policy; and
6. the appropriate filing fee, as determined by the commissioner.
The act allows a developer, instead of physically providing this information, to certify that any or all of the required information can be viewed electronically, at no cost to DCP, through an electronic registry, web site, or other electronic means the commissioner approves. The developer must clearly disclose in each such certification the method for accessing the information.
The act requires the DCP commissioner to investigate all matters relating to the application and authorizes him to require a personal inspection of the proposed time share property by anyone DCP designates. The act requires the applicant to pay all direct expenses DCP incurs in inspecting the property and authorizes the commissioner to require the applicant to pay an advance deposit sufficient to cover those expenses.
Developer Must File Amendments
The act requires a developer to file with DCP amendments to the registration, reporting any materially adverse change in any document contained in the registration within 30 days after the developer knows or reasonably should know of the change. The developer may continue to offer and dispose of time share interests under the existing registration pending the commissioner's review of the amendments if the materially adverse change is disclosed to prospective purchasers. The commissioner may charge up to $300 for processing an amendment.
§ 9 — DCP POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The act authorizes the DCP commissioner to adopt regulations and develop and publish forms necessary to carry out the act's provisions. It also permits him to adopt regulations specifying the requirements for issuing and renewing a developer's registration, including the registration application and any required supporting documentation.
If the commissioner determines that a person subject to the act has materially violated any provision of it or the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), the act authorizes him to:
1. suspend or revoke the person's registration,
2. reprimand or place him or her on probation,
3. impose a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation, or
4. take any other disciplinary action the act authorizes.
The act specifies that it does not limit or deny any rights or remedies the law otherwise provides.
Hearings and Contested Cases
The act allows the commissioner to (1) authorize specific employees to conduct hearings and issue proposed or final decisions in contested cases and (2) establish reasonable fees for (a) forms and documents DCP provides to the public and (b) filing or registering required documents.
Under the act, anyone against whom the commissioner initiates a disciplinary proceeding has the right to a hearing before the commissioner or a hearing officer he appoints. Any party aggrieved by a hearing officer's decision may appeal to the commissioner in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act.
The act empowers the commissioner to authorize the attorney general to file a suit in the judicial district of New Britain to prevent a violation of the act or for any other appropriate relief.
Compliance with Other Laws
A developer who complies with the act is exempt from:
1. the registration provisions of the Uniform Securities Act, unless the timeshare is otherwise sold as a security;
2. the Home Solicitation Sales Act;
3. the Common Interest Ownership Act; and
4. state laws regarding real estate brokers and salespersons selling out-of-state land.
Registration Period and Fees
Under the act, each registration or renewal is valid for up to 24 months and subject to a $700 fee. The commissioner may assess and collect a late fee if he has not received the registration fee or supporting documentation required within 61 days after a registration is issued or renewed. The act makes failure to pay a renewal fee a violation.
§ 10 — ADVERTISEMENT PROHIBITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
The act defines an “advertisement” as any written, oral, or electronic communication directed or targeted at people in Connecticut that contains a promotion, inducement, or offer to sell a time share interest, including brochures, pamphlets, radio or television transcripts, telephone or electronic media, or direct mail.
The act specifies that an “advertisement” does not include:
1. stockholder communication, including a financial report, proxy material, registration statement, securities prospectus, time share disclosure statement, or other material a state or federal governmental entity requires be delivered to a prospective purchaser;
2. the offering of a time share interest in a national publication or by electronic media that is not specifically targeted to any individual located in Connecticut;
3. audio, written, or visual publication or material relating to the availability of accommodations for transient rental if (a) a sales presentation is not required and (b) the failure to tour the property or attend a sales presentation does not result in a reduced level of services or an increase in the rental price that would otherwise be available; or
4. follow-up communication with a person relating to a promotion if he or she previously received an advertisement relating to the promotion that complied with the act.
The act also specifies that an “advertisement” does not include any oral or written statement a developer disseminates to broadcast or print media. But an “advertisement” does include (1) paid advertising or promotional material relating to plans to acquire or develop time share property and (2) (a) the rebroadcast or other dissemination of a developer's oral statements to a prospective purchaser or (b) the distribution or other dissemination of a developer's written statements, including newspaper or magazine articles or press releases, to prospective purchasers.
The act prohibits an advertisement from materially misrepresenting:
1. facts or creating false or misleading impressions regarding the time share plan;
2. the size, nature, extent, qualities, or characteristics of the accommodations or amenities;
3. the time during which the accommodations or amenities will be available to any purchaser;
4. the nature or extent of any services included with the time share plan; or
5. the conditions under which a purchaser may exchange the right to use accommodations or amenities in one location for the right to use them in another location.
