It is exactly the same layout as all the others, with some new photographs added, one in particular shows a “lawyer” with the Argentinian flag behind him. They also show several official logos just to add credibility to their “firm”.
The scenario is the same as all the others, your timeshare company is being taken to court and you can be included in the case, you only have to pay the procurator fees to be included. Then, yes, you have guessed it, within weeks you have won your case and the cheque is waiting for you. But to receive this wonderful cheque you have to pay the “TAX”, probably the same amount as we have seen with the others, 10% of the awarded amount.
The letter which you receive tells when the firm was founded, must admit it is an exact date, Wednesday 27th June 1990. Wow, to be able to remember the day is really impressive. They also give their CIF number (Codigo de Identificación Fiscal)AS201411031, which if their past ones are anything to go by is fake.
This letter opens with an apology for contacting you in this manner, but it was deemed necessary as the number of complaints received by the European Complaints Authority has increased dramatically over the past 12 months. A body which if you google it, doesn’t actually exist.
It then goes on (3 pages worth) about the changes in timeshare law, and how greedy the timeshare companies are, (well we do have to agree with that one). But one of the best paragraphs is where they talk about “bogus and Fraudulent companies”, so are they talking about themselves?
Don’t be fooled by all this, it is one very clever and well thought out fraud, with new law firms popping up all the time. We just wonder how long before the next one is born!
If you have had any contact from any of the “Firms” related to this, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. Do not be fooled by the amounts they say is there waiting for you. Spain does not operate under no win no fee, and to get a case to court will much more time than this lot would have you believe. The other fact to take into consideration is the name given as a director for all the timeshare companies CLC, Silverpoint, Diamond etc, is the same, Kevin Baker or Kevin Balker, who pleads guilty every time.
For more information on the other articles search Litigious Abogados in the search box at the top right of the page.
Remember, do you homework, if you are not sure contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.
Welcome to our Monday article, we start with some news from Europe, Canarian Legal Alliance has been at it again. More news from the courts in Tenerife finding for CLA clients against Silverpoint.
On 2 May, the judge presiding over The Court of First Instance No 5, ruled the contract these clients had contained several infringements and declared the contract null & void. The judge also ruled they should be awarded over £25,957.79 plus the return of their legal fees and legal interest. In this case the main infringement was the floating weeks. The Spanish Timeshare Law 42/98 was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court, a timeshare contract must include a specific date, location and period.
The following day, the same court declared yet another contract from Silverpoint illegal under law 42/98, this infringed the length of the contract. The Supreme Court on numerous occasions have stated that under the law no contract can be over 50 years. The judge in this case again declared the contract null & void, ordering Silverpoint to return over £8,856.71 plus legal fees and legal interest to the client.
Canarian Legal Alliance also received a visit from the Kavli Family, who had their Anfi contract declared null & void awarded back over 39,413€ plus legal interest. Their visit while enjoying a relaxing holiday was to thank the entire team at CLA for all the work they put in to resolve their situation.
On another note, this weekend saw the awards presentation of the Canary NewsBusiness Awards. Canarian Legal Alliance won the the award in the Service Category, with the Head of Operations, Csilla Nazali being awarded Business Person of the year, this was accepted on behalf of the entire CLA Team. So congratulations to them.
So on we go with the NTOA article, this follows the news that TATOC, the association that is supposed to represent owners committees, is going into administration. As you will see from the article, there is a difference between the two organisations. The NTOA is independent of the industry, whereas TATOC was funded and run by the industry for the benefit of the industry and not you the owner’s / members. After all we know that Harry Taylor took up his position with TATOC while still a senior figure with Diamond Resorts Europe. We also know he supported MacDonald Resorts to the hilt against owners, when MacDonald’s decided to remove all fixed week owners and replace them with a points system, legal action on this is still ongoing. Somehow we think that is a conflict of interest and not conducive to being “independent”.
Just before publishing today’s article, ARDA once again unleashed its powerful propaganda arm in retaliation against Don and Irene’sFOX Property Man interview with Las Vegas attorney Bob Massi. This was Don and Irene’s attempt to warn the public about Diamond Resorts points not being able to be listed with a member of the Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association. A timeshare member can list any major timeshare except Diamond Resorts with any of the 64 members of the LTRBA. The members feel the restrictions Diamond places on the use of secondary points are more onerous than any of the major timeshares they do list.
You decide the merit and purpose of this interview. The industry continues to ignore the secondary market preferring to promote surrender programs. While the elderly are often mentioned, many young families who feel they were defrauded on the front end of the timeshare purchase have reached out to Inside Timeshare to let their voices be heard.
