Continuing with the story of Los Claveles, Inside Timeshare has been asked by Roger Barrow to publish the following letter.
It is published as there are always two sides to every debate, without this balance nothing will be solved. All owners must have access to both arguments, you may not agree with this letter, but there are many owners who do not know what is going on. From the many comments and emails we have received there does appear to be some personal grudges being vented.
Inside Timeshare asks that you put these aside and try to work together, you all believe that you have a lovely resort, many of you have owned for years. Going through the internet we have found many negative comments about other timeshares, but not about Los Claveles or in fact any of the other resorts such as Las Casitas, where Roger is President of the Committee of Owners.
We leave it to you the readers to decide.
Los Claveles Committee – Owners Fight Back
In 2015, Ivan Pengelly of WimPen, who were the appointed administrators for Los Claveles along with several other resorts in the Canary Islands, sold his shares to OnaGrup, who he judged were the best company to help improve the rental income for blocked and unsold villas in the resorts. All the resorts were suffering from an aging population of owners and an increasing number of debtors. This sale to OnaGrup was subject to a confidentiality agreement.
Once the sale was complete, Ivan Pengelly announced the sale to the resort owners. While there were a few ‘bumps in the road’ and much anxiety by owners in most of the resorts, calm and measured negotiation with OnaGrup resulted in amicable and mutually agreeable arrangements for the continued management of the resorts. With the exception of Los Claveles that is.
A Los Claveles committee meeting, on the casting vote of the Chairman, decided to terminate WimPen’s contract. A subsequent General Meeting voted 329 to 236 to retain Wimpen, however this result was overturned by proxy votes, including the chairman’s discretionary proxies. The final voting was 863 for termination with 823 against.
“We believe this decision was premature and we want to challenge the Claveles committee and way they have handled this dispute”, said Roger Barrow, chair of the newly formed opposition working group. “It has led to the most acrimonious of disputes, with owner set against owner. The dispute has now launched into an expensive arbitration and legal battle, when the committee could have followed the simple and straightforward process to appoint a new administrator, a process set out in the constitution.”
“It was a knee-jerk reaction which we believe owners will regret,” said Mr Barrow.
So, what is the situation now? While everyone awaits the full outcome of the arbitration and legal appeals, Wimpen, now without a contract, have continued as Acting Administrators, successfully managing the resort. They look after the finances, maintenance, cleaning, resort improvements and employ the staff. Owners still must pay their maintenance to WimPen to gain access to their villas.
“The club committee are also demanding payment with threats that owners are acting illegally and risk losing their membership if they don’t”, said Marilyn Fry, the group’s secretary. “This leaves owners bewildered, confused and very anxious. Some have paid twice to Wimpen and the Club, a few have successfully obtained a refund from the club. But for owners, this is a very unsettling situation”.
“There is also an unsatisfactory level of secrecy in the club”, continued Mrs Fry, “With owners who criticise or oppose the committee’s actions banned from the owner’s website and social media, which is heavily censored”.
So, what is the solution? The opposition working group are setting out to challenge the owners’ committee and believe that by giving WimPen a new contract, owners can regain control and should then allow Wimpen time to show what they can do before following the correct process to either continue with WimPen or appoint a new administrator.
“We all want the same thing in the end,” said Mr Barrow. “A happy and efficient resort that operates as successfully as all the other resorts in WimPen’s portfolio.”
The opening paragraph clearly explains the problem that all timeshare resorts have, owners who are now elderly, many unable to travel, owners who can no longer afford the maintenance fees and a new generation that do not believe in the concept of timeshare.
With this diminishing population of owners the only way these resorts can survive is by increasing the maintenance fees of the remaining owners, or by renting out the unsold and returned weeks.
Inside Timeshare has given you a platform to begin a discussion and resolve this issue, it is your resort, you are among the lucky owners of timeshare, you do have a say in how your resort is run. For those who own in the points system, which the Spanish Supreme Court has deemed illegal, they do not have these rights. They are members of a vacation club, with only a right to use and this is subject to availability.
Inside Timeshare will continue to publish news as it comes in, we also hope to publish the news that you have all come together and resolved the issue. We wish you all the best.
Just recently Inside Timeshare was sent an email from a reader who is an Anfi member, it was regarding a video interview posted by a Norwegian Anfi member. In the video he berates the Arguineguin law firm Canarian Legal Alliance, who we must remember have been instrumental in having the timeshare laws in Spain clarified through the many Supreme Court rulings they have achieved over the past two years.
It turns out that this member had sought legal advice from Canarian Legal Alliance, with the view of regaining his purchase price and having his contract declared null and void. But for some reason he decided not to go ahead.
Anfi have also employed a Public Relations company, Geelmuyden Kiese AS, this company has been deemed the task of putting a “spin” on the problems that Anfi are having with all the lawsuits and adverse publicity. It was this company which wrote the letter to Norwegian members on behalf of Anfi, it was signed by the CEO Jose Luis Trujillo who then sent the letter to members with quotes from Mr Aksel Malterud along with the video. Mr Malterud in one quote goes on to say that “CLA pretends to be a law firm”, well I just wonder what the registered lawyers of CLA think about that one?
