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Nordic Consulting: The Facts

Inside Timeshare has been receiving many enquiries about Nordic Consulting Canary Islands SL, CIF: B76781228, registered as a company on 17 October 2018 so it is only just been in operation for 1 year. The CEO and owner of the company is Ali Farhoud, who as we know is an ex-Silverpoint sales agent.

The nature of the enquires has been the claim made by the calling “consultant” is regarding making a legal claim to refund the purchase price through a court case against Silverpoint. In many of the enquiries, our readers have informed us the “consultant” who called is the very same person who sold the product in the first place.

During the call, the “consultant” has claimed that they, Nordic have had “victories” from the Supreme Court and the High Court. When having the copies of the court documents checked these have not been brought by Nordic. They belong to another law firm.

FACTS

  • Nordic Consulting has not won any cases in the High Court
  • Nordic Consulting has not had any judgements from the Supreme Court
  • Nordic Consulting has not paid out to any client

Also for a case to be brought before the Supreme Court also take a long time, in a recent Supreme Court ruling this was the timing:

  • First Court hearing 4 April 2015
  • High Court hearing 22 December 2016
  • Supreme Court filing 2017
  • Supreme Court ruling issued 4 October 2019

This should leave you the reader in no doubt that their claims are to be polite “exagerated”

Inside Timeshare has also been told by concerned readers the “consultant” has told them that they must first have their contract cancelled and then make a claim. The problem is that once the contract is cancelled then no claim can be made through the courts.

They also recently published a photograph of their “team” outside their new offices, these are located close to their original ones. Look carefully at the photograph, you may just see someone that sold you the product!

There are several people in the lineup who have no connection to Silverpoint and one of those is the lawyer Luis Sanchez Garcia Yanes, who is actually a very good lawyer. He has won several cases but these have been on behalf of clients for another law firm who he was previously working with.

The question that you the reader should be asking yourself is should you trust a company owned and staffed by the very people who sold you the illegal product in the first place?

Inside Timeshare leaves you to make up your mind.

The Tuesday Slot

Timeshare and Resort Developer Accountability, Inc.

https://tarda.org/

We are an organization servicing North America timeshare buyers, prospective buyers, or those interested in timeshare reform. North America includes Canada and several other countries

https://www.countries-ofthe-world.com/countries-of-north-america.html

October 15, 2019

By Irene Parker

Timeshare and Resort Developer Accountability, Inc is a 501c4 nonprofit incorporated in Delaware and domiciled in Washington D.C. Our mission:

We seek to provide timeshare members with a way to proactively address membership concerns; to advocate for timeshare reform; to obtain greater disclosure from the company; to advocate for a viable secondary market, and to educate prospective buyers.

If you are a timeshare member, owner, prospective buyer, or just someone interested in seeing an improvement in timeshare sales and marketing practices, join TARDA today to join your voice with ours. Your donation of $10 or more will automatically enroll you as a member of TARDA. A complete explanation of TARDA can be found on our website linked above.

The time has come to have the timeshare consumer’s voice speak for the timeshare consumer, as opposed to timeshare executives speaking to lawmakers on our behalf. We know there are millions who use and enjoy their timeshare weeks or points, but we also know thousands have reported how they have been harmed by unfair and deceptive timeshare sales and marketing practices.

Our initial legislative goal is twofold:

  • Allow the timeshare buyer 24 hours to consider their decision to buy a timeshare product 
  • If the signing session is recorded, allow the buyer the opportunity to record the sales session

By their own admission, in testimony provided at a Florida legislative workshop March 12, 2019, the Florida Attorney General’s timeshare division, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), acknowledged in their statistics that reports of verbal representations are dismissed.

Victoria Butler, from the Florida Attorney General’s Department of Consumer Protection, reported a figure of 1,500 to 1,600 complaints in recent years, with about 50% involving senior citizens. She said the majority of complaints were in regard to the initial sales presentation. Ms. Butler stated that the Florida timeshare division engaged only 42 complaints, the majority concerning resale.   

