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Diamond Resorts International

Start the Week

Spain has now ended the “state of emergency” and things should now be returning to “normal”, with the borders and airports reopening. At the moment most of the hotels are still getting themselves ready to open under the “new normal”, which will still include social distancing and wearing of masks in closed areas. We have also seen a steady stream of restaurants beginning to open albeit they are asking for people to make reservations due to the limited numbers allowed. So it should not be long before we hear that many of the timeshare resorts will also be welcoming back their members.

One hotel during lockdown

Inside Timeshare has also been receiving questions about the courts and if they have reopened and getting back to business. Over the past couple of weeks, the court’s staff have been returning to work although no dates for any trials have yet been announced. From what we have been told the only cases the judges have been dealing with are those where no attendance is required.

It should also be pointed out that there is going to be a considerable backlog due to the lockdown being in place for around 10 weeks, this is obviously going to cause some delays which your lawyers have no control over. As soon as it is announced that trials will be resumed as usual Inside Timeshare will publish the information here.

Staying with the problems which the lockdown has created for many timeshare owners, many of the enquiries centre around the loss of the weeks booked and the question of maintenance. Some resorts are being very helpful in this regard, some are doing what they do best and being totally obnoxious to their members.

Anfi which is currently deserted

A very good case in point is Anfi, all the complaints surround the “voucher” to use the “week” in 2021 so as not to lose it. Sounds fine so far, the only problem is the “blackmailing” of members that is going on.

As we have published in the past, Anfi has been trying to convince members with illegal contracts to sign the new ones which then brings the contracts within the law which was established on 5 January 1999 (only 21 years too late). Obviously this is a result of the many court cases against them which they are losing on an almost daily basis.

This situation with the vouchers has prompted Anfi to inform members that the only way they can save their week and receive a voucher is to sign the new contract. We do know the reasoning behind this new contract, once signed that particular member loses any rights to sue Anfi, have their contract declared null and void plus the return of their full purchase price.

In other words, Anfi is saying to members “Sign it or lose it”, not really a customer orientated response considering the situation!

Staying with Anfi, late on Friday afternoon, the news came in that there is now one very happy client of Canarian Legal Alliance. Their case was heard some time ago with their contract being declared null and void and the court ordered Anfi to pay them over 24,000€. This client has now received the full payment into their own account, bringing an end to their case.

In Fuengirola, the Court of First Instance has declared null and void a UK client’s contract with Diamond Resorts International null and void. The contract was in breach of the timeshare law 42/98 which limits the length to a maximum of 50 years.

The court ordered Diamond Resorts to refund a total of 24,517€ plus legal fees and legal interest. Again the case was conducted by Canarian Legal Alliance and one of their lawyers  Óscar Salvador Santana González. So congratulations to the client and to all the legal team at CLA.

Óscar Salvador Santana González

If you have weeks and bookings for this year which you have not been able to use, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you and the experiences you have had with your resort, have they been helpful or just downright obnoxious?

Have you had a call from a company with the wonderful news that you either have a valid claim or have even been awarded money in a court case you didn’t know about, then please use our contact page and let us know. 

Friday Roundup

It’s the end of another week of our “house arrest” yet it has not stopped the “Scammers & Fraudsters” from attempting to deprive you of even more of your hard-earned cash. The sad thing is that many of those being targeted are elderly and especially vulnerable. It is also a fact that many others being targeted have probably lost their income due to the current situation, a fact borne out by members of my own family. Today we give you a roundup of the week’s articles with an update on the Banco de España article and a statement from the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) and Anfi.

We begin with a notice in the news section of the RDO website and the statement by Anfi that the timeshare industry is crucial to the “economic recovery of Spain”. That they have been working to ensure the safety of their “members” during the current crisis.

Well, this is a bit of a joke considering that Inside Timeshare reported on members having to pay a cancellation fee for bookings during this situation, plus having to pay just to re-book their week. But there is also a little clause in their demands, in order to save the week and receive an “accommodation voucher” the member must first sign a “new contract” which they have been trying to implement for around 2 years. This new contract will end any members legal right to take Anfi to court for the illegal contracts they have already sold. Doesn’t sound very fair to us.

The only real truthful part of the statement published is the fact that timeshare resorts do in fact help the local economies, unlike the all-inclusive hotels. As timeshare resorts are predominantly self-catering, local restaurants, bars and shops do benefit, unlike those located around all-inclusive hotels and resorts.

At the start of the week with a short article on MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, this highlighted a little known about a court case against them in Spain in 2016.

The case centred on the illegal contracts of MacDonald Resorts in Spain, which are over the 50 years duration allowed by law and the fact that they are using the points system which is also illegal under Spanish Timeshare law. A system which was championed by the now-discredited Harry Taylor and TATOC.

MacDonalds argued that the Spanish courts did not have jurisdiction over their contracts, maintaining that as MacDonalds is a Scottish company Scottish law and courts only had jurisdiction. The Spanish judge totally disagrees with this and the trial went ahead. Needless to say, MacDonalds lost.

