Friday’s Letter from America

This week Friday’s Letter from America tells the story of army veterans Gad & Noreen Liebmann, it begins with an open letter to the Diamond Resorts CEO Michael Flaskey, then goes on to explain their experience. They are currently holding a protest outside Diamonds Daytona Beach Resort, the article was edited by Inside Timeshares Irene Parker.

First we have a quick look at Europe.

Yesterday Canarian Legal Alliance published in their news section a case study of a recent trial, nothing unusual there, except this had a rather different twist. This particular trial was dealt with at the pre-trial stage rather than the full trial, the venue was the Court of First Instance No 1 in Maspalomas, the lawyer representing the clients was Judith Diaz Pascual of CLA.

Judith Diaz Pascual (ICALP No 4480)

The pre-trial is a formality where the defending party may argue why the case should not be accepted, it is also a point where the judge will ask if there is a possibility of a settlement out of court. Usually the judge will then decree that a full trial date be set, with the defendants demanding the appearance of the clients.

As there was no agreement that day Anfi, the defendants, asked for a full trial to take place with the clients in attendance, CLA lawyers argued that this was not necessary as the case and infringements of the timeshare laws was based on documentation, so there was no need for a trial or for the clients give testimony. The judge agreed, he stated that he would issue a resolution after the preliminary hearing, three days later the judgement was issued.

The judge concluded that due to the infringements which included, floating weeks and the taking of deposits within the cooling off period, the contract was declared null and void. Anfi were also ordered to repay over 49,000€ which included double the deposit paid, the court also awarded legal interest.

Apparently this is now becoming more common, it is not the first case to be dealt with at the preliminary stage, it will only be a matter of time before more judges decide that this is the best course. After all the cases are based on the contracts and documents, if the timeshare company has sold floating weeks or points, the contract is longer than 50 years and any payment taken within the cooling off period, these are breaches of the law, so why prolong the issue with a full trial?

https://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/case-study-anfi-speedy-resolution-no-need-trial/

Yesterday we again published information concerning TESS and David Cox, keeping a check on his website, he has still not published anything about any subject since his last defamatory article on 29 March. We just wonder if this could be a sign that TESS is going the same way as those companies highlighted in yesterday’s article?

Now for our Letter from America.

Gad and Noreen Liebmann, Army Veterans

An Open Letter to Diamond Resorts CEO Michael Flaskey

April 20, 2018

We are one of 29 Diamond Platinum Member Families Up-sold alleging we were defrauded

A Diamond Daytona sales agent’s response to Gad and Noreen:

While picketing yesterday one of the salesman came down to talk to us. He brought some water and wanted to “thank us” for picketing. He claimed that our presence increased their sales. He also told us that we could have more effect by working as greeters at Walmart and using the money earned to help pay our dues.

Inside Timeshare has received 375 Diamond Resorts complaints from our readers, Diamond members alleging they were sold or up-sold by fraud. Families are devastated. Platinum member #29 contacted us April 16, 2018, a disabled Vietnam veteran, age 71. He says they were told by a Florida Mystic Dunes sales agent if they purchased additional points it would take care of maintenance fees. Now they too are forced to foreclose or walk away from their points. We hope AARP takes note.

A Diamond Vice President’s response to Joshua Parker:

“We are not responsible for what our sales agents say”4/5/18

The Diamond CLARITY TM Promise:

Accountability, Transparency and RESPECT for the customer

A Quote from CEO Michael Flaskey:

Clarity seeks to build on Diamond’s already impressive standing with its members. Almost 70% of the company’s sales are to existing members seeking to increase their Diamond resorts vacation memberships,” said Mr. Flaskey.

Mr. Flaskey, We are one of 29 Platinum member families alleging we were upsold by fraud. We have been Diamond members for 20 years, but we made the mistake of believing Brad Leslie at Daytona Beach Regency. So did Sheilah and Thomas Brust. We did not know about Diamond’s official policy, “We’re not responsible for what our sales agents say.” What kind of accountability, transparency and RESPECT for your customer is that? There are over 1,200 members on our Diamond Resorts Owners Advocacy Facebook, many alleging fraud.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

Gad and Noreen Liebmann protesting outside Daytona Regency – Sheilah and Thomas wish they were here but Sheilah is too busy with tax season.   

Sheilah’s article on how to file FBI complaints:

http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-14/

Josh Parker is an Iraqi veteran. Josh says he was told his points are an investment and would be easy to sell. Now, expecting twins, a high risk pregnancy, they have learned the truth, so will in all likelihood have to suffer through 180 days of endless collections calls. Josh is 90% disabled, a combat veteran. Josh’s YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezkJ7GlJN4U&feature=youtu.be

Our Diamond Experience

By Gad and Noreen Liebmann

My wife Noreen and I have been protesting outside Daytona Regency for the last month. We are Platinum Diamond members. We own 96,000 Diamond points only because we bought an additional 25,000 points to take advantage of a program that did not exist. We are not confused. Sheilah and Thomas Brust are not confused. Sheilah has an accounting background. Sheilah Brust does not get numbers confused.

We had purchased eight Diamond contracts over 20 years and had been happy Diamond members until Daytona sales agent Brad Leslie sold us 25,000 points November 22, 2017, we allege by fraud.  Brad told us that if we purchased 25,000 additional points for $70,000 we would get additional benefits. He showed us how using these benefits, we might not have to pay more maintenance fees if we used the same amount of vacation time. What Brad Leslie neglected to tell us was that we were already eligible for these benefits. He knew this. The calculations shown to us were false. Sheilah has a copy of Brad’s “Pencil Pitch” promising her double points. He also claimed that we could recover the cost of the additional points after 10 years. This was also false. Brad made it sound like these were new benefits that could only be obtained by purchasing additional points. Brad said that we would be even on the $70,000 within ten years if we only booked through Value Getaways. When we returned home we learned booking vacations using Valued Getaway and Point Saver were already available to us.

We appealed to the local DRI marketing VP. He was unsympathetic. A call to Michael Flaskey, CEO, who leaves his card at every front desk, got a response from a lady who offered to allow us to give back some of the points we purchased in the past, lowering the dues but not eliminating the latest purchase.  In other words, give back points we already paid for, requiring us to pay the company $70,000 after being sold points we didn’t need because of a convoluted scam. We may be older, but we’re not stupid.

We feel we meet the FBI definition of white-collar crime, “deceit, concealment, violation of trust, bait and switch”, in addition to Elder Abuse.

Many Diamond members feel there is no timeshare enforcement in Florida. The Arizona Attorney General opened an investigation after receiving hundreds of Diamond complaints, just in Arizona, accusing DRI of violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. They did not turn Diamond members away because Diamond is not responsible for what Diamond sales agents say.”

Veteran Teresa Laird is planning to protest outside DRI Polo Towers. DRI sales agents tried to sell her dad, at age 83, in a wheelchair dozing off, a recipient of two Purple Hearts, $234,000 in additional DRI timeshare points.

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-42/

There is little to no regulatory enforcement because the Attorneys General in Nevada and Florida dismiss complaints, also falling back on the oral representation clause, or in Nevada at the Nevada Real Estate Division, “You have no proof”, so there is nothing to stop timeshare fraud.

