Browse Month

January 2021

End the Week

Welcome to the last Friday of January and what a month it has been, we began the year with the news of several Club la Costa sales companies going into liquidation, news that has been seized upon by some of the less reputable companies that have emerged. According to our readers, they have been told that it is Club la Costa itself that is going into liquidation and they will lose their timeshares. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. It has also been a very bad and expensive month for Anfi. They have consistently lost all cases in the Court of First Instance, lodged appeals with the High Court, only to have them dismissed and rejected. They have also been forced to pay out to clients, who now have the money secured in their own accounts.

On 6 January, while Spain was celebrating Day of the Kings, we received news of a very important case against Diamond Resorts in the Court of First Instance in Fuengirola. The case centred around jurisdictional issues of the contract.

As we have explained before, many timeshare companies like Diamond and Club la Costa have a clause in their contracts which claim that the contract is subject to UK law and the jurisdiction of UK courts. Even though the purchase was made in Spain, deposits paid in Spain and the contract signed in Spain, thereby denying the legal rights afforded to consumers under Spanish law.

As with the other jurisdictional cases including those of Club la Costa, the court ruled as per the judgements of many High Court hearings, that Spanish law and courts take precedence and do have full jurisdiction. This is a blow to the timeshare companies who have used this to “escape” the strict regulations governing the sale of timeshare.

It should also be pointed out at this point, that this is also a breach of the “Code of Conduct” laid down by the trade body the RDO, whose code clearly states:

“To comply with all laws, which apply to Member’s, business in the jurisdiction in which the Member operates.”

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

We then began our series of articles about the ongoing battle between Azure clients, Barclays Partner Finance and the Financial Regulation Authority. This is around the loan agreements brokered by Azure, who for almost two years was not “authorised” to broker these loans.

As part of this series, we published the personal story of one family and how they ended up being sold a timeshare by Azure with so many false promises and the ubiquitous BPF loan. The story follows the problems this has caused especially with the passing of one of the partners. The article is called The Story of Smoke and Mirrors.

We also brought you news from around the courts in Spain, with some rather good results from two law firms and one independent lawyer.

The cases ranged from First Instance trials, appeals to the High Court, Jurisdictional issues and then embargos to force payments. All in all, it was an expensive week for timeshare.

There was also a visit to articles published by the TCA, the first was on the confusion around the Club la Costa liquidations, which has been extensively covered by the TCA and Inside Timeshare. They also published another scathing article on the timeshare industry, this time regarding the availability at Diamond Resorts through independent booking sites.

Again this is a subject that Inside Timeshare has covered, not just for Diamond but all the major timeshare resorts. The fact that non-members are able to book at these resorts, usually cheaper than members pay in maintenance fees, plus without the huge initial outlay to join, is, to say the least totally unfair.

We then ran two articles on the timeshare industry, focusing on the replacement for TATOC, to “represent” timeshare “owners”, this is called EUROC, European Resort Owners Coalition. The articles asked the question “do they actually represent you the members”? The answer to that we leave you to decide, we know what our answer is.

We then published an update on Themis Resolution, a “company” which does not appear to be registered either in Spain or the UK. Certainly doesn’t look good.

Then for our friends across the pond, we issued a warning on a scam operating out of Mexico, the Modus Operandi is very similar to a previous one and also mirrors that of our friends the Litigious Abogados Family.

We then continued to look at the RDO and EUROC with Timeshare Industry Denies the Truth.

In this article, we looked at one of their own members, our old friends at Anfi. It highlighted the breaches that this company has made in not just Spanish timeshare law, but also against the Code of Conduct of the RDO. It also asked the question, why this organisation does not “sanction” their members for these breaches? Again we leave you to make up your own mind, we know what we think.

We end this week with the happy news for one English client who won their case at the Court of First Instance against Anfi. Then to find that Anfi had as they always do to delay proceedings had lodged an appeal with the High Court.

While this was going on the “provisional execution order” had been put into place, this resulted in money being secured from an embargo against a tax refund that was due to Anfi.

The client who was represented by Canarian Legal Alliance has now received over 11,000€ into their account and are also timeshare and maintenance-free.

That is it for this week, we hope that you have enjoyed reading the articles and we welcome your comments and views. Join us again next week for more in the murky world of timeshare.

Have a great weekend.

