Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, just for a change, this weekend has been rather quiet with very few emails being received and no new “dubious” law firms or claims companies coming to light. Once again the emails we have received feature the same old names we have been publishing over the past few weeks such as Torcaz Abogados, JSD Group and Morales and Maxwell. All with the same wonderful news that the client has a substantial amount of money waiting for them in the courts, but as usual you must pay them first to release the money. You can see all the articles on JSD, Morales and Torcaz on the links below.
Having a look around the internet this morning at some of the other websites and forums, we could not help but notice the mindtimeshare website. They have still not published any new blog since 14 November 2019, this is highly unusual for mindtimeshare.
We do know that once Alberto Garcia was removed and they lost their funding from the RDO things have not gone well for them and they apparently reverted to using their own data to pass clients to other companies in order to survive. We just wonder if this is a sign that we may just have heard the last of mindtimeshare?
This case once again involved illegal contracts containing a duration of more than 50 years and was using the “floating weeks” system. The companies were also fined for the illegal taking of deposits within the statutory 14 days cooling-off period.
The original purchase price was around 70,000€ with the penalty payments this has been increased to 103,793.51€, that is almost 34,000€ more than what they originally paid. The court also awarded legal interest and declared the contract null and void.
So we have one very happy ex-Anfi timeshare owner and a very happy successful legal team. Congratulations to you all.
If you think you may have a claim for an illegal timeshare contract and would like to know more about your legal rights and options, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.
Please also remember to check any company that cold calls with the story that your timeshare company has been taken to court and they are now holding substantial sums for you. There will always be a catch.
Welcome to the last article for this week and what a week it has been, our email inbox has once again been busy with enquiries from readers trying to find out about companies that have cold-called them. Thankfully most are ones we have highlighted on these pages in the past with some new information which clearly points to a scam. Before we begin the roundup of this week’s news we begin with some new information about the “fake” law firm Morales and Maxwell.
Morales and Maxwell first came to our attention in mid-June, they appear to be targeting Eze Group members stating that the Málaga Courts have seized assets of Eze Group and there are substantial amounts of money being awarded by the courts to their clients.
These are quite substantial amounts all around £20,000 plus, but as usual, there are fees of around £2,400 which need to be paid to allow the courts to release the funds. Clients are being given a Spanish Mobile number which is supposed to belong to the Málaga courts to verify the facts. Well, we do know that the courts will not be using mobile telephones for this type of enquiry.
It has now transpired that Morales & Maxwell are now sending a document supposedly from the Oficina Judicial de Andalucia, very strange indeed considering the courts are part of the Ministry of Justice which is a National Government Ministry. We at Inside Timeshare have never seen any document like this in all the years we have been running.
The document is attached below as a PDF file, so far we have not been able to identify the Judge His Honorable High Judge Dr Jose Mario Savantes, or if he is indeed genuine and as usual his name is being used without his knowledge. More information will be published as and when it is available.
On Tuesday we reported on the Tenerife fake law firm Torcaz Abogados, yet another incarnation of the Litigious Abogados Family we have reported on over the last 4 years. This article highlighted the same Modus Operandi as the previous incarnations right down to the “stolen” cheque from the post by a gang of “Bulgarians”, and the investigation and questioning of the post office staff as the “law firm” claimed it was an “inside job”.
You can read the full story on the following link:
On Wednesday we highlighted the continuing story of Mark Rowe and his companies and that one of them of which he is still director Lansdown Financial Ltd is now the “Trading Name” of Mellor Solicitors. A relatively new law firm only registered on 19 June 2017, and supposedly doing the “claims” for Mark Rowe’s previous clients of ABC Legal & ABC Lawyers whose claims were then passed to Lansdown Financial. The full story can be read at the following link.
On Thursday a breaking news story was published titled “Uncovered: Anfi Attempts to Avoid Embargoed Accounts”. This article highlights the tactics being employed by Anfi to divert funds from Spanish accounts that are or may be subject to embargoes by the Spanish courts.
Although the beneficiaries of the payments are Anfi, these accounts are with banks in the UK, Germany, Denmark and elsewhere. Inside Timeshare has in the past published many stories on the Anfi practice of diverting funds between accounts in order to delay or prevent payment to clients who have won their cases. This story is likely to come to the attention of the Spanish press who are very keen to publish when it does Inside Timeshare will bring you their findings.
