Browse Tag

Company Participation Scheme

Timeshare Sales, Barclay Partner Finance & The FCA

For the past couple of years, Inside Timeshare has been following the case of the Financial Conduct Authority granting a validation order for loans provided by Barclays Partner Finance, brokered by timeshare sales agents of Azure Services Ltd. This validation order was granted to BPF after the finance company found out that over 1,400 loan agreements were brokered by Azure Services who were not authorised, competent or diligent enough to broker them.

Many of the clients who signed these agreements for the purchase of timeshares, tended to be either retired or just coming up to retirement. They were lured with the wonderful patter of you are “investing in property”, “it’s not timeshare”.

There was the promise of renting out the purchased weeks, which would give an income, supposedly to cover the maintenance fees and a bit more. Then after 2 years the “investment weeks” would be sold and they would make a profit. This would cover the cost of the loan provided by Barclays Partner Finance.

Well, we all know how that story ends, remember that Azure is part of the Limora Group of companies owned by the late Robert “Bob” Trotta and was also the sister company to Silverpoint in Tenerife.

Company Participations have been likened to this!

Silverpoint, formally Resort Properties, sold the same product, in fact, it was they who originated it. They further developed the product into the Company Participation Scheme, which changed by registering the apartments for sale as “companies”. But the same idea was applied in the sales presentation, it was an investment with rental income and profit after sales when the “company” was transferred to the purchaser. (Sorry but that is the very simple version).

The vast majority of these purchases were made by loan agreements brokered by the sales staff selling the products and provided by Barclays Partner Finance.

When you consider that in the two years which the FCA is looking at for Azure clients this has affected over 1,400, the number of loan agreements financed by BPF must number in the thousands and as far as money is concerned worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Although this is just a guess it is on the figures received by Inside Timeshare on the Azure loans worth around £40 million.

We now move to the latest phase of the case, back in August 2018, Judge Timothy Herrington, ordered the FCA to re-evaluate its decision to validate the order, citing that “consumer detriment” must be taken into consideration.

Judge Timothy Herrington

Over a year later, the FCA confirmed the validation order with a provision that BPF appoints a “competent person” to investigate client detriment.

Now the appeal has been launched to overturn this decision, there is a group that has been formed to coordinate clients who are affected by this decision called Azure Malta Action And Support Group. They are a closed group on Facebook and are gaining in membership, not just with Azure owners, many others affected by the sales practices of the timeshare sales reps and their brokering of these loans.

The group has now published a letter to BPF which Inside Timeshare has placed as a downloadable link below, which demands the right to know what information was given to BPF by the broker regarding the loan application. It also calls for BPF to provide all details of any correspondence between the client and BPF.

It is a legal right under data protection and known as Data Subject Request.

This template letter is not just for Azure clients, any timeshare purchaser who was brokered a finance agreement by the sales reps with BPF or any other finance company can use it. Inside Timeshare urges you to do so, as from all the people that Inside Timeshare has spoken with none have ever provided any full financial details such as “income v expenditure” which are normal procedures especially when considering the sums involved. These reports show if the repayments are affordable and in fact, Shawbrook Bank admitted it had not carried this out several years ago.

The Azure Malta Action And Support Group along with Inside Timeshare are urging all those affected by BPF loan agreements to begin submitting these requests and then filing complaints with the FCA. Hopefully, this may force the FCA to investigate.

Unfortunately, in an article in the Mail on Sunday by Jeff Prestridge, it appears that there are some very serious concerns about the FCA.

According to the start of the article, which we must point out is also our opinion, the Financial Conduct Authority is there to protect consumers, but “is more interested in protecting its own”.

It also goes on to highlight the inherent problems of staff untrained and lacking the knowledge to actually carry out their work. They are not being trained to spot “anything suspicious” in the companies they are supposed to be monitoring.

They lack any training, knowledge or experience in dealing with consumer complaints, and as Inside Timeshare has found in the past, every complaint seems to be dismissed in favour of the industry. Sounds a bit like the Resorts Development Organisation don’t you think!

