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July 2016

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Irregularities in Anfi Tauro Beach Project

How much worse can it get for the Anfi Group? Just as we have seen even more rulings from the Supreme Court against the timeshares sold by Anfi, and the numerous cases being brought by the law firm Canarian Legal Alliance, we now have a new investigation. This time it concerns the Anfi project at Tauro Beach in the municipality of Mogan.

Anfi-Beach-Construction-3-1

La Provincia, a Spanish Daily published a story on 24 July 2016 that the Department of Sustainability of the Coasts and the Sea, which comes under the Ministry of Environment had dismissed the head of the Canary Islands Coastal Authority, José María Hernández Leon. It appears that his dismissal is based on serious irregularities found in the permissions granted to the Anfi Group for the project. This project is for the creation of a new beach, boardwalk and other facilities at the mouth of the Barranco de Tauro.

 

The Guardia Civil have challenged the legality of the authorisations granted to Anfi to occupy over 3km of the coast. SEPRONA, which is the Nature Protection Service run by the Guardia Civil have been conducting an investigation into the Anfi Group who are the promoters of the project since work began in February this year.

gc-seprona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Anfi Group which is a partnership between the Lyng family and the Construction Company Santana Cazorla, have been given a 50 year tenureship of the area. With the project having an impact on several homes and a camp site which need to be relocated, but this has hit problems. Two reasons have been given for this, one is that the proposed relocation site would disconnect them from the community and that it also overlaps the site for the planned roundabout for access to the beach.

tauro homes

The partners themselves are no stranger to controversy, in the past there have been hints and allegations into possible corruption, although nothing was actually proven. Could this be the tip of another allegation? After all, for the Guardia Civil to be investigating it must be serious, only time will tell. (see link to previous article The Great ANFI Battle of the Partners)

 

We shall be keeping an eye on this case as it develops, La Provincia is renowned for chasing stories such as this and is widely read. For a more in depth report follow the links below, one is for La Provincia, the other is to the English translation of the story published in The Canary News.

 

http://www.laprovincia.es/gran-canaria/2016/07/23/destituido-jefe-costas-canarias-irregularidades/845420.html

 

http://thecanarynews.com/tauro-beach-investigation-underway/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/great-anfi-battle-partners/

 

thoughts

My Thought Today: End of July

Another month gone by and even more judgements from the Supreme Court, four within a week of each other, this means CLA have now achieved 15 judgements. CLA also announced a win at the courts in Barcelona, this was against Club Estela Dorada. Again it follows the Supreme Court rulings and the client was awarded over 29,000€ including legal fees and interest.  According to my sources there are around 100 waiting to be heard at the Supreme Court, so watch this space.

legal clipart

One of my American colleagues Irene Parker sent me a link to a comment on TrustPilot, a review website. It was from a customer who had a great Customer Service Experience (although it does not state if he is a Diamond owner or just a non owner booking):

 

I must be the luckiest person in the world if you are to believe the other reviews on this site as my experience has been the complete opposite.

The agent I have been dealing with Lisa Whincap is probably the nicest and most helpful person I have ever had the pleasure to deal with.

I booked a Holiday then later found there was going to be some building work going on during part of our stay so I called and asked if I could change or cancel my holiday and Lisa could not have been more helpful and went well above and beyond to make sure I was entirely happy. Therefore, as far as I am concerned the customer service in their Spanish office is second to none and I would not hesitate hand on heart to recommend them to anyone I know as I got exemplary service.

Thank You (Shane)”.

 

https://www.trustpilot.com/reviews/577158160000ff00096a4000

 

Irene has been writing for quite sometime on the difficulties of getting out of Diamond contracts she sent me this rebuttal:

 

People don’t get it. That’s great that Shane had a positive customer service experience, but if he spent $25,000 dollars or euros and had a heart attack or stroke tomorrow and could no longer travel, in all likelihood his only option would be to voluntary surrender his points (if accepted), despite many other timeshare resorts providing a secondary market. Who in their right mind would spend so much money on something with increasing annual fees and no exit.  Diamond then takes surrendered points and resells them for full value as part of their industry recapture program. When I called today on behalf of an 83 year old owner, the first thing I was told was a voluntary surrender is not guaranteed.

