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Marriott: More Evidence to Circumvent Spanish Law

Recently Inside Timeshare published the article “Marriott Contracts Circumvent Spanish Laws”, today we reveal another example of this practice by one of the world’s major timeshare developers. Many operators have tried to get around the very strict timeshare laws which Spain enacted on 5 January 1999, by using various methods such as UK limited companies and the inclusion in the contracts of the clause that the contract is bound by and under the jurisdiction of UK laws and courts. This practice did work for a time as judges in the Courts of First Instance did not accept the case as they believed that UK jurisdiction did take precedence over Spanish Jurisdiction.

Last  September Inside Timeshare published the ruling of the High Court of Malaga. This court ruled that although the contract did clearly state UK law and jurisdiction with the sales agents being a UK limited company, they ruled that Spanish Courts did indeed have jurisdiction. The fact the purchase was made in Spain brings the sale directly under Spanish timeshare law.

Inside Timeshare has now received information from yet another reader of Marriott using this practice of selling products from their sales office at Marbella Beach Club but showing the sale as being elsewhere.

Back in 2005, this reader was on holiday around Marbella and was invited to attend a presentation at the Marriott Beach Club Resort, which they duly attended. After a fairly lengthy presentation, which we all know is all too common, our reader signed up for membership.

The presentation was conducted by the sales staff of MVCI Holidays SL, a Spanish entity registered at Marbella Beach Club based in Marbella. The purchase was for membership to Marriott Vacation Club International with the home resort being the Phuket Beach Club in Thailand. Well, this is not really a problem, after all, there are the internal exchanges as well as membership to Interval International which did give them, in theory, plenty of choices worldwide.

Marriott Mai Khao Beach Club Phukett

It is now that the problems come to light, this readers circumstance have now changed, the timeshare is no longer needed or being used. They were then contacted by several “claims” companies with the promise of using the Spanish legal system to recoup the purchase price and have the contract declared null and void as it was illegal under Spanish timeshare law.

They were told they had a very good case and were asked for a sizable amount for legal fees, they decided to investigate further as the company they were talking to had not even asked to see their documents. The whole process was done over the phone.

It is a good job they did decide to look into this, after contacting Inside Timeshare they emailed copies of their documents. We checked the documents with a leading law firm who informed us that there was not a case which could be brought in Spain using Spanish timeshare laws.

Although the presentation was made in Marbella the documentation is signed by a representative of Mai Kao Development Limited a Thai registered company and not of MVCI SL (Marbella).

The seller and sponsor being:

Maikhao Vacation Villas Limited.

The seller’s Agent:

MVCI (Thailand) Limited.

Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc Orlando Florida.

The only reference to Spain is the fact the presentation was made by MVCI SL, this according to the lawyers precluded any case from being filed in a Spanish court.

When we consider the last article where the purchaser who thought they had a membership with Marbella Beach Club but in fact with a resort in Virginia, this does now look like Marriott knew exactly what they were doing. We also have to remember that this is only 6 years after the enactment of the new timeshare laws which prohibited the sale of any timeshare in Spain with a contract of more than 50 years or which included points or floating weeks systems.

Was this a very deliberate and premeditated attempt to circumvent the laws of one country by using entities not associated or registered with it?

We leave you the reader to decide, Inside Timeshare believes it was.

Have you purchased your timeshare with Marriott, have you been contacted and told you do have a valid case?

Do you want to know if what you have been told is true?

If so, please use our contact page and get in touch, Inside Timeshare will get back to you and point you in the right direction.

Link to previous Marriott article.

https://insidetimeshare.com/marriott-contracts-circumvent-spanish-laws/

Marriott Contracts Circumvent Spanish Laws

Welcome to the end of another week, today Inside Timeshare reports on how clients purchasing Marriott timeshares in Europe have been duped and how Marriott has circumvented the strict Spanish laws on the sale of timeshare. This has recently come to light as many clients have contacted Inside Timeshare to see if they have a case in the Spanish Courts.

As we know any timeshare purchased in Spain or any of her territories are subject to the laws of Spain, a very disturbing fact has now emerged. It involves the sales of timeshare at the Son Antem Resort in Mallorca.

From the many reader’s enquiries, we focus on just one, it begins in summer of 2007 when our reader was on holiday in Mallorca and was “invited” to attend a presentation on the Marriott Vacation Club at Son Antem. He attended the presentation and was duly impressed with the standard of the resort and the “benefits” of owning a timeshare membership with Marriott.

Our reader eventually agreed to purchase a membership to MVC believing that his home resort was going to be Son Antem. This belief was reinforced by the salesperson conducting the presentation and eventually by the manager when they decided to purchase.

Son Antem Resort Mallorca

When they first began their membership everything appeared to be going well, they didn’t have any problems with booking their holidays and do admit they were very impressed with the standards. But over the years things began to go wrong, maintenance fees began to rise and they now found they were having a great deal of difficulty in making any reservations for the times and resort they wanted. The excuse, as usual, was “no availability”.