From the Florida Attorney General’s Timeshare Division DBPR

Timeshare developers are required to provide full and meaningful disclosures to purchasers in the documents they are required to deliver to them including the public offering statement, sales contract, and all supplemental documents at the point of sale.  A document called “Acknowledgment of Representations” or “Purchaser’s Understanding” or a similar document provides the disclosures which each purchaser initials and signs at the time of purchase and it contains all the relevant information about the timeshare product.  A developer heavily relies on these documents to refute any claims by a purchaser regarding the alleged misrepresentations.  Therefore, in light of these written documents, it is very difficult to prove the allegations raised in the complaint.  

We are veterans in our late 70’s and two of 40 active duty or veteran military and law enforcement timeshare members alleging we have been defrauded by timeshare sales agents. Several are in danger of losing their Security Clearance.

Whistleblowers of America, an organization headquartered in Washington DC, seeks justice for Active Duty military, veterans, and government workers. If families are made whole, we encourage a contribution to Whistleblowers.  https://whistleblowersofamerica.org/

LICENSED timeshare resale brokers will not even accept a Diamond listing feeling it would be a waste of their time and your money, due to restrictions Diamond places on the use of secondary points LTRBA members feel are too restrictive. Sheilah and Josh contacted Florida LTRBA members. None would accept a Diamond listing. Scammers have no problem taking your upfront money.

http://www.licensedtimeshareresalebrokers.org/

The Florida Timeshare Division, DBPR, and Diamond’s Transition department send members on a wild goose chase to contact a real estate broker, but legitimate brokers won’t accept a Diamond listing, because they are honest.

A Diamond member talked to a Diamond Transition’s specialist:

I tried last night to speak with someone in Financial Services with no luck.  I tried again today as well but the phone just rings and rings. I did speak with Tiffany Davis in Transitions and she said our maintenance fees would have to be paid in order to do the Transitions program.   She then said that I didn’t have to do Transitions – if I wanted to gain anything from my Timeshare that I should speak to a real estate agent to get it sold.   I said I was unaware this could even be done. Tiffany said “Oh, absolutely, if you don’t want to just relinquish it, you can sell it”.

From the Arizona Attorney General’s Assurance of Discontinuance:

IV Assurances

“Diamond shall enhance its programs, policies and training and continue to instruct and train its Vacation Counselors and Sales Managers to comply with the ACFA (Arizona Consumer Fraud Act). Diamond shall advise all Vacation Counselors and Sales Managers that they may not:

  1. Sales agents should not deviate from sales material
  2. Sales agents should not make oral representations at the point of sale inconsistent with the Purchase document.

https://www.azag.gov/press-release/attorney-general-brnovich-announces-800000-settlement-diamond-resorts

Section 5 of the FTC Code states: “Unfair and deceptive business practices are unlawful.”

http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2013/01/fraud-vs-lying-whats-the-legal-difference.html

A fraud is an intentionally false representation made with the intent to mislead the listener, and that the listener relied on “to her detriment.”

The first part means that fraud must involve an intentional lie. If you truly believe you’re telling the truth and end up being wrong, that doesn’t qualify.

That doesn’t excuse willful denial or ignorance of the truth. If you should have known the truth or could easily have discovered it before telling the lie, it could still be a problem.

The second part is about the liar’s intention. A lie that you don’t mean anyone to take seriously, such as a joke or hyperbole, wouldn’t constitute fraud.

When it comes to proving intent for fraud, courts often look at what the liar could gain if someone believes the lie. If the liar benefits from someone believing and acting on the lie, that tends to show intent.

The legal analysis will also rely on context. A lie while you’re trying to sell your house is more likely to result in a lawsuit than a lie told over drinks at a bar. Those are obvious examples, but there are many situations in between where the line isn’t so easy to see.

The third element is whether the lie actually caused harm.

If the listener believed the lie, acted as if it were true, and suffered some kind of injury because of that belief, then there may be some liability for fraud.

Injury can mean actual physical harm or financial loss. In general, emotional “pain” isn’t enough to build a case for fraud.

While fraud could potentially apply anywhere, it’s most commonly brought up in the area of contracts when one party lies about an important part of the agreement.

In general, anything other than a white lie (like how nice your spouse looks) should be avoided. Remember, a lie runs the risk of becoming fraud if you expect the listener to act on the lie. Keeping it honest isn’t just a good personal policy; it’s a sound legal strategy too.

For timeshare buyers, the customer is always wrong because they signed a contract. And no one cares. Inside Timeshare has heard from 131 Diamond members alleging fraud since January 1. The company does not respond to requests for comment.

Thank you Gad and Noreen, you have the support and thoughts of many timeshare owners not just in the US but also from across the great lake in Europe and beyond, also thanks to Irene once again for taking the time to edit these articles.

If you have any questions, comments or need to find information on any company mentioned here or that has contacted you then use our contacts page and we will point you in the right direction. Remember doing your homework saves you money!

Well the weekend is once again upon us and Inside Timeshare hopes that you have an enjoyable and relaxing weekend.

Thursday Updates

In Yesterday’s article on RSB Legal based in Redditch Worcestershire, looking like they have ceased trading, Inside Timeshare was contacted by Praetorian Legal, with the following information which we publish for our readers.

They have advised us that Praetorian Legal had been contacted by RSB Legal in order to underwrite some of their termination business.

Their statement is, if you received a Praetorian Legal indemnity document, they have advised us that Praetorian Legal will honour their indemnity and timeshare owners will remain fully covered under the Praetorian Legal Timeshare Protection Indemnity.

Inside Timeshare would like to thank Gary Smith of Praetorian Legal for responding so quickly, this does show their are some companies who are willing to do the right thing. It also shows that what has been published about his company by TESS and the TCA is designed to sully his reputation.

On the subject of TESS, the website TESS Timeshare Facts has been rather busy with their research, in their article:

DAVID COX AND BERNADETTE COX DISSOLVE COMPANIES FASTER THAN ALKA SELTZER IN A GLASS OF WATER

In this article they have uncovered some very interesting information, this surrounds David Cox’s past “business career”, it does not look very impressive. It highlights every business that Mr Cox has been involved with, showing the status of the business, many are dissolved with unpaid debts!

These are just of the few that have been published on the TESS Timeshare Facts website:

Directors of U JET LIMITED were David Cox & Bernadette Cox  Status: Dissolved Unpaid debts left owing

Directors of D & B COX LIMITED were David Cox & Bernadette Cox  Status Dissolved Unpaid debts left owing

Directors of D & B COX (CONTRACTING) LIMITED are David Cox and Mrs Bernadette Cox.  Trading Status: Dissolved Unpaid Debts left owing

For the full article click on the link below:

https://tesstimesharefacts.com/news/david-cox-bernadette-cox-disolve-companies-faster-alker-seltza-glass-water/

The article also provides all the links to company house records as well as links to other websites, Inside Timeshare would love to meet the authors of this website, but we fully understand the reason for them wanting to remain anonymous. All Inside Timeshare can say is keep up the research!

