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Timeshare & Claims Using the Credit Consumer Act 1974

Inside Timeshare is constantly receiving enquiries from owners regarding calls they have received stating they have a claim against their timeshare but have to cancel their contract first. Many of these enquiries do have a claim using the Spanish legal system and timeshare laws, but they are told they need to cancel the contract first. So how do these “claims” companies intend to make a claim?

If you purchased in Spain after 5 January 1999 and your contract is in perpetuity or more than the 50 years allowed by law, then the contract can be declared illegal and “null & void” by a Spanish court. This is also the case for the points and floating weeks systems and also the paying of any money during the statutory 14 days cooling-off period.

The contract must be “live” with all maintenance fees paid to date, end the contract and the courts are unlikely to accept the case. Maintenance arrears will put you the owner/member in breach of contract. The timeshare company will use this to have the court reject the case, even if the court does accept the case, then the chances are you are going to lose.

For those who did not purchase in Spain or have had their contracts cancelled, the question is how can you claim “compensation” for mis-sold timeshare?

Many of our readers are being told by the “claims companies” they will seek “compensation” from the timeshare company or resort. As we have seen with the legal cases published on a regular basis, the timeshare companies are not going to pay out “compensation” voluntarily or even admit they missold the timeshare, after all, they delay or try to avoid paying on awards ordered by the court.

What many have been told is they can claim through their credit card using Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974, if they paid a deposit using their card. But what does Section 75 actually cover?

Basically the main points covered are faulty goods or unfit for purpose, the goods ordered are never delivered and the company providing the goods or services has gone bust. For a full and simple explanation, Inside Timeshare usually refers readers to the Martin Lewis website Money Saving Expert.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/section75-protect-your-purchases/

In the case of timeshare, many of these “claims” companies cite “mis-sold”, but what constitutes “mis-sold”?

In a nutshell, it means that you were told “porkies” by the sales representative, for example, you are purchasing property, it will go up in value, you will get massive discounts on flights, car hire etc. None of these points are in the contract that you sign, they are embellishments by the sales reps to entice you into purchasing there and then.

As we have seen in the past from our “Letter from America” series, Diamond Resorts have always insisted that they are not responsible for what the sales reps tell you during the presentation. Yes, we do agree that what they have done is miss-inform you of the facts, but just try and prove this. It’s a case of “he says she says”!

Goods received or not fit for purpose, well you have received the goods, you own the week or the points and they are available for use. So we can rule that out.

The company goes into liquidation, we are seeing this right now with Azure Resorts, they are in the process of going into liquidation, but members will still be able to use their timeshare. The hotel where these memberships are based have assured members that they are safe, a new “management company” has been set up to run the “club”. So again that is ruled out.

What about you have never used your timeshare?

When you make a claim against your card provider using Section 75, the card provider always contacts the company which is subject to the complaint. Just because you have not used it does not mean they have not provided you with the goods or services paid for. After all, they will claim it was there for you to use, you just didn’t use it.

What about availability?

You may not have had the dates you actually wanted, again the resort will just say you were offered alternative dates.

There is also a six-year time limit set by the card providers to make a claim, most if not all timeshare owners will have purchased well before this. So again the card provider will reject the claim.

So we can say that Section 75 is virtually ruled out.

Many people purchased using a finance agreement brokered by the timeshare sales reps, this is another matter. Under the same legislation, there are Sections 140a & 140b, basically, this covers “unfair relationship”.

As we all know, timeshare is not cheap, most ordinary people would find they could not afford to pay in full. The sales reps then have the tool of offering “finance” to ensure the sale is completed.

We also know that the usual “credit” checks are not made, the finance application is filled in by the sales staff and it is on the word of the purchaser that they can afford the repayments. Unlike when you go to your bank or apply for any finance, you would usually be required to submit an official income v expenditure report. Inside Timeshare has never known one of these to be done, in fact, Shawbrook Bank announced in June 2016 “irregularities” in their timeshare loan applications process for timeshare sales. They had not completed their “due diligence” and had to set aside £9 million to offset and cover any defaults in these loans. The CEO at the time had to resign. The Inside Timeshare article is below.

https://insidetimeshare.com/shawbrook-bank-announce-irregularities-timeshare-loans-similar-activities-usa/

Using Sections 140a & 140b will also require the services of a lawyer who is competent in this field, it will also usually need to be taken to court. This is going to incur legal fees, even if the “claims” company states they operate on a “no win no fee” basis (this is usually their success fee), so someone has to pay the lawyers!

Below is the link which explains Sections 140a & 140b.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/39/section/140A

So once again we ask the question, how is the “compensation” claim going to be made?

