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Silverpoint

Legal Updates and Other News

 

 

Last week ended with another Supreme Court ruling bringing the total now to 25. This particular judgement was against Palm Oasis which is in Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, it followed other rulings that contracts in perpetuity in other words over 50 year are illegal. The German client in this case will be receiving back over 10,000€ as well as his contract being declared null and void.

palm-oasis-resort

At the start of this week Canarian Legal Alliance also announced that another of their clients, again a German timeshare owner will receive 19,163€. This sum has now been paid into the court and the client will shortly be paid out. His contract has also been declared null and void.

This particular sentence was made by Court number 3 of the First Instance in Arona Tenerife against Resort Properties / Silverpoint. It followed previous Supreme Court Judgements, so it is clear that the lower courts are abiding by the rulings of the highest court in Spain. This does show that the years of painstaking work by the legal team at CLA is paying off for their clients.

The strange thing is, timeshare companies, the RDO and TATOC are still denying the fact that this is happening. They still believe their own propaganda that there are no cases, the Supreme Court has got it wrong and that owners should not listen to or believe what they hear and read.

Could this be they are afraid that their jobs might just be in jeopardy, that they are losing all credibility as an industry with consumers?

MONEY MONEY MONDAY!

On another note it also appears that members of Diamond are up in arms again, Inside Timeshare has received information that maintenance fees for the coming year are rising yet again. At first the news was that they were set to rise by around 18% but that figure has been lowered to around 13%.

According to Diamond the increase is due to the devaluation of the pound against the euro following the Brexit referendum. They also state according to our sources that they also have to pay for the points they own, so it affects their business as well. Little comfort to the members who have suffered increases year on year.

pound-euro

The explanation on how they arrived at the 13% figure is rather vague and does not make sense to those of us who are not accountants. According to the information given the budget for 2016 was £1 to 1.35€ i.e. a euro is 74 pence, for 2017 £1 to 1.15€ or 1 euro is 84 pence, so that is 17.5% difference. They then explain that as not all expenditure is in euros or only 60% this brings the actual increase to 13%.

We don’t know about you, but it sounds like a bit of accounting flannel designed to confuse. The question now must be asked if the pound gets stronger will the maintenance fees go down? Somehow we think not.

If you have any questions about these topics or any other timeshare matter, whether it is about companies you may be thinking of dealing with or have dealt with, Inside Timeshare will try to answer them for you. Contact can be made through the comments section.

Irene Parker: Barclay Card and Timeshare in the USA.

Back in July Inside Timeshare published the article about Shawbrook Bank setting aside around £9 million, to cover defaults in loans issued by timeshare sales staff. It announced that the bank had not carried out its due diligence in accepting these finance agreements.

The article also highlighted the ongoing high court action brought against Barclay Partner Finance for loans issued for timeshare. These were for the so called “investment” packs being sold by Resort Properties / Silverpoint. Many of the agreements were given without the normal checks being carried out in respect of the clients income or the ability to repay the loans, with many of the applications being falsified in order to get it passed.

Another aspect of the article showed the same thing happening in the USA, with people who did not qualify for normal finance, being passed to a Credit Union. In this case the company was Quorum Federal Credit Union, which would then sign them up as members. These loans accounted for around $40 million for Diamond sales.

It has now been highlighted that sales staff in the US are issuing credit cards, again it is Barclays who are in the picture. Irene Parker, sent the following article.

Barclay card by Irene Parker 10/24/16

barclay-card

There is nothing wrong with travel reward credit cards, but when consumers on vacation get locked into timeshare presentations that can last for hours; credit card lending can turn predatory.

Several banks have come under fire for overzealous sales practices. Wells Fargo and Barclays Bank through Barclays Partner Finance, along with other U.K. banks, have come under regulatory scrutiny and been the subject of lawsuits for a host of reasons, including predatory lending through the use of timeshare developer-sponsored credit cards.

