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Diamond Resorts

Anfi: Are They Using the Law to Delay Payments?

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.

Court of First Instance Maspalomas SBT

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.

High Court of Las Palmas GC

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”

The Supreme Court Madrid

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.

Links on this subject

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-battle-for-anfi-payments/

https://insidetimeshare.com/timeshare-industry-denies-the-truth/

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SHOCK: Diamond Resorts Europe Comply With Court Order

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare and as you can see from the title it begins with some news that has amazed everyone. We all know the problems timeshare companies are facing in the Spanish Courts, yet, many continue to cause as much delay to the final outcome as possible. For some reason, for which we have yet to find an answer, they are really just delaying the inevitable, we have consistently published the decisions of the incessant appeals to the High Courts and the rush of Supreme Court Rulings, the outcome is always the same!

Most cases against Diamond are centered on the Island of Tenerife, which as we know from the past was a hotbed of timeshare sales activity, this case is one of those fairly rare cases to be heard in Fuengirola, Malaga. We do know there are many cases being heard involving Diamond in that region’s courts, we have published enough news items on the legal wranglings over “Jurisdiction”.

All of these, we can only say “frivolous” moves, have caused significant delays to the clients and their long wait for conclusion.

So the word “SHOCKED” in our title will come as no surprise with the latest news.

Fuengirola Court

In December 2020, at the Court of First Instance of Fuengirola, a judgement was made against Diamond Resorts Europe Ltd Sucursal en España, the court awarded the client €17,572.50 along with the usual declaration of the contract being null & void.

Usually, there is one hell of a fight to get the payment, again we have seen this with other timeshare companies as well, most notably Anfi, only one springs to mind who complies voluntarily, Marriott.

Then in a written judgement from the court on 8 September 2021, in which the relevant parties have been duly informed, the court formally ordered the payment of the awarded funds. The PDF below is the Spanish version with an English translation between paragraphs.

Usually, when the original judgements are issued, the client’s lawyers activate the “Provisional Execution of Sentence” order. This is a procedure that begins the legal seizure of the funds by the court. Sometimes this can be a rather lengthy process and has the potential to cost the timeshare company considerable financial penalties. We have seen one High Court penalise one transgressor over €100,000 more than the client originally paid for the timeshare.

Within hours of the order being issued and made public, the court announced that the funds had been credited to the court’s account before an embargo could be fully enforced. So it would appear that the “Provisional Execution” order had the desired effect, but, Inside Timeshare has to ask, could it also be a result of pressure from Hilton to Diamond to desist in their delaying tactics and play ball?

Hilton Grand Vacations paid $1.4 Billion in order to purchase Diamond Resorts, this news was officially announced in March 2021, and it did create quite a stir. Speculation was rife as to how it would affect Diamond members the world over, concerns were also raised by members of HGV.

No one knew how this would all pan out, especially the lawyers working on legal cases in Spain.

One and the Same

The completion of the acquisition of Diamond Resorts was announced on 2 August 2021, so it is quite feasible that the Hilton buyout has influenced at least Diamond Resorts in Europe. It is very much hoped that it will mean a faster road to a conclusion for the clients. After all, as Hilton’s Grand Vacation Club Inc is a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, this was following a spin-off from Hilton on 4 January 2017. This means just as we have seen with Marriott, they are responsible to their shareholders.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170104005818/en/Hilton-Grand-Vacations-Debuts-as-Public-Company

This case was presented on behalf of an English client by Canarian Legal Alliance, as we have come to expect from their team of lawyers, they have worked in the best interests of the client ensuring that all legal possibilities are covered.

Links to the Hilton acquisition of Diamond

https://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-hilton-acquisition-of-diamond/

https://www.hiltongrandvacations.com/en/news/press-releases/closing-release

https://www.diamondresorts.com/investor-relations/news/view/hilton-grand-vacations-acquire-diamond-resorts-creating-premier-leisure-operator-with-broadest-offering-in-vacation-ownership-industry

Did you purchase in Spain and want to know if your contract is indeed in breach of Spain’s Timeshare Laws and therefore illegal?

Would you like to know what your rights are and what options are open to you?

Then contact Inside Timeshare either by email or using our contact page, we will then get back to you with the correct information.

