We begin with the news from the High Court Number 3 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Silverpoint originally lost the case at the Court of First Instance, where the contract was declared null and void with the court ordering the repayment of over 98,000€ plus legal interest and legal costs.
They duly appealed which is their legal right, but, as usual, the High Court dismissed the appeal and confirmed the original sentence, returning the case back to the original court for execution of sentence. No doubt the lawyers at Canarian Legal Alliance who represented the English client will have already filed with the court for the enforcement of the sentence.
It should also be pointed out that when determining the award, both courts included the double payment of all amounts paid within the statutory cooling-off period. This has almost doubled the original amount the client paid.
We now move to a couple of articles published by the TCA last week, the first is about the problems that have arisen at Loch Rannoch Highland Club, which is going to annoy many members.
The management at Loch Rannoch has announced that they are “temporarily” shutting down the resort. They claim it is the fault of the “local lockdowns” and restrictions on travel. According to the TCA report, this was following a disagreement between management and staff which prompted a walkout by senior staff members.
As with other timeshare resorts that have to close down during the current situation, it is expected that members will still have to pay next year’s maintenance fee in full, even though there is no guarantee that they will be able to use their membership.
The TCA report also points to the fact that a police investigation has also been launched into “financial irregularities” and possible “financial embezzlement”.
Obviously, this is a story that we will be keeping an eye on, for the full TCA article please follow the link.
In the second TCA article which is titled:
“Sarah Waddington Solicitors claim to help timeshare owners. But do they?”
They look at the law firm of Sarah Waddington, a UK registered lawyer who claims to help timeshare owners exit their contracts. Obviously, this is for a substantial fee, but as the title suggests, do they actually do what they say, according to some of the reports highlighted by the TCA, it does not appear as though they do.
They give three examples of “clients” experiences with Sarah Waddington and to be honest, they do not look good. Below are links to the TCA article and one of the cases they have shown.
We leave it to you, the reader to decide what you think of this law firm.
This is yet another example of why you need to be very careful on whose services you take up when dealing with timeshare “exit or claims”. Just because a lawyer is UK registered does not mean they necessarily have the experience or the knowledge to do the job. It would appear from the examples given in the article that the clients were given some very bad advice which has had very serious consequences for them.
If you have any questions or comments on any article published please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.
Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Inside Timeshare, today we report on the latest from the Courts in Malaga and the latest defeat for Marriott. We also highlight a story that has been published over the past few years, that of the Litigious Abogados Family and their various incarnations. The latest being Las Alas Abogados, over the years we now have over 120 different names for the law firms, procurators and notaries which have surfaced in this very sophisticated and well-planned fraud.
On Monday, Marriott paid over 28,934€ into the court’s account and this has now been transferred to the personal account of the English client.
Marriott, unlike many of the other timeshare companies, duly complied with the court’s instructions and lodged the funds with the court immediately. Although Marriott appealed, this was their legal right, but it looks like it was just them clutching at straws.
The case itself has only taken 16 months to conclude from first being presented, this does really show that these appeals are lodged with only one purpose in mind, to delay proceedings for as long as possible. The hope we believe is that with these long waits for cases it will put others off from launching further cases.
We now come forward a few years to early this year, when our reader received notification from Grupo Perez Alonso, which is part of the “fake”El Palermo Abogados, which also included a “fake” court document showing that DWVC, Incentive Leisure Group, Personal Travel Group and the directors have been indicted and the amount of 32,000€ has been filed as the claim.
Well, considering that all these companies were closed down years ago and the Owner/Director Gary Peter Lee was killed several years ago in a cycling accident, it makes us wonder how he ended up in court?
In order for the case to be filed and being able to receive this bumper payout, there is a fee to be paid to Pérez Alonso of 768€, this has been reduced by negotiation by Julia Garcia of Solutions, as our reader is elderly, to just 695€!
Wow, that is a “massive” reduction, so very generous!
We now move to the point where the next part of the “sting” comes into play, the court hearing has been held, but this was in “camera”, not sure why as there is nothing which would warrant a closed hearing. Obviously, the outcome is just what we expected, they have all been found guilty and the 32,000€ has been awarded. Below is the “fake” court document sent to our reader.
The next stage has now been set, along with the “fake” court document is a photocopy of a cheque made out to our reader for 32,000€. It has been drawn on a La Caixa cheque, the only thing is that it is fake. The IBAN Number is false as have all the previous ones. Below is a copy of the email sent to our reader and a copy of the cheque and also the IBAN check results.
We are glad to inform you that we have this morning received, from the Courts, a certified copy of your cheque for the amount of 32,000€. A copy of which has been attached.
The compensation was meant to be remitted by International bank transfer, but due to the numerous cases they had at the Santa Cruz Court, they issued the payment in cheque form. This only means losing a few pounds when you deposit the Euro cheque in a Sterling account, but after all, we are very pleased that this has all come to a successful conclusion.
The Court Judgment for your compensation and the relevant tax documents have also been received on the 1st of October and posted to you on Friday the 2nd of October and we trust those should be with you soon.
