Firstly the taking of deposits within the 14 day cooling off period has been declared illegal, it has also been clarified that this includes those taken by a third party. Many companies used this method to get round the EU Directives which stated that no deposit was to be taken, many had the deposit paid to a trust company, thereby being able to state that they did not take deposits.
Why were deposits taken within this period outlawed?
Many of us are familiar with paying deposits, there are many instances where this is done. For instance, when booking a table in a restaurant for a large party a deposit is usually required. This tends to be non-refundable if you don´t turn up or cancel with reasonable notice. Most of us would accept this as we have initiated the contract with the restaurant.
Another example is booking a holiday with the local high street travel agent, we pay them a deposit as a sign that we will fulfil our commitment to complete the booking. If we cancel then the deposit is again non-refundable.
So why is the taking of a deposit for timeshare or related products illegal?
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€.
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.
We are now at the end of May, it has proven to be quite an interesting month. It began with the start of the RCI class action brought by Edwin Coe LLP, as yet no news from the case is available. It went into a second week, and as we all know the legal system takes time, so we do not expect any judgement from the High Court anytime soon. But we will keep you informed as and when the news comes in.
It has also been a very expensive month for some of the resorts with huge awards being issued by the courts in Spain. One firm has secured a massive payout in the past week for one of its clients, with many other cases in the pipeline. This has shown that the authorities in Spain are taking the matter of companies selling against the rules very seriously indeed.
The case of Mrs B now seems to be at an end, as stated in a previous article, the paperwork she has, does state her timeshare has been sold. This was on a document signed and sealed by a Public Notary. It now only leaves the matter of the resort to accept this fact, but due to her age and health somehow I don’t think they will bother to cause any more problems. After all it isn’t really in their best interest to pursue this and end up with a very bad public image.
Earlier in the month we ran an article on happy owners, once again thanks to Kim and Andy for taking the time to talk about and write down some of their experiences. This piece did show that for some timeshare does work well. It also showed that like anything else you have to learn how to use it. Timeshare is a good concept, it is just a shame that in the past it has been sold with flaws. The current situation with the law being clarified in Spain bears this out.
We have also issued warnings about bogus law firms, these have been claiming that courts have awarded payments to owners who have lost money to resale companies. These have been followed by calls from bodies claiming to be either inland revenue or other officials. Then comes the crunch, you have to send them by bank transfer a tax payment. It was also highlighted that many of these entities are using names or very similar names to genuine companies.
It was also announce this month that The Privileged Club had filed for liquidation, apparently this is because the owner is seriously ill and cannot continue to run the club. Unfortunately we don’t yet know what will happen to the members, hopefully another club will take them on. We hope that Gary Woodward does indeed get well.
Articles on the history of timeshare were also published, showing how it has developed over the years. We ended with an article about one of the most infamous resale crooks on the Costa del Sol, whose business was the model for all subsequent scam companies. The question on this last piece is will he be making a return when released from prison? Lets hope not.
It now only leaves Inside Timeshare to say have great bank holiday weekend, we hope that the weather is fine for you to begin the BBQ´s. Remember do your research before entering into and contract, check and check again. If in doubt or don’t know where to look contact us and we will give you the advise.