The full article can be seen at the following link.
The court declared the contract null & void due to the duration of the contract being for more than 50 years, containing floating weeks and the illegal taking of deposits. The court, in this case, awarded the client 102,427.91€ plus legal fees and legal interest. This is a whopping 30% more than his original purchase price.
On the first day of the month in another case at the High Court of Las Palmas (appeals), CLA won on behalf of another Norwegian client against Palm Oasis Tasolan.
The appeal was brought by Palm Oasis who lost at the Court of First Instance, with the High Court dismissing the appeal. They confirmed the sentence of the lower court which declared the contract null & void and awarded over 22,000€ back to the client.
These cases do show that the courts are now firmly behind consumers of timeshare and are following the law to the letter. It just amazes us that the timeshare companies still refuse to accept that their contracts are illegal and that the Supreme Court has interpreted the law incorrectly and continue to drag the case out with frivolous appeals.
On the point of the fake law firms and dubious claims companies, it is very important that you do your checks before believing what you are told on a cold-call or engaging their services. If you do not want to lose any further money then
Welcome to the end of another week and the end of our first week with the State of Emergency being lifted, although there is still a long way to go before we see life returning to full flow. One thing that has not been slowed down with the current situation is the number of “scam” companies that have been contacting members of companies such as Club Class and moreover Eze Group. On Wednesday we highlighted yet another Morales and Maxwell, the following day we received yet another email from a reader that has been contacted by them.
Our new reader who is a former client of Eze Group was contacted by one Helen Jones, who claimed that she was working for the government and that they had intercepted a cheque from Morales & Maxwell. I just wonder how they intercepted the cheque?
According to Helen (a civil servant), she was making enquiries to ensure that this was not a “money laundering” operation and that everything was above board. Helen even went as far as giving them the Spanish telephone number for Morales & Maxwell!
Our reader had then to sign a document and provide copies of their passports or driving licences to have the funds released. The following day they received a call from a “lawyer” in the Malaga courts, he explained that he was helping them to obtain and release the funds they claim have been seized by the courts in Malaga.
The following day the “lawyer” called again and this time sounding very convincing, he explained that in order to release the funds lawyers fees of £2,200 had to be paid. If this was not done then they would lose the money and it would go to the government.
Luckily they decided to do a little checking for themselves and came across the article published on Wednesday, they even told the “lawyer” what they had found and read, but this did not seem to put him off in fact just the opposite. Needless to say, they didn’t pay.
Again this is a classic example of why you need to do your due diligence before engaging with any company or paying the huge sums of money they require.
Some interesting news has emerged from the Court of First Instance in Fuengirola, against Continental Resort Services SL, a selling agent for Club la Costa Fractionals. In this case Club la Costa and Continental Resorts petitioned the court to reject the case on the grounds of Jurisdiction. CLC & Continental claim that the contracts under the terms and conditions were subject to UK law and the Jurisdiction of UK courts.
This was duly rejected by the court in accordance with recent rulings by the High Court (Audiencia Provicial) of Malaga. The case was found in favour of the client with their contract being declared null and void with the return of over 30,000€ plus legal fees and legal interest.
In another twist to this case, the court also ruled that the loan agreement to purchase the fractional which was signed on the day of purchase, (which as we know is the usual practice), is considered under the law to be an “advanced payment” prohibited under the timeshare laws.
Below is a translation of the text from the court:
“that the subscription of a loan by the consumer within the terms of art. 11 constitutes a prohibited advance is ratified by the current Law 4/2012, of July 6, of contracts for the use in turn of goods for tourist use, the acquisition of long-term vacation products, resale and exchange and tax regulations, in whose article 13 is considered within the prohibition of advances the express recognition of debt or the assumption of any consideration by the consumer, before the end of the withdrawal period, that is, there is no need for any financial outlay by the consumer within the withdrawal period”.
This is in accordance with a ruling made by the Audiencia Provincial of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in February 2013.
So it now appears that signing a loan agreement within the statutory 14 days cooling-off period is considered as an advanced payment which is prohibited, regardless of when the timeshare company receives the payment. So this may just mean that as with “deposits” taken on the day the courts could order the timeshare company to repay the client double the amount.