 

She points out that the problem is not one of customer service while on holiday at the resorts, it is a case of needing to be rid of the timeshare/membership when no longer needed. It is not only owners in Europe that have this problem, our cousins across the great lake have the same dilema. The only consolation as Irene put it to me in one conversation, is the way Spain is on the side of the consumer. Those in the US are now looking to see if they can bring in the same legislation on a Federal level. I suppose this does depend on who wins the presidential election!

floating house

On another matter of how the law works, it has been pointed out that some resorts / companies think they have found a new way around the floating week’s ruling. It appears they are now assigning a fixed week number (from the weeks that can´t sell) and calling them “Flexi weeks”. Although there is a week number assigned the owner is not tied to it, and uses it in the same way as the floating. So it looks like the legal eagles are going to be busy with this one in the future.

 

On the point of Mrs B and the Debt Collectors, the Financial Ombudsman has now taken on the case, so hopefully it will be resolved once and for all, without the need to go to court. Once again thank you for the support received by various legal eagles in the UK.

 

For those of you about to embark on your summer holidays, have a safe journey and enjoy yourselves, but do remember to watch out for the latest innovative idea from your resorts.

 

If you have any questions about any articles published or just want to know how to make the relevant checks on any company, Inside Timeshare is here to help. If you have any information about any article or company you have spoken to and want others to be warned, please let us know and we will publish it. Happy Holidays.

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Monster Credits Associated Companies Summary

 

Glenmore Consulting Ltd 08718409
5th Floor Waverley House, Holdenhurst Rd, Bournemouth. BH8 8DY
Offices also in York and Stratford. These are known as Advice Centers.

Directors
Mark Rowe
Nicola Rowe (Wife)

On 5 January 2016 the company name was changed to:
Monster Rewards Limited using the same company number and registered at the same address. There is also a Monster Rewards SL in Tenerife. the Ltd company is the UK arm.

Mark Rowe also owns:

Complete Internet Solutions Ltd which owns Monster Credits. This company sold the rights to sell Monster Credits to Hollywood Marketing SLU based in Tenerife, Mark Rowe is also director.
Hollywood Marketing licenced Glenmore Consultants Ltd now Monster Rewards Ltd to sell Monster Credits.
sellmytimeshare.tv is the trading arm of Hollywood Marketing and is also operated by Mark Rowe. (See advertising video) link.
Another arm is www.timeshare.lawyer according to the website on “who we are” they are a niche legal division of SellMyTimeshare.tv which is owned by Monster Rewards SL.

Hollywood Marketing SLU recently changed to Monster Group (Travel) SLU
Other names associated with these companies are:
Obviously Mark Rowe, previously sales manager Resort Properties/Silverpoint
Mrs Jodi Beard Marketing Director sellmytimeshare.tv

Cheap Holidays, Monster Rewards SL and Monster Travel
Niel Aylward telemarketing director. Previously Contract Sales Manager Resort Properties/ Silverpoint. before this employed by Club la Costa.

David Taylor and Joanne Taylor from Silverpoint. Now operates from the York office for sellmytimeshare/ Glenmore Consultants. Both are Senior Client Advisors.

The Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA)

This was originally set up by Sandy Grey, (1999), when he died it was taken over by a group of people wanting to continue his work. May 2014 Stephen Boyd (lawyer) instituted the new Company The Timeshare Consumer Association Ltd, he resigned in December 2014, Now a partner in Athena Law. For some time (December 2014 Director) it was controlled by Mr David Cox (now a TESS Director). The Website was taken over by Tolmex Ltd 08143115 and was directed by William Aspinall.

On 11 April 2016 the company changed name to Bridgewell Investments Ltd using the same company number and address:
Fernhills Business Center, Foerster Cham, Todd Street. Manchester BL9 5BJ

William Aspinal resigned as director on 8 July 2016

He was replaced on that date by Mark Rowe.