This letter is another step in the continuing battle Anfi are waging against CLA, still they deny any wrongdoing or that they have lost any cases. The ones they have mentioned losing, they claim the judges have got the law wrong.
It must also be asked why has this PR firm taken on this case, after all have the Scandinavian press not run many stories on these cases, including the now famous case of Mrs Tove Grimsbo, the very first Supreme Court ruling?
Could it be they have not done their homework, and believe whatever they are told in order to get the business from a client who is clearly in the wrong?
We leave you to decide the answer to that question. After all, we have all come across this type of “spin” before, it follows the old saying “keep telling the lie long enough then everyone will believe it is the truth”.
From information received, these are the facts which it would appear the PR company Geelmuyden Kiese do not know:
Mr Malterud still owes for services and legal work done up to this point.
He has by all accounts never paid, which leaves CLA no other option than to take out legal proceedings for the outstanding legal fees. For whatever reason he decided not to take the case any further his subsequent actions leave a lot to be desired, CLA have evidence written by him claiming the underhand way Anfi was sold to him, the fact he was sold a contract that the courts have deemed illegal. Had he known this at the time, along with the fact that what was sold to him was worth nothing, he wouldn’t of signed.
Yet now he appears to be on the side of Anfi, so it does beg the question why?
What incentives has he been offered?
Anfi after all, are losing daily in the courts, only just recently 25/10/17 they had to payout a Norwegian client 136,000€ which was 106,000€ more than he had originally paid. Inside Timeshare has published many articles regarding these court cases, all have been verified by the courts and are genuine.
These figures also have been verified:
32 First instance rulings against Anfi
41 High Court rulings against Anfi
32 Supreme Court rulings against Anfi
1,210,169.11€ Pay-outs from Anfi to former Anfi timeshare owners
5,516,694.81€- already instructed by the courts to be returned by Anfi
61,646,867.62€ Total claim amounts against Anfi
It was also announced last week that 3 pretrials were held at the Court of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, the judge ruled that there was no need to take them to full trial, his reason was the contracts were in breach of all the rulings made by the Supreme Court. The judge then announced he would deliver the sentence himself in due course.
With information such as this being made public, it really is not surprising that Anfi will do everything in its power to discredit a very successful law firm. Inside Timeshare say to all our readers, before you decide what the truth is, just remember where it comes from. If you want to believe Anfi, that is up to you, but remember what you were told when purchasing, all the promises that never came to fruition.
We have also published some of the history of the Anfi Group and the legal battles over the years, especially the most recent events surrounding the debacle of the Tauro Beach Project, which is currently under investigation by the authorities. The former head of the Coastal Authority is the first to be charged for forging documents and malpractice in public office. We would not be surprised to see more charges being filed with the courts over what has become a nightmare for the local residents.
We also published a similar story back in June, again it was a letter to members from the CEO Jose Luis Trujillo (see link below). For more articles on the subject of Anfi over the years including the story of the Tauro Beach Project just enter Anfi in the search box.
Last Friday, Inside Timeshare was given the following news, Diamond Resorts Europe have given notice that all their sales decks are to be closed forthwith. Sales staff in Malaga and Tenerife have been instructed to see a solicitor within the next 15 days, as there will be major redundancies.
So what is happening?
According to a letter passed to Inside Timeshare from a member, they are being informed that the European Sales and Marketing business has for sometime been facing a rather difficult time, in other words sales targets are not being met.
Diamond state they have implemented a number of initiatives attempting to improve the performance of the European sales teams, but have admitted that it has not worked.
Therefore, Diamond have been forced to drastically reduce their sales and marketing operations in Europe, this is also subject to consultation with their team members. This is obviously a great blow to many of the sales staff around Europe, as Diamond are one of the major players, with sales decks all over Europe.
Diamond have gone on to add and reassure members this will not have any affect on their holidays, stating that “Diamond Resorts International continues to be a strong leader in the global hospitality and vacation ownership industries”. They also go on to say that any members wishing to purchase and increase their points ownership, will be able to as there will continue to be a dedicated team at their disposal.
It appears that there will be a few sales decks still operating , one has been named as Pine Lakes, in the UK, another is reportedly one of Diamond’s flagship resorts in Malaga, Sahara Sunset, with a apparently two remaining in Tenerife. These will obviously be run on skeleton staff.
At present it does look like it is mainly Diamond run sales decks, as yet we have not heard if it will affect any of the franchise decks, which did undergo a similar cut back earlier in the year.
This news is not that surprising, sales in timeshare resorts has been declining over recent years, the product has changed from the very first timeshares, where you bought a fixed week in a fixed apartment. Since then we have seen a move to vacation club membership rather than resort ownership, these clubs use the floating weeks and points systems, which offer only a right to use, subject to availability.
It must also be remembered that the way people book holidays is very different today, with many timeshare resorts available on various websites. Which is one of the main complaints from members, why did we purchase for so many thousands and yet non members can book at a fraction of our maintenance fees?
