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End the Week

It is the end of another week with Inside Timeshare and what a week it has been, we started with a story from one consumer and their experiences with Azure Resorts and Barclays Partner Finance. This was followed on Tuesday by the article on the FCA, BPF and Azure recap, in this article we asked some very important questions as to the capability of the FCA to do the job it is charged with. That job is in essence to ensure the protection of consumers, but as we have seen from the Jeff Prestridge article in This is Money, they are not trained or have the necessary knowledge of the job they are tasked with.

On Wednesday we brought you some news from the courts, these featured cases brought by Canarian Legal Alliance, M1 Legal and the independent lawyer Javier Correa.

CLA’s and Javier’s cases were all centred around Anfi, in all the cases the clients won in the Courts of First Instance with the contracts being declared null & void with the return of the full purchase price.

As we have come to expect, Anfi appealed these judgements to the High Court, which as they have done in all previous appeals, dismissed and rejected the appeal confirming the sentence of the First Court.

The client’s lawyers, who always expect Anfi to appeal, immediately place a “provisional execution order” with the court once the sentence is issued by the judge of the Court of First Instance. This saves time and if Anfi does not payout voluntarily then embargos are put into place.

We then highlighted some cases brought by M1 Legal, these were hearings on the problem of “jurisdiction”. Many timeshare companies have included in their contracts a clause which states that the contract is “subject to UK law and the jurisdiction of UK courts”.

In these 11 cases, the courts agreed that Spanish law and the jurisdiction of Spanish courts take precedence. That consumers who purchased in Spain, paid a deposit in Spain and in most cases the resorts are located in Spain are fully protected by Spanish law.

This is just another blow to the timeshare industry which still believes they are above the law and untouchable. Sorry to disappoint you but those days have long gone.

Yesterday we highlighted a company that we first covered a couple of years ago, Taylor Marshall Associates, it seems as though they have recently made a comeback.

In the article we also revealed that the owner and former director of the company, George Burbidge was jailed for three years for fraud. Although this case was not timeshare related it was to do with solar panels claims.

The company was Verity Claims, which he owned and was also a director, which first came to our attention around 8 years ago and was published on our original website, did target timeshare owners and holiday club members. After much publicity, they disappeared from view as far as timeshare was concerned until now.

Supposedly Protecting Consumers!

The article also asked questions from the Financial Conduct Authority who has authorised them as “regulated for claims management”. It is clear that the FCA does not have a clue what it is doing, after all, this company has a chequered past plus the fact George Burbidge is a convicted fraudster and his wife is now a director of his company.

So again we ask the FCA the same question, how have you allowed this company to be registered and regulated for claims management given this small amount of information?

This question along with others has been sent to the FCA, but please don’t hold your breath, they may not even respond!

Thorn in the side of Anfi

We end today with the latest news from the courts, with both cases being brought by CLA.

At the Court of First Instance Number 1 of SBT, a German client’s contract has been declared null & void with the court ordering Anfi (once again), being awarded 16,803€ plus legal interest. There was also an additional award of 12,252€ in respect of the illegally taken deposit, this is double the amount taken within the statutory cooling-off period.

Just to be clear, Anfi once again launched an appeal with the High Court, which was obviously anticipated by the lawyers who also placed a “provisional execution order” in place.

The High Court which as you have already guessed, dismissed and rejected the appeal, supporting and confirming unequivocally the sentence of the First Court

In a second case, again against our old friends Anfi, the Court of First Instance Number 4 of SBT, once again found in favour of the client. They declared the contract null & void with the return of 33,379€ plus legal interest.

This amount also included double the amount paid as an illegal deposit which amounted to 11,760€.

No doubt, the lawyers have already placed a “provisional execution order” with the court as we do expect Anfi to launch yet another time-wasting and frivolous appeal. Well, we know where that is going to end up!

A message to Anfi, just give up, you know you are going to lose every time!

Anfi Directors?

That is all for this week, join us again next week for more news and information about the murky world of timeshare.

Have a great weekend.

Link to the original news article on Burbidge.

Mid Week Court Report

Today we have a look at the latest news to come from the courts and as expected Anfi seems to be the focus of attention. This is not surprising considering their tactics of delaying proceedings with frivolous appeals when they lose in the Court of First Instance, a tactic designed in an attempt to avoid paying what the courts have ordered. Inside Timeshare has published numerous articles on this subject which has also caught the attention of the Provincial Prosecutors Office. The investigation which has been launched may result in criminal charges against Anfi and the Board of Directors, which as we know is in the control of the Cazorla Group. Even though there is an investigation underway, the High Court (appeals) are consistently finding in favour of the clients and confirming the sentences issued by the lower courts.

Even though Anfi is attempting to delay or even avoid paying out when ordered to do so, clients are actually receiving what they are due. This is a result of all the “provisional execution of sentence” actions as soon as the lower courts issue their sentence. This then saves a lot of time once the High Court confirms the original order.

In a case brought by Canarian Legal Alliance on behalf of a German Client, who has now received 34,381€ into their own bank account.

In the original trial at the Court of First Instance Number 1 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, the judge declared the contract null and void and the return of the full purchase price plus double any amount paid within the statutory cooling-off period.

As usual, Anfi launched an appeal, which delayed proceeding for some considerable time, unfortunately for Anfi, this was just another pointless exercise as the High Court dismissed and rejected the appeal. They confirmed the original order and sent it back for the execution of sentence.

The client’s lawyers have for some time been identifying “potential” sources of income in order to refute the Anfi claim that they have no money to pay out to the clients. The court has now acknowledged that income from all of Anfi’s activities should be made available to reimburse the clients.

This income derives from rental income from all the bars and restaurants, rental income from unsold inventory and fees from their golf course along with other income. In this case, the payment was from the rental income which the court ordered that Anfi declare.