Although the article is not about timeshare it is a very damning report of the FCA and their apparent inability to actually perform the job they are entrusted with. It certainly highlights the problems being faced by consumers who have had to endure lengthy high-pressure sales presentations, ending up signing agreements for finance on the false promises of sales staff, reliant on the loans to close the sale.

The link to the full article is below along with previous articles on this subject along with the link to Azure Malta Action And Support Group.

If you have purchased a timeshare with a loan arranged by the sales staff and would like more information on what your rights are, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you. If we are unable to answer your question we will find out for you.

Link to the Azure Action Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1152657598482168

PDF & Word versions of the template letter

Jeff Prestridge Article

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/comment/article-9070435/JEFF-PRESTRIDGE-FCA-let-investors.html?fbclid=IwAR3M0bPZrnghdan3Ae5zxaGP17CHfiwYQ5llR0V0ELMTzic-j9XZD_3-72E

Articles on the FCA validation

https://insidetimeshare.com/fca-validate-azure-bpf-loan-agreements/

https://insidetimeshare.com/fca-validate-bpf-azure-loans-update/

https://insidetimeshare.com/barclays-the-fca-and-azure-the-story-continues/

Shawbrook Bank

https://insidetimeshare.com/shawbrook-bank-announce-irregularities-timeshare-loans-similar-activities-usa/

Start the Week: Huge Payouts Announced

Welcome to another week with Inside Timeshare, we start today with a roundup of news from the end of last week in the courts. It certainly proved rather costly for these timeshare resorts but made their ex-members very happy indeed. As usual, all the contracts have been declared null and void due to serious infringements of Spain’s timeshare laws with the return of all the client’s purchase price.

In the first case which was actually heard and the sentence passed some time ago, Puerto Calma Resort in Gran Canaria has now paid out the client over 41,000€. This money has now been paid to the client via bank transfer. They are now timeshare free as the contract was declared null and void.

Friday was a very bad day for the major timeshare resort in Gran Canaria, in just one day seven sentences were passed by the courts against Anfi. As we know many of the Anfi contracts are illegal as they either contain floating weeks or points systems or the contracts are perpetuity which as the law states should have a duration of not more than 50 years. As in most of these sales, deposits were also taken within the statutory cooling-off period which is also forbidden by law.

The total amount awarded by the courts in these seven cases amount to a massive 213,187.29€, this is certainly a huge hit to the Anfi coffers in one day, the client’s contracts were also declared null and void leaving them timeshare free.

These cases were brought on behalf of these clients by Canarian Legal Alliance, this is further proof that this is one law firm that does actually deliver what they say. So it is congratulations to the clients and also to the whole legal team at CLA.

Lawyers of CLA

The criteria for a valid and viable claim against your timeshare resort is as follows:

The purchase or upgrade must have been made in Spain or any of her territories after 5 January 1999;

The contract duration is more than 50 years or has no end date, what is commonly known as a perpetuity;

It contains points or floating week systems, this may also include fractional and investment packs such as those sold by Silverpoint. This also includes the Company Participation Scheme which replaced the old investment weeks;

Any payment is taken within the 14 days cooling-off period even by a third party. This may also be extended to 90 days where other serious infringements of law have taken place.

There are other laws which may also be used in these cases which include Consumer Law and also Mercantile Law, these tend to be included once the lawyers begin to prepare a case for court.

Moving on to the article published on Friday with regards to the application by Silverpoint to the Mercantile Court to begin proceedings to liquidate the company, Inside Timeshare has received several enquiries on this subject.

The main concern so far has been the same, why have Silverpoint not informed members of this fact?

That is one question that we are unable to answer, we suspect their motive is to just keep it quiet giving as little information to members as possible. We also know that this “liquidation” is an attempt to avoid any further litigation in the courts against them which they are losing on an almost daily basis. It must also be mentioned that the State Prosecutors Office is also conducting an investigation into the reasons behind the liquidation.