Under the act, an advertisement must not:
1. contain statements concerning nonspecific or not bona fide future price increases;
2. contain an asterisk or other reference symbol to contradict or substantially change any previous statement or obscure material facts; or
3. describe any improvement to the time share plan that is not either required or completed unless it includes a (a) label in conspicuous type with words such as “need not be built,” “proposed,” or “under construction” and (b) clearly indicated date of promised completion, if applicable.
The act defines “conspicuous type” as type that (1) uses upper and lower case letters two point sizes larger than the largest non-conspicuous type on the same page, excluding headings, but not less than 10-point type or, where 10-point type is impractical or impossible, a different style of conspicuous type or print and (2) is separated on all sides from other type and print.
The act requires that an advertisement containing a promotion (i. e. , a contest, gift, or prize to induce a person to attend a time share sales presentation) must include:
1. a statement that the promotion is intended to solicit purchasers of time share interests;
2. the developer's full name; and
3. if applicable, the full name and address of any marketing company involved in the promotion, excluding the developer or its affiliate or subsidiary.
The act requires that when a promotion uses free offers, gift enterprises, drawings, sweepstakes, or discounts, the promotion rules must be disclosed and include, when applicable, the day and year, and method by which, all prizes will be awarded. At least one of each prize featured in a promotion must be awarded by the date specified. The act makes the developer and any involved marketing company liable for making the awards.
The act requires that any promotion offering prizes, including awards, gifts, or anything of value, regardless of whether there are any conditions or restrictions attached to receiving a prize, must disclose in conspicuous type:
1. the value of each prize;
2. the odds of winning each prize, as a fraction or a ratio, or, if the odds depend upon the number of entries received, a statement to that effect; and
3. any conditions or restrictions that apply to or void receipt of the prize.
The act requires that an advertisement containing the required disclosures must be provided in writing or electronically at least once and in a reasonable period before the scheduled sales presentation to ensure that the recipient receives the disclosures before leaving to attend it. But, it specifies that the developer does not have to provide the required disclosures in every advertisement or other written, oral, or electronic communication provided or made to a recipient before a scheduled sales presentation.
§ 11 — TIME SHARE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
The act requires a developer to (1) give a prospective purchaser, before he or she signs an agreement to acquire a time share interest, a disclosure statement containing certain information and (2) obtain his or her written acknowledgement of having received it.
The contents of the disclosure depend on the type of time share plan and interest offered, i. e. , single-site plan, specific interest in a multi-site plan, or a nonspecific interest in a multi-site plan. A specific interest includes the right to use accommodations at a specific time share property. A nonspecific interest does not include the right to use a particular accommodation.
In addition to the required information, a developer may include other information in a time share disclosure statement with commissioner approval.
Requirements for All Time Share Plans
The disclosure statement for any time share plan, whether for a single- or multi-site plan, must include or describe:
1. the developer's name and address;
2. the plan's duration and operation;
3. the method and timing for performing maintenance;
4. a statement that the sum of the nights that purchasers are entitled to use the accommodations each year does not exceed the number of nights they are available;
5. a statement of whether or not an association exists or is expected to be created and, if so, a description of its powers and responsibilities;
6. copies of the following documents, if applicable, and any amendments to them, unless separately provided to the purchaser at the same time as the time share disclosure statement: (a) the declaration, (b) the association articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules, and (c) any lease or contract, excluding the purchase contract and other loan documents the purchaser must sign at closing;
7. the managing entity's name and principal address and any procedures for altering its powers and responsibilities and removing or replacing it;
8. the projected assessments and how they are calculated and apportioned among purchasers;
9. any initial or special fee due from the purchaser at closing, including the reason for and how to calculate it;
10. any lien, defect, or encumbrance on or affecting title to the time share interest and, if applicable, a copy of each written warranty the developer provides;
11. any bankruptcy that is pending or has occurred within the past five years, pending civil or criminal cases, adjudications, or disciplinary actions material to the time share plan and known to the developer;
12. any financing offered by or available through the developer;
13. the insurance on the time share (a) property against damage and destruction, (b) association against liability to others, and (c) owners against liability to others;
14. the extent to which a time share interest may become subject to a tax lien or other lien arising out of claims against purchasers of different time share interests;
15. the purchaser's cancellation right as specified in the act (§ 14);
16. a statement disclosing any right of first refusal or other restraint on the transfer of all or any portion of a time share interest;
17. if applicable, a statement that the assessments collected from purchasers may be placed in a common account with those collected from purchasers of other time share properties under the same management;
18. if the time share plan allows purchasers to participate in an exchange program, the exchange company's name and address and how a purchaser accesses the program; and
19. any other information the commissioner deems necessary to protect prospective purchasers or to implement the act.