What is a 501c4?

Nonprofit organizations typically classified under 501c4 include:

  • Volunteer fire departments
  • Civil leagues
  • And other groups that promote social well-being

Restrictions of a 501c4

Similar to a 501c3, no profits of the 501c4 can be used to directly benefit any of its individuals. The 501c4 organization cannot stand in support of or against any politician, whether done indirectly or directly.

However, the 501c4 is allowed to partake in minimal political activity, but those activities cannot become the focus of the organization. Also, when engaging in political activities, the 501c4 risks that any expenses incurred may be taxed.

Lobbying is allowed only for the sake of achieving its social well-being goal. If the 501c4 engages in lobbying, it may have to disclose how much of its members’ dues are going toward lobbying. https://www.upcounsel.com/501c3-vs-501c4

Hundreds of timeshare member complaints have been sent to the timeshare lobby ARDA and to ARDA-ROC, a political action committee. Complaints have been ignored. ARDA-ROC does not mediate disputes, but they have a Code of Ethics.     

Not one in over 1,000 timeshare members have been able to tell me what ARDA even stands for, yet ARDA ROC collects approximately $5 million a year in “voluntary” donations. At some resorts contributions are opt-out. When I attempted to opt-out my $7, the $7 was moved to another account and reported as delinquency. It took a while on hold until the matter could be researched and resolved. ARDA and ARDA ROC’s boards consist of timeshare executives with one exception. There are no timeshare owners on the board.   

https://www.arda.org/arda/government-affairs/default.aspx?id=1156&libID=1176

Why ARDA does not represent the voice of the timeshare consumer

  •  As described in the RedWeek article linked below, ARDA proposed and passed legislation in Florida in 2015 that makes it more difficult to be released from timeshare contracts due to non-material errors.
  •  In Arizona ARDA vigorously argued against offering the timeshare buyer a 24 hour “cooling off” period before signing a perpetual contract that likely has no secondary market. Shorter-term products have been developed, but even a ten-year product can wreak financial havoc. Clearly, any organization arguing against a 24 hour cooling off period is not on the side of the consumer. 

https://www.redweek.com/resources/ask-redweek/arda-roc-donation-in-maintenance-bill

ARDA’s position is that the problem of the lack of a secondary market has been solved. Daily I receive requests from timeshare buyers seeking release. They do not know where to turn. Many are seniors who would never find their way to ARDA’s Coalition for Responsible Exit. Most have owned their timeshare for 10 to 30 years, rarely used it, and have been paying maintenance fees for decades. An out of touch quote from an ARDA lobbyist:

“Their value comes from using it,” the timeshare industry’s top lobbyist told ConsumerAffairs in January, admitting that points have no resale value while claiming that consumers don’t mind this because the value comes from the experience.

According to ARDA lobbyist Don Isaacson:

But the bottom line said (ARDA lobbyist) Isaacson, is that the state should not step in to protect people who didn’t bother to understand the nature of the deal.

According to an Arizona Senator who supported ARDA’s defeat of a pro-consumer bill that would have allowed 24 hours to consider a timeshare purchase:

“These people are adults. There was a meeting of the minds and they signed a contract. They should take responsibility.”

The first timeshare complaint I read on Tripadvisor in 2016 is reflective of the over 1,000 complaints received, one of the adults who “did not bother to understand the nature of the deal.” Since this complaint, I have heard from more than 1,000 others. 

