Browse Tag

Courts of First Instance

Start the Week: More on MacDonalds plus News from the Courts

Welcome to the Start of yet another week in the murky world of timeshare, today in Spain we are moving into the next phase of easing the lockdown restrictions, giving us a lot more freedom and with more businesses being allowed to open, yet we are still seeing many being bullied by there timeshare companies. We have reported on the antics of Anfi in Gran Canaria, charging members “cancellation” fees for weeks they cannot take due to no flights and the closure of all hotels. They are also charging hefty fees to “rebook” these weeks and the most disgusting behaviour is the “blackmail” of only being able to save the week and receive a “voucher” if they sign a new contract. This is only the tip of the iceberg, we have also been highlighting the despicable conduct of MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, here is the latest from yet another reader and the “bullying” they are receiving.

Over the past few years Inside Timeshare has been following and reporting on the case of Mrs B and her ongoing fight against MacDonalds. This has now culminated with a move by Shepherd and Wedderburn, the “legal bloodhounds” employed by MacDonalds to take Mrs B (in her 90’s) to court for supposed “maintenance arrears”.

We have received the following from yet another reader who is also being threatened with legal action for arrears of maintenance for a timeshare which is impossible to get out of. MacDonalds will only “consider” allowing a relinquishment on the payment of four years, yes, four years, maintenance fees. Plus any arrears must also be paid, but unfortunately, the time has now passed to be “included in this year’s lottery”. That date was the end of April which we highlighted in several other articles.

Our reader has now received a letter dated 24 April 2020 from Shepherd and Wedderburn headed “Macdonald Resorts Ltd Arrears of Management Charges”, it also states that this a “LETTER BEFORE ACTION”. In other words, they are going to pursue this through the courts. 

One paragraph states “In the absence of payment, or an acceptable agreement to pay we will be instructed to raise court proceedings against you. If that is required, MRL shall also seek interest and legal costs in addition (which, if payment is made now, they will waive.)”.

In the letter Shepherd and Wedderburn add to the threat with the following: they are in the process of issuing court claims in England, Wales and Scotland, having issued “over 400 against members”. They also claim so far they have won 22 of the cases that have gone to court.

A point that many of our regular followers will recall from Mrs B, they also sent her “court documents” showing the judgements of the “County Court”, just to frighten her even more.

We Just wonder how many of these people will just pay up because of these threats, feeling they don’t stand a chance against a company the size of MacDonalds!

As we have said before on our pages even the MAFIA would be disgusted with this type of “EXTORTION”!

Last Friday was a very important day in Europe, it was the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. A celebration not just of victory but also the liberation of the whole of Europe including Germany from the tyranny of the Nazi’s. But even with these celebrations going on the courts in Gran Canaria were still working and issuing sentences.

Once again Canarian Legal Alliance has come up trumps (not the US president) for their clients, they began last week with sentences against Marriott and Anfi, then the news broke on the freezing of various Anfi accounts valued at over 600.000€ by Canarian Legal Alliance with the help of the Tax Authorities.

On Friday the Courts of First Instance Number 4 & 5 of San Bartolomé de Tirajana issued two more judgements against Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL.

The clients in each case have been awarded 27,946.52€ and 30,413.39€ respectively, on top of this they have also been awarded legal interest and their legal fees. Both client contracts were declared null and void in accordance with Spanish law.

Not a bad end to last week, no doubt there will be many more coming our way this week.

To end today’s article, it would appear that our friends in Greece are still operating, as another reader has emailed with enquiries regarding a claim being made or rather already been dealt with in the Greek Courts. Once again there is a fee to be paid before the money can be released.

Although our reader did not give many details, the name he provided did ring the old alarm bells, Stavros Mpotsari. This name came up with the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs which we highlighted back in January, the full article can be seen on the link below.

https://insidetimeshare.com/hellenic-republic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-the-latest-eze-group-scam/

If you have any comments on this or any other article, Inside Timeshare welcomes them, if you have been contacted by any company with a story that sounds too good to be true and you would like to know if they are genuine, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Remember, doing your homework will stop you from being “scammed”.

Semana Horribilis for Timeshare Operators

Welcome to the last article for this week and what news we have for you today! Inside Timeshare has received the following news that 37 sentences have been received against timeshare companies in 3 different courts in Spain. This is an amazing result in just one week and the amounts are truly staggering.

In the Courts of First Instance of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and the High Court of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, it has been one hell of a blow for Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL. This week alone there have been 32 judgements against them released by the courts.

These cases have been a mixture of contracts longer than 50 years in duration, containing floating weeks or point systems and of course the illegal taking of payment within the statutory cooling-off period.

In total, the courts have ordered that the client be reimbursed a total of 1,280,295.12€ with all contracts being declared null and void. This is very good news for these clients and all Anfi members who have been sold contracts which are illegal under Spanish law. The next stage will be to enforce the court’s rulings and ensure that all these clients received what they are now owed.

In Tenerife at the Court of First Instance of Arona, the company Carpe Diem Resorts SL were in the frame.

The court ordered that Carpe Diem pay the clients over 31,000€ and also declared the contract null and void. The infringements of Spanish Timeshare law, in this case, were the contract was in perpetuity when the law states very clearly that it should be no longer than 50 years, plus the illegal taking of deposits.

