Financial Service & Co: Another Dodgy Looking Company

Another reader has sent information on a call they have received from a Mr Fletcher of Financial Services & Co, with the address:

1 Bentley Road, London,N1 4BY

Along with the Company Registration Number LP003793, with no company directors being shown but plenty of documents showing change of partners and addresses. (See link below)

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/LP003793

The call was regarding his dealings with Regency Shores Marketing (EZE Group), according to the call (which has been recorded), there has been a successful outcome against them in recent court proceedings.

This was all confirmed in an email from Andrea Ward with the email address [email protected] yet another gmail address not linked to any website.

Apparently there has been a substantial amount awarded which will be sent by personal cheque or bank transfer, but there is a processing fee to be paid which is around 10% of the awarded amount. This is paid to a third party, and will be held in an Escrow Account, once these fees have been paid to the “Trustee” Financial Services & Co will finalise the claim and all the money will be settled within 5 working days.

The email also goes on to say “We are now giving you not only our company guarantee but that too of our contractual and fiscal arrangements with the Bank of Spain, the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and the High Court of Madrid. This means that all Business is backed and covered by these three entities and ourselves.”

All too good to be true I hear you say!

Now, there is a website called AW Financial Services:

http://www.awfinancialservices.com

This is actually the trading name of Mortgages Just4U, registered at Company house with the Company Registration Number 06329975 and the registered address:

18 The Cheveralls, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 3NH

Telephone: 01582 898216

Mobile: 07903 268208

Email: [email protected] which is linked to the website and differs from the one given by Andrea Ward.

On their website they also state they are an appointed representative of Personal Touch Financial Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Company number 03406454 with the address:

2nd Floor Gateway 2 Holgate Park Drive, York, England, YO26 4GB

and have been registered since 21 July 1997. They are also in the FCA register as authorised with the FCA Reference number: 187834.

So what do we have so far, a company registered at company house with no details apart from in the filing history showing several changes of address and partners, using a name for their email address similar to another registered company and using a gmail account, with no website of their own.

Contacting clients who have dealt with Regency Shores Marketing (EZE Group), with details of membership numbers, what they purchased, for how much and when, all very very suspicious indeed.

Inside Timeshare is not aware of any recent court proceedings against Regency Shores Marketing in Spain or the UK, we are however aware of the case against the directors of EZE Group Dominic O’Reilly and his daughter Stephanie O’Reilly, but that has not yet been resolved.

So from what we know this does have all the hallmarks of another very elaborate scam, fairly well put together and pretty convincing. Although from the recording the caller Mr Fletcher is not that convincing, skirting over all the questions and repeating himself constantly with all “the scam companies are operating out of Spain and Portugal”. Well that is not quite how we see it, they are also operating out of the UK under dubious companies registered at Company House for a small fee, or just taking over another companies name.

This is the recording of the call our reader sent in, it has been edited to remove our readers personal details.

This really does go to show how careful you have to be, if our reader had not been a regular to Inside Timeshare, he may have just been taken in.

Remember

THE GOLDEN RULE

CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN, DO YOUR HOMEWORK

If you need help in doing this then contact Inside Timeshare, we will be more than happy to help.

Anfi: Another Offer to Members

It would appear that Anfi has made another new offer to members, this time the Customer Services Department have sent letters to members explaining they are updating their database of Club members.

They have set a date of 31 January 2019 to complete the task, so what is this offer?

According to Maria Hidalgo of Customer Services, they understand that the personal circumstance of members may change which affect the title holders of the membership certificates. They may wish to add or remove names and even make other revisions to the certificates.

Now they are being very generous in this as they say that this will be done with no charge to the members.

This raises the question is this just to update the database or is there another underlying reason for this?

We must remember that when it comes to Anfi, not all is what is seems, for example in june 2017, they held a Special General Meeting regarding their contracts. Members were asked to vote for three resolutions:

  • Resolution 1: To establish occupancy periods for a maximum of 50 years duration, with an option for further recurring occupancy periods of 50 years.
  • Resolution 2: To limit the duration of the Timeshare Scheme to a maximum of 50 years.
  • Resolution 3: Total change of the Timeshare Scheme to adapt to Spanish Act 4/2012.

As we know this was a very clever ploy in their attempt to prevent any further legal action and court case against them for the illegal perpetuity contracts.

Resolution 1 was voted in, (see link below),  but they could not change the contracts without the permission and signatures of the members, if the member refused to change there was nothing that Anfi could do.

Anfi Special General Meeting, The Vote is In.

We also wonder how many members did change to the new contracts, not as many as they would have liked we think.

So is this another attempt to entice members to change to the 50 year contracts and again remove the possibility for those very members to take legal action against Anfi?

Will they try to issue new contracts as well as make changes to the membership certificates?

As always with Anfi, nothing is ever clear, they are very adept at confusing any issue that may affect the members. In the end many members have been mislead in their dealings with Anfi, from the initial purchase through to all the upgrades.

How it used to look!

Now what if the member does not make any changes before the deadline to complete the changes, will Anfi then introduce a charge to add or remove names?

As always time will tell, but think carefully about anything that Anfi says, ask yourself what is their motive?

If you have any thoughts or coments on this subject, then use our contact page and let us know.

Tomorrow we publish another article about another company that was brought to our attention by regular and concerned reader, it is once again revolves around the many “bogus” claims companies that have been popping up over the past few years. What makes this one even more worrying is the information that they had on our reader, they knew what he owned, when he purchased, how much he paid, how much his maintenance fees are and what his membership number is.

So join us tomorrow for another day in the murky world of timeshare.

The Tuesday Slot

Welcome to the Tuesday Slot, this week we welcome another new contributor, Vanessa Hernandez, with her “Nightmare on Timeshare Street” and her dealings with Starpoint.

Vanessa’s article was scheduled for today. It just happened to follow Saturday’s horrific mass murder at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that resulted in the death of eleven worshipers.

Is it so much to ask, Starpoint, to show this family compassion? If you had bought a timeshare in Pittsburgh, believing you experienced unfair and deceptive sales practices, and then experienced what Vanessa experienced, how would you feel? Has greed in the timeshare industry so run amuck to show such callousness?  

What do you think? Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you via our comment section.

But first continuing with our theme of reporting some of the latest companies that are appearing on various blogs and forums, today we give the basic details of another new enterprise.

This one is called Hutchinson Holidays, with the website

http://hutchinsonholidays.com

Registered on 20 June 2018 and due to expire on 20 June 2019, so not intended to stay around long, the registrar is not named but the website is registered in Gujarat India, not really giving much confidence there!

The address they give is one that is very familiar 22 Wenlock Road London N1 7GU, which is just a registered office service and is a Company Formation Service with the website https://www.companiesmadesimple.com

According to their blog page https://www.companiesmadesimple.com/blog/20-22-wenlock-road-registered-office/

The title question is:

“Can I use the 20-22 Wenlock Road Registered Office service if my company wasn’t formed by you?”

Their answer: “Absolutely. Our Registered Office service, which operates from our own offices at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU – can be used by any England and Wales limited company, even if it wasn’t formed by us. This is provided that you pass on the necessary proof of ID and proof of address documents needed to comply with the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.”

Which does not really seem to ring true considering the company we are talking about here, Hutchinson Holidays, the other contact details are email: [email protected]

Telephone +44 20 3868 2489

So what are they offering, well according to the website and their homepage they appear to be another “Holiday Club” that we have seen so often in the past, think Designer Way Vacation Club and Club Class Concierge. You pay to join and presumably trade in your timeshare (or is it originally pitched as a reslae with guaranteed buyer) and bingo, none of the holidays are available and with the time left on the registration they are gone never to be seen again.

