Yesterday a new name to the ever growing Litigious Abogados family was named, Amador Galeca Abogados, the website was born on 18 July 2017, so is only two months old. Yet according to their website they have over 15 years presence on the net, and they claim to have been a law firm for over 25 years.
The website is exactly the same as all the others that have come before, the only difference is in the photographs and names of the lawyers. This new website now shows some new faces with names that are either variations of previous ones or newly made up.
The address they give on the website is very familiar as it has been used before, Calle de V. Sanz, N14, 16, 38002 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, (it is actually Calle de Valentin Sanz). Number 14 does have a plaque on the wall by the door for an Abogado, but it is not this one here. (We just wonder if this lawyer knows his address is being used).
We will hazard a guess here, but we suspect that the story is going to be along the lines of all the other members of this fake family, your timeshare company or resort is about to be taken to court, for a fee you can also be included in this case. We wonder if the Procurador, who will need to be paid, is one of those we have seen before, or whether a new name will be used, no doubt that will be answered within the next few weeks, as other readers contact us with new information.
If the past antics are anything to go by, within weeks of paying the money, the “client” will receive a fake copy of the court sentence, along with a photocopy of a Banesto cheque with the awarded amount printed with their name on it. (Remember Banesto has not existed since 2012).
There will also be an accompanying letter stating in English that the director of the company pleaded guilty to all charges, (anyone fancy a wager that it will be Keith Baker or Keith Balker). You will then be asked to pay 21% of the awarded amount as tax to have the cheque released, which will arrive by post. Only problem is that it will never arrive, the envelope will be open, a letter from the court will be there but no cheque.
Now we go to stage three of this very clever operation, you will receive from another company a letter stating they have been appointed by the court, they are to investigate a Romanian gang who stole and cashed a cheque with your name on it. They will also pursue the bank to recover the money for you, you only have to pay them 10% of the cheque value. As we say this is a very clever ongoing sting. So far we don’t yet know what happens next, we have not come across anyone who has made it to stage four. But we do suspect that in order to get the money that has been recovered, another “TAX” will need to be paid.
These claims always sound fantastic, the amounts of money they promise you and in such a short space of time are designed to play on your emotions, then slowly drain away all your money before you realise what has happened.
Our only advice is if you are contacted by any company that tells you a case is about to go to court against your timeshare company or resort, then with a fee you can be included,
STOP, THINK AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
If you are unsure how to check any company that makes these promises, or just need confirmation, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.
They also have some new names, which are variations of those that have been used before, and what looks like a few new faces in the photographs of the “lawyers”.
Once again it is going to be the same old story, we are taking your timeshare company to court, it is scheduled for trial within the next few weeks, pay ex-amount and be part of it. Then suddenly you are told you won, as the director, (we’ll bet it is Keith Baker or Keith Balker again) has pleaded guilty.
We will be publishing a fuller post on this when we have done a little more research.
This one from reports is against Silverpoint, with the court declaring the contract null and void with the return of over £63,000 plus legal interest and legal fees. They also had another win against Silverpoint at the Court of First Instance in Tenerife. Again the contract was declared null and void and the return of over £59,000.
So now on with the article which was supposed to have been published in last Friday’s Letter from America.
Timeshare and Asset-Backed Security Products
By Michael Kosor
September 20, 2017
There has been an increase in defaults for some timeshare companies concerning timeshare loans packaged in their Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) products. The average consumer will recall the devastation its sister security, the Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS), created that triggered financial collapse. Consumers and regulators should pay attention to the timeshare product today so similar to the products of 2007 that led to financial devastation.
I believe this is clearly and directly related to the increase in litigation by these particular developers, targeting consumer advocates and the legal community. While there definitely are attorneys practicing questionable business practices, “Kill all the lawyers” is not the answer. Every citizen has a right to legal representation if they feel they have purchased a product sold by deceit.