Hopefully, this may open the gates for further cases against MacDonalds who have a terrible reputation especially with regards to the elderly who no longer require their timeshare and now find it a financial burden.

On Tuesday we reported on yet another “new” company which has just started to contact timeshare owners, called Canarian Consumer Alliance or CCA, not to be confused with Canarian Legal Alliance (CLA). It is obvious that CCA has been set up with this in mind as they include articles taken directly from the CLA news section on their website.

As we reported, the CCA website gives two addresses, one in Tenerife and one in London, yet no company record can be found in either country. As for the website, it was only registered on 2 April this year and will expire on 2 April 2021, yet they claim to have been established since 2009!

As usual, the actual owners are hidden and use an IT service provider called J Murray Solutions based in Tenerife. Again there is no record of any company registration in Spain or the UK.

On Wednesday, we reported on the news that Lopesan and Apollo Global Management were teaming up with the acquisition of two hotels on Gran Canaria.

Lopesan along with their German partners IFA are 50% shareholders in the Anfi Group and Apollo Global Management are the owners of Diamond Resorts International, so this posed the question of how might this affect Anfi?

Watch this space.

Yesterday, Inside Timeshare reported on a very serious fraud which has just come to our attention, it involves the use of the name of Spain’s National Bank, the Banco de España.

The “scam” is that the “fake” Banco de España is arranging for court awarded payouts to victims of long-standing timeshare fraud, with substantial amounts just waiting to be claimed. But as we have seen with these types of scams there is a “TAX” which needs to be paid first.

Even though the signs of a “SCAM” are very evident we just wonder how many people will have been or will be taken in by it. The first sign is the email address [email protected] which is just a standard free email address provided by Google. The second obvious sign is the contact telephone number 0034602576406 a Spanish mobile number, which would not be used by an institution such as Banco de España.

Inside Timeshare has informed Banco de España of this “fraud” and we have already received a reply that they are grateful for the information and that it has been passed to their legal department. Hopefully, they may just catch the perpetrators of this despicable fraud.

If you have any questions regarding any article and the “scams” highlighted or have been contacted by any company with the great news that money is being held for you by the courts and would like to check if they are genuine (usually they are not), then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you. It is your information which will help others from being ripped off.

That is all for this week, have a great weekend and stay safe.

Latest Court News

Today Inside Timeshare highlights some of the latest news from the courts in Spain, courtesy of Canarian Legal Alliance. As we know they are the leading law firm in timeshare law and litigation with many victories to their credit including now 130 rulings from the Supreme Court.

We begin with the latest ruling from the Supreme Court, this case involved Diamond Resorts Tenerife Sales SL, which is a subsidiary company of Diamond Resorts International.

After a lengthy process of appeals by Diamond, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the client, with their contract being declared null and void and the return of over 19,000€ plus double the deposit which was taken within the statutory cooling-off period. The court also awarded the client back their legal fees and legal interest.

In another case against Diamond at the Court of First Instance Granadilla de Abona, Tenerife, the Judge has decided not to proceed with a full trial, he will issue his sentence in due course. This will be based on the documents and the contracts which as we know clearly show that the sale was made in breach of the timeshare laws.

We have seen many of the judges in the courts of Gran Canaria foregoing the full trial and issuing judgements at the pre-trial stage for some time now, with many more judges at the courts of Arona, Tenerife are following suit in cases involving Silverpoint.

It is obviously good news for the clients as it has the effect of cutting down the time it takes to bring a case to a conclusion and also saves the clients from having to travel to attend the hearings. Hopefully, more courts will be following this lead as the cases are purely based on the contracts which are in breach of the law.

Marriott Marbella Beach Resort

We now move to the Costa del Sol and the latest victory coming from the Court of First Instance Number 6 in Estepona.

This case involves Marriott Vacation Club with the judge declaring the contract null and void, citing the 130 Supreme Court rulings the judge ruled that the principal cause to nullify the contract was the “lack of an end date” on the contract. As we had stated previously, contracts under Spanish law should be for a maximum of 50 years.

The ex-timeshare owners were also awarded over £24,000 including the return of their legal fees plus legal interest.

In July last year Inside Timeshare published the fact that Marriott admitted they were losing in the Spanish courts and set aside around $16.3 million to cover the litigation expenses.

Going back now to the beginning of the month, Canarian Legal Alliance had a total of six rulings in favour of their clients, these were against Anfi, Silverpoint and Diamond Resorts. Once again the common denominator is that both the First Instance Courts and the High Courts are using the rulings made by the Supreme Court.

All contracts were declared null and void and the total awarded to clients is in excess of 204,000€.

If you purchased a timeshare after 5 January 1999 and would like to know if your contract is illegal and if you have a valid and viable claim, or you purchased from any of the companies featured on Inside Timeshare, then please use our contact page. Inside Timeshare will then get back to you and explain what options are open to you.