Welcome to Start the Week and our countdown to the Christmas break, we begin this morning with news from the Spanish Courts.
This morning Inside Timeshare has received the following information regarding our old friends Silverpoint, this company is certainly taking a bashing in the courts, contrary to what some might have you believe.
On Thursday 13 December in the Court of First Instance No 5, Arona Tenerife, Silverpoint were once again found to be in breach of the Spanish Timeshare Laws 42/98 and 4/12, in respect of their product called “Company Participations”.
As we have reported on many occasions this scheme was designed to bypass the current timeshare legislation, instead of purchasing weeks in an apartment the unwary consumer is sold “participations” in apartments which are “registered” as companies. These companies are administered by Silverpoint and Excel Resorts, with the purchaser believing they are “investing” in a “company”. The terms of the contract are complex, with purchaser having no rights to know who the other participants (share holders) are, they also have no right to use the apartments they have purchased these in these “participations”, but are given weeks they may use in other apartments and resorts.
As with the old Silverpoint scheme of “investment weeks”, purchasers are promised a variety of incentives, these are in the form of “dividends” paid each year for the rental income of the “participations” they have purchased, unfortunately many are still waiting to receive them. They also then have the option after 3 years to “sell” their “participations”, but not on the open market, they can only be “sold” to other participants, but only through Silverpoint who will broker the sale.
In the latest sentence, the judge has clearly stated that these “Company Participations” contracts are a blatant disguise of a timeshare product.
The sentence also states and reiterates the ruling from the Supreme Court (STS16/2012 of 16 January) that these purchasers are indeed Consumers and not investors. (Page 2 of the sentence PDF below)
The court declared the contract null and void and ordered Silverpoint to return the full purchase prices plus double the deposit paid, a sum of over 108,000€.
The courts have also place another 3 embargoes on Silverpoint accounts securing over 130,000€ for clients who have been awarded their money back.
The Supreme Court has issued their 130th ruling against the timeshare industry, the very first against Diamond Resorts!
The court has upheld previous rulings that the points system is illegal, along with the perpetuity contract which contravenes the maximum duration of 50 years as demanded by law.
Although the amounts awarded are not substantial, this ruling now proves that even Diamond are not immune from being prosecuted under Spanish Law.
Both of these cases have been brought on behalf of clients by Canarian Legal Alliance, the leaders in the field of timeshare litigation.
In other news, it has been announced that the CEO of the American Resorts Development Association (ARDA), Howard Nusbaum is to retire in 2019. The board of directors has appointed a committee to search for a new CEO, the members will be working alongside a leading executive search company Spencer Stuart, who will be managing the process.
Whoever is appointed will certainly have a lot on their plate, the timeshare industry is in dire need of a thorough shake up, so let us hope that the new CEO will have the guts to make sure their members start to treat consumers in a better way than we are seeing at the moment.
So that’s it for today, if you require any information on any of the articles published, companies that have contacted you or would like to know where you stand in regards to your purchaes of any timeshare product, especially the “company participations” from Silverpoint, then use our contact page and we will get back to you.