Developers are rightly hypersensitive to any bad press that points to increases in loan defaults as they are sure to negatively impact ABS rating/pricing. The ABS product and the associated market are by nature complicated, not part of our public market system, so limited to sophisticated players. As such, it is not a part of mainstream news. To that end, watch a very short video published by Allison Bisbey, Editorial Director, Capital Markets Newsletter.
Some developers are experiencing an elevated level of defaults. In the case of Diamond Resorts, it has reached a point the rating agency for DRI, KBRA (Kroll Bond Rating Agency) recently saw fit to issue a note on the issue, albeit not surprisingly, a reaffirmation of KBRA’s original rating.
A timeshare ABS is a security whose income payments, and hence value, is derived from and collateralized or “backed” by a pool of underlying assets. Contrary to popular opinion, “hard” assets do not serve as the primary collateral – only the contractual obligation to pay. However, hard assets do provide secondary security and impact overall price/return.
Today, the vast majority of timeshare loans are not backed by any real property interest. Timeshare ABSs sold today are little more than securitized consumer loans. Yet when I talked to the Moody analysts just a couple weeks ago about their most recent WyndhamABS rating, they stated they use criteria established in 2003 – when a timeshare loan was typically still attached to a real estate interest.
In rating an ABS, comparisons with historical loan default rates are critical. Timeshare ABSs, notably a different underlying product than the one packaged today, report very limited/zero defaults. This is not because the consumer default rate is or was low – to the contrary. Rather, DRI (not unlike Wyndham) uses ABS structure options allowing them to repurchase or substitute all of its defaulted loans. As a result, the ABS reports defaults as 0% while actual consumer defaults are much higher. (Note a 6% – 8% default rate for “aged” loans is informally used, if any pre-option rate is reported or available at all). Aged loans have a proven repayment history of 6 months or more. The “aged” number does not include what is certainly a much higher total consumer default percentage of timeshare loans when early defaults are included.
The repurchase and substitution option in an ABS is typically capped at around 15% of the total. More importantly, the rating agency should not (but appear to nonetheless) give credit to the option to repurchase or substitute defaulted loans. Gross loss expectations are increasing also. It is reported in the investor literature as 11 – 12% in prior years to 13-14% today; dangerously close to underwriting limits.
Wyndham and DRI would like its debt investors to believe the increase in defaults is due to an uncharacteristically high number of borrowers being solicited by lawyers and “scammers” offering to get consumers out of their timeshare. Thus, we see the rise in Cease and Desist letters and litigation targeting consumer “friendly” legal providers.
What is more, ABS investors, thus the developers selling timeshare ABSs, are hypersensitive to cash flow. Admittedly a bit desensitized since 2007, they will nonetheless respond when issues or news challenge a specific ABS or a class of ABS, such as timeshares.
Timeshare regulators (assuming any exist and/or pay attention) also need to be reminded that in 2007 investors experienced losses because they made decisions on bogus ratings, guarantees from mono-line insurers, and a blind faith in historically real-estate prices. Simplistically, people ignored the quality of the contractual cash flow, relying instead on history (home price appreciation in the case of the MBS). This sounds analogous to timeshares today.
With the rise in Social Media, timeshare members are more and more expressing increased owner unrest, disturbed by a rise in consumer complaints, as evidenced by Mark Brnovich’s issuance of Diamond’s Assurance of DiscontinuanceAOD fueled by over 900 consumer complaints. Is anyone paying attention?
I spoke to a Wyndham executive last month at my VOAs annual meeting. He saw this issue as a problem caused by lawyers seeking timeshare members and a major problem. With an aging population of original buyers who no longer want or need their timeshare, many don’t know where to turn when there is no secondary market and the contract is perpetual.
On a similar line, most all ABS, to include timeshares, are supported by significant “credit enhancements” to protect the investors from higher than anticipated (historical) default rates. Overcollateralization (issuing less debt than total assets held) is a particularly valued credit enhancement technique used. However, overcollateralization becomes tricky, even suspect, when the assets held by the seller have no explicit face amount/market established price as with the non-viable timeshares resale market. My impression is most agency raters, while sophisticated financial types, are not educated on the underlying change of the timeshare product pool being securitized, as most are reliant on the developers for their information and understanding.