Shawbrook Bank in the U.K. has admitted that it didn’t do its due diligence when approving the finance for vacation ownership products. One of its biggest partners is Diamond Resorts International, a timeshare company that has come under fire for its aggressive sales practices.

Diamond offers a Diamond Resorts Barclaycard Master Card with a 0% promotional six month APR if used for a Diamond Vacation Ownership Interest down payment, along with Diamond Resorts International reward points for other purchases. After that, it is a variable APR of 15.24%, 19.24% or 22.24% depending on creditworthiness.

Diamond Resorts International’s primary business segments are hospitality and management services and vacation ownership interest, or vacation points sales, and financing.

It is the financing component that often makes people with vacation brain sign a contract on impulse for perpetuity, not even having used the vacation service at the time of purchase. The decision is often based on how well the buyer likes the resort if they aren’t an existing owner. In other words, they may not use the booking program until the next vacation.

As an example, Arthur Saldana, 55, and his wife Sylvia, 49, have been Diamond Resort International owners for several years. They owned a deeded week at the Sunterra London Bridge Resort in Havasu, Ariz., for about 10 years prior to Diamond Resorts International acquiring Sunterra in 2007.

The couple was persuaded to give up a deeded week, one that came with a deed that has a limited secondary market, in exchange for timeshare points that are non-deeded with no secondary market. During a series of five sales presentations over a five-year period, the Saldanas accumulated 30,000 Diamond Resorts International points that elevated them to gold status in 2013.

Sylvia Saldana said that she and her husband signed many contracts, and they thought they were actually helping their children. “We thought that after we paid off the Diamond mortgage our four children would only have to pay maintenance fees,” she said.

But maintenance fees increased to the point where they could no longer afford to own their points. The family soon found that they had to charge maintenance fees to their credit card in order to pay them.

The Saldanas had already taken out a $33,000 home equity loan from their credit union to reduce the high Diamond Resorts International loan interest rate, typically 14% to 18%.

Worse, the children, now almost grown, say that they have no interest in timeshares.

At their last stay at a Diamond Resorts International resort in August 2015, Sylvia Saldana said that a sales agent tried to convince them to purchase another 10,000 points in order to achieve platinum level, which is 50,000 points (Remember they owned 30,000 points).

The sales agent explained that by being platinum, it would allow the couple to pay their maintenance fees with their points, as only platinum members are allowed to use their points to pay maintenance fees, Sylvia Saldana said.

At the time of the 2015 presentation, Diamond Resorts International’s FAQ indicated that as of that year, only platinum members could exchange points for a monetary credit toward the cost of their annual maintenance fees for their collection membership and points and/or dues for the club.

A Diamond Resorts International representative who gave her name as Pamela — these reps aren’t allowed by the company to provide their last names — confirmed that “only platinum members can use their points to pay maintenance fees. Any member can open a Barclaycard to pay fees.”

When we purchased our Diamond Resorts International contract, we were told that the practice of using points to pay maintenance fees isn’t encouraged due to the point value being reduced to pennies on the dollar if used to pay maintenance fees.

The sales agent aggressively tried to persuade the family to open a Diamond Resorts International credit card to pay for the additional points, despite the fact that they couldn’t afford the fees, Sylvia Saldana said.

Arthur Saldana became so angry, he left the presentation.

Fortunately, the couple realized that the credit card wasn’t a prudent solution to their problem.

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What a Week for CLA and Their Clients!

Once again those intrepid and tenacious lawyers from Canarian Legal Alliance have struck again, this week has seen another 4 victories for their clients in the Spanish lower courts and Supreme Court.

CLA Logo

The week started off with a victory at the High Court number 5 of Las Palmas, 10 October, in this ruling the court upheld recent Supreme Court rulings on contracts involving “Floating Weeks”. As these weeks are sold without a fixed date or apartment number the contract has been declared “null & void”.

The judge in this instance has ordered Anfi to return to the English client over £10,192 plus interest, they will also receive back all their legal fees.

