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Mrs B

The Tuesday Slot: Anfi Case Concluded plus MacDonald Resorts Update

Welcome to the Tuesday Slot with Inside Timeshare, we begin today with the news of a final payout to a client by Anfi after an unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court. The news of this appeal was published on 16 March along with another appeal to the Supreme Court by Diamond Resorts, which was also unsuccessful with the judges roundly rejecting the appeal.

Anfi lost the original case at the Court of First Instance where the contract was declared null and void and they were ordered to repay the client over 45,000€. As we have seen in all these cases Anfi launched another appeal to the High Court of Las Palmas, the court rejected and dismissed the appeal confirming the original judgement and sentence.

Anfi, true to form, decided to waste the court’s valuable time and launched an appeal with Spain’s Highest Court, The Supreme Court in Madrid. This court has made 130 rulings on Spanish Timeshare Law and set them in stone or what is known as jurisprudence.

The Anfi appeal to the court was based on their request “for clarity” on previous rulings, we have to ask what clarity?

It appears that this “clarity” was a suggestion by Anfi that there was an element of “contradiction” in some of the previous rulings made by the High Court of Las Palmas. As we have seen with previous appeals the High Court has been following all the rulings of the Supreme Court to the letter and upholding sentences from the Court of First Instance. In many cases, the High Court has also improved the original sentence such as the lower court failing to take into consideration the illegal taking of deposits and not awarding double the amount taken.

This is a precedent made by the Supreme Court and has been enforced in all cases.

Obviously, Anfi lost their appeal and the case was returned for the execution of the sentence.

As we have previously reported, Anfi uses this ploy to delay any payments which also gives them time to “spirit away” funds from the relevant accounts in order to avoid payment. Unfortunately for them this is not working and is also being investigated by the Provincial Prosecutors Office of Gran Canaria. This may just result in criminal charges being brought against the directors and the board which is in the control of the Cazorla Group. We also know that they are themselves in severe financial difficulty.

The lawyers from Canarian Legal Alliance who represented the English client throughout these proceedings had already placed provisional execution of sentence proceeding with the court. This has become standard procedure for the lawyers at CLA and also helps to save time.

They managed to get a partial settlement but were still 13,345€ short of the awarded amount of 45,825€. With all their procedures in place and the threat of embargoes, the final amount has now been secured with the client already receiving this money into their own personal bank account.

Another successful case has now reached a conclusion and we expect to see more of the same in the coming months. No doubt Anfi will continue to waste time and cause the courts more work with their appeals, a ploy which in the end will cause them more financial problems.

This month, Inside Timeshare, has published two articles on MacDonald Resorts, the first MacDonald Resorts Still Preying on the Elderly and Vulnerable published on 17 March and Start the Week: MacDonalds Using the Courts to Extort Money; News from the Spanish Courts published on 22 March.

These are truly Nightmare on Timeshare Street stories and are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Inside Timeshare has been in touch with Julia Paul, who is the Assistant Producer of the BBC Radio 4 program You and Yours about these stories. For those of you who have followed the Mrs B story, her case was highlighted on this program in November 2020. The article we published was Mrs B v MacDonald Resorts: The Battle Is Won But The War Continues

We have been informed that the program You and Yours will be highlighting these stories on Friday 26 March, the program goes on air at 12:20 pm, please find the time to tune in and listen, we are sure that it will be very interesting. If there is any change in scheduling Inside Timeshare will let you know.

That is all for today, if you have any questions or comments on any article published, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

MacDonald Resorts Still Preying on the Elderly and Vulnerable

For those of you who have been following Inside Timeshare for a few years, you will remember the long-running battle between Mrs B and MacDonald Resorts, although this dispute did eventually end with a satisfactory conclusion. Inside Timeshare has nonetheless still been receiving emails from owners desperate to end their association with them, along with the threats of legal action through the County Courts against mainly elderly members who can no longer afford the high maintenance fees. Today we highlight yet another case in which this disgusting behaviour is still being pursued.

The Mark of Shame!

With the permission of this lady’s son who is overseeing her affairs and has a power of attorney, we publish her story.

Over the last few years, his Mothers health has been deteriorating and she is now in a nursing home with acute dementia. He is now at his wits end after trying to end her contract with MacDonald Resorts.

The purchase was made in 1987, so is one of the very early timeshare sales and for many years was enjoyed. Each and every year the annual maintenance was paid right up to her hospitalisation in late 2019. In May of 2020, she entered the nursing home so was then unable to use it, plus with the restrictions of the pandemic, no one else could use it either.

Legalised Extortion?

As her son began to take control of her affairs he came across a letter from a debt recovery firm, one that we have highlighted before with Mrs B, Network Credit Services based in Scotland. There was a bill for £500 for the “holiday club”, he went through all her correspondence and found no other reference to this bill.

