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February 2021

A New Friday Letter From America: Veteran & Active Duty Service Member Outreach

Welcome to the end of another week with Inside Timeshare, going away from our usual Friday review, we today bring you a “Letter From America” special. It is the story of “predatory” lending to service personnel and Veterans. Inside Timeshare has published on this subject in the past and we are pleased to publish this article by Adam Siler, ( ) we also hope that his call will be heard and will be an instrument of change. Contact details are placed at the end of this article.

Predatory Lending Begins with Misleading Sales Tactics

A Veteran and Active Duty Service Member Outreach

By Adam Siler, Air Force Veteran

[email protected]

February 23, 2021

I am a Florida resident. I served eight years in the Air Force. I am writing to ask veterans and active duty service members to reach out to me through Inside Timeshare if you feel you experienced unfair and deceptive timeshare sales practices and lending

Veterans who served their country are often targeted. Harming veterans is wrong, but when an active duty service member is unable to refinance, they could lose their security clearances if they default. This makes timeshare a threat to national security. Payday loans have been deemed off-limits to the military.

Protecting our Protectors: The Defense Department’s New Rules to Prevent Predatory Lending to Military Personnel 

The term “predatory lending” describes a wide variety of unfair or abusive loan or credit transactions and collection methods.”

Predatory lending is a process that begins with misleading sales tactics directed at borrowers who may not fully understand all the provisions of the contracts they are signing. It ends with borrowers unable to repay the loans they have taken due to excessive fees and interest. (Dawn Goulet, Student Author, 2007)

There are extra HUD disclosures required for veterans buying homes. A timeshare can cost as much as a house. 

  • There is an Assumption Approval clause as per which the loan is not valid unless the Department of Veteran Affairs approves it.

I reached out to Inside Timeshare. I learned that what I experienced in 2020 is almost identical to what an Active Duty Navy couple experienced in 2017. This is beyond coincidence. Diamond Resorts believed our sales agent, despite the fact that he provided us with a handwritten illustration of a 7% interest rate, drastically lower than the 14% interest rate he knew we could not afford. 

An excerpt from the 2017 Inside Timeshare article published December 19, 2017

We knew we could not afford this vacation product at the interest rate being charged. In January of 2017 we purchased 7500 Diamond points at Virginia Beach Oceanaire Resort for $28,200. Our Loan Balance is $24,163.36 and the interest rate 15.99%. Sales agent Tony Jones said we would be able to refinance. He told us there were refinancing companies that specialize in timeshare. We have since learned banks don’t finance timeshares. We had questions and planned to refinance but decided to wait until the orientation. Tony never answered the phone.

We went to an orientation in Orlando at DRI Resort Mystic Dunes March 2017. Our sales agent was Jonathan Pineda. We purchased 4000 points for $15,732. This loan balance was $13,271.16 at 18.6794%. Like Tony told us, Jonathan said both loans could be refinanced and combined because other companies specialize in refinancing timeshares. It would be no problem to contact one of them after we made our first payment. 

Jonathan said that we needed to get to Gold so that we could pay our maintenance fees with points. We have since learned only Platinum members can use points to pay maintenance fees at $.04 per point (a worthless benefit). He said it would be worth it to spend all our savings so that we would not have to pay maintenance fees. We were not comfortable so we only bought 4000 points, which still depleted our savings.

Before reading about our experience, watch this YouTube. Imagine how we feel. Mr Flaskey said, “And they could have just called Diamond Resorts.” 

We have no choice but to default. A Diamond Hospitality agent I spoke with said that I needed more incriminating text messages from Jonathon. I reached out to Diamond Resorts for comment, but they did not respond. 

Our Experience 

We first bought a Sampler (trial product) at Diamond’s Cancun Resort in Las Vegas in 2018. On March 6, 2019 at Diamond’s Kitty Hawk Resort we changed our Sampler points to 7,500 ten year term points. 

On June 2, 2019 we attended a required new member orientation at Diamond’s Mystic Dunes Resort in Orlando. We thought we were to be trained on how to use points. We were informed that because we did not attend an orientation within 90 days we lost our price freeze. We were never informed of this. I broke down in tears because I felt we could lose everything we had wanted to do to vacation with our family.              

At a subsequent meeting at Mystic Dunes on July 20, 2020, we met with Jonathon Pineda. Jonathon said he was not a sales agent. He then worked out the numbers to transfer our term points to annual points and buy 30,000 U.S. Collection points. 

Jonathon said refinancing would be no problem with our credit rating. He said he used to do stuff in the finance world. He set up an appointment for August 17 at 6:00 pm to make some calls. His exact words, “Let me get with you and we’ll make some calls.” 