Just to finish off today, it was also announced by Canarian Legal Alliance that they have received another ruling from the Supreme Court in Madrid, this now makes 106.

This case involving clients from Norway was against Palm Oasis / Tasolan SL, the lawyer representing them was Miguel Rodriguez Ceballos, CLA’s senior lawyer. The interesting fact about this particular case is the Escritura and the registration of the timeshare at the Property Registry. By registering they were trying to treat the timeshare as property thereby attempting to circumvent the timeshare laws, making then non-applicable. The court disagreed and declared that timeshare law was applicable.

The court declared the contract null and void awarding the return of over 16,000€. One of the infractions of the timeshare law was the length of the contract, being more than 50 years. (PDF of the court ruling is below).

Supreme Court Palm Oasis Tasolan

In tomorrow’s Letter from America we shall be running the story of Gad and Noreen Liebmann, both army veterans and their experiences at the hands of Diamond sales agents. They are currently staging a protest outside Diamond’s Daytona Beach Resort. So do join us tomorrow, it is a story that will make your blood boil!

Inside Timeshare is here to inform you of what is happening in the murky world of timeshare, bringing you the news from the courts, the US and beyond bringing timeshare owners around the world together. We also publish articles about different companies and how they operate, inform you of the fake law firms and what to look out for,so you have the facts who to trust.

If you are unsure about any company that contacts you or one that you have found searching on the web, contact Inside Timeshare and we will help you find out.

Claims and Relinquishments: Who Can You Trust?

Just recently Inside Timeshare has been receiving many enquiries regarding RSB Legal, mostly Club la Costa members, they have all been the same, “have they gone out of business as we cannot contact them”?

Well the short answer is probably yes, according to Company House records under Company Status, there is an “Active proposal to strike off”, which means they are about to be liquidated. They are also overdue on this years accounts, which have not yet been submitted. (See PDF below)

RSB LEGAL LTD

What were RSB Legal doing?

The “service” they were offering was cancellation of timeshare contracts and compensation claims on a no win no fee basis, sounds good does it not?

Only problem is that to make the claim the client must pay thousands to cancel the contract first, once the client is out of the timeshare they would then do a claim. Only one problem here, how is the claim to be made?

As most of the timeshares were purchased in Spain, then Spanish Timeshare Law applies, this is where the problem lies. Once the timeshare has been cancelled, it is not possible to take the claim through a Spanish Court, there is no contract in existence, therefore no claim.

So this leaves us with only one alternative, a Section 75 under the Credit Consumer Act 1974. But this only covers the following:

Goods and services not received, the company has gone into liquidation, (therefore you will not receive the goods or services), faulty goods or goods not fit for purpose.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/section75-protect-your-purchases

Now considering that many have used their timeshares, the timeshare company will argue with your credit card provider that you have used the goods and services, after all you have booked holidays!

Section 75 does not cover a timeshare for contravening Spanish Timeshare Law, for instance, the illegal taking of deposits or full payment within the 14 day cooling off period, contracts with a duration of more than 50 years or floating weeks and points systems.

The only way to claim for these breaches and have the contract declared null and void, that is different to being cancelled, is through litigation in a Spanish Court. Also not all contracts will be claimable, there are cases which will not be accepted either by a reputable law firm or the courts.

Now for the relinquishment, our readers have also told us that their cancellations have been passed to another firm called Taylor Marshall Associates, again the story is the same. They are told not to pay anymore maintenance fees, then after some time the client receives a letter stating that their contract has been terminated. Unfortunately they find out from Club la Costa that it has not. Below is an extract from Club la Costa’s email to clients:

“Since February 2016 CLC World (‘CLC’) has been receiving identical ‘copy’ correspondence, from companies called ‘Taylor Marshall’ and ‘RSB Legal’ in respect of some of our Members. Regardless of the holiday product held by the Member or their membership history, the only change to each letter is the name of the Member on the top of the correspondence.

Furthermore, the correspondence was initially near identical to those received from other claims companies against whom the UK authorities are now taking legal action.

Over the last 2 years, CLC has consistently advised Taylor Marshall and their associated company RSB Legal that we will NOT accept their correspondence as correct notification to “TERMINATE” any CLC World membership. CLC World has an established free of charge exit strategy in place for all CLC Members and we do NOT accept Surrender or Relinquishment notices from third party claims companies. Despite this, Taylor Marshall (RSB Legal) continue to falsely claim that they are successful in somehow ‘forcing’ CLC World to release members from their contracts. This is simply untrue.

CLC will only complete a Surrender Request when processed direct with the CLC Member.

We have seen Taylor Marshall’s so called ‘Contracts’ that state that Members should not speak with CLC World or they will face financial penalties. We understand that this, unnecessarily worries many of you, and if this is the case, may we respectfully suggest to you that you contact either the CLC World MS Legal team OR one of the well-established organisations we refer to below for advice.

Unfortunately, there are many ‘Third Party Claims’ companies who encourage people to ‘sign-up’ with them by making false claims about their membership. Many of these companies are linked to each other and we are glad to report that more and more the UK Authorities are taking positive enforcement action on behalf of individuals who have become involved with these companies”.

Why would Taylor Marshall’s contract state that members should not contact CLC World or face financial penalties?

Could it be they don’t want you to find out that your contract has not been cancelled?

Are they that nieve that you will not find out, after all you will end up getting demands for maintenance fees?

CLC are not the only company that hold this position, many more are taking the same line, Diamond have a policy in place, one is exceptional circumstances which cover those over 75, death of a partner, financial hardship and medical. If the member does not fall into this then they have the possibility of relinquishing on payment of 2 years maintenance.

We now have another problem, as the work has not been done is there a chance of getting the money back under section 75?

If this was paid partially or in full on a credit card there is a possibility, the problem is that RSB Legal will claim as they do not actually do the relinquishments but contract them out to a third party, Taylor Marshall, they have fulfilled their contractual obligations. After all the claim is no win no fee!

Now that RSB Legal cannot be contacted and there is a proposal to strike off, the possibility of claiming may come under “the company is no longer trading”, so a claim may be possible.

Whether they are UK based or Spanish based companies, there are many more who use the same method of extracting your money, the only safe option is to do your homework before paying any money. If you do pay never do so by any other means than a credit card, that way at least you may just be able to get the money back.

If you have any questions or concerns about any company that has contacted you with a similar “pitch”, contact Inside Timeshare and we will be pleased to help and point you in the right direction.

check list

The Tuesday Slot with Irene

This week’s Tuesday Slot is not from Inside Timeshares very own Irene Parker, but has been contributed by Meryl Reyman another new contributor, today she highlights the problems in Nevada.

First we have a look at the timeshare world in Europe and the latest court cases.

Last week we published the news of the 100th Supreme Court ruling then the 102nd and 103rd, after publication we received the news of yet two more rulings from Spain’s highest court, bringing the total now to 105

The first is another ruling against Silverpoint in Tenerife, the main points are the illegal taking of deposits and the contract being over 50 years in duration, the sentence which can be seen in the PDF below runs to 15 pages and shows even more infractions of various laws not just timeshare law 42/98.