 

In another victory this time against Club Class (Great British Marketing SL), the Court of the 1st Instance of Arona in Tenerife, 12 October,  has ordered the repayment of 13,722€ plus interest. The contract has also been declared “null & void”.

 

On 13 October CLA announced their 24th Supreme Court victory, once again it was against Anfi.              tribunal supremo

 

In this ruling the court ordered the return of 49,791€ plus interest and the return of all legal fees, they also ruled that the contract was “null & void”. Again the court reiterated its stance on the selling of “Floating Weeks” by any timeshare company as illegal. The criteria they used was that these weeks do not have a date for use or have an apartment number allocated, thereby the client is not guaranteed the holiday as they are subject to availability.

 

Then on Thursday 13 October, it was also announced that Resort Properties / Silverpoint must return over 20,000€ including interest and legal fees. The judge at the Court of 1st Instance Number 5, in Tenerife also declared that the contract was also “null & void” in accordance with all the Supreme Court rulings. So now the courts in Tenerife are following the judgements of the highest court in Spain.

 

Inside Timeshare has also had enquiries from Anfi members who have said that Anfi are contacting them and denying any court rulings having been made against them. They have even stated that no buyout by Lopesan has taken place, all this even after being plastered all over the Spanish and European press.

It must also be asked why the trade body the RDO is also taking the same stance as Anfi in regards to Supreme Court rulings?

As a trade body, they do have a duty to their members, but they also have a duty to the owners of their members products, ensuring that all laws and regulations are complied with. If the RDO had sanctioned their members in the past for disregarding the rules, then somehow I don’t think we would have the situation we see today.

So it is congratulations to the clients and the legal teams who worked so hard to achieve these results for their clients. With still over 100 cases waiting to be heard at the Supreme Court, we will see even more cases such as these in the coming months.

If you have any questions about this or any other article published, Inside Timeshare will be pleased to help. Contact us through the comments section and we will get back to you. Have a good weekend.

weekend01

My Thoughts Today: End of September

The end of another month is upon us, one story to hit the news this month once again involved the Anfi Group, it was announced the Lyng family had sold their 50% share of Anfi to the construction and hotel group Lopesan IFA. It was reported that Lopesan paid 41.3 million euros, which does seem to be a bit of a bargain. There again, with the woes that Anfi are going through, is it surprising? There is the investigation into irregularities in licences and permissions granted for the Tauro Beach project, which is being conducted by SEPRONA, a branch of the Guardia Civil. Then we have all the Supreme Court rulings which are costing Anfi a fortune in claims. These stories are not over yet and we wait for more to be revealed.

seprona

 

 

 

 

 

 

September has also been very much an American month, with articles by Irene Parker being published. These articles show what is happening across the great lake (or the pond as our American cousins call it), starting with the Letter from America: News From Across the Great Lake. In this article Irene sent an open letter to Stephen J Cloobeck of Diamond, it was her response to his letter to members on the Apollo acquisition.

 

This was then followed by the article on resale and transfer, it included an article from Tom Tubbs, who is on the advisory board of the National Timeshare Owners Association. It highlighted a subject which timeshare owners in Europe have also experienced, that of rogue resale and transfer companies. It also explained how this operates in the US, with a new company called Timeshare Transfer Registry, they keep a check on who and what companies the timeshares are being transferred to. But as he says the “scam” still goes on.

 

In More News From Across the Pond, we published a piece highlighting the Fox News programme The Property Man: Bob Massi. He is a Las Vegas attorney with a reputation as a determined advocate of consumer rights. This was followed by an article with an update to the real estate regulations in the US.

property-man

 

 

 

 

Then there was the visit of Irene Parker and her Husband, Inside Timeshare had the pleasure of playing host to their visit. For Irene it was her first time on the island and was very much a fact finding mission for her future articles. We spent much time comparing notes and learning from each other the problems that many owners have on both side of the Atlantic.