Once the tax element has been met, our Lawyers shall finalise the tax logistics in order for the courts to release your compensation cheque and it will be posted to your address and should arrive to you in 5-8 working days, from the day it has been posted.
Assuring you of our best attention at all times, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your involvement thus far and send you our best regards.
This email is confidential and intended for the named recipient only. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately and delete the email. You must not copy, distribute, disclose or take any action in reliance on it. This email message and any attached files have been scanned for the presence of any computer viruses.
As you can see from the above email, a tax must now be paid in order to release the cheque, they have even obliged the “client/victim” by sending them a “Tax Form” already made out for the amount of 372€. Although the amounts being asked for are small, there are many of them to be made and they all soon mount up.
The main part of the “sting” is yet to come, had our reader paid this money, they would have received a jiffy bag by post with a letter from the court and the cheque attached. The only problem is the cheque is missing, enter the new company.
This company has been appointed by the court to investigate the missing cheque, which it turns out has been stolen by a gang of East Europeans and cashed. To add credibility they will claim that 16 or so post office workers have been arrested for conspiring with the criminal gang to steal the cheques. In order to get this money back, the new firm will require payment of between 10 & 20% of the cheque value, apparently, this will be reimbursed once the money has been recovered and paid out.
At least our reader decided to make some enquiries before paying any more money and found Inside Timeshare. So at least they have only paid a small amount along with what they paid to Solutions in the first place.
The scenario of this fraud is the same as it has been for all the incarnations of these fake law firms right from the start. It is only the names that have changed.
When you begin to add up the total cost some people have paid it begins to run into the thousands. The list of crimes is getting ever longer, from falsifying court documents, cheques, notaries, procurators all the way to using photographs of people such as the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Argentina, a Senior Judge on the California District Court, the late president of Venezuela and the latest Las Alas Abogados using the current President of Mexico.
This is a fraud which has been able to keep one step ahead of the authorities, and has over the past five years defrauded hundreds of thousands from unsuspecting timeshare owners. This story is a very good example of why you should always check any information you receive from any company that contacts you and not just believe what they say because of the huge sums they claim you have been awarded or can get.
In today’s short article we catch up on the latest news from the courts, which today all involve our old friends at Anfi. We follow this with a link to a very interesting article published yesterday by the TCA, it is a rather appropriate article considering our cases today. In this article an ex-sales rep for Anfi explains how you the “UP” (unsold prospect) is convinced to sign up and pay on the day. We would also like to remind you that the BBC Radio 4 program You and Yours will be featuring our Mrs B and her battle with MacDonald Resorts, the broadcast starts at 12.18 pm. It should also be available on catch-up.
After publishing on Friday the High Court Number 3 of Las Palmas issued yet another decisive blow to Anfi, the judges dismissed yet another appeal by Anfi against the ruling from the Court of First Instance.
The Court agreed that the German clients’ contract be declared null and void and upheld the original sentence that Anfi be ordered to repay over 51,000€ plus legal interest.
Once again the awarded amount includes double the amount by way of compensation for the illegal taking of deposits within the statutory cooling-off period.
Monday brought the news from the Court of First Instance of SBT, of another Anfi contract being declared null and void with the court awarding the Norwegian client over 33,000€ plus legal interest.
Again when calculating the award the court ordered the repayment in double all the amounts taken as a deposit during the statutory cooling-off period.
This is also another in a long list of cases where the judge has decided at the pre-trial stage that a full trial was not required. From the case being placed with the court to the issuing of the sentence was within 10 months. Let us hope that many more courts take up this stance.
Tuesday brought yet another defeat for Anfi at the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas, with the dismissal of yet another frivolous appeal by Anfi against the decision of the lower court.
The original sentence from the Court of First Instance Number 3 of SBT was upheld and the case returned for the execution of sentence. The sentence declares the contract null and void with the return of over 25,000€ plus legal interest and the return of legal fees. The illegally taken deposits were also ordered to be returned in double.
It is now becoming very apparent that Anfi is launching these frivolous appeals for one reason only, to delay the inevitable. Do they honestly think that once the lower courts have ruled that the High Court will overturn the judgement, if so they are obviously very deluded or that their lawyers are raking it in from their client Anfi, either way, they are losing!
Staying with Anfi for the moment, yesterday the TCA (Timeshare Consumers Association) published a very interesting article on timeshare sales. The article featured Stuart Sylvester, who was at one time a very successful sales rep at Anfi.
In this article he explains the psychology behind the timeshare sales presentation, the format it takes and what the sales rep has to do to ensure that you part with your money and purchase one of his timeshares.
He also goes on to explain that once you have signed up, that is not the end of your spending. He states that you are then at the mercy every year, no matter what resort you go to, of the “in-house reps”. These become your new best friends, their job is to part you with your money for all the various upgrades or new products they have in their arsenal.
For those who have been through all this, it will be very familiar, for those who have never attended a presentation, be warned and take notice.
TCA Sales Article
That is all for today, don’t forget the You and Yours program highlighting the story of the battle between Mrs B and MacDonald Resorts.
If you have any questions or comments on the articles published, please use our contact page, Inside Timeshare would love to hear from you.