1st N4 Silverpoint data protected (tay)

The court declared these clients contract null and void, awarding over 34,000€ plus legal interest.

The second Supreme court ruling is yet another against Anfi, at the moment we do not have details on what the infractions were, but the court again declared the contract null and void with the return of over 78,000€ plus legal interest.

These rulings from the Supreme Court are the proof the timeshare companies are losing, despite what they and others may be telling the public.

Going back to the articles regarding the David Cox and TESS allegations against Inside Timeshare and Canarian Legal Alliance, the TESS website and Mr Cox have been very quiet. In fact nothing has been published since 22 March, well, we wonder if Mr Cox can’t think of what to write, after all his ramblings clearly show he is not sound of mind. We leave you the reader to decide on that one.

http://insidetimeshare.com/david-cox-tess-attacking-sundry/

http://insidetimeshare.com/tess-allegations-facts/

Now for our Tuesday Slot by Meryl.

Timeshare Companies, Preying on the Young, the Elderly and Military Personnel, are under your Noses Here in Nevada

section 5

By Meryl Reyman

A retired attorney and former senior executive of a large marketing/advertising agency located in New York City. I am now a resident of Henderson, NV.

A Nevada Timeshare “Buyer Beware” Media Campaign

April 17, 2018

During a recent stay in Las Vegas my husband and I attended a hard sell timeshare sales presentation. After 5+ hours of promises, and a 15 minute perfunctory signing of extensive opaque written documents, we went home with a contract only to discover that very little of what was said over those five hours was in the written documents. We successfully rescinded the contract. Since timeshare sales agents rely on the vacationer not taking the time to review documents, we were lucky that we lived in the area and had time to catch the concealment.  

The FBI defines fraud for profit as “deceit, concealment, violation of trust, and bait and switch.” Oral misrepresentation fits the bill. And so does deceit and concealment if new purchasers cannot access the booking website until after the expiration of the rescission period. Many complainants tell us they can’t determine the value of their purchase until they’ve passed the time period to cancel.

Given the perpetual nature of the timeshare contract, the lack of a viable secondary market, and rising maintenance fees, consumers can find themselves stuck in a hamster wheel of “recycled inventory” with points foreclosed or taken back, only to be sold again to the next unsuspecting vacationer.

Of course there are many who use and enjoy their vacation points. I’m sure there are timeshare sales agents selling the product honestly, but the escalations in timeshare company default rates, lawsuits and the number of Attorneys General investigations (TN, MO, AZ, CO, NY, WI) indicate a serious problem. Are we in timeshare haven Nevada going to allow deceit to continue by dismissing families with, “you have no proof”?  

I hope not. If you are in agreement, we need your help.

We are launching this media campaign to alert and educate the timeshare consumer, because the Court of Public Opinion seems to be the only court open if you bought timeshare points in Nevada.  

After our experience I started digging. I learned that timeshare deceit has been ongoing since before Social Media. I have decided to use my skills to advocate for timeshare reform. This is not a one company problem.  In my opinion, and it is the opinion of 44 timeshare advocates from our Timeshare Advocacy Group™, timeshare, and especially the point-based timeshare system, has evolved to encourage and allow sleight of hand, predatory sales.

Timeshare Advocacy Group TAG has had a hard time keeping up with the flood of complaints. TAG has received 136 timeshare complaints just since January 1, 2018. Most of these complainants have reached out to the Nevada Attorney General and the Nevada Real Estate Division, where the timeshare companies and their agents are licensed to do business, to no avail.

Timeshare sales agents know they are protected by their corporate goliath. One vice president endorsed this by responding to one member, “Our Company is not responsible for what our sales agents say.” In actuality, there is proof, if the Nevada authorities would simply aggregate the complaints. They would then see the weight of allegations of deceitful sales practices that, because of their similarity, appear to be orchestrated from the top down.

Some of these predatory practices include:

  • Delaying delivery of important information so that the legal contract rescission period is undermined. Several complainants could not get onto the website until after close of escrow to determine the number of points actually needed to go to their desired destinations.  
  • Luring customers to “owner updates” and “new customer orientations” that are really hard upsell opportunities,
  • Instilling fear by falsely advising that current fees of existing owners will go up astronomically unless they purchase “new program” points,
  • Instilling fear by falsely advising that heirs of the elderly will be saddled with astronomic fees unless they purchase “new program” points,           
  • Holding onto customer ID and credit cards, and their children! One member reported hearing children screaming while customers sat through hours of hard sell,
  • Feeling pressured into high interest rate loans (12% to 18%) and higher interest rate credit cards.
  • Claiming that timeshare points will increase in value over time!! In fact, a class action lawsuit has been filed to fight this “investment” claim. For many timeshare points, there is little to no resale value.

We have a summary report of more than 50 families who have filed complaints against a Nevada sales center. This report is available upon request. Two of the complainants are:

  • Roy and Lillian Simmons, in fear of losing their home, up-sold to $2,700 a month in timeshare loan payments, living on Roy’s letter carrier pension.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_nca6lMA4U&feature=youtu.b

  • Raymond Mori, recipient of two Purple Hearts, 23 years a Marine, at age 83, in a wheelchair, told to buy an additional $234,000 in additional timeshare points. Teresa is sure her parents would have signed if she had not been with them.

Do not believe anything a timeshare sales agent says in Nevada. If you do intend to do business with a timeshare sales agent, make sure they put promises in writing.  

For more information, please contact me at: [email protected] or Timeshare Advocacy Group: https://www.facebook.com/timeshareadvocategroup/

Thank you to Meryl for her advocacy efforts. If you or someone you know needs help with a timeshare concern contact one of these self-help groups that Inside Timeshare feels is not industry influenced.

https://www.facebook.com/timeshareadvocategroup/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180578055325962/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/465692163568779/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639958046252175/

advocate 1

Thank you Meryl for your contribution and also Irene for the editing, we also once again thank all the volunteers who give their time effortlessly to help other timeshare users in trouble.

In this Friday’s Letter From America we will be highlighting the story of Gad and Noreen Liebmann, who are currently staging a protest outside Diamonds Daytona Beach Resort. We are through Inside Timeshare readers and those on the various facebook pages receiving many messages of encouragement and support for both of you. We will obviously be keeping our readers posted as the story unfolds.

If you have any questions, comments about any article published, or need any help in identifying any company that has contacted you, use our contact page and ask Inside Timeshare. We are here to help and point you in the right direction.

stop press 1

News has just come in from the Bournemouth Daily Echo, the trial against Francis Madden, Claire Garland, Keith Furneval and Jean Furnaval, regarding a timeshare fraud which ran for several years has started.

Their company Central Marketing Ltd, defrauded thousands of pounds in selling bogus holiday clubs and other products. The trial is expected to last at least six weeks, for the full story see link below.

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/16164465.Four_face_trial_on_timeshare_fraud_charges/

Centaurus Mediations & the Silverpoint Connection

Centaurus Mediations SL, CIF: B76750868  C/ Santa Rosa 1- Edificio Royal Palm, Local 3, Arona 38640, Tenerife, is not a new company to our pages, we first highlighted them back in January. The named company Administrator is one Caroline Hibbery who is also the administrator for several other companies, not unusual as these types of enterprises tend to use a front name to protect the actual persons behind them.