One of the many Diamond Advocates has reached out to the ABC reporter to offer a 101 in Truth. Why Diamond will not loosen its restrictions so that a member can actually sell their timeshare is a mystery.
Our National Timeshare Owners Association 20th Anniversary
NTOA – A Timeshare Member’s Only Voice
By Charles Thomas and Irene Parker
May 8, 2017
European timeshare member lobby efforts are in a state of upheaval due to the bankruptcy of TATOC. It is not always easy to determine if an organization is on the side of the timeshare member or on the side of the developer. One thing is clear. The timeshare developer is not on the side of the member when the interest of the member is at odds with the developer.
The National Timeshare Owners Association in the US is one timeshare member/owner organization unquestionably on the side of the owner or member. As the industry moves towards points, timeshare buyers don’t “buy” or “own” anything. I will use “member” from now on when referring to timeshare purchases.
Timeshares today are mostly a “right-to-use” program. Buyers “join” the program. Unlike a country club that charges a nominal initiation fee upon joining, a timeshare purchased directly from a developer usually involves an initial outlay of $25,000 to over $100,000. Unlike a country club, you can’t cancel at whim.
Signing a perpetual contract without a secondary market, or a limited secondary market at best, has given rise to a robust transfer agent scam industry and has been a boon for timeshare lawyers assisting those sold by “deceit, concealment or bait and switch”, defined by the FBI as White Collar Crime. There have been numerous lawsuits.
Timeshare developers have been unwilling to address the need for a secondary market, preferring to focus on voluntary surrender programs, which are not guaranteed. Often members must grovel before the developer seeking release from a timeshare they no longer need or want.
This unwillingness to allow a legitimate secondary market could lead to the industry’s demise. As one member of the Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association told me, “Many of the calls to our office begin with – my parents got roped into this timeshare.”
Timeshare has had its share of ups and downs over the years. My husband and I bought our first timeshare in 1984, so we have ridden the waves. Never have I seen such an upswing in predatory lending and aggressive strong arm selling tactics. Never before has there been such a need for an organization that truly and purely is on the side of the timeshare member.
I asked Greg Crist, CEO of the National Timeshare Owners Association to describe the organization in a nutshell.
“NTOA is a source of real and unbiased information and education. Over the organization’s 20 year history in the timeshare community, we have seen many ownership programs develop and later change. For example, developers have been converting to points programs from deeded intervals for several years. There are other major changes happening in vacation ownership and often owners are not keeping up with those changes. Our role is to help educate those owners (our NTOA members), assisting them to better understand their current ownership benefits”.
“Advocacy is another area we focus a lot of attention on in the United States, Canada and now Mexico. We work with law enforcement, regulators, legislators and attorneys, assisting in consumer protection and again educating all stakeholders on various threats to consumers that exist in the marketplace”.
“Finally we do everything we can to encourage owners to get the most beneficial interest out of their Vacation Ownership. As timeshare owners ourselves, we feel these are the three areas that owners typically seek knowledge and support from us.”
Inside Timeshare previously published an article about NTOA’s efforts chasing fraudulent timeshare transfer agents caused by the limited secondary market. This is one area the NTOA and the timeshare developer lobby organization ARDA share a common interest. As NTOA works so much behind the scenes, many timeshare members are not even aware of the organization’s existence.
We hope that will change as we launch a membership drive.
Here is one example of how NTOA worked with Eagle Crest in Oregon to stop this particular timeshare transfer fraud.
As to the demise of TATOC in Europe, Greg expressed some dismay over the demise of this organization.
“The NTOA has worked with TATOC in identifying a number of rogue resale and secondary market companies over the past several years. To that end, our staff has shared intelligence and best practices for consumers and for foreign purchasers of timeshare intervals. We have always considered TATOC a partner in the war on resale fraud.”
I posed the following questions to Greg:
What can a timeshare member do to promote legislative changes to reduce the volume of complaints about aggressive selling and predatory lending?
Greg: The various state legislative processes are often fast moving and difficult to keep up with. Having success in this area requires a grassroots effort in states where owners reside. The optics that many legislators have is that our owners/members are not voters in the states where industry lobbying is prominent. We have to change that perspective so that elected officials are more receptive to the voices of owners.
What is NTOA’s three to five year plan?
Greg: NTOA is in the final leg of its expansion plan in North America. We have been working in Canada for the last three years and began working in Mexico in 2016. This year, we are participating in two industry conferences in Mexico and intend to have a consistent presence there going forward.
To accomplish this part of our mission, we rely on close relationships with other associations in those countries. This includes the CVOA, CARE, ASUDESTICO and ACLUVAQ. In working with partners, we can not only better assist our members/owners but also promote regional tourism as well.
