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M1 Legal

More Results from the Courts

Inside Timeshare receives many enquiries as to the validity of the claims made by many companies on court cases against timeshare resorts, unfortunately, many of these companies as you will have seen from our articles are not genuine. Today we publish three more results from the two major law firms operating in the field of timeshare litigation. These cases have been running for some time, as we have explained previously, the delays are caused mainly by the timeshare companies using the law to constantly appeal against sentence or just delaying in getting their side of the case to the court, either citing jurisdiction or other legal tactics. But the courts are now very wise to this and we have seen every appeal dismissed with the original sentence confirmed.

We start today with the news which has just come in of yet another client about to be paid out by Anfi in accordance with the court’s sentence.

CLA Legal Team

The case which was brought on behalf of the client by Canarian Legal Alliance was won in the Court of First Instance of SBT. In accordance with the law, the contract was declared null and void due to the illegality of the duration, the fact that it contained floating weeks and that a deposit was taken within the statutory cooling-off period.

Once the sentence was issued by the court, CLA issued proceedings for a preliminary execution of sentence order to ensure the funds are paid and are secured for the client. This is done by a bank guarantee which is now being held by the bank.

Bank Guarantee for Anfi payout

The total amount guaranteed by the bank is 33,357€, so we hope that the High Court will deal with this case in double-quick time.

This guarantee ensures 100% that the client’s award is secure and they will eventually receive this amount into their own bank accounts once the sentence is confirmed. The reason for this is very simple, we know that Anfi will appeal this sentence at the High Court. Well, good luck to them as we all know what every other appeal has achieved!

CLA now reports that so far over One Million Euros is now being held by the bank on behalf of their clients. Once the High Court confirms the sentence these clients will receive their money.

In another case regarding payments, Swedish clients of CLA are now celebrating and probably popping open the champagne as their personal account is now 29,676€ better off.

This is yet another case where Anfi delayed proceedings and the payment by their constant appeals.

The case was originally heard in the Court of First Instance where the judge declared the contract null and void and ordered Anfi to repay the client the full purchase price including double the deposit taken within the cooling-off period.

Anfi, as they constantly do, decided to take the case to appeal at the High Court of Las Palmas, even though they know they will lose as every single appeal they lodge has been rejected and dismissed by the High Court. The case is then returned to the original court for execution of sentence.

This then means that CLA must then go through the process of execution of the sentence, which obviously delays payment to the client. Hence the provisional execution of sentence and the bank guarantees being filed when the first court issues their verdict.

Both these cases were prepared and brought before the court by the CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez.

Moving now other cases against Silverpoint, this time being brought by the law firm M1 Legal.

M1 Legal Team

As we know, Silverpoint is being ripped apart by the courts in Tenerife, with every single case being found against them, even the appeals to the High Court are being dismissed and the original sentences being confirmed. We have even seen the Supreme Court rejecting these appeals.

M1 Legal has announced that they have now won a further two cases in Tenerife against Silverpoint, with both contracts being declared null and void. Well, we don’t really need to go into why the contracts have been declared illegal, after all, I think we are all very familiar with the “products” Silverpoint sold.

In the two cases, the clients have been awarded £39,511 and £35,880 respectively, let us hope that these clients will soon be able to celebrate the return of their money.

This once again confirms that the courts are on the side of timeshare consumers and are penalising the timeshare companies heavily. It also explains the problems faced by clients when it comes to receiving the court-ordered payments, due to the delaying tactics of these underhand timeshare resorts.

Inside Timeshare congratulates the legal teams from both law firms in their efforts to ensure justice for their clients. Make no mistake, the courts are on the side of the consumer contrary to some of the comments you will find on various forums.

If you purchased your timeshare or upgraded in Spain after 5 January 1999, you may just have an illegal contract, to see if you have and what your legal options are please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Latest Court News

Today Inside Timeshare looks at some of the court cases which have come to our attention this week. These cases have been brought on behalf of clients by two law firms and one independent lawyer, involving several Anfi, Diamond and Club la Costa cases. This article is published to show that timeshare companies are losing all over Spain proving the courts are following the rulings laid down by the Supreme Court.

