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Friday’s Letter from America: Should Sales Presentations be Recorded?

Welcome to this week’s Letter from America, as you can see from the title, Adam Siler, Bernadette and Tiffany Renee give their views and stories answering the question of why they believe sales presentations should be recorded. As those of you who have been following Inside Timeshare over the years will remember, we have published numerous Nightmare on Timeshare Street stories on how people have been duped by sales agents. Some of these articles can be found on the links at the end. Inside Timeshare would also like to remind all our readers to sign the petition from Bernadette for Diamond CEO Michael Flaskey to remove his video which many who have been through the Diamond mill find offensive. Please take the time to sign it, no matter where in the world you are, many voices, one message.

https://www.change.org/Michael-Flaskey-MO-WA-AG-take-down-YouTube

Why Timeshare Sales Presentations Should be Recorded

See the source image

By Adam Siler, Bernadette, Tiffany Renee

April 16, 2021

Adam Siler, Air Force Veteran

[email protected]

I learned that a timeshare buyer can’t rely on the ethics or words of a sales agent or manager. If the signing is recorded, don’t accept any reason as to why you should not bring up something promised during the sales presentation. Record the sales session in states where legal without obtaining consent. It’s no surprise that recording without the other person aware is not legal in timeshare mecca Florida. 

Even if you are savvy enough to record your sales session and easily resolve your dispute, the company will release you “without liability.” That’s the same thing as saying it doesn’t matter what the sales agent says. Despite evidence in my sales agent’s handwriting, illustrating a 7% financing that he promised to help me obtain, I was informed that it doesn’t matter what he promised because I signed a contract. 

A recent sixth complaint was directed against my Florida timeshare sales agent. The complaint was reported by a member who attends presentations to report deception. This makes the sixth complaint since 2017. The first was reported by an active-duty Navy couple.

My efforts are focused on veterans and active duty service members. An active duty service member can lose their security clearances over a timeshare foreclosure. Service members should think carefully before buying a product with little to no resale value as they can be deployed at a moment’s notice. Given the ease of entrapment, high-interest rate timeshare lending should be deemed off-limits like Payday loans. Below are four pages of articles about veterans and active duty service members hurt by their purchase of a timeshare.

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-75/

Tiffany Renee

My mom called me a number of times during their 11 hour sales session. She told me they could not leave because the agent had taken their IDs. They were falsely told that my brother and I would be liable for increasing fees should something happen to them. They forfeited their two deeded weeks and lost over $30,000. Now they are receiving collection letters threatening to add legal fees and collection agency fees. 

In their 70s my parents had no choice but to default. Their maintenance fees increased from $2,000 to $6,000 after converting to points. My parents were no match for a “QA” agent who served a four-year jail term for burglarizing seven homes, some while occupied. He had other criminal charges over the years. The timeshare company blamed my parents, saying they sounded fine on the recorded closing. That’s why you need to record your sales session.    

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-74/

It’s important to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and other appropriate regulatory agencies. The Florida Attorney General only forwarded our information to the timeshare company, and in turn, forwarded the company’s denial, but if no one filed complaints it would seem there are no problems.

At a Florida HB 435 workshop held in Tallahassee March 12, 2019, Victoria Butler, from the Florida Attorney General’s Department of Consumer Protection, reported a figure of 1,500 to 1,600 timeshare complaints in 2017, about the same number in 2018, and 700 complaints filed in 2019 through March 12, 2019. Ms Butler said about 50% of the complaints involved senior citizens with the majority in regard to the initial sales presentation. Ms Butler stated that the Florida timeshare division engaged only 42 complaints, the majority concerning resale.

(Irene Parker attended and reported)

Bernadette in Oklahoma

We did not record our sales presentation. On three occasions in Las Vegas, Hawaii and Missouri, we were not informed of the company’s voluntary surrender program. We attended a meeting only to learn how to be released due to my husband’s chronic and debilitating health problems. Each time we were told we would need to purchase additional points to gain release. 

I was shocked to be told by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office that I should get a lawyer. A YouTube featuring the Missouri Attorney General, the Washington Attorney General, and the former Arizona Attorney General describes attorneys specializing in timeshares as “storefront clowns.” 

