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Start the Week: More on MacDonalds plus News from the Courts

Welcome to the Start of yet another week in the murky world of timeshare, today in Spain we are moving into the next phase of easing the lockdown restrictions, giving us a lot more freedom and with more businesses being allowed to open, yet we are still seeing many being bullied by there timeshare companies. We have reported on the antics of Anfi in Gran Canaria, charging members “cancellation” fees for weeks they cannot take due to no flights and the closure of all hotels. They are also charging hefty fees to “rebook” these weeks and the most disgusting behaviour is the “blackmail” of only being able to save the week and receive a “voucher” if they sign a new contract. This is only the tip of the iceberg, we have also been highlighting the despicable conduct of MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, here is the latest from yet another reader and the “bullying” they are receiving.

Over the past few years Inside Timeshare has been following and reporting on the case of Mrs B and her ongoing fight against MacDonalds. This has now culminated with a move by Shepherd and Wedderburn, the “legal bloodhounds” employed by MacDonalds to take Mrs B (in her 90’s) to court for supposed “maintenance arrears”.

We have received the following from yet another reader who is also being threatened with legal action for arrears of maintenance for a timeshare which is impossible to get out of. MacDonalds will only “consider” allowing a relinquishment on the payment of four years, yes, four years, maintenance fees. Plus any arrears must also be paid, but unfortunately, the time has now passed to be “included in this year’s lottery”. That date was the end of April which we highlighted in several other articles.

Our reader has now received a letter dated 24 April 2020 from Shepherd and Wedderburn headed “Macdonald Resorts Ltd Arrears of Management Charges”, it also states that this a “LETTER BEFORE ACTION”. In other words, they are going to pursue this through the courts. 

One paragraph states “In the absence of payment, or an acceptable agreement to pay we will be instructed to raise court proceedings against you. If that is required, MRL shall also seek interest and legal costs in addition (which, if payment is made now, they will waive.)”.

In the letter Shepherd and Wedderburn add to the threat with the following: they are in the process of issuing court claims in England, Wales and Scotland, having issued “over 400 against members”. They also claim so far they have won 22 of the cases that have gone to court.

A point that many of our regular followers will recall from Mrs B, they also sent her “court documents” showing the judgements of the “County Court”, just to frighten her even more.

We Just wonder how many of these people will just pay up because of these threats, feeling they don’t stand a chance against a company the size of MacDonalds!

As we have said before on our pages even the MAFIA would be disgusted with this type of “EXTORTION”!

Last Friday was a very important day in Europe, it was the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. A celebration not just of victory but also the liberation of the whole of Europe including Germany from the tyranny of the Nazi’s. But even with these celebrations going on the courts in Gran Canaria were still working and issuing sentences.

Once again Canarian Legal Alliance has come up trumps (not the US president) for their clients, they began last week with sentences against Marriott and Anfi, then the news broke on the freezing of various Anfi accounts valued at over 600.000€ by Canarian Legal Alliance with the help of the Tax Authorities.

On Friday the Courts of First Instance Number 4 & 5 of San Bartolomé de Tirajana issued two more judgements against Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL.

The clients in each case have been awarded 27,946.52€ and 30,413.39€ respectively, on top of this they have also been awarded legal interest and their legal fees. Both client contracts were declared null and void in accordance with Spanish law.

Not a bad end to last week, no doubt there will be many more coming our way this week.

To end today’s article, it would appear that our friends in Greece are still operating, as another reader has emailed with enquiries regarding a claim being made or rather already been dealt with in the Greek Courts. Once again there is a fee to be paid before the money can be released.

Although our reader did not give many details, the name he provided did ring the old alarm bells, Stavros Mpotsari. This name came up with the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs which we highlighted back in January, the full article can be seen on the link below.

https://insidetimeshare.com/hellenic-republic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-the-latest-eze-group-scam/

If you have any comments on this or any other article, Inside Timeshare welcomes them, if you have been contacted by any company with a story that sounds too good to be true and you would like to know if they are genuine, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Remember, doing your homework will stop you from being “scammed”.

Lopesan and Apollo Team Up & Breaking News on a New Scam

Yesterday Tuesday 14 April the European Commission has given the green light for the acquisition of two hotels in the South of Gran Canaria by the Canarian Hotel Group Lopesan and the US company Apollo Capital Management. The hotels are the Hotel Faro in Maspalomas and the Hotel Buenaventura in Playa del Inglés, two of the main tourist areas of Gran Canaria.

As we already know Lopesan along with their German partners IFA own 50% of the Anfi Group, although they do not have control of the Board of Directors which is the “Golden Share” in the control of Hermanos Santana Cazorla SL. But with the legal battles, the Cazorla Group are currently going through it is only a matter of time before full control may revert to IFA/Lopesan.

