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Litigious Abogados: Update.

Further to the article on Litigious Abogados published 27 September, The so called lawyers named on the websites for Litigious Abogados and Litigar Abogados, do not appear on the register of lawyers.

 

There is also no trace of either company when the CIF Numbers are checked on Spanish companies register. It certainly looks like these companies are not what they appear to be.

 

The named lawyers are as follows:

 

Emilio Leyes Catillianos.

Manuel Amas Conde.

Simone Manuel Olivaz.simone-manuel-olivaz-111

Ramon Quilnar Canal.ramon-quilnar-canal

 

Websites and CIF Numbers:

litigious-abogados

litigiousabogados.com

http://emiliocatillianos.com/

CIF Number: A36428761

 
litigar-abogados-4

litigarabogados.com

http://manuelamasconde.com/

CIF Number: A34812673

Address Given on all websites for these “Lawyers” is:

Calle Duque de la Torre 29, 114, Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Actual address:

Calle Duque de la Torre, 29 Arona Casco 38640 Arona Tenerife

Along with the fact the address is for the Oficina del Servicio de Atención Ciudadana, which is the equivalent to the Citizens Advice Bureaux and is part of the town hall in Arona, it is advised that extreme caution should be exercised if contacted by either of them.

cab-arona
Oficina del Servicio de Atención Ciudadana, Arona, Tenerife.

If you have been contacted by either of these, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. Any help required to trace any company you can contact us and we will help you to check if they are genuine.

 

Litigious Abogados Who Are They?

On 23 September 2016 Mindtimeshare published a warning about a so called lawyer and law firm, it asked the question are they for real? Their conclusion was no.

While looking at the websites, they looked very familiar, even the address was one we had seen before. While searching the Mindtimeshare website it was revealed that it was familiar, the same address has been highlighted before on 5 July 2016 for Litigar Abogados.

litigious-abogados

Litigious Abogados or Litigious Lawyers, name of the lawyer is given as Emilio Leyes Catillianos.

Both web sites show the same CIF Number: A36428761

Tel: 0800 862 0102

The address given is:  Calle Duque de la Torre 29, 114, Santa Cruz, Tenerife

This address is not quite correct, it should read: Calle Duque de la Torre, 29 Arona Casco 38640 Arona Tenerife. This address is actually for Oficina del Servicio de Atención Ciudadana which is part of the Ayuntamiento or local council offices. (Checked on google maps street view).

Both websites were only registered on 14 August 2016, details of who the registrant is are hidden.

litigiousabogados.com

http://emiliocatillianos.com/

 

Back in July 2016 another company of so called lawyers came up on the radar, they too used the same address as above. Both websites are exactly the same as those for the above lawyers.

litigar-abogados-4

This other firm was known as Litigar Abogados, the So called lawyer is Manuel Amas Conde.

Both websites show the same CIF Number: A34812673

Tel: 0800 862 0140

The address given is the same as above.

Both websites registered on 6 June 2016, again registrant is hidden.

litigarabogados.com

http://manuelamasconde.com/

 

None of the websites show any registration number for any bar association, although they do state they are members of the Bar Association. If so the registration number should be shown.

On both websites in the location section, they also show the logo for the Oficina del Servicio de Atencion Ciudadana, to try and show credibility. Also on both home pages they claim 15 years of presence on the internet.

In the law section of Litigar Abogados they also show the coat of arms for the Colegio de Abogados, or the College of Lawyers which is the bar association. Above this is another logo stating 25 years of membership to the college.

On the Litigious Abogados website in the Civil Law section it shows two photographs of lawyers with the names:

Simone Manuel Olivaz & Ramon Quilnar Canal

 

I am waiting for further information on both companies and all the named lawyers, when this comes in it will be published as an update.

If you have been contacted by either of these companies Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. Remember, lawyers would normally show Bar Registration Numbers and which College of Lawyers they are registered with, these can then be verified as to their legitimacy. This does prove that doing your research into any company that contacts you or one you may have found in the internet, is the first step in protecting yourself. If you need any help in finding information Inside Timeshare will be pleased to help.

 

Diamond Owners Receive Text Messages, But From Who?