Timeshare Industry Denies the Truth

Today we follow up on our Tuesday Slot article European Resort Owners Coalition & Misinformation, with the timeshare industries denial of what their own members are doing, but concentrating on misleading “owners” in an attempt to stem the tide of increased litigation. Many comments received ask the same question, if Anfi is a member of the RDO, why are they not doing something about them? Inside Timeshare has asked this question many times as the evidence which we have seen published not just here but in all the major Spanish newspapers as well as on Spanish television news, points to some very disturbing tactics which go against the Code of Conduct of that organization.

To recap, the RDO Code of Conduct, Part I, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.5 actually states:

“To comply with all laws, which apply to Member’s, business in the jurisdiction in which the Member operates.”

Yet it appears that Anfi is in flagrant breach of this particular section, as since the timeshare law came into force in January 1999, Anfi continued to sell contracts which breached those laws. It is only recently that they have attempted to issue new contracts which on the surface comply with the law.

But as we have seen, it is the underhand tactics which considering the current situation on travel and the inability to use their weeks, “members” are being “blackmailed” into signing the contracts.

Inside Timeshare has reported on this in previous articles, in short, any member who wishes to save their unused week and receive a “voucher” for use in the future, must sign the new contract first. You don’t sign, you lose the week even though you have paid the maintenance. You also lose your legal rights if you wish to take any legal action against the original contract.

Again, we hear nothing from the trade body, the RDO or the “representatives” for “owners”, EUROC on this matter!

This though is just a minor transgression compared to the tactics they have employed in order to avoid paying clients what the courts have ordered.

It has been published many times on these pages that Anfi continues to lodge appeals with the High Court in order to delay proceedings, they have also used the “excuse” that they do not have the money to pay out!

Yet they seem to have plenty of money to launch appeals at the High Court against the rulings of the Court of First Instance!

It has also been reported on all the mainstream media that Anfi is under investigation by the Provincial Prosecutors Office of Gran Canaria, an investigation which may ultimately lead to “criminal charges”.

The investigation not only focuses on “Punishable Insolvency”, which to briefly explain means that due to the movement of funds from the accounts of the “convicted” companies (Anfi Sales SL & Anfi Resorts SL) to other Anfi accounts, leaves them technically insolvent. Thereby they are unable to pay the amounts so ordered by the courts, an insolvent company cannot pay its debts!

After all, we are seeing many other timeshare companies placing their “sales” branches into liquidation to avoid further litigation, despite them giving other reasons. Surely this is a criminal act, yet we hear nothing from the trade body?

Could Anfi be contemplating liquidating the companies involved in these lawsuits to avoid further “convictions”, a move which could be seen as “criminal”?

Could this be in store for Anfi Directors?

The Anfi investigation is also looking at the use of funds paid by members by way of annual maintenance fees. It appears that these funds are also being moved around different accounts to avoid court-ordered embargoes.

One of the possible charges is “Frustration in the execution of sentences” ( another possible criminal charge), due to the Anfi tactic of “avoiding” payments which they are obliged to do so by order of the courts. Inside Timeshare would call this a blatant “contempt of court”!

Yet with all these court cases, the criminal investigation for the illegal movement of funds in order to appear “insolvent” we hear nothing from the industry trade body the RDO, EUROC, Timeshare Task Force or from Timeshare Business Check. These all claim to “protect the consumer”.

One of their own members is flagrantly breaching not only Spanish law but also the RDO “code of conduct” yet they focus on informing “consumers” it is the law firms bringing the cases that are in the wrong. Informing “consumers” of “legislation” which does not exist, such as “it is illegal to take upfront legal fees”. That the courts, including the Supreme Court, have wrongly interpreted the law, that the law firms bringing these cases are “misleading” clients into false litigation.

Our understanding of a “Trade Body” is to regulate members of a particular industry to ensure they all operate in an ethical manner, to represent these members as one voice and ensure that the “industry” is presented in a good light. They should also be ensuring that “consumers” are protected from any wrong those members may do, assisting in resolving any issue.

They should also be sanctioning any member which does not comply with any legislation or breaks any of the “codes of conduct or ethics” that may be in place.

Is the RDO or any other organisation within the timeshare industry doing this?

Inside Timeshare believes not, but we leave you the reader to decide for yourselves.

Previous articles on this topic along with links to news reports.

TVE 1 News report on Anfi Investigation

Previous Inside Timeshare articles

https://insidetimeshare.com/breaking-news-prosecutors-office-denounces-anfi/

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-latest-news-in-brief-azure-services-limited-in-liquidation-and-anfi-funds-frozen/

https://insidetimeshare.com/years-end-not-a-good-one-for-anfi/

Previous articles published by El Diario.