In the early days of timeshare it was also the quality of the resorts available that helped to sell “the dream”, after all, most package holidays were in not very desirable hotels. But again the hotel industry has improved, quality is very much on the agenda, with many hotels in recent years undergoing drastic renovations.
Another aspect for the decline in timeshare sales is obviously the all inclusive packages, again a week’s holiday for a family of 4 can be purchased for less than the average yearly maintenance fees.
So what of the future for Diamond sales in Europe?
To be perfectly honest, not good, many operators are scaling back their sales teams, timeshare is in decline, many owners / members are elderly, with children that do not want to take it over. What we call the internet generation, who have grown up with the unlimited availability on the web, without the initial huge outlay for membership.
Another question that has been posed, is what about Apollo in all this, could it be a move to also separate the US arm of Diamond from the European arm, a possible sell off?
As usual only time will tell, but for now, it would look like there are going to be a lot of ex sales staff looking for work in an ever diminishing industry.
Inside Timeshare will keep you posted on any latest news. If you have any comments on this subject or any other published, we welcome it as it helps to keep others informed.
Inside Timeshare has just received this latest news, the lawyers from Canarian Legal Alliance are celebrating today, along with their Norwegian client. No doubt with a few bottles of champagne.
Their Norwegian client’s original claim against Anfiwas for 30,000€, but the lawyers asked the court for 108,000€ which included double the deposits including the balance, which was paid within 90 days and maintenance fees. This 90 day ruling was made by the Supreme Court for infringements where the client did not receive adequate information required by law.
Canarian Legal Alliance informed Inside Timeshare that they originally lost the case at the Court of First Instance, located in Maspalomas. then took the case to the High Court in Las Palmas on appeal. This court again invoked the Supreme Court rulings and found in favour of the client.
Anfi, then made moves to appeal that decision at the Supreme Court in Madrid, but this was rejected by Spain’s Highest Court. The court’s reasons for rejecting the appeal was very simple, they had already ruled on 66 previous occasions and there was no reason to accept this appeal as it fell within the scope of those previous decisions. In other words they believed it was a frivolous appeal.
The case was then returned to the High Court who also added a fine on top of the original award, making the amount a whopping 136,000€ which has already been paid into the relevant bank account and is about to be returned to this very happy Norwegian client. He is also now timeshare free as the contract was declared null and void.
So there it is, in black and white and direct from the courts, timeshare companies especially Anfi cannot deny they are losing cases or having to payout. Almost on a daily basis the courts are finding against them, if we were to publish every time a case is won, there would be no room for other news. For many timeshare owners who have cases pending or are just embarking on the road to litigation, this will be welcome news.
Inside Timeshare congratulates the client and all the legal team at Canarian Legal Alliance on this result. We know they work hard for their clients as is shown in the many reports we receive and publish.
Following on from some of the previous articles regarding court cases and the fact that many of the timeshare companies are denying they have taken place, El Diario, a Spanish newspaper has published an article which confirms these cases are genuine.
(Bring up the link below, right click on the article and choose translate)
In their article entitled “Eight Supreme Court rulings annul in one month `timesharing´ contracts in Tenerife for more than 400,000 euros”, they explain the cases against Silverpoint. El Diario explain that the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court issued in the space of 10 days, between Monday 10 July and Thursday 20 July, a total of eight judgements against Silverpoint.
They go on to state that since the start of the year Canarian Legal Alliance has accumulated 18 rulings from the Supreme Court against this one company alone. Many of these cases had been won at the Court of First Instance, were then taken to the High Court on appeal and eventually to the Supreme Court, which returns a verdict in favour of the customer.
Silverpoints contention that these consumers are “investors” has in the past been accepted by the High Court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with the Supreme Court overturning that verdict. Silverpoint still contend that they sold a product which consumers eventually would sell and return a “profit”, making them “investors”.
What the Supreme Court has stated is these “consumers” for a substantial amount of money have purchased the right to use with annual maintenance fees, along with the addition of the possibility of resale. The court believes that this firmly brings the product into the scope of the law 42/98 on timeshare, and therefore they are afforded the full protection of the law as consumers.
The difference between what Silverpoint have been selling and that sold by other companies is quite simple, Silverpoint have on their presentations sold the product with the express promise of a sale in two years, in which the consumer will make at least a 15% profit. We all know that part of the sales pitch is “when you no longer want to use it you can sell it”, “that it will go up in value”. The fact is, according to the EU directives on timeshare it should not be sold as an investment.
Another publication to highlight the rulings of the Supreme Court, is the English language newspaper The Canary News. Last Friday 18 August, they published a translated version of the article in La Provincia, another Spanish newspaper.
It starts with a recap of the groundbreaking case of Mrs Tove Grimsbo against Anfi, brought by the CLA lawyer Miguel Rodriguez Ceballos. This case opened the door for thousands of timeshare owners to annul their contracts and seek justice, following years of flouting the law by the timeshare companies.
So once again we have to ask the question “who is telling the truth, do you believe the timeshare companies who have for years misled consumers, or do you believe the news from the courts published in various journals”?