Recently many Diamond owners have been receiving a text message sent from a UK mobile number,  07740588468. This number is an O2 UK, and according to checks made in the UK it may be a “burner phone”, this means it is untraceable. It is linked to a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mrpea.jonathan?hc_location=ufi

 

This page shows no information at all, no details in the about section and no posts. The text message that has been received is as follows:

 

Hi Mr & Mrs XXXXXXX

It’s Jonathan here, I work on behalf of a specialist litigations team here in the UK and We are in the process of tracing clients who have had dealings with various Holiday Ownership companies.

It is important to say that we do not buy or sell any type of holiday ownership.

The reason for this message is due to the recent changes in the Law many contracts signed with such companies are now illegal, therefore making them null and void, This means you may well be able to claim back the full purchase price of what you own.

Do you still own anything such as timeshare or holiday ownership??

Did you purchase or upgrade in Spain after January 1999??

Have you switched to Fractional Ownership??

Due to rulings by Supreme Court the law has been Strengthened to protect YOU the consumer.

If you made any payment for your ownership within the 14 day cooling off period or even had a finance agreement arranged by the sales staff on the day you signed the contract, this will make the contract illegal and you are entitled to have them cancelled and get your money back.

Other changes are if the contract is in perpetuity or a period of more than 50 years, this also entitles you to a claim.

Another change in law is that points or floating week’s systems have also been declared illegal, as you are not guaranteed availability in the same way as the fixed week system.

Do you own with Diamond resorts who have just announced yet another take over, are you worried about man fee increases again?

Do you fall into any one of these categories?

If so just reply back “YES” and myself or another advisor will be glad to contact you with some advice regarding your situation and how we proceed to make a claim and put you on the right track to getting all your money back.

Kind Regards

Jonathan

 

This information has been circulating on the Diamond Resorts International Members facebook group, with many comments from owners who have received it. It is believed that this may be ex-Diamond employees who have the Diamond members data. One owner has been in touch with their resort, Sahara Sunset, who have stated that it is more than likely to be a scam, also confirming that it may be ex-employees who have stolen the data base.

 

There is no mention of any company within the text or facebook page, so Diamond owners should be very wary about answering the text message.

 

Although the information in the text is correct in regards to the rulings by the Supreme Court in Madrid, with contracts made after 5 January 1999 which could possibly fall into the realms of being declared null & void, along with the possibility of claiming back the purchase price. Inside Timeshare urges caution.

be careful

If you you require any information regarding this subject or have any information which may be of use to others, contact Inside Timeshare and we will publish it.

 

US Real Estate Regulations Update.

Further to the article highlighting The Property Man Bob Massi, Irene Parker informed Inside Timeshare that all States except one define VOI (Vacation Ownership Interests, points) as real estate. However Diamond‘s own contracts state (although buried within) insist that the membership is not real estate. The Diamond annual report also states they are not subject to real estate laws.

 

All this is very confusing to say the least, even Irene is confused and she lives in the US! So she kindly put me in touch with one of her contacts who was once a sales agent ILX and the after the acquisition and Diamond agent. Mark is a licenced broker, for 4 years he has been challenging the ADRE (Arizona Department of Real Estate) regarding “fraud” in the sales process of Diamond products. He has kindly sent the following information, which I have produced below, the reason is he explains it better than I could, after all I did say it was confusing. The following is his story:

 

Key to abbreviations:: ADRE Arizona Department of Real Estate. VOI Vacation Ownership Interest: AZ AG Arizona Attorney General.

 

In Arizona any sale of a property interest within the state requires licensing of ALL sales agents. All transactions are to be reviewed by the designated broker or their licensed assistant. The designated broker is liable for all transactions, and conduct of agents. The conduct of all agents is regulated by statute, Diamond has a designated broker in Sedona for all their properties.  


ARTICLE 11. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
R4-28-1101.
Duties to Client
A.
A licensee owes a fiduciary duty to the client and shall protect and promote the client’s interests. The licensee shall also deal fairly with all other parties to a transaction.
B.
A licensee participating in a real estate transaction shall disclose in writing to all other parties any information the licensee possesses that materially or adversely affects the consideration to be paid by any party to the transaction

While Diamond trains (requires) its sales agents to commit fraud, there is a clause in the brokers manual (which is not disclosed by broker) which states that the agent shall indemnify Diamond in the event of ANY action is taken against the company for misrepresentation, to the extent that the agent will even cover Diamond’s legal fees. I brought up the fact that the broker did not disclose this at the time he required me to sign a receipt for his manual, agreeing I understood and would abide by the terms however ADRE was not interested.