We also believe that this is the same lot that were doing the resale with guaranteed buyer scam, highlighted on another blogsite in July 2018, the logo is very similar:

Anyway more on this little “scam” as more information is found, so on with our Tuesday article with Vanessa.

Our Las Vegas Timeshare Experience on October 1, 2017

The Callousness of Starpoint

Sapphire Resorts DBA Starpoint

By Vanessa Hernandez

October 30, 2018

To be honest, I don’t remember as much as I’d like about the purchase of our Starpoint timeshare October 1 of last year. That night Rogelio and I went to the concert that flipped Vegas upside down. We hid and ran for our lives, hoping to make it out alive. Thankfully we did. We cut our trip short, so I didn’t look over the paperwork as I told myself I would. I couldn’t get out of bed or eat for a month.

I remember feeling pressured and pushed into buying the timeshare, which was why I told myself I needed to look over the paperwork as soon as I got home. The reasons I felt uncomfortable with my decision:

  • They said the timeshare was prime real estate,
  • I was not aware the credit check was being run,
  • They told me to wait 30 days before booking,
  • They promised a free trip (which never materialized).

As the days wore on, I tried to get back to my everyday life, learning how to live with the trauma I had just experienced. About a month later I received a certificate of membership. I got out my paperwork and started looking through it. That’s when I realized the misrepresentations.

I thought I was going to be done paying off the timeshare in three years. It turned out to be a seven year loan financed at 21%. The loan document had circles on it as if this had been explained, but I don’t remember the sales agent doing so. I think that part was deliberately skipped.  I suspect the sales agent circled those items after we signed the documents.

We were staying at the Excalibur. When we walked by CVS we were invited to attend a timeshare presentation at the Jockey Club, affiliated with Starpoint. We met with sales agents Brandon and Matthew. Matthew said he wasn’t supposed to help with presentations, but wanted to help out. They told us that the Cosmopolitan next door had been trying to buy the Jockey Club and that some members had already turned down offers from those wanting to buy their Jockey Club timeshare. They said that if we bought and sold the timeshare back to the Jockey Club we could make good money because the Jockey Club was prime real estate on the strip and was basically priceless. We have since learned timeshares have virtually no secondary market.

They ran my credit when they said they wouldn’t. I told them I was rebuilding my credit. They assured me they were not going to run it, but they did without my consent. I received an alert from my credit monitoring company.

They sold the timeshare as a week’s vacation for the next 45 years. We understood there would be maintenance fees, but they never mentioned the resort fees charged at every stay. The Starpoint timeshare cost $5,995.

They told me I had to call Starpoint to book 30 days before my desired travel times, which was beyond the contract rescission period. When I called, there was no availability. The 5,000 points they sold us was not enough for a week’s stay.     

They promised us a complimentary three night round trip airfare and hotel package if we signed. We never received it.

In short, I felt pressured into making the purchase. I wanted to review the contract when I got back from vacation. Unfortunately, the events that took place after I bought the timeshare meant that I did not check the contract within the cancellation period. When I did review the contract, I found discrepancies between what we understood the benefits to be, and what we actually bought.

I asked Starpoint to show some compassion in light of the trauma I experienced, especially since most of what we were told was not true. I asked to be released from the contract, but there has been hardly any communication and certainly none that addressed my concerns about the misrepresentations, or whether they would cancel the contract on compassionate grounds.

I have been back to Vegas two times since the shooting, once was to fill out paperwork. The other was for a reunion to meet with other shooting survivors.

Before the horror:

I have no desire to ever go back to Las Vegas again. I bought on October 1. the day the shooting happened, so anything about that day brings back bad memories.

I have a certificate that states I was a victim of crime. I am seeking professional help. It feels like nothing matters to Starpoint except getting my money.

I am 30 years old. I guess the only silver lining is the life lesson learned. I will never believe a word a timeshare sales agent says. The general public needs to be aware that buying a timeshare can turn into a financial disaster you are stuck with for life. What other product carries this weight?   

Starpoint’s Better Business Bureau report:

https://www.bbb.org/us/nv/las-vegas/profile/resort/starpoint-resort-group-inc-1086-66568/customer-reviews

Thank you to Vanessa for sharing her traumatic experience. Only someone who has experienced the symptoms of PTSD can understand the power of association. Even if Vanessa had been happy with her purchase, she would have had a hard time enjoying future vacations because of the negative associations brought back after experiencing that terrible day. Feeling she had experienced unfair and deceptive sales practices, makes it even worse.

Like John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted, we hope Vanessa can learn to channel her trauma and grief outward to help others, like other timeshare victims.

Self-help groups we feel are not industry influenced:

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

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

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://everythingabouttimeshares.com/consider-exchange-options/

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

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

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

On Thursday we will be reporting on another company that was brought to our attention by a regular reader, this one revolves around one of the largest scams over the past few years, the bogus claims companies. Once again this company has full details of who the client has dealt with, what they purchased, how much for, when purchased and even membership details and number.

In this case our reader is fully wise to these scams having fallen for one in the past and then finding out via Inside Timeshare, he now regularly informs us of the companies that cold call him, on this occasion he has also given us a recording of the telephone conversation. So don’t forget to join us on Thursday.

Remember, do your due diligence and check any company that contacts you or one that you have found on the internet, if you are not sure how to check or need help in clarifying their legitimacy, then use our contact page and ask Inside Timeshare, we will be happy to help.

Start the Week: Around the Internet

Welcome to Start the Week, today we have a look at some of the items found while having a look at some of the forums, groups and blog sites on the internet about timeshare.

First we look at a discussion on the Diamond Resorts Advocacy page of Facebook, one of the members started a thread regarding an owner update meeting at their resort. During this meeting the sales agent was discussing transferring their deed week into points, part of the pitch was that there were no maintenance fee associated with points.

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

Well you can imagine the comments that abounded following that post.

So, if there are no maintenance fees attached, that has to be good, yes?

No, after the owners pushed and pushed the sales agent, they admitted there were fees associated but this wasn’t maintenance, so what is it?

As you can guess, just a change of name, it might be management fees, club dues or some other concoction of words, but in the end they are what they are, extortionately high fees!

To us in Europe especially the UK it is what we call PC or political correctness, I prefer to call it Newspeak from George Orwell’s 1984, change how you say it to confuse the masses. Some good examples are the cook, you are not a cook you are a nutrition technician, a garbage collector or what in England we call a binman or dustman, they are waste disposal engineers. It makes no difference what they change the name to it is the same thing.

We also received from a reader a post in the Anfi del Mar Contracts FB page, it was an advert for a timeshare for resale, it was far far less than what they probably paid for it. This is a subject we have published in the past, (see link below).

http://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-resale-vs-site-purchase/

We all know that as far as resales are concerned they really do not have any value, just search ebay “timeshare for sale”.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/b/Timeshare-Accommodations/123812/bn_2315002

Many of those advertised are either for the derisory sum of £1 or even less, we have even seen them for £0.01, this particular one even showed the annual maintenance fee of £687!

There are many others such as Marriott, which are not cheap when originally purchased being advertised for over £2,000, this is the value the owners believe it is worth, having paid around £15,000 upwards for in the first place.