He then contacted MacDonald Resorts for clarification that the bill was genuine and if so what it related to. After a very lengthy delay, it was explained that it was for the 2020 maintenance fees. Since then the bill for 2021 has also become due and obviously if this is not paid it will be passed to the MacDonald “bloodhounds” Network Credit Services.

He explained his Mothers condition asking how this could be cancelled along with her membership. The reply he received was:

They said that giving up membership can be done at specific times and requires payment of all outstanding management fees plus 4 years management fees in lieu of 4 years’ notice (So £2100 + £1000 management fees). They say that the membership can be sold or passed on to a family member.

Well, obviously he doesn’t want it nor does any other member of the family and as for selling it, well, who is going to buy it?

Also, the only way to “sell it” is through MacDonald Resorts, they will not accept any transfer to any other party unless it is through them. The other point to this is the maintenance fees must also be paid in full, any arrears and no sale will ever go through.

In his own words:

“I feel that 3 aspects of this are unfair and possibly may not be legally enforceable”:

  1. “The management fees of £1,000 when no one can have been using the facilities due to lockdown.   They will also be charging interest on this.
  2. The termination fee of 4 years’ worth of fees is extortionate.
  3. No means of getting out of this due to my mum’s health. I am not even sure what would happen if she were to die. They would probably try to pass the membership on to me.”

“As my mum’s attorney, I have to seek out the best value for money for her so cannot sanction paying over £3000 to cancel this arrangement as all her funds are going towards her Nursing Home fees of £4k a month”.

It is also a fact that MacDonald Resorts only allow terminations every 2 years and this is done on a first-come-first-served basis. Plus the arrears and the 4 years “termination fee” are to be paid upfront.

Then there is no guarantee that your contract will be terminated, we also have to ask the question: If this fee is paid in advance and you are not successful in being “selected” will you get the 4 years maintenance fees back?

Somehow I don’t think that will happen.

So once again, we see a timeshare company that has made millions over the years from sales and annual maintenance fees treating its “members” with nothing but CONTEMPT.

Even the RDO, the industry trade body, removed MacDonald Resorts from membership due to their behaviour, that in itself was a miracle!

MacDonald’s Legal Bloodhounds

We also know that the next stage from MacDonalds will be more “threats” from their “bloodhounds” Network Credit Services and then the legal threats from their “legal bloodhounds” Shepherd and Wedderburn. This will eventually culminate in a County Court action to enforce payment.

This is nothing new, Tony Hetherington published the story “The timeshare contract that even death will not save you from”, way back in 2014 and they are still doing the same thing.

When will the authorities get off their fat backsides and do something about companies such as MacDonald Resorts that use dubious legalities in their contracts to tie people in FOREVER?

Somehow I believe it may have something to do with the “old boys network” and “I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine”.

This is disgusting behaviour, to say the least, and Inside Timeshare will once again take up the cause and highlight MacDonald Resorts and the owner Donald MacDonald for what they are, money-grabbing crooks with no conscience!

This is not the last you will hear from Inside Timeshare MacDonald Resorts, we will publish and bring this to everyone’s attention. The ball is in your court, you can resolve this, although I have kept the identity of our reader anonymous you can make an offer to this publication and it will be passed on.

Somehow I don’t think they will even acknowledge this and will just continue down the path of destroying the lives and life savings of the elderly.

Have you had or are going through a similar experience with MacDonald Resorts?

If so Inside Timeshare would like to hear your story, we will also publish your experiences for all the world to see, negative publicity against MacDonald Resorts will be the only way to defeat them.

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

One link to a similar story published last year.

The Tony Hetherington Article of 2014

Start the Week: News From The Courts & MacDonald Resorts Are Still At It!

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, today we begin with the news of the latest two cases to come from the courts, the first is against Marriott and the second is a guaranteed bank payment from Anfi. Going back to an old story of Mrs B and her battle with MacDonald Resorts, a story we covered for many years and published the final chapter on 5 November, well, it would seem that MacDonalds is using the same tactics against others. According to several enquiries received recently, the County Courts are going to be busy with cases being brought against members by MacDonalds “bloodhounds” the law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn. This is one of the most despicable timeshare operators anywhere in the world as you, our readers, already know from the long-running saga of Mrs B. But first on with the court news.

On Thursday last week, Canarian Legal Alliance released the result for a case at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of Marbella.

The case was brought on behalf of a German client against Marriott Vacation Club, once again the client’s contract was declared null and void with the court ordering the return of 13,392€ plus a further 21,600€ in respect of the taking of deposits illegally within the statutory cooling-off period. The courts are consistently awarding double the amount for these illegal payments as laid down by the rulings of the Supreme Court.

The total amount the client will now receive is 34,991€ plus legal interest.

