At the start of this decade the first cases against Resort Properties / Silverpoint were being formulated, at that time there were two schools of thought, Criminal Action and Civil Action using the Timeshare Law 42/98.
First we take a look at the Criminal Action, this was proposed by the law firm Kaehler Abogados, he believed that what Resort Properties / Silverpoint were selling was classified as a fraud. This involved the selling of multiple timeshare weeks as “investments” in property, with a view to renting for an income and eventually going on the resale market with a return of around 15% to the purchaser.
As it turned out, the hundreds of consumers found out too late that what was actually happening was they were being continually upsold to higher standards of apartments / weeks. The reason they were given was what they had originally purchased was not selling as it was not what the market wanted. The only way to secure their “investment” was to pay even more money to upgrade to the better quality apartments.
Many of these transactions were funded with loan agreements brokered by Resort Properties / Silverpoint using Barclays Partner Finance agreements. The promise was that after two years the weeks would be sold and that would then cover the loan amounts and settle the agreements.
In reality this did not happen.
The first cases went to court and a long drawn out legal battle ensued, at the time it was dubbed as the largest fraud in timeshare history.
Unfortunately these cases floundered, Silverpoint successfully argued with the courts that these were property investments and not timeshare, therefore the purchasers were not consumers of timeshare but investors in property. As we know property can go down in value as well as up.
The courts at the time agreed, that these purchasers were buying into property investment, so they believed that no fraud had been committed.
At the same time the other school of thought was beginning to use the civil courts and the timeshare laws to pursue Silverpoint. The most notable case being that of Mrs Shirley Wilson, who instructed the proponent of civil action Miguel Rodriguez Cabellos to fight her case.
Mrs Wilson, argued that she at first believed she was investing in property, but it turned out it was in fact timeshare as there were maintenance fees attached along with other aspects of timeshare.
(Click on the link below to see the original trial)
Again a long drawn out legal battle was underway, with the case eventually going all the way to the Supreme Court.
Then in January 2017, the Supreme Court made its historic ruling, that what Resort Properties / Silverpoint had sold was indeed timeshare. That the purchasers were indeed consumers of timeshare and not “investors”, which also meant they now had the full protection of the timeshare laws.
For the hundreds of clients who had been part of the criminal action this was very good news, it now meant their cases could be converted to a civil action using the now many rulings on timeshare law from the Supreme Court.
Canarian Legal Alliance under Miguel and his team of lawyers were now responsible for representing these clients. They were offered the chance of converting their cases to the civil courts.
One of the first client to do so has now had his case heard and the courts have found in his favour, according to the rulings of the Supreme Court. The Court of First Instance No 5 in Arona, Tenerife has declared this clients contract null and void, his original claim was for 60,000€, the court has awarded him 88,113€.
This is obviously good news for the hundreds of clients who took part in the original criminal cases, they now have the chance to receive the justice they have for so long sought, with many of them having already converted to the civil action. So we can be sure that there will be many more stories such as this in the coming months.
Below is another link to a Youtube video which shows the then Sales Director David Taylor giving another “investor” the run a around.
In another twist, Silverpoint have another product which is very similar to the original “investments” deal, this they call the “Company Participation Scheme”. It is a very clever attempt to bypass the timeshare laws, although looking at the documentation it certainly looks like an advanced form of timeshare. More on this at a later date.
Inside Timeshare would like to thank CLA for the background information used in this article.
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