We all know that many owners believed the original sales pitch, it was property, it is an investment, it will go up in value. The only thing that is likely to go up is maintenance fees!

There is also another problem associated with resale, the “scam” companies that have been set up, taking upfront fees to list the timeshare for sale, knowing full well that it will never sell. As Lisa Ann Schreier asked in her “Open Letter to Timeshare Developers” published on Inside Timeshare, Why do you not buy back?

http://insidetimeshare.com/timeshare-resale-lisa-ann-schreier-open-letter-to-developers/

A very valid question.

Another valid question to our readers is: What do you think your timeshare is worth, considering what you paid for it? We would love to hear from you.

Last Friday, Mindtimeshare published another warning of a cold calling company called Resort Management Direct or RMD, this is actually an old company offering bargain priced holidays at various resorts. The whole point is what is known as “flybuy”. Part of the deal is that you attend a presentation for a timeshare.

What is a Flybuy?

http://www.resortmanagementdirect.com

The Warning put out about this one though is very disturbing, the call from a lady called Angelina, states that she is calling from “Resort Management at Club la Costa. So once again we have a company calling timeshare owners purporting to be from their resort.

For the full story go to https://mindtimeshare.me/2018/10/26/resort-management-direct-confirming-clearly-they-are-calling-from-club-la-costa/

So there we have it, from timeshare sales agents trying to bamboozle owners at update meetings to Owners believing they actually have a timeshare that is worth something, finishing with a “flybuy” company clearly stating they are from a legitimate timeshare resort. You really do have to be careful and not believe the first thing you are told.

Have you had an experience of sales agents giving you the runaround, have you tried to sell your timeshare and ended up losing money, or even had a call similar to those of RMD, if so Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you.

 

Friday’s Letter from America

Welcome to this weeks Letter from America, today’s article is all about heirs inheriting your timeshare, with the introduction by Inside Timeshare’s very own Irene Parker, with contributions from Tom Tubbs of Island Consulting Realty and Mike Finn of Finn Law Group. This article will not only be of interest to our American readers but also to our European contingent.

But first Europe, news came in late yesterday of another High Court ruling from Tenerife against Silverpoint. Following a ruling against them at The Court of First Instance, Silverpoint appealed to the High Court. This court reaffirmed the previous courts verdict, consequently the original verdict has been upheld. The clients contract has been declared null and void due to lack of tangibility (a previous judge described it as “a bag full of smoke”), the client has been awarded over 24,000€ plus legal interest.

Again this is a case brought on behalf the client by Canarian Legal Alliance, these lawyers are just going from strength to strength.

After the article published yesterday about the “FAKE” law firm in Tenerife using the name of Mindtimeshare, another reader has sent in the following information on Abogados Litigación España  and JDD Juan Drimals Deolaro, which we highlighted on 22 October.

It is another “FAKE” compensation claim against Diamond, Grand Vacation Club and Sunterra, the Procurator fee was to be paid to one Ramon Juanca Comez in Tenerife who is also a “fake”. They also confirmed that a successful claim had been awarded amounting to 18,348€ plus 703€, obviously a “tax” of 20% would need to be paid before the court would release the money. Below are the bank details for the client to pay the procurator:

The Beneficiary  Ramon Juanca Comez

Address  C/Tortieras , Edif . Juntas , 323 Santa Cruz  38004 Tenerife 

A/C  IBAN … ES16 2038 9043 6060 0046 1027

BIC …..CAHMESMMXXX

Bank Address Avda.Santa Cruz 188 38600 Granadilla de Abona Tenerife

Now the address above is incorrect as this IBAN Number is the following bank in Valencia:

IBAN: ES1620389043606000461027  

BIC: CAHMESMM

Bank: BANKIA, S.A.

PINTOR SOROLLA 8
46002 VALENCIA

Branch number: 9043

SEPA Credit Transfer is supported.

SEPA Direct Debit is supported.

B2B is supported.

SEPA Instant Credit Transfer is supported.

 

Now on with today’s Letter from America.

Are Timeshare Developers the Pot Calling the Kettle Black?

The Heir Scare – The Same Scare Provided by a Timeshare Sales Agent and a Timeshare Exit Company Sales Agent!

A Second Warning We Wish We Did Not Have To Give

By Tom Tubbs of Island Consulting Realty

Following Phyllis and Marcy’s report

Introduction by Irene Parker

October 26, 2018

If Tom Tubbs Island Consulting Realty’s second warning wasn’t so sad it would be amusing. The most common complaint Timeshare Advocacy Group™ receives is:

“The sales agent said we had to give up our deeded week and buy points.”

The member, especially if a senior, is browbeat, told they have to give up their timeshare deed or they will be the last man standing, left holding the maintenance fee bag. Often the mostly bogus reason provided is that your heirs will be responsible for a deeded timeshare but not for non-deeded timeshare points.

The deed is usually paid in full, so by buy buying points via a loan, or charged to a credit card, the sales agent has created a liability when none existed. I’m not an estate planning lawyer, but I found this RedWeek post from a practicing estates lawyer:

To all those inquiring about your heirs being saddled with this albatross: I have been a practicing estates lawyer in NY for nearly 50 years. The information given to you by Laura (I believe her name was) was basically correct: your beneficiary cannot be “forced” to inherit (and therefore have to pay for maintenance etc.) for the timeshare. The legal route is to execute a disclaimer within 9 months after death, and make sure that you do NOT accept the timeshare by using it or otherwise indicating acceptance (e.g., trying to sell it as if you own it). However, each state has its own laws as to how one disclaims. ……Note though: the (resort) can then also disclaim it, so there are some further fine points legal steps that must be implemented in your Will or trust to deal with that possibility. But most definitely your heirs are NOT bound to accept the timeshare and make the payments if a proper disclaimer strategy is included in your estate planning documents.

stevenw on May 02, 2017 06:01 PM.

This is a complaint I read perpetrated by a timeshare sales agent falsely telling a deeded owner that she had to give up her deed or her heirs would suffer. Inside Timeshare previously published this account by Phyllis, age 67. She ended up representing herself in court and negotiated a lesser amount with the credit card company arbitrator. Following this scare offered by a timeshare sales agent, is the identical scare offered by a timeshare exit company sales agent.

What a timeshare sales agent told Phyllis (Unedited)

I feel I am a victim of fraud. I was asked to attend a breakfast to talk about upgrades on a timeshare I own. I was told it would last only 55 minutes. 4 highly pressured sales people took turns on me and held me for 7 hours, bouncing me into 3 different rooms. I told them I didn’t want it and that I already owned the timeshare over and over again. They said I have to buy into the new and I own my timeshare for ever, and that I could never get out of it. They said my Monarch timeshare went bankrupt and I had to invest with them or they would go after my children for payment. I had a panic stress disorder attack. I was tired and hungry.  I was tired. In order to get out of there I signed under dearest. I am a senior citizen 5 feet tall women and he is a 6 feet tall man standing over me stating he was a child of GOD and he can help me then said to me “I am a friend I can tell you the best thing to do only if I signed”. He added the BANK CREDIT CARD. I was misled to only use the card for shopping that my points would go up and maintenance fees would go down. I never received the card. I never used the card. Now I have a trial date May 8, 2018 to pay their lawyers in the amount of $3446.04. I received a letter stating the timeshare went into foreclosure. Since the timeshare and the bank are together I should be out of paying the bank as well? I need help. Could someone give me advice? Can I get someone to go with me and represent me? I am afraid and stressed. Please email me on what I can so as soon as possible. Thank You.