Jonathan estimated a 7% loan rate, as opposed to Diamond’s proposed 19.99% interest rate. I cannot include the actual proposal with his notes because of a disclaimer. I am subject to penalty if I show the proposal to anyone not employed by Diamond Resorts. This would be comparable to a potential buyer offering a proposal to buy a house, but not allowing anyone to review it. The purchase price listed for 22,500 points was $219,150. Our actual purchase price for 30,000 points was $67,157. The disclaimer: 

This document contains proprietary information belonging to Diamond Resorts. Distribution of this information to unauthorized persons, including but not limited to persons not employed by or agents of Diamond Resorts or to persons not listed on this option is strictly prohibited and subject to penalty.       

Jonathon wrote on the proposal:

½ 12.99 $520 ½ 3 letters i.e.: 7% = $194 loan 

The $67,157 was financed at a 14% interest rate. At 14% the monthly payment is approximately $1,043 per month ($58,000 is interest). At 7% the monthly payment would have been $780 per month ($26,500 interest). That’s a big difference. 

Jonathan told us he would do the paperwork to help us use a Barclaycard “benefits card” to cover about 50% of our maintenance fees. He explained this as a program between Diamond and their partner Barclays Bank. The 2500 written on Jonathon’s illustration was presented as $2,500. My wife and I both clearly understood this.  

Jonathan wrote out benefits A – D, highlighting in red the real maintenance fee relief program which is of such poor value to be of little benefit.   

Benefit 1: Wait 12 to 14 days (the rescission period is ten business days)

Benefit 5: Event of a Lifetime

Jonathon said we could go on “Events of a Lifetime” (EOL) promotions and not have to attend a sales presentation. Jonathon said this was one of the great benefits of Gold loyalty level. He advised that I could go on the “soon to be updated website” to view scheduled events. The website update never happened. A Diamond coordinator later said any EOL requires a presentation and that you can’t see EOLs on the website. You have to call to book them.

As we talked with Jonathon, he would go into his bosses’ office, Chris LeBlanc. He returned excited because he received approval for a lower price saying we were part of a Legacy contract from another member.  

Jonathon told us not to say anything about the Barclay maintenance fee relief program or the refinance when we signed papers or they would “kick it back.” He said it had something to do with underwriting. 

When I followed up to refinance Jonathon said he could not talk to us because his son had a terrible car accident. He texted me pictures.  

We went back to Mystic Dunes in November of 2020 to speak with Jonathon but he was not in. I asked a manager from a previous meeting about how to get out of the contract because we could not afford the interest rate. We spoke with Chris LaBlanc. He told us he sent a message to the finance department and someone would contact us. We asked about the Barclaycard. Chris said he saw nothing in our file about a Barclaycard. 

We later learned that banks don’t finance timeshares. A sales agent should not assume a buyer is qualified for a low interest personal loan or a home equity loan. We do not own a home so a home equity loan was never an option. We could not refinance. There is no way to offset 50% of maintenance fees. 

In going through my packet of information, I found Diamond’s Clarity Promise of Respect for the Customer and an assurance that we would be provided transparent and accountable information.   

I appealed to the following: Mr Michael Flaskey, CEO, Mr Jason Gamel, ARDA, Mr Kenneth McKelvey, ARDA-ROC, Association of Vacation Owners, Nicole Drayson, Federal Trade Commission, Military and Education, Mr. Jay Mayfied, FTC, Lending, Charles Thomas, Inside Timeshare, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Florida Attorney General’s office.  

Diamond offered to reduce our interest rate to 11% from 14.73%, reduce the price per point, push the maintenance fees back one year, and push the use of points back one year. Refinancing at 11% is of little help, plus we expected to receive $2,500 from Barclays to offset maintenance fees.

The Mission  

I hope you can see why I am asking for Veterans and Active Duty Service Members to join my efforts to have Veterans Affairs look into timeshare lending. There is too much opportunity for smoke and mirrors. I have been reaching out to other veterans and have learned what happened to us is not uncommon.  

The FTC’s definition of an Unfair Practice:

First of all, the injury must be substantial.  

Second, the injury must not be outweighed by any offsetting consumer or competitive benefits that the sales practice also produces. 

Finally, the injury must be one which consumers could not reasonably have avoided.19 December 18, 1980

In timeshare, buyers are demanded to buy the same day. 

Find me at Inside Timeshare 

Or email: [email protected]

Adam Siler     

Thank you Adam for a very enlightening article, to all our readers Inside Timeshare asks you to share this story on all social media to help Adam in his quest. You can use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will ensure that your emails will be passed on to Adam or you can email directly to the address above.

Have a good weekend.

Anfi: Another Appeal Dismissed and Latest on New Contracts

Appeals by Anfi against the judgements of the Court of First Instance have become a common feature on Inside Timeshare, not a day seems to go by without yet another appeal being dismissed and today is no exception. Although Anfi has the legal right to lodge an appeal, it beggars belief that they continue to do so even when every single appeal is being rejected and the original sentence is being upheld. We also have a look at the latest information being given to members of Anfi regarding the signing of the “New Contracts”, which in theory conform to current timeshare legislation.