We know who we believe, the evidence is there in black and white, not just published in newspapers but by the courts themselves in the official bulletins which make the rulings public. The timeshare companies have only themselves to blame for their present predicament, for too long they have believed they were above the law, by continuing their denial of these facts they are just destroying for good a once decent product.
If you have any questions about this subject, or want to know if you have an illegal contract and are eligible to bring a case and how to do so, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.
Do you have a story about your experiences and would like to share, then we would like to hear from you. This is your forum to be heard, with your contributions we can publish the truth about what is going on in the world of timeshare.
Following on from the news that TATOC is no more, the latest news is that TATOC Consumer Helpline Ltd has also been wound up, when more comes in we’ll publish it here. If you have tried to access the TATOC website, you will have noticed that it no longer comes up, confirmation that TATOC and Harry Taylor are truly gone, although we wonder if any of his old allies (MacDonald Resorts) will be offering him a job?
On the story published yesterday regarding the sand on Tauro Beach, The Canary News has also published a full in depth report. It not only looks at the controversy surrounding the importation of sand from the Western Sahara, it also has a very good introduction to the history of this region.
Now it is August, the courts have closed down for the month, so there will be no news emanating from there. Good news for the timeshare companies! But it is guaranteed that come September there will be a flurry of sentences being announced.
It is also a time for the new “scams” to start getting ready for the Autumn and Winter season, the new company names and websites will soon be surfacing along with some of the old names that will be resurrected. So be warned, do your homework first, check and recheck, these scams are getting very sophisticated, you only have to see the articles on Litigious Abogados and their family of firms. If in doubt or not sure how to check, then contact Inside Timeshare.
Welk Resorts sues Timeshare Exit Team for Racketeering
Right To Use timeshare programs need a secondary market
By Irene Parker
August 2, 2017
Welk Resort of Lawrence Welk fame has sued Timeshare Exit Team for racketeering. Once again, the lack of a secondary market forces beleaguered timeshare members into the nets of alleged unscrupulous transfer agents when a resort provides no exit for members sold a timeshare contract in perpetuity.
First, a hat’s off to Lawrence Welk, a big band great that kept early American households riveted to their seats for over 20 years. To this day the Welk resort is a family friendly resort that knows how to run a business. My husband and I stayed at a Welk Resort in California. It was one of our most memorable timeshare vacation experiences.
Inside Timeshare has received a volume of reader responses alarmed that there often is no way out of a timeshare contract. ARDA and the industry have lauded timeshares evolution towards a right to use product and have stated members should not expect value back when they seek release from a right to use timeshare.
The problem with ARDA’s“see no evil, hear no evil” position is – about 90% of the complaints Inside Timeshare has received, have loans attached and many allege they were duped into signing off on high interest rate loans and credit cards. Voluntary surrender or “take-back” programs require the member be free of loan encumbrances. In addition, voluntary surrenders are never guaranteed.
Mr. Howard Nusbaum, President and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), was quoted in a June 2014 RedWeek article in reference to the lack of a viable timeshare resale market, “This is a legacy problem. People buying a timeshare today are buying it from multisite clubs that have management forever and sales teams forever, so the ability to recycle inventory will not be a problem in the future.”
Timeshare Exit Team Response to the Welk Resort lawsuit
Response from Brandon Reed, founder and CEO of Timeshare Exit Team:
Timeshare Exit Team learned of this matter through a media release distributed by Welk Resorts on July 26, 2017. Following the news being publicly distributed, we were formally served on July 27th, 2017, and intend to present a vigorous defense to these claims. We would also like to inform consumers that the meritless lawsuit and inaccurate accusations therein will not dissuade our team from continuing to advocate for consumers.
I’m proud of the service we offer and of the company we have built. Timeshare Exit Team has built an unparalleled in-house team, leveraging effective outside resources as needed, to assess each customer’s unique situation and to provide them with qualified, thorough, and trusted management of their issues.
The Welk Resort lawsuit v Timeshare Exit Team reported by Business Wire
“SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Welk Resorts, developer of family-friendly vacation resorts, has filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Reid Hein & Associates, operating as “Timeshare Exit Team,” and law firms in two states for allegedly operating a nationwide racketeering scheme to induce vacation owners to disrupt Welk’s contractual relationships with its vacation owners, causing breach of contracts, delinquencies and defaults that damaged Welk, the vacation owner association and vacation owners.”
“The suit cites fraudulent racketeering activity, intentional interference with contractual relations, and violations of the California unfair competition law, California Vacation Ownership and Time-Share Act, California False Advertising Law and the state “Running and Capping” Law. The latter makes it illegal for non-attorney agents to obtain business for an attorney or law firm for compensation, or solicit others to engage in running and capping.”
Timeshare Exit Team charged fees of $5,000 and more for this “service.”
Timeshare Exit Team fulfills an HOA Collections Agent’s Prediction – Previously Reported by Inside Timeshare
Kristi, a Home Owners Association timeshare collection agent I interviewed back in March of 2017, complained of lawyers transferring timeshare contracts to fictitious persons or LLCs. Some things are universal. Charles Thomas has been reporting on a recurring “Litigious Abogados” theme. Inside Timeshare is published in Spain.
