Browse Tag

RDO

A new Member to EGTBW (Re-published)

Due to the lockdown in Spain there is no news from the courts at present so we have re-published a previous article to add a little bit of humour to the current situation. Back in June 2016 Inside Timeshare published the following article, it started with a “Spoof” Trade Body which Inside Timeshare had just become a member of. Due to some of the articles we have published recently it was decided to republish this article as a warning that even “Trade Bodies” cannot be relied upon to give consumers the best advice or even tell the truth. (The article has also been amended from the original).

Although the article starts with some humour the message is very real, we hope that you enjoy reading it.

Inside Timeshare is proud to announce that it has been invited to become a member of the prestigious trade body EGTBW. This is the European Guild of Timeshare Blog Writers, it is affiliated to the IATBWG, the International Association of Timeshare Blog Writers Guilds.

Becoming a member means that Inside Timeshare must adhere to the Code of Conduct and Ethics of this Organisation.

  1. Members must not attack, make detrimental comments or otherwise demean any organisation that is a member or affiliated to EGTBW or IATBWG.
  2. Members must adhere to the laws of the EU, or the country of registration. Unless we can get away with it.
  3. The EGTBW and IATBWG will not mediate in any dispute between a member and non-members.
  4. If any organisation or entity has a complaint about a member of this organisation it must be taken directly to the member concerned.
  5. Any member may lie or spread false information about any non-member, citing freedom of speech and expression.
  6. If any action is taken against a member, both organisations will fully support that member, no matter what it has done wrong.
  7. Members may display both the EGTBW and IATBWG logos on all promotional material, correspondence and websites.

This Logo is a sign of quality and is a kitemark of excellence.

So there we have it Inside Timeshare has paid its £20,000 a year membership fee for the full protection and backup of these prestigious organisations. It now means we can do what the hell we like, so there!

If this was not a joke it would be farcical but unfortunately, this is all too real in timeshare. On a daily basis we see owners and members being treated in the most disrespectful manner, we have also seen numerous court cases against the timeshare industry for breaking legislation.

There is an organisation that is supposed to be the trade body of this industry The RDO, (In the US it is ARDA), but it is its own members that are breaking the rules. What do they do about it? Not a sausage.

rdo-logo

This organisations own code of conduct states that members should adhere to any legislation and laws regarding the sale of timeshare. Yet we see illegal contracts still being sold, deposits being taken on the day, all in breach of EU Directives which are supposed to be in each member state’s laws.

The industry funds this organisation and it does its bidding, it will not even investigate its members when a complaint is made by an owner or member. They say that you must deal with your own resort/company.

They also believe that the press does not research the stories they publish, creating even more of a slur on the industry. Following is a direct quote from their own website under why join the RDO:

“Vacation ownership has been the victim of poorly researched press attention. These articles and broadcasts can cause serious and lasting damage to the reputation of the industry. RDO works on behalf of vacation ownership companies to clear up any misinformation, accusations of sharp business practices and to actively encourage the education of journalists and travel bloggers.”

“We believe that this work directly benefits all businesses in the industry by maintaining buyer confidence in holiday ownership. Additionally, RDO members have the added marketing advantage of being able to display the RDO logo on their marketing material. The RDO logo is a Kite Mark of quality for the holiday ownership industry and enables RDO Members to offer additional peace of mind to their customers.”

So a prestigious journalist such as Tony Hetherington has poorly researched his articles. (It must be pointed out that MacDonald Resorts have not been RDO members since 2005, but these articles highlight a problem that is rampant throughout the industry).

tony hetherington
thisismoney

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2346500/TONY-HETHERINGTON-I-escape-nightmare-sun.html

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2698355/TONY-HETHERGINGTON-Even-death-not-rid-timeshare.html

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2527546/TONY-HETHERINGTON-Timeshare-boss-relents-spite-fighting-talk.html

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/article-1323162/TONY-HETHERINGTON-Death-doesnt-bring-end-timeshare-fee.html

So these are poorly research are they?

On another point, there have been numerous rulings made by the Spanish Supreme Court regarding the timeshare laws, Anfi (an RDO member) have been on the receiving end of these rulings, having contracts declared null and void and huge amounts having to be repaid to consumers. Anfi believe the court has got it wrong, the RDO it seems agrees with them!

For many, timeshare has become a burden, the membership base is aging, new younger members are not being attracted to the concept, hence many sales offices are closing and staff being laid off. Yet those that want to get out of their membership are being held to “ransom”, they can’t sell (no resale market) and can’t get out without paying huge amounts for the privilege.

What does the RDO do about this problem of getting out of the timeshare?