Staying with the Court of First Instance of Arona, there were three more sentences released against our old friend’s Silverpoint. Once again there were several infringements which covered the duration of the contracts, points or floating week systems and the illegal taking of payments within the statutory cooling-off period.

All contracts have also been declared null and void leaving the clients timeshare free.

Moving now the Court of First Instance of Palma de Mallorca, it was the turn of Marriott to be on the receiving end of a judgement.

The case was brought against MVCI Holidays SL and MVCI Management SL. This revolves around the purchases of two timeshares at Son Antem in 2001 and again in 2006. The purchase was for Flexible Gold and Gold Holiday Weeks. These are illegal under Spanish Law and have been confirmed by the Supreme Court.

The court has declared the contracts null and void with the repayment of 11,520€ for the 2001 purchase and 35,372€ for the 2006 purchase. A grand total of 46,892€, the client will also receive legal interest.

In total the courts have in this one week awarded 1,601,523.23€, This is a staggering amount and certainly sends out the message that the courts are not tolerating breaches of the timeshare laws designed to protect consumers.

All these cases were brought on behalf of the clients by none other than Canarian Legal Alliance, who are the market leaders in this field of law with 130 Supreme Court rulings under their belt.

So we end this week with congratulations to the clients involved and a very big congratulations to the team at CLA.

If you would like to know if the timeshare you purchased in Spain is illegal under Spanish law, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Please also remember there are a lot of companies which are promising the earth and have no intention of delivering on those promises, many of these are set up with the sole intention of depriving you of your hard-earned cash. If in any doubt contact Inside Timeshare and give as much information as you can on the company in question, we will then help you to check their validity.

Have a great weekend.

Marriott: More Evidence to Circumvent Spanish Law

Recently Inside Timeshare published the article “Marriott Contracts Circumvent Spanish Laws”, today we reveal another example of this practice by one of the world’s major timeshare developers. Many operators have tried to get around the very strict timeshare laws which Spain enacted on 5 January 1999, by using various methods such as UK limited companies and the inclusion in the contracts of the clause that the contract is bound by and under the jurisdiction of UK laws and courts. This practice did work for a time as judges in the Courts of First Instance did not accept the case as they believed that UK jurisdiction did take precedence over Spanish Jurisdiction.

Last  September Inside Timeshare published the ruling of the High Court of Malaga. This court ruled that although the contract did clearly state UK law and jurisdiction with the sales agents being a UK limited company, they ruled that Spanish Courts did indeed have jurisdiction. The fact the purchase was made in Spain brings the sale directly under Spanish timeshare law.

Inside Timeshare has now received information from yet another reader of Marriott using this practice of selling products from their sales office at Marbella Beach Club but showing the sale as being elsewhere.

Back in 2005, this reader was on holiday around Marbella and was invited to attend a presentation at the Marriott Beach Club Resort, which they duly attended. After a fairly lengthy presentation, which we all know is all too common, our reader signed up for membership.

The presentation was conducted by the sales staff of MVCI Holidays SL, a Spanish entity registered at Marbella Beach Club based in Marbella. The purchase was for membership to Marriott Vacation Club International with the home resort being the Phuket Beach Club in Thailand. Well, this is not really a problem, after all, there are the internal exchanges as well as membership to Interval International which did give them, in theory, plenty of choices worldwide.

Marriott Mai Khao Beach Club Phukett

It is now that the problems come to light, this readers circumstance have now changed, the timeshare is no longer needed or being used. They were then contacted by several “claims” companies with the promise of using the Spanish legal system to recoup the purchase price and have the contract declared null and void as it was illegal under Spanish timeshare law.

They were told they had a very good case and were asked for a sizable amount for legal fees, they decided to investigate further as the company they were talking to had not even asked to see their documents. The whole process was done over the phone.

It is a good job they did decide to look into this, after contacting Inside Timeshare they emailed copies of their documents. We checked the documents with a leading law firm who informed us that there was not a case which could be brought in Spain using Spanish timeshare laws.

Although the presentation was made in Marbella the documentation is signed by a representative of Mai Kao Development Limited a Thai registered company and not of MVCI SL (Marbella).

The seller and sponsor being:

Maikhao Vacation Villas Limited.

The seller’s Agent:

MVCI (Thailand) Limited.

Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc Orlando Florida.

The only reference to Spain is the fact the presentation was made by MVCI SL, this according to the lawyers precluded any case from being filed in a Spanish court.

When we consider the last article where the purchaser who thought they had a membership with Marbella Beach Club but in fact with a resort in Virginia, this does now look like Marriott knew exactly what they were doing. We also have to remember that this is only 6 years after the enactment of the new timeshare laws which prohibited the sale of any timeshare in Spain with a contract of more than 50 years or which included points or floating weeks systems.

Was this a very deliberate and premeditated attempt to circumvent the laws of one country by using entities not associated or registered with it?

We leave you the reader to decide, Inside Timeshare believes it was.

Have you purchased your timeshare with Marriott, have you been contacted and told you do have a valid case?

Do you want to know if what you have been told is true?

If so, please use our contact page and get in touch, Inside Timeshare will get back to you and point you in the right direction.

Link to previous Marriott article.

https://insidetimeshare.com/marriott-contracts-circumvent-spanish-laws/