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Canarian Legal Alliance

Diamond Resorts or A Nightmare on Timeshare Street.

sunterradri logo

Diamond Resorts were unknown in Europe until the takeover of Sunterra in 2007, for many members, they believed it was going to be a new start. Sunterra formerly Grand Vacation Club had a reputation that was to say the least heavy handed, the sales side was aggressive and showed no quarter to those pulled in from the streets. Long standing members with fixed weeks refused to change as they had originally been sold their timeshares as “investments” in property. They also had the right to vote on maintenance fees and other matters which affected the resort they owned.

 

When Sunterra filed in the US for Chapter 11, which is the equivalent to filing for bankruptcy, many owners wondered what would happen to their “investment”. For those on holiday the talk around the pools and bars was what would happen next, rumours abounded. Information was non existent, the sales decks had been closed with all the reps being laid off. There were still a few of the in-house reps but they had no idea what was going on.

 

It was then announce that a new company from the States was looking at taking over from Sunterra. The takeover was announced in the Las Vegas Review Journal 28 April 2007. Steven Cloobeck´s privately owned Diamond Resorts paid around $700 million, and also took on responsibility of Sunterra´s debt of $375 million. Was this the new beginning the owners had been waiting for?

 

Unfortunately, as time has moved on, it has turned into a nightmare for many.

 

The points system was marketed very aggressively, more so than under Sunterra, owners were basically forced into converting. Around 2008 the first additional levy was introduced, Diamond claimed it was due to the state of the Euro to the Pound. This was only the start, in the first three years management fees increased by around 20-25% annually, for many owners this was a huge burden and they wanted out.


Keep Reading

Diamond Resorts Bought by Apollo Global Management

News came in to Inside Timeshare yesterday afternoon 29 June 2016 that a Private Equity Firm, Apollo Global Management had bought Diamond Resorts International.

 

The deal is reported to be worth $2.2 Billion, the stock for Diamond had risen from $25 to $29 a share within hours of the announcement. One analyst in the States, Chris Demuth has already suggested that the Wyndham Group may even purchase the company. He believes that Wyndham may even pay around $36 to $39 a share.

dri logo

Apollo Global Management was founded in 1990 by Leon Black, he was a former banker with Drexel Burnham Lambert. Drexel had closed earlier that year after a securities scandal which resulted in the bank having to pay $650 million in fines. Being unable to repay a $100 million debt it collapsed.

 

According to the online financial journal The Street, Bloomberg had called Drexel Burnham Lambert “Renegades of Junk”, due to its involvement in the junk bond market. Irene Parker a writer for The Street and a Diamond timeshare owner herself, believes that this title is more fitting for Apollo Global Management after its acquisition of Diamond Resorts. (follow link below).

 

http://www.thestreet.com/story/13624491/1/is-apollo-returning-to-its-junk-roots-with-its-acquisition-of-diamond-resorts.html

 

In her article for The Street, she explains her anger at the way Diamond has treated owners of its timeshares. She is in the process of writing a series of articles highlighting this, Inside Timeshare will be keeping you informed as they appear.

nyt logo

On the subject of the share prices, Inside Timeshare published an article in April, based on a report by Gretchen Morgansen of The New York Times. It highlighted the plunge in share prices following a series of reports about Diamonds treatment of owners, especially the elderly. It followed the story of a 77 year old lady called Mary Ann Gutierrez, she was subjected to an intense presentation by Diamond reps and basically held captive for around 5 hours, It was an attempt to upgrade her for a steep upfront fee, even though she had firmly told them no she was not interested.

 

The article also highlighted how Diamond hike up the maintenance fees after it buys a bankrupt resort. European owners are well aware of this themselves, after all they did see huge rises when Diamond took over from Sunterra around ten years ago. We are also well aware of how they make it virtually impossible to get out of the contracts. For those who purchased in Spain there is at least hope that these contracts can be declared “Null & Void”, also resulting in all the original payments being given back. All this has been made possible due to the strengthening of the laws in Spain, and the rulings of the Supreme Court, these can be found on the Canarian Legal Alliance website. (see following links).

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/diamond-resorts-international-share-price-falling/

 

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/diamond-resorts-court-case-victory-2/

 

If you have any questions as to how this may affect you, contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to find the answers for you. If you would like to know where you stand as far as making a claim or how to get out of your contract Inside Timeshare will be happy to give you the best advice and information possible.

 

Victory Number 11

here we go again

Last week 17 June 2016 Canarian Legal Alliance announced that it had just achieved another ruling at the Supreme Court. This now brings the total in just over a year to Eleven, with from what I have been told many more in the pipeline.

 

In this particular case, the court ruled as before on the precedent it previously set, that any contract sold in Spain which is longer than 50 years, is illegal according to the law 42/1998. In this case the English client will receive 11,000€, and their contract with Anfi cancelled. As usual the legal fees will probably have been awarded as well, although this was not mentioned. (But in all previous rulings this was the case).

