Browse Tag

Supreme Court

Mid Week Roundup

So far this week we have published the story on Marriott and the availability of weeks via various booking sites, these tend to be cheaper than the amounts paid by members in annual maintenance fees. This article was prompted by the many complaints received by Inside Timeshare from owners/members not being able to get the bookings they want due to “no availability”. We then published a warning on a new claims company C and J Legal Associates Ltd. As we reported this company has some rather dubious links. Even though the courts are now getting back to normal, so far we have received only two new results, as usual one is against Anfi, the other is against La Pinta Beach Club.

On Monday the Court of First Instance No 5 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, declared another Anfi contract null and void with an award of over 18,000€

This is a very interesting case as it took less than a year, which also included the shutdown of the courts due to the pandemic. The pretrial hearing had to be delayed because of this, but when the preliminary hearing took place at the end of July, the judge on the evidence presented made the decision that a full trial was not necessary.

The evidence presented was sufficient for the judge to make a ruling in accordance with the Spanish Timeshare Law 42/98, that the contract which was in perpetuity was in breach of the maximum duration of 50 years allowed by law.

Once again the judge ruled in accordance with the numerous Supreme Court rulings on this subject, finding in favour of the consumer.

The following day at the Court of First Instance No1 of Arona, Tenerife, it was the turn of International Holiday Way Marketing to face the consequences of selling timeshare at La Pinta Beach Club in breach of the law. The contract contained the floating week’s system which guarantees the member absolutely nothing apart from a promise of accommodation subject to availability.

The contract was duly declared null and void with the client being awarded over 11,000€, so another happy ex-timeshare owner.

It now remains to be seen if Anfi does what they usually do and lodges an appeal to the high court to create more delays and stress for the client. We doubt if International Holiday Way Marketing will appeal, but we will have to wait and see.

Both these cases were presented on behalf of the clients by Canarian Legal Alliance.

On this note, Inside Timeshare has been made aware by several readers that many of the new “cold calling” “claims” companies are using tactics which can only be described as “dodgy”. In many of the calls, Canarian Legal Alliance is being accused of not taking clients cases to court, that it is all a sham and that no one has ever been paid. They also claim that CLA is dragging everything out and that the “cold callers” can get the case resolved within months.

Well, all Inside Timeshare can say is the cases we publish are genuine, the documents have been verified with their respective courts. CLA is doing the job they claim and with 130 successful cases at the Supreme Court (the only law firm to do so) proves the fact that they actually do the job.

We also know that cases can take a long time to be resolved, the wheels of justice do not turn very fast. It is also a fact that many timeshare companies resort to delaying tactics to draw out these cases with constant and frivolous appeals and motions to have cases dismissed on futile grounds.

The courts are fully aware of this and as we have seen with Anfi, extra penalties have been awarded against them in favour of the client.

Please remember that many of these new “companies” have only just emerged with websites and companies only registered a matter of ago, so ask yourselves one question, how can a company that has only been operating for a few months have all this success?

The answer is simple, they have not had any success, they have never relinquished a timeshare, nor have they ever had any cases in court. It is also very doubtful if they ever will, especially once they have your money!

If you have been contacted by any company and you would like to know if they are genuine, or if you would like to know your legal position and whether you have a valid and viable case, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

REMEMBER, DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST!

T&M Mediation Group SL Resurface

Today we highlight a company that first came to light around 2014, it then vanished until another brief appearance in 2016 then vanishing. It resurfaced again in 2019 and has once again come to the attention of Inside Timeshare through our readers. As you will see from our preliminary enquiries they do appear to be what they claim.

T and M Mediation Group SL is the name they give on their website and Facebook page, which by the way does not seem very active. The current website was registered on 29 June 2019 and is due to expire on 29 June 2021, again the registrant is hidden.

https://www.tandmmediationgroup.com/

The website itself gives no actual company information such as registration number or address. We have not traced any company by this name on any Spanish or UK company records. They even claim they have been “Leading specialists in compensation settlements since 1998”.

However, when checking the various menu options we did find a reference to a “CIF” number,  X4774062K which is actually an NIE number, this number has actually been issued to the “supposed” owner of the company Jane Mazzone, these are issued to foreigners and are not company registration numbers. This number has been confirmed as hers from an entry in an official bulletin.

The address and telephone number given corresponds to those on their Facebook page which is:

San Eugenio alto, Torviscas, Costa Adeje, 38660 Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Which shows as a Commercial Centre on Google Maps.

Telephone: 0034 643946663 (Spanish mobile)

Under the Practices heading we did find a list of names under “Our Team” it gives the owners names as:

Andrew David Thorpe and Jane Mazzone

The Manageress is Jade Chandler, which is a name supplied by our readers as well.

The Administration staff are: Elizabeth Brown and Simon O’Donnell

Paralegal CLA: Mrs Ernestina Mary Clayton (we are not sure what the CLA refers to, could this be an attempt to show a link with the law firm CLA?)

Abagado Canaries office: Domingo Hernandez

Abagado Spanish office: Ruban Cortez

Paralegal Portugal office: Phillipe Stark

(Spellings for Abogado are from their website, so can’t even spell that word correctly)

Although we have tried to determine if the Abogados are genuine names there is not enough information to conduct a thorough search of the Colegio de Abogados database.