This now means that the TCA a previously independent information resource website is now under the effective control of Monster Group Travel and Mark Rowe.

According to some new information taken from Timeshare Business Check (an arm of Kwikchex RDO funded), When they published their findings on the TCA (23 June 2014), they listed as “Other associated businesses and trading names” the following:

(TESS) Timeshare Exit & Support Services, (which we know worked with the TCA)

Athena Law (again known to be associated with TCA)

Complete Internet Solutions Ltd

Hollywood Marketing SL

Monster Travel

Sell My Timeshare

Timeshare Litigation Funding Ltd

This last one according to company checks was incorporated 12 Dec 2014, Director David Cox, company number 09353678 listed under previous names was Timeshare Exit & Support Services Ltd.

TESS was incorporated 02 Jan 2015, company number 09372001 Director David Cox.

It is now TESS that is attacking all of the companies involved in Monster Credits and published the fact the TCA is now controlled by Mark Rowe.

It would seem that a falling out has now occurred, could it be due to the fact that the TCA is now compromised?

Also that the advisers state at the presentations that TESS works exclusively for Monster.

With these links can the TCA still claim to be the independent voice for the timeshare owner?

Sandy Grey will be turning in his grave!

gandhi 1

What Is The Truth?

“Truth never damages a cause that is just” Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Last week beginning on 18 July 2016, TESS Limited, a paralegal company and member of the Institute of Paralegals, published several articles about Sellmytimeshare .tv and Monster Credits. In these articles they question whether this is resale or just another scheme to sell the product Monster Credits.

 

Inside Timeshare published an article “Is it Resale?” which was prompted by the TCA highlighting a piece by Harriet Cooke of The Sun Newspaper, this also questioned the claims of Sellmytimeshare.tv that it had helped so many people. This article was published 23 March 2016. This was followed by an article called “Testimonials: Fact or Fiction?” This article was prompted by a question from a reader if they could trust testimonials that appeared on websites.

 

What Inside Timeshare would like to say to you the reader, is look at these articles and then at the following links on the TESS website, then make your own judgements as to whether the truth has been served.

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/is-it-resale/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/testimonials-fact-fiction/

 

http://tesslimited.co.uk/2016/07/18/timeshare-consumer-association-tca-is-now-directed-by-mr-mark-rowe/

 

Now considering that the TCA has highlighted these companies in the past, the question now, is what direction is the TCA going to take now, especially in light of the above link?

 

http://tesslimited.co.uk/2016/07/18/from-silverpoint-to-sell-my-timeshare/

 

http://tesslimited.co.uk/2016/07/19/sellmytimeshares-tv-dont-re-sell-your-timeshare/

 

Then on 20 July they published a transcript of a sales presentation, it was taken from a recording by a client. This was transcribed by the Ministry of Justice, therefore it is considered as evidence. It makes interesting reading.

 

http://tesslimited.co.uk/2016/07/20/monster-credit-sales-presentation/

 

The advisor actually states they don´t buy timeshare, that there is not even a market and people can’t even give them away on ebay. So why have these people travelled to attend these meetings if there is no resale market? Could it be another product is up for sale? Do they know what awaits them?

 

These articles by TESS do actually answer these questions, but I will leave it up to you the reader to decide who is telling the truth.

 

Timeshare is a minefield, trust is very difficult to determine, who do you believe?

 

The only answer is research any company that you may be contemplating doing business with, the information is out there. Some may be negative, but then look at who is publishing it. Is it a rival company? Do they have an ulterior motive?

 

If in doubt forget it, better to be safe than sorry.

 

If you have any information that you would like to share with others, Inside Timeshare will be pleased to include it, be it about any of these companies or others you have dealt with. Without your help and information it is difficult for others to make decisions, it could save others a lot of stress and financial problems.

 

update01

CLA Issue Update Video

Since we highlighted the latest Supreme Court victories achieved for clients of Canarian Legal Alliance, they have published on their website a video with one of the lawyers, Cristina Batista. In this video Cristina explains the significance of these victories and the history behind them.

One Foot In The Grave!