Additional Requirements if Single-Site Plan or Specific Interest in Multi-Site Plan
The disclosure statement for a time share plan that is either for a single-site plan or a specific interest in a multi-site plan must include or describe:
1. the type of time share plan offered;
2. the site or specific interest offered;
3. the existing or proposed accommodations, including the type and number of time share interests, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, sleeping capacity, and whether it contains a full kitchen (i. e. , it has at least a dishwasher, range, sink, oven, and refrigerator), expressed in periods of seven-day-use availability or other applicable time increment, and, if they are proposed or incomplete, a schedule for commencement, completion, and availability;
4. any existing or proposed amenities and, if they are proposed or incomplete, a schedule for commencement, completion, and availability;
5. the extent to which financial arrangements have been provided to complete all promised accommodations and amenities;
6. how the purchasers' use of the accommodations is scheduled;
7. the current, if available, or projected annual budget for the time share plan or properties managed by the same managing entity if assessments are deposited in a common account, including the (a) amount reserved or budgeted for repairs, replacements, and refurbishment, (b) any projected common expense liability by expense category, and (c) the assumptions on which the operating budget is based;
8. any current or anticipated fees or charges time share purchasers must pay to use any time share accommodations or amenities and a statement that they are subject to change;
9. the type of insurance coverage necessary to protect the purchaser and reasonably repair or replace the accommodations and amenities; and
10. a statement that (a) a closing agent must hold any deposit made in connection with the purchase of a time share interest until any right to cancel the contract expires or, if the commissioner accepts from the developer a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or other form of financial assurance instead of an escrow deposit, that the developer has provided such financial assurance in an amount equal to or in excess of the funds that would otherwise be held by a closing agent, and (b) that if the purchaser cancels, any deposit must be returned to the purchaser.
Additional Requirements if Multi-Site Plan
A developer who offers a time share interest in a multi-site time share plan, whether a specific or non-specific interest, must include or describe:
1. each component site, including its name and address;
2. the amenities available at each component site;
3. the reservation system, including (a) the entity responsible for operating it, the entity's relationship to the developer, and the duration of any agreement for its operation; (b) a summary of the rules governing access to, and use of, the system; and (c) the existence, and explanation, of any priority reservation features that affect a purchaser's ability to make reservations on a first-come, first-served basis;
4. any right to make additions to, substitutions in, or deletions from accommodations, amenities, or component sites, and a description of the basis on which these can be done;
5. the purchaser's liability for any fees associated with the plan;
6. the location of each component site, the historical occupancy of each for the prior 12 months, if the site was part of the plan during that period, and any periodic adjustment or amendment to the reservation system that may be needed to respond to actual purchaser use patterns and changes in demand for the existing accommodations; and
7. if for a specific interest, each type of accommodation in each component site by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, sleeping capacity, and whether it contains a full kitchen or
8. if for a nonspecific interest, the existing or proposed accommodations by the number of time share interests, bedrooms, and bathrooms; sleeping capacity; and whether it contains a full kitchen, expressed in periods of seven-day-use availability or other applicable time increment, and, if they are proposed or incomplete, a schedule for commencement, completion, and availability.
Additional Requirements if Nonspecific Interest in Multi-Site Plan
A developer who offers a nonspecific time share interest in a multi-site time share must include or describe:
1. the type of interest and the usage rights the purchaser will receive;
2. who holds title to the accommodations at each component site;
3. the relationship between the plan's and the component sites' managing entities, if different;
4. the current, if available, or projected annual budget for the time share plan, including the (a) amount reserved or budgeted for repairs, replacements, and refurbishment, (b) any projected common expense liability by expense category, and (c) the assumptions on which the operating budget is based;
5. any current fees or charges time share purchasers must pay to use any time share amenities and a statement that they are subject to change;
6. the act's prohibition of waiving the purchaser's cancellation right (see § 14); and
7. a statement that (a) a closing agent must hold any deposit made in connection with the purchase of a time share interest until any right to cancel the contract expires or, if the commissioner requires the developer to post a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or other form of financial assurance instead of an escrow deposit, that the developer has provided such financial assurance in an amount equal to or in excess of the funds that would otherwise be held by a closing agent, and (b) that if the purchaser cancels, any deposit must be returned to the purchaser.
Time Share Plans Located Outside Connecticut
Under the act, if a time share plan is located entirely outside of Connecticut, the DCP commissioner may allow the developer to submit (1) the same disclosure statement currently given to purchasers or (2) an equivalent disclosure statement filed in another state, if that statement substantially complies with the act's requirements. The act specifies that the use of an equivalent disclosure statement does not exempt the developer from the act's other requirements.
§ 12 —EXCHANGE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
The act requires a developer, before a prospective purchaser signs an agreement to purchase a time share interest that offers participation in an exchange program, to provide the prospective purchaser an exchange disclosure statement of any exchange company whose service is advertised or offered.
The act also requires a person who offers participation in an exchange program for the first time after a disposition has occurred to provide an exchange disclosure statement before the purchaser executes any instrument relating to program participation.
In each case, the person offering participation in an exchange program must obtain the purchaser's written acknowledgement of having received the exchange disclosure statement.