The in February it became apparent that Centaurus Mediations SL is one of the companies set up by Mark Cushway and Silverpoint. It was around the time that Silverpoint closed all of their sales decks and staff lost their “jobs”. (Well not all of them, obviously they would be needed in the new enterprises).

Centaurus began contacting Silverpoint members, the difference being from other companies that also cold call is they knew all the details of the clients membership, even down to the fact that they had taken legal action and won!

Centaurus Logo

So what are Centaurus telling these clients?

During the call the agent James, another name that has come up is Alan, tells the clients that even though Silverpoint have lost the cases at court, no one will get paid out. The only way to cancel the contract and get anything back is to go with Centaurus.

So Silverpoint, who sold the illegal contracts in the first place is now contacting their own clients, albeit under the guise of a new name, to help them get out of their timeshare!

Inside Timeshare has been contacted by many readers after these calls, many have even stated that they have cases waiting to be heard at court. Now we do know from experience that members data is often kept by sales staff as an insurance policy in the event of redundancy, but that usually only contains names and telephone numbers. The type of information these readers are being told is basically their entire purchase history.

This only leads to one conclusion, they are using the SILVERPOINT MEMBERS DATABASE!

The email these readers have received after the initial call is signed by James:

Further to our conversation, I am pleased to provide you with an insight into the professional services provided by us at Centaurus Mediations. I’m sure you are aware of the turmoil that has existed over the last few years regarding the timeshare product, its legality and sales tactics adopted by ruthless timeshare sales people. You are also probably aware that recent Supreme Court rulings have turned the tide in favour of the timeshare member.

As I have discussed with you, we here at Centaurus provide solutions for the numerous and varied concerns of the average timeshare member, whether they be concerns over the legality, effectiveness or longevity of your contract or the minefield that exists when solutions to those issues are sought from third parties.

As mediators our roles are to extract you from your commitment with your Timeshare company and introduce you to our recommended registered law firm if necessary. Our services range from extraction from complicated and binding timeshare agreements to the investigation into possible financial compensation on your behalf. Our services are all of a new win no fee nature and in some cases have guaranteed time frames. Should the services of our recommended law firm be required, a no win no fee service is also offered by the firm.

Mediation. In our role as mediators we aim to provide best advice with the sole intention of resolving disputes between our clients and their resort or holiday club.

Kind Regards

James

Centaurus Mediations SL

Registration Nº: B76750868

www.centaurusmediations.com

[email protected]

It would be interesting to see what these services under their “New no win no fee nature”, along with what guaranteed time frames?

It also seems strange that the “recommended law firm offers a no win no fee service”!

Another name that has suddenly cropped up with regards to Centaurus is one Lee Burton, apparently he is well known in timeshare circles, mainly as a bit of a henchman. He is closely associated with Mark Cushway, as well as others in the industry.

Lee Burton

Inside Timeshare has also been informed that this individual is also under investigation for lying to the court under oath, which is known as perjury. A Criminal Denuncia (official police complaint) has also been filed against him on this very matter.

It is believed from our sources that his role is ensure the smooth running of the operation and dealing with any “problems”. Judging by his reputation, a role he is well suited for.

If you have been contacted or taken up the services of this company and no feel that you may be subject to being “defrauded”, then contact Inside Timeshare and we will pass you to a lawyer for free legal advice.

Inside Timeshare would also like to hear from you about any company that contacts you regarding your timeshare, especially if it is with Silverpoint, use our contact page and we will point you in the right direction.

 

Friday’s Letter from America

This weeks Letter from America by Irene Parker reviews the results for the First Quarter of this year, judging by these figures the rest of the year is definitely going to be busy. But first we have a look at what has been happening in Europe.

Canarian Legal Alliance announced this week their 100th Supreme Court ruling, this achievement has made Spanish legal history, especially in the field of timeshare litigation. Within days of this announcement, CLA also received numbers 101 and 102 judgements.

The three rulings declared the Silverpoint contracts null and void with over 63,000 Euros being returned to the clients plus legal interest.

There was also a High Court ruling from Tenerife, again against Silverpoint, resulting in the contract being declared null and void with the return of over 14,000€ plus legal fees and legal interest.

No doubt the clients, lawyers and staff at CLA are celebrating.

All this week Inside Timeshare has been running article on the “Fake Law Firms” operating out of Tenerife, identifying many of the photographs of “their lawyers” posted on their websites.

We have shown 2 US lawyers, 2 Australian, several Spanish lawyers, 3 of which are from the same firm, An eminent Peruvian lawyer, Chilean, Columbian and the most surprising of all was the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Argentina.

Now for this weeks Letter from America.

Timeshare Advocacy Group™

First Quarter 2018 Results

April 13, 2018

By Irene Parker

Helping

First quarter results are in. Inside Timeshare received 116 US timeshare complaints since January 1. Remarkably, there have been nine positive outcomes (loan cancellation and/or refund) and eight resolutions – relinquishment or an answered question resolved the dispute. Timeshare resolution within three months is unusual. This fast-track resolution saves the timeshare member legal fees and the timeshare developer legal or arbitration fees.  We have kept many members out of the nets of “guarantee you a timeshare exit” scams created by the industry when licensed timeshare resale brokers won’t accept a timeshare listing, if they consider the timeshare worthless on the secondary market. Scammer listing agents will take your money and run, not caring if your timeshare sells.

Inside Timeshare has received 381 timeshare complaints since we began tracking complaints late 2016, so 116 complaints received since January 1 is an extraordinary jump in complaints (or readership). Timeshare members contacting Inside Timeshare have witnessed little interest from Florida, Virginia, California or Nevada Attorneys General timeshare divisions, assigned to enforce or not enforce timeshare regulations. Regulations may be in place, but seem to be little enforced. The Florida Timeshare Division dismisses timeshare members with, “Verbal representations are hard to prove,” and Nevada dismisses criminal allegations with, “You have no proof.” Based on one such response received by one Florida resident, we now know why the Florida Department of Business Practice and Regulation DBPR only acted on 110 out of 2,360 timeshare complaints filed from 2012 to 2014. One of our advocates is researching more recent numbers through FOIA.

Our members disagree with ARDA’s assertion:

From ARDA’s Code of Ethics: http://www.arda.org/ethics/

According to ARDA’s website – “Vacation Ownership is one of the most highly regulated vacation products in today’s consumer marketplace.”

Regulations are one thing. Enforcement is another. However, Attorneys General who have initiated and closed investigations against timeshare developers in 2016 and 2017, achieving settlements, did not buy into “You have no proof” or “You signed a contract.” These Attorneys General include: NY, CO, AZ, TN, MO, WI, NC, and the Florida DBPR, sources say, is investigating The Berkley Group (Vacation Village).

Timeshare members have been reaching out to the FBI, because most allegations meet the FBI definition of white collar crime “deceit, concealment violation of trust, bait and switch.” One FBI agent contacted and met with one of our Diamond Advocacy Facebook members.

