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CLC

Mid Week Report: Diamond Resorts Receive Second Supreme Court Sentence

The Supreme Court, Spain’s highest judicial body has again found against Diamond Resorts as per their previous 129 rulings. This week alone Diamond have lost 2 cases at the highest court in Spain, it all centers on their points system which has been declared an illegal product due to lack of tangibility and the length of the contract.

In the past three years, the Supreme Court has ruled on 131 cases involving the sales of timeshare, each time it has upheld its previous rulings, on many occasions it has added further rulings on the interpretation of the Spanish Timeshare Laws 42/98 & 4/12.

The latest case started with a trial at the Court of First Instance No 24 in Tenerife, the judge in this instance found for the clients as dictated by the previous ruling of the Supreme Court and the Spanish Timeshare laws.

The infractions were the contract had no end date, which is in contravention of the law as laid down and reinforced by previous rulings, the law clearly states that a timeshare contract should be a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 50 years in duration. The second was the points system, which shows no tangible product, this being a fixed week number and fixed apartment number, which guarantees the purchaser the period and accommodation each year.

The Judge ruled in favour of the client, declaring the contract null and void plus the return of all money paid. However, Diamond did not agree and promptly appealed the decision to the High Court.

During this appeal, Diamond pleaded that what they had sold was not timeshare, that just like Silverpoint, these were “investors” and not consumers of timeshare. For some reason the judges at the High Court agreed and overturned the decision of the Court of First Instance.

The lawyers of Canarian Legal Alliance representing the clients, placed an appeal with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had already previously ruled on the point of “investors as opposed to consumers”, ruling that they are consumers.

On 13 December 2018, the judges of the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Tenerife High Court upholding and reaffirming the ruling of the Court of First Instance, in favour of the client and in accordance to their previous rulings.

The court along with the original decision declared the contract null and void, awarded over 11,000€ plus they ordered the return of all legal fees for the original case and the appeal, sending it back to the original court for execution of sentence.

The full sentence can be seen in the PDF below.

Supreme Court 2nd Diamond sentence data protected

Over the past 3 or so years the Supreme Court has been consistent in reaffirming their previous rulings, which all courts must abide by. The basic rulings are that deposits or any payment made within the cooling off period are illegal, including those made to a third party. The points and floating weeks systems are not permitted as they do not guarantee anything to the consumer. The duration of the contract is another aspect they have consistently ruled upon, that any contract with a period of more than 50 years is not permitted.

As with the Silverpoint rulings on the “investment packs” which Silverpoint argued made the purchaser an “investor” not a “consumer”, the court has ruled these are indeed timeshares and the law applies. This is also being used in the case of fractional ownership and more recently the Silverpoint Company Participations, the courts have ruled that they are timeshare and that the consumer has the full protection of the timeshare law.

On the point of “investing”, timeshare is not an investment in property, it is a right of use and enjoyment of accommodation for specific periods of time, therefore it should never be marketed or sold as an investment. This is actually borne out by First National Trust in 2012, they are the trustees for the Club la Costa Fractional Owners Club, they informed CLC that fractional should never be marketed as an investment. (See link below).

http://clcmembers.blogspot.com/

Over the years we have seen many timeshare companies change the product, giving it new names, in many cases it has been a blatant attempt to bypass the timeshare laws, but thanks to the courts and especially the Supreme Court, this has been thwarted.

As with any new law, it has taken a long time and many test cases to clarify the interpretation of the law, there is still a long way to go as timeshare companies try to evade the strict laws which now govern the sale of any timeshare product in Spain.

  • Have you purchased a timeshare in Spain or upgraded since 5 January 1999?
  • Is the contract over 50 years in duration?
  • Is it a floating weeks or points system?
  • Have you purchased fractional?
  • Did you purchase the Silverpoint “Investment Weeks”?
  • Are you a participant in the Silverpoint “Company Participation” scheme?
  • Have you paid any money within the cooling off period?

If you can say yes to any of these questions, then you may have the right to have your contract declared null and void, along with the return of at least your purchase price, double whatever paid within the cooling off period.

If you require any information on what your rights are and whether you do have a valid and viable claim, then use our contact page and we will point you in the right direction.

You should also bare in mind that these claims must go through a Spanish court using a genuine Spanish registered lawyer, your contract must also still be running. Once you have cancelled any ownership / membership, then you lose your right to file with the courts.

Remember, before you do anything, do your due diligence and check who you are dealing with, do not take at face value some of the claims many companies will make. If you require any help in determining the validity of any company that contacts you, that you find on the internet or through adverts in magazines or newspapers, then contact Inside Timeshare for the best advice possible.

Stay safe and do your homework.

Start the Week

Welcome to the start of another week at Inside Timeshare, last week we had the privilege of publishing our first article from Canada, sent in by the Club Intrawest Owners Group Hopefully this will be the first of many.

We also highlighted the latest news about the Anfi Tauro Beach Project, again the local people are being treated in the most dismal of ways. This project has been a fiasco right from the start, it has still a long way to go before it is resolved, we hope in the interests of the locals.