The exchange disclosure statement must include:
1. the exchange company's name and address;
2. if the exchange company is not the developer, a statement describing the legal relationship between the two;
3. the conditions under which the exchange program might terminate or become unavailable;
4. whether program membership, participation, or both is voluntary or mandatory;
5. the required procedure for exchanging time share periods;
6. any fee for program membership, participation, or both and if the fee is subject to change;
7. a statement that program participation is conditioned on compliance with the terms of a contract between the exchange company and purchaser;
8. a statement in conspicuous type that all exchanges are arranged on a space-available basis and that neither the developer nor the exchange company guarantees that a particular time share period can be exchanged; and
9. a description of seasonal demand and unit occupancy restrictions.
The disclosure statement also must include the following, which must be independently audited by a certified public accountant or accounting firm and reported annually:
1. number of purchasers currently enrolled in the program;
2. number of accommodations and facilities that have current written affiliation agreements with the program;
3. percentage of confirmed exchanges (i. e. , the number of exchanges confirmed by the program divided by the number of exchanges properly applied for) and a complete, accurate statement of the criteria used to determine if a request was properly applied for;
4. number of time share periods for which the program has an outstanding obligation to provide an exchange to a purchaser who swapped a time share period during the year for one in a future year; and
5. number of exchanges the program confirmed during the year.
Finally, the disclosure must include, in boldface, a statement that the percentage of confirmed exchanges is a summary of the exchange requests entered with the program in the period reported and that the percentage does not indicate the probability of a purchaser being confirmed for any specific choice or range of choices.
Filing with DCP Required
The act requires each exchange company, annually by June 1, to file with DCP:
1. the information specified in § 12 of the act (presumably the exchange disclosure statement),
2. any membership agreement and application between the exchange company and purchaser,
3. the required audit described above, and
4. a $500 filing fee.
An exchange company must make its initial filing within 20 days before offering an exchange program to any purchaser in Connecticut.
The act also requires each exchange company to file with DCP any material change to a filing (1) as an amendment and (2) before it becomes effective. An amendment filing must include a $100 filing fee.
The act requires that an exchange program filing must be updated annually with respect to added or deleted time share properties, but it specifies that such an annual update is not considered a material change to the filing.
DCP Enforcement Action
The act requires DCP to take enforcement action against an exchange company if any of the information it files does not meet the act's requirements.
§ 13 — DEVELOPER'S DUTIES
The act requires a developer to supervise, manage, and control all aspects of a time share interest offering (e. g. , promoting, advertising, contracting, and closing) regardless of who else is responsible for the activities under the act. When a violation of the act occurs during an offering, both the developer and transgressor are violators under the act.
§ 14 —CANCELLATION
Right to Cancel
Under the act, a purchaser has the right to cancel a purchase contract before midnight of the fifth calendar day after the date he or she signs and receives a copy of it or receives the required time share disclosure statement, whichever is later. A developer may offer a longer cancellation period if required in the jurisdiction where the time share property is located.
Waiver of Right Prohibited
The act prohibits a purchaser from waiving his or her right of cancellation. It specifies that a purchaser may void a contract that includes a waiver.
How to Exercise Right to Cancel
The act allows a purchaser to exercise his or her right to cancel the contract by:
1. hand-delivering notice to the developer,
2. faxing or mailing notice by prepaid U. S. mail to the developer or its agent for service of process, or
3. providing notice by overnight common carrier delivery service to the developer or its agent for service of process.
Return of Payments or Negotiated Instruments
The act specifies that cancellation is without penalty. It requires that all payments the purchaser made before cancellation must be refunded and any negotiable instrument the purchaser executed must be returned. The refund or return must be completed within 20 business days after the date on which the developer receives a timely cancellation notice or by the fifth day after the date the developer receives funds from the purchaser, whichever is later.
§15 — REQUIRED CONTRACT LANGUAGE
Right to Cancel
The act requires each purchase contract to contain, or attach as an exhibit, information about the purchaser's right to cancel in conspicuous type, including:
1. language the act specifies or similar language or type if required by the jurisdiction in which the time share property is located,
2. the developer's name and address,
3. the date of the last day of the fiscal year,
4. the address of the managing entity, and
5. space for the purchaser to sign.
The act requires the purchase contract to contain, or attach as an exhibit:
1. the developer's name and address;
2. the address of the time share property or any available time share interest being offered;
3. the name of the person or people primarily involved in the sales presentation on the developer's behalf;
4. the amount of the periodic assessments currently assessed against or collected from time share owners;
5. a statement in conspicuous type that the act specifies, or similar language or type if required by the jurisdiction in which the time share property is located, regarding a time share owner's right to request a written annual time share fee and expense statement; and
6. the date the purchaser signs the contract.