Inside Timeshare published this news which was announced on Info Canarias, both articles can be found on the links below.

https://insidetimeshare.com/its-friday-and-the-end-of-another-week-another-macdonalds-horror-story-surfaces/

https://infos-grancanaria.com/2020/santana-cazorla-sl-muss-wohl-in-die-insolvenz-gehen/

Apollo Global Management was founded in 1990 by Leon Black, he was a former banker with Drexel Burnham Lambert. Drexel had closed earlier that year after a securities scandal which resulted in the bank having to pay $650 million in fines. Being unable to repay a $100 million debt it collapsed.

According to the online financial journal The Street, Bloomberg had called Drexel Burnham Lambert “Renegades of Junk”, due to its involvement in the junk bond market. Irene Parker, a writer for The Street and a Diamond timeshare owner herself, believes that this title is more fitting for Apollo Global Management after its acquisition of Diamond Resorts. (follow links below).

Original Inside Timeshare article

https://insidetimeshare.com/700-2/

Links to independent reviews on Apollo

https://www.thestreet.com/opinion/is-apollo-returning-to-its-junk-roots-with-its-acquisition-of-diamond-resorts-13624491

https://de.reuters.com/article/us-diamond-reso-m-a/apollo-global-to-buy-diamond-resorts-for-2-2-billion-idUSKCN0ZF1JV

So what could this mean for Anfi?

At present, there is no indication of how this will affect Anfi and their members, even though we do know that IFA/Lopesan are very interested in taking full control of the Anfi Group. With the legal problems and the possible liquidation of the Cazorla Group, a full takeover is definitely on the cards.

This now leaves the question of what are the intentions of Apollo Global Management, with the deal made with Lopesan on these two hotels could this mean that Apollo may just have an influence on Anfi?

Only time will tell, as and when further information comes to light, Inside Timeshare will publish it here.

Inside Timeshare has just received information on a new “Scam” which timeshare owners are being subjected to, this one is supposedly from the Banco de España and a “court case” in the Malaga Courts against a number of companies.

According to the information received, substantial sums of money have been seized and is waiting to be claimed by the clients who paid them in the past.

Past Clients of these “companies” are now being contacted to inform them that they have been awarded the money by the courts and it is the Banco de España who is dealing with it all. Obviously there is a “tax” to pay to have the money released, haven’t we heard this one before?

It is an obvious “SCAM” and is evident by the email address which is being used to send “clients” the information: 

[email protected]

This is a free Gmail account and is not an official Banco de España email address, just ask yourself the question, why would a national bank use a free Gmail account?

A full article will be published on this in the next couple of days, but in the meantime, if any other readers receive any phone calls or emails with regards to this, please contact Inside Timeshare using our contact page.

Ending the Week: Call to MRL Members

It’s Friday and usually, we give a round-up of the week’s news from the courts, but due to the lockdown and the courts running a restricted service, there is no news coming through. It has also just been announced by the Spanish Prime Minister that we have had our “house arrest” extended by a further 15 days, he also explained that a further extension will be reviewed at the end of this period. So we could be “grounded” for a lot longer yet!

In the next couple of weeks Inside Timeshare will be publishing some rather disturbing facts about MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, (if what we have published already is not disturbing).

Thanks to some regular readers and members of MRL (MacDonald Resorts Ltd), Inside Timeshare, has been receiving a great deal of information. This has been prompted by our recent articles on elderly members having problems “exiting” their membership, basically, they are being forced to pay arrears and 4 years maintenance fees without even a guarantee that MacDonald’s will allow them out. Inside Timeshare calls that blatant “extortion”.

Along with the demands for these payments, MacDonald Hotels & Resorts are also threatening to send in the “debt collectors” and have even employed a law firm to threaten these vulnerable people with County Court action. Our own Mrs B is one of them.

We will begin with a case brought against MacDonalds in the Spanish courts back in 2016, this at the time did not receive the publicity that it deserved. In fact Inside Timeshare at the time was not even aware that the case had gone to court.

The article will highlight the arguments that MacDonald’s put before the court that Spain did not have any jurisdiction on the contracts regardless of the fact they were purchased in Spain and the resorts are located in Spain.

This will be an ongoing subject and will certainly be an eye-opener for other timeshare owners who thought they had it bad.

Inside Timeshare now calls for any MRL member to get in touch with your experiences of using or rather lack of availability with the point system, the constant hicks in maintenance fees and of course the problems of being able to exit when no longer required due to age and financial situation.

Please use our contact page and Inside timeshare will get back to you.

Have a good weekend and stay safe.