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January 2020

Semana Horribilis for Timeshare Operators

Welcome to the last article for this week and what news we have for you today! Inside Timeshare has received the following news that 37 sentences have been received against timeshare companies in 3 different courts in Spain. This is an amazing result in just one week and the amounts are truly staggering.

In the Courts of First Instance of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and the High Court of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, it has been one hell of a blow for Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL. This week alone there have been 32 judgements against them released by the courts.

These cases have been a mixture of contracts longer than 50 years in duration, containing floating weeks or point systems and of course the illegal taking of payment within the statutory cooling-off period.

In total, the courts have ordered that the client be reimbursed a total of 1,280,295.12€ with all contracts being declared null and void. This is very good news for these clients and all Anfi members who have been sold contracts which are illegal under Spanish law. The next stage will be to enforce the court’s rulings and ensure that all these clients received what they are now owed.

In Tenerife at the Court of First Instance of Arona, the company Carpe Diem Resorts SL were in the frame.

The court ordered that Carpe Diem pay the clients over 31,000€ and also declared the contract null and void. The infringements of Spanish Timeshare law, in this case, were the contract was in perpetuity when the law states very clearly that it should be no longer than 50 years, plus the illegal taking of deposits.

Staying with the Court of First Instance of Arona, there were three more sentences released against our old friend’s Silverpoint. Once again there were several infringements which covered the duration of the contracts, points or floating week systems and the illegal taking of payments within the statutory cooling-off period.

All contracts have also been declared null and void leaving the clients timeshare free.

Moving now the Court of First Instance of Palma de Mallorca, it was the turn of Marriott to be on the receiving end of a judgement.

The case was brought against MVCI Holidays SL and MVCI Management SL. This revolves around the purchases of two timeshares at Son Antem in 2001 and again in 2006. The purchase was for Flexible Gold and Gold Holiday Weeks. These are illegal under Spanish Law and have been confirmed by the Supreme Court.

The court has declared the contracts null and void with the repayment of 11,520€ for the 2001 purchase and 35,372€ for the 2006 purchase. A grand total of 46,892€, the client will also receive legal interest.

In total the courts have in this one week awarded 1,601,523.23€, This is a staggering amount and certainly sends out the message that the courts are not tolerating breaches of the timeshare laws designed to protect consumers.

All these cases were brought on behalf of the clients by none other than Canarian Legal Alliance, who are the market leaders in this field of law with 130 Supreme Court rulings under their belt.

So we end this week with congratulations to the clients involved and a very big congratulations to the team at CLA.

If you would like to know if the timeshare you purchased in Spain is illegal under Spanish law, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Please also remember there are a lot of companies which are promising the earth and have no intention of delivering on those promises, many of these are set up with the sole intention of depriving you of your hard-earned cash. If in any doubt contact Inside Timeshare and give as much information as you can on the company in question, we will then help you to check their validity.

Have a great weekend.

Club La Costa Pays Out to British Couple

Today Inside Timeshare reports on a British couple who purchased a Fractional with Club La Costa in 2012, they received the court awarded payout of 16,076.75€ just in time for Christmas. This is yet another blow to the timeshare industry which has seen many cases against the major developers over the past few years.

Like many other couples, Mr & Mrs Bradshaw believed that they were purchasing a “fraction of a property” which would then be sold in back to Club La Costa 19 years and that it would be a sound investment. Unfortunately, they eventually found out that this was not the case.

As Mrs Bradshaw stated:

“When we found out what they had told us was not true, we felt trapped having discovered the fractional ownership was unsalable there being no resale market.”

The fact that there is no resale market other problems began mounting up, a problem which faces many other owners. Along with the fact that there would not be any resale Mr & Mrs Bradshaw now felt that their liabilities with this timeshare purchase were mounting up:

  • Management fee increases were much higher than inflation;
  • Booking holidays was always a problem and they had to compromise to get dates, location and property size;
  • Every time they booked a holiday there was a reservation fee;
  • To pile on the agony, every time they holidayed with CLC, shortly after arriving there would be constant knocks on the door to attend a sales presentation which were high pressured and intimidating.

These are common complaints from the many owners who have contacted Inside Timeshare regardless of which timeshare they purchased.