§ 16 — LIABILITY AND IMMUNITY, EXCHANGE PRIVILEGES
Liability and Immunity
Under the act, a developer is immune from liability arising from the use, delivery, or publication of written information or audio-visual materials received from the exchange company, unless the developer knows or has reason to know that they are inaccurate or false.
The act also specifies that, except for information an exchange company gave a developer, an exchange company is not liable for (1) any violation of the act's provisions arising from a developer's use of information relating to an exchange program or (2) a developer's representation of, or use, delivery, or publication of information relating to, an exchange program or company.
The act allows an exchange company to (1) include seasonal demand and unit occupancy restrictions in its program and (2) deny exchange privileges to a purchaser whose use of accommodations is denied. It specifies that an exchange program or company is not liable to any of its members or third parties because of an exchange privilege denial.
§ 17 — DEPOSIT IN ESCROW
The act requires a time share plan developer or closing agent to deposit all funds received during a purchaser's cancellation period in an escrow or trust account in a federally insured depository. Deposits for transactions involving time share interests located in Connecticut must comply with specific provisions.
The act specifies that (1) funds or property in the account may be released only in accordance with its requirements and (2) the closing agent or developer must make available to the commissioner, upon his request, documents related to the account or any financial assurance otherwise provided.
Closing Agent's Fiduciary Duty
The act specifies that a closing agent owes the purchaser a fiduciary duty. It defines a “closing agent” as a title agent, bonded escrow company, government insured financial institution, or an attorney who is (1) licensed in the state where the closing occurs, (2) not the developer's employee, and (3) responsible for receiving and disbursing funds.
Time Share Interests in Connecticut
Any broker accepting money, paid or advanced, from the purchaser, lessee, or prospective purchaser or lessee in connection with the sale or lease of a time share interest in Connecticut must (1) deposit the money in accordance with real estate law in an escrow account acceptable to the commissioner at a bank doing business in Connecticut and (2) maintain the account until:
1. a proper and valid release is obtained,
2. either party defaults and the commissioner or court determines the money's disposition,
3. the seller or lessor orders the money returned to the purchaser or lessee, or
4. the act's time limits for revoking the contract or agreement expire.
Agreement and Escrow Statement Required
The act requires the closing agent and developer to execute an agreement that includes a statement providing that:
1. the agent may disburse funds to the developer from the escrow or trust account only (a) after the purchaser's cancellation period expires and (b) as provided by the purchase contract;
2. if the purchaser cancels the purchase contract as provided by the contract, the funds must be paid to the purchaser or, if the developer has already returned the purchaser's funds, the developer; and
3. if a developer contracts to sell a time share interest in a building that is not complete when the cancellation period expires, the developer must maintain all funds received from the purchaser under the purchase agreement in the escrow or trust account until the building is complete.
The act specifies that the evidence that construction is complete is:
1. a certificate of occupancy,
2. a certificate of substantial completion,
3. evidence of a public safety inspection from a government agency in the applicable jurisdiction, or
4. any other evidence the commissioner finds acceptable.
Other Financial Assurance
Instead of requiring an escrow or trust account, the act allows the commissioner to accept from a developer a surety bond, including a completion of construction bond or escrow bond; irrevocable letter of credit; or other form of financial assurance, including assurance posted in another state or jurisdiction.
The act requires the financial assurance to equal or exceed the amount of funds that would otherwise be placed in an escrow or trust account. But, the financial assurance provided for time share property that is under construction must equal or exceed the amount (1) of funds that would otherwise be placed in an escrow or trust account or (2) necessary to assure completion of all accommodations, including furniture, fixtures, and other improvements, promised in the time share instruments or disclosure statement. The surety bond must permit the bond amount to decrease as work is completed, if the commissioner approves the reductions.
If the developer is considering future additional phases, the financial assurance amount does not have to include the cost of completing those if they have not been promised in the time share instruments.
Release of Funds
Default. If the purchaser defaults in his or her obligations under the terms of the purchase contract, the escrow or trust funds must be paid to the developer. If the developer defaults, the funds must be paid to the purchaser.
Disbursement. If the purchaser's funds have not been disbursed previously as provided by the act, the agent may disburse them to the developer if acceptable evidence of completion of construction is provided.
Disputes. If there is a dispute relating to escrow or trust account funds, the agent must maintain the funds in the account until (1) he or she receives written directions agreed to and signed by all parties or (2) a civil action relating to the disputed funds is filed. If a civil action is filed, the agent must maintain or deposit the funds as directed by the court in which the action is filed.