LIT

On the fake lawyers front we highlighted a very lucky escape for one of our new readers, it concerned Armando Gareca Abogados one of the new names in the Litigious Abogados family. At least this reader found out before he paid the initial fees to get a ficticious court case underway. This group has produced some very convincing documents and an even more convincing story, if you are contacted by them, think very carefully, if in doubt contact Inside Timeshare.

That intrepid law firm from Gran Canaria, Canarian Legal Alliance, also had a very good week, after publishing on Friday, our contacts informed us that they had received several Supreme Court rulings during the course of Friday afternoon. It brought the total of judgements by the highest court in Spain to 56, all brought by the lawyers at CLA. From what we at Inside Timeshare could gather those lawyers were absolutely ecstatic, as they received 5 rulings in one day!

From what we have been able to find out, no other law firm in Spain has ever achieved this amount of rulings, let alone had this number of cases sent to the Supreme Court. A truly remarkable achievement, with apparently many more still waiting to be heard.

nyt logo

To start the news this week, we look at a story from the New York Times, received by email for our morning briefing.

Europe Edition
Your Monday Briefing
By STEPHEN HILTNER
Good morning.
Here’s what you need to know:
The New York Times
• Turkey is facing mounting difficulties both at home and abroad.
The government has seized control of more than 950 companies since last July — from small baklava chains to large, publicly traded conglomerates — over accusations that they were linked to a coup attempt. The seizures, worth about $11 billion, have changed the way Turkey is perceived in the international business sphere. The Turkish lira is crumbling, and foreign investment has dropped by half compared with last year.

You may ask what has this got to do with timeshare?

Quite a bit if you have purchased a Club la Costa Fractional in Turkey!

As we know fractional is being sold as a real estate investment, with points attached in order to use it. The whole point is that it will increase in value and then be sold for, we hope, a profit in the future.

pigdress
Fractional, is it just a pig in a dress?

With the current situation in Turkey, it now makes this investment a rather dodgy deal. How long will it be before these seizures of businesses affect the resorts, after all who is building them, who owns them?

Also as foreign investment in Turkey is declining, will this make Club la Costa withdraw?

Will these properties actually get built?

What will happen if they don’t, will you get any of your money back?

Will CLC transfer you to a European Fractional?

These are all legitimate questions you should be asking yourself, where do you stand if it does go wrong?

Inside Timeshare is waiting for confirmation that the Supreme Court has made a ruling regarding fractional, once we receive this we will explain their judgement.

For the coming week, on Wednesday we will be publishing another article from Irene Parker, this one will be little different from our usual fare, it is a story of how timeshare should be, honest, above board and beyond reproach. But you will just have to wait till then.

Remember, it pays to do your due diligence and check things out before you go ahead and spend vast sums of money on anything to do with Timeshare. It is a minefield, so if you need any help or advice on how to check any company out contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.

If you have a story you would like to share with others contact us and we will work with you to publish it. Inside Timeshare is here to give you the facts, the truth and a place where you can share your own experiences with others.

thank-you-background-have-a-great-week_4lryptpix__F0000

 

Litigious Abogados: The Family Gets Bigger!

This family is certainly growing fast, the fake law firm from Tenerife has given birth to another fake lawyers office.

This one is called Armando Gareca Abogados, this one also has an office in Madrid as well as Tenerife, and according to their website, they are also engaged in law practice in Argentina.

armando-gareca-abogados-logo-1

armando-gareca-abogados-armando-gareca

Armando Garcia

The website was created on 20 May 2017 so is only 12 days old, the owner is also hidden by a privacy protection service.

http://armandogarecaabogados.com/

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”.

armando-gareca-abogados-agustin-bigote-pringata

Agustin Bigote Pringata

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.

armando-gareca-abogados-balthazar-fermid-nisberas

Balthazar Fermid Nisberas

armando-gareca-abogados-domingo-barlotes-miriendel

Domingo Barlotes Miriendel

armando-gareca-abogados-juan-firmid-mantadiz

 

 

 

 

Juan Firmid Mantadiz

The address they give in Tenerife is:

38002, Edificio 14, Calle de Valentín Sanz, 16, Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Spain

This address is the same for Abel Garcia and Abogacia Española, mentioned in previous articles, with the following telephone numbers:

For Tenerife:

Telephone: Freephone: 0800 802 1 885

Tenerife: 0034 822 680 067

For Madrid:

Calle del Halcón, 36, 402c, 28025, Madrid

Telephone: Freephone: 0800 802 1 778

Madrid: 0034 910 604 232

For Argentina:

Alsina 478, Salta, Argentina

Telephone: Argentina: 0054 387 480 0324

They also show 2 email addresses:

[email protected]

[email protected]

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?

Click on the link below to see the letter.

Armando_Gareca_Abogados redacted

There is a new name signing this one; Ramon Quajada Canil, sounds familiar, or is it just another take on the following names from the other members of this “family” (breeding like rabbits):

Ramon Quilnar Canal for Litigious Abogados

Ramon Quenan Cansal for Litigr Abogados

Ramon Quilon Climol for Abogacia Española

Ramon Quena Cinol  for Abel Garcia

At the foot of letter they also shows other official looking bodies, such as Asociación Española de Asesores Fiscal; Asociación Economistas, Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tenerife; Asociación de asesores Fiscales de Canarias.