Finally, as I noted earlier, reported default rates are zero. As a result, most rating agencies, I argue to retain clients, and many investors, dependent on industry reporting, do not dig any deeper. Both sides see no news as good news – once again analogous to the 2007 mortgage back securities fiasco. This needs to change.
Thank you Michael, not being of a financial mind, the article has been a bit of an education, I just didn’t know these things went on.
There we have it, look out for the article on Amador Galeca, more important beware of any calls or emails promising that you have money waiting for you. The truth is you haven’t, all they want is your money, so stay safe, keep your money in the bank and do your homework before parting with it.
It is exactly the same layout as all the others, with some new photographs added, one in particular shows a “lawyer” with the Argentinian flag behind him. They also show several official logos just to add credibility to their “firm”.
The scenario is the same as all the others, your timeshare company is being taken to court and you can be included in the case, you only have to pay the procurator fees to be included. Then, yes, you have guessed it, within weeks you have won your case and the cheque is waiting for you. But to receive this wonderful cheque you have to pay the “TAX”, probably the same amount as we have seen with the others, 10% of the awarded amount.
The letter which you receive tells when the firm was founded, must admit it is an exact date, Wednesday 27th June 1990. Wow, to be able to remember the day is really impressive. They also give their CIF number (Codigo de Identificación Fiscal)AS201411031, which if their past ones are anything to go by is fake.
This letter opens with an apology for contacting you in this manner, but it was deemed necessary as the number of complaints received by the European Complaints Authority has increased dramatically over the past 12 months. A body which if you google it, doesn’t actually exist.
It then goes on (3 pages worth) about the changes in timeshare law, and how greedy the timeshare companies are, (well we do have to agree with that one). But one of the best paragraphs is where they talk about “bogus and Fraudulent companies”, so are they talking about themselves?
Don’t be fooled by all this, it is one very clever and well thought out fraud, with new law firms popping up all the time. We just wonder how long before the next one is born!
If you have had any contact from any of the “Firms” related to this, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. Do not be fooled by the amounts they say is there waiting for you. Spain does not operate under no win no fee, and to get a case to court will much more time than this lot would have you believe. The other fact to take into consideration is the name given as a director for all the timeshare companies CLC, Silverpoint, Diamond etc, is the same, Kevin Baker or Kevin Balker, who pleads guilty every time.
For more information on the other articles search Litigious Abogados in the search box at the top right of the page.
Remember, do you homework, if you are not sure contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.
This website was created on 5 January 2017, so is just 3 months old yet they are claiming victory over Resort Properties, where the “Director Kevin Baker” pleaded guilty. Strange that? The same name was the director of Club la Costa from Litigious Abogados and other resorts in previous letters, who also pleaded guilty.
This website is exactly the same as the previous ones except for the logo and minor changes. All photos are the same including the lawyers with two new names: Manuel Torres Privlo and Ramon Quena Cinol. Even using the same photographs as on the other sites.
Again the letters state that the client has been awarded a substantial amount in compensation, including a very good copy of the court’s sentence. This again bears stamps, which to those not familiar with Spanish court documents would believe are genuine.
As in the previous articles the modus operandi is the same, to receive this wonderful payout all the client has to do is pay the procurator Davido the tax and the money will be released. Once again the client receives a colour photocopy of the cheque. This is issued on a Banesto cheque, which as we know was taken over completely in 2012 and merged with Santander. They stopped using Banesto cheques, cards and logo very soon after.
This is indeed a very sophisticated operation, documents, letters, cheques and bank drafts do look very convincing. The standard of English on the letters is also very good, which again suggests an educated native English speaker is involved
Inside Timeshare cannot stress enough that on no account should you part with any money or even take any notice of the so called windfall that you have been told is waiting for you. Courts do not issue cheques.
