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Centaurus Mediations

What a Pitch! Readers Share their Information.

Over the few months Inside Timeshare has been alerting our readers about two companies, Abogados Lopez and Centaurus Mediations, the latest is the pitch these two are using, first Abogados Lopez.

According to the calls our readers have been receiving calls from first Hope Brugge and then a Megan Haywood, they have been appointed to take over cases against timeshare companies, that the client’s case has been brought forward and is going to be heard in the next couple of days.

Hope or Megan need to verify certain information before presenting the case in the court, which if it had already been filed and the case is being brought forward, those details would have been checked before. So the question is why do they need to verify it and file the case at court, is it for credibility?

They also go on to tell the client that the law firm they have paid to do the case for them is actually a scam which is why they at Abogados Lopez have taken on the cases. Hope or Megan even go on to say they hope that the client didn’t sign a power of attorney.

Within a day or so the client receives another phone call from Hope or Megan, this time with the great news that they have won the case and the court has awarded them thousands of pounds in compensation. Now comes the crunch, to get this money released from the court there is a fee to be paid, some have been told it is for taxes.

This fee has to be paid by bank transfer, the client receives an email with all the bank details, there is only one major problem here, the account is in the name of a private individual. Now, we don’t know about you, but we have to ask, why is a so-called law firm using bank accounts in the names of private individuals?

Unfortunately, due to readers of our pages getting in touch with Inside Timeshare or their law firm they have realised that this is just an elaborate “SCAM”. When they confront Hope with this she gets very aggressive, raising her voice and telling the client that they are not the “SCAM” but everyone else is. She then slams down the phone. Oops, chucking dummies out of the pram!

The next pitch our readers have told us about is another that is being used to gain “credibility”, this involves Centaurus Mediations SL in Tenerife, a company that is not unfamiliar to our pages and that we know is linked to Mark Cushway and Silverpoint.

In this case the representative from Centaurus knocks on the doors of Silverpoint members at the resort, in this case Hollywood Mirage. In the case of our reader it was a young lady, she informed them that they had been “appointed” by the court to act as “mediators” following court cases against Silverpoint.

When questioned the young lady was unable to answer any questions as she stated she didn’t work with the mediators, but acted on their behalf to contact clients. She then made an appointment for them.

At the appointment they were greeted by the same girl, and introduced to a man named John who was described as a “Paralegal” and would explain their options.

The clients then asked where did Centaurus get their contact details and information that they were staying, apparently John looked a little flustered and reiterated that the court gave them the details. Obviously the client did not believe them and informed them of this even stating that it was a breach of protection of data, that the court would not pass on any information without informing the client.

John then brought over another person called Taz who he called the owner and his manager, this Taz told the clients that the court had ordered Silverpoint to supply them with weekly lists of Silverpoint clients stay at the resorts.

Obviously our readers did not believe all this baloney, informing them again that it was a breach of data protection and that they believed that Centaurus was in fact working with Silverpoint and getting the data direct from them as part of Silverpoints enterprise.

At least our readers in this case had the good sense to realise that what they were being told was not true.

Silverpoint is that desperate that they set up a company to act in this way and swindle their own clients yet again, don’t forget they are also using two companies in Scotland for the same thing, Claims Solutions Group in Aberfeldy and Fullbrook Associates in Stirling.

Inside Timeshare warns all its readers beware the “pitch” which is designed to give credibility to the company that is contacting you. Question what you are being told, remember the courts do not appoint or order companies to contact timeshare clients. This information is coming from one source and one source only Silverpoint!

If you have had an experience like this then Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you, it will serve as a good warning to others. If you need to check on any company that has contacted you or one you have found in the internet, then contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.

News on Wednesday: More Warnings

We start today with another warning about the “Fake Law Firm”, Abogados Lopez, more readers have contacted Inside Timeshare with information on the calls they have received from Hope Brugge, claiming to be working for Canarian Legal Alliance.

According to our readers, many of whom are existing clients of CLA, the call is to inform them that their case is about to go to court and she needs to confirm some information before submitting the case. This is obviously a fishing call, as if you have a case with a legitimate law firm they would already have those detail and they would have been confirmed at the start.