As reported by Inside Timeshare in our interview with Kristi:
Irene: Are you familiar with Timeshare Exit Team? One of their agents contacted me and asked me to review their program. What is your opinion of this firm?
Kristi: I would never endorse or advise anyone to use their services ever!! They specialize and advertise “Cancellation of Timeshare Contracts” but we don’t have contracts. We have deeds. We have chosen not to do business with Timeshare Exit Team because of their inability to follow our procedures and because of the quality of work previously sent to us.
Timeshare Exit Team has been involved with two other timeshare resale companies and/or timeshare attorneys that were involved with transferring 18 of our deeds since 2014 to four individuals that have never paid the dues and are delinquent in the amount of over $18,000. Out of the four individuals we were able to track, we learned that they are all associated with each other thru business dealings, contract employees or registered agents. They must assume that the association will eventually foreclose or take the property back but it is very costly to foreclose and we do not accept property back.
Here are ARDA–ROC’s (Resort Owners Coalition) eight tips for selling your timeshare and how they apply or do not apply to Diamond Resort members. This is what I have learned since trying to sell my Diamond right to use points.
Know what you own – Most own non-deeded right-to-use points
Consult your resort – Diamond’s Advocacy Department has helped some members but others have had to seek legal assistance when denied relinquishment. Tracking our reader outcomes thus far – 29 out of 77 report positive outcomes.
Sell it yourself – member supported Facebook pages seem to be the best option, but complaints abound that “no one wants it.”
Generate income by renting. Diamond Resorts does not allow renting through a third party website. “Use by a Member of public advertising or an online website to seek renters shall be deemed a prohibited commercial use.”
Lela Renea, a Bluegreen timeshare member, contacted Inside Timeshare about her battle with Timeshare Exit Team after they appear to have stonewalled her. Since Lela is in the middle of negotiations, she did not want to elaborate on the distress she feels, attempting to resolve her Timeshare Exit Team concerns – suffice to say she had reason to reach out to Inside Timeshare. We will be reporting as to whether Bluegreen will come to her rescue or allow her to fall to the mercy of Timeshare Exit Team.
Despite the customer loyalty and lack of complaints we reported last week among Disney deeded timeshare owners, with access to resale and rental options, right to use non-deeded timeshare programs continue to ignore the growing problems caused by perpetual contracts not able to be sold, rented or relinquished.
Welk Resorts back in the day was a fixed week timeshare but has converted to a right to use non deeded program. A life change like a job loss or illness, rendering the timeshare unaffordable, is as much a problem for members of right to use programs as it is for legacy resorts.
We hope someday, someone in the industry or ARDA will see that throwing up roadblocks to a secondary market is a detriment for all. As we reported last week, timeshare attorney Mike Finn has never had a Disney client and it is unlikely Timeshare Exit Team has ever had a Disney client either.
Some answers are so logical and simple, they cannot possibly be understood.
Once again thank you to Irene, who explains the timeshare world across the great lake, as you will have noticed there is very little difference to the problems that owners / members face.
So there we have it, half way through the week and a couple of hard hitting stories, we’ll be keeping an eye on the Tauro Beach story and will bring you the latest as it surfaces. Remember, beware the scam artists, do your homework, check and check again, it will save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.
Many months ago Inside Timeshare published the story that this sand was imported from Western Sahara, that it is under investigation by SEPRONA, the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil. Anders over the past few months has been in contact with us and we have happily passed on information we had, so it is with pleasure that we publish todays story with the link to their article.
Inside Timeshare has been following the story mainly from the perspective of the timeshare angle, but we have also published the latest stories from the local residents. The fact that recently the entrances and pathways to the area have been blocked, making it very difficult for the residents to get to their properties.
Anders and Rowan have taken a different tack to this story, they have concentrated on the illegalities of importing products from an area which is under occupation and is in breach of UN resolutions and rulings from the European Court of Justice.
It has been the contention of many in Gran Canaria that this sand was brought here illegally and was dumped without being treated, Lt Germán García SEPRONA’s Chief in Las Palmas stated “The sand was brought illegally, it was discharged with no control at all,” something that has angered environmentalists. No one knows for sure what effect this could have on the local environment. Only 300 meters from the beach is an undersea area which is protected, it contains plant and animal species unique the area and found nowhere else in the world. Apparently this area has already been affected, to what degree is not quite known.
This whole story from the start has been one of pure greed, no thought for the local residents, no thought for the environment, just the thought of building and making money! This story is not going away, the investigations are ongoing, so it is only a matter of time before the truth comes out. When it does, we are sure there will be charges to follow.
Here is the link to Anders’ and Rowan’s article in the The Guardian.
Court of First Instance No 4, rules in favour of British clients ordering Silverpoint to return over £37,793 plus legal interest. The contract was also declared null & void, in this case the court ruled that the contract did not specify a date, time or location, other information was also lacking.
On the same day at the High Court No 3, ruled against Diamond, again there was a lack of information specified in the contract. The court ordered the return of over 28,000€ plus legal interest. The contract again being declared null & void.
