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Eze Group

The Tuesday Slot

Welcome to the first Tuesday Slot of the year, today have a look at the re-emergence of our old friends at Mindtimeshare. As we know they stopped publishing in November 2019 but came back recently, the unfortunate thing for them is that their news and information is not what you could call reliable. There is also a message for all members who purchased a timeshare through Azure Resorts in Malta, using Barclay Partner Finance loan agreements brokered by the sales staff, more on this below. We begin today with yet another blow and it is a huge financial one for Anfi.

Yesterday the High Court released their ruling on yet another appeal by Anfi against the sentence and ruling issued by the Court of First Instance Number 2 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana.

In the original ruling, the court of SBT declared the Anfi contract null and void, which is what we have now come to expect in all cases, the court also awarded the Norwegian client 105,061€ plus legal interest and the return of all legal costs.

This huge award has been calculated that the clients be repaid 46,031€ which is what they originally paid for their timeshare. The court also added a further 59,030€ to be paid back, which is double the amount illegally taken in deposits during the statutory cooling-off period.

The High Court agreed with the ruling and sentence of the Court of First Instance rejecting and dismissing the appeal confirming the original sentence. The case is now back for the execution of the order which, as we have already seen in past cases, has a “provisional execution order” already in place. So we hope that this client has a speedy payout.

The case was prepared and presented by the Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyer Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez with Claims Consultant Michael Gadman assisting the client throughout the process.

We now move to the continuing saga of the Financial Conduct Authority and their validation order to “legalise” loan agreements made by Azure Services Ltd. This company brokered loan agreements on behalf of Barclay Partner Finance yet they were not an “authorised” agent.

This has affected over 1,400 clients, whose loans were not enforceable under the law if the client defaulted on the loan. With the validation order, these loans were effectively legalised and BPF could enforce payment through the County Courts in the event of a default.

Although the FCA has issued a validation order, this is now subject to appeal as it appears that no client detriment was taken into consideration.

A group has now been formed on the following Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1152657598482168

If you would like to know more or join the group in their appeal then please do check this page out and join. (See below for links to previous articles).

We now move to Mindtimeshare, as you all know, Mindtimeshare went through quite a dramatic couple of years following Alberto Garcia’s demise with the subsequent removal of funds from the RDO.

Due to financial constraints, Mindtimeshare stopped publishing back in November 2019, they re-emerged only back in December 2020, just over a year without publication.

Obviously being out of circulation for that amount of time has left them well behind on all the scam operations, this is seen by some of the posts published over the past couple of weeks. Most of the “fake” law firms they have highlighted were the subject of several articles published by Inside Timeshare months ago.

Two, in particular, stand out, Morales Maxwell and Suarez and Simpson, both were highlighted for the first time in June and July 2020, with all websites working and a barrage of “cold calls” and unsolicited emails.

Unfortunately, by the time Mindtimeshare began publishing, these two have seemed to have disappeared into thin air with their websites no longer functioning.

The other cause for concern is their publication of a “fake” law firm Century Abogados, which had begun an email campaign targeting Eze Group members. They are using the following email address:

[email protected]

All credit to them for highlighting this “fake” law firm, but, unfortunately, it seems that their research has not been carried out completely. According to their article, there is no law firm or offices with the name Century Abogados.

There is a firm based in Malaga, with offices in Torremolinos, Marbella, Madrid and Barcelona, they use the website:

https://www.centuryabogados.com/

Which was registered on 5 May 2015 and is due to expire in May 2024, not the usual length for a scam company.

Entrance to the Malaga Office of Century Abogados

Inside Timeshare has contacted them and confirmed they are a genuine law firm with no interest in timeshare matters.

In fact, there is plenty of information on this law firm when searching the internet such as the one below:

https://www.elabogado.com/century-abogados-malaga/sedes/

As we said, all credit to them for highlighting the emails as being “FAKE”, but their research has let them down somewhat and this could have some serious consequences for the law firm as well as Mindtimeshare.

Inside Timeshare has also received this picture from a reader which appears to come from Mindtimeshare:

Well, all we can say is now we know where some of your new stories have originated and actually thank you for publicising Inside Timeshare, if Mindtimeshare is following, then we must be doing something right in our research!