Friday’s Letter from America

This Letter from America was originally scheduled for publication in August, it follows the revelations published here about a crucial decision from Scotland’s Court of Sessions, by Lord Sanderson. It is a US perspective of Mr Trump and his relationship with certain timeshare moguls, just like the story of his involvement in Scotland, it does not paint a very good picture. This article also briefly shows the efforts and role of the “Regulators” in the U.S. So it ties in with another article published this week. For those of you who are not familiar with the “Timeshare Mogul” named, click on the YouTube link and watch the Queen of Versailles, you will then ask yourself the question, “Is this where my money has gone?”

Trump and Timeshare

By Irene Parker

U.S. names like Trump and Biden are not mentioned in polite company without jeopardizing relationships with friends and family. There are many reasons to like or dislike both named politicians, but those on the side of consumer timeshare protection have reason to question former President Trump’s biased stance on timeshare sales and marketing practices.

Charles reported earlier this week on questionable lending as pertaining to the Trump Organization’s acquisition of the Turnberry Resort and golf course in Scotland. A look back to what happened in 2016 provides some political timeshare history.


Pictured left front Westgate owner David Siegel

Pictured above is candidate Trump in 2016 on the stump. Westgate owner David Siegel of Queen of Versailles fame is seated to Mr Trump‘s right. The Queen of Versailles documentary describes the couple’s 90,000 square foot Orlando home that includes Mrs Siegle’s 5,500 square foot clothes closet. The documentary took Best Director at Sundance some years back.

I have no objection to great wealth, but a number of Westgate owners have reached out to me or our volunteers, unable to exit their timeshare. Some have debilitating and chronic health conditions. One couple, the husband, age 90, was forced to default on their timeshare week because Westgate objected to their paying their broker his $800 commission after the broker had found a buyer offering $500. I know of no honest timeshare resale broker (those who charge no upfront money to list a timeshare for sale) that will accept a listing for Westgate units because it is written into the contract that Westgate is entitled to 50% of the commission.

The  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the federal agency in the U.S. that seeks to protect consumers, along with the Federal Trade Commission. The CFPB in 2016 fined Wells Fargo $100 million when agents opened unauthorized accounts to reach performance goals and compensation incentives.

Westgate underwent a two-year investigation concerning sales and marketing practices. According to Buzzfeed News, Diamond Resorts was the next likely candidate to come under CFPB scrutiny. Not only was the Westgate investigation dropped almost immediately after the 2016 presidential election, the CFPB was all but dismantled.

REGULATORS ARE LOOKING INTO AMERICA’S LARGEST TIMESHARE SELLER March 18, 2016

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/matthewzeitlin/financial-regulators-are-looking-into-americas-largest-times

According to the CFPB’s civil investigative demand (CID), the Westgate investigation looked into possible violations by salespeople involved in “the sale and financing of timeshares engaged in, or are engaging in, acts or practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act.

Where is the CFPB today?

WASHINGTON, D.C.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today issued a report highlighting legal violations identified by the Bureau’s examinations in 2020. The report also highlights prior CFPB supervisory findings that led to public enforcement actions in 2020 resulting in more than $124 million in consumer remediation and civil money penalties. June 29, 2021

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-report-highlights-supervisory-findings-of-wide-ranging-violations-of-law-in-2020

Anyone who is unable to resolve their dispute, after reaching out to their timeshare company, and feels they experienced unfair and deceptive practices, should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the state Attorney General where the contract was signed, and the Better Business Bureau. It is only because of a volume of complaints that Timeshare Sales appeared at #7 on the FTC’s list of Top Ten Scams at $17.4 million and Timeshare Resales (We have a buyer for your timeshare scams) #10 at $12.5 million.

https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2020/ftc-top-scams.html

Inside Timeshare will say this again, there is nothing wrong with the concept of timeshare, for some, it is a good option and suits their vacation needs, but as always it is the way it is sold and managed. The consumer is just the proverbial “Cash Cow” to be milked of their cash by the greed of the industry.

Inside Timeshare welcomes your views on this subject, Inside Timeshare can see many similarities in what is happening in the timeshare world, not just in Europe but in the US, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Eventually what happens in one place will happen elsewhere, it is an international problem, so we invite you to use our contact page or just leave a comment. Have a great weekend.