Since the beginning of 2018, Inside Timeshare has been following the case of the Financial Conduct Authority’s validation of Barclay Partner Finance loan agreements brokered by Azure Services Ltd. As we know, Azure Services Ltd was not authorised or regulated to broker any loan agreements, yet Barclay Partner Finance approached the FCA to validate these “illegal” agreements to make them enforceable in law in the case of any defaults in payments. This has affected over 1,400 clients whose timeshare purchases were made using these loan agreements.
To recap, these loan agreements were made between 1 April 2014 and 24 April 2016 , the purpose was to finance the purchase of “investments” weeks at the Radisson Blu Golden Sands Resort in Malta. These “investments” were sold with the promise of rental income and a substantial profit from the resale of those weeks after two years.
This is the same “investment” product sold by Azure’s sister company Silverpoint (formerly Resort Properties) based in Tenerife, all are part of the Robert Trotta empire which all comes under the umbrella of Limora Investments Ltd.
Those sales have been the subject of many court cases in Spain and over 50 Supreme Court rulings, in every case the courts have sided with the consumer.
It is also a fact that Silverpoint, Azure and a myriad of other companies within the group have all filed for liquidation. The reason is very simple, it avoids the liability of legal action for the illegal selling of timeshare.
Virtually all of these sales were financed by Barclay Partner Finance, with all loan agreements being brokered by the sales staff, which in itself raises the question of “unfair relationship” between broker and lender.
It is also a fact that many of the purchasers through these loans were already retired or about to retire. So again it raises the question how were these substantial sums approved as we know for a fact that not one client Inside Timeshare has spoken with has ever or was ever asked to submit a full “income v expenditure” report. This is something which for any sizable loan needs to be done to ensure affordability of the repayments. (see link below on Shawbrook Bank).
By the FCA validating these agreements any client who is unable to afford the loan repayments due to a change in circumstances and then defaults, can be taken through the County Courts and receive a County Court Judgement. This also has a severe effect on any credit ratings.
Due to the FCA issuing the validation order, this has now left many vulnerable and mostly elderly people in a very difficult position. They have a loan agreement which they were promised would be paid off in 2 years from the sales of the weeks which never materialised.
To fight this decision many “consumers” have formed the Azure Malta Action And Support Group, which is located on Facebook. (link below).
Many of these members are already fighting their cases with the help of various law firms, some represented themselves, but due to the validation, they have come together to launch an appeal.
They have already sent a letter, a copy of which is on the PDF link below, to the following:
The Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland
Boris Johnson (PM)
The letter goes into great detail on how this product and the loan agreements were sold, the high pressure and lengthy sales presentations. They used techniques such as highlighting the investment into the hotel by two Manchester United players, this along with the fact that BPF was known and tended to be a trusted name, ensured that these non-existent “investments” looked very sound indeed. We do know from the Silverpoint scam, there was never any intention to begin any resales of these “investment” weeks.
This is a story which we are sure is not going away for some time, Inside Timeshare will be following developments and will publish any news on these pages.
If you have purchased through Azure between April 2012 and April 2014 with a BPF loan brokered by Azure, then you should contact Azure Malta Action And Support Group on the link above.
Letter to the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland
Links to the full story in order of publication.
General article on loan agreements
Article on Shawbrook Bank admitting negligence on timeshare loan agreements
If you purchased a timeshare using a loan agreement brokered by any timeshare salespeople and would like to know where you stand legally and what options are open to you, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.