 

This can only bode well for other firms who are now taking up the challenge of representing timeshare owners, as before this it was very hit and miss. Many firms would not risk the task, as the odds tended to be in the favour of the timeshare companies. It may have been due to the complexity of the timeshare laws and the fact very few had the knowledge or experience to represent the owners.

 

It would seem then that the tide has really turned in the favour of the consumers, rather than the companies, who in the past believed they were above the law. When these case are brought by other firms, Inside Timeshare will publish the results. So watch this space.

 

So again congratulations to this particular client and the legal team who must have worked hard to achieve this result.

champagne

If you have any questions about this or any of the articles published contact Inside Timeshare for free and impartial information.

Maintenance Arrears and Debt Collectors.

Further to Fridays Article 10 June 2016, Inside Timeshare has been doing a little digging. The TCA published a list in August 2015 of timeshare companies that have threatened legal action to force payment of the maintenance fees. The first part of the list are those that have threatened legal action using either debt collectors or solicitors, in some cases even bogus lawyers.

tca logo

The above companies have made the threats, but as far as can be ascertained have never actually taken any case to court.

The following companies have taken legal action but what the success rate has been is at present unknown.

So where do you the owners actually stand?

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Here We Go Again! Another Supreme Court Ruling for CLA against Anfi.

Canarian Legal Alliance once again announces another Supreme Court victory against Anfi, this was published on their website on 31 May 2016.

 

The Supreme Court again has awarded one of their clients double the deposit back, due to the fact of taking payments within the 14 day cooling off period. The court has also reinforced the fact that floating weeks and contracts in perpetuity are illegal. This client will be receiving over 30,000€ and have their contract canceled.

 

This now brings the number of rulings by the Supreme Court on behalf of CLA clients to nine. This will obviously have a profound effect on all timeshares sold within Spanish jurisdiction, the floodgates have been opened and there is now no turning back.

 

Consumers now have the full protection of the law despite what the timeshare companies and the trade body the RDO may say. In the end it is only themselves to blame for their present predicament.

 

It has also come to the attention of Inside Timeshare that another case brought in Tenerife against Silverpoint has resulted in a victory. The only information so far is the case was conducted on behalf of a British Silverpoint client, the case was heard by Judge José Pablo Carrera Fernadez. At present we do not know which firm started these proceedings. It would seem that the court in Tenerife has also used the Supreme Court rulings in its judgement. More will be published on this when the information becomes available.

 

Once again congratulations to the respective clients and both the legal teams that fought your cases.

slicksaleman

THE SUPREME COURT STRIKES AGAIN

Inside Timeshare is here to bring you the latest news and information about the world of timeshare. If you need any advise or information about your own timeshare or any company that you may be thinking of dealing with, contact Inside Timeshare for free and impartial advice.

Fast and Furious: Result Within 24 Hours!

On 27 May Canarian Legal Alliance posted another victory against Anfi Resorts, this case was heard on 25 May 2016.

 

From the initial hearing to the judgement being delivered was within a staggering 24 hours, now this is amazing for any court no matter what country. This particular family must be very happy indeed, their contract has been cancelled and the court has ordered that they be repaid 20,000€.

fast and furious

It would seem that the Supreme Court rulings are having a profound effect on the way the lower courts are now dealing with these cases. In the past it was taking so long for cases to be heard and could even take longer to be resolved, mainly due to the lengthy appeals process. This can be seen with the now famous Grimsbo v Anfi case, six years in the making, but resulting in historical Supreme Court rulings.

 

Again this contract was declared null and void due to the taking of deposits within the cooling off period, along with the illegality of floating / points systems. We now wait to see how quickly other cases similar to this will be heard and adjudicated.

 

So it is congratulations to this particular family and well done the legal team at CLA.

 

Inside Timeshare is here to give you the latest news and information on what is happening around the timeshare world. Much of it will be kept from you the members, could it be they are afraid of a mass exodus or even more litigation. Truthful information is what you the members require, yes, you may be happy with what you have, Kim & Andy are proof of that. But even they are interested in what is going on, after all it may just affect you in the future.

real news

Update: Latest Massive Win for CLA Client.

Yesterday 25 May 2016 Canarian Legal Alliance announced another massive win for one of their Norwegian Clients.

 

The court in Maspalomas Gran Canaria, used the recent Supreme Court rulings that contracts in perpetuity are illegal along with the floating week system. This court also ordered the payment of double the deposit paid within the cooling off period.