The Court of First Instance No 1 in Tenerife found for British clients against Van Gogh Promotions. The contract was declared null and void with the return of £12,016 plus legal interest.
That afternoon, the First Instance Court in Maspalomas saw the end of another trial against Anfi, the sentence has yet to be announced. But if previous cases are anything to go by, along with the rulings of the Supreme Court, we can guess what that is going to be.
The courts in Tenerife again found against Silverpoint, the court ruled that there were serious infringements of the timeshare laws. In this instance it was again the lack of specifics on week, time and location, it also mentioned the infringements in the R/P / Silverpoint system of points. It also ruled that the taking of deposits within the cooling off period was illegal and awarded DOUBLE the amount back, these clients will now receive over £47,131 plus all maintenance fees and legal interest.
Two cases from the Tenerife courts ruled against Silverpoint, again it is the same infringements of the timeshare laws. In these cases a German client was awarded over 27,489€ plus legal interest, then a British client was awarded over £30,062 plus legal interest. Both contracts were declared null and void.
Again from Tenerife, the court ruled against Lagos de Fañabé, the main point of this judgement was the length of the contract, being in perpetuity, or longer than the allowed 50 years. The client again British will receive over £11,000 plus legal interest and legal fees. The contract also being declared null & void.
Another end to a trial at the court in Maspalomas, again concerning Anfi. British clients are now waiting for the court to issue its verdict. Again, if the Supreme Court rulings apply, we know what that will mean.
At the time of writing the latest news from Tenerife was announced. The High Court No 3, has declared another Silverpoint contract null & void, with return of over 25,698€ plus legal fees and legal interest.
The courts are certainly keeping busy with all these cases, but there are certainly some very happy clients. Following is the story (translated) posted by a Scandinavian client on facebook.
“Today, after many years in the legal system, we have completed our case against Monte Anfi.
The Supreme Court of Madrid decided in March 2016 that our contracts were invalid and we had to have our expenses returned.
We paid in 2005, 34,000€ and have received 340,000 Norwegian Kroner, around 35,756.91€, after the Canarian Legal Alliance has received their fees.
We are deeply grateful for the help the Canarian Legal Alliance has provided us.
We hope that others who want out of their contract will be as lucky as us”.
So for those who post on social media that no one gets paid out, this shows they do, not everyone will post their story, most wish to remain anonymous.
It now remains to be seen how many turn up for the Anfi SGMon 23 June. It will also be interesting to see how many will accept and sign the new contract, or will they take up the legal option, having their contracts declared null & void, with the return of all they have paid?
Inside Timeshare will be watching these events and will report when the news comes in.
If you have any questions about any article we publish contact Inside Timeshare and we will be pleased to help.
We continue the sad tale of the struggle Los Claveles owners are having with Ona Group over their refusal to allow them access to their own apartments, along with forceful removal of owners from the resort, many of whom are elderly. We also reported in the last article about the abuse that Carol Parkinson, who is also elderly, has suffered, both verbally and physically at the hands of Ona Group staff and security.
Carol is the club President and is in Tenerife trying to help owners arriving and unable to lawfully access their apartments, which many have owned for 30 years. She is working tirelessly under difficult conditions to ensure that they have somewhere to stay.
Inside Timeshare has promised the members of the committee and especially the Chairman Albert, that we will publish their letters and inform the world of timeshare. This is also a warning to other owners whose resort management has been taken over by this company. This is what you can expect.
We start with an open letter from Douglas Goldie a long standing owner and a retired Police officer, it is an open letter to all owners.
I just want to reiterate that Avril and I fully support the committee in what they are attempting to do for us. Like many we sometimes feel frustrated at the speed of progress and the lack of detailed information but we fully appreciate the reasons information is withheld and realise that we are in this for the long game.
We urge you to keep your faith in the committee and continue your support. We have made donations, loans and paid our 2018 fees to the club in advance. We are not rich by any means but we have no regrets over our actions so far. We just wish we were in a better position to do more.
As a retired Police officer having completed 30 years’ service upholding the criminal law I think I am qualified to recognise criminal activity in whatever country it originates and if our meagre contributions help bring some justice to this situation then it has been worth it.
I spent a considerable part of my life assisting and supporting victims of crime and that is exactly what we are right now. Please don’t give in to the people trying to take what is ours. A lost or spoiled holiday would be devastating to us but would be well worth it to see justice done and we truly believe justice will prevail if we stick together and support our committee and helpers.
Please do not pay your fees to people who wish us all harm. To do so would condone and support their criminal activity against all of us including yourselves. It is obvious they are trying to divide our loyalty. Let’s not let them. Let’s stick together.
In this letter Douglas clearly has a valid point, to pay your annual fees to these people gives them credibility, it will also allow them to claim they are right!
In a response to his letter the Chairman of the Owners Committee, Albert Fletcher has issued this statement.
The Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank Douglas Goldie for his letter and for the support he is giving to the Club, plus all the other members who have contacted me and commented expressing their support. Members should continue to pay their maintenance fees to the Club, not WimPen, and are encouraged to make payment as early as possible.
