Section 721.09, Florida Statutes 2003
721.09 Reservation agreements; escrows.--
(1)(a) Prior to filing the registered public offering statement with the division, a seller shall not offer a timeshare plan for sale but may accept reservation deposits and advertise the reservation deposit program upon approval by the division of a fully executed escrow agreement and reservation agreement properly filed with the division.
(b) Reservations shall not be taken on a timeshare plan unless the seller has an ownership interest, leasehold interest, or legal option to purchase or lease of a duration at least equal to the duration of the proposed timeshare plan, in the land upon which the timeshare plan is to be developed.
(c) If the timeshare plan subject to the reservation agreement has not been filed with the division under s. 721.07(5) or s. 721.55 within 180 days after the date the division approves the reservation agreement filing, the seller must immediately cancel all outstanding reservation agreements, refund all escrowed funds to prospective purchasers, and discontinue accepting reservation deposits or advertising the availability of reservation agreements.
(d) A seller who has filed a reservation agreement and an escrow agreement under this section may advertise the reservation agreement program if the advertising material meets the following requirements:
1. The seller complies with the provisions of s. 721.11 with respect to such advertising material.
2. The advertising material is limited to a general description of the proposed timeshare plan, including, but not limited to, a general description of the type, number, and size of accommodations and facilities and the name of the proposed timeshare plan.
3. The advertising material contains a statement that the advertising material is being distributed in connection with an approved reservation agreement filing only and that the seller cannot offer an interest in the timeshare plan for sale until a registered public offering statement has been filed with the division under this chapter.
(2) Each executed reservation agreement shall be signed by the developer and shall contain the following:
(a) A statement that the escrow agent will grant a prospective purchaser an immediate, unqualified refund of the reservation deposit upon the written request of either the purchaser or the seller directed to the escrow agent.
(b) A statement that the escrow agent may not otherwise release moneys unless a contract is signed by the purchaser, authorizing the transfer of the escrowed reservation deposit as a deposit on the purchase price. Such deposit shall then be subject to the requirements of s. 721.08.
(c) A statement of the obligation of the developer to file a registered public offering statement with the division prior to entering into binding contracts.
(d) A statement of the right of the purchaser to receive the purchaser public offering statement required by this chapter.
(e) The name and address of the escrow agent and a statement that the escrow agent will provide a receipt.
(f) A statement that the seller assures that the purchase price represented in or pursuant to the reservation agreement will be the price in the contract for the purchase or that the price represented may be exceeded within a stated amount or percentage or a statement that no assurance is given as to the price in the contract for purchase.
(3)(a) The total amount paid for a reservation shall be deposited into a reservation escrow account.
(b) An escrow agent shall maintain the accounts called for in this section only in such a manner as to be under the direct supervision and control of the escrow agent.
(c) The escrow agent may invest the escrowed funds in securities of the United States Government, or any agency thereof, or in savings or time deposits in institutions insured by an agency of the United States Government. The interest generated by any such investments shall be payable to the party entitled to receive the escrowed funds or property.
(d) The escrowed funds shall at all reasonable times be available for withdrawal in full by the escrow agent.
(e) Each escrow agent shall maintain separate books and records for each timeshare plan and shall maintain such books and records in accordance with good accounting practices.
(f) Any seller or escrow agent who intentionally fails to comply with the provisions of this section regarding deposit of funds in escrow and withdrawal therefrom is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, or the successor of any of such sections. The failure to establish an escrow account or to place funds therein as required in this section is prima facie evidence of an intentional and purposeful violation of this section.
History.--s. 1, ch. 81-172; s. 8, ch. 83-264; s. 50, ch. 85-62; s. 6, ch. 98-36; s. 15, ch. 2000-302.