 

This is another blow for Anfi resorts as the amount is a staggering 189,000€. It is also a blow for the RDO as Anfi is a member of this organisation, they have backed Anfi in suggesting that these rulings are incorrect and that the contracts are not illegal.

anfi logordo-logo

So far since the 4 April 2016,  Anfi have been ordered to reimburse CLA clients around 661,101.32€ in respect of illegal contracts. These contracts have also been declared null and void, thereby freeing the clients from their timeshares.

 

As stated in the article published on 24 May 2016, this is just against one company, how will they be able to sustain amounts such as this at the rate the courts are ruling against them? It would seem that the prediction of the million euro mark being reached before the halfway point of the year is right on track.

http://insidetimeshare.com/?s=breaking+news

Congratulations to the client and the legal team at CLA for this huge victory.

 

Inside Timeshare will continue to keep you updated as the news comes in. If you require any information about your rights or need to find out about a company you have or are possibly going to deal with, contact Inside Timeshare for free advice.

ANFI CONTRACT DECLARED NULL AND VOID COURT ORDERS REFUND OF 189.000€ TO OUR CLIENTS

Breaking News: Canarian Legal Alliance Strike Again.

Some interesting breaking news has just come our way, it appears that Canarian Legal  Alliance has done it again. It has been announced that they have secured their eighth Supreme Court Judgement, again this is against Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL. (see link at end of article)

anfi ariel view

The court has confirmed again the illegality of the perpetuity contract, citing that the contract should be no longer than 50 years in accordance with the timeshare laws. The court has also ruled on another important point which will have a significant effect for other claimants.

 

As we know many people will have bought a timeshare with other resorts while already owning at another. These have usually been taken in part exchange or what is known as a trade-in. The court has now ruled that the trade-in value must now be taken into account as a payment on the day along with any deposit. The client in this instance was awarded double the deposit including double the value of the trade-in. So it looks like the trade-in value is being seen as a part payment within the 14 day cooling off period.

 

In this instance the CLA client has been awarded 51,000€ plus interest, including all legal fees. Again this is a substantial amount for any company to have to pay back for past transgressions, how long can any company last when the courts are ruling in this manner?

anfi logordo-logo

As stated before, the industry has only itself to blame, the RDO as the industry trade body also shares some of this blame. After all, the laws were put into place many years ago with the implementation of the EU Timeshare Directive. Resorts and their marketing departments failed to adhere to them and the RDO turned a blind eye to this. The industry is now paying for this dearly, we have seen only a fraction of the cases adjudicated on so far. Over the past month and a half, one company has been ordered to pay out nearly half a million euros. At this rate the million euro mark will be reached before the year is even half way through.

 

So, congratulations to this particular client and congratulations to the legal team at Canarian Legal Alliance. It does seem that their tenacity and hard work is now paying off, I for one will be keeping an eye on them for more judgements.

champagne

If you have any problem with your timeshare or have dealt with any company that has not delivered on their promise be it resale or claims, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. If you require any information as to what you can do about it, Inside Timeshare will be pleased to advise you.

THE SUPREME COURT RULES AGAIN

An Expensive Month for Some!

Today I was looking at some of the news from the past month, it looks like it was an expensive one for timeshare resorts.

 

The TCA reported a case against MacDonald Resorts Leila Playa Club in Spain, this action was regarding contracts signed between 2003 and 2008. From the TCA article (below) it looks like the courts accepted the illegality of the perpetuity contract, the fact that buyers were not given the information they were entitled to and also that the resort did not comply with the right of withdrawal.

 

The article did not state the law firm which took on the case but it was finalised on 5th April 2016, with TCA publishing it on 4th May.

 

In this case the court awarded the client £11,839.22 The court also stated that interest on this sum was to be paid and all costs incurred by the trial. This is another ray of hope for many, it shows that the Supreme Court Rulings are being taken notice of in other courts.

 

http://www.timeshareconsumerassociation.org.uk/2016/05/04/tatoc-members-macdonald-resorts-contracts-proven-null-and-void/

 

In another part of Spain a law firm which has been mentioned in articles here, has had a tremendous month. The main highlight to the Canarian Legal Alliance month was the payout of Mrs Grimsbo, the Norwegian client who made history with the first ever Supreme Court Ruling. She has as reported on 4th May been paid out over 43.000€.

champagne

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/payout-for-our-first-supreme-court-victory/

 

Now since The beginning of April the courts have made awards to CLA clients of over 361 893.14€ all against ANFI.