Mr & Mrs Bradshaw. Photo courtesy of ECC & M1 Legal

The Bradshaws had now had enough and in August 2016 met with a consultant from ECC to begin the process of legal action against Paradise Trading SL who were the sales and marketing arm of Club La Costa World. This company also belonged to Club La Costa World along with many other companies involved with the selling of timeshares.

Basis of their case was the contract did not specify any end date which is required under Spanish law as the maximum allowed is 50 years. There was also no registration for the accommodation in the land registry, another requirement of Spanish Law.

The case was then passed in early 2017 to M1 Legal based on the Costa del Sol who then prepared the case for court.

M1 Legal are processing over 1,500 timeshare cases, with over 900 already being filed with the courts, the total value of these claims is in excess of £21 million. M1 Legal has also achieved 191 judgements in favour of their clients.

In a final comment Mrs & Mrs Bradshaw stated:

“We received €16,076 just in time for Christmas,” said the Bradshaws. “This was like a big cloud over us and now that it has been lifted we don’t need to worry about family being lumbered with unwanted timeshare bills. We sincerely thank ECC and M1 Legal teams for their efforts.”

For the full story please follow the link below.

Once again we see the courts are enforcing the timeshare laws to the letter and thanks to the efforts of the lawyers at M1 Legal another happy couple are timeshare free and no longer liable for the ever-increasing maintenance fees.

If you would like to know if your timeshare contract is illegal under Spanish law, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Resales: Is There a Market?

Inside Timeshare regularly receives enquiries from people who are looking to sell their timeshares and wanting to know how to do it. Unfortunately, there really is no market and the prices are nowhere near what was originally paid for the timeshare. Today we look at the resale market and what you can expect.

The latest enquiry is for a 2 week Gold membership with Marriott at Marbella Beach Club. This particular reader originally paid over £33,000 pounds for this way back in 2001. For that time (even today) this was a very expensive timeshare.

Due to personal reasons, this reader wanted to sell his 2 weeks Gold package with Marriott back in 2012/2013 and approached Marriott with a view to Buy back his weeks. He was told they would list it for sale at £4,000 for each week and it could take up to a year to sell.

Obviously, this was not acceptable to our reader who believed it was worth much much more. This is probably due to the fact that when he purchased the sales staff pitched him that he was buying property and that it would increase in value. A statement we all know to be false.

This is also the case for all timeshares, the depreciation rate begins from the moment of purchase, the reason is that the purchase price is well over what it actually should be. Basically the purchase price is based on the costs the sales and marketing company has to pay to operate.

What you must take into consideration is that there will be all the commissions to the salesman and the managers, then there are the wages for all the admin & support staff such as the receptionist and those who do the contracts.

Other costs involved will be the commission paid to the OPC’s, the guys with the scratch cards on the street, the taxis to and from the resort and sales deck. Then there are refreshments and any food that may be supplied during the presentation and finally the gifts.

Basically the cost is around 80% to 90% of the purchase price that you are then given.

It must also be pointed out that not everyone pays the same, during the warm-up stage when you first meet your “rep”, they will evaluate your income without actually asking, if you are on a higher income then they can inflate the price. It is also a fact that certain nationalities such as the Scandinavians will be given much higher prices than say, British clients.

From our experience, most resales tend to be existing owners/members who just want to add an extra week at their own resort or increase their number of points without paying the full and over-inflated prices from the sales and marketing people. This means that bargains can be found.

So in a nutshell, the resale market is very limited and the prices will be what the owner thinks they are worth, the higher the resale price the less chance of ever selling, it may even take more than a year to get an offer.

Below are three links to give you an idea of what people actually believe their timeshares are worth, the last link is for eBay, where the prices do tend to show desperation to be rid of it. Many people cannot even give them away.

This makes me recall a reader many years ago who was desperate to get out, after being ripped off by some of the unscrupulous resale companies, he decided to raffle it off at his local pub and the proceeds would go to a local hospice. Unfortunately, not one single raffle ticket was sold, not one person wanted to be saddled with the ever-increasing maintenance payments!

There really are only two solutions to get out, one is to relinquish, and our advice is to contact your resort first.

The other option is if you purchased in Spain you may have an illegal contract, if so then you may be able to have your contract declared null and void with the return of your purchase price.

If you would like further information on this subject please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.