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ABC Lawyers

ABC Lawyers Another Client Duped

Today Inside Timeshare revisits an old company which has been the subject of many articles, ABC Lawyers, another company owned by the infamous Mark Rowe. As we already know Mark Rowe and several of his companies are under investigation by the Regional Organised Crime Unit of Somerset & Avon Police and the Spanish authorities. We also know that when the original raids took place they were well-coordinated as both Spanish and UK authorities mounted them simultaneously, several weeks ago we also heard that the Spanish Authorities again raided Mark Rowe’s company offices yet again.

Today’s story is one that may well be familiar to any other reader who has had the misfortune to have dealings with Mark Rowe and ABC Lawyers. It involves an elderly couple who were contacted by ABC a couple of years ago and offered help in relinquishing their contract with Orange Lake in Florida and claiming compensation.

Mark Rowe looking happy, so he should he has taken your money!

They were invited to meeting with ABC Lawyers who also paid for them to stay at a hotel near to their offices. While there they were “pitched” with a very convincing story that ABC could indeed get them out of their timeshare and also get them compensation. After several hours they decided to sign up with ABC.

They and their family also went through all the contracts and documents provided by ABC, they too were convinced this was genuine.

Eventually, they received a very convincing letter to tell them they were now out of their timeshare contract with Orange Lake and any demands for maintenance fees should be ignored and sent to ABC.

Now two years down the line they have discovered that they had not been released from their contract and are receiving demands and threats of legal action by Orange Lake. They have also been told that Orange Lake has placed a “LIEN” on their property. This has obviously frightened them and the family.

The definition of a lien is:

a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged.

“they shall be entitled to a lien on any lot sold”

What is a lien and how does it work?

It’s a claim that someone or something has on property that you possess or use. The individual or entity that has the claim—such as a lender—can repossess or foreclose on the property if you don’t make payments on an associated loan or perform other agreed-upon terms.

So for this couple who are European residents owning a timeshare in the US is very good news, Inside Timeshare has sent them a draft letter asking Orange Lake to foreclose, which is what they wanted in the first place.

It is also a fact that US timeshare companies cannot chase for any debts in Europe or affect the owner’s credit standing they do not have any legal jurisdiction.

So we know that ABC Lawyers were taking money for relinquishments and telling the clients to just stop paying maintenance, unfortunately for those who owned in Europe they are now finding that they owe considerable sums in maintenance arrears, ABC Lawyers and Mark Rowe did absolutely nothing apart from taking peoples money!

What about the compensation?

According to our reader, the compensation would be done via Section 75 of The Credit Consumer Act 1974 as they paid by credit card.

There is only one small problem there, the purchase was made over 25 years ago and so no claim could be made as there is a 6-year time limit. It is also a fact that even if they were within the time limit, having used the timeshare they have received the goods and services paid for. The credit card provider will always contact the supplier of the goods or services paid for and will then reject the claim.

Section 75 covers, not receiving the goods or services paid for, faulty or unfit for purpose goods, the company has gone into liquidation. It will not cover the mis-selling of a timeshare or the fact the timeshare contract might be illegal.

According to our reader, they have now been passed to another Mark Rowe company, Lansdown Finacial Ltd. Mark Rowe resigned as director 30 May 2019, we suspect that is because of all the investigations into his activities that are taking place.

At least there may be a good ending to this story, the couple will be out of their timeshare, plus they also have a good claim against ABC Lawyers to get back the thousands of pounds they paid, this was done on their credit card and as they have not received the goods or services they were promised plus the fact that ABC Lawyers are now in liquidation they never will.

Although ABC Lawyers may be going into liquidation he is still conducting the same business with another firm based in Tenerife Timeshare Lawyers which is actually Mark Rowe, Managing Director
Advanced Business Consultants Legal SL the previous name for this company was Jive Hippo SL the replacement for Monster.

This is another example that you need to do your homework before engaging with any company that has contacted you regarding your timeshare.

Have you had any dealings with the companies named here or any other company that is owned and operated by Mark Rowe, if so use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will point you in the right direction.

Start the Week

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, today we address a question which is the subject of many enquiries received over the past few months. Many timeshare owners are receiving cold calls from various “claims” and supposed “legal” companies giving them false information regarding making claims for “compensation”. In this article, we explain the facts on claims and cancellation of contracts.

Many owners are signing up with companies who promise to get them “compensation” for a mis-sold timeshare, but first, they must have their contract relinquished or cancelled, once this is done then the “company” will put forward a claim. The facts are that once a contract has been terminated then no case can ever be taken to court, the contract must be live and all maintenance must be paid up to date.