It enhances its “Code of Conduct” for so-called “legacy” cases, or those sold in perpetuity. The rules are not really very helpful and are as follows:

  • In the event of the death of a joint owner, the surviving owner can surrender their timeshare if they wish and additionally, the beneficiaries of a will are not obliged to take on the timeshare if they do not wish to do so.
  • A timeshare owner who has been declared bankrupt may hand back the timeshare without charge.
  • If a sole owner or either of the joint owners is suffering from a long-term illness that prevents them from travelling to their resort for the foreseeable future, the timeshare interest may be surrendered.
  • In all other cases, an owner may surrender their timeshare interest at any time, subject to the agreement of the RDO member. In such cases any surrender fee shall not exceed a sum equivalent to 3 years current maintenance fees.

(Notice it states “Subject to the agreement”)

As the industry trade body, should not the RDO back up these owners and make sure their members act in an ethical manner.

What of TATOC in all this?

tatoc logo

No surprise here, they back the RDO plans to the hilt, after all they are funded by RDO members who pay them to be members of TATOC, all so they can display this organisation’s logo. Oh sorry, it is another sign of prestige, you can trust us we are members of The RDO and TATOC; just look at our logos!

Since this article was first published TATOC has now been totally discredited and forced into bankruptcy. (Search TATOC in the search bar for previous articles). For years this organisation run by the infamous “Harry or is it Henry” Taylor, duped timeshare owners into believing that it was a credible organisation out to protect timeshare owners. It has now been proven that this was not in fact the case, in fact TATOC’s backing of MacDonald Resorts move to transfer their fixed week owners to the infamous points system and become members of a vacation club rather than owners, is a prime example.

We started this article with a spoof, the only thing is this spoof is real when it comes to timeshare. The industry is in decline, its reputation has been sullied, it only has itself to blame, the past greed and belief that they could get away with anything has finally caught up with it. Consumers no longer believe the “sales pitch”, they can see it is not value for money, members see their resorts being rented out to non members on the internet, usually for less than their maintenance fees. Yet the industry and the Trade Bodies cannot see the writing on the wall because they still believe they are right!

Inside Timeshare will continue to highlight any bad practice and report any news within the world of timeshare. If you have any questions regarding your ownership/membership, or need to know which company to deal with, contact Inside Timeshare and we will get back to you.

Start the Week

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, it has been a rather quiet weekend with not many emails with the usual horror stories of scams and more scams with new names being added to the ever-growing list. At the end of Friday, the following news came in with the latest court cases for that week.

Once again Canarian Legal Alliance had a very successful week in the courts, they received 18 rulings in favour of their clients with 4 of these being firm sentences from the High Court.

To explain, a firm sentence from the High Court is where one party usually the timeshare resort has not accepted the ruling of the Court of First Instance and lodged an appeal with the High Court. The High Court can either reject the appeal and send it straight back for execution of sentence or it may hear the case and either confirm the sentence or overrule it. Due to the Supreme Court rulings, it is very unlikely that they will change the original sentence.

CLA Legal Team

Once again it was Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL who had the highest tally of cases found against them with 13 in total. The cases placed before the courts were all the usual infringements, contracts with over 50 years in duration, floating weeks and points systems and not to forget the illegal taking of any payments within the statutory cooling-off period. Contracts were all declared null and void with a total of 689,117.15€ being returned to the happy clients.

Silverpoint came in second place with 3 victories for the clients, again the contracts were declared null and void with the usual variety of infringements, points, floating weeks, length of contracts and the taking of payments during the cooling-off period. In total, the courts awarded 240,687.12€ back to the clients.

Holiday Club Gran Canaria received yet another ruling declaring the contract null and void and the client being awarded 16,310.10€.

The last company is Regency Resorts and Tenelosa SL, with the court’s ruling that the contract is illegal and declaring it null and void, the lucky clients, in this case, will now receive 29,877.15€.

These cases do show that the courts are consistently ruling in favour of the clients and following the rulings laid down by the Supreme Court in the 130 cases which they have heard over the past few years. This should leave clients and timeshare operators that the courts will uphold the law and protect consumers from the type of illegal contracts which have been sold for many years.

Moving on from the courts, it has been noticed that mindtimeshare has not been very active recently, the last post they published is dated 14 November 2019. Now considering that they tended to post on an almost daily basis this lack of articles is very noticeable and we find it to be very unusual.

Could it be that they are now so low on funding that the staff have been laid off?

It was a very rough ride for that particular blog site especially when Alberto Garcia was disgraced, having to resign his role as director and then they lost all their funding from the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation).

So could this be the last of mindtimeshare, only time will tell?

It has also been noticed that the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association) has improved the articles they are publishing, obviously, this is due to the fact that ECC has now taken control from Mark Rowe.

Under Rowe’s control, the TCA lost all credibility and it became just a wagon to promote his own companies, that is not what the TCA was intended to do when the late Sandy Grey began operating many years ago. It does look as though under the ECC we will see this publication going back to its roots and providing consumers with genuine facts and information. Inside Timeshare welcomes this change and hopes to collaborate with them in identifying the growing number of scam companies.