Embargos

Original Spanish

https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/Fiscalia-denuncia-Anfi-ocultar-embargos_0_924258398.html?fbclid=IwAR2RFYXoewmBTTWBITZLZcXgTe-nSnEmsBgkz04DVFTqzrXm9czh6dqsx5Y

English Translation.

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en&tab=wT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-denuncia-Anfi-ocultar-embargos_0_924258398.html

Clients Filing against Anfi Debts

Original Spanish

https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/Anfi-Timesharing-Condenas-Justicia-Deudas_0_922158442.html

English Translation

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en&tab=wT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftribunales%2FAnfi-Timesharing-Condenas-Justicia-Deudas_0_922158442.html

Evading Debt

Original Spanish

https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/exclientes-lider-europeo-timesharing-denuncian-nuevas-maniobras-empresa-eludir-pago-condenas_1_6623401.html?fbclid=IwAR0WC-uPDj_KNYccII5LEX4jus_6UYCRyMJUgtMKBX52tjLOpRNmgQ-ar4k

English

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/exclientes-lider-europeo-timesharing-denuncian-nuevas-maniobras-empresa-eludir-pago-condenas_1_6623401.html?fbclid%3DIwAR0WC-uPDj_KNYccII5LEX4jus_6UYCRyMJUgtMKBX52tjLOpRNmgQ-ar4k

Danish

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=auto&tl=da&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftribunales%2Fexclientes-lider-europeo-timesharing-denuncian-nuevas-maniobras-empresa-eludir-pago-condenas_1_6623401.html%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0WC-uPDj_KNYccII5LEX4jus_6UYCRyMJUgtMKBX52tjLOpRNmgQ-ar4k

German

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=auto&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftribunales%2Fexclientes-lider-europeo-timesharing-denuncian-nuevas-maniobras-empresa-eludir-pago-condenas_1_6623401.html%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0WC-uPDj_KNYccII5LEX4jus_6UYCRyMJUgtMKBX52tjLOpRNmgQ-ar4k

Finish

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=auto&tl=fi&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftribunales%2Fexclientes-lider-europeo-timesharing-denuncian-nuevas-maniobras-empresa-eludir-pago-condenas_1_6623401.html%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0WC-uPDj_KNYccII5LEX4jus_6UYCRyMJUgtMKBX52tjLOpRNmgQ-ar4k

Norwegian

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=auto&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftribunales%2Fexclientes-lider-europeo-timesharing-denuncian-nuevas-maniobras-empresa-eludir-pago-condenas_1_6623401.html%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0WC-uPDj_KNYccII5LEX4jus_6UYCRyMJUgtMKBX52tjLOpRNmgQ-ar4k

Swedish

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=auto&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftribunales%2Fexclientes-lider-europeo-timesharing-denuncian-nuevas-maniobras-empresa-eludir-pago-condenas_1_6623401.html%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0WC-uPDj_KNYccII5LEX4jus_6UYCRyMJUgtMKBX52tjLOpRNmgQ-ar4k

The Wednesday Report: Update on Themis, Another Fake Law Firm from Mexico and Court News from Spain

Today we bring you some news from the courts, also the latest information on a company that we highlighted back in October 2020, this latest information is rather disturbing considering the information they had on our reader. They have also been quite cheeky in attempting to give themselves some credibility, but more on that below. We also publish a warning to our friends across the pond about another “fake” law firm contacting US timeshare owners. Yesterday we published the article in our Tuesday Slot, European Resort Owners Coalition & Misinformation.This has certainly caused some response already from our readers. Many are echoing what was published and asking the question “who can we trust” if even the “trade body”, the RDO, the so-called “owners” representatives, EUROC and the timeshare companies themselves cannot tell the truth?

First, we begin with Themis Resolution, which came to our attention back in October, at the time we found no company registration either in the UK or Spain, that is still the case.

Their website https://themisresolution.com/ shows no company details or any postal address, just the email address [email protected] and the telephone number  01935 548 026, the STD code is for Yeovil in Somerset.

The website was registered on 16 September 2020 and is due to expire on 16 September 2021, with the registrant, as usual, being hidden.

In our first article, our reader after the cold call was sent an email by Dawn Knott of Customer Care, which was full of details on EU Directives and Spanish Timeshare Law, including a link to one of our articles on Silverpoint.

