Browse Month

June 2016

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.

 

My Thoughts Today End of June

So here we are the end of another month and half way through the year, and what a month it´s been. More rulings from the Supreme Court, more clients awarded substantial amounts and even more cases in the pipeline.

 

The article published 13 June 2016, regarding maintenance arrears and debt collectors has had a great response. Lots of support for the plight of Mrs B, including some personal messages from some legal eagles on how to help her, for that Inside Timeshare is grateful.

 

So far there has been no contact from Network Credit Services, even though they gave her a final notice to pay up within 7 days. Since then she has had her phone connected to BT Call Guardian, so she can block any unwanted calls. Having spoken with her today she is in good spirits especially after giving her the news of support coming in from many different quarters.

debt collectors

On the point of timeshare companies actually going to court for maintenance arrears, Inside Timeshare has been advised from a reliable source that one company has indeed done so. The owner actually had court officials knocking on his door to enforce the order to pay Anfi the arrears. We are waiting for written confirmation of this. Again are these companies by-passing the Spanish legal system to enforce payments, due to the fact that under Spanish law those contracts are illegal and unenforceable? Is it a case that the courts in the UK need to get a grip and realise what is going on?

 

There is still no news from the courts regarding the RCI Action, being brought by Edwin Coe LLP. As stated before the wheels of the law do move at a rather slow pace, but when we find out we will let you know.

 

On 14 June 2016, the spoof article on the new member to the blog writers trade association was published, it was fun to write and certainly made people laugh. But underlying the article was a very important point, this has been borne out by some of the comments received. It was very surprising to find how many people actually agreed with it. Yes it was scathing, but that was point. A trade body set up to regulate an industry should do just that, not allow its members to do as they wish and ignore the laws that are in place to protect the consumer.

 

The TCA also published an article about Silverpoint Vacations (an RDO member), losing at the courts in Tenerife. The full translation of the document shows the case was another to do with the perpetuity contract being illegal. In their article the TCA do state which company brought the case on behalf of the client. But it does show the courts are finding on behalf of the consumer.

 

Also this month we have highlighted a company which is stating they can claim against the timeshare companies. From the many enquiries received and the information given by those who have attended meetings, our first impressions have been found correct. Again this goes to show that in-depth research is required in order to safeguard yourself.

on holiday 2

The summer holiday season is also now upon us, for those travelling to Europe, the only advice is beware the ticket touts. Remember if you do decide to purchase anything such as timeshare or one of the numerous holiday clubs, it is illegal to take any payments within the 14 DAY COOLING OFF PERIOD. Do your due diligence, if it sounds too good to be true, alarm bells should ring. If you are unsure, then don’t sign. Happy holidays.

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.