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Marriott

Claims Calls: Do You Have a Case?

One of the most common inquiries Inside Timeshare receives is on the subject of claims for “misselling of timeshare”, it seems that no matter when or where you purchased, you have a claim. Even without checking the paperwork, the “legal consultants” on the phone will tell you that they can help you get your money back and the contract cancelled, or that your name has been included in a “class action”. Either way, the intention is very clear, they want your money.

You, the timeshare owner will be bombarded with information on E.U. Directives on Timeshare, that your contract is in breach of these “European Laws”, and as a result, you can take the case to court. Well, that is not quite true.

The E.U. Directives are just that, they are directives on how timeshare should be regulated, they are not laws that can be enforced in a court of law. The idea behind the directives was to unify and regulate how timeshare was sold and operated within Europe, it was then down to the individual states to place those directives into their own domestic laws.

Out of all the E.U. States, there are really only two that did and they also strengthened those laws to ensure the protection of consumers, they are Spain and Malta.

In Malta, the timeshare industry comes under the auspices of the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection. Maltese Law is very strict, it even has special provisions for the “ticket touts” or OPCs, licences are required with substantial deposits before issue. The regulations on how and where they operate are strictly controlled and the penalties can be very severe from fines to the deportation of offenders. The PDF below is taken from Maltese Legislation regarding OPCs.

But the most well known for implementing timeshare laws in favour of the consumer is Spain.

We see the results of these laws emanating from the courts on a daily basis, but as we stated at the start, not all contracts are claimable. There are many factors that have to be taken into account, and the only people who can give you a definitive answer are the lawyers, once they have examined your documents and case.

Inside Timeshare has many examples of “owners” being told they have a claim and will get their money back when in reality they don’t. One recent example is a timeshare purchased on the Costa del Sol, the resort is one of the many based at Miraflores, a huge resort that can only be described as a small town.

According to the many phone calls they have received, they have a great case, their timeshare contract is illegal, that is in no doubt as it is in perpetuity, longer than the 50 years allowed by law. Great news I hear you say.

Unfortunately, although he does have a case for an illegal contract, he has no case to take to court. In this instance, the company who sold the timeshare, a marketing and sales company that is legally liable, are not what you would call solvent. Yes, you could take the case to court and win, but you would not get anything back, you would have paid all those legal fees for nothing. It is not a “VIABLE” case.

Another case is a gentleman who has been in touch with Inside Timeshare for quite some time, and each time he says he has been told he has a case. Inside Timeshare has had his documentation checked and there is no case under Spanish Law.

He purchased with Marriott on the Island of Mallorca, he believed he was purchasing weeks at the Marriott Resort in Mallorca. He attended the presentation, was impressed and purchased. At first, everything appeared fine, that is until he was unable to make any reservations at his “home” resort.

After several cold calls which all said the same thing, he had a case, remember they haven’t even seen the documents, he decided that he would take legal measures and have his contract declared null & void and the return of his purchase price. But, he had a nagging suspicion that all was not quite right with the “companies” he had spoken with, so contacted Inside Timeshare.

Once we received copies of his purchase agreement we could tell that he had no case, but we would let our own trusted lawyers check the documents.

As we first thought, he had no case under Spanish Law, his purchase although it was made and paid for while he was in Mallorca, he didn’t have a Spanish timeshare. His contract was for a resort in America, the contract was processed at the Marriott HQ in Florida, payment was made through Florida and all contracts, taxes, maintenance and anything else came under Florida Law, all notarised in Florida. To all intents and purposes, he purchased a US timeshare not what he thought was one based in Spain.

He was informed of this and we heard nothing for some time, then out of the blue, he makes contact again, this time saying he has been told that provided he can prove he was in Spain he has a case in the Spanish Courts. After making the necessary checks we informed him that he was being told “porkies” again.

Just these two examples show how careful you have to be, yes you may have a case, your contract may be illegal, but is the company that sold it still operating or solvent?