Updates from a few of our advocates:

Josh Parker, US Army, Ret, OIF

Josh says they were told DRI points are an investment and easy to sell. Now expecting twins, they have learned there is virtually no secondary market for DRI points. Josh was told by a DRI Vice President, “We’re not responsible for what our sales agents say.”  

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-41/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezkJ7GlJN4U&feature=youtu.be

Teresa Laird, on behalf of her parents, Raymond and Teresa Mori, Mr. Mori age 83, 23 years a Marine, disabled. Raymond Mori earned two Purple Hearts, now facing timeshare foreclosure. Teresa says she asked DRI to cancel a Sampler trial product sold to her parents, but says instead the company by phone sold Mr. and Mrs. Mori another 17,000 points, saying they took care of it by attaching it to another program.

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-42/

Angela Sandstede on behalf of her parents Roy and Lillian Simmons, Mr. Simmons a Navy veteran, retired letter carrier, upsold into foreclosure, now in danger of losing their home. Their monthly DRI payment is $2,750 a month. They live on Mr. Simmons letter carrier pension.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_nca6lMA4U&feature=youtu.be

http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-16/

Sheilah Brust: Worked for the New York Governor’s Office of Employee Relations – Upsold by the same Daytona sales agent as Gad and Noreen Leibmann pictured below.  http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-14/

Richard Sokolowski: Arizona Real Estate

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-43/

Greg Jennings: “My Name is Recycled Inventory”

http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-15/

Eron Grant: Catholic School Guidance Counselor http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-40/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FMk_45zRzk&feature=youtu.be

Gad and Noreen Leibmann: Navy Veterans

Gad Noreen

This is our “How to File a Complaint” form (Contact Inside Timeshare for assistance – we may be in Spain but are only a click away)

http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-16/

Section 5 of the FTC Code: The basic consumer protection statute enforced by the Commission is Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, which provides that “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce…are…declared unlawful.”

  1. Consumer Protection

“Unfair” practices are defined as those that “cause” or [are] likely to cause substantial injury to consumers which is not reasonably avoidable by consumers themselves and not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition” https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/what-we-do/enforcement-authority

We know the members above have suffered substantial injury. The gray area is “not reasonably avoidable” so the answer is a determined and pervasive media outreach to educate the general public on the fact that when they buy a timeshare product, they are signing a perpetual contract, with rising maintenance fees, and virtually no secondary market. Not one of the 381 families that have reached out to us since late 2016 knew this. Contact Inside Timeshare or a non-industry influenced self-help group if you need help with a timeshare concern.

https://www.facebook.com/timeshareadvocategroup/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180578055325962/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/465692163568779/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639958046252175/

Thank you Irene and all those volunteers who give up their time to help others, the world of timeshare needs people like you.

If you have any comments or questions about any article published or just need some help in  deciding which company is genuine, then contact Inside Timeshare through our contact page. We will help point you in the right direction, Remember doing your homework will save you money in the end.

Have a great weekend and join us again next week for more news and information on the murky world of timeshare.

weekend cat

More Photographs Identified

This week Inside Timeshare has been highlighting the “Fake Law Firms” which are part of the Litigious Abogados Family, today we publish more identities of the genuine people whose images have been used.

amador-ganeca-logo

We start with Amador Ganeca Abogados, when you enter the website the first photo you see is of the “founder” called Amador Ganeca, this gentleman is in fact the founder of Yáñez & Asociados Abogados, Álvaro Yáñez.

This law firm is based in Bogotá, Columbia, it has been in existence for 35 years.

amador-ganeca-fw

http://www.yanezabogados.com/en/firm/

There are another four “lawyers” pictured, so far only one has not been identified, the first is known as Simone Maengas Arlovaz, very similar to the name used for the image of Joshua Valentine in yesterday’s article, Simono Maenga Arlovas, from Amador Galeca Abogados.

The actual person is Alejandro Aparicio Ferrer, of the Valencia based firm Aparicio Consulting Juridico – Económico.

simone-maengas-arlovaz-wm

We then have Balthazar Hermid Nisbemas, again a very similar name Balthather Hirmod Nisbelam, from the same Amador Galeca website identified as the Australian lawyer Steve Cardell.

The actual person is Diego Muñoz one of the founding partners in the Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados, from Bogotá, Columbia. He is also President of the Colombian Legal Services Chamber of the ANDI Association, so another very eminent person whose image has been used illegally.

balthazar-hermid-nisbemas-wm

The last one from this “fake firm” is Domingo Varlotes Biriendel, whose is actually  Dr. Augusto Arbaiza Perito Grafotécnico Abogado – Criminalista, a distinguished lawyer in Peru’s Capital Lima. The original photograph was probably lifted from the website below.

domingo-varlotes-biriendel-wm

http://www.arbaizaabogados.com/

We now move to Amador Gareca Abogados, this website is no longer accessible, which is not surprising as we did highlight this “firm” in June 2017.

http://insidetimeshare.com/litigipus-abogados-family-gets-bigger/

The image and name used for the founder of this “firm” is Armando Garcia, none other than the above named Álvaro Yáñez, of Amador Ganeca Abogados.

The next image is named as Agustin Bigote Pringata, it is in fact the Azerbijan Ambassador to Argentina Rashad Aslanov, the photo is actually doctored from the official photo of him presenting his credentials to the Argentinian President Mauricio Macri.

armando-gareca-abogados-agustin-bigote-pringata  Argentina President

https://en.trend.az/azerbaijan/politics/2735370.html

Once again the same image used on the Amador Ganeca website for Simone Maengas Arlovaz, is named here as Domingo Barlotes Miriendel, who is Alejandro Aparicio Ferrer, of the Valencia based firm Aparicio Consulting Juridico – Económico.

http://aparicioconsulting.es/en/equipo/alejandro-aparicio-ferrer

The last is named as Juan Firmid Mantadiz, but again the same image is used on the Amador Ganeca website, using the alias Balthazar Hermid Nisbemas, it is once again Diego Muñoz.

As you can see, the creators of these “fake firms” have been very creative with choice of names and the careful use of images, using ones which look distinguished and trustworthy. Obviously a lot of effort went into searching for the images, but this really does go to show how you cannot trust everything you see on the internet.

If you have been contacted by any company or are thinking of taking on any services regarding your timeshare, contact Inside Timeshare, we will be happy to point you in the right direction in finding the genuine firms from the “fake”.

 

Fake Law Firms Using Real Lawyers Photographs

Following on from our previous articles regarding the “fake law firms” we today highlight two more and identify the actual persons whose images have been used.