Most RE development within the state requires that all buyers receive what is called a public report It is  viewed by ADRE as a disclosure document that carries sufficient importance to the buyer, that pre- approval of its content by ADRE is required before sales can commence. Diamond and other companies selling VOI’s in the state are required to give buyers a public report.

It is important to note that it is a somewhat generic document and does not include material information regarding how a timeshare interest is structured, no explanation of the difference between a deeded interest and a VOI, or mention of relevant statue regarding sales and administration of these systems. This has left the door open for pirates like Diamond to circumvent disclosure requirements mandated by licensing, while openly committing fraud in the sales process. By alerting buyers to the existence of their RE license Diamond agents falsely present to buyers that they are being protected by RE statute.

In general real estate ALL sales must include a sellers disclosure document that requires all known material facts affecting the value of real estate being sold be disclosed by the seller. It is known as a SPUDS and intentional withholding of material information is grounds for civil litigation and other administrative penalties.. As I have been arguing repeatedly with the AZ AG and ADRE, since no SPUDS is given in connection with a timeshare, the sales presentation constitutes an oral SPUDS with appurtenant disclosure obligations.

During my 6 month tenure with Diamond I filed multiple administrative complaints against Diamond’s designated broker for lack of mandatory supervision. ADRE investigated those complaints and would not have done so if Diamond’s product was not considered real estate and subject to applicable statute. I was required to maintain an active license to sell Diamond’s poisoned pill. I have found in public records that Diamond’s broker entered into a consent order, and paid a fine for allowing an agent to continue selling VOI product after his license expired. ADRE could not have taken these administrative enforcement actions without Diamond’s VOI being legally defined as a real estate product in AZ.

This was the basis of my argument to AZ AG and ADRE that institutionalized fraud was being committed on the public by lack of enforcement pertaining to regulation and the insistence of continuing to classify VOI’s as a real estate holding when in fact Diamond’s own contracts states to the contrary and insists in clear terms (buried in an obscure place) that the membership is not a real estate interest. Clear as mud, that’s how they like here in sunny AZ.

 

As you can see, things are not as clear cut as we thought, Europe is not as big a minefield as the US. But this could be a very big problem for those in Europe who did purchase in the US, especially as they would not be aware of the regulations there.

 

As more information comes in, Inside Timeshare will publish it here, thanks to Mark and Irene for their input into these articles, it has helped to clarify some important points.

 

If you have any questions or information regarding this or any other article, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you.

More From Across The Pond.

As we all know trying to sell your timeshare or as they like to call it today “holiday ownership”, is a bit of a minefield. Who can you trust?

 

Our friends from across the Atlantic have the same problems, you think you have got rid of your timeshare, then suddenly you receive the annual maintenance bill. The resort does not recognise the transfer. This happened to many people who ended up buying into Designer Way Vacation Club several years ago.

 

With this particular scheme, you “sold” your timeshare to DWVC but had to pay many thousands of pounds to become a member of their club. The perks, well, you could stay in the same resorts for a fraction of the cost, discounts on flights, and off course no more maintenance bills. Oh yes, I almost forgot, you also were given a “cashback” certificate, this was for the value of your timeshare plus a bit extra for the cost of your membership. Then after registering it (which was a nightmare task), you had to wait around 5 years for it to mature. If you were lucky you may have got a few quid back, that’s if you claimed correctly.

 

Then after finding that the so called “discounts” were not what you were told at the presentation, (actually costing more), you suddenly received a maintenance bill for several years arrears. All this with the threats of legal action by a debt collecting agency. DWVC did not transfer your timeshare, or the resort did not recognise it.

 

This has also happened to one old lady who owned a MacDonalds timeshare, Yes, I am referring to Mrs B. Her timeshare has been sold for 1euro, (she actually paid the company around £7,500 to relinquish, not sell it). MacDonalds is now chasing for maintenance arrears because they do not recognise the transfer.

for_sale

Following is an article written by Tom Tubbs, an advisory member of The National Timeshare Owners Association, the American equivalent of TATOC. In this article he clearly shows how some companies in the US operate and how it affects the resorts and owners. This was sent to me by my American colleague Irene Parker.

