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Hilton

Start the Week

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, we ended last week with a warning of yet another fake law firm rearing its ugly head, Servicios Legales Barcelona. As we explained, this name has been used to completely confuse any consumer who attempts an internet search, as in Spain it is a general term for “legal services”. One piece of information was the bank account details, a Royal Bank of Scotland account in the name of a private individual. What could be better proof of a scam?

We begin with some news which we came across over the weekend from the US, as we know it is the season for the annual maintenance fee bills, which many owners/members dread each year. The same question is always asked, how much have they increased?

Well, at the moment most don’t know, but one increase in the timeshare owners/members costs has been announced. RCI (Resorts Condominiums International), is increasing their “exchange” fee for next year.

Obviously, this news is from our friends in the US, so at present, we don’t know if this will also apply to European owners/members, we suspect it will.

There are also other fees involved with RCI membership and usage, so it will be interesting to see if any of these change as well.

These links below explain how RCI works and in the second link they also show the other charges that you may encounter.

https://www.go-koala.com/timeshare/resources/what-is-rci-and-how-does-it-work

https://www.timesharesonly.com/blog/rci-exchange-fees/

There also appears to be a lot of discussion on some US forums regarding the Hilton acquisition of Diamond, once again the focus is on the sales agents and what they are telling members in order to “upgrade” them.

It now seems the discussion is gaining ground with Hilton members, unsure of how all this is going to affect them, with reports surrounding sales agents’ tactics beginning to mirror those of Diamond.

Apparently, Hilton may be launching a non-deeded trust-based product, whereas at present they are deeded. This also appears to mimic Diamond products and according to our information will be using “Event of a Lifetime” to up-sell existing members.

As Inside Timeshare receives further information we will be publishing an article on this subject, it may just give our European readers some insight as to what they may expect.

After publishing Friday’s article, late news arrived about another Marriott case, this time it was from the Court of First Instance Number 8 of Palma de Mallorca.

The presiding judge declared two contracts illegal and therefore null & void, ordering MVCI Management and MVCI Holidays to repay the German client a total of 68,262€.

In his sentence, the judge ordered the repayment of 44,870€ for the purchase and also ordered a further 23,262€ in respect of the illegally taken deposits. As we know all the courts are following the Supreme Court ruling on the repayment in double the amount of any illegally taken deposit. The court also awarded the client Legal Interest on the full amount.

The case was prepared and presented on behalf of the client by Canarian Legal Alliance, it now remains to be seen if Marriott deposits this amount with the court without the need for any enforcement proceedings.

Inside Timeshare welcomes your comments & questions regarding any of the articles published, if you also want to know about the validity of any company that has contacted you or you have found, or just want to find out if your contract may be illegal then please use our contact page.

End of the Week: Marriott Payout and The Greek Scam Continues

Welcome to the end of another week with Inside Timeshare, and what a week it has been, the announcement of the two Anfi sales companies being placed into administration and more Anfi appeals being dismissed by the High Court. We have also received the usual emails from concerned readers about calls and unsolicited emails they have received. But we begin with the latest news from the Spanish Courts.

Considering the moves by Anfi to delay paying out clients as ordered by the courts, the news received yesterday shows that not all timeshare companies are playing this game. Although in fairness, yesterday’s news that Anfi had paid the court as ordered, did come as a bit of a surprise.

In the Court of First Instance No 8 of Marbella, a contract with MVCI Management and MVCI Holidays was declared null and void with the court ordering the repayment of 24,264€. The order is for the payment of 9,964€ for the sum paid on the contract, the court also followed previous rulings from the High Court and more importantly the Supreme Court, by ruling that a further 14,300€ be paid in respect of deposits taken in breach of the statutory cooling-off period.

Following Marriott’s previous compliance with the Courts orders, the full amount has already been paid to the court. This means the German clients will be receiving their money very shortly and it also means that the lawyers will not have to go through the process of “enforcement of sentence”. For the client, this will be a great relief and they are also now timeshare free.

The case was prepared and presented by the Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyers, Eva Gutierrez and Christine Ihmann, with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client throughout the legal process.

With the recent news that Diamond also complied very quickly with a court order, it does appear that some timeshare companies have seen sense and are no longer flouting the court’s decisions. The one factor which Inside Timeshare believes is the reason behind this move is that Marriott is a publicly listed company, with the takeover of Diamond by Hilton which is also a publicly traded company, they are ultimately responsible to their shareholders.

Moving on to one inquiry received, it would appear that our friends running the Eze Group Scam from Greece are still operating.

As you will see from the letters our reader has received they are still using the same Modus Operandi as before, stating that the Greek Government and Courts have uncovered the movement of funds from Eze Group. This has been seized by the authorities and they have used the Eze Group client list to bring a “Class Action Lawsuit” without the “clients” even knowing they are involved. The clients have not even instigated the action or retained any legal representation to bring such a case.

It should also be noted that in the letter, they state that, “You will be aware that you will have administrative obligations that are outstanding here in the Hellenic Republic.”  Then in the “court document,” it states “The Court of Cassation will instruct immediate settlement of the compensation to the accuser upon the completion of the Hellenic Republic administrative obligations of the accuser.”

This can only mean one thing, there will be some kind of payment to be made before the money is released. Going by other scams of this nature, it will more than likely be court fees or tax that is required.

The one difference we have noticed is they have stated in their letter to the client, we would rather use the term “victim”, that “This case was originally heard in another European member state where the initial crime took place, unfortunately these unscrupulous entities had moved all assets out of the original member state, therefore no compensation was available to recompense the victims.”