If you have had any correspondence from any of the companies listed in previous articles or this new one, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.
Links to previous articles or search Litigious Abogados, these have full lists of all names used:
Once again Inside Timeshare has received another email from a concerned reader about Litigious Abogados, he also received an email that he had a case against Diamond and can be included in the forthcoming case.
To get this underway an initial payment of around 1000€ needed to be made, this was payable to the “Court Procurator” Davido Harstun Jaime. The client did pay this and eventually he received the great news that Diamond Resorts pleaded guilty on 13 December 2016. The strange thing is, if Diamond were going to plead guilty, surely they would have made an out of court settlement, rather than go to trial?
He was informed the court had awarded him around 20,000€, but before this could be released he would need to pay “TAX”, again to the “Court Procurator”. There is also a new twist to this tale, he was informed that this “TAX” would be refunded to him by the UK’s HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). This would be in June 2017 after the lawyers had made representations in his behalf.
Now, why would HMRC refund any “TAX” paid to a court in Spain or to the Spanish Government?
The plot is certainly getting thicker in order to lend credibility to this operation. Inside Timeshare wonders what the next twist will be.
This is a full list of the company names and websites with all names that appear on documents and emails:
Luckily for this reader he found the previous articles on Inside Timeshare and this has saved him several thousand euros. Once again this proves you need to do your due diligence before engaging any company, doing your homework will save you money and heartache.
If you have been contacted by any of the companies in this and previous articles, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. It is through your information that others can be warned.
The only problem is they all have the same photograph, it could be that they are identical triplets!
Since the original articles more documentation has been sent in by a reader ( we shall call him Mr X) who was almost taken in by Litigious Abogados, unfortunately he had already paid them around 1200€ for procurator fees, and was about to pay more when he found the original article.
Below is the original contact letter he received telling him about the case against his timeshare company. They state “we are officially recognised by the high Court of Santa Cruz”, their “lawyers are legally authorised to operate in any Court of Law in Spain” and they “are currently working in conjunction with the Spanish Authorities”. This is signed by Ramon Quilnar Canal of the Reclaim Department.
These picture are more than likely to have been downloaded from the net from lawyers images on google etc.
Now to the court case.
Mr X then received a letter with the amount that needed to be paid to the Court ProcuratorDavido Harstun Jaime, this was originally 1,312€ reduced to 1,201€ and was refundable. Once he agreed to this he would be included in the case, which was to be heard on 15 November 2016. The website and address for Davido Harstun Jaime the Procurator is:
Then in a letter dated 17 October 2016 Mr X is informed that the hearing on 15 November was successful and he had been awarded the grand total of 32,449€ not a bad sum. It may be a clerical error but we did not think that time travel was yet possible!
Mr X was then informed that the money had been lodged with the “Procurator” and a cheque had been made out in his name (he received a copy by email to confirm). Only snag is he must first pay the tax to the court procurator to release the funds. This amounted to around 6,800€, unfortunately he could not afford that amount and informed Litigious of this.
They then informed him of some good news, after a conversation with the lawyer liaison Richard Lehmen, a meeting was held and as a goodwill gesture they would pay 50% of these fees on his behalf. Mr X would pay this back when he received his money. A cheque was made out to the Procurator and a copy sent to Mr X. This letter was signed by Simone Maro Malivaz (Abogado).
This is a very sophisticated operation and for anyone who does not know the legal or tax systems in Spain it looks very plausible. Once again Inside Timeshare urges anyone who receives any calls, email or letters stating that their timeshare company is being prosecuted or that they have won a substantial amount in compensation to be very careful. Unless you have personally instructed a law firm, signed a power of attorney with a notary for them to act on your behalf, then there is no case. Also court taxes and government tax are paid when the case is lodged with the court by your instructed law firm.
This story proves the point that doing your homework and due diligence is the most important thing to save you possibly thousands. If you require any information about any company that has contacted you with anything similar or even by any of these contact Inside Timeshare and we will look into them for you. It will also help other readers not to be taken in.