The whole reason for this “pitch” is very simple, they are not in the business of pursuing claims through the courts, they are in the “exit” business as this is quick and easy money. It is also very unlikely that they will even do the “exit” for the owner. In the vast majority of the cases that Inside Timeshare has been asked about, the owner has been told that they should stop paying their maintenance and if they receive any demands then to send it to the company to deal with it.

What has then happened as in the case of RSB Legal and ABC Lawyers along with many others is that the relinquishment has never been done, in many cases, the owner has received a letter from the company stating that they are now “out” of their contract. The next thing is the owner is now receiving demands from a debt collecting agency for the arrears.

When the owner tries to contact the company they are either given false information or the company is no longer in operation, usually closed down and reopened under another name. The owner has now lost a substantial amount of money for a service that was a “scam” and is now in debt for a timeshare they believed had been cancelled.

There are some cases where the owner may be able to get money back after cancellation, but only if they have a finance agreement such as Barclays Partner Finance which was brokered by the timeshare company. Even this requires a case to be taken to court and that must be in the UK.

There is one provision for this and it is Sections 140A & 140B of The Credit Consumer Act 1974, but it is by no means a cut and dried process. There are also time limits to this, just as with Section 75 claims against credit card providers, there is a 6-year limitation on cases being brought.

So if you are told that you have a case but you need to first have your contract cancelled, then you are never going to get any money back for the mis-sold timeshare no matter how “nice” the caller is. NO RUNNING CONTRACT, NO CASE IS ACCEPTED BY ANY COURT!

Join us again tomorrow for our Tuesday Slot with another round of “Nightmare on Timeshare Street” stories from Wyndham Carriage Hills and Carriage Ridge owners.

Start the Week: Update Advance Business Consultants Legal SL

Further to our article published on 23 April, regarding the liquidation of ABC Lawyers and Advance Business Consultants Legal SL both owned by Mark Rowe, new information has now come to light.

It appears that the Timeshare Consumer Association is now a trading name for Advanced Business Consultants Legal SL along with ABC Legal, ABC Lawyers, Timeshare Compensation, Timeshare Advice, Timeshare Lawyer, Value My Timeshare, ABC Legal Reviews.

So what was once an independent website giving independent and impartial advice to timeshare owners is firmly under the umbrella of Mark Rowe. He continually denies he has anything to do with the TCA, the latest evidence shows otherwise.

This is now in black and white on the Privacy Notice updated on 24 April 2019,

So what does this mean for timeshare owners who contact the TCA for advice on how to get out of their timeshare contracts?

Very simple, they will not be getting any independent or impartial advice, instead, they will be directed to one of the companies owned and controlled by Mark Rowe. This is not the first time the TCA’s impartiality has come into question, Andrew Penman of the Mirror brought this subject into the public domain way back in December 2016.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/timeshare-consumer-association-claims-independent-9367808

Mark Rowe

As we already know, several of his companies are under investigation by the Regional Organised Crime Unit of Somerset and Avon Police as well as the Spanish authorities, these are:

Inside Timeshare has received many emails from timeshare owners who have paid for relinquishments and so-called claims through ABC Lawyers, one reader paid around £7,500 for relinquishment and a claim. They were simply told to stop paying the maintenance fees, which they did, they have since found out that Club La Costa terminated their membership on the grounds of non-payment of fees. In other words, ABC Lawyers did nothing, they have also never received a penny of the £30,000 they were promised for their claim, despite signing the contract with ABC in October 2017.

Inside Timeshare has continually stated that the only sure way of making a claim for timeshare purchased in Spain is through the Spanish Courts, using a genuine lawyer registered to practice in Spain, with the knowledge and experience of timeshare law.

You are also unable to make any claim through the courts once you have had your contract terminated, plus you are very unlikely to receive any money back by using the Credit Consumer Act 1974 Section 75. This is a simple fact, the credit card company (if you paid the deposit by card) will always contact the timeshare company, they will obviously inform the card provider that the timeshare was used, so they have provided the goods and services paid for. Section 75 does not cover the fact that your timeshare contract may be illegal under Spanish law.

Once again, it is important that you know who you are dealing with, the TCA may have been independent and impartial at one point, but that was many years ago, we are sure the late Sandy Grey will be turning in his grave, all his hard work has now been turned upside down.

If you have any questions or need real advice on any timeshare matter, use our contact page and we will get back to you. Remember to do your homework before engaging with any company that contacts you or that you find on the internet.