 

By Tom Tubbs

Island Consulting Realty – NTOA Advisory Board Member

 

We’ve all heard the radio commercials, received the postcards in the mail, seen the TV ads, seen the web sites:

 

“Get out of your timeshare now! Call us today. Guaranteed or your money back!”

 

“You own a timeshare you can’t sell? We guarantee to get you out”.

 

“Dear friends. This is ‘Mr/Ms. Celebrity’. I trust these people”.

 

Now, think back. Remember the similar ads we heard from different companies years ago? Where are those companies now? What happened to them? Are these just new companies who rose up to fill in the gap? Hmmm…..

 

So, how is it that you could sell your timeshare but continue to be on the hook for the maintenance fees? What I’m going to share with you is a real story that is taking place right this minute. The names are changed, obviously. The way it’s being handled is not brand new, but relatively so and it’s happening more and more and more. Read the story and make sure you don’t fall victim to this.

 

So we’ve told you in the past about “transfer companies”. You pay them $3500 or so and they take your time share from you and they promise that your days of owning a timeshare and paying the maintenance fees are done. Many of these are perfectly good timeshares that could be sold and money put into the pockets of the owner, but if you’re a reader of this newsletter you know the stories the transfer companies tell you to convince you to give up your money. These companies for the most part have no real estate license so that they don’t have to worry about a state agency looking over their shoulder. Many of them come and go quickly…..with your money.

 

But there’s a new sheriff in town. A company called Timeshare Transfer Registry (real name) monitors timeshare transfers. They are especially suspicious about transfers going into the name of an LLC or Trust. Suspicions go up when they see 10, 20, 50, 100 or more timeshares being transferred into the same name. Resorts can register with TTR to try to protect themselves from being deceived by the transfer company.

 

So here’s what happened. “ABC Resort” (names are changed now) gets a copy of a recorded deed showing one of their owners sold their timeshare to “Whoopie Doo, LLC”. The resort contacted Timeshare Transfer Registry and learned that Whoopie Doo owns a LOT of timeshares. It’s looking pretty obvious that the LLC will never pay the resort a maintenance fee and the resort at some point will have to foreclose (that’s what happened to your timeshare). You don’t care, right? You’ve sold your timeshare and the deed is out of your name, right? Wrong……to an extent. You’re definitely going to care. Here’s why.

 

The resort notified the LLC that they noticed the LLC has purchased a LOT of timeshares and it looks like an obvious case of a transfer company about to dump the timeshares on the resort; costing the resort a ton of money. The resort refused to acknowledge the transfer.

 

In an interesting twist, the LLC contacted the resort and swore up and down they were not the same “Whoopie Doo, LLC” that owns so many time shares. Seriously? Really? The resort contacted National Timeshare Owners Association (NTOA, http://www.NationalTimeshareOwnersAssoc.com/) asking for advice. (Now in the interest of full disclosure I want to mention I am on the advisory board of NTOA. Before I became a member of the board, however, I was singing the praises about this organization for a long time. Becoming a member [talking about you, dear reader] is not a bad thing. You know I would never steer you wrong). I was asked my opinion about this. I advised that the resort tell Whoopie Doo to go pound sand. Whoopie will probably threaten legal action but the resort should stand firm. The last thing con artists like Whoopie Doo want to do (hey! That rhymes!) is walk into a court of law.

 

So now here is an interesting situation. You’ve paid a company $3500 to take your time share. You have signed the deed over to this LLC. You actually no longer own the timeshare, this is technically true. But the resort is refusing to acknowledge the transfer which means you are still on their books as the owner and you’re going to get a maintenance fee bill each year! Congratulations! Now, you won’t find this out until you get your bill next year. By that time, good luck on finding those nice folks who took your $3500. You now no longer own a timeshare and you’re on the hook for the yearly maintenance fees.

 

“Wait”, you say, “How can the resort refuse to acknowledge a lawfully recorded transfer of a deed”. (we heard you thinking this). Well, there’s this little thing called fraud. It was a fraudulent transfer designed to make money by bringing harm to the resort. (As a side note: Some resort who have been burned by this are now suing not only the folks behind the LLC but also the original owner [that would be……you] claiming fraud).