Owners have asked who they should believe when they keep getting two different messages about who is in the right. I say once again, WimPen’s management contract ended on the 2nd May, regardless of the outcome of Arbitration. We are still awaiting the final decisions of Arbitration despite requests for an early resolution in view of the escalation of events for Club owners at Los Claveles.
Onagrup/WimPen never gives you the whole story but sadly has all the ‘aces’ as it holds our assets and is trying to starve us of the funds to fight for what is ours. You have to make your own minds up about who you believe to be right in this dispute, considering all of the considerable information made available to you from both sides, but bear in mind your committee members are the only ones who have nothing more to gain than other owners, but much more to lose with all we have invested personally.
If Members are in any doubt about who to pay their maintenance fees to, please do not contact WimPen sales or administration as they are giving out the opposite advice to the Club, despite WimPen having no contractual agreement to invoice Club Members and collect maintenance payments from them. Club President Carol Parkinson is available to give any further reassurance. Her phone number is 07931 778886 and her email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman, Club Los Claveles
In his letter Albert confirms that Wimpen/OnaGrup no longer has the right of management, their contract ended on 2nd May 2017. He also states that it is the owners / members of the club who have the most to lose. The initial outlay for your weeks and apartments, the years of paying the maintenance fees for them and the prospect of losing the one thing of importance, the sense of community and family that you have all built up over the years.
Wimpen and Ona Group are not the only ones at fault here, the trust company FNTC is also culpable. In January 2016, the following letter was sent to FNTC, it formally raises a complaint, on their refusal to hand over to Hutchinson Trust Company, who the committee employed to replace FNTC. It also highlights their refusal to allow access to the club members database, this is essential if the committee is to inform all members of the situation.
CLUB LOS CLAVELES
21 January 2016
Mr Mike Lightfoot
First National Trustee Company Limited
Isle of Man
Dear Mr Lightfoot,
Official Complaints Procedure
This complaint is directed against Mr Declan Kenny, Mr Philip Broomhead and the Company (Trustees)
During the many years of employing the Company there has never been an employee attend any General Meeting of the Club or Committee.
There was a very important meeting of the Club, an AGM held in June 2015 that involved the ratification of the Termination of the Management Contract between the Club and Wimpen/Onagrup. Mr Kenny was expressly asked to send a representative to this meeting and failed to do so.
The Management Contract was terminated at the Committee Meeting held on 31 March 2015. This was recorded in the minutes and confirmed by letter from me as Chairman on the same day. Copies of the minutes and letter are with yourselves. I spoke to Mr Broomhead, informed him that I had been elected as Chairman and that we had terminated the Management Contract. In answer to my question Mr Broomhead informed me that as Chairman I would take responsibility for the common Parts. This is known as “The Development Owners Association” and sometimes referred to as “Comunidad”. To date, I as Chairman have not been handed the necessary authority to control the Common Parts by FNTC.
During a meeting with Mr Broomhead, in front of the solicitor acting for the Committee, Mr John Hughes, Consultant, Shakespeare Martineau in Birmingham, Mr Broomhead accused myself and Carol Parkinson (a Committee Member) of lying and actively came to the defence of Onagrup/Wimpen. There was no justification given other than Wimpen/Onagrup had told him a different story.
Mr Kenny met with the Committee on 13 October 2015. He promised to open an Escrow account and instruct Onagrup/Wimpen to place all monies belonging to the Club into this account. This he has failed to do.
At the meeting on 13 October Mr Kenny agreed that the contract with Wimpen/Onagrup had been terminated and he would help the Club in any way he could. Specifically he agreed that if Wimpen/Onagrup continued to prevent proper access for the Committee to the Club Database (Member Register) then he would allow the Committee to use the FNTC Database. This he did on one occasion but subsequently refused further access. This will be detailed later.
At the meeting on 13 October Mr Kenny agreed to ensure that the Club took control of the Common Areas (The Development Owners Association) by giving the votes held by FNTC in respect of Escrituras to the Club Chairman. This was to be used to replace Mr Pengelly (Onagrup employee) as the President. For information: The DOA controlled the Club by holding the bank account and employing all Resort staff. This position also controlled the appointment of an Administrator, a requirement in Spain. Mr Kenny has subsequently refused to do this.
Rather than support the Club in removing Onagrup/Wimpen as per the Constitution and democratic decisions reached at an AGM Mr Kenny has openly stated that the best thing for the Club is for Wimpen/Onagrup to continue running things.
A meeting was held in Barcelona between myself, representatives from Onagrup and Mr Broomhead. The meeting was to see if there was a way forward that could be negotiated to bring this situation to a mutually agreed conclusion. During this meeting I quickly gained the impression that Mr Broomhead was acting more of a Solicitor on behalf of Onagrup than assisting me in any way. Mr Broomhead interrupted me on several occasions saying that I had no right to discuss issues (an example of this was around the DOA)
On the one occasion that Mr Kenny sent out a mailing for the Committee there were substantial amounts of mail that was returned. This included:
Gone away 6 years ago
Undelivered not known at this address
We sold our weeks 10 years ago
We have not owned at Los Claveles for many years
This will of course mean that many legitimate members were not contacted at all.