In this particular trial, the presiding Judge made specific reference to the very first and groundbreaking ruling in 2015, by Canarian Legal Alliance. It was this ruling in the case of Tove Grimsbo versus Anfi, that confirmed the Timeshare Law 42/98.

In this ruling, it was confirmed that “floating weeks” (which includes points systems) are illegal, that contracts “in perpetuity” (over the maximum 50 years allowed) and the taking of any payment within the statutory cooling-off period are illegal. (See link below for the original news item).

It is clear that the Judge in this case against Marriott was following the law and the Supreme Court rulings to the letter.

The case was prepared by the Lawyers Christine Ihmann and Miguel Angel Melian Santana, with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client.

The following day yet another bank guarantee for 20,911€ was paid to the court, this is the amount awarded to the Swedish client of CLA in their case against Anfi.

The Court of First Instance Number 3 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana also declared the contract null and void following the many ruling made by the Supreme Court that contracts over the maximum 50 years duration, floating weeks and points systems are illegal along with the taking of any payments at the point of sale.

Although this bank guarantee secures the funds for the client, it is expected that Anfi will launch yet another frivolous appeal to the High Court. So until the original sentence is confirmed by the High Court, the funds will remain in the court’s account, but at least they are secured.

If they do launch another appeal, Inside Timeshare will be keeping an eye open for the result and will have another good laugh when they lose yet again!

This case was prepared and presented by the Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Michael Gadman assisting the client.

We now move to the continuing story of the practices of one of the vilest timeshare companies to be in existence, MacDonald Resorts. Our regular readers will be familiar with the long-running battle that Mrs B has had with MacDonalds over maintenance arrears on a timeshare that was “legally” transferred.

The story follows the threats from MacDonalds through various “debt collection” agencies such as Credit Network Services and to the “threats” by their “legal bloodhounds” Shepherd and Wedderburn. (See link below to the last article).

The problem as we have seen with these threats is that MacDonalds with Shepherd and Wedderburn representing them are totally intent on taking “members” to court. Inside Timeshare has been receiving enquiries from many “members” who are also facing a similar problem.

One reader has explained that they originally took over the timeshare at Lochanhully from a friend and neighbour who could no longer use or afford the timeshare membership. This was for a fixed week with an attached apartment, in other words, “real timeshare”.

When they transferred the membership into their name, they never received any notification that it had been completed, they never received any “New Member” agreement or any membership certificates. They were not even informed of any existing “exit mechanism”, not that the one allowed by MacDonalds is anything but fair!

As far as our reader was concerned they never received any paperwork to confirm their ownership, then when they received a letter telling them that MacDonalds had now moved over to the “points” system. This was a system which was wholeheartedly endorsed by Harry Taylor the then CEO of TATOC and recipient of funds from MacDonalds.

Our reader responded that they were not interested in changing to the points system and demanded that his “ownership/membership” be relinquished.

Since then they do not recall ever receiving any demands for the annual maintenance bill and have never paid anything since. Unfortunately, they mistook the lack of communication from MacDonalds as a sign that they had indeed relinquished their timeshare. They are now locked into a timeshare they cannot get out of and are now being taken to court for the arrears.

In our second case of MacDonald Resorts, this new reader is now being taken to court for arrears and their story is very similar.

They purchased a fixed week with an attached apartment at Elmers Court, which was used and enjoyed as they were guaranteed their week each and every year. Unfortunately, they suffered the same fate as every other owner, they were forced to accept the “new points” system introduced by MacDonald’s and as we have said endorsed by Harry Taylor.

Once again our readers told MacDonalds that they did not want the points and would hand back their timeshare. Once again nothing was heard from MacDonalds until recently, the same tactics are being employed by MacDonalds, intimidation and threats by their“legal Bloodhounds Shepherd and Wedderburn”.

When will the authorities begin to clamp down on the likes of MacDonald Resorts, using every means of intimidation to ensure that they do not lose members but keep cashing in their extortionate maintenance fees for timeshare people don’t want and are unable to use.

We also suspect that the vast majority of “members” of MacDonald’s are all in their latter years of life, their circumstances have changed, they are probably on pensions and do not have the funds they once had. They are more than likely unable to travel and their own children and in some cases grandchildren don’t want the timeshare. Yet they are locked in with no real way of exiting.

We also know that MacDonalds is not in a very good financial situation, it is believed that they are selling off some of their hotels and we suspect that the latest increase in the number of “members” being threatened with court, is in our opinion just a way to ensure they have an income.

In other words, it is pure greed on the part of MacDonalds Resorts, “to hell with the members they only supply us with the money!”

If you are also being threatened by MacDonald Resorts, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you, please use our contact page and we will get back to you.

Are you wanting to be rid of your timeshare, if so and you want to find out what your legal rights and options are then please get in touch by using our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you?