One of the cases highlighted in the video is of a family who had a very quick result. By the time they and the legal team returned to the office in the afternoon, news came through of the judgement being issued. The speed of this particular decision must have come as a shock, who has ever heard of a court acting with this speed? It only goes to show the effect these Supreme Court sentences are having on the lower courts.

 

Cristina also explains that they have around 830 live cases at the lower courts, with over 100 waiting to be heard at the Supreme Court. Spain is definitely leading the way in how the EU Directives on Timeshare are being implemented. The question now is how long will it be before other countries follow suit?

 

To see the full video click on the link below.

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/cla-latest-updates-video/

At present we are aware of only one other case being won by another company, this was against Silverpoint in Tenerife, we still do not know which company conducted the case. But it is only a matter of time before other cases come before the courts by other firms, using the precedents set by the Supreme Court in CLA cases.

If you have any questions about any timeshare matter, or about any company you are not sure about, contact Inside Timeshare. We will help to answer your questions and explain how to check them out. If we don´t know the answer we will find out for you.

holidayresort

Lowcost Travel Group Administration

Although this is nothing to do with the timeshare industry, it was felt that an article on this company was needed.

 

Lowcost Travel Group announced on Friday 15 July 2016 that it had been placed into administration, the company dealing with this is: Smith & Williamson and CMB Partners. Customers are instructed to contact Martyn Frazer or Paul Stagg at the following email address: lowcosttravel@smith.williamson.co.uk

 

It is believed there are currently around 27,000 customers already at resorts, and 110,000 with bookings, who have yet to travel. For those already on holiday, there should not be any problem as their flights and hotels should have already been paid for. It is those yet to travel who will have the problems. The reason for this is the company operated on very narrow margins, it relied on new bookings to help the cash flow and pay for flights and hotels of those already booked. This does seem a little odd, that a company can operate in this way, using payments from new bookings to pay for ones booked earlier. But apparently this is not unusual in this sector of the industry.

lowcost travel

Lowcost Travel operated from bases in the UK, Spain, Switzerland and Poland, the number of job losses will be: Gatwick 120, Krakow 264, Mallorca 60 and Switzerland 7.

 

Although the redundancy numbers are low, it is the cost to the customers that will be the greatest. Those with bookings and yet to travel have been advised they may have to cover the costs of flights, pay transfers and hotel accommodation locally. They may be able to claim back through travel insurance or credit cards, but the CAA  (Civil Aviation Authority) who operates the ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence) scheme which is a safety net for these eventualities, has stated that these holidays are not covered by them. The reason is that Lowcost Travel relocated to Spain and being registered as an entity in Mallorca, are not in the CAA jurisdiction, the CAA warned about this in 2013. Lowcost Travel had dismissed this by stating they were covered under the Spanish scheme.

 

So why did this happen?

 

The reasons being given are, that due to the Brexit referendum, many customers delayed making their bookings, resulting in the cash flow problem, then there was the fall in the pound against the euro after the leave vote. This had the impact of reducing bookings further as they became too expensive. The Guardian newspaper published an article 10 July 2016, on the number of people opting for holidays at home, the article stated that it would cost an extra £245 for a family of four because of the 10% drop in the pound. (see link at the end).

 

Other reasons are the increased terror threat, which has impacted the travel industry. The list of destinations according to Smith Williamson are:  Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Orlando, Brussels, Paris and this list will now include Nice.

 

Lowcost Travel was founded by Paul Evans in 2004, he had previously been resort manager for Club 18 -30. According to their last filed accounts, in the year up to October 2014, they had sold holidays to the tune of £477 million, with a pretax loss of £47,000. It is not hard to see what the impact a drop in bookings would have by these figures.

 

If you have booked and require any information please go to the following links.

smithwilliamson

http://www.smith.williamson.co.uk/news/8711-lowcosttravelgroup-ltd-smith-williamson-and-cmb-partners-uk-appointed-joint-administrators

 

http://www.lowcostholidays.com/

 

The above link has email addresses for customers who have booked with any of the companies not covered by the administrators.