The first is, Abogados Canarias which is part of the Litigious Abogados family, we have now found new identities from the photographs they have used on their website as their lawyers.

abogados-canarias-logo

http://abogados-canarias.com/civil-law/

The first is the so-called founder of the company Manuel Cilavoz Varintos, who is in actual fact Carlos Magnanini the Global Account Manager for the Argentinian company Clarke Modet & Co Argentina SA.

abogados-canarias-manuel-cilavoz-varintos-300x300

https://www.clarkemodet.com/en/experts/carlos-magnanini.html

Another photograph on the website named as Fernando Siltal Crostena is actually another Argentinian, Doctor Jaime Leonardo Kleidermacher of A. Kleidermacher Abogados & Consultores. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires in 1986.

abogados-canarias-fernando-siltal-crostena

http://www.kleidermacher.com/integrantes.html

The photograph of Juan Cretedos Dolabaris has not been fully identified, but it is believed to be an Italian lawyer called Pasquale Frisina Roma. The search for this one continues.

The third lawyer pictured Manolo Derban Ferolita has so far not been found on any searches.

Another of the “fake” law firms is Amador Galeca Abogados, which we highlighted in September 2017.

amador-galeca-300x191

http://amadorgaleca.com/civil-law/

The so-called founder of this company is named as Amador Malodan Galeca, he is in fact Emilio J. Zegrí Boada, from the Spanish law firm Zegri + Olivar, based at Avenida Diagonal, 606, Principal 1ª 08021 Barcelona.

amador-malodan-galeca-243x300

http://www.abogadospenalistas.es/abogados/

Another lawyer whose image is being used is named as Simono Maenga Arlovas, he is in fact a young but distinguished lawyer named Joshua R. Valentine, from the law firm Caulder & Valentine based at 1157 E Marion St Suite 4 Shelby, NC 28150. tel:704.470.2440 .704.754.8401 (fax).

simono-maenga-arlovas

According to his profile on the firms website he is a very highly educated young lawyer:

https://www.cauldervalentine.com/josh-valentine

Education:

  • Charlotte School of Law
  • J.D., Magna Cum Laude
  • Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review
  • Certification and Concentration in Employment Law
  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society
  • Order of the Crown
  • Pro Bono Honors
  • CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process and Contracts
  • Full Scholarship
  • Gardner-Webb University
  • B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude
  • Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA
  • Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society

Bar Admissions:

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • South Carolina State Bar
  • United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina

We now have two lawyers from the Amador Galeca website from the same law firm, Clarke Kann Lawyers from Australia, this firm has two offices based at Level 7, 300 Queen Street Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia and Level 4, 9 Castlereagh Street Sydney NSW 2000 Australia.

On the “fake” website they are named as Manuel Pralge Namblib who is actually Joseph Najem a Consultant based at their Sydney office:

manuel-pralge-namblib-300x300

http://www.clarkekann.com.au/people/joseph-najem

Then there is Balthathar Hirmod Nisbelam, who in fact is Steven Cardell, a Partner in the firm and based in Brisbane.

balthathar-hirmod-nisbelam-300x300

http://www.clarkekann.com.au/people

So there we have it, not only are these “fake” firms forging official documents, using official logos illegally but also using photographs of genuine lawyers without their knowledge, although they will know by the end of today.

Inside Timeshare is here to help you get to the truth, if you have had any contact from any of the companies named in these articles use our contact page and let us know. Remember these are not genuine law firms, they exist only to take your hard earned money from you.

 

The Tuesday Slot from Canada

Today’s article from Canada by Patrick Cormier is about Intrawest sales practices to Club Intrawest members.  The complaint in the lawsuit concerns the immediate and extreme devaluation of points after purchase from the developer, providing little to no resale value. Diamond Resorts acquired Intrawest Resorts in 2015 and continues the practices leading to this devaluation.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160129005913/en/Diamond-Resorts-International-Completes-Acquisition-Intrawest-Resort

Diamond Resort members in the US have learned their points are virtually worthless on resale. Many Inside Timeshare readers tell us they have been told points would be easy to resell and points will increase in value. In response to one of our reader complaints, a Diamond Vice President’s response was, “We’re not responsible for anything our sales agents say.”

This is the very reason Inside Timeshare is so important and why every timeshare member needs to be an advocate, reaching out to the general public to warn the general public that timeshares official position in several companies seems to be, “We’re not responsible for anything a sales agent says.” This is indeed a green light to lie. With little to no enforcement of timeshare regulation, timeshare sales and marketing fraud continues unchecked.

https://www.citheownersgroup.org/

Following on from yesterday’s article where we identified the genuine lawyers from their photographs used by the “FAKE” Legalidades Abogados, we have now identified another three from the previous “FAKE LAW FIRM” Manuel Hidualdo Abogados article published in March, both of these are from the Litigious Abogados family of “Fake firms”.

http://insidetimeshare.com/thursday-roundup/

manuel selando hidualdo

The first is the “founder” of the firm, Manuel Selando Hidualdo, the actual person is:

Miguel Ángel Pardo Falcón

Graduado Social Diplomado (1988/1990).

Colegiado nº 924 por el C.O.G.S.S. dese 1993.

Of Bolonia Abogados based at the following address:

Avenida San Francisco Javier, 24, 9ª, 12 – Edificio Sevilla I – 41018 Sevilla

https://boloniaabogados.com/quienes-somos-en-bolonia-abogados/

francisco fralja sobanem

The second one named as Francisco Fralja Sobanem on the “fake” website is in fact a Mexican lawyer called Angel Prieto, who owns his own law practice on the Yucatan Peninsula

Av. Sunyaxchen lotes 56 y 57

Sm 24, Mz 28

Edificio Siglo XXI oficina 209

Cancún, QR

México 77509

+52 (998) 251-7010

http://www.angelprieto.com/attorneys.html

emilio derlanta cantelar

Our third identification is named as Emilio Derlanta Cantelar, but is actually a US Lawyer named David J. Winer, from the law firm Winer & Winer, based at:

Law Offices of Winer & Winer

9 N County St. #100

Waukegan, IL 60085

Tel: (847) 336-9111

Fax: (847) 336-4182

http://winerlawoffice.com/attorneys/david-winer/

Obviously these gentlemen have no idea that their images are being used for fraudulent purposes, well they will do now!

We shall be keeping an eye open for the next incarnation that they come up with, we will also identify any other photo of their so called lawyers with the genuine person.

Now on with our Tuesday article from Canada.

quebec

Quebec Superior Court Authorizes Class Action against Intrawest

Intrawest ULC owns, operates, and manages mountain and beach destination resorts in North America and Europe. The company also manages heli-skiing operations, and golf and beach resort clubs. In additions, it provides resort real estate sales and marketing services for various destinations; rental management services at various resort locations; and vacation reservation services with information on accommodations, air and ground transportation, destination, virtual tours, vacation guides, activities, entertainment, and places to dine. Further, Intrawest ULC engages in real estate development operations. Intrawest ULC was incorporated in 1979 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=361001

April 10, 2018

PATRICK CORMIER·TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2018

https://www.citheownersgroup.org/class-action

On March 20th, 2018, the Superior Court of Quebec released a decision by Hon. Anne Jacob certifying a class action to proceed against Intrawest ULC. The full text of the decision is available here (available in French only). What follows is a summary of key information.

What has been authorized by the court? A lawsuit in reduction of price paid to Intrawest UCL, compensatory damages and punitive damages in relation to alleged illicit sales practice in relation to becoming a Club Intrawest member and to fees that were allegedly not disclosed at the time of purchase.

