Following on from the recent articles about Diamond and Marriott depositing money with the courts after they ordered them to repay clients for illegal contracts, Inside Timeshare has received many inquiries regarding Anfi. today we have a quick look at the reasons why Anfi payouts to clients take so long.
For those of you familiar with our articles, Anfi is losing all cases in the Courts of First Instance, with the contracts being declared null and void and the return of the full purchase price plus double any amount taken within the statutory cooling-off period. Most would think that was the end of it and they will now get their money.
Unfortunately, this is not the case, we have consistently reported on the constant appeals to the High Court and the Supreme Court filed by Anfi. Just in the past few months alone and on a daily basis, the High Court of Las Palmas has dismissed and rejected their appeals, confirming the sentence of the Court of First Instance. All of these dismissals are in line with the law as per the rulings (130 in total) of the Supreme Court.
Even when the law firms bringing these cases before the court’s, file “Enforcement of Sentence” proceedings, this is at the point of the first judgement being issued, and Anfi then complies by depositing the money with the court, it does not mean the client will receive payment immediately. The reason is Anfi may have lodged an appeal and therefore the courts are powerless to release the money until the appeals process is concluded.
Now, I do hear you ask, why does Anfi appeal every case?
The answer is very simple, it is a legal way of delaying what we know is the inevitable outcome, appeal dismissed and sentence confirmed.
The courts are actually powerless to do anything about it, they have to allow the appeals process to run its course. After all, it is the right of any defendant including Anfi to appeal, no matter how frivolous it may be.
The effect of these appeals not only causes a huge amount of distress to the clients, but they also clog up the whole court system, causing not only delays in these cases but other cases due to be heard by the courts.
The results of these appeals to the High Court and the subsequent confirmation of the original sentence are published on an almost daily basis, so much so that Inside Timeshare would be publishing nothing but Anfi appeals cases if we were to follow them all.
Anfi has also tried to lodge more appeals to the Supreme Court, in March and May of this year, the Supreme Court roundly rejected appeals by Anfi. The case rejected in March was Anfi following a Diamond Resorts appeal for “clarity” of the law as they believed that there was an element of “contradiction” in some of the rulings issued by the High Courts of Las Palmas.
As with the Diamond appeal, this was rejected by the Supreme Court which declined the appeal, stating that “The interest for the appeal to the supreme court, based on contradictory rulings from the high courts is non-existent because there is already existing jurisprudence and the appealed sentence is not contradictory to the Supreme Court’s doctrine”
In other words, the law on this subject is totally clear and unambiguous, the claims of the “contradictions” simply do not exist and they will not even consider studying the case. The court in their previous rulings has made the law very clear indeed and the judgments made by the initial court (First Instance) and then the High Court are solid and stand.
We also know that these appeals are backed by The RDO (Resorts Development Organisation), which is the European timeshare industries trade body, they have consistently backed timeshare resorts with the view that the law is wrong, the judges, including those of the Supreme Court, have wrongly interpreted the law. Inside Timeshare actually finds this very amusing, panels of 12 judges sitting on each case at the Supreme Court are wrong, (in 130 rulings)!
We also believe that the appeals are also a delaying tactic for Anfi to move funds around various accounts, thereby rendering the accounts of the various companies cited in the legal action empty. This then scuppers any embargo on the accounts, there is nothing or very little in them to seize.
We have reported this on several occasions, with the investigation by the Provincial Prosecutors Office of Gran Canaria, an investigation which may ultimately lead to “criminal charges”.
This investigation not only focuses on “Punishable Insolvency”, which to briefly explain means that due to the movement of funds from the accounts of the “convicted” companies (Anfi Sales SL & Anfi Resorts SL) to other Anfi accounts, leave them technically insolvent. Thereby they are unable to pay the amounts so ordered by the courts, an insolvent company cannot pay its debts!
One of the other possible charges (criminal), is “Frustration in the execution of sentences”, due to the Anfi tactic of “avoiding” payments which they are obliged to do so by order of the courts.
In short, considering the court’s stance on these cases it does appear to be a total waste of time and money on the part of Anfi.
As for the money, it has been muted that Anfi is claiming poverty and are unable to pay, now to Inside Timeshare this is a rather lame excuse, the costs involved in bringing these appeals is huge. It costs them to lodge an appeal with the High Court, and from the information we have, the cost of taking an appeal to the Supreme Court is around 14,000€ just to start.
We then have the costs of their own legal team, knowing Anfi, it will be a large team of rather expensive lawyers, for those who have brought cases against Anfi, they know only too well that legal fees are not cheap.
Then there is the case of the courts increasing the award to take into account these frivolous appeals, the legal interest and in most cases the legal costs of the client. So rather than paying out a small claim of say 20,000€, Anfi are willing to spend thousands more to delay payment or try and win the case!
This now leaves one important question for all those members of Anfi, whose money are they using?
Are your maintenance fees going to be increased to cover these losses?
Will the expensive rents on the locals (bars, restaurants and shops), all owned by Anfi going to increase as well, which will only increase prices for the consumer?
Inside Timeshare leaves you the reader to decide what you think, we are very clear in our own minds.
Did you purchase a timeshare in Spain after January 1999, and would like to know if you do have an illegal contract under Spanish Timeshare Law?
If so please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you with the best information possible.
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