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Diamond Resorts

Timeshare & Claims Using the Credit Consumer Act 1974

Inside Timeshare is constantly receiving enquiries from owners regarding calls they have received stating they have a claim against their timeshare but have to cancel their contract first. Many of these enquiries do have a claim using the Spanish legal system and timeshare laws, but they are told they need to cancel the contract first. So how do these “claims” companies intend to make a claim?

If you purchased in Spain after 5 January 1999 and your contract is in perpetuity or more than the 50 years allowed by law, then the contract can be declared illegal and “null & void” by a Spanish court. This is also the case for the points and floating weeks systems and also the paying of any money during the statutory 14 days cooling-off period.

The contract must be “live” with all maintenance fees paid to date, end the contract and the courts are unlikely to accept the case. Maintenance arrears will put you the owner/member in breach of contract. The timeshare company will use this to have the court reject the case, even if the court does accept the case, then the chances are you are going to lose.

For those who did not purchase in Spain or have had their contracts cancelled, the question is how can you claim “compensation” for mis-sold timeshare?

Many of our readers are being told by the “claims companies” they will seek “compensation” from the timeshare company or resort. As we have seen with the legal cases published on a regular basis, the timeshare companies are not going to pay out “compensation” voluntarily or even admit they missold the timeshare, after all, they delay or try to avoid paying on awards ordered by the court.

What many have been told is they can claim through their credit card using Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974, if they paid a deposit using their card. But what does Section 75 actually cover?

Basically the main points covered are faulty goods or unfit for purpose, the goods ordered are never delivered and the company providing the goods or services has gone bust. For a full and simple explanation, Inside Timeshare usually refers readers to the Martin Lewis website Money Saving Expert.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/section75-protect-your-purchases/

In the case of timeshare, many of these “claims” companies cite “mis-sold”, but what constitutes “mis-sold”?

In a nutshell, it means that you were told “porkies” by the sales representative, for example, you are purchasing property, it will go up in value, you will get massive discounts on flights, car hire etc. None of these points are in the contract that you sign, they are embellishments by the sales reps to entice you into purchasing there and then.

As we have seen in the past from our “Letter from America” series, Diamond Resorts have always insisted that they are not responsible for what the sales reps tell you during the presentation. Yes, we do agree that what they have done is miss-inform you of the facts, but just try and prove this. It’s a case of “he says she says”!

Goods received or not fit for purpose, well you have received the goods, you own the week or the points and they are available for use. So we can rule that out.

The company goes into liquidation, we are seeing this right now with Azure Resorts, they are in the process of going into liquidation, but members will still be able to use their timeshare. The hotel where these memberships are based have assured members that they are safe, a new “management company” has been set up to run the “club”. So again that is ruled out.

What about you have never used your timeshare?

When you make a claim against your card provider using Section 75, the card provider always contacts the company which is subject to the complaint. Just because you have not used it does not mean they have not provided you with the goods or services paid for. After all, they will claim it was there for you to use, you just didn’t use it.

What about availability?

You may not have had the dates you actually wanted, again the resort will just say you were offered alternative dates.

There is also a six-year time limit set by the card providers to make a claim, most if not all timeshare owners will have purchased well before this. So again the card provider will reject the claim.

So we can say that Section 75 is virtually ruled out.

Many people purchased using a finance agreement brokered by the timeshare sales reps, this is another matter. Under the same legislation, there are Sections 140a & 140b, basically, this covers “unfair relationship”.

As we all know, timeshare is not cheap, most ordinary people would find they could not afford to pay in full. The sales reps then have the tool of offering “finance” to ensure the sale is completed.

We also know that the usual “credit” checks are not made, the finance application is filled in by the sales staff and it is on the word of the purchaser that they can afford the repayments. Unlike when you go to your bank or apply for any finance, you would usually be required to submit an official income v expenditure report. Inside Timeshare has never known one of these to be done, in fact, Shawbrook Bank announced in June 2016 “irregularities” in their timeshare loan applications process for timeshare sales. They had not completed their “due diligence” and had to set aside £9 million to offset and cover any defaults in these loans. The CEO at the time had to resign. The Inside Timeshare article is below.

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

Using Sections 140a & 140b will also require the services of a lawyer who is competent in this field, it will also usually need to be taken to court. This is going to incur legal fees, even if the “claims” company states they operate on a “no win no fee” basis (this is usually their success fee), so someone has to pay the lawyers!

Below is the link which explains Sections 140a & 140b.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/39/section/140A

So once again we ask the question, how is the “compensation” claim going to be made?

Is it just hot air to get you to pay a cancellation fee?