The company only offered us their voluntary surrender program FOR THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT I FIRST ATTEMPTED RELEASE. We had no loan before the three up-sells. In frustration I launched this petition:  

https://www.change.org/Michael-Flaskey-MO-WA-AG-take-down-YouTube

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-the-story-of-bernadette/

Articles About or By Veterans

Calvin Wardrick, a disabled Army Veteran, explains how timeshare companies and timeshare exit companies feed off each other. Calvin ran a POW camp of 27,000 Iraq soldiers and is 100% disabled due to PTSD. As Calvin explains, “My family had good intentions when they purchased a timeshare for my relaxation, but I entered into another war on US soil that we did not see coming. Stress over this timeshare has added to my sickness and has put us at a poverty level.”

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-68/

Timeshare can pose a National Security Threat, December 27, 2017

http://insidetimeshare.com/money-vs-morals/

Wayne Robinson, a Navy Veteran/Navy Journalist, and a former timeshare sales agent, executive, and author of Everything about Timeshare, Before During and After the Sales September 14, 2018

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-21/

John Collick, Congressional Candidate 2020 (VA-3) 

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-37/

Eddie Rodriguez, Army Veteran, June 25, 2019

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-36/

Army Veteran Ron Tzinski, June 21, 2019

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-55/

Platinum Protest March 2019 Orlando organized by a Navy Veteran family

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-51/

The Sherwood Family, Marine Veteran, Wyndham, March 8, 2019

http://insidetimeshare.com/http-insidetimeshare-com-p5114/

The Kleen Family, a Veteran Family, Wyndham, January 18, 2019

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-38/

The Althage Family, Marine Veteran, Wyndham, January 11, 2019

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-37/

A Bronze Star Veteran, January 4, 2019 1/23 complaint against the agent

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-35/

James McConnell, Army Veteran and retired VA Chaplain  

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-9/

Willma Miller, Vietnam Army Veteran Family, October 2, 2018

http://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-8/

Army Veteran Leo Gomez, deceased, 2 Purple Hearts, 100% disabled Agent Orange September 21, 2018

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-22/

George Yamada, 70% Disabled Agent Orange Vietnam, September 11, 2018

http://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-5/

John Kim, Air Force Active Duty, August 21, 2018

http://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-with-irene-16/

Joshua Parker, Disabled Army Veteran March 16, 2018

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-41/

Gad and Noreen Liebmann, Navy Veterans protesting Daytona Regency and 

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-7/

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america/

Margaret and Edward Chandler, Army E6 at discharge

http://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-with-irene-7/

Mike Yelton, Army and Air Force Veteran

http://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-with-irene-5/

Sean Wolfer, 100% Disabled Army Veteran, Agent Orange, 2/23 complaints 

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-44/

Raymond Mori, age 83, a Disabled Marine Veteran 23 years, 2 Purple Hearts

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-42/

Kevin and Brenda Hopkins, Air Force Veterans

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-39/

Roy Simmons, Navy Veteran retired letter carrier, upsold to $2,700 a month in loan payments

http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-13/

Scotty Black, disabled Navy Veteran, Homeland Security

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-36/

Air Force Active Duty Kevin Hopkins

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-39/

Anthony Davis, 90% disabled Army veteran

https://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-6/

Jeff Diehl, Marine veteran, disabled

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-america-30/

Samuel Melendez, 21 yrs Army, chemical, biochemical, nuclear defense, 3/23 

http://insidetimeshare.com/nightmares-timeshare-street/

Amanda and George Jones, Active Duty Navy, December 19, 2017

http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-3/

Terry Carter, disabled Army Veteran, burn pit in Basra

http://insidetimeshare.com/tuesday-slot-irene-2/

Alan Callner, retired Coast Guard, 4/23 complaints against the same agent

http://insidetimeshare.com/wednesday-article-america/

Nancy Callahan, disabled Gulf War Veteran Family, April 24, 2017, 5/23

http://insidetimeshare.com/another-nightmare-timeshare-street/

A Military Family March 6, 2017

http://insidetimeshare.com/consumer-protection-week-usa/

The Hurleys, Canadian career Army Veterans January 25, 2017

http://insidetimeshare.com/timeshare-advocacy/

Thank you Adam, Bernadette and Tiffany for your contributions, once again you have given all our readers a sound argument as to why the industry must change and change for the benefit of consumers and the industry, not just one side.