A pitch from U.S. Consumer Attorneys that Marcy submitted to Inside Timeshare which we previously published. Marcy called me the same day Phyllis did; both said they were having a panic attack over the result of their timeshare debacle. The timeshare exit company US Consumer Attorneys threatened Marcy as follows:

Louis S called me and said he was with US Consumer Attorneys Group and that he was calling about my timeshare. He was aware that I was a Diamond owner and that I owned at Ka’anapali Resort. He sent me a copy of their contract and said I needed to pay him $2900 to get out of the contract.  He said he is an attorney with US Consumer Attorneys Group. He said Diamond was going to take my house and my children would be responsible for paying all Diamond debts and that they would even attach my wages.  He said Diamond would also take my Social Security payments and my retirement.

I have not paid my Diamond maintenance fees for about three years. I wanted to deed it back to Diamond but they would not take it back when I was not behind on maintenance fees. I tried to sell it but no one wanted it.

Given the fact that many exit scam artists are former timeshare sales agents, it’s no surprise they will take the deception with them when they leave their timeshare sales job and make the move to an exit scam. Not all exit companies are scams, but this Federal Trade Commission link listing scams cannot be posted to often:

https://search.justice.gov/search?query=timeshare+scam+report&op=Search&affiliate=justice

Thank you once again Tom Tubbs for this important year end warning.

From Tom Tubbs at Island Consulting Realty:

A Second Warning We Wish We Did Not Have To Give

Hi Folks. So last week we warned you about “Exit” companies and this week we’re giving you a little bit of a different take on them. Why? We don’t want to beat a dead horse but it’s important that you do not fall victim to this. This time of year is when these companies get more aggressive in that they know your maintenance fee will be due soon and it’s a prime opportunity for them to pick your pocket. But first….Just what is an “Exit” company?

Well, these are the folks who “create” a problem that does not exist. This is a very common sales tactic with just about anything out there for sale or service. With timeshares, these companies create the VERY false impression that your timeshare is actually a burden instead of an asset. They give you the VERY false impression that you can’t sell it (although that’s what we’ve been doing for folks for the past 33 years….) and that when you die your kids will then be strapped with it (also false). Then they have a solution! (Of course!). Give them $3500 plus the deed to your timeshare and they’ll get you out of it. What great guys!

So in a nutshell what you have here is a company creating a problem for you that minutes earlier you did not know you had, and then solving that problem for you by you giving away your timeshare and your money! Problem is, for many of these companies it’s all one big fat lie; as the following story will tell….

Orlando woman says timeshare exit plan was all a lie

American Consumer LLC charged thousands then filed

Chapter 11 bankruptcy

ORLANDO, Fla. – Lisa Eller, a timeshare resort customer for 18 years, is convinced American Consumer LLC never intended to negotiate an exit from her resort contract despite promises from then Chief Operations Officer Cory “Hubb” Hubbell, that he could get it done.

    “He’s a smooth salesman; he seemed like he knew what he was doing,” Eller said. “He said, ‘It takes us about 12 months to work the program.'”

 Eller and her husband agreed to pay $2,350 for the program but just this week discovered no one from the company, aka A Consumer LLC, ever contacted her resort.

“They present themselves as people who have contacts at these resorts,” Eller said. “Our contract was paid in full; we were just paying maintenance.”

The last time Hubbell spoke to Eller was in March, according to Hubbell’s Facebook account, he left the company in May. Eller’s attorney, Jennifer Beaman Clark, told News 6 that when she advised the resort representative that her clients had been trying to resolve this for a year she was told, “It was the first time they had been contacted about the account.”

 According to records obtained by News 6, American filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sept. 9. The registered agent, Brevard County Attorney Michael Sarocco, said he would try to help consumers who wanted to get their money back but that he had no official ties to the company. In an email to News 6, Sarocco wrote, “I no longer represent the company and do not have authorization to make any statements on their behalf.”

A review of state records shows Saracco was the registered agent for American Consumer Credit LLC along with another 12 companies all linked to the same manager: Dana Micallef. Micallef started the company in 2011 and, according to state records, lives in Daytona Beach. Still, it appears he has been calling customers from a New York area code.

Rebekah Nelson hired the company last September and agreed to pay $2,800 to get a release from a timeshare in Vista, California. Nelson told News 6 a man she believes to be Micallef, asked her to wire $700 to continue the contract. “They block the consumer from talking to the timeshare so you don’t know (American) is not doing their job,” she said.

Nelson is convinced there are dozens of victims who fell for the same scheme.

News 6 found a website that explained how the company claimed to complete the exit:

“When you enter into the contract termination process with Aconsumercredit™, we start to permanently remove your timeshare contract burden. No more fees. No more payments.” Nelson said she was told to stop paying her timeshare fees and that is when her credit was ruined.

If you believe you are a victim of this company, contact Mike Holfeld at [email protected]

For more information, contact attorney Saracco: [email protected]

See you next week!

Tom Tubbs, Broker, R.N.G.

Island Consulting Realty

800-809-6020 or 941-922-3808  www.TimeSharesToGo.com

Senior Licensed Real Estate Specialist

Co-Founder: Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association

Board Member: Florida Timeshare Owners Group

Doctor of Funology

Related articles:

By Mike Finn of Finn Law Group:

How Can I Eliminate my Timeshare Liability for my Heirs?

https://www.finnlawgroup.com/eliminate-timeshare-liability-for-heirs/

Timeshare self-help groups:

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

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

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://everythingabouttimeshares.com/consider-exchange-options/

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

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

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

Thank you to Irene, Tom and Mike for your contribution this weeks, we are sure this will be of great interest to all timeshare owners on both side of the “Great Lake”.

If you have any questions or comments on any article published, please use our contact page and get in touch, we welcome your input. If you need to find out about any company that has contacted you or you have found on the internet then get in touch and we will help you find out if they are genuine and trustworthy.

Friday is upon us and the weekend beckons, we hope that you all have a great one and just relax, join us again next week for more on the murky world that is timeshare.

A New Twist In the Saga of Litigious Abogados

As if things couldn’t get any stranger, the “FAKE” law firm in Tenerife Litigacion Abogados which is one incarnation of the “FAKE” lawyers we have dubbed the Litigious Abogados family has now surpassed themselves with the lengths they will go to dupe timeshare owners.

The blog sight Mindtimeshare is now the victim, timeshare owners are now receiving calls from one Joyce Adams, who claims she is calling from a “law firm” called Mindtimeshare, from the following number:

0034822684554

Another number given is:

0800 802 1982

 

They have even set up an email address, again using the free email address provider of consultant.com, one thing you will notice is they have spelt it wrong:

[email protected]

As well as the Mindtimeshare name they are also using their logo, if you look at it carefully is not the same typeface as the original.

The story is the same as always, the consumers timeshare company is being taken to court and you can be part of the case. All you need to do to “benefit” from this is to pay the Procurators fee into an Escrow Account with the court in Tenerife.

One snag here, the account is in the name of the “Fake” Procurator Alexander Bowross. If you were paying money into a court I very much doubt that it would be into the account of a named individual!

For those of you who are aware of mindtimeshare you will know they are not a law firm, but a consumer advice blog site which also issues warnings of rogue and bogus operations, just like Inside Timeshare. Over the past year or so, Inside Timeshare has been sharing information on this “fake” lawyers in all their incarnations, we shall continue to do so which is why we are publishing this article today.