I am at the Cancun resort in Las Vegas and went to a breakfast where they said they would simply update me about the changeover to Diamond. I was told that I should have been invited to a dinner where I would have been given options, decided by a judge in a legal ruling against Monarch due to their bankruptcy. They proceeded to show me a print out that said when my current term expires in August. I would have to pay $573 per quarter to Monarch. They said that due to the bankruptcy, I would have no equity. That was option one. Pay more, have nothing. The other option they said was to transfer into Diamond at a cost of $12,000 plus and pay a yearly maintenance fee of $1,700. Less than the $2,292 I would soon be giving Monarch. They also told me that I would then have an equity of $41,000 that I could sell. I was in tears. I do not have any extra money. In fact, I have been looking for ways to get out of Monarch for over a year now. They said that was not an option and that as an owner, I was now proportionally responsible for their debt. I felt trapped and signed all the papers to transfer, with no idea how I can pay. After reading the comments above I am even more scared. I am trying to start my own business and am already in severe debt. They claimed when they ran my credit though that it looked better than most and assured me I qualified for financing. I would have to pay off, basically transfer to credit cards, which I can barely make my payments on now before I could look to sell. One of the reps assured me that she would put me in touch with someone who could help me sell my points. She even gave me her cell phone number to call after the sale/transfer is finalized. I am really scared though. Please help! We have to do something. It seems as though they have no qualms about lying to and robbing people for their own benefit.

Member-sponsored timeshare resources:

https://www.facebook.com/timeshareadvocategroup/

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/everything-about-timeshares-wayne-c-robinson/1129749757?ean=2940161600962

Free at Last Timeshare Support Course offered by Straight-A-Guide

https://www.udprep.info/june

Bluegreen Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180578055325962/

Wyndham Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/376743609795740/

Wyndham Carriage Resorts Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CHCROwners/

Sapphire Starpoint  https://www.facebook.com/login/?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgroups%2F292083584642570%2F%3Fref%3Dshare

Diamond Resort Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

Gold Key Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639958046252175/

Inside Timeshare Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/insidetimeshare/

Inside Timeshare Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2213231165610648/

Thank you Irene, Inside Timeshare wishes TARDA all the best in their endeavours and hopes that the industry does take notice and change its ways. If they do not, then they will end up just they will end up just like the dinosaurs, EXTINCT!

Yesterday it was announced that the Supreme Court of Spain issued a resounding sentence against Diamond Resorts Tenerife Sales SL, this is a subsidiary of Diamond Resorts International.

A panel of the highest judges in Spain overruled a High Court decision of 22 December 2016 which supported the sentence of the Court of First Instance in Arona Tenerife of 4 April 2015, which found against the client and in favour of Diamond Resorts Tenerife Sales SL. Both courts had failed to enact the timeshare laws as laid down in previous Supreme Court judgements.

This is a clear signal to all the lower courts that the law is set and they must abide by it.

The case was brought on behalf of the client by Canarian Legal Alliance and brings the total of judgements in the Supreme Court in their favour to 130. This has also made Spanish legal history, 130 cases brought, 130 victories!

The client in question will now receive back 19,650€ plus double the deposit paid within the statutory 14 days cooling-off period and all their legal fees. The contract has also been declared null and void, leaving the happy client timeshare free.

Spain is in the forefront of protecting consumers of timeshare, but there is still a long way to go as the industry still tries to find loopholes and developing products to get around the laws.  

Start the Week: More Consumer Warnings

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, we begin with another two warnings to consumers. The first is a website called A Spanish Life (ASL) and the second is one we have highlighted before, Litigation Services SL. Both of these are targeting timeshare and holiday club members, both look very suspicious indeed.

We begin first with A Spanish Life, their website:

https://aspanishlife.com

was registered in 2005, and is due to expire in November this year, the registrant is hidden and is registered in Panama. When it first came to our attention it appeared to be a legitimate information website, with businesses listed offering services such as plumbers, builders, restaurants etc. It now seems to have taken another turn.

In an email received by one of our readers, this was an unsolicited email prohibited under General Data Protection Regulations, it appears the website is touting for business in the area of timeshare claims. The website is very basic and shows three sections, Timeshare, Claim a Refund, Lost Deposit, Claim a refund and Mortgage Floor Clause, Claim a Refund.