Who are the potential class members?

Potential class members are individuals that have purchased points directly from Intrawest in Quebec, with the exception of such individuals having sold their points before 2007. So, if you purchased your points from the developer in Quebec and have not sold those points before 2007, you currently stand to be eligible.

What does it mean for a class to be certified? It means that Martin Robichaud will be allowed to proceed in his suit against Intrawest as a representative of a larger class of individuals. Should he be successful, it means that the remedy obtained by him will also be available to similarly eligible class members. By certifying this class action, it means the court believed the four following conditions were met:

  1. The factual context of members is identical, similar or connected.
  2. Allegations appear to justify the remedy sought.
  3. The composition of the class would not make it practical for individual members to individually or jointly sue the defendant.
  4. The representative member (Mr Robichaud in this case) can ensure adequate representation of other members.

What are the facts underpinning this case?

Mr Robichaud’s case is in relation to the purchase of 160 points for a total price of Cdn$30,560 in 2009. At the time, Mr Robichaud (like so many of us) believed, according to the explanations offered at the time of sale, that should he wish to re-sell at a later time, he would essentially recoup his investment. There was also the purchase of 300 additional points on the secondary market also in 2009.

In 2014, five years after the initial purchase, he asked about the repurchase program. He was also informed at that time about the need to sell his points to another member with a minimal price per point failing which there would be no Extraordinary Escape (EE) privileges attached to the points sold.

The circumstances under which Mr Robichaud attempted to sell his points or have the points repurchased led him to believe the 160 points he originally purchased had been severally devalued because of undisclosed facts at the time of purchase and subsequent decisions and actions by Intrawest ULC.

What are the issues raised in this class action?

Mr Robichaud is asking the court to answer many important questions, including:

  • Has Intrawest used prohibited sales practices? Should this be the case, should Intrawest be reimbursing members or should members be entitled to a reduction in the price paid?
  • Should members be entitled to punitive damages because of their alleged breach of the Consumer Protection Act (Québec)?
  • Should members be dispensed from paying annual fees because they do not own the properties?

What is the remedy sought by this class action?

Mr Robichaud believes the points have been devalued by approx 75% because several keys facts were not disclosed to him in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act of Quebec. He also believes he should not have paid the annual fees. He therefore asks the court:

  • A 75% refund of the price paid in relation to the original purchase of 160 points from Intrawest ULC;
  • 100% of the annual fees paid to date for all points;
  • Punitive damages ($5,000).

What are the next steps of this class action?

There are a few additional minor procedural steps before the case fully proceeds. The Volunteers Coordinating Committee (VCC) will keep the Club Intrawest Owners Group (CIOG) posted as details are known to us. We have a good relationship with Mr Robichaud and are already supporting him, for example, by sharing aggregate member survey information.

What are the next steps of the VCC?

We welcome this highly sought after decision as a key milestone that will significantly influence and inform the refinement of our legal strategy. Broadly speaking, the major areas of further analysis are:

  • Assuming the case of Mr Robichaud succeeds, how could the remedy be extended to purchases of points outside of Quebec?
  • Develop a fully informed legal analysis, taking into account the Robichaud class action and its repercussions, and table options to the membership in the form of proposals at a first AGM of the future Embarc Owners Association, a new association in the process of being created by the VCC.

Stay vacationed, but stay aware!

Patrick Cormier, B.Sc., B.C.L./LL.B., CD VCC Team Leader

Related articles:  Club Intrawest v. CanadaMust Pay Millions in GST Back Taxes

Club Intrawest (Embarc)Timeshare

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-canada/

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151125005060/en/Diamond-Resorts-International-Acquire-Intrawest-Resort-Club

Thank you Patrick for your contribution, this does show that timeshare owners / members the world over are being subjected to some very dubious practices, we are all in this together, it is only through articles such as this will we ever see any change.

If you have any questions or comments about this or any article published, contact Inside Timeshare through our contact page.

For those readers in Europe, if you have been contacted by a law firm from Tenerife that tells you your timeshare resort / company is being taken to court and you can be in on the action, please do let us know, especially if it sounds like one of those we have been highlighting.

It is through your information that we can research and report as to the legitimacy of these companies, warning others to beware. Remember to do your homework, it will save you in the end.

homework1

Lagalidades Abogados: Update on Fake Lawyers Names

In last Friday’s Letter from America, we began with another new name in the family of “fake” law firms that started with Litigious Abogados, this one is called Legalidades Abogados.

Friday’s Letter from America

legalidades-abogados-logo

Civil Law

 

Over the weekend one of our regular readers informed Inside Timeshare that one of the photographs of the new lawyers was familiar to him, he also provided a name. On investigating the name provided it turns out the pictured lawyer is one:

Dr DR. ABELARDO ENCINAS SILVA, an eminent lawyer in Peru on Constitutional law, sitting on the CÁTEDRA DE DERECHO CONSTITUCIONAL GENERAL, (CHAIR OF GENERAL CONSTITUTIONAL LAW).

pablo-Ibernas-cavosa-legalidades-abogados-300x201
Photo from the Legalidades Website
Dr Abelardo Encinas Silva
The Genuine Dr Abelardo Encinas Silva

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are a couple of links showing Dr Abelardo:

http://drencinascatedra.blogspot.com.es/2015/12/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n93jdSQTO80

Since finding this out Inside Timeshare has identified the other photographs that Legalidades Abogados have downloaded from the internet and posted in their website with new fictitious names.

The next one is a Chilean lawyer Gabriel Palma Cruzat is a member of Palma Abogados.

gabriel-lindeno-miraldo-203x300

http://www.elmercurio.com/legal/noticias/opinion/2018/01/09/prevencion-de-delitos-en-las-empresas.aspx?disp=1

http://www.capital.cl/capital-legal/2018/01/04/146883/el-balance-de-la-ley-de-responsabilidad-de-personas-juridicas/

As you can see from the links above he is also a prominent lawyer.

Last but by no means least we have these three lawyers all from the Law firm Bufete Rodreguez-Monsalve, with offices at the following locations:

Madrid, Valladolid and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and abroad, with offices in Miami, Warsaw, Bogota, Lima, Kiev and Moscow.

bufete660-k57C-U212994882737HpF-575x323@Norte Castilla
The genuine lawyers

Below are links to their website and a newspaper article about their new office published in El Norte de Castilla:

http://www.rodriguez-monsalve.com/es/

http://www.elnortedecastilla.es/valladolid/201703/23/resuelve-dudas-juridicas-nuevo-20170323125458.html

This leaves us in no doubt that Legalidades Abogados are truly a “fake law firm” not only forging legal court documents, illegally using official logos, but also using the photographs of some prominent lawyers.

It now makes us wonder what other lawyers have had their photographs used in this way on the other websites involved with this fraudulent outfit, Inside Timeshare will obviously now be continuing with the research and trying to identify those on the other websites. We will keep you informed.

If you have been contacted by this firm or one of those we have previously highlighted, do not take any notice of anything they say, do not pay them any money, you will only lose it. For further information contact Inside Timeshare.

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