 

The Guardian article on UK tourist industry.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/jul/10/brexit-and-the-uk-tourist-industry

 

BBC News link

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36810558

Links to information on Section 75 and how to claim from your credit card.

Claiming Money Back From Your Credit Card.

 

 

If you have any questions about timeshare or holiday ownership, resales or claims, Inside Timeshare will find the answers.

 

one-foot-in-the-grave-4ddd371cbbbe2 (1)

One Foot In The Grave!

“I don’t believe it, I just don’t bloody believe it!” said Victor Meldrew. But yes it is true, the Supreme Court has just issued their fourteenth and fifteenth judgements.

 

Canarian Legal Alliance just keeps them coming in, they announced this news late yesterday 13 July 2016. On Tuesday the court awarded 18,500€ to a UK family and declared their contract null & void because it was longer than the 50 years stipulated by law. The following day Wednesday another UK family had their contract declared null & void and awarded 13,000€, including double the deposit back for payment within the 14 day cooling off period. They had also been sold floating weeks, again in contravention of the laws laid down.

 

The Supreme Court has now consistently ruled that contracts over 50 years, floating weeks and points along with the taking of deposits within the cooling off period, are contravening the laws on the selling of timeshare in Spain. It now has to be asked when other countries are going to enforce these rules which were laid out by EU Timeshare Directives?

 

Spain is obviously leading the field in this area, with these judgements all lower courts must now abide by them.

anfi logo

So, just in the past week Anfi have been penalised for considerable sums, the question now is how long can they sustain this? There are more cases waiting to be heard by the Supreme Court, all because Anfi have taken the decision to appeal rulings by those lower courts. If they had any sense, I would have thought they would pull out of those appeals and just admit defeat.

 

The next question is how long will it be before other companies such as Diamond and Club la Costa have more cases brought against them? Is it the death knell for timeshare in Europe?

 

How will this news affect Apollo Global Management after their takeover of Diamond Resorts International? There are already rumours across the great lake that Wyndham is looking to buy the shares, the price has already been put at around $36 to $39 a share. I hope to get some insight into this from my American colleague Irene Parker who writes for the financial journal The Street, ( see link for her article on Hilton). Inside Timeshare will keep you posted on this as and when the news comes in.

 

Once again Inside Timeshare congratulates these two families and the legal team of Canarian Legal Alliance for their splendid work. They certainly have paved the way for others to follow.

 

If you need any information or advice on any timeshare related matter, Inside Timeshare will do its best to provide you with the best answers.

 

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13636683/1/hilton-worldwide-and-spinoffs-are-good-investments-now-or-later.html

TWO MORE SUPREME COURT RULINGS FOR THIS WEEK

 

 

solutions

Solutions Group, Still Going?

Around three years ago a company came up on the radar called Simple Solutions, this was part of the Solutions Group registered as XYZ Solutions SL. This company is based in Tenerife and was registered at Avenida Del Claudio Delgado Diaz 101, Las Chafiras, San Miguel De Abona, 38620. CIF Number B76558519 and telephone numbers 0203 137 7214 & 0203 137 3970 also using an email address info@section75.eu, the website they quoted was www.consumeract75.co.uk which was registered to Global Solutions at the same address.

 

There was also another company apparently based in Madrid called European Consumer Complaints which used the same www.consumeract75.co.uk  website.

claim01

The nature of the business was claiming for breach of contract, misrepresentation and mis-selling of timeshare and discount holiday clubs such as Incentive Leisure Group and Designer Way Vacation Club. These claims would be made under the Credit Consumer Act 1974, Section 75, there was also an upfront fee which was payable via bank transfer.

