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Bill Aims To Help Timeshare Owners

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At first, Del. John Cosgrove thought of legislation to allow owners to divest themselves of their timeshares, but the state constitution forbids it. So now he's trying a new approach to help those with problems.

"Basically, there are some really unscrupulous groups out there saying, 'We'll sell your timeshares, send us $500 bucks' and you never hear from them again," Cosgrove says. "Luckily, I haven't fallen victim to that scam, but a lot of people have."

His proposed bill does not solve all problems entirely, but what it does do, he says, is looks forward on the issue.

"So when people sell timeshares, they must disclose that you can't buy a timeshare as an investment, that resale is very difficult."

It also requires companies that resell timeshare weeks to comply with stronger regulations to do business in Virginia, including describing their costs and consumer benefits. But those who feel cheated will still have to take a timeshare developer to courts. And Cosgrove says there have been many such lawsuits in Virginia.

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