DCP Approval. Excluding an encumbrance (e. g. , mortgage) on the time share interest, the act prohibits a developer from releasing any escrowed funds until the developer gives the commissioner satisfactory evidence that:
1. the time share interest, and any other property or rights to property connected to it, including amenities represented to the purchaser as being part of the time share plan, are free and clear of any of claims of the developer, an owner of the underlying property, a mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other person having an interest in, lien on, or encumbrance against the interest, related property, or property rights (i. e. , the “encumbrancer”);
2. the encumbrancer has recorded, in the jurisdiction in which the interest is located, a subordination and notice to creditors that explicitly provides that its right, lien, or encumbrance does not adversely affect, and is subordinate to, the time share interest owner's rights, regardless of the purchase date, on or after the subordination document's effective date;
3. the encumbrancer has transferred the accommodations, amenities, or all rights to use them to a nonprofit organization or an owners' association, which must act as the purchaser's fiduciary to hold them for purchaser's use and benefit, (a) as long as the developer either transferred control of the organization or association to the purchasers or does not exercise voting rights in the organization or association regarding the accommodations or amenities, and (b) before the transfer, any lien or encumbrance against the accommodation or facility is made subject to a subordination and notice to creditors as specified above; or
4. alternative arrangements that the commissioner approves have been made to protect the purchaser's rights.
§ 18 — UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES
The act makes the following actions and omissions by a developer an unfair trade practice:
1. failing to make required disclosures;
2. making false or materially misleading statements of fact concerning (a) the characteristics of time share accommodations or amenities that are available to a consumer, (b) the duration that accommodations or amenities will be available to a consumer, and (c) the conditions under which a purchaser can exchange his or her unit for another;
3. representing that a prize, gift, or other benefit will be awarded in connection with a promotion but not intending to award it in that manner;
4. failing to provide a purchaser a copy of the signed purchase contract or the annual statement; and
5. failing to maintain a one-to-one “use right to use night ratio” (see below) for a time share plan during a consecutive 12-month period.
The act specifies that these provisions are (a) not exclusive and (b) in addition to any other unfair trade practices provided for under any other law.
Annual Statement (§ 21(d))
The act also makes knowingly furnishing false information in the annual time share fee and expense statement an unfair trade practice.
Use Right to Use Night Ratio
Under the act, a developer complies with the “one-to-one use right to use night ratio” if the sum of the nights that purchasers are entitled to use in a given 12-month period does not exceed the number of nights available for use by those purchasers during the same 12-month period. No individual time share unit may be counted as providing more than 365 use-nights per 12-month period or 366 in a leap year. Each purchaser's use rights must be counted regardless of whether they have been suspended for not paying assessments or other reasons.
Nonmaterial Error or Omission
The act specifies that a (1) nonmaterial error or omission is not actionable if a developer has complied with the act in good faith and (2) purchaser cannot cancel a purchase contract after the cancellation period expires due to a nonmaterial error or omission.
§ 19 — INSURANCE
Casualty and Liability Insurance
The act requires the managing entity to use due diligence to obtain, as a common expense of the time share plan and to protect the time share and property, adequate casualty and liability insurance.
In determining whether insurance is adequate, the act requires the managing entity to consider, among other things, the following factors:
1. insurance coverage available in the market and related premiums;
2. any related deductibles, exclusions, and limitations;
3. the property's probable maximum loss during the policy term;
4. the extent to which a given peril is insurable under commercially reasonable terms;
5. amounts of any deferred maintenance or replacement reserves on hand;
6. geography and any special risks associated with the location of the time share property; and
7. the property's age and type of construction.
Under the act, a deductible of 5% or less is deemed reasonable.
Insurance a Lender Requires
The act requires a managing entity to procure and maintain, as a common expense of the time share plan, any insurance coverage, subject to any required reasonable deductibles or exclusions, as may be required by:
1. an institutional lender to a developer, for as long as it holds a mortgage on or lien against the time share property, or
2. any holder or pledge of, or institutional lender having a security interest in, a pool of promissory notes secured by mortgages or other security interests relating to the time share plan and executed by purchasers in connection with acquiring time share interests, for as long as the notes, mortgages, or other security interests are outstanding.
Use of Existing Reserves
The act authorizes the managing entity to use any existing reserves for deferred maintenance and capital expenditures to pay for insurance deductibles or property repair or replacement after a casualty, regardless of the reserve's original purpose.
Buyer's Right to See Insurance Policies
The act requires the managing entity to make a copy of each effective insurance policy available for purchasers' and their authorized agents' reasonable inspection.
§ 20 — CRIMINAL PENALTY FOR OFFERING UNREGISTERED SHARE INTERESTS
Except as permitted by the act, a developer cannot (1) accept reservations and deposits from prospective purchasers or (2) offer or dispose of a time share interest in a time share property that has not been registered with DCP. A developer who does so is guilty of a class A misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties). The act specifies that a developer cannot be prosecuted for more than one offense involving the same promotion, even if mailed or distributed to more than one person.
§ 21 — WRITTEN ANNUAL STATEMENT
The act requires a managing entity, if assessments are deposited in a common account, to give a written annual statement of the time share plan or properties it manages to each purchaser who requests it. The statement must fairly and accurately represent the collection and expenditure of assessments, be given within five months after the fiscal year ends, and include:
1. a balance sheet;
2. an income and expense statement;
3. the current budget for the (a) time share property, (b) time share properties managed by the same managing entity, or (c) multi-site time share plan; and
4. the name, address, and telephone number of the managing entity's designated representative.