CLA Legal Team

We start with our friends from Canarian Legal Alliance who have had yet another appeal by Anfi dismissed by the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas.

The appeal court once again confirmed and supported the original sentence laid down by the Court of First Instance Number 4 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana where the contract was declared null and void along with the return of 59,163€ plus legal interest.

The contract was declared null and void due to several breaches of timeshare law which included, length of the contract was for more than the permitted 50 years, it contained floating weeks and also the illegally taken deposits within the statutory cooling-off period.

The original sentence also included the repayment of the illegal deposit in double, this was also confirmed by the appeal court judges.

The Norwegian client was represented by the CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Michael Gadman assisting the client.

Link to CLA figures

The Legal Team

Another law firm which has been having considerable success in the courts is M1 Legal, they are based in Mijas Costa and currently have around 1300 cases against various timeshare resorts in the courts. Of these cases, there are currently 577 against Club la Costa alone with claims to the value of £12.1million.

It appears the first week of November was a very busy one for their legal team as they had six cases against Club la Costa with all contracts being declared null and void.

The largest amount awarded in one case was £30,870 with a total for all cases coming in at over £105,387.

The contracts were all in breach of the current timeshare laws with contracts being in excess of 50 years and all containing the points system and not the permitted fixed week fixed apartment system.

Along with these cases, there were a further six cases being heard by the courts in Fuengirola, these cases were arguments on the grounds of jurisdiction. Club la Costa maintains that their contracts are subject to UK law and the jurisdiction of UK courts. This is an argument that has been going on for some time, even though many courts around Spain including the High Court in Malaga have ruled that Spanish law and courts do have jurisdiction.

In these six cases, the courts in Fuengirola agreed and accepted the cases on the grounds that they do have jurisdiction. So we can expect to hear successful outcomes for these clients in the future.

M1 Legal also had very good results in other cases against Diamond Resorts and our old friends at Anfi. The Anfi contract was declared null and void as it was also determined that the contract contained insufficient information on the product being purchased. This also included the fact that there was no time period specified on the contract, this is in breach of the law on the duration which as we have stated before is for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 50 years.

The Anfi client was awarded over £16,027 and the three Diamond cases totalling over £31,000 with those contracts also being declared null and void. 

https://m1legal.com/our-victories

We now move to a case brought on behalf of an Anfi client by the independent lawyer Javier Correa.

Javier-Correa

Javier was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria which is where he now practices and resides. Between 1984 and 1989 he studied law at the University of Navarra and later at the University College London. He then went on to complete his Master’s degree.

This case was originally brought at the Court of First Instance where this court declared the contract null and void with the return of the purchase price plus double the deposit illegally taken at the time of purchase.

Anfi as, usually do they lodged an appeal against the first court’s decision, this was heard in the Third Chamber of the Provincial Court (High Court Appeals).

As we have seen in previous appeals made by Anfi, the court rejected the appeal and confirmed the original sentence in its entirety.

The contract was for two standard two-bedroom suites on the floating week’s system at Monte Anfi. The client also paid 4,431.38€ as a deposit on the day of purchase and signing the contracts, this was ordered by the court to be paid back to the client in double in accordance with the rulings made by the Supreme Court.

The client will now be receiving over 41,000€ and is also timeshare free and no longer liable for the annual maintenance fees.

http://www.correaguimera.com/

Just on these cases alone, it is very clear that the timeshare industry is fighting a losing battle in the courts, well they did have many years in which they could have issued contracts which compiled with Spain’s timeshare laws. So really they only have themselves to blame.

This also answers the many questions received by Inside Timeshare, “are there any genuine lawyers out there actually doing what they say and winning?” As you can see the answer is yes there are genuine lawyers doing a superb job on behalf of timeshare consumers.

If you would like to know more about these cases wondering if you have a valid and viable case please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you and explain your legal options.

One-Sided Press Reports?