Within a few day Hope Brugge calls again and informs the client that the case has been won and a substantial amount of money has been awarded. In order to have this money released, (yes you guessed it), Hope Brugge and Abogados Lopez need a fee to release it. The client is given bank details for a named individual to transfer the money.

The telephone numbers being used are:

0034 951 242 867 which is a Malaga code

0034 602 654 670 which is a Spanish mobile

Another number that has been used is

0044 1291 440 500 which is a Chepstow code.

If you receive any call of this nature do not be fooled by them, if you are an existing client of any law firm, contact them directly and inform them.

This is a blatant fraud, which the authorities are aware of.

Another reader has also informed us that another company has been contacting owners who purchased with Azure Resorts in Malta, using a Barclay Partner Finance loan agreements. Unfortunately the reader was not able to get the name properly so we will not speculate and guess.

According to the caller they are working with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) to bring a “class action” against Barclay Partner Finance on the 19 June, all rather urgent wouldn’t you say?

There is a case on that date being brought by the FCA, but this has nothing to do with what this company are on about. The case is being heard at the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery) of the Royal Courts of Justice.

The case revolves around a validation order sought by BPF for loan agreements made by Azure Resorts for timeshares in Malta, it turns out that the company brokering and arranging the loans was not authorised or licenced by BPF to do so. BPF turned to the FCA to have these agreements validated. These are only for certain clients who signed these agreements between April 214 and April 2016. If you did not receive any information about this in February 2018, then you are not involved.

The FCA on the evidence made out a validation order to have the loans legally recognised, as no client had suffered the “possibility of any consumer detriment arising from the manner in which the unauthorised broker carried out its activities”.

Unfortunately, the FCA was not aware of the full facts and many clients made complaints, the FCA has now sought to have this validation order overturned in the light of these complaints and new evidence put forward by the clients.

Inside Timeshare will keep you updated as to the outcome of this hearing.

It seems that according to information from our readers, Claims Solutions Group are contacting Silverpoint clients, (which we already knew), but this time using Brexit as the reason only they can help.

According to the caller, once the UK leaves the EU, it is going to be very difficult for any owner of a Silverpoint timeshare to get out. Now why would this be the case?

Obviously it is another scare tactic, to get Silverpoint owners to take up their services, for a fee off course, to get them out of a Silverpoint timeshare. Remember Silverpoint are working with this company and FullBrook Associates.

http://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-new-information-on-centaurus-mediations/

Sticking with Silverpoint, another company Centaurus Mediations is also using another tactic, this time it is at their offices in Tenerife. According to our reader, they were told that Centaurus had been appointed by the court to mediate following several court cases against Silverpoint, many of these cases have been reported on these pages.

Now considering that Centaurus Mediations is part of the Silverpoint setup, using data supplied by Silverpoint, plus the fact that the courts do not appoint any company to mediate or carry out any work such as this, points to one blatant lie. Only one of the many made over the years that Silverpoint have been operating.

The one thing in common is they all state that it is only them that can get you out, well Inside Timeshare begs to differ, the court results that we have reported on show that Silverpoint is on the run. At least 45 rulings against them from the Supreme Court, rulings against them on an almost daily basis in the lower courts, with many more waiting to be heard, that is the truth of the matter.

If you have any questions or comments on any this or any other article, then use our contact page and get in touch.

Have you been contacted by any company offering you a claim or stating that a case has been won and there is a substantial amount of money waiting for you at court then contact Inside Timeshare, your information can help others avoid losing thousands.

Timeshare Claims Companies and No Win No Fee

On 5 March, Inside Timeshare published the article about Aspirantco SL, we have been reliably informed of inaccuraccies in this article, which was based on information received from sources we believed reliable.

Inside Timeshare would like to put the record straight. Carl Alan Jenkins and his company Aspirantco SL are nothing to do with Silverpoint or Mark Cushway.

Aspirantco SL are now the official marketing company for Excel Resorts, which is the management company for all the properties in the former Silverpoint portfolio. Excel Resorts cancelled the contract with Silverpoint and Mark Cushway for the sales and marketing of the resorts.

Centaurus Mediations is linked to Mark Cushway and Silverpoint companies.

Carl Jenkins was the former second in command for Mark Cushway, but he resigned as he did not agree with the sales and marketing practices that were being used by Silverpoint. His company Aspirantco Sl are endeavoring to readdress the past mistakes and operate within all legal boundaries.