That is all for today, please remember that in Spain, tomorrow is the Day of the Kings and is a public holiday, so unless some important news appears over the course of today there may not be an article tomorrow.

https://insidetimeshare.com/fca-validate-azure-bpf-loan-agreements/

https://insidetimeshare.com/fca-validate-bpf-azure-loans-update/

https://insidetimeshare.com/timeshare-loan-agreements/

End the Week: News for Puerto Calma Members

Welcome to the end of another week with Inside Timeshare, we started this week with a warning of yet another “FAKE” law firm to rear its ugly head, Marbella Solicitors Service, who are making contact with Eze Groupvictims” with stories of money being held by the courts. They also claim they are working for the High Court of Madrid and this is where they have the got “victims” information. On Tuesday we published the horrific story of an elderly couple and their long dealings with Diamond Resorts. It really is a Nightmare on Timeshare Street. This article has prompted many emails and another nightmare story, we hope to publish this story in the future. Our Wednesday article bright the news of Mindtimeshare restarting their blogs. This article actually left more questions to be answered than before. The same article also brought news from the courts in Marbella and Gran Canaria, with great results against Marriott and Anfi. Yesterday we broke the news about the Menie Dunes, the location of Trump’s Golf Course and Resort. It was not good news, the dunes have now lost their “protected” status and this has angered many in Scotland.

Holiday Club, Puerto Calma

Over the past few weeks, there has been some friction between members of Puerto Calma and management, this has stemmed from the inability of members to use their weeks this year due to all the restrictions and closures of resorts.

There were calls for refunds of the 2020 maintenance fees which are due at the start of each year, plus there was some concern as to when the lost weeks could be taken. Many argued that the offer of using this year’s unused weeks next year with a deadline of 31 December 2021 was unacceptable to many. The main argument came in two forms, first, the number of those who could use them, this would obviously create problems with availability, the other concern was for those who could not double up their holidays next year as they do not have the available time for extra holidays, this means they would lose out.

What has not helped the situation is the lack of information and response from management, what also did not help was that the members found out that the resort was being turned over to the authorities and the Red Cross for the refugee problem.

The news is now in that the results of the meeting of members and owners associations have been released by newsletter. (See PDF below)

The newsletter itself mainly focuses on the points of the refund and the use of this year’s unused weeks. From this initial report, it does look as though it is a relatively fair compromise.

There has been agreement on members who between March and December this year could not use their weeks may apply for a partial refund. Going by the average maintenance fee, this equates to around 30% to 33% of the total annual charge, if they do not wish to or are unable to carry their week forward.

For those who are able to “bank” their week and use it later, the deadline for the use of this week has been extended to 31 December 2023. That should help with the problem of availability as now everyone will not be trying to get in the extra week next year.

There are obviously Terms & Conditions to this, these are the terms supplied in the newsletter:

  • Maintenance fee for 2021 must be paid in full, before the 14th February 2021.
  • Members must confirm that they will not be using their week from 2020 in order to be eligible for the partial refund. 
  • Members have until the 31st March 2021 to inform Holiday Club of their intention to use the week from 2020 at a later date or to request the partial refund. Members who do not inform us of their choice of the partial refund or the use of the week will not be eligible for the refund and will have their week to be used by the 31st December 2023.
  • Members who have deposited with RCI, either weeks or points members, already have their week from 2020 available to exchange with RCI and will not be eligible for the partial refund.
  • Members who choose to use their week, instead of the refund, should contact the Reservations Department to rebook. All reservations are subject to availability.
  • To request the partial refund or to inform us that you will be using the week, please send an email to [email protected]. If you request a partial refund, please send your bank details (Account holder, IBAN number and BIC code)  as well as your full name and contract number so we are able to make the transfer to you.

Although this may not please everyone, at least it is an offer and they have given until 31 March 2021 for members to decide and register their choice. It does appear to be a fair offer considering that only down the road is the Anfi Resort, members are not getting any refund and are being “blackmailed” to save their weeks. They can only save and use their weeks lost this year if and only if they sign the new contracts. No new contract, lose the week!