In the email and on the website they claim the following:

Timeshare Refund Laws has now changed

The supreme court in Spain has now classed timeshare as a property purchase. Meaning in a lot of cases the contract entered into is not legal and can only be terminated but a refund can be obtained for the full value of the timeshare.

We work with a leading U:K: claims company with offices in Spain that are offering to assess your timeshare, and if you have a claim will process it without any up front fee.

Well, the Supreme Court has not classed timeshare as a property purchase, what it has done is affirm that timeshare is a long term holiday product and is bound by the timeshare laws enacted on 5 January 1999.

The website itself has a form for owners to fill out with the basic information on what they purchased, it makes no mention of who this information will be passed to or the name of the “leading UK claims company” they are working with.

So caution should be exercised if you receive an email such as the one shown or if you come across the website while searching for information on timeshare claims, this is obviously a lead generator and you will not know who they sell your information to!

The next warning again comes from a regular reader of Inside Timeshare, he received an email from a Caroline Anne Hewitson of Litigation Services SL, with the email address:

[email protected]

Again a Gmail free email account not linked to the website.

http://www.litigationservices.es/

When checking for the registration of the domain name shows as

Invalid domain name…

We are unable to perform a lookup for www.litigationservices.es. It appears to be an invalid or unsupported domain extension.

And the telephone number:

+44 01905 570862 (Admin 66789) This is a Worcester number.

As we said at the start, this company has come to our attention before, along with another company, Platinum Services and Administration SL.

Litigation Services SL CIF: B93268936 and the registered address:

The director is listed as CALLE GUDEN DANIEL ERNESTO Appointment: 15/10/2014, but another very old familiar name is also listed although he was dismissed on the above date, SHARIFI DADVAR MAHMOUD REZA.

C/ CORONEL RIPOLLET EDF SANTOS REIN S/N FUENGIROLA

Platinum Services & Administration SL CIF: B93650307 with the address:

Calle Lope de Vega 60 29631 Benalmádena Málaga.

Telephone number: 0034 951122027 and 0034 951122320

The registered Director is named as  Calle Guden Daniel Ernesto who incidentally is also the registered director of Litigation Services SL.

The website is:

http://www.platinumservicesandadministration.com/

It was registered on 14 November 2018 and is set to expire on 14 November 2019, with the registrant hidden.

They also both show the name of their supposed lawyer JLC Legal Services, with a registration number from the Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Malaga 6956. There is indeed a lawyer with that registration number by the name of Jose Lara Cabello with the address Av de la Estación 29631 Arroyo de la Miel  Benalmádena Costa Málaga. His office is located just opposite the train station in Arroyo de la Miel and has been there for many years. Incidentally, this lawyer was also named by another fraudulent firm called Greenges 2005 SL back in 2014.

Inside Timeshare has emailed several enquiries to this lawyer asking if he is working with these companies, we have never received any reply or acknowledgement of receipt of emails. So Inside Timeshare leaves you the reader to draw your own conclusions!

Now the problem our reader has with the email received from Caroline Anne Hewitson claims that they are working on behalf of Birmingham Crown Court who heard the case, regarding our readers purchase of an EZE Group product. They sent him a detailed document showing his purchase, membership number, date of purchase, the purchase price and also the dates when he paid the deposit and the balance and method of payment.

Caroline claims that the “courts” supplied the details, we know that the courts do not contract third party companies to contact clients or would they pass on details such as those describes above.

One part of the email which caused a very big round of laughter was the following paragraph:

“We realize that you have probably received Countless other calls regarding claiming against EZE Group:….*PLEASE BE WARNED- Some of these calls may be genuine but we do know there are many Fictitious companies preying on Eze Group members..so please be aware and be vigilant!”

Well if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black!

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-mid-week-report-platinum-services-and-administration-sl/

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-24/

Once again these examples are a stark warning that before engaging with any company that either emails or calls to do your due diligence. If you need any help in checking them out please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will help.