We begin with the latest case to be dismissed by the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

High Court of Las Palmas Gran Canaria

The case involving a Norwegian client whose original case in the Court of First Instance Number 4 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, was prepared and presented by Canarian Legal Alliance.

In the original sentence, this court declared the contract null and void, they also ordered that Anfi repay the client 31,770€ plus interest. A sentence that follows all those which have been past previously. After all, the courts are applying the law as laid down in 131 Supreme Court Rulings.

The three basic principles being:

  • The contract is for a duration of more than 50 years, known as perpetuity;
  • The inclusion of floating weeks and points systems;
  • The taking of payments even by a third party within the statutory cooling-off period.

In this case, the Court of First Instance followed these principles.

Yet as expected Anfi filed their appeal with the High Court, the reason, well that is pure speculation, but we do believe that it is an attempt to cause as much delay in paying as possible, plus, to cause as much stress and anxiety to the client as possible.

We already know that the Provincial Prosecutors Office is investigating Anfi, part of this investigation is centred on the movement of funds to empty bank accounts. This then prevents any embargo from being enforced as there will be no money in the accounts. This investigation could lead to criminal charges being filed.

As we have come to expect from the High Court, they dismissed the appeal and fully endorsed the sentence of the lower court.

The case has now been returned to that court for execution of sentence, so we expect this client will soon receive the payment into their own bank account.

The case was prepared and present by the CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Lotta Nielson assisting the client during the long process.

Moving now to the “New Contracts” Anfi is trying so desperately to make members sign.

We have been publishing on this subject since May 2017, at this meeting, Anfi put forward three proposals for changing the new contracts. Full details on the result and the proposals can be found in the links below.

Since that time, Anfi has been trying to get members to sign the new contracts with varying excuses, these have ranged from “bringing the contracts” in line with current legislation and “updating” the member’s database. This has included adding others such as family to the contract.

The last method which they have employed recently has resulted from the closure of resorts due to the pandemic restrictions being enforced around the world.

Because of this, the vast majority of members were unable to use their weeks in 2020 and it looks very unlikely they will have any better luck this year.

What Anfi have done is nothing short of “Blackmail”, unless the member signs the new contract, the week they were unable to use last year, which they have already paid their annual maintenance fees on, will be lost.

Sign the “New Contract” and Anfi will give you an accommodation voucher to save your week for use in the coming year. We suspect this will be the same for those who are unable to use their weeks this year!

Recently, Anfi has begun yet another campaign to “force in” these new contracts, according to the independent timeshare lawyer Javier Correa, this is what Anfi are saying:

“According to the legal changes, each member now has a fixed week in the contract, so that a value is specified with the number of square meters and cadastral registration data. The inventory that is taken internally from the system can also be viewed by the member. So that you don’t have to come to the specified week, we have an extra document for you which is marked with “Registration in the flexible system”.

In this document, you relinquish the right to the week that is in the contract to us so that you can freely choose the week, the apartment and the day of arrival as usual. Nothing will change for you when using the weeks and you will remain flexible.

By enrolling in our flexible exchange system, we guarantee you will continue to be flexible, you will continue to book in the future as before”.

The underlying concern for this lawyer and on reading the above Inside Timeshare agrees this “New Contract” is being portrayed as “MANDATORY”.

Javier Correa

Considering Anfi’s attitude toward those with unused weeks, this conclusion is very valid.

So what if you sign the new contract?

The answer is very simple indeed, you lose all your legal rights to sue Anfi for the illegal selling of your contract, you waive your rights to legal redress and having your contract declared null and void, with the repayment of the full purchase price plus double any payment taken illegally within the statutory cooling-off period.

In other words, they know that with every case that is found against them by the lower courts and subsequently on appeal, more cases will follow.

Now, on reading the above which was issued by Anfi, it is clear this is another attempt to circumvent the law.

Although they claim that each member will be given a specified week and apartment number, which is the fixed week system which is allowed by law, but the telling thing is the “separate” contract or as they put it “document”. They call this the “Registration in the flexible system”.

On signing this “addendum”, the member waives their right to the numbered week and apartment and being placed in this “flexible system”. Hang on, does this not look like retaining the “Floating Weeks”?

We know not everyone is able to or wants to vacation the same week every year, most people do, but sometimes due to personal circumstances that may not be possible. Is this not what the old “internal exchange system” covered, after all, it was just like banking and exchanging with RCI or Interval International?

Only when it suits us!

So once again, we see Anfi trying to pull the proverbial wool over the eyes of their “valued members”, no doubt there will be some lawyer who will find that this “New Contract” is just as illegal as the original. This is something which we will watch with great interest and we expect that it will be contested in the courts at some point in the future.