 

So how do you protect yourself? First, if you find yourself in a situation where you want to sell your timeshare, call us. It’s what we’ve done for folks for the past 30 years and we offer different programs depending on what you have and your particular situation. There’s not many folks we can’t help. And for the few we can’t help, we can refer you to the right person who can or offer free advice on what to do. Secondly, if you’re bound and determined that you trust that famous celebrity or the nice person across the table from you who wants you to pay them a lot of money, ask them for a copy of their real estate license. They should offer no excuses, no “this doesn’t apply to us” stories; they either have one or they don’t. If they don’t, well……..I’d hate to be writing a story about your situation in an up-coming newsletter.

 

At least in the US there is a company which tries to ensure this does not happen, The Timeshare Transfer Registry, but even with this in place the scam still goes on, not only losing thousands for the owners but also for the resorts.

 

So what can you do about not getting caught, unfortunately there is no straight answer. All you can really do is check the company and check again, ask your resort do they recognise the company you are dealing with. If you are undertaking a private sale, again check with your resort on how the transfer is done legally. Once the transfer is complete, again check with your timeshare company or resort that you are no longer registered as the owner and liable for maintenance.

 

The biggest problem is actually finding someone who wants to buy it in the first place, just look on ebay! There are alternatives to trying to sell, some resorts will take them back, for those that do not, then there is a legal process of relinquishment. Yes this will cost, the amount again depends on the company, but beware, as Mrs B found out she paid for a relinquishment but ended up with a transfer of ownership to another person and this is not recognised by the resort.

 

If you have any questions about this article or any other timeshare matter, Inside Timeshare is here to help. Contact through the comments section and will find the answer or point you in the right direction.

No Availability: Why?

One of the main complaints we hear about at Inside Timeshare and on various forums, is the lack of availability that floating weeks and points members encounter. So why is this?

 

Originally, timeshare was sold on a fixed week basis, with the owner being given a week number and apartment. This entitled the owner to return to their resort the same week each year and use the same apartment. It was this method of use which attracted many people to buy, it guaranteed the standard of accommodation and the holiday. For many this system was great, they returned the same time each year, getting to know other owners. For many who had young children this was an added bonus, they got to know other kids and over the years some very good friendships developed.

 

Over the years and speaking to these owners, they even arranged holidays at other resorts as a group. Using the RCI or Interval International exchange system, they would bank their weeks and book at other locations. They became in effect an extended family.

how-timeshare-points-systems-work-presentation-and-script-5-638

When the floating weeks and points systems were introduced, they were marketed as being more flexible. At first this was the case, although many remained as fixed week owners. The points system does not actually entitle you to anything other than right to use, you are no longer an owner at a resort but a member of the club which sells the points.

 

For example, Sunterra took over the management of a small resort in Mallorca called Cala de Mar. It is not a large resort, around 45 apartments, it had a large membership of fixed week owners who returned year after year. They got to know the staff and the staff remembered them when they returned. Sunterra tried to convert these owners into points members, but most resisted. For them, they purchased at this resort for one simple reason, they loved the size and friendliness of the place. They actually felt that they owned something.

cala de mar
Cala de Mar Mallorca

After Sunterra collapsed and Diamond took over, the resort was ditched. It was taken over by the ONA Group, many of the old fixed week owners are still there and return year after year.

 

Another aspect to the complaints of availability is the rental weeks that are also on offer. These are available over the internet through booking companies such as booking.com, tripadvisor, medresorts,net, Trivago and many more. Resorts also have their own websites and offer rentals, many for considerably less than the maintenance fees that members are charged, some even advertising 25 to 60% discounts.

bookingcom

These resorts are also booking out to the major tour operators such as TUI and Thomas Cook, again many at less than maintenance charges. Why is this happening?

 

Remember that most resorts are not owned by the companies that manage them, they own your membership of points, they collect your maintenance fees but you are their members not the resorts. They may only have so much inventory at this or that resort, the resorts themselves only get a fraction of the maintenance fees. In order to keep the resort afloat, they rent out the inventory not being used by the points club. So when you the points member tries to book, there is no availability at the resort, hence the booking window in many cases is a minimum of 12 months in advance. Anything after that, you may just be lucky. It is also the case that the points club has more members than it has inventory, so you can see where the the problems is, more people than accommodation available.

 

So why are you the member paying thousands for a membership which guarantees you nothing, costs you the earth every year in management fees, then you are unable to get rid of it. Locked into a contract which is no good to you?

 

Only you can answer this question.