The act also requires a managing entity to give an owner who requests it the name and address of each member of the board of directors of the owners' association, if there is one.
Annual Independent Audit
The act requires a developer or managing entity to have a certified public accountant or accounting firm conduct an annual independent audit of the time share financial statements. The audit must be (1) conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards as prescribed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the United States General Accounting Office, or other professionally recognized entities that prescribe auditing standards and (2) completed within five months after the fiscal year ends.
Required Notice for Connecticut Accommodation
The act requires the managing entity of any accommodation located in Connecticut to post prominently in the accommodation's registration area a notice, using language the act specifies, that a time share owner has the right to request a written annual time share fee and expense statement. The notice must include the managing entity's address and the last day of the fiscal year.
Extension for Annual Statement
The act allows the commissioner, if he receives a written request from a managing entity and for good cause shown, to grant the managing entity an extension of up to 30 days to provide the annual statement.
Injunctive Relief if Delivered Late
If the commissioner has not granted an extension and the managing entity provides the statement late, the commissioner may institute an action for injunctive relief through the Attorney General's Office.
§ 22 — COMMINGLING OF ASSETS
The act prohibits an entity that manages two or more single-site plans or a multi-site time share plan from commingling the assessments collected from purchasers of different plans, unless it discloses the practice in each time share property's disclosure statement and recorder declaration (see § 5).
Similarly, the act allows an entity managing a multi-site time share plan to deposit assessments collected from purchasers of one time share property into a common account with those collected from purchasers participating in the same time share plan, but only if it discloses the practice in each property's disclosure statement and declaration. The act specifies that it is not to be construed as allowing a managing entity to commingle assessments of separate multi-site time share plans or a time share plan that is not a part of the multi-site time share plan.
Manager's Duty to Act in Owner's Best Interests
The act specifies that the managing entity has a duty to act in the best interests of each owner of a time share interest in the time share plan and the association with respect to the owners' funds.
§ 23 — TIME SHARE ASSESSMENTS
Under the act, the managing entity may levy and enforce assessments on any time share interests in accordance with the time share instrument. The assessment constitutes a debt of the person who owns the interest when the assessment is charged.
After giving a time share owner notice and an opportunity to be heard, the managing entity may impose, as an assessment, reasonable monetary penalties for violating the time share instrument, as authorized by the instrument. Assessments may include authorized personal charges and other amounts.
The managing entity may assign to delinquent owners collection costs, including attorney's fees, administrative fees, late fees, interest, and penalties or other charges authorized by the time share instrument. The act makes the amount of any assessment and other charges, as provided in the time share instrument or by law, a lien on the time share interest as of when the charge became due. Recording the time share instrument, which the act requires, constitutes notice and perfection of the lien. No further recording is required. This lien may be foreclosed in the same way as a mortgage on real property or in any other manner the law permits.
Statement of Unpaid Assessments
The act requires the managing entity, upon receiving a written request, to provide a time share owner, purchaser, or lender with a security interest a statement identifying the amount of unpaid assessments against the owner's time share interest. The statement (1) must be provided within 10 business days after receiving the request and (2) is binding on the managing entity, the association, the board, and every owner.
If an association, developer, or other managing entity files a foreclosure action related to an assessment lien on time share interests, it may join in the same action multiple defendants and junior interest holders of separate time share interests, if the:
1. foreclosure involves one time share plan and one plaintiff,
2. default and remedy provisions in the written instruments on which the foreclosure is based are substantially the same for each defendant, and
3. nature of the alleged defaults is the same for each defendant.
If a defendant in a foreclosure action involving multiple defendants raises a defense or counterclaim to any count of the complaint, the court must sever that count for a separate trial.
§ 24 — COLLECTION COSTS AND FEES
The act requires collection costs, including reasonable collection agency and attorney fees incurred in collecting a delinquent assessment, to be paid by the purchaser and secured by a lien in favor of the managing entity on the time share interest to which the assessment relates. It requires a managing entity, within 60 days before turning the matter over to a consumer collection agency, to advise the purchaser that he or she may be liable for the agency's fees and a lien may result.
§ 25 — AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS
The act requires a developer or managing entity, upon an owner's written request, to make available for examination at its registered office or principal place of business, and at reasonable times, the relevant books and records relating to collecting and spending assessments.
A developer's or managing entity's records must include a copy of each purchase contract for an accommodation the developer sold for a time share period unless the contract has been canceled. If a time share estate sale is pending, the developer must keep a copy of the contract until a deed of conveyance, agreement for deed, or lease is recorded in the property records of the town where the time share property is located.