This is obviously a huge blow to Anfi and especially the Cazorla’s, it surely now leaves clients in a much stronger position.

In another case held at the Court of First Instance, Number 4 of SBT, a Norwegian client represented by CLA has had their contract declared null and void with the return of 39,651€ plus legal interest. This award also includes double the amount taken illegally as a deposit within the statutory cooling-off period.

Although the case has been won, it is expected that Anfi will as they always do launch an appeal, well, we can guess with near certainty what the outcome of that appeal will be!

Anfi Take Note!

It is not only CLA which is having this trouble with Anfi, the Independent Timeshare Lawyer Javier Correa is also battling the same problem with these appeals.

Javier Correa

His case was won at the Court of First Instance number 3 of SBT, with this court declaring the contract null and void with the repayment of 35,552€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

The original judgement was made in September 2019 and Anfi immediately launched their appeal with the High Court of Las Palmas. They are still awaiting a date for the appeal hearing, but Javier has already placed a “provisional execution of sentence” order to ensure that time is saved and his client receives what they are entitled to.

We now move to M1 Legal, although they have yet to publish the most recent cases they have published a resume of cases since the end of 2020 to the beginning of this year.

So far they have had seven judgements against Club la Costa via Paradise Trading and Continental Resorts, which are the sales companies involved in the sale of the CLC product.

In total these seven cases have accumulated a massive £164,230 for their clients.

Other cases which were against Silverpoint, Diamond Resorts and Tasolan, a total of £74,260 has been awarded to their clients with all contracts being declared null and void.

M1 Legal has also been very busy with “jurisdictional” cases, as we have reported in the past, many timeshare operators have used UK Limited companies for their sales, which in the past have been rejected by the courts on jurisdictional grounds. The timeshare companies have claimed that their contracts are subject to UK law and the Jurisdiction of UK courts. This has now been soundly rejected by many cases heard in the High Courts.

Out of the eleven cases brought by M1 Legal, one was against Silverpoint, two against Diamond and eight against Club la Costa. In all these “jurisdictional” cases the courts have found in favour of the clients and that Spanish law and courts take precedence and jurisdiction in these cases.

This is yet another blow to the timeshare industry which has sought for years to avoid the laws of the countries they operate in with the use of the jurisdictional clause. Bad news for them but great news for the consumer.

That is all for today, if you have any questions on this or any other article or if you would like to know if you have a valid and viable case against your timeshare company, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

End the Week: The Friday Review

The end of another week and halfway through the first month of the year, unfortunately, we have not started as we would have hoped with many more restrictions being put into place on travel. This is having a profound effect on the holiday and tourism industry, hotels are closing again and timeshare resorts are also announcing reduced capacity or remaining closed. The question is, how are the timeshare resorts going to deal with the problem of maintenance fees, the members’ loss of last year’s weeks and the potential loss of many weeks this year? This is a story we will be watching as it unfolds over the next month or so.

Although Inside Timeshare began a day late this week, we started on Tuesday with an article about Anfi and Airtours. The Anfi section is actually pertinent to the question posed above.

This story revolves around the Anfi attempt to force or as we prefer to call it “blackmail” members into signing their new contracts. For those members who lost last year’s weeks due to various lockdowns and travel bans, in order to save those weeks and receive an “accommodation voucher”, they have to sign the new contracts first.

This is already a question many members are asking on the various members’ forums and Fb groups.

Could this be an indication of how they will behave this year?

The rest of the article was about a recent case in the Courts of Las Palmas involving Airtours, they lost at the Court of First Instance and unlike our friends at Anfi, immediately accepted the court’s ruling.

They did not lodge an appeal but complied with the court and voluntarily paid out the ordered sums. So there was no need for counter appeals, lodging enforcement action or placing embargoes.

Well done Airtours.

On Wednesday, we published Timeshare Sales, Barclay Partner Finance & The FCA

This story is following one that began in 2017/18 and follows the validation order granted by the Financial Conduct Authority to Barclays Partner Finance to “legalise and make enforceable” loan agreements brokered by Azure Service Ltd. This timeshare sales company was not authorised to broker the agreements.

This is an ongoing story which has had a very severe impact on many many people, after all, the number affected by this decision alone is well over 1,400!

We will keep you updated on events as they unfold.

Happy Clients Get Their Cash

Yesterday’s article once again focused on payouts, these also involved Anfi and Airtours.

In the two Anfi cases, the clients received their payments, but only after lengthy court hearings and appeals. Eventually, due to some very clever detective work from the lawyers, they found out Anfi was due to be paid a “tax rebate” and petitioned the court to embargo the accounts.

This was done and several clients have received their money back quicker than expected.

The last case was against Airtours, and as with the previous case, they voluntarily paid what was ordered. Once again saving the courts time, the clients a lot of stress and most importantly, it has saved Airtours a lot of money in legal fees and sanctions.

Again we have to ask Anfi why are you continuing with these constant appeals, knowing that you are going to lose in every case, the courts are now wise to your tactics!

That is all for this week, on Monday we will be publishing another story in our Nightmare on Timeshare Street series.

It is written by one of our readers, who is acting as executor of her late Brothers estate, this includes the Azure purchased Golden Sands financed by a Barclays Partner Finance loan agreement.

Everything in the article is fact and they have all supporting documents, correspondence and other material to back it up. The only thing that has been changed are their names, this has been done at their request.

For those who have followed the various “Nightmare on Timeshare Street” stories over the past few years and are familiar with the horrendous behaviour of sales reps and timeshare companies, this story ranks as one of the worst we have published. Although there is a moment where some justice and compassion was given.

Join us on Monday and have a great weekend despite all the restrictions we all have to live with.