Is it just hot air to get you to pay a cancellation fee?

We leave you the reader to decide, below are two articles which explain legal claims through the Spanish courts and what constitutes an “illegal” contract for those whose purchases or upgrades were made in Spain after 5 January 1999.

https://insidetimeshare.com/http-insidetimeshare-com-p5124/

https://insidetimeshare.com/do-i-have-a-claim-in-the-spanish-courts/

Please use our contact page if you have any questions or comments on this subject. If you would like to know if you do have a valid and viable claim for any Spanish purchased timeshare please do get in touch and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Start the Week with a Bang

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, on Friday we received after publishing the “Stop Press” on a massive payout from Anfi for one very happy client. Today we publish the full story, this will be interesting reading for many Anfi owners who currently have cases either in court or are just starting out on the process. It has also been a rather quiet weekend with very few emails, the ones received have all been those contacted by various “companies” claiming a “guaranteed” exit for several thousand pounds upfront with a promise of a claim for “compensation”.

We begin with the news of the massive payout by Anfi.

As you are now aware, Anfi has not been the most forthcoming when it comes to paying out what the courts have awarded. They have continually delayed the process by constant and frivolous appeals to the High Court, along with the movement of vast sums around various accounts. This is now subject to an investigation by the State Prosecutors Office of Gran Canaria.

The case involving a German client was originally won in the Court Of First Instance of SBT (San Bartolomé de Tirajana). This court based their judgement in accordance with the law and the rulings of the Supreme Court.

The contract was deemed illegal and declared null and void for the following infringements:

  • It contained “floating weeks” which do not guarantee any usage and are subject to availability.
  • The contract was what is known as perpetuity, no end date or longer than the 50 years duration allowed by law.
  • Payments were illegally taken within the statutory 14 days cooling-off period.

Basically the main three infringements of the law which is designed to protect consumers.

As usual and is their right, Anfi appealed the case to the High Court in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

As with every case we have reported on recently, the High Court dismissed the appeal and confirmed the original sentence of the Court of First Instance.

Anfi then decided they did not agree with this and launched an appeal to challenge the High Court’s decision with the Supreme Court, again this is within their legal rights.

As we already know the Supreme Court has ruled on numerous occasions that any contract containing floating weeks, a duration over the 50 years and the taking of any payment within the statutory period are deemed illegal.

Anfi lost their case at the Supreme Court which confirmed the ruling of both the other courts.

The result is the contract has been declared null and void with the return of a massive 158,268.27€

The total comprises the original 75,000€ plus legal costs and legal interest with 83,267.27€ as compensation for the illegal taking of deposits. This is more than double what they originally paid!

Anfi has now paid this sum as ordered by three courts, so this is wonderful news for the client who will very soon have this money available in his own account. 

The case was handled by Canarian Legal Alliance with the client being assisted by Head of Operations Csilla Nazali, the Claims Consultant Jasmin Erhard with the lawyers preparing the case and representing the client being Eva Gutierrez and Adrian Diaz Saavedra Morales and their colleague Miguel Rodrigues Caballos.

So it is congratulations to the German client and also to the whole legal team at CLA for their sterling work.

As we stated at the beginning it has been a quiet weekend on the email front, the ones received have been regarding “cold calls” from various claims companies with the news that they can “guarantee” an exit from the timeshare, on payment of several thousand pounds.

They have also promised to get them “compensation” for the mis-selling of the timeshare contract. Only after the contract has been terminated we might add.

First, as we have seen in the past, many of these “terminations” have never actually happened, in most cases the client is told to just stop paying maintenance. Any demands should then be forwarded to the “company” to deal with. In many of these cases, as we have seen with ABC Legal, the termination has never been done.

The unsuspecting client then receives threats of legal action for the arrears of maintenance, in most cases at least 3 years. These threats are usually done by debt collection agencies employed by the timeshare company.

As for the “compensation” we have to ask the question, how is this going to be achieved?

Surely the timeshare company is not going to voluntarily pay the money back or even admit that their contracts were mis-sold?

After all, just look at Anfi and the story above!

If you have received any calls such as this, then please use our contact page and we will explain what your options are before you commit thousands for something that may never happen.

Friday Roundup and Update

It is the end of another week and it has proved to be a rather busy week, with an update on our old friends which are part of the Litigious Abogados Family, CUC Abogados. There was also a disturbing report about the “FAKE” law firm Suarez and Simpson, threatening legal action for “slander” against one of our readers who supplied Inside Timeshare with the information. We also highlighted a couple of new “law/claims” firms which have come to our attention, Global Timeshare Legal Experts who appear to be targeting German timeshare owners, then yesterday we published another new “FAKE” law firm, this time supposedly operating from Mexico Ferrer Abogados y Asociados, and targeting purchasers of timeshares in Mexico.

