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The Tuesday Slot: Anfi and More Woes from the High Court

At the end of last week, the news was received of further appeals to the High Court of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, by Anfi were once again rejected, yesterday yet another appeal was dismissed by the same court. In all cases, Anfi lost the initial case at the Court of First Instance of San Bartelóme de Tirajana. In one case not only did Anfi appeal, but the lawyers for the client also appealed as the Court of First Instance failed to recognise or make reference to the payment in double of any payments made during the statutory cooling-off period.

In our first case, Norwegian clients being represented by Lawyers from Canarian Legal Alliance won their case at the Court of First Instance, where the judge declared the contract null and void. The court also demanded that Anfi repay the client 42,429€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

Once again Anfi decided that they did not agree with the decision regardless that on every occasion they have lost the appeal, but launched it anyway.

The lawyers of CLA on behalf of the client also launched their own appeal regarding the failure of the court to award double the deposit taken during the cooling-off period. This point is a matter of law and has been confirmed on numerous occasions by the Supreme Court.

The Judge of the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas rejected and dismissed the Anfi appeal but did accept the appeal by CLA on behalf of their client. The Court recognised that the illegally taken deposit should have been refunded in double.

They increased the award by 16,420€ which brought the total amount to 58,849€, added to this will be the legal interest and legal costs.

The following day another Anfi appeal was rejected and dismissed by the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas.

The original trial involving another Norwegian client originally won their case at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of SBT. The judge, in this case, declared the contract illegal and therefore null and void, they also demanded that Anfi repay 57,813€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

In this ruling, the judge did recognise the point on the illegal taking of deposits, doubling up the amount taken illegally.

But as we have come to expect Anfi once again launched an appeal, once again they lost.

The High Court confirmed the sentence without hesitation and ordered the repayment of the said amount and confirming the contract was null and void.

Yesterday it was yet another Norwegian client of CLA who had their case concluded by the High Court.

The original ruling from the Court of First Instance declared the contract null and void with Anfi being ordered to repay the client 88,000€ plus legal interest and legal costs. In this case, the Court of First Instance recognised the illegality of the taking of any payment within the statutory cooling-off period. This doubling of the deposits taken amounted to 37,000€ more than the client originally paid.

But once again Anfi did not agree with the ruling and once again launched their appeal to the High Court.

As we have seen in all cases being heard on appeal, the High Court, this time Court Number 3 of Las Palmas, rejected and dismissed the appeal and confirmed 100% the original sentence of the Court of First Instance.

All these cases were prepared and conducted on behalf of the clients by CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Caroline Castro assisting the client during the procedures.

As we have been seeing over and over again, Anfi appeals every case, the reason, your guess is as good as mine.

What we do know is that Anfi along with other timeshare resorts and the industry trade body the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) still believe that the law is wrong, that the Supreme Court has misinterpreted the law. This is rather incredulous considering the time it has taken for the law to be verified and the 130 rulings made by the Supreme Court, all confirming the law and the sentences of the lower courts.

We also know that Anfi is employing some very underhand tactics by using this appeals process to delay payments. It is a fact that has been published not just here on Inside Timeshare but also in the Spanish press, that Anfi is moving funds from various bank accounts to give the impression they have no money.

This point is also being investigated by the Provincial Prosecutors Office with the assistance of lawyers from CLA, who have provided much of the evidence of these accounts.

It is also a fact that these appeals not only confirm the payments ordered but also cost Anfi a great deal of money. There are the legal costs of launching an appeal, our information is that it costs around 3000€ just to file the appeal with the court, add to this the cost of their legal representation, plus the accumulation of interest on the awarded sums, it does not take a mathematician to work out how much this is costing Anfi.

No doubt we shall be seeing many more of these cases on our pages over the course of the next year, as it seems like Anfi are not about to change their tactics.

If you would like further information on your legal rights and whether or not you have a valid and viable case, 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

Mid Week Review: Mindtimeshare Post and Marriott Payout Voluntarily

Well, here we are, halfway through the last week of February and it has been quite a month for news from the courts, with Anfi appeals being systematically dismissed and others such as Palm Oasis and Marriott paying out without all the problems. Yesterday we also highlighted one case against Marriott with the story of one family’s purchase. This story certainly showed how misleading sales presentations can be and it also highlighted the problem of availability and then the ability to be able to book independently online, often cheaper than the annual maintenance fees.