§ 26 —TIME SHARE RESALE BROKER
A time share resale broker who acts on behalf of a time share owner other than a developer or its affiliate must, before offering a time share interest in this state, (1) be licensed as a real estate broker pursuant to state law and (2) comply with the act and submit copies to DCP of the documents and disclosures the act requires.
Under the act, a “time share resale broker” is someone who (1) acts for another person or entity and, for a fee, commission, or other valuable consideration, offers in Connecticut to advertise, list for sale, sell, exchange, buy, or rent or attempts to negotiate a sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of 12 or more time share resales in any 12 months or (2) is registered as a time share resale broker under the act. A “time share resale” is the sale or transfer of a time share interest that was previously sold to someone else, other than a developer.
The act creates a rebuttable presumption that a person who has acquired 12 or more time share interests and offers them for resale in any 12-month period did not acquire them for personal use and occupancy.
Under the act, unless the method for reselling time shares is to evade the act's requirements, a person or entity is not considered a time share resale broker if:
1. he or she is a real estate salesperson licensed in Connecticut who resells or offers to resell time share interests in a time share plan as an agent for a registered developer, if he or she delivers all disclosures the act requires developers to make or complies with the act's resale disclosure requirement;
2. he or she is a developer registered under the act or the developer's affiliate and managing entity, if the developer or affiliate delivers all disclosures the act requires developers to make or complies with the act's resale disclosure requirement;
3. it is an association that is not a developer that (a) sells, or engages a third party to sell on its behalf, 50 or fewer time share interests in the time share plan that it governs in a given calendar year to people who are not existing purchasers of the time share plan and (b) complies with the act's resale disclosure requirement; or
4. it is an exchange company that filed with DCP information the act requires.
Duties of a Time Share Resale Broker
A time share resale broker who offers to resell a time share interest must (1) provide a fully executed copy of the written agreement for a time share resale as provided in the act to the time share owner on the date the owner signs the agreement and (2) make the resale disclosures the act requires before accepting anything of value from the time share owner.
§ 27 — RESALE DISCLOSURE
Before a purchaser signs a contract to purchase a time share resale, the reseller must disclose in the purchase contact, in conspicuous type:
1. the time share plan's and its managing entity's name, address, and telephone number;
2. when a purchaser may use the time share interest;
3. a legal description of the time share interest being acquired;
4. the earliest date that the purchaser may use the time share interest;
5. the name, address, telephone number, and, if applicable, Internet web site address of the entity from which the time share instrument and the governing documents of the association, if any, may be obtained and a specified notice about which documents should be reviewed before purchasing the interest;
6. the current fiscal year's annual assessment for the time share interest and a statement indicating whether or not real property taxes are included in the annual assessment;
7. if the property taxes are not included in the annual assessment, the amount of taxes for the most recent tax year for which a bill was issued;
8. whether all assessments against the time share interest are paid in full and, if not, the amount owed and the consequences not paying assessments or taxes; and
9. any other information the commissioner requires disclosed pursuant to regulations.
§ 28 — RESALE AGREEMENTS
Under the act, a resale agreement between a time share owner and a time share resale broker who offers to resell the owner's time share interest must be in writing and disclose in conspicuous type:
1. if anyone other than the owner may use, rent, or exchange the use of the interest before it is resold;
2. the name of anyone who will receive any rents, profits, or other consideration from its use before it is resold;
3. a detailed description of any relationship between the reseller and anyone receiving any benefit from the interest's use;
4. the amount or percentage, and procedures for paying, of any commissions due to the broker upon resale; and
5. a description, including the amount, of any fee the time share owner will have to pay the broker before the resale.
A broker who charges any fee before the resale must disclose, for each of the past three years, the number and ratio or percentage of time share interests sold versus the number of time share interests listed.
§ 29 —TIME SHARE CONDOMINIUM DISCLOSURE
By law, if a condominium's declaration provides that ownership or occupancy of any units is or may be in time shares, the public offering statement must disclose, among other things, the:
1. number and identity of units in which time shares may be created,
2. total number of time shares that may be created,
3. minimum duration of any time shares that may be created, and
4. extent to which creating time shares will or may affect the enforceability of the association's lien for assessments.
Under the act, this condominium disclosure is required in addition to the act's time share disclosure statement.
§ 30 — REPEALED LAWS
The act repeals, effective January 1, 2010, the prior time sharing plan laws.
Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act
The law prohibits businesses from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts or practices. CUTPA allows the DCP commissioner to issue regulations defining what constitutes an unfair trade practice, investigate complaints, issue cease and desist orders, order restitution in cases involving less than $5,000, enter into consent agreements, ask the attorney general to seek injunctive relief, and accept voluntary statements of compliance. It also allows individuals to sue. Courts may issue restraining orders; award actual and punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys fees; and impose civil penalties of up to $5,000 for willful violations and $25,000 for violation of a restraining order.
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