Inside Timeshare would also like to thank all the past contributors for their experiences, for many it was a very difficult step to take and share what they perceived to be problems of their own making, not realising that others have also been taken in by the sales patter.

While some families seem so obviously mislead and suffer financial harm, others are able to work out their differences. Let’s hope consumers do their part by following Ronald Reagan’s advice, “Believe but verify!”

All Inside Timeshare and our readers who have followed us and contributed over the years can say, is you are no longer alone.

Have a great weekend and join us again next week.

Wednesday News: Another New Fake Lawyer and More Woes for Anfi

Welcome to our Wednesday edition of Inside Timeshare, today we have a look at yet another “fake” law firm to emerge, once again it appears they are using the name and details of a genuine lawyer to give themselves credibility. This is another example of the theft of someone’s identity to commit fraud. We also have a look at the latest case involving Anfi in the High Court and a look at yet another article on the Tauro Beach Project.

First, we have a look at yet another “fake” law firm to rear its ugly head, during our usual morning search of the internet, we found this on the Mindtimeshare website, so Inside Timeshare decided to delve a little deeper into this “Law firm”.

The firm is called Cabrera Ayala Abogados with the website:

https://cabreraayala.com/

This was registered on 4 May 2020 and is due to expire next month on 4 May 2021, so again only registered for a short time. The registrant is also hidden so there is no clue as to who is behind the website.

The given address on the website is:

Calle Alejandro Casona 22 4B 28035 Madrid España

Email Adress:

[email protected]

Telephone: +34 931 845 020

Now considering they claim to be in Madrid, 931 just happens to be the code for Barcelona.

Mobile: +34 603 365 063

The information also includes the following information

Cabrera Ayala Abogados

With the Colegio de Abogados de Madrid registration number:

Colegiado nº 63893

On checking the Censo de Letrados, which is the register of all licenced and practising lawyers in Spain, we find that the actual lawyer is Jose Luis Cabrera Ayala. The address given on the registration is Calle Alejandro Casona 3 12 28035 Madrid. As you can see the address is in the same street but the numbers are different.

It is also noticeable that the mobile number given for the Genuine lawyer is +34 626 312 905, again different to the one shown on the website.

Doing a search for Jose Luis Cabrera Ayala came up with some very surprising information, this is a lawyer who seems to have a very respectable reputation and specialises in Sanitary Law, (health), so nothing to do with timeshare law or contracts. This information came from Emerita Legal, see link below.

https://www.emerita.legal/abogado/jose-luis-cabrera-ayala-84087

There is also a Linkedin page for this lawyer which also shows his rather illustrious career.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jose-luis-cabrera-ayala-564a96177/

It is absolutely clear that whoever is behind this website has stolen and is using the identity of a respected lawyer for fraudulent purposes.

Again this enforces the point that you must be very careful when dealing with any company or law firm that contacts you or that you have found on the internet.

High Court of Las Palmas

Moving on to Anfi, they have once again lost another case in the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas, yet another of their appeals to go down the swanny.

The original case brought on behalf of the Norwegian Client by Canarian Legal Alliance was heard in the Court of First Instance Number 2 of San Bartelóme de Tirajana. The contract was deemed illegal and declared null and void, the court also ordered Anfi to repay the client 48,197€ plus legal interest.

As was expected by the lawyers at CLA, Anfi lodged another appeal to the High Court, CLA Lawyers also launched an appeal of their own. This appeal was regarding the payment in double of deposits illegally taken within the statutory cooling-off period in line with the law and the rulings of the Supreme Court, due to the Court of First Instance who appeared not to have taken this into account.

The High Court as expected rejected and dismissed the appeal by Anfi and upheld the original sentence. The judges also accepted the appeal by CLA in regards to the doubling of the illegally taken payments, increasing the award by 45,654€ bringing the total to 93,851€ plus legal interest.