Our reader had heard about other owners taking their timeshare companies to court and having their contracts declared null & void with the return of all their money. Making his enquiries he found that his membership was contrary to the laws of Spain and it looked as though he had a valid claim. His membership is a points-based system with a contract that runs in perpetuity. This contravenes Law 42/98 which makes points and floating weeks systems illegal and also limits the duration of a contract to a maximum of 50 years.

This particular reader was directed to Inside Timeshare and duly contacted us to see if he had a valid and viable claim. Unfortunately for him, the news was not good.

Emailing copies of his contract and maintenance bills Inside Timeshare found that his contract was not covered by Spanish law. All the paperwork was processed at Marriott in the USA and shows no Spanish entity. All the documents were stamped by a US notary and the deposit and payments were made through the US in dollars.

His annual maintenance bill was sent from the US and paid directly to Marriott in the US. Now we do know that many timeshares in Spain were sold with the timeshare companies using UK or BVI Limited entities. But the courts have ruled that as the timeshare was purchased in Spain and are based in Spain then Spanish law has jurisdiction and this was just an attempt to get around the law.

But this was not all, our reader actually believed (as he was told this by the sales department) that his home resort was Son Antem in Mallorca, but as Inside Timeshare pointed out all his paperwork shows that his purchase was with Marriott Vacation Club International with his home resort listed as The Manor at Ford’s Colony in Virginia.

The Manor at Ford’s Colony

Needless to say, he was very taken aback at this news, it also appears to explain why he was having difficulty in making his reservations at Son Antem.

This now leaves this particular client without a legal leg to stand on, his only option now is to relinquish and lose over $18,000 for a timeshare that has become a burden and is virtually unusable.

We do know that when on a presentation and then deciding to purchase, clients have very little time to fully read and comprehend the paperwork and contracts. It is also a fact that very few will ever read them in full even after returning home from their vacation, as with this particular reader it is not until problems arise and they seek advice that they found out they do not own what they thought. Had he known that his timeshare home resort was in the US and not at Son Antem, Mallorca, he would not have purchased it.

This story does show the need to go through documents thoroughly and to do so within the 14 days cooling-off period. If you find during this time that you have purchased something that you were not aware of then at least you will have the legal right to cancel.

Once again we see the timeshare industry finding ways to flout the laws of the countries that they are operating in, leaving purchasers with no legal rights and recourse.

If you own any timeshare interest with Marriott it is important that you check your documents thoroughly, if you are not sure what to look for then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will help you check.

That is all for this week, we wish you all a very good weekend and please join us again next week for more on the murky world of timeshare.

Start the Week: ABC Legal Still Chasing for Payments

Once again Inside Timeshare is receiving many emails from former clients of ABC Legal and ABC Lawyers, both companies are owned and operated by Mark Rowe. It is also a fact that both of these companies are in the process of liquidation. We reported on 2 December that ABC Legal have employed a debt collection agency to pursue payments from clients which ABC Legal (and ABC Lawyers) are supposed to have relinquished their timeshare. As we know these have not happened and these clients are now being billed for substantial arrears in maintenance fees.

As in previous cases submitted to Inside Timeshare, ABC Legal and ABC Lawyers promised clients that they would extricate them from their timeshare contracts and then pursue a claim for compensation. This “compensation” is done on a no win no fee basis and the claim will be made by yet another of Mark Rowe’s companies Lansdown Financial Ltd. How they will be “claiming” this compensation is very vague.

According to our reports, it will be made under the Credit Consumer Act 1974 possibly using Section 75. If this does not work then they will make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. As we have said many times before, claiming against your credit card company under Section 75 is never going to payout. The timeshare will have been used, therefore the timeshare company will claim that you have received the goods and services paid for. The Financial Ombudsman will also rule in favour of the credit card company and not uphold the claim.

All clients that have contacted Inside Timeshare have told the same story, they have asked for confirmation that they are out of their timeshare contracts, the only “confirmation” is a letter from ABC titled “Timeshare Exit Certificate” issued by them and not the timeshare resort. They have also been issued with a “Discretionary Legal Benefits Scheme”, or legal indemnity. This is to supposedly cover any litigation made by the timeshare company for arrears. This “scheme” or the “indemnity” is worthless.

The debt collection agency they have employed is CCI Credit Management Ltd, one just has to wonder if they actually know that the companies employing them are under liquidation or even the history of scams perpetrated by Mark Rowe and his companies?

Mark Rowe

If you have paid ABC Legal, ABC Lawyers or any of the Mark Rowe companies for a timeshare exit and claim, then please check with your timeshare resort that your membership has actually been accepted. We very much doubt if it has.

Your next step is to report this to Action Fraud, the more people that make a report, the more likely they will act and bring these crooks to justice. At the end of the day, you have been defrauded of your hard-earned money and not received the service you were promised.

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

If you have had dealings with any company and want to know if they are genuine please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will point you in the right direction.