On 5 March, Inside Timeshare published the article about Aspirantco SL, we have been reliably informed of inaccuraccies in this article, which was based on information received from sources we believed reliable.
Aspirantco SL are now the official marketing company for Excel Resorts, which is the management company for all the properties in the former Silverpoint portfolio. Excel Resorts cancelled the contract with Silverpoint for the sales and marketing of the resorts.
Carl Jenkins was the former second in command at Silverpoint, but he resigned as he did not agree with the sales and marketing practices that were being used by Silverpoint. His company Aspirantco Sl are endeavoring to readdress the past mistakes and operate within all legal boundaries.
Inside Timeshare apologises to Carl Jenkins and Aspirantco SL for the misleading information published in the article. Inside Timeshare should have made more stringent checks on the sources. We hope that Carl Jenkins accepts this written apology.
Today’s article is in response to many enquiries that Inside Timeshare receives on an almost daily basis, it centers around the promise of no win no fee claims.
From the many companies now operating in this field, especially since the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that many contracts sold in Spain are illegal, this has become a growth industry.
Firstlly, if you purchased or upgraded an original purchase in Spain since 5 January 1999 and your contract has the following, then you may just have a valid claim:
- The contract is for a duration of more than 50 years, what is usually known as perpetuity;
- You have been sold either floating week or points systems, (in many cases this may include fractional);
- You paid a deposit or even the full amount within the 14 day cooling off period, (in some cases this may be extended to 90 days).
In order to claim it has to be done through the Spanish courts and legal system, this will mean employing a lawyer or law firm with the relevant experience in this field. Not all lawyers will have the correct knowledge of the laws involved.
For example Inside Timeshare knows of one German owner who took on the services of a German Lawyer based in the Canary Islands, to file a claim against Anfi. Unfortunately this particular lawyer wrongly informed his client to stop paying the maintenance fees. Eventually the case went before a judge at the Court of First Instance in Maspalomas, he lost the case. It was deemed that because he had not kept up his maintenance fees he was in breach of contract and his membership had been cancelled.
So what is involved in taking out legal action in Spain?
Once you have found a reputable law firm or lawyer with the correct experience, all contracts will have to be translated into Spanish.
A Power of Attorney will need to be signed to allow the lawyers to act on your behalf. This is not a full Power of Attorney and is only applicable to that case. It can be done either in Spain or at a notary in your own country.
Once this has been done they are then sent to the assigned lawyer for case preparation.
They will then be passed to a Procurador to file at the court along with the relevant court fees and taxes. A judge will then be assigned and the process will start.
For this to be put into place legal fees are required to be paid, these cover all of the above and are payable either in full or can be paid by installments depending on the firm or lawyer you instruct. They do not work on a no win no fee basis.
There are so many companies now that are telling owners that they have a claim and will do this on no win no fee. Then comes the crunch.
In order to do the claim a rather hefty amount of money will need to be paid to cancel the timeshare, or what is known as relinquishment and then the claim can be lodged. In some cases the client also has to buy into another product.
The problem is once a contract has been terminated then no claim can be filed at any Spanish court, so where and how is the claim going to be done?
The most common is through Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974.
Unfortunately most owners will have purchased more than 6 years previously, which most card companies use as the cutoff point. Also the fact the owners will have most probably used their timeshare in the period since they purchased.
So the timeshare resort or company will quite rightly state that the owner had received the goods or service they had paid for, after all they have taken the holidays.
Section 75 will cover:
- Not receiving the goods or services paid for.
- The company has gone into liquidation.
- Faulty goods or goods not fit for purpose.
It does not cover the fact that you were sold a timeshare product that has been deemed an illegal contract in Spain.
As for timeshares purchased elsewhere, the same would also apply under section 75.
For information on what is involved in a section 75 follow the link to the Martin Lewis website:
There are some UK firms that will offer a claim through the Spanish courts on a no win no fee basis, which may be genuine, these will use what are known as litigation funding. In essence these are companies that speculate on the probability of a win and will invest the funds to pay for the legal services. These will result in at least 40% of any funds awarded being taken in commission. Many of these types of litigation funders are used for class actions.
If you are tempted by these type of offers, one thing should be taken into account, an insurance policy should be purchased to cover any costs in the event of losing and being awarded the other sides costs, or you could be in for a bill of thousands.
There are some very basic questions you need to ask, if they are unable to provide any answers then you do need to think very hard in accepting their offers.
- What type of claim are they doing, is it a section 75 or are they using the courts?
- If they are using the courts, which jurisdiction are they using?
- What are the names of the lawyers including bar association membership numbers or the law firms they will be employing?
- If on a no win no fee basis, how is the court case to be funded?
Remember, not all timeshares sold will be valid to make a claim, off course the company talking to you will tell you that you do have a claim, after all they are sales people after your money.
It is also fair to point out that many law firms only offer no win no fee for injury, accident and medical negligence claims, these are where the client is going for compensation. With timeshare claims you are not getting compensation, but the return of money originally paid for a contract that is deemed illegal.
If you have been contacted by any company offering any of these services and would like to know the truth behind what they are saying, contact Inside Timeshare and we will give you an honest answer.
Want to know if a company or law firm is genuine again contact Inside Timeshare, don’t forget, doing your homework will save you in the end.