Yesterday we received the news of a further 6 properties which have embargoes placed on them by the courts against Silverpoint, this morning we have been informed that another 5 embargoes have been placed. This comes as a result of Canarian Legal Alliance placing enforcement orders on behalf of their clients.
The total value is estimated to be around 3 million euros, which now secures the payments to clients awarded reimbursement by the courts for the purchase of illegal contracts by Silverpoint. We have only recently published articles on the reasons why Silverpoint have not paid out these clients as ordered. This latest move certainly sends a clear and precise message to Silverpoint and any other timeshare company that the courts will not tolerate tactics designed to avoid payments.
This is obviously very good news for all Silverpoint clients of CLA, they can now be assured that their lawyers are doing their utmost to ensure that they receive the justice they so rightly deserve.
Inside Timeshare will keep you posted on further developments on this subject as and when they come in. If you have any questions on your own purchase then please use our contact page and we will get back to you.
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 Courtand theHigh Court. When having the copies of the court documents checked these have not been brought by Nordic. They belong to another law firm.
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?
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’sDepartment 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
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.
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.
ARDA’s position is that the problem of the lack of a secondary market has been solved. DailyI 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.
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!
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.