Inside Timeshare apologises to Carl Jenkins and Aspirantco SL for the misleading information published in the article. Inside Timeshare should have made more stringent checks on the sources. We hope that Carl Jenkins accepts this written apology.

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Today’s article is in response to many enquiries that Inside Timeshare receives on an almost daily basis, it centers around the promise of no win no fee claims.

From the many companies now operating in this field, especially since the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that many contracts sold in Spain are illegal, this has become a growth industry.

Firstlly, if you purchased or upgraded an original purchase in Spain since 5 January 1999 and your contract has the following, then you may just have a valid claim:

  • The contract is for a duration of more than 50 years, what is usually known as perpetuity;
  • You have been sold either floating week or points systems, (in many cases this may include fractional);
  • You paid a deposit or even the full amount within the 14 day cooling off period, (in some cases this may be extended to 90 days).

In order to claim it has to be done through the Spanish courts and legal system, this will mean employing a lawyer or law firm with the relevant experience in this field. Not all lawyers will have the correct knowledge of the laws involved.

For example Inside Timeshare knows of one German owner who took on the services of a German Lawyer based in the Canary Islands, to file a claim against Anfi. Unfortunately this particular lawyer wrongly informed his client to stop paying the maintenance fees. Eventually the case went before a judge at the Court of First Instance in Maspalomas, he lost the case. It was deemed that because he had not kept up his maintenance fees he was in breach of contract and his membership had been cancelled.

So what is involved in taking out legal action in Spain?

Once you have found a reputable law firm or lawyer with the correct experience, all contracts will have to be translated into Spanish.

A Power of Attorney will need to be signed to allow the lawyers to act on your behalf. This is not a full Power of Attorney and is only applicable to that case. It can be done either in Spain or at a notary in your own country.

Once this has been done they are then sent to the assigned lawyer for case preparation.

They will then be passed to a Procurador to file at the court along with the relevant court fees and taxes. A judge will then be assigned and the process will start.

For this to be put into place legal fees are required to be paid, these cover all of the above and are payable either in full or can be paid by installments depending on the firm or lawyer you instruct. They do not work on a no win no fee basis.

There are so many companies now that are telling owners that they have a claim and will do this on no win no fee. Then comes the crunch.

In order to do the claim a rather hefty amount of money will need to be paid to cancel the timeshare, or what is known as relinquishment and then the claim can be lodged. In some cases the client also has to buy into another product.

The problem is once a contract has been terminated then no claim can be filed at any Spanish court, so where and how is the claim going to be done?

section 75

The most common is through Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974.

Unfortunately most owners will have purchased more than 6 years previously, which most card companies use as the cutoff point. Also the fact the owners will have most probably used their timeshare in the period since they purchased.

So the timeshare resort or company will quite rightly state that the owner had received the goods or service they had paid for, after all they have taken the holidays.

Section 75 will cover:

  • Not receiving the goods or services paid for.
  • The company has gone into liquidation.
  • Faulty goods or goods not fit for purpose.

It does not cover the fact that you were sold a timeshare product that has been deemed an illegal contract in Spain.

As for timeshares purchased elsewhere, the same would also apply under section 75.

For information on what is involved in a section 75 follow the link to the Martin Lewis website:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/section75-protect-your-purchases

There are some UK firms that will offer a claim through the Spanish courts on a no win no fee basis, which may be genuine, these will use what are known as litigation funding. In essence these are companies that speculate on the probability of a win and will invest the funds to pay for the legal services. These will result in at least 40% of any funds awarded being taken in commission. Many of these types of litigation funders are used for class actions.

If you are tempted by these type of offers, one thing should be taken into account, an insurance policy should be purchased to cover any costs in the event of losing and being awarded the other sides costs, or you could be in for a bill of thousands.

There are some very basic questions you need to ask, if they are unable to provide any answers then you do need to think very hard in accepting their offers.

  1. What type of claim are they doing, is it a section 75 or are they using the courts?
  2. If they are using the courts, which jurisdiction are they using?
  3. What are the names of the lawyers including bar association membership numbers or the law firms they will be employing?
  4. If on a no win no fee basis, how is the court case to be funded?

