Well, here we go the start of another week in the world of timeshare, over the weekend Inside Timeshare has received numerous enquiries regarding companies offering a variety of services.
One reader who unfortunately has been taken in by Armando Gareca Abogados and the Litigious Abogados family. They have paid Ricardo Sannino a substantial amount of money, they have since tried to contact them by telephone, but the number is out of service. Not a very good sign.
To recap on how the scam works, timeshare owners are contacted usually via email and informed that a case has been filed at court against their timeshare company / resort, they can be included in the upcoming case (usually within the next few weeks). They are told how much they will receive and when this will happen, in order to have their case included in this prosecution, the procurator fees must be paid. This will be around 10% of the amount being claimed.
Within weeks, you receive confirmation that your case has been successful, that the Director, usually a Keith Baker or Keith Balker, has pleaded guilty. This name has been used as the director of the following companies:
Not bad really, the same person acting as director for many rival timeshare companies, who also pleads guilty to every case!
Part of the confirmation that you have been awarded this substantial amount is a copy of the “court” order verifying the amount and a copy of a cheque with your name and the amount on it. The problem is the cheque is made out on a Banesto cheque, this bank no longer exists, it was taken over in 2012 by Santander, who subsequently removed all Banesto logos and name from all cheques cards etc.
To receive this lovely amount, “tax” needs to be paid, this is around 21% of the awarded amount. This once again needs to be paid to the Procurador, before he can release the cheque.
So once you have paid this fee, you then receive an envelope by post, but surprisingly it has been opened, document from the court is there, but the cheque is missing. Then comes the next phase to the scam.
You receive a letter from another company, the last one was Manuel Valentin, who states that they have been charged by the court with the task of investigating the disappearance of the cheque and retrieving your money. They inform the client that a gang of Romanians have stolen the cheque and cashed it. Not bad considering the cheque was made out in your name.
In order to do this work, you must once again pay a fee of 10% of the amount, they will then work on your behalf and retrieve this money for you. Guess what, you will never get anything back, you are now several thousand pounds the lighter.
- You do not have a case at court unless you have personally instructed a lawyer to act on your behalf.
- Cases at court will take anything from 1 to 2 years to get there, not the weeks this lot say.
- No cases will have gone to court in August, the courts are closed.
- No director of any timeshare company or resort is going to plead guilty.
- Courts do not issue cheques for money awarded. Certainly not using a bank that no longer exists.
- No company is going to be charged by a court to investigate and retrieve stolen cheques.
- There is no tax to pay on any awarded amount, Tax would have been paid to the court when your case was filed.
- Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will never be involved.
- Unless your purchase was made in Spain, then you will not have a case in a Spanish court.
If you require any information on court procedures and payments of legal fees and taxes, contact Inside Timeshare and we will explain them to you.
Remember, before you ever pay out any money, do your due diligence and check who the company is, do not be taken in by the large sums these companies say is waiting for you. For the full story over the months search Litigious Abogados in the search box.
Now on with another important story, this involves TimeshareTalk, a forum of timeshare owners, which was once seen as an independent place for the exchange of information and good advice.
Unfortunately there has been some dissention among the long standing members, as we know timeshare talk was the forum set up by the TCA, a once independent consumer website. These entities were sold a few months ago to Mark Rowe of Monster Credits, Hollywood Marketing and sellmytimeshare.tv fame.
Since his takeover, TCA have been doing nothing but extolling the virtues of of Mr Rowe’s new companies, such as ABC Lawyers. Timeshare talk members have had posts and discussions removed when they mention any of this person’s companies. The forum was no longer seen as the independent place for discussion. Totalitarian Regime practices took effect, the freedom of speech and expression which was the cornerstone of this forum had been eroded.
But it is not all doom and gloom, many of those long standing members have now setup a new forum, Timeshare Users Forum, to bring in those lost ideals. It is a forum open for any timeshare user to join, you will need to go on the website and register as a user if you wish to participate.
Inside Timeshare has registered and will post any information that may be of interest to users, we will also be there to answer any questions with facts, if we do not know the answer, we will find out for you or point you in the right direction.
Inside Timeshare wishes this new forum the very best, we hope that the old ideals will be resurrected and also look forward to working with the members.
Follow the link to the new Timeshare Users Group Forum
August is almost over, so come September the courts will be back in full swing and we anticipate many more announcements of cases being won in favour of the consumer. Inside Timeshare will be keeping an eye on those announcements and will publish them here.
Tomorrow we will be publishing Part II of Hug your Haters, A Customer Service Message. This is based on the book, Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer, which is apparently available at most airport book stores. It is again written by our US colleague Irene Parker. Then this week’s Friday’s Letter from America will be travelling once again to the Land Down Under, for another installment from Justin Morgan our Antipodean colleague, in Friday’s Letter from Australia, this is titled “What Role Does Private Equity Play in Timeshare?”.
If you have any comments or questions, contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to answer them for you. If you have anything to share regarding your own experiences and would like others to benefit, we will work with you to publish your story.
So that is it for today, remember to do your due diligence, doing your homework will save you a lot of money and stress.