 

It now seems they are back, this time as Solutions Ltd, which is supposedly a UK registered company, yet no trace can be found at Company House. The telephone number is the same one used by Simple Solutions and XYZ Solutions, 0203 137 3970 also using the same email address info@section75.eu. The address given this time is: Calle Luciano 5D, San Miguel, 38369, the address is genuine but looking at street view on google maps, there is no sign of any company such as this and is right on the corner of the original address

 

The operation is the same as before, claims against timeshare companies using the Credit Consumer Act, again for breach of contract, misrepresentation and mis-selling. There is still an upfront fee which is payable by bank transfer to a Santander bank account.

section 75

Inside Timeshare has also been informed of one lady who believed that her timeshare resort had gone bankrupt several years ago, this was after she had received a call from one of the original companies. She then stopped paying her maintenance fees thinking she no longer owned, now she is getting demands for payment of the arrears. The resort was a Heritage Resort in Marbella.

 

Now she has had a call from Solutions Ltd to pay them to make a claim, luckily because of the demands from Heritage, she has realised the original call several years ago was a ruse to get her to pay for a claim.

 

It is important to remember to make your checks before dealing with any company that claims your resort has gone bankrupt or closed down, or that you can get a refund via section 75 for an upfront payment. Also never pay anything using a bank transfer, cheque, paypal or even a Western Union, once any payment is made in this way your money is gone. If you do need to make any claim for any payment using section 75 it can be done yourself, your bank, citizen advice or one of the following websites can help you do this:

 

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

 

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/claiming-money-back-credit-card/

 

If you need any help in finding information about any company, contact Inside Timeshare, if we know of them we can pass on the information. If they are not known to us then we will research them for you or tell you how to find out for yourself. It pays to do your homework and keep your money safe.

homework

rollercoast1

Supreme Court Roller Coaster

It would appear that the roller coaster of rulings from the Supreme Court just isn’t going to stop, it was announced on 8 July 2016 that Canarian Legal Alliance had just received ruling numbers 12 and 13.

CLA Logo

In ruling number twelve, their Norwegian clients had their contract cancelled and were awarded 31,998€ plus all the legal fees. The court has upheld previous judgements that contracts over fifty years and floating weeks are illegal.

 

Following on from that, ruling number thirteen was for a family in the UK, they were awarded a total of 82,808€ including double the deposit paid, legal fees and interest. As before the same principle was applied, contracts cancelled due to being over 50 years, floating weeks and the taking of a deposit within the 14 day cooling off period.

 

So within two days Anfi has been penalised by over 114,806€ for breaches of the timeshare laws. This does go to show the Spanish legal system will not tolerate companies who defy the legislation put into place to protect the consumer.

tribunal supremo

It is a wonder the timeshare industry has been able to get away with these illegalities for so long. Could it be because they held so much influence in the past they actually believed they were immune from the law?

 

Yet, we hear nothing from the trade body for the industry the Resorts Development Organisation, or even TATOC, the so called owners committees association. Surely if these two organisations were what they purport to be, I would have thought they would at the very least, make some kind of statement that they would sanction any member who still broke these rules. It is their members who are selling products deemed illegal, but not a word of warning to them.

 

It must also be pointed out that although these rulings have been made against the Anfi Group, it affects all timeshares whether fixed weeks, floating weeks or points sold anywhere within Spain, Balearic Islands or the Canary Islands. These rulings apply to any company that has not complied with the laws which came into force in January 1999.

2 MORE SUPREME COURT SENTENCES ( THATS 13 SO FAR )

 

So once again congratulations to the two families and well done to the legal teams at Canarian Legal Alliance.

champagne glasses

If you have any questions about this subject or anything about timeshare, resale or claims companies, Inside Timeshare will do its best to give you the answer. If we don´t know we will find out.

loans

Shawbrook Bank Announce Irregularities in Timeshare Loans, Similar Activities in the USA.

For many people their Timeshare or Holiday Ownership was paid for on Finance, these loans were usually arranged on the day of signing the contract by the sales staff. One of these lenders is a bank called Shawbrook Bank, with their head office located in Brentwood Essex. The bank was founded in 2011 and according to their web site works closely with the holiday ownership industry to provide finance for their customers.