The case was prepared and presented by Eva Gutierrez with Caroline Castro assisting the client.

Yesterday, the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association) published a short article on the Anfi Tauro Beach Project, a story that Inside Timeshare has been following for a number of years. In this article, they explain the long-running battle over this project with not only the local citizens but also the authorities.

The project has now been well and truly cancelled, it now remains to be seen if it is ever resurrected in the future or if the beach will be returned to its original state. Obviously Inside Timeshare will be keeping an eye on any developments and let you know.

If you require any information on any company regarding your timeshare or you would like to know your legal options be they a claim or just relinquishment, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

The Tuesday Slot: Anfi Case Concluded plus MacDonald Resorts Update

Welcome to the Tuesday Slot with Inside Timeshare, we begin today with the news of a final payout to a client by Anfi after an unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court. The news of this appeal was published on 16 March along with another appeal to the Supreme Court by Diamond Resorts, which was also unsuccessful with the judges roundly rejecting the appeal.

Anfi lost the original case at the Court of First Instance where the contract was declared null and void and they were ordered to repay the client over 45,000€. As we have seen in all these cases Anfi launched another appeal to the High Court of Las Palmas, the court rejected and dismissed the appeal confirming the original judgement and sentence.

Anfi, true to form, decided to waste the court’s valuable time and launched an appeal with Spain’s Highest Court, The Supreme Court in Madrid. This court has made 130 rulings on Spanish Timeshare Law and set them in stone or what is known as jurisprudence.

The Anfi appeal to the court was based on their request “for clarity” on previous rulings, we have to ask what clarity?

It appears that this “clarity” was a suggestion by Anfi that there was an element of “contradiction” in some of the previous rulings made by the High Court of Las Palmas. As we have seen with previous appeals the High Court has been following all the rulings of the Supreme Court to the letter and upholding sentences from the Court of First Instance. In many cases, the High Court has also improved the original sentence such as the lower court failing to take into consideration the illegal taking of deposits and not awarding double the amount taken.

This is a precedent made by the Supreme Court and has been enforced in all cases.

Obviously, Anfi lost their appeal and the case was returned for the execution of the sentence.

As we have previously reported, Anfi uses this ploy to delay any payments which also gives them time to “spirit away” funds from the relevant accounts in order to avoid payment. Unfortunately for them this is not working and is also being investigated by the Provincial Prosecutors Office of Gran Canaria. This may just result in criminal charges being brought against the directors and the board which is in the control of the Cazorla Group. We also know that they are themselves in severe financial difficulty.

The lawyers from Canarian Legal Alliance who represented the English client throughout these proceedings had already placed provisional execution of sentence proceeding with the court. This has become standard procedure for the lawyers at CLA and also helps to save time.

They managed to get a partial settlement but were still 13,345€ short of the awarded amount of 45,825€. With all their procedures in place and the threat of embargoes, the final amount has now been secured with the client already receiving this money into their own personal bank account.

Another successful case has now reached a conclusion and we expect to see more of the same in the coming months. No doubt Anfi will continue to waste time and cause the courts more work with their appeals, a ploy which in the end will cause them more financial problems.

This month, Inside Timeshare, has published two articles on MacDonald Resorts, the first MacDonald Resorts Still Preying on the Elderly and Vulnerable published on 17 March and Start the Week: MacDonalds Using the Courts to Extort Money; News from the Spanish Courts published on 22 March.

These are truly Nightmare on Timeshare Street stories and are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Inside Timeshare has been in touch with Julia Paul, who is the Assistant Producer of the BBC Radio 4 program You and Yours about these stories. For those of you who have followed the Mrs B story, her case was highlighted on this program in November 2020. The article we published was Mrs B v MacDonald Resorts: The Battle Is Won But The War Continues

We have been informed that the program You and Yours will be highlighting these stories on Friday 26 March, the program goes on air at 12:20 pm, please find the time to tune in and listen, we are sure that it will be very interesting. If there is any change in scheduling Inside Timeshare will let you know.

That is all for today, if you have any questions or comments on any article published, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.