Is there anything NTOA can do to promote a legitimate secondary market?
Greg: The secondary market is a very complicated problem and no one-size fits all solution will work. The NTOA is working with the C.A.R.E. resale task force to develop a better understanding of the barriers, challenges and opportunities for owners and HOA’s.
When you support the NTOA, you are supporting the only recognized independent association in North America supporting timeshare owners.
Timeshare Advocacy needs more member voices. We look forward to hearing from you. For more information about how to join NTOA, here is their website.
NTOA has assisted many of our Inside Timeshare readers through member supported advocacy groups. We have several upcoming articles contributed by timeshare members reaching out to the general public and to current members by sharing their story hoping to promote increased awareness.
We seek to provide Diamond Resort members 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.
Inside Timeshare would like to thank Greg Crist, CEO of the NTOA for his contribution to this article, as usual Irene has done a superb job of conducting the interview.
We would also welcome any views or comments on any article published, it is your voice, use it.
It is only a couple of days since we published the latest article on Litigious Abogados and all the other associated “Law Firms” in Tenerife. This latest effort from the new one Abel Garcia is exceptionally brilliant.
Our reader received the following email:
Dear Mr XXXX,
We are pleased to inform you that an official lodgment has successfully been implemented. Your case can now be pursued with the Santa Cruz courts should you wish to proceed.
Our Lawyer’s office will then liaise with you every step of the way until final settlement is obtained. We have been informed that there are very strong grounds for compensation.
Assuring you of our best attention at all times, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your involvement thus far and send you our best regards.
This email is confidential and intended for the named recipient only. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately and delete the email. You must not copy, distribute, disclose or take any action in reliance on it. This email message and any attached files have been scanned for the presence of any computer viruses.
Fantastic news, he has a case and wonderful grounds for compensation, but there is only one small problem, how can the case go to court?
The purchase was made in the UK in 1999, the company that sold it, is no longer in business, the club to which he became a member is also no longer in business. According to Company House Records, both companies dissolved many years ago, as no date is showing.
So how is this very successful “law firm” able to get this case heard in Santa Cruz de Tenerife?
One, the purchase was not made on Spanish territory, so Spanish timeshare law does not apply, secondly, there is no company or club to take to court as they no longer exist. What is the betting that if this reader had paid the legal fees, in a matter of weeks they would have received what looks like an official court document showing they had won the case and been awarded substantial amounts in compensation. Also I would not be surprised if the Director of the company pleaded guilty and was named as Kevin Baker or Kevin Balker or something revolving around that.
Then there would be the next letter to say that Tax was due to the Hacienda, this would need to be paid before the court could release the cheque. The amount of “TAX” would probably be around 10% to 20% of the compensation amount. If you are unable to afford that then loe and behold, the Lawyer Liaison Mr Richard Lehman would be on hand to negotiate a Pro Bono deal, where the “Partners” would agree to pay 80% of the “TAX” amount, leaving you to only find 20%. They would even show a BBVA cheque to one of the procurators, who incidentally all have very similar names, various bank accounts and the same address.
This amount would then be added to your invoice for payment once you receive the Banesto cheque from the court procurator, one of the Davido’s, Harstun’s, Jaime’s, Jilmo’s, Darston’s or the latest one to come up D Hurstom F400SL, incidentally his first name is “DAVIDO”, his bank account is with BancaMarch. Also has the same address as the others. They are certainly a big family!
As we were getting ready to publish this article, our reader has received the following email and the attached letter.
Subject: Reduced Court Fees
Dear Mr XXXX
I hereby attach a letter with very good news from one of our Lawyers Mr Ramon Quena Cinol.
Assuring you of our best attention and care always, we send you our kind regards.
It is important you confirm receipt of this Email and its attachment.
In this letter, the lawyer Ramon Quena Cinol, states that as the court has accepted further claims against the defendant, there are more grounds for compensation and thus the fees are less than previously stated.
The case which was lodged on Tuesday 4 March 2017, is due to be heard on 25 April 2017, at the Court of Instruction Number 6, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Well, well, well!!!What a very fast and efficient service they perform, getting a case lodged and heard in under 2 months!
Inside Timeshare has never known any case to get to court in this speedy manner, this firm of “lawyers” must have very good connections with the courts.
For previous articles in the search box type Litigious Abogados.
Once again Inside Timeshare cannot stress the importance of doing your homework, in the case of this reader, he found the articles just in time, he felt something was not quite right and started his search. Then contacted us for further information with his purchase documents, after checking what he purchased and researching the company, Inside Timeshare was able to tell him that no claim was possible.
If you have been contacted or are in contact with any company, especially one that is offering to “claim” against your timeshare, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.