There was also news from the courts in Gran Canaria regarding court cases against Anfi, with many appeals being dismissed by the High Court of Las Palmas. The judges have dismissed the appeals and upheld the sentences of the Courts of First Instance in accordance with the rulings of the Supreme Court. We also published the news which appeared in El Diario on the concession for the beach at Tauro. As we know Anfi had the concession to exploit this area and began to commence work on the man-made beach, despite the correct documents and licences being approved or issued. They have now lost the concession. 

We now begin with an update about Ferrer Abogados y Asociados, yesterday we named a judge who is appearing on the “court” documents being sent by this “FAKE” law firm, Dr Alvaro Augusto Perez Juarez.

From the latest information Inside Timeshare has uncovered it is now known that this is the name of a real judge. He was, in fact, President of the Superior Court Of Justice of Mexico City, 17 April 2017 – November 2018. Obviously he has no idea his name is being used, but no doubt he will now. This is not unusual for names of real judges and lawyers to be used by these “Fake” law firms, we have seen this with all those coming out of Spain and more recently Greece.

Dr Álvaro Augusto Pérez Juárez
Has a very distinguished career

Our US reader has now informed Ferrer Abogados that they want the bank to deal with all the details of “TAX” and the Transfer. They have since received a letter from Banco de Mexico stating that they are now ready to commence the transfer of the awarded amount to either our reader’s bank account or to their “physical” address. This has been signed by a “Banxico Authorised Official” named Carolina Perez Tipox.

Our reader has also been sent a new bank account to “wire transfer” the necessary amount to begin the transfer of funds. The recipient is ABSORPTION ACQUIREMENT AND LIQUIDATION DE MEXICO S.A. DE C.V. with the bank being BANCO SANTANDER (MEXICO) SA. Now, this does seem strange that it is the Banco de Mexico that originally needed payment and now another entity and bank are involved. Well, our readers will certainly not be transferring any funds to any of them.

It certainly has not been a good week for the Anfi Group, not only have they lost the concession to exploit Tauro Beach. This will no doubt have cost them (or should we say you the maintenance payers) a very substantial amount of money, they have also had a very bad week in the courts.

Anfi lose concession to exploit the beach

The latest additions to Anfi’s trials and tribulations are as follows:

On Wednesday 5 August the Court of First Instance Number 5 of SBT, declared yet another Anfi contract null and void. Once again this was a very speedy case which took only 6 months to the issuing of the sentence.

In all the German client of Canarian Legal Alliance has been awarded 52,239.25€ plus the return of legal fees and legal interest. The court in calculating the award took into account the illegal payment of deposits within the statutory cooling-off period to 8000€, which is more than was originally paid.

The clients were assisted by the CLA Claims Consultant Jasmin Erhard with the case being prepared and conducted by the lawyer Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez.

Inside Timeshare suspect that we will see this particular case back in the news in the future, given the Anfi penchant for appealing these judgements to the High Court.

Moving on to yet another High Court (appeals) judgement, Court number 5 in Las Palmas again dismissed another appeal by Anfi, confirming the original sentence from the Court of First Instance SBT.

Another German client who was assisted by Claims Consultant Jasmin Erhard with the lawyer Eva Gutierrez preparing and presenting the case.

The contract was declared null and void with the client being awarded 23,520€, plus legal costs and legal interest. This is more than the client originally paid which was 14,000€. This because the court doubled the deposit paid illegally within the statutory cooling-off period.

Any payments made within this period can have a significant effect on the claim, the law clearly states that no payments shall be taken within this 14 days period. It is also a fact that if this period is not correctly and clearly evidenced in the contract or any of its supporting documentation, this may be extended to 3 months. This means that all payments made within 3 months of signing the contract could be deemed illegal and the amount is then doubled. It appears that this is what has happened in this case.

These cases and others highlighted on Inside Timeshare just confirms that the courts are abiding by the rulings of the Supreme Court and are fully behind the protection of consumers.

That is all for this week, join us again next week for more news from the courts, updates on any “fake” law/claims firms highlighted along with any new ones that have been identified.

If you have been contacted by any company regarding a claim or relinquishment and would like to know if they are genuine, please use our contact page and get in touch.

If you have a timeshare and would like to know if you have a valid and viable claim, once again contact Inside Timeshare from our contact page and we will get back to you.

Have a great weekend and stay safe.

Biggest Payout

so far received from Anfi

158,268.27€