We leave you the reader to decide, below are two articles which explain legal claims through the Spanish courts and what constitutes an “illegal” contract for those whose purchases or upgrades were made in Spain after 5 January 1999.

https://insidetimeshare.com/http-insidetimeshare-com-p5124/

https://insidetimeshare.com/do-i-have-a-claim-in-the-spanish-courts/

Please use our contact page if you have any questions or comments on this subject. If you would like to know if you do have a valid and viable claim for any Spanish purchased timeshare please do get in touch and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

SPS Claims: Update

Back in February Inside Timeshare published the articles (links below) about SPS Claims Ltd. Since then we have been receiving further emails from concerned readers due to the demands for more money. Apparently this is to file the cases with the Mercantile Court to get the payments “awarded by the courts”, and that the payout will be made in November! Strange how they can give that assurance.

SPS Claims Ltd is registered with Company House, but as you can see from the link below, their accounts are very much overdue, in fact, the deadline to submit them was 21 April 2020. This does not look good.

SPS Claims Ltd Company records

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10111634

Previous articles on SPS Claims

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-sps-claims-consultants-ltd/

https://insidetimeshare.com/sps-claims-ltd-yet-another-new-claims-company/

The first email explains that SPS is looking for additional funds:

“Our family have been contacted by SPS Claims looking for additional funds to support the case (thats allegedly already won) against Diamond Resorts.”

“Allegedly with a Substantial windfall to come in November due to winning the court case.”

The second email again against Diamond Resorts is very similar, this one refers to the current situation regarding Covid-19, and that SPS is looking for a very substantial payment, four figures!

“SPS Claims are representing my elderly parents against Diamond Redorts International. I’m told the case was won earlier this year, but, due to COVID-19 it might take until November to receive the compensation etc.”

“SPS have requested a 4 figure payment which I don’t understand why if the court case has already been won!”

In this next email, the timeshare company is Silverpoint, no stranger to these pages, the only thing of truth is the fact that Silverpoint is in the process of liquidation and this is being done with the Mercantile Court.

This email also names the law firm and a lawyer who are supposedly representing this reader’s Father in Law.

“Do you know of D & M Lawyers based in Spain and a Mr Jose David Melion who my Father in Law seems to have instructed through SPS yet allegedly now works for Expertos Legales? My Father in Law wrote to him over a month ago for an update on his case  to which he received no reply.”

“After subsequent phone calls from SPS ( Steven?) and revealing to him that he hjad written to the lawyers he has received a reply via SPS which was allegedly by email but not directly to him saying that “the case has been transferred to the Mercantile No 1 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife” procedure of bankruptcy number 650/2019. The note goes on to say that they are “initiating the procedure for the siezure of assets from Silverpoint on your behalf” and that they are requesting the court to register an embargo on there assets in the registry to give my father in law preference over the rest of the creditors.”

“My FIL has already paid out a substantial sum of money to these SPS people who seem to be constantly changing their registered name about 2-3 years ago and they are now saying ( not in writing) that he needs to send them more to secure the embargo procedure and he’ll have his money around £80K by Christmas!”

What a windfall!

The most disturbing aspect apart from the demands for more money is the time that SPS Claims will have the money paid out, November and by Christmas. Certainly, a great time of year to receive this “windfall”!

Personally I think this is to pressurise these “clients” into paying the “requested” amounts, after all, they are all elderly, have paid substantial sums for these “cases” and will no doubt need this “windfall”.

Inside Timeshare is just waiting to see if the case number for the Mercantile Court given in the above email is genuine and if so which law firm/lawyer has filed it.

On the point of the law firm and lawyer mentioned in this last email, D & M Lawyers Group has come up before in the past, as this firm at the time did appear to be genuine no article was published.

Now it seems things have changed.

This morning Inside Timeshare researched D & M lawyers and came up with the following:

Their website http://www.dmlawyersgroup.com/ could not be reached and is unavailable, it has either been removed or is just down for updating. Yet according to our search, the website is due to expire on 2 September this year.

They also have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DM-Lawyers-Group-462190890586708/ although nothing has been posted since 2 January 2015.

All this does seem to be very strange indeed as they do appear on this website https://www.elabogado.com/d-m-lawyers-group/

Now for the lawyer.

Jose David Melian, there is one entry for him on this page https://icatf.es/colegiados/buscador/3206/

According to the entry he has an email address  [email protected] which actually takes you to this website for Ravelo y Asociados  http://raveloyasociados.com/

But what I find strange is that when I put his Colegio de Abogados registration number 3206 in the link below in the search and the Colegio Santa Cruz de Tenerife nothing comes up on the search. Yet the ICTAF entry shows him, the link below is the official register of lawyers for the whole of Spain. You can use the number and the colegio to search for yourself.

https://www.abogacia.es/servicios-abogacia/censo-de-letrados/

Melian also has a Linkedin entry https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-fernandez-565b788b/?originalSubdomain=es

He does appear in the photo of “our legal team” on the Expert Legales website.

https://www.jcexpertoslegales.com/

The other facts which do not seem to add up with all three of these readers is that none of them attended the trials, it is the right of the defendants to demand they attend. Usually, the judges agree to this unless they are unable to travel due to medical or severe financial difficulties. Even then, official doctors letters and financial reports are usually required to be submitted to the judge.