Inside Timeshare will continue to publish articles on these “FAKE, BOGUS and DUBIOUS” companies to warn you the reader and help you to save your hard earned cash.

If you have been contacted by any company or found one on the internet and want to find out if they are who they say they are, contact Inside Timeshare, we will help you to find out if they and what they say is genuine.

Remember the golden rule

CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Tomorrow in Friday’s Letter from America the article is entitled

Are Timeshare Developers the Pot Calling the Kettle Black?

The Heir Scare – The Same Scare Provided by a Timeshare Sales Agent and a Timeshare Exit Company Sales Agent!

With an introduction from our very own Irene Parker along with Contributions from Tom Tubbs of Island Consulting Realty and Mike Finn of Finn Law Group.

This article will also be of benefit to our European readers as they will also be familiar with this subject, so join us tomorrow for more Letters from America.

 

News From The Courts

Today we have round up of some news from the courts, we begin with our old friends in Tenerife Silverpoint Vacations SL.

The High Court Number 4 in Tenerife have declared a Silverpoint contract null and void, the reason, it contained no tangible product, in the words of the Judges they described it as nothing more than “A BAG OF SMOKE”.

Silverpoint have now been ordered to refund the English clients of Canarian Legal Alliance, the full purchase price of £14,214 plus all their legal fees and legal interest.

This goes to prove that the courts are now seeing what we have always known, that the product Silverpoint was peddling was nothing more than fresh air.

In the Courts of First Instance N4 in Maspalomas, Anfi have been on the receiving end of two more judgements.

The first, involving a German client of CLA had their contract declared null and void, this was due to the fact the contract was for an unlimited period, known as perpetuity. Under the Timeshare Law 42/98, contracts cannot be for a period longer than 50 years.

The judge in this case also penalised Anfi for taking payments within the cooling off period, he awarded the clients double the amount paid, they will now receive over 66,602€ plus legal interest.

At the same court another Anfi contract was declared null and void, again the contract exceeded that required by law being of an unlimited time or perpetuity.

In this case CLA’s Swiss clients have been awarded double the purchase price, due to the illegal taking of payments within the cooling off period of 3 months. These clients will now receive over 36,000€ plus illegal interest.

Today we also highlight another law firm that is taking on the timeshare industry, this is M1 Legal who are based in the Malaga area. They are a fairly new legal team but have had some notable success.

The case highlighted was a very complex case as it involved many different authorised reps acting on behalf of many different companies. This was a very tangled web indeed. The resort in question was La Pinta Beach Club in Tenerife.

It was heard at the Court of First Instance N5, Arona, Tenerife, the contract was declared null and void, due to the fact it was in breach if Timeshare Law 42/98. Yet another perpetuity  contract, it also involve the taking of illegal payments within the cooling off period.

According to M1 Legal this is the largest victory they have achieved, the English clients have been awarded over 365,000€ a staggering amount. So Inside Timeshare congratulates the clients and the lawyers from M1 Legal on an outstanding victory.

s_and_r_sentence

There are some genuine law firms out there who are doing what they say, all Inside Timeshare can say is you must check, check and check again, do not be taken in by the some of the claims that you will hear. If you are unsure about who is contacting you or who the company you have found on the internet actually is or are truly genuine, then use our contact page and we will help you check.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST, YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE.

 

The Tuesday Slot

Welcome to this weeks Tuesday Slot, once again this is not the article we had scheduled, that has been pulled at the last minute. The original article (which as always was sent to the timeshare company Holiday Inn Vacation Club for comment), was a particularly heart wrenching story of woe, but thanks to someone at the timeshare company, (some of them do have a heart), the matter has been resolved. All we can say to Holiday Inn Vacation Club is thank you and well done for responding so quickly.

Inside Timeshare has been receiving many emails from readers wanting to check on companies calling them, it is that time of year, as maintenance bills start to arrive, so all these companies are getting in with the usual pitch, we can get you out of your timeshare. Unfortunately most are bogus and fake law firms, which we have highlighted in previous articles. So beware the caller, get as much information about them as possible, then contact Inside Timeshare for further help.

We have also heard from one of our German readers regarding Diamond Resorts (Europe), it would appear that Diamond may have changed the policy on exiting the contract. We do know they have exceptional circumstance, which are over 75, death of a partner, financial difficulty and medical, where they will allow exit for free. For those who do not fall into this category they were allowing an exit on payment of 2 years maintenance, well, according to our German reader who applied for this, he was told “NO”! They would only let him out when he fits the exceptional circumstances or reaches 75, until then he must continue to pay maintenance.

We will be keeping an eye on any other developments regarding this, it does seem strange that this policy has suddenly changed. If any of our other readers have experienced this please do let us know, it may be that this was just a one off incident from an un-informed member of staff.

How to File a Timeshare Complaint (October 22, 2018 revision)

               

Start with the Attorneys General Office

If necessary, continue to the FBI at IC3.gov

Finish with the Federal Trade Commission, if Section 5 is violated

If you were sold a timeshare as an investment, file an SEC complaint

“I was told that in order to be released from a timeshare, which was a deeded timeshare, I had to turn the deed into points. Believing the sales agent, on June 19th I bought $12,000 worth of points for no reason. A few weeks after the purchase I learned through Social Media the company has a voluntary surrender program. I had told the sales agent that my wife had bought this timeshare 18 years ago and that I had hated it for 18 years. I explained that I was only attending the presentation to find out how to get rid of it. At that point he should have advised me of the voluntary surrender program instead of selling me points for no reason. The response from the company was it sounds like a ‘he said she said’ and to make matters worse, there is a six month waiting period for the voluntary surrender program.”

We have received 634 timeshare complaints as of October 22, 2018. Recently, several complaints have been from timeshare members who say they were told the timeshare was an investment; the timeshare could be rented for income, and would be easy to sell. The complaints were directed against four timeshare companies.

Marketing a timeshare for the purposes of generating income, or leading the buyer to believe the retail price is what the timeshare is worth, is selling the timeshare as a security without being registered as a security with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Therefore, we have added the SEC as an avenue for grievance if this applies to you.

We have also added the AARP fraud alert. The AARP hotline responders have been responsive, but misleading in their advice. We will be publishing an article shortly to address why we believe AARP is providing misleading information.

https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/?CMP=KNC-DSO-Adobe-Bing-FWN-Core-Brand-Brand&s_kwcid=AL!4520!10!73804843580956!73804805721970&ef_id=W0ZctQAAAJQd2ANC:20180725171110:s

One Attorney General’s office is directing people to a list of timeshare attorneys. The member pays the attorney, the attorney has no timeshare experience, and the member ends up referred to us. We help for free and the lawyer gets paid. This has happened several times. Do not use an attorney without timeshare experience. The field is too specialized.   

In all but a few cases, the timeshare company has dismissed member complaints with “You signed a contract” or “It doesn’t matter what the sales agent said.” If timeshare companies would acknowledge that some timeshare sales agents do intentionally mislead the consumer, there would be no need to file complaints and no reason for the existence of member supported advocacy groups.

According to FBI agents and lawyers our advocates have consulted, it is not legal to hide behind fine print, but it takes volumes of complaints to raise a regulator’s eyebrow. The Federal Trade Commission released its 2017 complaint report, listing travel, vacation, and timeshare as one of the most costly frauds at $1,710. Our reader complaints dollar amounts range from $4,000 to $400,000 or more. We wish members were only losing $1,710. Inside Timeshare has received complaints from 81 veterans and active duty military and law enforcement.   