 

During her visit, Irene met the lawyers and staff of Canarian Legal Alliance, which she has followed from the US. While meeting with one of the lawyers Cristina Batista, she was able to get the history of the Supreme Court Rulings and how it is affecting timeshare in Spain. From there she then met with the staff at the admin office who look after the clients. As she said to Inside Timeshare it was an eye opener, stating that on her return she would share what she had learnt with other colleagues battling to help owners.

2016-09-23-15-57-03

It was was not all work, and we all enjoyed several evenings with good food and company. Her last day was a trip to El Faro de Maspalomas, for a little shopping and to see for herself the Lopesan hotels. This ended with a superb lunch at a beach side restaurant. We will be publishing her articles as they appear.

 

Other articles published this month included a warning of a text message to Diamond owners. This informed them of the Supreme Court rulings, but it is not clear where they originate from, the telephone number is an untraceable “burnt” phone, linked to a facebook page with no details.

 

There was also more news from the Supreme Court with an incredible sum being awarded to one UK client. In this judgement the court stated that fractional ownership did indeed come under the timeshare regulations, it awarded £235,542 against Puerto Calma Holiday Club Finland. More announcements followed with a ruling against Palm Oasis Tasolan SL and a ruling against Silverpoint in Tenerife.

 

After an enquiry about the RDO, we published the article The RDO: Does it Protect Consumers? This article laid out what the RDO is and who it actually serves, it is a subject that has been covered in previous articles. But it is always good to republish, especially in the light of recent events.

 

So that is September, we wait with baited breath for the events to unfold during October. With all that is going on it should be an interesting month.

 

If you require any information about any article published, contact Inside Timeshare and we will find you the answer. Have a good October.

The RDO: Does it Protect Consumers?

There are many trade associations which have been setup to represent the interests of their particular industry, but also to ensure that the public / consumer is also protected. So what about the timeshare / holiday ownership industry?

 

The trade body for this industry is the RDO, Resort Development Organisation, formerly the OTE, Organisation for Timeshare in Europe. It purports to represent the interests of resorts, developers, resale companies and consumers. But there seems to be a problem, it will not investigate any of it’s own members, even when there have been blatant breaches of regulations and their own codes of conduct. (see link: Tenerife Court Rules)

 

It is well known there are many cases going through the courts against RDO members, but nothing from this organisation acknowledging the fact. Look at the RDO website, the news section carries not one word about the 21 Supreme Court Rulings made against at least 3 of it’s members. The latest being another against Anfi, a long standing member of the RDO, yet again the RDO says nothing. (see CLA links)

 

At present one law firm has over 2000 cases at various stages of preparation going to court against RDO members, again nothing from the RDO apart from denials that any infringement of the laws have taken place. In other words don’t worry boys we will put a spin on this and protect you.

 

Only recently, Holiday Club Finland and Palm Oasis (Tasolan SL) have had rulings made against them, the RDO has said nothing. You the consumer are being kept in the dark, according to the RDO the judges have got it wrong, (even when they are unanimous decisions by a panel of 12 judges). They say these cases are not genuine, they are frivolous and even indicated that anyone winning a case will be liable to pay for all the holidays taken. Hang on, have you not already paid for them with maintenance fees? (see link: RDO Trying to Scare Anfi Owners)

albert

What is the mission of the RDO?

 

To put it simply, to ensure the interests of their members are served. They state they have a code of conduct and ethics, one of which is all members shall abide by any laws in the country in which they operate. This also includes the EU Directives on Timeshare. Yet for years they have ignored the fact their own members are operating outside of the law. According to their website they have a consumer policy which allows consumers to file complaints against its members. But in another paragraph they clearly state they will not mediate in any dispute and the consumer must first try to deal directly with the member concerned.

 

The RDO has even had the audacity to complain that newspaper articles about it´s members are poorly researched. A little snipe at Tony Hetherington who highlighted several cases of the bad practices of the industry and in particular another member of the RDO, MacDonald Hotels and Resorts. (see link: A new member)

 

In the past the RDO setup “The Enforcement Programme”, this was run by one Alberto Garcia and was called Mindtimeshare. It attacked any company that was not an RDO member, while protecting any company that was. This was highlighted several years ago by one Mrs Wilson, she approached Mindtimeshare for help with a dispute against Resort Properties / Silverpoint. Mindtimeshare failed miserably, she eventually took her case to court using the services of a Canarian law firm. She won her case for being sold several timeshare weeks as an investment which failed to materialise. Mindtimeshare has since been discredited and Alberto Garcia was forced out.