If you would like further information on your legal rights regarding illegal contracts whether it is Anfi or any other resort, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Past articles on Anfi Special Meeting

Anfi and the new contract to save weeks.

Anfi in the press








Mid Week Review: Mindtimeshare Post and Marriott Payout Voluntarily

Well, here we are, halfway through the last week of February and it has been quite a month for news from the courts, with Anfi appeals being systematically dismissed and others such as Palm Oasis and Marriott paying out without all the problems. Yesterday we also highlighted one case against Marriott with the story of one family’s purchase. This story certainly showed how misleading sales presentations can be and it also highlighted the problem of availability and then the ability to be able to book independently online, often cheaper than the annual maintenance fees.

First, we must address a post on the blog site Mindtimeshare.

On 17 February, Inside Timeshare published the article “Anfi and the Tui Connection: Are Tui Liable for Court Claims?”

This looked at a question that is being asked in legal circles, it is still under debate and the possibility is being investigated by various lawyers. The article did not as Mindtimeshare would have you believe say that Tui was liable for paying out on claims while they controlled Anfi.

The article clearly showed that Tui who was in control of the “Board of Directors” were at the time responsible for the decisions of all companies within the Anfi Group and that includes the sales departments. Although they are registered companies in their own right, they are still part of the Anfi Group which was controlled by Tui at the time, the same as the Cazorla Group are now. So the question still stands.

It is obvious that the person writing for Mindtimeshare has absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Their article is insinuating that the purpose behind the article is to “confuse” owners into making “spurious” legal claims. The purpose of the article is to inform people of legal questions and issues which are being raised, discussed and investigated. The article did not say that Tui was liable, it asked the question “could they be liable”.

Mindtimeshare has taken out of context in their blog this quote “This may also mean they are also liable for the claims against Anfi…”

(Obviously not a native English speaker!)

The full text is:

“Although Tui is no longer a shareholder at Anfi, they are legally responsible for the sale of the contracts which are illegal under Timeshare Law 42/98, sold under their watch as the controlling body of Anfi Group.”

“This may also mean they are also liable for the claims against Anfi which amount to over 48 million euros.”

Again it is posing a question, could they be liable in law?

They also state in their blog a point they have used for many years, that “Cold Calls” are “illegal” and not allowed under current Data Protection Law. Cold calls are not illegal, they are a recognised marketing tool and used by many industries. There are very strict rules which call centres must abide by, there are also rules on the data that is used. It must come from a legitimate and verifiable source, the information that they hold is also limited. Unsolicited emails, text messages etc are not allowed, emails can only be sent with the permission of the person being called. The information gained on these calls also cannot be passed to any other third party without the express permission either in writing or via a recording of the call by the “potential client”.

Once again we see Mindtimeshare confusing people with their half baked blogs, it appears they are also struggling to find anything to write about. Recently their posts have been gleaned from other sources and most are what can be called old news.

Alberto Garcia, is he back at the helm?

So again we have to ask the question, who is behind Mindtimeshare now, is Alberto Garcia back in control?

How are they being funded now?

What are they doing with all the data they have collected from “consumers” over the years?

These are very legitimate questions, after all for years this blog site was in the pay of the industry, with Silverpoint and Anfi being major contributors to the funding body the RDO.

Are they still being influenced by this?

On this point of data, Inside Timeshare does not share any readers details when they make an enquiry to any third party. Inside Timeshare will try to answer the questions and if the reader asks for a recommendation of who to go to, then we will give one. It is then down to the individual to make contact with the recommended firm unless the reader expressly asks for Inside Timeshare to make contact on their behalf and this must be in writing to conform to Data Protection.

Moving now to Marriott, yesterday we published the story of one family’s legal battle with Marriott, they have won their case and are just waiting for the payment to be made to the court and then receive this money into their own account.

Just after publishing the news came in about another case against Marriott at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of Marbella, which has now had a very satisfactory conclusion.

The court declared the contract null and void, also ordering Marriott to repay 34,992€ back to the client.

The case was heard in November 2020, with Marriott “VOLUNTARILY” paying the money into the court. These funds have now been released by the court and are now safely in the personal account of the German client, who no doubt is celebrating.

The companies named in the suit are MVCI Management SL and MVCI Holidays SL.

This has taken just 3 months and is one of the fastest payouts that we have seen for some time, this probably due to the fact that Marriott being responsible to their shareholders did admit to losing in the Spanish Courts and had already set aside over $16 million to cover these expenses.

Anfi, once again take note!

The case was prepared and brought on behalf of the client by the Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyer Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client through the process.

We now wait and see if Marriott does the same with the case we highlighted yesterday, we suspect there will be news on this in the very near future.

If you have any questions or comments on any article published or just want to know if whoever has contacted you is genuine, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.