The only problem now is for those members in the UK who were hoping to travel to their resorts when they reopen in the near future, Many will not be able to travel now due to the latest “quarantine” regulations which come into force at 4 am on Saturday 12 December.

The Canary Islands have now been removed from the safe travel list by the British Government, this now means that anyone returning to the UK will have to go into a 14-day quarantine. For many who are working, this makes it impossible for them to travel.

The question is now, how long will this last and are we going to see a repeat of the same arguments regarding next year’s maintenance fees?

Another question is which other EU countries will follow suit and ban travel to the islands?

This situation is not only affecting timeshare owners and resorts but also the entire “tourist” economy of the Islands. With nearly all the hotels still closed, the severe restriction on numbers of customers in hotels, bars and restaurants, the unemployment rate is soaring, the economy is taking a severe downturn and many bar and restaurant owners are now closing down for good.

It is not only the bars and restaurants owned by ex-pats of all nationalities, we are also seeing some of the older locally-owned bars and restaurants closing their doors for good.

For all the people living and trying to make a living on these Islands, it is a difficult time, and the longer this goes on the worse things will get, but I’m sure that their resilience will win out, have a great weekend.

Start the Week: Latest Information on Fake Law Firm

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, today we publish the latest received on a “fake” law firm/claims management company which was identified last month. They appear at the moment to be targeting EZE Group members which does not surprise us as they are being targeted by many of these “fake” lawyers. All seem to have the same or very similar story, that they have been appointed by various courts who are holding lists of Eze Group members and their task is to make contact and inform them that the courts are holding funds seized from Eze Group.

Marbella Solicitors Service first came to our attention at the beginning of November, according to the latest email which has come from a free Gmail account and is signed by a William D’Souza, the final date for “victims” to stake their claim is 5 December 2020. In the first email, this date was shown as 9 November at 12 noon, so it seems that the final date changes with each email, thus creating urgency.

As in the first email, they make the following statement:

“OUR PROCESS IS COMPLETE IN LESS THAN 7 DAYS!

ONLY WHEN THE CLAIM FUNDS HAVE CLEARED IN YOUR BANK DO WE INVOICE YOU FOR OUR PROCESSING FEE”

Now, this is very fast work indeed, completing the process in less than 7 days, surely it would take longer than that to get the paperwork together let alone have the case resolved!

Then we have the claim that “Only” when funds are clear and in your bank will they send you an invoice for their fees.

Sounds good, so what is the problem I hear you ask, there are no upfront fees and the money is waiting for you, where is the scam?

Good question, Inside Timeshare suspects that is just the start, get you interested and then begin with the complications to get the money released from the court. Going by all the other scams we have seen over the years it looks like the “sting” will come in this form, there will be demands for various “court fees and taxes” required to release the money. This may also include a charge to gain an NIE number (foreigners identification number used for tax) in order to get the “tax” refunded.

This is a logical step for them to follow otherwise how are they going to get your money?

So what do we have so far, a fake law firm who claim they are working for the High Court in Madrid who is holding a list of all EZE Group members and passing this information to Marbella Solicitors Service, as they say, the majority of their work is done for the courts. An Email from a free Gmail account and not attached to any website, well it would be difficult because we have a law firm that claims to have been working for around 30 years, yet we have found no website for them!

The email addresses they are using are:

[email protected] For William D’Souza

[email protected] Company Email

They have no mailing address or any company details such as company registration numbers, no telephone number are any other way of contacting them apart from via Gmail. All this from a company that is supposedly “family-run” for the past 30 years”!

We should also point out that any “law firm/claims company” who claims they are working for the courts is going to be a scam, the courts do not give out information on “victims” to any third party. They do not employ outside law firms to contact “victims” or to process claims.

The High Court or any other courts have not seized funds from Eze Group, either in Spain or the UK. In fact, if any funds are seized, it will be from the proceeds of crime investigation being conducted in the UK. If any funds are seized they will be held by Birmingham Crown Court as that is where the trial of the O’Reilly’s case was held and not in Spain especially in Madrid.

Once again this is a very stark reminder of how careful you need to be when being contacted by these “companies” claiming to be working for the courts who are holding money for you. It reinforces the point that you should always do your due diligence and check anything you are told.

REMEMBER, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!