 

They have also set up another initiative called Timeshare Task Force, this is being overseen by Kwikchex, a company which also runs Timeshare Business Check. Again just like Mindtimeshare it targets any company that is not a member of the RDO. They have along with the RDO made out they have a legal authority to check on any business, then if that business fails to respond to their enquiries, (which it does not have to) negative comments are placed on the website. The overall picture is they are trying to look like a Pseudo Police Force without any official mandate. The company itself is run by a man who does not have a very good track record. (see link: Kwikchex)

 

Inside Timeshare has published many articles on the RDO, each time highlighting their failure to help the consumer. Each article even suggests that an independent body separate from the industry should be setup to ensure compliance and protection for the consumer.

 

Until the RDO recognises the fact they are protecting a discredited industry, failing to act against infringements by their own members, timeshare is going to remain a dirty word. The industry only has itself to blame and at the helm is the RDO.

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/tenerife-court-rules-silverpoint-responsible-resort-properties/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/rdo-trying-scare-anfi-timeshare-owners/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/kwikchex-chris-emmins/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/new-member-egtbw/

 

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/visit-from-one-of-our-supreme-court-victors/

 

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/anfi-supreme-court-21/

 

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

 

Latest News: Massive Victory for CLA Clients.

It has just been announced the Supreme Court has made a significant ruling against Puerto Calma, Holiday Club Finland.

 

Clients of the law firm Canarian Legal Alliance have been awarded a staggering £235,542 plus interest and legal fees. The contract was also declared null and void.

 

According to CLA, their clients knew they were purchasing a timeshare, but Puerto Calma tried to disguise this by stating they were buying a share of the property. This is commonly known as Fractional ownership, which apparently comes under timeshare law not real estate. The contract was signed before a notary in order to improve credibility, but the Supreme Court has stated that this is timeshare and therefore comes under the timeshare laws as laid out in Spain.

 

This will have a significant impact on other timeshare companies who sell Fractional ownership. In fact the First National Trust Company, who are the trustees for the Club la Costa Fractional Property Owners Club, did state in 2012 that Fractional should not be sold as an investment, which would suggest that even they believe it comes under timeshare laws. This ruling would seem to verify that position. (see following links)

 

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

 

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

 

It was also announces on 19 September, that CLA had a victory at the High Court No3 in Tenerife against Silverpoint / Resort Properties. Their client this time was awarded £16,722 plus legal interest with the contract being declared null and void.

 

In this case the court followed the rulings of earlier Supreme Court decisions that contracts in perpetuity are illegal. Again this show the significance of the influence the Supreme Court is having on the lower courts.

 

So it would seem that Canarian Legal Alliance is going from strength to strength, achieving victories on an almost daily basis. The tenacity of the lawyers is certainly paying off, So congratulations the legal team and their respective clients.

champagne

If you require any information regarding this or any timeshare matter, please contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.

CLA Supreme court success against Puerto Calma ( Holiday Club )

 

Tenerife Court Rules Silverpoint Responsible for Resort Properties

On 1 August 2016, Canarian Legal Alliance announced a significant victory in Tenerife, this was against Silverpoint. The Court of First Instance in Arona ruled in favour of the CLA client, declaring their contract null & void, again the court used the recent Supreme Court rulings as precedent. (These now number 17)

contract

They upheld the fact that the contract was illegal as it was for more than 50 years, they also found other irregularities in the contract. Consequently the client was awarded over 25,000€ including maintenance fees and legal costs.

 

The court also ruled that Silverpoint was responsible for contracts issued by Resort Properties, this ruling puts into no doubt the courts see Silverpoint and Resort Properties as one and the same entity.