Remember, these cases are against the company that sold it, not the resorts themselves, look at our friends Anfi, the cases are against Anfi Sales and Anfi Resorts, the sales and marketing side, they are not against Anfi Vacation Club or the actual resorts.

As far as timeshare purchased outside of Spain, it really does depend on how the E.U. Directives were implemented in their domestic laws. We know that there have been very few cases in UK courts, UK timeshare law is not what you would call consumer-orientated. Although there are other measures which may just get you your money back, these are not as easy as they are made out. They also do not have your contracts declared null & void or even terminated. That is a separate issue.

As we have also stated in previous articles, especially the ones published recently, unless you have personally instigated a case in the courts, employed the services of a genuine lawyer who has prepared and filed the case on your behalf, you do not have or are included in any case.

Would you like to know if you have a contract that is illegal under Spanish law, is it a viable case and what are your legal options?

Please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Great News from the Courts to End the Week

We started this week with the article, Timeshare How it Has Changed and What is the Future? It seems it has caused some debate among our cousins across The Great Lake, one comment that did stand out on one platform was very surprising, in the past they extolled the virtue of points, now it is an about-face. Let’s hope the industry takes a close look at their product and sales techniques before it is too late. On Wednesday, we published Silverpoint: News from The Mercantile Court. It was our attempt to explain the situation without using too much “legal jargon”, from responses so far it seems to have succeeded. Well, it is a very complex subject, certainly worthy of a Hollywood Blockbuster. Yesterday, Timeshare: The Road to Being Scammed was a look at how the purchase of a timeshare began a series of scams against consumers. It was based on the many emails we have received over the years. We end this week with news of two more cases from the Spanish courts.

The first case, and no prizes for guessing who it is and what court, to be honest, these have become so boring, yes it is Anfi again!

The Court of First Instance in SBT originally declared the clients contract null & void, plus the return of the full purchase price of 8,435€ also adding a further 11,098 for illegally taking payment as a deposit within the statutory cooling-off period. Legal Interest and Legal Costs were also awarded.

Now, this is where we start getting bored. Anfi in their hair-brained scheme of things did what they always do, waste more of the courts time, plus all the costs involved, (we still wonder if the member’s annual fees are paying for all this), APPEALED!

The High Court Number 3 of Las Palmas, was once again tasked with dealing with this frivolous appeal from Anfi, they must be getting as bored as we are!

I think the answer to that question is in the court’s ruling, once again, the Judges dismissed the appeal and confirmed the original sentence.

In fact, the Judges agreed 100% with the sentence of the Court of First Instance, as they always do, and another result for the lawyers of Canarian Legal Alliance. They will now begin to proceed with the recovery of these funds through the Mercantile Court due to recent events.

The English client was represented by CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez and Cristina Batista, Claims Consultant Jake Kaiser liaised with the lawyers on behalf of the client.

We now travel around 1,400 km to the Court of First Instance Number 3 of Marbella, where the Judge presided over a case against Marriott, with MCVI Management and MCVI Holidays in the dock.

Following the letter of the law set down by the Supreme Court, commonly known as jurisprudence, lovely word that, sounds better in Spanish; jurisprudencia, and declared the contract null & void. Marriott was also ordered to repay over 26,300€ plus legal Interest.

The main point of the case was the contract exceeded the 50 years maximum allowed by Spanish Timeshare Law 42/98 & 4/12, being an unlimited duration contract with no end date.

We now wait to see if Marriott continues to be quick off the mark and pay the due sums into the court as they have been doing recently. Can’t help saying this, but, Anfi, take a leaf out of their book!

The German client was represented by Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyers Christine Ihmann and Eva Gutierrez, with German Claims Consultant Evi Richter working with the client through the process.

That’s all for this week, we hope you have found the articles informative and also enjoyable, at the moment there is nothing specific planned for next week, a few things in the pipeline but sometimes something catches my eye over the weekend.

Join us again next week and remember, if you have any comments or questions relating to the published article or you would like more information on the legality of your contracts, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Have a great weekend.

Translations

Danish

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Dutch

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Finnish

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German

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Norwegian

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Swedish

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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/