Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, just for a change, this weekend has been rather quiet with very few emails being received and no new “dubious” law firms or claims companies coming to light. Once again the emails we have received feature the same old names we have been publishing over the past few weeks such as Torcaz Abogados, JSD Group and Morales and Maxwell. All with the same wonderful news that the client has a substantial amount of money waiting for them in the courts, but as usual you must pay them first to release the money. You can see all the articles on JSD, Morales and Torcaz on the links below.
Having a look around the internet this morning at some of the other websites and forums, we could not help but notice the mindtimeshare website. They have still not published any new blog since 14 November 2019, this is highly unusual for mindtimeshare.
We do know that once Alberto Garcia was removed and they lost their funding from the RDO things have not gone well for them and they apparently reverted to using their own data to pass clients to other companies in order to survive. We just wonder if this is a sign that we may just have heard the last of mindtimeshare?
This case once again involved illegal contracts containing a duration of more than 50 years and was using the “floating weeks” system. The companies were also fined for the illegal taking of deposits within the statutory 14 days cooling-off period.
The original purchase price was around 70,000€ with the penalty payments this has been increased to 103,793.51€, that is almost 34,000€ more than what they originally paid. The court also awarded legal interest and declared the contract null and void.
So we have one very happy ex-Anfi timeshare owner and a very happy successful legal team. Congratulations to you all.
If you think you may have a claim for an illegal timeshare contract and would like to know more about your legal rights and options, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.
Please also remember to check any company that cold calls with the story that your timeshare company has been taken to court and they are now holding substantial sums for you. There will always be a catch.
Today Inside Timeshare once again highlights the plight of Mrs B and her sister in their battle against MacDonald Hotels and Resorts. As many of our regular readers will remember our story begins in 2015, when Mrs B employed the services of ITRA to extricate them from two timeshares, Oasis Lanz in Lanzarote and Dona Lola Club owned by MacDonalds on the Costa del Sol. These timeshares were duly transferred to a named person, with notarised documents showing this to be the case. As far as Oasis Lanz is concerned there has been no problem, they accepted the transfer, this cannot be said of MacDonalds.
Now MacDonalds has engaged the services of a law firm who has instigated legal proceedings in the County Court to claim “arrears” for a timeshare that Mrs B and her sister no longer legally own.
The claim is for £6328.18, court fees of £410, legal representatives costs £80, a total of £6818.18 before any interest is added.
The timeshare was purchased in 2000, while they were on holiday in Spain, after over 4 hours on the presentation they purchased two weeks in a 3 bedroom apartment at a cost of around £7000. At the time they were both in their 70’s and 60’s, now they are in their 90’s.
At this point, we must remind you our readers that the new Spanish Timeshare Law 42/98 had come into force, this made any contract over 50 years (perpetuity) illegal which is what their contract was. They were also as usual told that they were purchasing “property” and that it was an “investment”. As we all know this is totally false.
It should also be noted that MacDonald Hotels and Resorts did transfer all fixed week owners to their own points system, including Mrs B without their permission, which as we know Harry Taylor of the now-defunct TATOC wholeheartedly endorsed. The points system is also illegal under Spanish law.
They did use the timeshare for the first few years, then due to illness they were no longer able to travel, but they continued to pay the maintenance even though they were unable to use the timeshare. They paid this for over 10 years without fail.
After several attempts to sell the timeshare through the resort which came to nothing, they employed the services of ITRA at a cost of over £5000 in 2015.
Eventually, they received from ITRA documents to show the two timeshares had been transferred to a third party, his name address and passport details were also on the documents. After checking the electoral register it was found that this person did indeed exist at the address given.
Oasis Lanz accepted this and they have never received any demands for any maintenance fees. The same cannot be said for MacDonalds.
According to MacDonalds, they do not recognise the “sale or transfer” to the person named, that no member can “sell or transfer” their timeshare without going through MacDonalds. In other words, they hold the “monopoly” on the timeshares with no method of getting out.
Inside Timeshare has copies of all the documents showing the transaction and they are duly notarised by a registered notary in Spain and conform to Spanish law.
Since 2015, MacDonalds have been “threatening” legal action against two old and frail ladies who are also housebound, with Mrs B’s sister who is now very ill, are now making good their threats and issued court documents prior to court action.
The law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP are now the instrument of the MacDonalds bullying tactics and in the opinion of Inside Timeshare are not worthy of being called lawyers. Obviously they are only interested in receiving the substantial payments from this despicable and unethical firm headed by none other than Donald MacDonald himself.
MacDonald Hotels maintain that their contracts are subject to Scottish law and the jurisdiction of Scottish courts, unfortunately, the Spanish courts do not agree as can be seen in a previous article (see link below). This is a case which went to the Spanish courts in 2016, where the Spanish judge dismissed the MacDonalds claim of jurisdiction. The point being the timeshare resort is in Spain and the purchase was made in Spain, therefore Spanish law does have jurisdiction.