 

This has been a point of contention for some time, Silverpoint have always denied they are Resort Properties, that they had bought them out and were not responsible for what Resort Properties did.

 

The former sales manager David Taylor had consistently denied any link, even being caught on video, (see youtube link). In this video Mr Taylor states to a client that he can not do anything about the purchase made under Resort Properties. He blatantly uses the Data Protection Act as a cover, saying that under this act all records from Resort Properties are unavailable to Silverpoint.

silverpointlogo

The problem with this is the client already knows the people involved from Resort Properties, he had dealt with them before, including Mr Taylor. Also bearing in mind the CEO of Resort Properties Mark Cushway is also CEO of Silverpoint.

 

So how true is Mr Taylor’s claim under the data protection act? Not very.

 

When Diamond took over from Sunterra, all records of transactions and members became their property, how else could they run the club / resorts. Surely if Silverpoint was a completely new entity, not just a revamped Resort Properties, they would have had access to all members and purchases made under Resort Properties. Obviously they would need to know what has been sold and who the members are.

 

As the video shows, it was a ploy to make the client pay more money, the investment pitch! This company has been doing this for years, making investment promises and continually reneging on them. These investment packs have been peddled for many years and have been highlighted on many occasions, in total contravention of the rules regarding selling timeshare as an investment. Yet these companies blatantly made a fortune from this, despite being members of the RDO, including Mark Cushway being one of the directors of this organisation, yet failing to follow the codes of conduct and ethics.

 

What did the RDO do about this?

Nothing.

rdo-logo

Why did they not do anything as the body set up as a trade association to ensure compliance with regulations?

 

Simple, Resort Properties / Silverpoint are main contributors of the organisation, it is not there to protect the consumer, it is there to protect its own members. They even state on their website, they do not investigate any complaint about any member of the RDO, you must go directly to the member concerned. What type of trade body is this?

 

Inside Timeshare has also recently publish news that the said Mr Taylor is now working out of the York office for Monster Rewards, his new title is Senior Client Advisor, supposedly helping people to get out of their timeshare, yet ending up purchasing Monster Credits. After watching the video over and over, my feeling is how could I trust this man?

 

We have stated before, timeshare itself is a great concept, it is the people involved and how it is sold that is the problem. The RDO and TATOC need to be replaced, preferably by independent bodies, not beholden or financially dependent on the industry.

 

In the following links are the David Taylor video:

Silverpoints new website;

Summary of Monster companies;

Trade bodies and Associations.

 

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

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/look-now-giving-timeshare-advice/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/monster-credits-associated-companies-summary/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/new-member-egtbw/

 

If you have any information about any company you have dealt with and would like to share this with others, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. If you have any questions about this article or any timeshare matter Inside Timeshare will find the answers for you.

SILVERPOINT COURT VICTORY

 

 

Monster Credits Associated Companies Summary

 

Glenmore Consulting Ltd 08718409
5th Floor Waverley House, Holdenhurst Rd, Bournemouth. BH8 8DY
Offices also in York and Stratford. These are known as Advice Centers.

Directors
Mark Rowe
Nicola Rowe (Wife)

On 5 January 2016 the company name was changed to:
Monster Rewards Limited using the same company number and registered at the same address. There is also a Monster Rewards SL in Tenerife. the Ltd company is the UK arm.

Mark Rowe also owns:

Complete Internet Solutions Ltd which owns Monster Credits. This company sold the rights to sell Monster Credits to Hollywood Marketing SLU based in Tenerife, Mark Rowe is also director.
Hollywood Marketing licenced Glenmore Consultants Ltd now Monster Rewards Ltd to sell Monster Credits.
sellmytimeshare.tv is the trading arm of Hollywood Marketing and is also operated by Mark Rowe. (See advertising video) link.
Another arm is www.timeshare.lawyer according to the website on “who we are” they are a niche legal division of SellMyTimeshare.tv which is owned by Monster Rewards SL.