It is also a fact that none of these readers have had any official documentation or case numbers, they have not received any court sentences showing the rulings by the judge hearing the case.

We also know that most timeshare companies such as Diamond and Silverpoint always tend lodge appeals to the High Court, yet in these cases, they have not.

All this does arouse our suspicions, could it be that both D & M and Melian are either working with SPS, if they are working with them are they aware of the demands for more funds?

Or are their names just being used without their knowledge? (This is not unusual).

As Inside Timeshare receives any further information it will be published.

If you have had any dealings with SPS Claims and have also been receiving similar demands for more payments to further your case, please use our contact page and let us know.

Once again this is a stark reminder that you should

ALWAYS DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE ENGAGING WITH ANY COMPANY.

End the Week

Welcome to the end of another week with Inside Timeshare, this week we published news regarding the liquidation of Azure Services and Azure Resorts. FNTC (First National Trustee Company), has now set up a new company registered in Malta to take over the management role for members at Golden Sands Resort. This may well be good news for those members. We then published the story of the latest incarnation of the Litigious Abogados Family, Paloma Abogados. For those who have been following this particular series will remember that over the past four years these fake law firms have been setting up new websites and “law firms” every few months or so. Once again the story is a familiar one, your timeshare company is being taken to court and you can be part of the case for a fee. We then gave an update on JSD Group which again is cold calling ex-Club Class members.

We begin today with an update on Sim Legal who have featured on our pages before (see links below).


Jeroen Martijn Brussel, Director Sim Legal

According to our Belgian reader, he has received a cold call from Sim Legal regarding his timeshare with Diamond Resorts purchased in Greece. According to Sim Legal, they can help him get his money back and also have his contract cancelled, obviously, there is a fee to be paid first this amounts to just over 2000€.

From the information received, this fee is to cancel the contract and then make a claim. Our question is, how are they going to make a claim in Greece or even make a claim once the contract is cancelled if it does get cancelled.

As we know Diamond have their own exit program and will not deal with any third-party company, so it looks like the old scenario of taking the money and running!

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-information-received/

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-more-scams-reported/

We now move to some of the latest news from the courts, with cases against Anfi and Silverpoint.

On Monday a sentence was issued by the Court of First Instance San Bartelomé de Tirajana. The case involving an English client is rather interesting as the court decided that no trial was required. This case is one of the quickest we have seen and took only 9 months to conclude.

The clients contract was declared null and void with the return of over 44,000€ plus legal interest. The judge also condemned Anfi for the illegal taking of deposits within the statutory cooling-off period.

The case was brought on behalf of the client by Canarian Legal Alliance with Jake Kaiser being the Claims Consultant and the Lawyer Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez.

The 14 July a double sentence was issued by the Court of First Instance of SBT, again both against Anfi. These cases were brought on behalf of the Norwegian client by Canarian Legal Alliance.

Both contracts were declared null and void with the court awarding in total over 43,000€ plus legal interest.

Once again the court decided that there was no need for a trial and both cases were concluded within 9 months. The courts are obviously adhering to the rulings made by the Supreme Court which no number 130.

The Claims Consultant was Michael Gadman with the Lawyer representing both clients being Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez.

On 16 July, it was announced that the High Court of Las Palmas (appeals), two appeals lodged by Anfi have been dismissed with the original sentences from the Court of First Instance being upheld.

In total, the clients have been awarded over 35,000€ with both contracts being declared null and void. So we have two more very happy English clients.

Again the case was brought by Canarian Legal Alliance with Jake Kaiser being the Claims Consultant and the Lawyer Eva Gutierrez.

We now move to a case at the Court of First Instance of Arona, Tenerife against Silverpoint Vacations SL:

In this case, brought on behalf of a Dutch client by Canarian Legal Alliance, the court again declared the contract null and void with the order that Silverpoint repays the client over 16,000€ plus legal Interest.

This case is now being submitted to the Mercantile Court for the recovery of the funds.

The Claims Consultant for the client was Michael Gadman with the Lawyer representing the client being Eduardo Alamo.

All in all, it has been a very successful week for CLA and some very happy timeshare free clients.

Have a great weekend and remember to always do your homework before engaging with any company that makes contact or one you have found on the internet.