 

Unfortunately it was announced recently that the bank had set aside around £9 million to cover any defaults in these loans. This has come about due to the discovery of irregularities in the issuing of these loans.

shawbrook

Shawbrook Bank has admitted that it did not do its due diligence when approving the finance for holiday ownership products. One of its biggest partners is Diamond Resorts, whose aggressive style of selling has resulted in many people being over stretched financially, then being lumbered with a product that they find is unworkable. They are also stuck with management fees that are continually rising, also being unable to get out of their contracts.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/28/shawbrook-banks-shares-plunge-on-9m-hit-from-dodgy-lending/

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3663651/Shares-Shawbrook-drop-challenger-bank-reveals-loan-irregularities-cost-9m-finance-chief-quits.html

 

What did Shawbrook miss on its due diligence?

 

Quite simple, finance agreements made out by sales staff on the day of the sale have not had the usual credit checks made. Normally when a loan is applied for there are several checks that are made, we all know this as at some point we have had them. Firstly, does the applicant earn enough to qualify for the loan. Secondly, can the applicant actually afford the repayments, after other payments are taken into consideration, i.e. mortgage, living expenses etc. Lastly does the applicant have a good credit history, in other words have they defaulted on any other finance, be it loans or credit cards, or have they had county court judgements made against them

 

All these are the usual checks, being unable to fulfil any of these criteria would normally prevent the loan from going through.

 

Another aspect is how the applications are filled out, Many people spoken to over the years have said that the application had been filled out by the staff. It later transpired that the purpose of the loan had been made out as “home improvements” nothing to do with the purchase of holiday ownership. In some cases, even the income has been falsified. Unfortunately, for the applicant this could lead them to the possibility of criminal charges, after all they have signed the form.

edwincoe

This is not the first time a bank has hit the news in relation to holiday ownership, Barclays Partner Finance has been the subject to action in the High Court on this matter. Edwin Coe LLP, represented many clients of Resort Properties, who had been sold “investment packs” which were then financed by Barclays Partner Finance. On 16 August 2015, Edwin Coe LLP announced that the High Court had decided in favour of the consumer.

http://www.edwincoe.com/our-expertise/group-action-litigation/resort-properties-barclays-partner-finance/

http://www.edwincoe.com/high-court-decides-in-favour-of-the-consumer/

 

Many of these loans did not have the usual credit checks made, in fact Inside Timeshare is aware of an elderly couple who had been given one of these loans. They had been talked into one of the Resort Properties / Silverpointinvestment packs”, at the time he was 8o years old his wife 76, the loan was for £30,000, yet both are on pensions. When Inside Timeshare spoke with them, the question asked was, had you gone to your bank, do you think they would have provided the loan? Well we all know what the answer to that is. They are now taking legal action.

barclays

Unfortunately this is not just the case for Europe, in the United States the same controversy exists.

 

Roddy Boyd of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation has been highlighting this, on 27 April 2016, he published an article on a Credit Union which has been supplying loans for Diamond Resorts clients. Quorum Federal Credit Union has been in operation for 82 years, as with all credit unions they are member based.

quorum

http://sirf-online.org/2016/04/27/the-enabler-and-the-lifeline-diamond-resorts-and-quorum-fcu/

 

Quorum, has been supplying loans for the holiday ownership industry for years, Diamond Resorts are their largest portfolio. Diamond tend to send the riskier applicants to the credit union, these are those in the lower credit ratings, what the Americans call “subprime”. In other words the banks would not touch them with the proverbial barge pole.

 

According to Roddy Boyd the deal provided around $40 million in loans for Diamond and in return these borrowers became members of Quorum. Sounds like a win win for both, (not the consumer).

 

At least Shawbrook Bank have admitted that it has seen a problem in this area, setting aside a substantial amount to cover any future problems. In the end a loan for a holiday product which will on average be around £10,000 or more, is a huge commitment, not one that should be signed and approved on the day. Especially by the sales staff who have a vested interest in getting the “deal”.

 

Inside Timeshare would like to thank Irene Parker of the The Street for supplying the link to Roddy Boyd´s article. Do read it in full yourself as we have only just touched the surface, also read the following link, again it makes interesting reading.

 

http://sirf-online.org/2016/03/07/27464/

 

If you have any questions relating to this article or any others published contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to find the answer for you.

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