Hollywood Marketing SLU recently changed to Monster Group (Travel) SLU
Other names associated with these companies are:
Obviously Mark Rowe, previously sales manager Resort Properties/Silverpoint
Mrs Jodi Beard Marketing Director sellmytimeshare.tv

Cheap Holidays, Monster Rewards SL and Monster Travel
Niel Aylward telemarketing director. Previously Contract Sales Manager Resort Properties/ Silverpoint. before this employed by Club la Costa.

David Taylor and Joanne Taylor from Silverpoint. Now operates from the York office for sellmytimeshare/ Glenmore Consultants. Both are Senior Client Advisors.

The Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA)

This was originally set up by Sandy Grey, (1999), when he died it was taken over by a group of people wanting to continue his work. May 2014 Stephen Boyd (lawyer) instituted the new Company The Timeshare Consumer Association Ltd, he resigned in December 2014, Now a partner in Athena Law. For some time (December 2014 Director) it was controlled by Mr David Cox (now a TESS Director). The Website was taken over by Tolmex Ltd 08143115 and was directed by William Aspinall.

On 11 April 2016 the company changed name to Bridgewell Investments Ltd using the same company number and address:
Fernhills Business Center, Foerster Cham, Todd Street. Manchester BL9 5BJ

William Aspinal resigned as director on 8 July 2016

He was replaced on that date by Mark Rowe.

This now means that the TCA a previously independent information resource website is now under the effective control of Monster Group Travel and Mark Rowe.

According to some new information taken from Timeshare Business Check (an arm of Kwikchex RDO funded), When they published their findings on the TCA (23 June 2014), they listed as “Other associated businesses and trading names” the following:

Athena Law (again known to be associated with TCA)

Complete Internet Solutions Ltd

Hollywood Marketing SL

Monster Travel

Sell My Timeshare

 

With these links can the TCA still claim to be the independent voice for the timeshare owner?

Sandy Grey will be turning in his grave!

CLA Issue Update Video

Since we highlighted the latest Supreme Court victories achieved for clients of Canarian Legal Alliance, they have published on their website a video with one of the lawyers, Cristina Batista. In this video Cristina explains the significance of these victories and the history behind them.

One Foot In The Grave!

One of the cases highlighted in the video is of a family who had a very quick result. By the time they and the legal team returned to the office in the afternoon, news came through of the judgement being issued. The speed of this particular decision must have come as a shock, who has ever heard of a court acting with this speed? It only goes to show the effect these Supreme Court sentences are having on the lower courts.

 

Cristina also explains that they have around 830 live cases at the lower courts, with over 100 waiting to be heard at the Supreme Court. Spain is definitely leading the way in how the EU Directives on Timeshare are being implemented. The question now is how long will it be before other countries follow suit?

 

To see the full video click on the link below.

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/cla-latest-updates-video/

At present we are aware of only one other case being won by another company, this was against Silverpoint in Tenerife, we still do not know which company conducted the case. But it is only a matter of time before other cases come before the courts by other firms, using the precedents set by the Supreme Court in CLA cases.

If you have any questions about any timeshare matter, or about any company you are not sure about, contact Inside Timeshare. We will help to answer your questions and explain how to check them out. If we don´t know the answer we will find out for you.

Shawbrook Bank Announce Irregularities in Timeshare Loans, Similar Activities in the USA.

For many people their Timeshare or Holiday Ownership was paid for on Finance, these loans were usually arranged on the day of signing the contract by the sales staff. One of these lenders is a bank called Shawbrook Bank, with their head office located in Brentwood Essex. The bank was founded in 2011 and according to their web site works closely with the holiday ownership industry to provide finance for their customers.