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!

LIT

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.

homework1

Supreme Court Rule for 2nd Time on Fractional: CLA Press Release.

Late on Friday 30 September 2016, Canarian Legal Alliance issued a statement on the latest Supreme Court victories. This involved two rulings by the Supreme Court on another aspect of how timeshare is sold. (see the full release below).

 

This particular ruling confirms what many believed was in fact timeshare, but was being sold as something completely different and outside the scope of the timeshare laws, Fractional. Inside Timeshare ran an article: Fractional: What is it? Back in April.

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/fractional-what-is-it/

 

In this article it was called a “Pig in a Dress”, mainly because sales staff were promoting it as property and an investment, also as a way out of your timeshare contracts. In the article it explained what fractional ownership actually is, genuine fractional is a real estate transaction, usually by a group of people going into partnership to purchase a property outright and sharing the costs. This type of transaction would be done following normal real estate practices, it would also follow the trends of property prices, either up or down, allowing the owners to sell on the open market as normal. The other aspect is that you would know the other owners, you would then be bound with them in a contract covering; use, costs and the rules governing the sale of any given share. In the model sold by the timeshare companies, it is doubtful if you would ever meet with the other owners of your fraction, let alone know them.

pigdress
I am not timeshare, I am fractional!

In the first case to be ruled on by the Supreme Court, Puerto Calma Holiday Club Finland, had sold a so-called fractional to a client, implying that they were purchasing a share in the property. They even had the contracts signed in the presence of a notary, just to add credibility to the deal. The Supreme Court ruled in this instance this was not a property sale but did in fact come under timeshare regulations, therefore it is timeshare, awarding over £235,542 to the client. Under these laws it is illegal to sell any timeshare product (including fractional) as an investment.

 

Now remember, the First National Trust Company, who are the trustees of the Club la Costa Fractional Property Owners Club, did state and warn CLC in 2012, that fractional should never be sold as an investment. This clearly shows that even FNTC believed that fractional fell into the scope of timeshare laws. (See link below)

 

http://clcmembers.blogspot.com.es/

FNTC

The second ruling has come against another Gran Canarian operator, Palm Oasis, Tasolan SL, in Maspalomas. In this ruling the court rejected the belief that suggesting to timeshare owners they actually own a share in the property is designed to evade the timeshare laws. This then leaves the purchaser without any legal protection. The court in this instance awarded the client over 20,000 euros. They also reaffirmed that contracts over 50 years (perpetuity) are illegal.

tribunal supremo

This latest news now puts into doubt the legality of other fractional contracts sold by other operators, including Club la Costa and Diamond. Is this the start of a new round of litigation, putting another black mark on the timeshare industry.

 

The question also needs to be asked, why has the RDO not made any comment of this in the past?

 

Why have the RDO not warned their members that they may be selling another product illegally?

 

The simple answer is the RDO is paid by the industry and works only for the industry. After all an RDO member the FNTC did warn about this along time ago. Did the RDO just choose to ignore their advice?

 

CLA Press Release Friday 30 September 2016  CLA Logo

Good Afternoon

SUPREME COURT VICTORY AGAINST PALM OASIS

 

Canarian Legal Alliance is proud to be able to announce another ground breaking decision of the Supreme Court in clarifying and declaring illegal the modus operandi of Palm Oasis and resorts using similar schemes.

This company in common with, for example, Puerto Calma in Gran Canaria, in the name of timeshare sold their clients an indivisible share of a property and suggesting that timeshare laws did not therefore apply, leaving their purchasers unprotected.

 

This sentence clearly rejects the notion that suggesting to timeshare owners that they actually own a fraction of a property evades timeshare laws. Implying that the clients are, in any way, owners of the property is strictly forbidden in law

 

The justices of the highest ranking court in Spain have no doubt that timeshare law does and must apply and accordingly declared our clients contract null and void on the basis that its term exceeded the 50 year maximum. The clients were awarded over 20,000 euro.

 

With this ruling the Supreme Court has maintained their consistency in finding “in perpetuity” contracts to be illegal, just as they pronounced 18 months ago as doctrine in favor of another Canarian Legal Alliance client. Since that time we have celebrated numerous victories at all levels of the Spanish legal system and against a whole range of different timeshare resorts. Our law firm is not only the first one, but still the only one to have brought timeshare matters before the Supreme Court for discussion.

Canarian Legal Alliance is the market leader in payouts to unhappy timeshare owners with over 2 million Euros already PAID BACK to our clients. If you would like to receive expert advice on the legality of your timeshare contract do not hesitate to contact us, the law firm who made legal history in Spain.

 

CLA  wishes you all a very nice relaxing weekend

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/cla-supreme-court-success-against-puerto-calma/

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/supreme-court-victory-against-palm-oasis/

If you need any information in this article or have any question about any timeshare matter, Inside Timeshare will be pleased to help. Contact Inside Timeshare and we will get back to you.