As our title suggests there is a very important question being posed, are reports printed in the press one-sided? This question comes after a recent article in the Daily Mirror by Andrew Penman on a court case between Club la Costa and the timeshare exit firm Carl James Associates, a firm that recently came to the attention of Inside Timeshare, research into this company was underway as the Daily Mirror story was published.

In the article, Andrew Penman, who has published many articles on some of the biggest scams in the timeshare world, told the story of a couple (Mr & Mrs Davies) who purchased a membership with Club La Costa. In a story we have heard so many times, they had retired and they no longer had a need for the timeshare, which costs them £1,400 in annual maintenance fees. The couple also did not want their children to “inherit” the liability for the maintenance.

They received a call from Carl James Associates and after some time decided to take on the services of Carl James to relinquish their membership with Club la Costa. The price of this service was £4,200.

It was not until after Mr Davies paid and then speaking with the representative Gerry Tiernan that he began to have second thoughts. Teirnan told Mr Davies to just stop paying his maintenance fees and that would be that, Mr Davies did not think this was right and decided to cancel his agreement with Carl James Associates and get his money refunded.

Well, obviously this did not happen, Carl James refused to pay back the £4,200 as although no contract was signed and not having passed on any of his paperwork, Mr Davies was told that “they had a verbal contract in kind” and that the work had already been passed to Fulbrook Associates of Sterling for the relinquishment work to start.

It was now at this point that Mr Davies found out that he could have contacted Club La Costa and relinquished his membership free of charge.

So far so good, the article is highlighting the bad practices of a company involved in “timeshare exit”, the problem is the references that Andrew Penman is using to highlight this scam. He refers to Club La Costa and also quotes from the Operations Director Guy Mantel and uses the company Kwikchex.

Well, we couldn’t get more biased towards the timeshare industry than these two, Club La Costa is one of the biggest contributors to the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) and the beneficiary of these funds is Kwikchex.

It is well known that Kwikchex runs the Timeshare Task Force and Timeshare Business Check, all funded by the timeshare industry with one clear aim, to protect the industry.

In a full email sent to Andrew Penman by Adriana Stoyanova, one of the lawyers at M1 Legal, Adriana pointed out the misinformation that readers would be subject to from this article.

Adriana explains the same tactics used by Carl James Associates to pressure consumers into signing up for their services and the subsequent refusal to terminate the service are the very same tactics used by the timeshare industry to sell the product.

Yet Kwikchex will attack any company that threatens the industry and that includes legitimate law firms such as M1 Legal, who along with associates ECC have suffered many attacks by this company and the RDO.

The reason?

They are winning against the major timeshare companies and RDO members in the courts, having contracts declared null and void plus the return of millions of euros to clients.

Adriana in her email points out one of the main points of the Club La Costa policy of terminations:

“First, it is important to be aware that in the event that a member decides to exit their membership according to “this policy”, Club La Costa (CLC) requires them to sign a disclaimer waiving their rights to claim against CLC or any associated companies including lenders.”

“This means that if this member later wishes to pursue a claim against CLC they are unable to do so, having signed away their rights.”

“I have studied a number of cases where CLC clients had a valid claim due to irregularities in their contracts (which did not comply with law), however having signed such disclaimers they were unable to proceed to process a claim. As you can imagine many of these clients were distraught to learn of this, having no idea that by signing the disclaimer as part of CLC’s exit “policy” they had lost the opportunity to claim back tens of thousands of pounds.”

Well, it can’t be any clearer than that, the email then goes to point out the situation with regards to finance agreements to pay for the purchase:

“Furthermore, the majority of the CLC purchases are financed by different banks (one of which, namely First Holiday Finance Limited is a CLC associated company). This means that in case the clients have signed a disclaimer, they would be left with the burden of repaying the loan without having the possibility to have their contract nullified which would have entitled them to claim money back and cancel any outstanding liability from the loan. You have to also bear in mind that the loans that finance such purchases usually carry with them exorbitant rates of interest, which double and almost triple the original purchase amount being lent.”

