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2013 Florida Statutes

F.S. 559.929
559.929 Security requirements.
(1) An application must be accompanied by a performance bond in an amount set by the department under paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c). The surety on such bond shall be a surety company authorized to do business in the state.
(a) Each seller of travel that certifies its business activities under s. 559.9285(1)(a) shall provide a performance bond in an amount not to exceed $25,000, or in the amount of $50,000 if the seller of travel is offering vacation certificates.
(b) Each seller of travel that certifies its business activities under s. 559.9285(1)(b) shall provide a performance bond in an amount not to exceed $100,000, or in the amount of $150,000 if the seller of travel is offering vacation certificates.
(c) Each seller of travel that certifies its business activities under s. 559.9285(1)(c) shall provide a performance bond in an amount not to exceed $250,000, or in the amount of $300,000 if the seller of travel is offering vacation certificates.
(2) The bond shall be in favor of the department for the use and benefit of any traveler who is injured by the fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, financial failure, or violation of any provision of this part by the seller of travel. Such liability may be enforced either by proceeding in an administrative action as specified in subsection (3) or by filing a judicial suit at law in a court of competent jurisdiction. However, in such court suit the bond posted with the department shall not be amenable or subject to any judgment or other legal process issuing out of or from such court in connection with such lawsuit, but such bond shall be amenable to and enforceable only by and through administrative proceedings before the department. It is the intent of the Legislature that such bond shall be applicable and liable only for the payment of claims duly adjudicated by order of the department. The bond shall be open to successive claims, but the aggregate amount may not exceed the amount of the bond. In addition to the foregoing, a bond provided by a registrant or applicant for registration which certifies its business activities under s. 559.9285(1)(b) or (c) shall be in favor of the department, with payment in the following order of priority:
(a) All expenses for prosecuting the registrant or applicant in any administrative or civil action under this part, including fees for attorneys and other professionals, court costs or other costs of the proceedings, and all other expenses incidental to the action.
(b) All costs and expenses of investigation prior to the commencement of an administrative or civil action under this part.
(c) Any unpaid administrative fine imposed by final order or any unpaid civil penalty imposed by final judgment under this part.
(d) Damages or compensation for any traveler injured as provided in this subsection.
(3) Any traveler may file a claim against the bond which shall be made in writing to the department within 120 days after an alleged injury has occurred or is discovered to have occurred. The proceedings shall be held in accordance with ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
(4) In any situation in which the seller of travel is currently the subject of an administrative, civil, or criminal action by the department, the Department of Legal Affairs, or the state attorney concerning compliance with this part, the right to proceed against the bond as provided in subsection (3) shall be suspended until after any enforcement action becomes final.
(5) The department may waive the bond requirement on an annual basis if the seller of travel has had 5 or more consecutive years of experience as a seller of travel in Florida in compliance with this part, has not had any civil, criminal, or administrative action instituted against the seller of travel in the vacation and travel business by any governmental agency or any action involving fraud, theft, misappropriation of property, violation of any statute pertaining to business or commerce with any terrorist state, or moral turpitude, and has a satisfactory consumer complaint history with the department, and certifies its business activities under s. 559.9285. Such waiver may be revoked if the seller of travel violates any provision of this part. A seller of travel that certifies its business activities under s. 559.9285(1)(b) or (c) is not entitled to the waiver provided in this subsection.
History.s. 5, ch. 95-314; s. 251, ch. 96-410; s. 33, ch. 97-250; s. 10, ch. 2003-132; s. 4, ch. 2008-214.