Travel, vacation, and timeshare frauds were the most costly with people losing a median amount of $1,710. The FTC also broke out fraud losses for members of the military and found their median fraud loss to be 44 percent higher than the general population.

https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/opinion/columnists/2018/04/06/ftc-releases-2017-complaint-statistics/493425002/

Most of the members contacting us have an outstanding loan. The industry has created this nightmare because if you buy a house and have a loan outstanding, you can still sell the house. When the member alleges they experienced unfair and deceptive sales practices, they have signed a perpetual contract with little or no secondary market. Timeshare companies list a viable secondary market as a risk to their shareholders.

Timeshare Members need to be especially vigilant about “Get you out of your timeshare” firms because many are scams. Some are not. Timeshare Advocacy Group™ (TAG) has a scam research team formed by members who have themselves been scammed. This 15 page US Department of Justice timeshare scam report illustrates the seriousness and extent of the problem, caused by the lack of a viable secondary market.     

https://search.justice.gov/search?query=timeshare+scam+report&op=Search&affiliate=justice  

Advocates for reform feel the problems that exist in the industry today are caused by an overreliance on the oral representation clause, iron clad developer based contracts, the lack of an adequate secondary market, and limited enforcement. We don’t dispute there are many who use and enjoy their timeshare and many sales agents who sell the product properly, but here are the most common timeshare complaints reported by our readers:

  • The agent said I could easily sell my points,
  • The agent overstated the value of travel awards to pay for airline tickets, or the use of a travel credit card to pay maintenance fees,
  • The agent said I had to give up my deeded timeshare and buy points,
  • The agent said I have to give up my deed and buy points or my heirs will be burdened,
  • The rescission clause was dodged because the agent said the (bogus) program would not be available until after the first of the year, or we were not allowed access to the booking site until after the rescission period.    

To begin your complaint, raise your right hand.

Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? Present your information factually and without opinion or inflammatory language.

Information Needed to File a Timeshare Complaint

Name (s) and age of member

Phone Number

State of Residence

Member Number

For each contract in dispute:

Where Purchased and Date of Purchase

Number of Points Purchased

Sales Agent and Sales Agent ID# (if available)

Purchase Price

Down Payment

Amount Financed and Interest Rate

Loan Number

Current Loan Balance

Name of Credit Card if one was used to pay the down payment

What do you want? Do you seek Refund or Relinquishment?

Why? Is it due to Deception, Health, Age or Financial Burden?

Complaints expressing dissatisfaction with general availability will go unheeded as will a request based on not being able to afford the timeshare. If you feel you were deceived, list the reasons why. If there was no deceit, ask for relinquishment. Maintenance fees must be current and there can be no loan outstanding. Just like your personal residence, you can’t go to your home mortgage lender and say you can’t afford it. The difference is you can sell your home if there is an outstanding loan.  Section 5 Federal Trade Commission, explains unfair and deceptive practices:

FTC Unfair Practices

An act or practice is unfair where it

  • causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers;
  • cannot be reasonably avoided by consumers; and
  • is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition.

 

FTC Deceptive Practices

An act or practice is deceptive where

  • a representation, omission, or practice misleads or is likely to mislead the consumer;
  • a consumer’s interpretation of the representation, omission, or practice is considered reasonable under the circumstances; and
  • the misleading representation, omission, or practice is material.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/ftca.pdf

MOST IMPORTANT – Purchase Timeline

It is better to state your narrative as a narrative referring back to the figures at the top of your complaint. Begin with when you first became involved with the company and proceed chronologically. Keep your history brief up to the point when things began to go wrong.

After you complete your complaint, email it to the appropriate resort department. Expect to be denied. Typically your resort reviewer will restate your concerns, produce your initials and signatures, point out the oral representation clause and inform you, “If something was important to you, you should have asked for it to be put in the contract.” File a rebuttal if you disagree with the company response.

Mark your email to the resort urgent if you are in financial distress. It is best to file a complaint before the debt collectors are hounding. If one of our advocates is assisting the member, the member will report back to us if the issue is resolved. Due to the required non-disclosure, terms and conditions will not be discussed.

Attorneys General

If the resort has dismissed your complaint, the next step is to file a complaint with the Attorney General of the state where you signed your contract. It can take sometimes a month to hear back from an AG. You can find any Attorney General by searching the state name and Attorney General. Some states will direct you to the real estate or consumer division. You should file a complaint with the state Real Estate Division against the agent if the agent was deceptive. Not all states require timeshare sales agents be real estate licensed.     

We have determined, based on reports from our readers, some Attorneys General walk lockstep with the developer, responding to complaints with, “You should not have relied on verbal representations.” Thus, in those states, the consumer is out in the cold and at the mercy of the developer’s decision. In other states, Attorneys General have opened investigations and reached settlements based on a volume of complaints and a pattern of consistent reports of deceptive behavior.

The FBI

Any complaint reported to the FBI should be of a more egregious nature. “They promised me a free cruise but it wasn’t free” is an example of a complaint that is not serious enough for the FBI. Our opening example, describing a buyer told they had to give up their timeshare deed when that was not necessary, would merit an IC3.gov report. To determine if your complaint is serious enough to file an FBI complaint, review the FBI definitions of criminal acts:  

White-collar crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are not dependent on the application or threat of physical force or violence. The motivation behind these crimes is financial—to obtain or avoid losing money, property, or services or to secure a personal or business advantage. These are not victimless crimes. A single scam can destroy a company, devastate families by wiping out their life savings, or cost investors billions of dollars (or even all three).

Mortgage fraud is a subcategory of financial institution fraud known as “fraud for profit”:

Fraud for profit: Those who commit this type of mortgage fraud are often industry insiders using their specialized knowledge or authority to commit or facilitate the fraud. Current investigations and widespread reporting indicate a high percentage of mortgage fraud involves collusion by industry insiders, such as bank officers, appraisers, mortgage brokers, attorneys, loan originators, and other professionals engaged in the industry. Fraud for profit aims not to secure housing, but rather to misuse the mortgage lending process to steal cash and equity from lenders or homeowners. The FBI prioritizes fraud for profit cases.

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime

The FBI has advised our members, if the allegation involves credit card fraud, the member should also file a complaint with the Secret Service.

https://ask.metafilter.com/81136/Should-I-call-the-Secret-Service-over-credit-card-fraud

Most important, consider reaching out to local or national media. Reporters look for content and are surprisingly easy to reach. Write an article about your experience. The more people who come forward, the more the public is made aware of timeshare black holes before engaging in a timeshare sales presentation.