 

  • April 4            27 600€
  • April 11          52 095.72€
  • April 14         92 797.42€
  • April 21      130 000€
  • May 4           43 000€ (Grimsbo)
  • May 6           17 000€

**ARCHIV**Banknoten in 50er, 100er, 200er und 500er-Scheinen liegen auf einem undatierten Foto, das von der Bundesbank in Frankfurt am Montag, 3. Dez. 2007, zur Verfuegung gestellt wurde, auf einem Haufen. Der Euro hat in Deutschland nach einer Umfrage fuer die Dresdner Bank an Popularitaet verloren. Knapp sechs Jahre nach Einfuehrung der Gemeinschaftswaehrung erklaerten nur noch 36,3 Prozent, sie faenden den Euro gut. 2004 lag die Zahl noch bei 42,6 Prozent, wie die Bank am Sonntag, 16. Dez. 2007 aus der Umfrage der Forschungsgruppe Wahlen berichtete. (AP Photo/Bundesbank) --- Undated photo provided by the German Federal Reserve Bank in Frankfurt on Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, shows Euro bank notes in 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euro bills. (AP Photo/German Federal Reserve Bank)

On April 26, CLA also had another victory, this time against Palm Oasis, the client in that case received an award of 26 000€. The award in this case was the perpetuity contract and the taking of a deposit within the cooling off period.

 

This is all in one month, how can the industry sustain payouts like this, all because in the past they thought they could get away with anything. They thought they were untouchable, well we have heard that before, now they are reaping the whirlwind, or is it a Tsunami as one paper put it!

So to finish, congratulations to the clients on your cases, well done to all the legal teams who fought for your rights. If the industry has any sense it would know that the writing’s on the wall, they can no longer behave as though they are lords and masters, that it is you the consumer/member that keeps them going and keeps them in a job.

on the wall

If you require any information regarding any article posted or have been in contact with any company and are not sure of their authenticity, Inside Timeshare is here to help. Contact us  on the comments section, if we do not know the answer we will find out.

Look Who Is Now Giving Timeshare Advice!!!!

Firstly thank you to the TCA for giving me a good laugh over the past couple of days, with their articles on Silverpoint. Well well well, things never cease to amaze me in the industry of timeshare. The company with the biggest track record of destroying an otherwise good product is now in the business of giving “ADVICE”.

 

http://www.timeshareconsumerassociation.org.uk/2016/04/19/silverpoint-bait-and-switch/

 

http://www.timeshareconsumerassociation.org.uk/2016/04/20/silverpoint-consumer-advice/

Silverpoint_Consumer_advice_Logo_308U

Siverpoint Consumer Advice website, the latest tool in their attempt to deceive the poor old public. The track record of this company is a long and painful one. As many people have found out to their financial cost.

 

Let’s start with their wonderful “Investment Scheme”, selling blocks of weeks with the promise of a return within 2 years of around 15%, with the sale of these weeks. This has cost you around £20,000 to £30,000. Then comes the top up, sorry these weeks that you have are not selling well, because people want something better. Tell you what, why don’t you buy 6 weeks in this resort which is much better, it has a higher sale value and is sought after. What we can do is take the 6 weeks you own already and trade them in for the new one.

 

So they give you a price of say £50,000 with a trade in of £15,000, but you can’t afford this. You also do not want to lose your “investment”, so what do they do? Arrange a finance agreement for you on the day. Barclays Partner Finance is well known for working with Silverpoint and has been the subject of several court cases.

 

Now you have a new “investment deal”. Again the promise is they will sell them for you in 2 years, in the meantime they will rent them for you to help pay the maintenance. Guess what happens next? They can’t sell and want you to trade in for another better resort or even the Sunseeker yachts they used to peddle.

buyerbeware

All this is in the public domain, this company has been and still is the subject of legal action. Below are three videos taken from youtube. The first two show a sales rep called Leanne and then the Sales Director Dave Taylor, basically fobbing off a client who has been duped of around £90,000. The third video shows a courtroom where Dave Taylor, who looks remarkably nervous, trying to say that Silverpoint are not Resort Properties , well this didn’t go down well with the judge. After all the CEO of RP is Mark Cushway, the CEO of Silverpoint is Mark Cushway, the owner of both companies is Bob Trotta. Del Boy would not be proud of the scams that this lot have pulled, at least he had some scruples.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkrdK0shvn4

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oNdi4NT4O8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ksff6yofqJs

 

As you can see from these videos, this company cannot be trusted, so how can they give any advice?

 

They also say on their website only trust RDO and TATOC members, these organisations as Inside Timeshare has previously shown are there only for the benefit of the industry. Not to forget that Mark Cushway is also a board member of the RDO, with Silverpoint being a major contributor to these organisations funding.

rdo-logotatoc logo

I have also looked at the website for Canarian Legal Alliance as they have had great success in court against this company, In the news section under the tag of Silverpoint are the archives of cases won. They show cases going back to 2013, so everything is in the public domain and this company along with the RDO and TATOC are trying to make out that none of this is true. Only their advice is worth anything, well I for one do not believe a word of it, the truth is out there, it is up to you to find it and your choice on who to believe.

 

Inside Timeshare is not affiliated to any timeshare company, the information provided is taken from research and written to provide you with independent views on what should be a great product.