Remember, not all timeshares sold will be valid to make a claim, off course the company talking to you will tell you that you do have a claim, after all they are sales people after your money.

It is also fair to point out that many law firms only offer no win no fee for injury, accident and medical negligence claims, these are where the client is going for compensation. With timeshare claims you are not getting compensation, but the return of money originally paid for a contract that is deemed illegal.

If you have been contacted by any company offering any of these services and would like to know the truth behind what they are saying, contact Inside Timeshare and we will give you an honest answer.

Want to know if a company or law firm is genuine again contact Inside Timeshare, don’t forget, doing your homework will save you in the end.

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The Monday Briefing

Welcome to the start of another week, we begin with a quick look at a few companies that have been contacting timeshare owners with regards to claims.

The first is a company called Burgess Cooper International, according to information received they have an address in Dublin, Republic of Ireland:

Clifton House, Fitzwilliam Street Lower, Dublin, Ireland

This address is the Clifton House Business Center, which provides short and long term serviced office space. These types of offices are in regular use by many of the companies we highlight. There is also no record of any company registration either in Ireland or the UK Companies House.

Burgess Cooper also give the following telephone number: 03333 444 053

They also have a website

www.cooperburgessint.com

which was registered on 24 November 2017, the registration details are privacy protected, which means we are unable to find out who is behind this company. Their email address is linked to the website:

[email protected]

Now considering when this website was registered it does make their claims to clients on their success very dubious indeed, in fact they show two case studies on their website, although they do not give much in the way of detail.

It does look like the type of claim the will be filing for a client will be under Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974, this will be against the owners credit card company. One fact to remember here is most will have purchased over 6 years ago, will have used their timeshare and therefore will not have a valid claim against the credit card company. So do they also then make a charge for relinquishing the timeshare as the claim is on a “no win no fee” basis?

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The next is Centaurus Mediations, their website was registered on 2 November 2017 and once again is privacy protected:

http://centaurusmediations.com

[email protected]iations.com

The telephone number they provide is. 0034 922 927643

The address they give on the website is:

237/3 Royal Palm, Calle Santa Rosa 1 Los Christianos Arona

and they also show a map on their contact page. The strange thing is according to their About us page, “Centaurus Mediators has its headquarters in our luxury Tenerife offices”. Which also house their mediators, negotiators, claims assessors, human resources, accounts and company officers.

Yet this address if for the The Royal Palm Holiday Apartments, so looking at Google maps on satellite view, there appears to be no luxury offices on that street, could they just be using an apartment?

According to their website they have already had the following success:

  • 327 Mediations
  • 151 Relinquishments
  • 97 Successful Claims
  • 64 Agreed Terminations.

There is a company registration with the CIF Number of B76750868 according to the registration Centaurus Mediations SL was only registered on 31 October 2017 so considering this date the above statistics are very impressive. The Sole Administrator is one Caroline Hiberry, who is also listed as the sole administrator for the following companies:

Some of these are very familiar from the past.

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Another company that has surfaced is Britanica Consumer Consultancy, with the address:

130 Old Street, London. EC1V 9BD

Which again is a service address.

Telephone number: 0207 100 9649

There is no website and the email address is just one registered with outlook.com

[email protected]

No registration at company house can be found, so with the information above does make the company look very dubious indeed.

The modus operandi is very familiar, the owner is told that the court has awarded them a substantial amount, even though they didn’t even know they had a case or claim at court!

A slight difference to this operation is that it is not “tax” that needs to be paid to release the money, it is translation costs for all the paperwork. The cost for this is in the region of £2,000!

The strange thing is how did the court have the case before the paperwork had been translated into Spanish?

Again, unless you have employed the services of a lawyer, had translations done and had your case filed at court then you will not have a case or any money awarded to you. The courts do not award money in this way, they also do not employ the services of any company to trace clients.

Just these three companies we have highlighted goes to show how careful you must be, if you are contacted by any company offering anything similar to the above think and think again. Do not part with any money especially by bank transfer or any other means such as Western Union. It is also very important to remember any reputable company does not ask for payments to be made into the name of a private individual.

If you require any help in checking the validity of any company or the story they tell you, contact Inside Timeshare, we will point you in the right direction.

Remember doing your homework will save you a lot of money in the end.

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