It is the duty of FNTC to keep accurate Member Records. This is a falling of FNTC
Mr Kenny and Mr Broomhead have threatened to call a meeting of the Club without
the consent of the Committee. They have threatened to actively support the sending
out of information on behalf of Wimpen/Onagrup although their services had been
terminated in order to encourage re-instatment and to undermine the Committee.
FNTC have no authority to do this
Mr Kenny has refused to supply the Club (through me Chairman) address labels Members so that the Chairman and Committee can communicate directly.
Mr Kenny has refused to supply me, as Chairman and the Committee a list of Members and weeks owned.
Mr Kenny has refused to supply a list of all Cancelled weeks that are the responsibility of the Club Committee.
Mr Kenny has refused to supply documentation to prove the validity of Founder Members. This should have transferred when FNTC took over the Trusteeship.
FNTC is in breach of the Deed of Trust 1.3 stating that they must accept the decisions conveyed to FNTC by the Chairman without right of challenge. This has been ignored. (I as Chairman have been ignored).
As Chairman I called a Special General Meeting of the Club (This took place on 16 January 2016 Minutes will follow shortly). I sent the papers for the meeting to Onagrup, as they had control of our Member Register and instructed them to be sent out without any delay. It was some time later than Mr Broomhead emailed me and said that Onagrup will not be sending out the papers as the SGM was illegal.
Mr Broomhead supported this stance without any authority. Another example of Mr Broomhead appearing to be working for Onagrup.
Onagrup/Wimpen have refused to pay legitimate Club legal expenses and also Committee Member expenses. This stance has been supported by Mr Kenny and Mr Broomhead who have said that Onagrup will pay these when I, as Chairman, sign a new contract with Onagrup. Blackmail on behalf of Onagrup by FNTC obviously working closely together against the interests of the Club, Committee and Committee Members.
On 23 May 2012 an agreement was signed By Mr Pengelly (an Onagroup employee) on behalf of the Club Committee with Hutchinson. This agreement transferred the Trusteeship from FNTC to Hutchinson. This contract was a result of an earlier AGM decision and substantial notice being given to FNTC. The delay in transferring all documentation by FNTC is unacceptable. As recently as last week I am informed by Hutchinson that Mr Kenny is refusing to accept their calls and enquiries regarding this matter. It is my belief that this delay is deliberate by FNTC in order for them to continue supporting the activities of Onagrup against the wishes of the Club. This transfer must take place immediately.
Mr Lightfoot, unfortunately these points only highlight the main issues. There are other examples but I believe you have enough to be going on with. I am enclosing minutes of Committee Meetings held on 31 March, 27 July, 1 September 2015 and 5 January 2016. You will of course have access to all the emails received by Mr Kenny and Mr Broomhead from myself and Carol Parkinson and their replies. May I also ask that you look at the emails between FNTC and Onagrup/Wimpen. I hope that you will agree to safeguard all the emails in the event they are required by a regulator or Arbiter should this matter require progression.
Thank you for considering this matter
Albert E.J. Fletcher
Club Los Claveles
So there we have it, what I believe to be the truth in this sorry tale, it is certainly one of David Versus Goliath.
Inside Timeshare urges all owners or club members not just from Los Claveles, but all timeshare resorts to stand behind them and give whatever support you can. It may be you next!
If any readers know anything about crowd funding, which could help the beleaguered committee to raise the funds to fight this, either contact Inside Timeshare and we will pass it on, or contact the committee members direct.
The local online news and information magazine Gran Canaria Info, has been following many of the events over the past year in regards to the ongoing story at Anfi.
In its latest article it explains very simply what has happened so far this year. The first part of the article explains the selling of the Lyng family´s 50% share of Anfi to IFA Lopesan. This is a well known hotel group in the south if the island, having major luxury hotels in Meloneras.
The question they posed is what does this mean for Anfi owners?
Lopesan has stated that they so far have no major plans for any changes at Anfi, or how it is run. Owners would not notice any changes, Lopesan maintained they are committed to the timeshare model which is Anfi´s main business. They also stated they plan to continue with the Tauro development project in it’s current form.
It is expected that Lopesan with its extensive funds should actually make Anfi better for owners, improving the facilities and updating the accommodation.
At present it is not known what the implications of this case will have on the beach project or the development of the Tauro valley. What is known is Anfi and the new partners Lopesan will have to apply for new permits to continue the development of new hotels and shopping center in the area behind the beach.
The article then goes on to explain in a simple way the laws and how they may affect owners, the changes such as perpetuity contracts, floating and points systems as well as deposits within the cooling off period. It also highlights how Spanish law works, also stating that “no win no fee” is not allowed in Spain and there will be costs involved in taking the case to court.
Gran Canaria Info is a valuable resource for expats and those on holiday, it highlights much of the news on the island and is one of the few English language news outlets giving concise and factual information. For the full article click on the link below.