This point has also recently been followed in the Spanish courts in cases against Club la Costa and Diamond Resorts. Both of these timeshare companies claimed that as the companies are UK limited companies then UK law and jurisdiction applies, the courts have ruled that Spanish law takes precedence and has jurisdiction.
This particular case is one of the worst that Inside Timeshare has ever seen, out of all the timeshare companies MacDonald Hotels and Resorts are the worst, even the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) the industry trade body has removed their membership. Now for the RDO to do this, things must be bad, after all, they did allow Silverpoint to peddle their “investments” without saying a word.
Inside Timeshare will keep you informed of this case and we are sure that the County Court will see the “evil” that MacDonalds is perpetrating and throw the case out.
If you have had a similar experience or have problems with MacDonalds, please use our contact page and let us know, Inside Timeshare knows that this is not an isolated case, that MacDonalds use these bullying tactics as a matter of course. It is time this company was brought to task.
It’s the end of another week of our “house arrest” yet it has not stopped the “Scammers & Fraudsters” from attempting to deprive you of even more of your hard-earned cash. The sad thing is that many of those being targeted are elderly and especially vulnerable. It is also a fact that many others being targeted have probably lost their income due to the current situation, a fact borne out by members of my own family. Today we give you a roundup of the week’s articles with an update on the Banco de España article and a statement from the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) and Anfi.
We begin with a notice in the news section of the RDO website and the statement by Anfi that the timeshare industry is crucial to the “economic recovery of Spain”. That they have been working to ensure the safety of their “members” during the current crisis.
Well, this is a bit of a joke considering that Inside Timeshare reported on members having to pay a cancellation fee for bookings during this situation, plus having to pay just to re-book their week. But there is also a little clause in their demands, in order to save the week and receive an “accommodation voucher” the member must first sign a “new contract” which they have been trying to implement for around 2 years. This new contract will end any members legal right to take Anfi to court for the illegal contracts they have already sold. Doesn’t sound very fair to us.
The only real truthful part of the statement published is the fact that timeshare resorts do in fact help the local economies, unlike the all-inclusive hotels. As timeshare resorts are predominantly self-catering, local restaurants, bars and shops do benefit, unlike those located around all-inclusive hotels and resorts.
At the start of the week with a short article on MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, this highlighted a little known about a court case against them in Spain in 2016.
The case centred on the illegal contracts of MacDonald Resorts in Spain, which are over the 50 years duration allowed by law and the fact that they are using the points system which is also illegal under Spanish Timeshare law. A system which was championed by the now-discredited Harry Taylor and TATOC.
MacDonalds argued that the Spanish courts did not have jurisdiction over their contracts, maintaining that as MacDonalds is a Scottish company Scottish law and courts only had jurisdiction. The Spanish judge totally disagrees with this and the trial went ahead. Needless to say, MacDonalds lost.
Hopefully, this may open the gates for further cases against MacDonalds who have a terrible reputation especially with regards to the elderly who no longer require their timeshare and now find it a financial burden.
On Tuesday we reported on yet another “new” company which has just started to contact timeshare owners, called Canarian Consumer Alliance or CCA, not to be confused with Canarian Legal Alliance (CLA). It is obvious that CCA has been set up with this in mind as they include articles taken directly from the CLA news section on their website.
As we reported, the CCA website gives two addresses, one in Tenerife and one in London, yet no company record can be found in either country. As for the website, it was only registered on 2 April this year and will expire on 2 April 2021, yet they claim to have been established since 2009!
As usual, the actual owners are hidden and use an IT service provider called J Murray Solutions based in Tenerife. Again there is no record of any company registration in Spain or the UK.
Lopesan along with their German partners IFA are 50% shareholders in the Anfi Group and Apollo Global Management are the owners of Diamond Resorts International, so this posed the question of how might this affect Anfi?
Yesterday, Inside Timeshare reported on a very serious fraud which has just come to our attention, it involves the use of the name of Spain’s National Bank, the Banco de España.
The “scam” is that the “fake”Banco de España is arranging for court awarded payouts to victims of long-standing timeshare fraud, with substantial amounts just waiting to be claimed. But as we have seen with these types of scams there is a “TAX” which needs to be paid first.
Even though the signs of a “SCAM” are very evident we just wonder how many people will have been or will be taken in by it. The first sign is the email address [email protected]which is just a standard free email address provided by Google. The second obvious sign is the contact telephone number 0034602576406 a Spanish mobile number, which would not be used by an institution such as Banco de España.
Inside Timeshare has informed Banco de España of this “fraud” and we have already received a reply that they are grateful for the information and that it has been passed to their legal department. Hopefully, they may just catch the perpetrators of this despicable fraud.
If you have any questions regarding any article and the “scams” highlighted or have been contacted by any company with the great news that money is being held for you by the courts and would like to check if they are genuine (usually they are not), then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you. It is your information which will help others from being ripped off.
That is all for this week, have a great weekend and stay safe.