They also claim to have a law firm in the UK which they show as Legal Claims Solicitors UK, with a very vague address of Hertford Hertfordshire SG14. Once again no law firm has been found with this name in the UK, not even with Company House Records.

What is very strange is the notice regarding Legal Claims and what they do, it certainly looks like they use Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974, but it is this paragraph which gives cause for concern:

“We reserve the right to utilize T&M Mediation group S.L, and their Spanish Abogados to take whatever means necessary, and who can, and will address the Supreme Court in Madrid over the matter if your card provider or timeshare resort fails to conduct lawfully under the section 75 of the consumer credit act 1974 legislation’s.”

This does seem a very strange statement to make, that if the card provider fails to “conduct lawfully under Section 75”, then T&M Mediation and their “Spanish Lawyers” will address the Supreme Court in Madrid!

How does the Supreme Court of Spain have any jurisdiction over a claim under Section 75 which is UK legislation?

Now at the moment, we do not know how they intend to operate as our readers declined to continue with their cold call, but what we can tell you is their News Section under “More” is made from cut and paste jobs from other websites. We know this as the article Inside Timeshare published on 17 January 2020, the only change is the name T&M Mediation has replaced that of Inside Timeshare, both links are below. 

Their News page

https://www.tandmmediationgroup.com/news

Original Inside Timeshare article

https://insidetimeshare.com/silverpoint-declares-liquidation-who-will-be-next/

They even have the cheek to publish the end warning word for word in big bold red letters!

So, what do we have, a company with no legal registration, a UK “law firm” which does not seem to exist, and two addresses which are very vague and only a mobile number?

Then we have the illegal use of one of our own articles along with those purloined from other websites. Not very inspiring are they!

As usual, the warning is to beware the cold callers, check them out thoroughly before engaging their services. Not all cold callers are scams but the vast majority will be, hence doing your homework is vital.

If you have been contacted by T&M Mediation Group or by any other company and would like to check their validity, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Catching up with the Courts

Today we play catchup with news from the courts, although August is usually quiet as it is the annual closedown, there have been some surprising sentences issued. These are judgements for trials and appeals heard up to several months ago but have now only just been released. We begin first with news from the High Court Number 3 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

This case against Silverpoint Vacations SL was originally heard in the Court of First Instance where the judgement was in accordance with the rulings of the Supreme Court. The contract was declared null and void and the client was awarded back their full purchase price.

Silverpoint then lodged an appeal against the sentence with the High Court which is their legal right. But as we know not just from Silverpoint cases but virtually all timeshare companies will appeal to draw out the process.

The High Court once again affirmed the decision of the Court of First Instance and dismissed the Silverpoint appeal. They confirmed the contract was null and void plus confirmed the award of 33,350.32€ plus legal costs and legal interest. The court also awarded the client compensation for the illegal taking of deposits within the Statutory Withdrawal period.

In this case, the English client was represented by the Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Jasmin Erhard looking after the client.

The case will now be sent to the Mercantile Court in order to recover the funds. This, as we know, is due to the fact that Silverpoint is in the process of liquidation. It should also be pointed out that many former managers are under investigation not just civil proceedings but possible criminal charges as well.

These cover not only the investigation into the “illegal bankruptcy” but also cover allegations of consumer fraud, money laundering, social security and tax fraud plus not to forget the “Ponzi” type scheme of the company participations.

When the news breaks Inside Timeshare will be there with it.

Staying with the High Court, this time in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, it was the turn of Anfi to have two cases dismissed by the court. Again upholding the judgement of the Court of First Instance.

Both clients, one English the other Danish had their contracts declared null and void and in total, they have been awarded 72,399.37€ plus legal interest. The judges also agreed that the deposits illegally taken with the cooling-off period should also be repaid back in double.

Considering that every appeal Anfi seems to make is dismissed by the High Court, which is their legal right, it is puzzling, to say the least, why they continue with this course of action. Surely they will have realised by now that they are on a complete loser!

In another case at the Court of First Instance, the court again declared an Anfi contract null and void. The English Client was also awarded 42,308.00€ plus legal interest. This also included double the amount taken for the illegal taking of deposits.

No doubt we will probably see Anfi launch yet another frivolous appeal to the High Court. So watch this space for that case in the future.

It also appears that Anfi in their futile attempt to staunch the flow of cases against them have begun another round of mailings. Once again the subject of the mailing is to “coerce” members into signing the new contact which legalises their existing one. This then takes away their rights to sue for the misselling of the original contract.

This has now been going on since June 2017 when the Special General Meeting was held for a vote on which format the contracts should take. The link below will take you to the original article.

https://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-special-general-meeting-vote/

We have also seen Anfi using the current situation of closed hotels and resorts, the cancellations of flights as an excuse to “coerce” members into signing. We published this story back in March, where in order to save this year’s unused weeks they will issue a voucher. Only if you sign the new contract!

https://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-members-complain-about-anfi-attitude/

Well, I do think that says it all about Anfi and all these timeshare companies, for too long they have treated their “Valued Members” with contempt, now they attempt to do so again even though they are clearly in the wrong.

Would you like to know if your contract is illegal and whether you have a valid and viable case?

If you would like further information on this or any other subject, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.