We also pointed out that much of the email also contained information from our articles on Silverpoint and the liquidations taking place. Our latest reader has also received an email with the same information and links, this time it is signed by Polly Ottis of Customer Care.

Now, Inside Timeshare loves the idea that our articles are being used to inform consumers about what is going on, but to use them to give a “company” which has no registration details, address or other information any credibility does not help consumers to determine the genuine companies from the scammers!

The main concern though is the information they had on our reader, now considering he was cold-called, the caller knew an awful lot about his purchase and what he was seeking to do. They knew he was wanting to get out of his contract and hopefully get his money back, they also knew that he had not been paid his “Dividends” which were part of the “deal” with the “Company Participations”.

When questioned where they got the readers information from, they claim it was passed to them by the “Ombudsman” to act for “British people in the UK Courts”. Well, we know that the Ombudsman would not be passing any of this information to any company even if they had that information.

So what does that lead us to assume?

The answer is very simple, they have had access to clients data held by Silverpoint on the purchase and terms of the contract, so it has either been stolen by ex-employees or sold by Silverpoint themselves.

There to Protect You

This does look as though there has been a serious breach of the General Data Protection Regulations. The unfortunate thing is because there are no company registrations, no address or where they are actually based, it would be difficult to file a complaint with the relevant authorities.

We have also not been able to determine if they are going to deal with the “claims” themselves or are they just a “lead generator” which then passes “prospective clients” to another company?

As and when we receive further information we will publish on our pages, but in the meantime, be aware of Themis Resolution and any other company that contacts you, especially if they already have a lot of information on you and your purchase.

We now issue a warning to our US friends on another “fake” law firm operating out of Mexico, similar to Ferrer Abogados y Asociados, published on 6 August 2020, (see link below).

https://insidetimeshare.com/us-timeshare-owners-targeted-by-fake-law-firm/

Their Modus Operandi is very similar to the one being employed by several “fake” Spanish law firms, most notably the Litigious Abogados Family. It appears that this one is using the same techniques.

The law firm is called Asesoria Juridica Bayardos, with the website

https://www.juridica-bayardos.com/

This website was registered on 3 February 2020 and is due to expire in one weeks time on 3 February 2021. The registrant is hidden by privacy protection.

Their email address: [email protected]

Telephone number: +52 332-736-4845

Address: Av. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla 1443, Ladrón de Guevara, Americana, 44160 Guadalajara, Jal.

We have not found any company registration details on their website and have found no law firm with this name or address, there are however one or two genuine law firms with similar names but their addresses and contact details are very different and in other parts of Mexico.

Although the website is due to expire, it can be easily extended so we may just see more calls to US timeshare owners in the future, they may even change their name as with our Spanish friends.

So far this week there have been three cases against Anfi published by Canarian Legal Alliance, two in the Court of First Instance and one High Court judgement following an appeal by Anfi.

On Monday, The Court of First Instance of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, declared a Norwegian client’s contract null and void, ordering Anfi to repay 31,313€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

As usual, CLA is anticipating that Anfi will lodge another appeal to delay and attempt to avoid payment, therefore they are already in the process of ensuring their client’s funds are secured by preparing a “provisional execution” order. Watch this space for another rejection of an Anfi appeal by the High Court!

On Tuesday it was a German client whose case was found against Anfi at the Court of First Instance of SBT. Their contract was again declared null and void with the court ordering 35,392€ plus legal interest to be paid back to the client. Once again the court sanctioned Anfi for the illegal taking of deposits by awarding an additional 12,255€ which is double the amount taken illegally.

No doubt the lawyers are again preparing the “provisional execution” order in anticipation of another frivolous Anfi appeal.

The High Court of Las Palmas, GC

On the subject of appeals, news came in this morning of another appeal being dismissed and rejected by the High Court.

In this case, the Norwegian client won his legal battle at the Court of First Instance of SBT, with his contract being declared null and void and the return of 26,382€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

In another frivolous attempt to delay proceedings and possibly avoid payment, Anfi launched another appeal, as we have seen with all these appeals it was dismissed and rejected by the High Court. They confirmed the original sentence and returned the case for execution of sentence. So we can expect the announcement that the client has received their payment in due course.

It does seem strange that Anfi claims to have no money to pay out what the courts have ordered, yet they seem to have enough money to pay their lawyers to make these appeals. Is it at the insistence of the directors or are their lawyers advising them to lodge these appeals?

We leave you the readers to decide what you think on this one.

That is all for today, if you have any comments or would like further information on any article published including what your legal rights are, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.