Well, we do know that at present there is no money to payout as the case which was heard by Birmingham Crown Court, is being investigated under “The Proceeds of Crime Act”. As far as we are aware this is still ongoing. If any funds were moved to Greece then they would have to be returned to the UK Courts due to the Proceeds of Crime Act. As for the Tenerife arm, there is no news from the courts or if the investigation has been completed.

This particular case really does show how careful consumers must be when receiving the calls or emails, The promise of money being held by the courts for cases you did not know you are a party to, is usually a dead giveaway that it is a scam.

If you are unsure of any call or email, contact Inside Timeshare and we will help you to check it out.

For further information on your own timeshare and if your contract is illegal, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you with information on your legal rights.

Have a great weekend and join us again next week.

Links to previous articles on the Hellenic Republic Scam.

https://insidetimeshare.com/hellenic-republic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-the-latest-eze-group-scam/

https://insidetimeshare.com/update-eze-group-scam-coming-from-greece/

https://insidetimeshare.com/hellenic-republic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-monster-clients-targeted/

https://insidetimeshare.com/end-the-week-news-from-the-courts-and-the-latest-on-the-hellenic-scam/

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-scammers-update-another-anfi-appeal-dismissed/

Start the Week: News from the Courts

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, we ended last week with Part 5 of our series on Anfi: The Story Behind the News. It is by no means the end, it is one that is developing as the investigations move forward and delve deeper into the murky world that has been created at Anfi. Today we catch up with some of the news from the courts, as usual, Anfi is there, but there is also another case involving Diamond which has caused a few gasps.

We begin with news from the Courts of First Instance in Maspalomas, once again these courts have issued their judgements on cases heard against Anfi Contracts. All the contracts have been declared null and void, with an order for the clients to receive a full refund of the original purchase price.

This includes double the amount in respect of the illegally taken deposit, plus, the clients have been awarded Legal Interest and Legal Fees.

The cases were heard in Courts 1, 3 and 5, with all three judgments being consistent with the rulings of the Supreme Court.

The total awarded without legal interest or legal fees is a massive 116,908€, with the lawyers already instigating “enforcement proceedings” to secure the funds. It is also expected as we have come to see so often that Anfi will file yet another “frivolous” appeal.

No doubt we shall be reading about all three dismissals by the High Court in the coming months. Well, something to look forward to!

All three clients had their cases prepared and represented in court by Canarian Legal Alliance.

The Swiss clients were represented by: Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez.

The English and Norwegian clients were represented by: Eva Gutierrez and Cristina Batista.

Eva and Cristina are regarded as the foremost experts on Anfi, it is their tenacity during their investigations that has given CLA the upper hand against Anfi, providing the means to ensure their clients do eventually receive what they are due.

The clients were guided through the process by their respective Legal Consultants, Evi Richter, Jake Kaiser and Stefan Johannesen.

On Wednesday news was received that the Court of First Instance Number 5 of Estepona issued their judgement on both contracts held by Dutch clients, against MVCI Holidays Ltd and MVCI Management SL.

The contracts were declared null and void with the judges ordering Marriott to repay a staggering 112,130€. This is 47,000€ more than they originally paid. The original contract was for 47,330€ with an additional 64,400€ added in respect of the illegally taken deposits, within the statutory cooling-off period.

There is also the Legal Interest and Legal fees to be added to this, but the most important point is they are now timeshare and maintenance-free.

Only two weeks ago we reported that Diamond, now owned by Hilton, had very quickly paid into the court account the amount required. This caused a bit of a shock as in the past there were many attempts to delay this.

We can now report that yet another payment has been received by the courts.

This news has now confirmed that English clients of Canarian Legal Alliance are to receive payment, this at present is subject to the usual procedures before the court releases the money. At least they now have the knowledge that the end to a long wait is almost over.

It is still a question that has yet to be answered, but is this change a byproduct of the Hilton acquisition of Diamond?

Considering their past reputation as a quality chain, the fact that Hilton is listed on the stock market and is responsible to their shareholders, we cannot discount this possibility. After all, Marriott had to announce the legal and litigation costs paid and projected to their shareholders.

In another good piece of news from the courts, this time the Supreme Court, yes there are still cases being placed before them, despite all the rulings they have now made.

This case was brought by Diamond, and you all thought we were going to say Anfi!

We know the case was filed quite some time ago, as it is a long process at the Supreme Court, but now they have issued their judgments. As expected, they have referred to their previous rulings, which have defined the law which all courts from First Instance to High Court are following to the letter.

They once again found no “contradiction”, no “inconsistencies” or any other factor which would render the original judgements flawed and unsafe, which would have then been grounds to hear the full case and possibly overturn the original sentence. But these cases are about the contracts and that is what matters, they are illegal having been deemed so in numerous rulings by the Supreme Court and no amount of appealing is going to change that.

As it is, the court completely rejected the appeal and confirmed the law and the original judgement by the Court of First Instance and ratified by the High Court. This is certainly a big signal to the timeshare companies that the Supreme Court is not going to be used for what we can only describe as frivolous and time-wasting cases.

It is probably not the last case that we will hear about, there are obviously more sitting in the court’s files waiting to be processed, all to delay the inevitable. Will they ever learn?

If you would like more information on any of the stories or cases published or would like information on whether you have an illegal contract and what legal rights and options are open to you, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.