First, we must address a post on the blog site Mindtimeshare.

On 17 February, Inside Timeshare published the article “Anfi and the Tui Connection: Are Tui Liable for Court Claims?”

This looked at a question that is being asked in legal circles, it is still under debate and the possibility is being investigated by various lawyers. The article did not as Mindtimeshare would have you believe say that Tui was liable for paying out on claims while they controlled Anfi.

The article clearly showed that Tui who was in control of the “Board of Directors” were at the time responsible for the decisions of all companies within the Anfi Group and that includes the sales departments. Although they are registered companies in their own right, they are still part of the Anfi Group which was controlled by Tui at the time, the same as the Cazorla Group are now. So the question still stands.

It is obvious that the person writing for Mindtimeshare has absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Their article is insinuating that the purpose behind the article is to “confuse” owners into making “spurious” legal claims. The purpose of the article is to inform people of legal questions and issues which are being raised, discussed and investigated. The article did not say that Tui was liable, it asked the question “could they be liable”.

Mindtimeshare has taken out of context in their blog this quote “This may also mean they are also liable for the claims against Anfi…”

(Obviously not a native English speaker!)

The full text is:

“Although Tui is no longer a shareholder at Anfi, they are legally responsible for the sale of the contracts which are illegal under Timeshare Law 42/98, sold under their watch as the controlling body of Anfi Group.”

“This may also mean they are also liable for the claims against Anfi which amount to over 48 million euros.”

Again it is posing a question, could they be liable in law?

They also state in their blog a point they have used for many years, that “Cold Calls” are “illegal” and not allowed under current Data Protection Law. Cold calls are not illegal, they are a recognised marketing tool and used by many industries. There are very strict rules which call centres must abide by, there are also rules on the data that is used. It must come from a legitimate and verifiable source, the information that they hold is also limited. Unsolicited emails, text messages etc are not allowed, emails can only be sent with the permission of the person being called. The information gained on these calls also cannot be passed to any other third party without the express permission either in writing or via a recording of the call by the “potential client”.

Once again we see Mindtimeshare confusing people with their half baked blogs, it appears they are also struggling to find anything to write about. Recently their posts have been gleaned from other sources and most are what can be called old news.

Alberto Garcia, is he back at the helm?

So again we have to ask the question, who is behind Mindtimeshare now, is Alberto Garcia back in control?

How are they being funded now?

What are they doing with all the data they have collected from “consumers” over the years?

These are very legitimate questions, after all for years this blog site was in the pay of the industry, with Silverpoint and Anfi being major contributors to the funding body the RDO.

Are they still being influenced by this?

On this point of data, Inside Timeshare does not share any readers details when they make an enquiry to any third party. Inside Timeshare will try to answer the questions and if the reader asks for a recommendation of who to go to, then we will give one. It is then down to the individual to make contact with the recommended firm unless the reader expressly asks for Inside Timeshare to make contact on their behalf and this must be in writing to conform to Data Protection.

Moving now to Marriott, yesterday we published the story of one family’s legal battle with Marriott, they have won their case and are just waiting for the payment to be made to the court and then receive this money into their own account.

Just after publishing the news came in about another case against Marriott at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of Marbella, which has now had a very satisfactory conclusion.

The court declared the contract null and void, also ordering Marriott to repay 34,992€ back to the client.

The case was heard in November 2020, with Marriott “VOLUNTARILY” paying the money into the court. These funds have now been released by the court and are now safely in the personal account of the German client, who no doubt is celebrating.

The companies named in the suit are MVCI Management SL and MVCI Holidays SL.

This has taken just 3 months and is one of the fastest payouts that we have seen for some time, this probably due to the fact that Marriott being responsible to their shareholders did admit to losing in the Spanish Courts and had already set aside over $16 million to cover these expenses.

Anfi, once again take note!

The case was prepared and brought on behalf of the client by the Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyer Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client through the process.

We now wait and see if Marriott does the same with the case we highlighted yesterday, we suspect there will be news on this in the very near future.

If you have any questions or comments on any article published or just want to know if whoever has contacted you is genuine, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.