“Let us assume one of your readers had bought a modest £20,000 membership with CLC which was financed by Shawbrook, BPF or First Holiday Finance Limited with a total amount to be repaid over a 10 years term being £48,000. Now imagine that this member is having problems with availability and wants out of their membership with CLC.”

“The member has now read your article and instead of researching their options (As according to your article claims management companies misrepresent and are “not required”) they decide to contact direct CLC and exit their membership without any cost. They then sign the disclaimer as per CLCs “policy” and later realise that they will have to repay the full outstanding loan amount without having any asset or any possibility to claim any amount back from CLC.”

So, there we have a senior lawyer dealing with timeshare litigation explaining very clearly why this CLC policy exists.

The email also goes on to explain the loan agreements and how they are brokered, not by independent employees of the bank/finance company, but by the timeshare sales reps themselves. They receive a commission for selling the timeshare, now to ensure the sale goes through, broker a loan agreement and earn more commission.

It is also a fact which Inside Timeshare has found over the years, the correct credit checks are never made, such as income v expenditure reports, these are normally required for any substantial loan to ensure the client can actually afford the repayments. Shawbrook Bank admitted this several years ago and the then CEO had to resign.

Shawbrook Bank Article July 2016

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

The email which does go into a lot of detail also explains the sales process and includes these extracts from the Island Residence Club sales training manual:

“Imagine a second home luxuriously furnished, completely equipped, immaculately maintained and serviced by internationally-renowned hospitality professionals. Here at Island Residence Club, YOU are happily ensconced in a residence of ultimate luxury and comfort.”

“You must take control of your UP immediately! You need to build up a subtle psychological and physical dominance (e.g. you control where they sit, what they touch, where they go, what they look at and when they eat and drink).”

  • Once you have this control you can calm their fears and guide them towards buying.
  • Some people will try to take control of you. Do not allow them to do this.
  • Some may say they only want to see the apartments and price.
  • Some may say they have an appointment.
  • Some may say they don’t want to look around.
  • Just ignore this and carry on your tour.

This coupled with the long tour which on average last at least 5 hours is enough to make even the strongest give in and sign.

Yet, the RDO their lackeys Kwikchex say nothing and do nothing about the underhand tactics carried out by their own members. It is not just the hard sell tactics, it is the verbal misrepresentations which are made such as the investment pitch, it is the fact they have continued to sell a product with contracts that do not comply with the law. But, do we see any sign of the RDO or Kwikchex mentioning these bad practices or even sanctioning their members? Of course not, you can’t sanction those that fund you, can you?

All this is nothing new before Kwikchex it was Alberto Garcia of Mindtimeshare and the “enforcement program”. The main target of this campaign was Canarian Legal Alliance who at the time were actively taking Silverpoint to the criminal and civil courts, this also included many managers and the CEO Mark Cushway being indicted.

At that time it was obvious what was going on, Cushway was also a director of the RDO, Silverpoint were the biggest contributors and Garcia’s job was to protect him, Silverpoint and the RDO.

So really nothing has changed, just some of the players.

This article is in no way intended as a rebuke of the Andrew Penman story, Inside Timeshare, the TCA, CLA, ECC and M1 Legal applaud the story and highlight the problems faced by timeshare owners at the hands of companies such as Carl James Associates. But it should also show that the industry is also at fault, in fact, it is down to the industries reluctance to actually have a proper exit strategy or resale program that has brought about the many scams we have published here.

Let us hope that Andrew Penman who has also been contacted by Inside Timeshare on numerous occasions regarding our Mrs B and MacDonald Resorts. Yet that is not a story he seems to have taken any interest in, he might actually get around to showing the whole industry for what it is and then consumers may have the full story.

Please use our contact page if you have any questions on this article or any others published and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Daily Mirror Article 24 September 2020

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/club-la-costa-couple-fight-22732136

Previous articles on Kwikchex

https://insidetimeshare.com/kwikchex-chris-emmins/

https://insidetimeshare.com/http-insidetimeshare-com-p5321/