Have you had enough of your timeshare and the ever-increasing maintenance fees?

Are you fed up with not being able to get the reservations due to no availability?

Have you found that non-members are able to book into your resorts without the huge “investment” you made and in many cases for less than your annual fees?

If you can answer yes to these questions and your contract falls into the criteria above, then please use our contact page and ask for further details. We will get back to each person with a personal reply as to your own circumstances.

El Diario Publishes Another Article on Silverpoint

Last week Inside Timeshare published the article “Timeshare Companies Highlighted in Spanish News”, which featured links to two Spanish Newspapers, El Diario and El Dia. Today we publish another from El Diario (7 October 19), which highlights the Prosecutor’s Office investigating the massive sale of properties by Silverpoint. It all centres around the decapitalization to avoid paying the mounting awards the courts have imposed. See link to last weeks article.

https://insidetimeshare.com/timeshare-companies-highlighted-in-spanish-news/

In this week’s El Diario they report on information from Canarian Legal Alliance that Silverpoint has stripped 52 of its 76 properties, but retains ownership of them through other means. This is through the “Company Participation Scheme”, where the properties are registered as SL companies, with “participations or shares” being sold to unsuspecting clients. These clients believe they are buying into “real estate” when in reality they are purchasing a “reinvented timeshare product”.

With this product which has cost many people thousands of euros, they are promised a return via rental agreements which since 2017 have not been paid as promised in the agreements. The administrators of these “companies” are listed on Spanish Company Records as Silverpoint Vacations and Excel Hotels and Resorts. Which confirms that they still have full control of the properties.

CLA confirmed to El Diario that they define this as a “rough manoeuvre” by creating an “ad hoc society” so that in appearance at least the property changes hands. (See link on the company participations).

The El Diario article also goes on to explain that the companies involved are diverting capital to other companies in the group, again to avoid the judicial enforcement of sentences.

Two other companies are also now mentioned, Signallia Marketing Distribution, formerly Silverpoint Vacation Solutions and Excel Hotels and Resorts. Signallia being responsible for reservations and Excel for managing the resorts and the billing of maintenance fees. Again it would appear that they are also responsible for diverting funds to other companies and also abroad. According to their financial report, there has been a significant decrease in the balances of their current accounts. The whereabouts of these funds are unknown.

The El Diario article finishes by explaining that one of the Silverpoint representatives must respond to the Judge in Arona on the accusation of the Crime of Obstruction of Justice and Frustration of Execution of Sentences. With another court ordering an embargo on three properties in order to settle a debt of just over 62,000€ for one of CLA’s clients.

This will be an ongoing story and Inside Timeshare will be monitoring the situation as it unfolds. So watch this space for more articles and reports on this intriguing story.

El Diario article 7/10/19

https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tenerifeahora/tribunales/Fiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

El Diario English version

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

Swedish

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

Norwegian

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

German

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

Below are links to previous articles published by Inside Timeshare Including translations.

English

https://insidetimeshare.com/silverpoint-company-participations-is-timeshare/

German

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fsilverpoint-company-participations-is-timeshare%2F

Norwegian

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fsilverpoint-company-participations-is-timeshare%2F

Swedish

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fsilverpoint-company-participations-is-timeshare%2F

English

https://insidetimeshare.com/?s=exclusive+breaking+news

German

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2F%3Fs%3Dexclusive%2Bbreaking%2Bnews

Norwegian

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2F%3Fs%3Dexclusive%2Bbreaking%2Bnews

Swedish

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2F%3Fs%3Dexclusive%2Bbreaking%2Bnews

Translation of this article

German Version

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fel-diario-publishes-another-article-on-silverpoint%2F

Norwegian Version

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fel-diario-publishes-another-article-on-silverpoint%2F

Swedish Version

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fel-diario-publishes-another-article-on-silverpoint%2F

If you have purchased any product from Silverpoint and would like to know what your legal position is and what options are open to you then use our contact page and we will point you in the right direction.