 

Unfortunately it was announced recently that the bank had set aside around £9 million to cover any defaults in these loans. This has come about due to the discovery of irregularities in the issuing of these loans.

shawbrook

Shawbrook Bank has admitted that it did not do its due diligence when approving the finance for holiday ownership products. One of its biggest partners is Diamond Resorts, whose aggressive style of selling has resulted in many people being over stretched financially, then being lumbered with a product that they find is unworkable. They are also stuck with management fees that are continually rising, also being unable to get out of their contracts.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/28/shawbrook-banks-shares-plunge-on-9m-hit-from-dodgy-lending/

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3663651/Shares-Shawbrook-drop-challenger-bank-reveals-loan-irregularities-cost-9m-finance-chief-quits.html

 

What did Shawbrook miss on its due diligence?

 

Quite simple, finance agreements made out by sales staff on the day of the sale have not had the usual credit checks made. Normally when a loan is applied for there are several checks that are made, we all know this as at some point we have had them. Firstly, does the applicant earn enough to qualify for the loan. Secondly, can the applicant actually afford the repayments, after other payments are taken into consideration, i.e. mortgage, living expenses etc. Lastly does the applicant have a good credit history, in other words have they defaulted on any other finance, be it loans or credit cards, or have they had county court judgements made against them

 

All these are the usual checks, being unable to fulfil any of these criteria would normally prevent the loan from going through.

 

Another aspect is how the applications are filled out, Many people spoken to over the years have said that the application had been filled out by the staff. It later transpired that the purpose of the loan had been made out as “home improvements” nothing to do with the purchase of holiday ownership. In some cases, even the income has been falsified. Unfortunately, for the applicant this could lead them to the possibility of criminal charges, after all they have signed the form.

edwincoe

This is not the first time a bank has hit the news in relation to holiday ownership, Barclays Partner Finance has been the subject to action in the High Court on this matter. Edwin Coe LLP, represented many clients of Resort Properties, who had been sold “investment packs” which were then financed by Barclays Partner Finance. On 16 August 2015, Edwin Coe LLP announced that the High Court had decided in favour of the consumer.

http://www.edwincoe.com/our-expertise/group-action-litigation/resort-properties-barclays-partner-finance/

http://www.edwincoe.com/high-court-decides-in-favour-of-the-consumer/

 

Many of these loans did not have the usual credit checks made, in fact Inside Timeshare is aware of an elderly couple who had been given one of these loans. They had been talked into one of the Resort Properties / Silverpointinvestment packs”, at the time he was 8o years old his wife 76, the loan was for £30,000, yet both are on pensions. When Inside Timeshare spoke with them, the question asked was, had you gone to your bank, do you think they would have provided the loan? Well we all know what the answer to that is. They are now taking legal action.

barclays

Unfortunately this is not just the case for Europe, in the United States the same controversy exists.

 

Roddy Boyd of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation has been highlighting this, on 27 April 2016, he published an article on a Credit Union which has been supplying loans for Diamond Resorts clients. Quorum Federal Credit Union has been in operation for 82 years, as with all credit unions they are member based.

quorum

http://sirf-online.org/2016/04/27/the-enabler-and-the-lifeline-diamond-resorts-and-quorum-fcu/

 

Quorum, has been supplying loans for the holiday ownership industry for years, Diamond Resorts are their largest portfolio. Diamond tend to send the riskier applicants to the credit union, these are those in the lower credit ratings, what the Americans call “subprime”. In other words the banks would not touch them with the proverbial barge pole.

 

According to Roddy Boyd the deal provided around $40 million in loans for Diamond and in return these borrowers became members of Quorum. Sounds like a win win for both, (not the consumer).

 

At least Shawbrook Bank have admitted that it has seen a problem in this area, setting aside a substantial amount to cover any future problems. In the end a loan for a holiday product which will on average be around £10,000 or more, is a huge commitment, not one that should be signed and approved on the day. Especially by the sales staff who have a vested interest in getting the “deal”.

 

Inside Timeshare would like to thank Irene Parker of the The Street for supplying the link to Roddy Boyd´s article. Do read it in full yourself as we have only just touched the surface, also read the following link, again it makes interesting reading.

 

http://sirf-online.org/2016/03/07/27464/

 

If you have any questions relating to this article or any others published contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to find the answer for you.