Summary of Regulatory and Law Enforcement Agencies

  • The Attorney General’s office where you signed your contract. Most AG complaints can be filed online.
  • The Real Estate Division of the state where the agent is licensed if your complaint is against the agent.
  • The FBI at IC3.gov portal if you feel you were deceived. For allegations of a serious nature you may also contact an FBI field office to file a tip orally. Have your facts and figures ready. The FBI complaint website is called IC3.gov which stands for Internet Crime. This is a bit confusing. IC is the name of the portal. That doesn’t mean it has to be an internet crime. Click IC3 as your choice when filing. Sometimes your local field office will pay closer attention than say Las Vegas, where losing money is a tourist attraction. You can find your nearest field office from this website. https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
  • The Federal Trade Commission is one of the most important agencies to file with, because it is federal. Most states have incorporated a portion of the FTC’s “Unfair and Deceptive Trade Act” in their state law. It’s tricky to find the timeshare tab. Look for “next page” until you find it.   
  • The media – the court of public opinion is often the only court available. Inside Timeshare, published in Spain, welcomes member submissions, positive or negative.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for credit card or lending complaints, under the mortgage option (even if no mortgage), selecting the bank involved. Timeshare has dodged this regulatory bullet because most members don’t know the identity of the lender as the timeshare company often services the loan (Timeshare companies are not an option from the CFPB’s drop-down menu). CFPB is the organization that helped Wells Fargo victims. The CFPB lost influence after the roll back of the Dodd Frank act March 2018. The Dodd Frank act was enacted after the abuses caused by subprime lending. The CFPB is still considered a regulator. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/
  • File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The company’s BBB rating can be misleading in that the BBB only rates how efficiently a company responds to complaints. Sometimes the BBB allows you to log in and file a rebuttal. If you file a complaint, a review is not allowed. We have received complaints from members reporting that a company representative called, saying the message is time sensitive, but does not answer the phone when the member repeatedly tries to call back. We suspect this boosts the company BBB rating because the company can report, “We reached out.”
  • Lawmakers – The problem is the timeshare buyer typically does not buy in their state of residence which is why lawmakers don’t seem to take timeshare seriously. Still, any effort to contact lawmakers is encouraged.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission for selling timeshare points as an investment without being registered as a security.
  • AARP Fraud Watch

If this sounds like work, it is, but you can file with some, all, or none of the agencies. If you pick two, pick the Attorney General and the FTC. We have a team of advocates who can answer questions and help guide you through the process. We feel “Action and Advocacy” is the best way to change questionable timeshare business practices. Many families contacting us are financially devastated by their decision to buy a timeshare. We seek to promote consumer awareness.   

Depending on the seriousness of your complaint, you may forward your complaint to the firm’s public relations office or firm and to ARDA, the timeshare industry’s PAC, for violating ARDA’s Code of Ethics. ARDA’s Code of Ethics can be found on ARDA’s website. ARDA ROC does not mediate disputes, but ARDA does have a Code of Ethics. Due to lack of response to over 200 of the more serious complaints we forwarded to ARDA, we do not recommend owners make the voluntary “opt in” or “opt out” ARDA ROC donation on your maintenance fee invoice. Not one of the members we questioned knew what ARDA ROC stands for, yet collectively members gives ARDA ROC about $5 million a year. It is the opinion of our advocates, that although ARDA lobbies for the industry and for timeshare members, when the issue at stake is one that is at odds with members, members lose because they have no voice.

You may also forward your complaint to the Association of Vacation Owners.

https://avoworldwide.com/news/

AVO has been tracking our complaints for research purposes. http://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-with-irene-3/

If you are granted a positive outcome, you may not say or write anything disparaging about the resort, but there is no harm in staying involved by referring timeshare members who need help to Inside Timeshare or to one of the self-help groups listed below we know are not industry influenced.  

Who We Are and Why We Do This

Our advocates are not attorneys and we do not provide legal advice. We have researched regulatory agencies and are here to direct consumers to the appropriate regulatory and law enforcement agencies. The right to file a regulatory complaint is the right of every citizen who feels they have been wronged.  

It’s a good idea to contact a member of the Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association to find out whether your timeshare has a secondary market. http://www.licensedtimeshareresalebrokers.org/

Venting on complaint sites has no effect whatsoever but an organized campaign to track complaints and report alleged fraud has already born fruit in the form of Attorneys General investigations and greater public awareness.

If all else fails, we will refer to an attorney if the member can afford one. If you are forced into foreclosure, but have an otherwise unblemished credit report, you can write to the credit reporting agencies in an effort to explain why you were deceived and why you were not able to resolve your dispute.

Contact Inside Timeshare or email Irene Parker at [email protected] or call 270-303-7572 EST if you are interested in becoming a volunteer. Feel free to call any day of the week from 1:00 to 5:00 PM EST. It’s best to schedule a call. All calls and emails are returned within 24/48 hours.  If your email is not returned, please resend and send a text message.

 Self-help groups seek to provide members a way to proactively address membership concerns; to advocate for timeshare reform; to obtain greater disclosure from the company; to advocate for a viable secondary market; and to educate prospective buyers. We hope to promote a better relationship between disgruntled timeshare buyers and their respective resort. We appreciate all timeshare companies who have responded to article drafts and resolved customer issues. Inside Timeshare would always rather see a dispute resolved over publishing an article.

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

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://everythingabouttimeshares.com/consider-exchange-options/

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

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

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

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

October 23, 2018 Irene Parker

Timeshare Advocacy Group     

Related article: FTC Section 5

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-12/

If you have any timeshare problem or need help in checking if a company is genuine, contact Inside Timeshare with the details, we will point you in the right direction.

Another Fake Law Firm from the Litigious Abogados Family

Here we go again, yet another fake law firm has sprung up in Tenerife, again it is linked to the Litigious Abogados family. This one is called Abogados Litigación España  and JDD Juan Drimals Deolaro, with the website:

http://abogadoslitigacionespana.com

Which was registered on 11 October 2018 and is due to expire on 11 October 2019, so not only has it been registered for only 11 days, but will only last for 1 year. As usual the registrant is hidden by privacy protection. They also show another fake CIF Number (company number) to add credibility: A12475921

The address is also very familiar as it has been used before:

Calle de San Francisco, 6, 38001 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, España

Telephone numbers are:

Freephone: 0800 862 0036

Tenerife Tel: 0034 822 684 562

With the email addresses which again are not linked to the website but are free email address providers:

[email protected]

[email protected]

The “company” was founded in August 1990, a slight difference to previous one as they do not give the day or the date, but the founder is Juan Drimals Deolaro, another name that we published in the article Litigacion Abogados on 10 October, using the same photograph:

The names and photographs of the lawyers are also the same although they do have a new name and photograph for another young lady on the contact page, Mevalena Cacha Coquina. She is in fact a young lawyer from a firm in Chile, Carmen Castillo Arenas, obtaining her law degree in 2006, the firm she works for is Manuel Acuña Kairath Abogados, based in Santiago, Chile.

Mevalena Cacha Coquina

Manuel Doleva Elkulete

Valentin Foga Rehalna

Manuel Selbon Vamilos

They also show many official logos such as the Ilustre Colegio de Abogados for Madrid and Santa Cruz de Tenerife including this one below.

Well, we don’t need to guess what the pitch is going to be, we are by now very familiar with their modus operandi, the news that your timeshare company is being taken to court within the next few weeks. Pay the “FAKE” Court Procurator a fee and you can be included.

Then the great news that the director of your timeshare company pleaded guilty, (we just wonder what name will be used for this director), with the court awarding you a very substantial amount of money. One snag, they now need 20% of the awarded amount to pay “TAXES”!

This firm is just the latest incarnation of many which have now been operating for around 3 years, continuously changing names and website addresses, one thing that has remained constant is the all the websites are the same and the story is always identical.

Remember, unless you have personally instructed a law firm and gone through all the legal procedures, then you do not have a case in court. Do not be fooled by these criminals, it is a very elaborate and well put together fraud, we know many who have fallen for it and have lost thousands with no way of getting it back.

If you have been contacted by this “fake law firm” or one with a similar story, then contact Inside Timeshare, we will help you check their validity.