 

Yes, these resorts are of a high standard, but would you not be better booking as a non member, paying for your holiday without the ever increasing maintenance. Then as we have seen recently at Garden Lago, the management company who you own the points with, sells their interest and you end up losing any of the member benefits when returning to the resort on the exchange system.

interval

Try searching the internet for the resorts by name which are in the RCI & II catalogue, you will be amazed at what is available. You will also be surprised at the cost, yes at certain times of year the prices may be high, but is this not also the case when using the high street travel agent? One thing to remember, even if the price for a week is more than your maintenance fees, the person booking as a non member has not paid around £10,000 for membership. I leave you to decide what is better value.

 

It must also be mentioned, this is the reason the Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that floating weeks and points have been declared illegal.

 

If you have any questions about this or any other timeshare matter, Inside Timeshare will try to answer. If we do not know, we will find out. Also if you want any information as to how you can get out of your membership, contact Inside Timeshare, there is a solution for you.

What! I Can´t Sell It?

Since posting the article titled “More Bad News For Anfi” yesterday 9 August, we have received many comments about the section on resale.

 

In this part is an advert posted on facebook about the sale of a one bed apartment for one week at Puerto Anfi. This is up for sale for £1000 ovno, with so far no one taking up the offer, not even Anfi! (I wonder why?) Many of the comments expressed the same theme, what resale market? No one is even buying from new!

13987329_10209868741703556_346148743_o

Having looked on ebay the number of timeshares for sale is staggering, many being given away, even with the incentive of the transfer fees being paid by the vendor. Yet still no takers. One has to ask why is this the case?

 

It may have something to do with the industry’s reputation, the fact maintenance fees are continually rising, the inability to get out of the contracts when circumstances change, or even the fact you can book into these timeshare resorts via the internet cheaper than members can.

 

Many of the resorts also have adverts on their own websites offering rentals to non members for less than most maintenance charges. Is this actually fair on the members, who bought with the promise they were joining an exclusive club, only members would be able to use the resorts.

cheap holiday

 

 

 

 

 

How many of you bought your timeshare with these two promises: You are buying property it will go up in value, when you no longer need it we will buy it back from you? Have any of these ever materialised? Only you can answer that question.

 

So what of the resale market, is there one?

 

Simple answer, NO!

 

Most owners, who have tried to sell have paid extortionate upfront fees, then never heard from the company again. Others have been lured to meetings with so-called corporate buyers. Then sold a dubious holiday club or some kind of leisure credits, with a huge discount for taking the timeshare off their hands. Unfortunately it is not a discount, the price quoted is basically double, then they take into account the “value” of your timeshare, highly inflated off course, that is your discount!

 

In many of these cases, a few years down the line they start getting maintenance fee demands from their resorts, the timeshare ownership was never transferred. So not only have they paid for a “club” that doesn’t work or even exist, they are still stuck with a timeshare they don´t want.

helpUnfortunately there are not many options:

 

  1. Keep it, and carry on paying maintenance, you may be able to rent it out to friends to cover some of the cost.
  2. Stop paying and walk away, hoping they will not chase you with debt collectors. (Not really an option).
  3. See if your resort will take it back (usually for several years maintenance fee payment if you are lucky).
  4. Using a reputable law firm to relinquish (this is by far the best option as it is done using legislation)
  5. Depending when and where you purchased, you may just be able to claim back the purchase price and have the contract cancelled. This will usually require a reputable law firm, well versed in timeshare legislation, and involves litigation.

 

In other words your options are limited.

 

Following are just a few of the comments received:

 

  • 1000 euros for a Puerto anfi week and nobody wants to by it , not even Anfi themselves 😢 that shows you how much the resale market is worth ….nothing 😓😢😢😓”
  • “Tried to sell got conned, wnated to give it back no luck now looking at lawyers”
  • “For sale over year no offers, believed promises of selling more than paid”
  • “Just want out cant give away”
  • “Tried raffle at local pub money goes to charity, no tickets sold”

 

There were many more, but all were saying the same thing, no one wants them. The last comment I think sums it up perfectly, if you can not even raffle it off for charity, what can you do?

 

If you would like further information on what options may be open to you, contact Inside Timeshare. We will try to give you the best advice and information possible, if we do not know the answer we will find it for you.

 

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.

 

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: [email protected]

 

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.

 

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 [email protected], 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 [email protected]. 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