That’s all for today if you would like further information on your timeshare, whether you have a valid claim, just want to know how to get out or would like to know if a company is genuine then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Silverpoint Declares Liquidation: Who will be Next?

Welcome to the Friday edition of Inside Timeshare, today we have some breaking news which has just been made public. There has been a huge amount of speculation regarding the Silverpoint, most of these rumours have claimed that Silverpoint has already been placed into liquidation, that is not actually the case. The process is more complicated than simply “going into liquidation” as we will try to explain.

On 15 January 2020, Silverpoint presented to the Mercantile Court a declaration of insolvency & provisional liquidation (Concurso de Acreedores). This does not actually mean they have declared bankruptcy. It is a legal process in Spain which can be invoked by the company voluntary or invoked by its creditors. It is applied when the company is considered to have more creditors than it does assets.

This move is something that Inside Timeshare and others including Canarian Legal Alliance have been expecting for some time. Over the past few years, Silverpoint has been monitored very closely with the movement of funds between various accounts at the forefront.

This transfer of funds and assets was a blatant move to hide them from the authorities to avoid payment, this has already resulted in an investigation initiated by the State Attorney. (See links for the report in El Diario at the end).

The first part of this process is for the Mercantile Court to appoint an external (independent) administrator who is then obliged to inform all creditors of the current situation. The administrator will also have to produce a full and exhaustive report on Silverpoint’s financial operation over the past years.

If the administrator discovers any serious irregularities not only with the liquidation but the actual running of the company, they can, in essence, classify the liquidation and company administrator guilty. This means that the administrator, which in the case of Silverpoint is Mark Cushway, may be personally responsible with his own assets, he may even face a custodial sentence.

Mark Cushway: Could find himself liable.

At this point Inside Timeshare must point out that Mark Cushway was also CEO of Resort Properties before it became Silverpoint so he must have known all about how the company was operated. He was also a director of the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) the so-called industry trade body. Silverpoint was also one of the largest contributors to RDO funds until they resigned their membership.

The purpose of the Concurso de Acreedores is not to close the company down, it is to attempt to pay all creditors so as to clear the financial situation of the company and if possible overturn a complicated situation preparing the company for future business. Preventing bankruptcy is a priority of this procedure. However, if the declarations being presented are found to be a fraudulent application for insolvency, then this opens up a very nasty can of worms for the company administrators.

As our title suggests, could other timeshare companies be contemplating the same procedure?

Inside Timeshare has already published the fact that the Provincial State Prosecutor in Gran Canaria is already taking a keen interest in the timeshare resort of Anfi. This again stems from the fact that Anfi is transferring assets and funds to other various companies in an attempt to delay or even avoid paying what the courts have ordered. Again this could lead to criminal prosecutions and include jail time for the administrators of the companies involved.

https://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-hits-spanish-television-news/

The question now which will be on the minds of all those with cases waiting for court hearings and those contemplating taking out litigation against Silverpoint is where does this leave them?

From what we have been told our understanding is that it will not have that much of an effect, the cases will instead of being placed with the Civil Court using timeshare laws, will be transferred to the Mercantile Courts. This means that the clients will then be classified as creditors and will then have priority in the eyes of the appointed administrator.

Inside Timeshare advises all those with cases pending to contact their lawyers for more detailed clarification as to their own personal circumstances. For those who are clients of Canarian Legal Alliance, they have also published today this news on their website. This report goes into a lot more depth than we are able to here.

If you have not already filed a claim to have your contract declared null and void with the return of your full purchase price and would like to know how this latest news affects you, then please use our contact page and we will get back to you.

Our final word of warning is now this news has broken, please beware that there will be many “bogus” claims companies and law firms who will use this to their own advantage in order to scare people into paying for “legal services” as a matter of urgency. If you receive any calls to this effect then contact Inside Timeshare and we will help you sort out the genuine from the scams.

Have a great weekend and join us again next week for more news and information on the murky world of timeshare.

El Diario Article

https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tenerifeahora/tribunales/Fiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

El Diario English

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

El Diario Danish

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=da&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

El Diario German

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

El Diario Finnish

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=fi&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

El Diario Norwegian

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

El Diario Swedish

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcanariasahora%2Ftenerifeahora%2Ftribunales%2FFiscalia-venta-propiedades-timesharing-sur-Tenerife-turismo_0_950155565.html

Translations of this article

Danish

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=da&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fsilverpoint-declares-liquidation-who-will-be-next%2F

Finnish

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=fi&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fsilverpoint-declares-liquidation-who-will-be-next%2F

German

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=de&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fsilverpoint-declares-liquidation-who-will-be-next%2F

Norwegian

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=no&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fsilverpoint-declares-liquidation-who-will-be-next%2F

Swedish

https://translate.google.es/translate?hl=en-GB&tab=rT1&authuser=0&sl=es&tl=sv&u=https%3A%2F%2Finsidetimeshare.com%2Fsilverpoint-declares-liquidation-who-will-be-next%2F