Our warning is always the same:

CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

 

Friday’s Letter from America

Welcome to this week’s Letter from America, today we publish another “Nightmare on Timeshare Street”, this is the experience of the Cameron family and their dealing with Westgate. But as usual we bring you some news from Europe.

We start with the headlines in La Provincia published on 18 October 2018

Grupo Anfi denuncia a Santiago Santana Cazorla por “apropiarse” de un barco

La compañía acusa al empresario de sustraer la embarcación y llevársela a Marruecos

Translation:

Grupo Anfi denounces Santiago Santana Cazorla for “appropriating” a ship

The company accuses the businessman of stealing the boat and taking it to Morocco

Santiago Sanatna Cazorla at Court

It centers around Santiago Santana Cazorla “appropriating” a boat which the Anfi Group claims belongs to the company, of which Cazorla owns 50%, as the boat was included in the register of assets of the company until around 1 year ago, when Cazorla decided to transfer it to his name.

The Court of Instruction No1 of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, heard in testimony from Cazorla (17 October 2018), that he purchased the boat in 2012, he transferred the ownership of the vessel to Anfi Group “as part of the payment to forgive a debt”, however, he changed his mind and about the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, began procedures to transfer the vessel back to his name.

In his testimony Cazorla assured the court that the vessel was his, something Anfi Group does not agree with, no agreement was reached.

One thing is for sure, we are never short of a story with Anfi!

Following on from Wednesdays article about the fake Tenerife law firm  ADN Alberto Dlendro Nabalez, Litigacionespaña SL, which is part of the Litigious Abogados family, mindtimeshare yesterday published details of another fake “Procurador”, which is more than likely to be one the fake lawyers will be using.

The name of this “Procurator” is Marco Gravinal with the address

Calle Las Calbas 36, Edificio Bala, Oficina 418, Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Which does not even show up on Google maps, so is obviously a fake address.

The website

http://marco-gravinal.com/

Was registered on 31 January 2018 and is due to expire on 31 January 2019, so a short term setup to get as much money from unsuspecting timeshare owners as possible.

The email address is [email protected] which is not linked to the website but is again a free email address provider.

Now for this weeks article.

Our Westgate Purchase was a Recipe for Disaster

Jackie Siegel, wife of Westgate owner David Siegel

By the Cameron family

Friday, October 19

Seeing other Westgate owners talk about their experiences has prompted me to do the same, in the hope that more people will come forward to put pressure on timeshare companies and regulators to take a closer look at timeshare sales practices we feel are unfair and deceptive.

Up in Smoke!

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-24/

The Dashiell’s article

http://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-7/

It is obvious that Westgate, and I believe timeshare in general, has a recipe for success, designed to keep their money rolling in and my money rolling out.

I think I have figured out the secret ingredients!

Step 1: Over promise features and benefits. Add copious amounts of salt with one or two grains of truth.

Step 2: Make them your BFF. Then tenderize customer by forcefully kneading them with one sales pitch after another until they are flattened and easy to manipulate.

Step 3: Quickly gloss over the contract with a nice coating of sugar. Make sure to cover up the actual details of what the customer is buying so that they remain in the dark until much too late for them to cancel their contract. They call this the rescission period and it is quite easy for timeshare sales agents to dodge.

Step 4: Serve on a dirty plate with a fork. I call this plate foreclosure when the buyer finds out you bought something you can’t sell. What product is out there you can’t get rid of?

Step 3: When the customer realizes they have been served a steaming pile of something or other, pretend to be very concerned and run back to the kitchen and hide for months and months. The customer can listen to commercials about why you are happy to have invested in their timeshare while they wait on hold.

Step 5: Finally, when the customer is starting to cause a scene, have the monosyllabic thugs, Greenspoon Marder, eject them from the premises.

The Tennessee AG will be sitting at the next table, pretending like nothing happened while he tucks into his gourmet meal, although I did research and found out the TN AG helped Festiva victims recover $3.5 million.

https://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/news/2016/2/24/pr16-04.html

I understand that the consumer needs to take charge here. If there are not enough complaints, as must be the case with Westgate, nothing will happen. I also learned the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigated Westgate for two years but dropped the investigation shortly after the presidential election.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/matthewzeitlin/financial-regulators-are-looking-into-americas-largest-times

That’s Westgate owner David Siegel, King of Versailles next to candidate Trump.

Here’s what happened to us

Salesmen, Jonathan Smith, and Mario Pineda (Manager) sold us a timeshare in July 2016 and convinced us that we were making a good, sound financial decision.

They said we were buying something that would:

  • Financially benefit us,
  • Allow us to make money renting our weeks and that they would help with this free of charge,
  • They said we would never have to pay the HOA fees because the rentals would pay for that,
  • They said we would hold a deed to the property and would own this property (Bldg 2041, Villa 302H and 302I).  They left out the part that if you want to sell it nobody wants it,
  • It would be a great tax write off,
  • The equity would keep increasing.

Given all these benefits we signed the contract in good faith, thinking that we would get everything Westgate told us we would get and we would see some return on our “investment” which turned out to be anything but an investment. The reality is that we have not made a penny on this investment. None of the reasons for which we bought this timeshare exist.

While they may define this as real estate, what kind of real estate is worth nothing, except in disaster stricken zones? It is certainly not a tax write-off, it does not gain in value and it would therefore be stupid to pass it on to our family. We would only be passing on a liability.  

On top of all this, our experiences at Westgate locations have been awful. We went to a Westgate property to enjoy time together as a family and wind down. Instead we were pressured to buy more and had our precious vacation time stolen.

The first time we went to Gatlinburg we booked a 3-day trip. We were invited to a presentation. They said it would last 90 minutes but we were held hostage for seven hours! This totally ruined our vacation, plus the loss of what little time we had was the cause of much stress.

All this stress came right back when we had our first full week stay and they tried to do and say anything to get us to upgrade to a more expensive unit and more weeks. They held us again for four hours. The stress of this again completely ruined my vacation.

It was after this last stay I started to have heart pain. When I went to the doctor he said it was stress related. This is when it really hit me that I can’t keep going through the stress of Westgate’s high pressure to buy more and more Westgate. My wife and I work very hard. We don’t get to take many vacations together, so do not enjoy spending our vacation in a bad mood after it feels like we underwent CIA manipulation techniques. Plus, we can’t afford to go through this again.

What Westgate is serving up is no good. We suggest you dine elsewhere.

The Queen of Versailles wants to be Florida’s Governor?

http://floridanationalnews.com/blog/jackie-siegel-for-florida-governor/

Jackie Siegel for Florida Governor?

December 6, 2016

  Well, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, I suppose

Thank you to the Camerons for sharing their timeshare story. It is our hope that timeshare companies will read some of these accounts and think about ways to improve customer relations. We encourage members to submit articles, good or bad experiences, but the satisfied customer is less likely to reach out. They are having too much fun vacationing with a product they bought explained properly, compared to the family who feels they were duped.

These self-help websites and Facebooks are resources and provide a way for members to reach out to help other members.

We seek to provide members a way to proactively address membership concerns; to advocate for timeshare reform; to obtain greater disclosure from the company; to advocate for a viable secondary market; and to educate prospective buyers.

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

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

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://everythingabouttimeshares.com/consider-exchange-options/

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

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

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

 

  So that is another week over and the start of the weekend, join us again next week and remember to do your homework before engaging with any company. If you are not sure then use our contact page and we will point you in the right direction.

Have a great weekend.