Following a record year in 2021 which saw 351 awards for M1 Legal clients totalling £5.9 million pounds, 2022 has started where 2021 left off, with a slew of major Spanish courts victories in January. M1 Legal reported 20 awards where the judge declared the contracts declared null and void and awarded compensation totalling £301,647.
The majority of victories (15 in total) were against Anfi and Club la Costa World and valued at £251,429, with the remaining £50,218 spread over 5 other resorts. Highlighted victories include a £38,982 award against Onagrup and a £37,866 appeal award against Diamond Resorts.
In 2015 laws were enacted to protect timeshare consumers from high pressure sales. These laws mean that European timeshare owners with contracts dated after 5th January 1999 are potentially sitting on substantial amounts of money.
In 2017, M1 Legal secured their first victory against timeshare giant Club la Costa in the Spanish courts and since then have established their position as the leading specialists in timeshare claims.
M1 legal have continued to push boundaries fighting for timeshare consumer rights and striven to bring timeshare companies to justice over illegal contracts, setting strings of landmark legal precedents along the way.
In 2021, Barclays Partner Finance (BPF) agreed to pay compensation in excess of £48 million pounds to timeshare owners who were mis-sold finance for disgraced Maltese timeshare company Azure.
This story was covered in The Times, Financial Times and other major news outlets. The remediation process started in September 2021 and is expected to be complete by April 2022.
Adriana Stoyanova (AKA the “Erin Brockovich of timeshare”) was the solicitor collaborating with M1 Legal who led the campaign with the Finance Conduct Authority (FCA).
More appalling behaviour from Club La Costa
In 2021, Club La Costa reported that, during the height of the pandemic, their profits actually soared. RMF Europe Ltd a key company in the CLC group’s management structure increased its profits by a staggering 38.2% from the previous year.
This windfall was because of two main factors
- CLC continuing to demand full maintenance fees, despite minimal expenditure, and staff wages being paid by UK and Spanish governments
- CLC’s short sighted policy of deferring their legal obligation to pay compensation to their victims
As well as the profits garnered by the policies above, the company applied for (and received) a €5 million, low interest, government backed loan (with a guaranteed 1 year payment holiday) intended to help businesses struggling with COVID related loss of income. This €5 million further swelled CLC’s coffers, while companies in genuine need were fighting for their fiscal lives.
Also in 2021, CLC’s creditors scored a huge victory by having the existing administrators (BDO) replaced by the preferred FRP. An early success achieved by FRP was to have the administration extended by an extra 12 months, allowing them the time needed to drill down into CLC’s ‘complex’ finances.
2022 is expected to bring significant success in the compensation award battle. We will keep you informed as the administration process with FRP progresses.
2022 Maintenance Fees
Timeshare owners everywhere are furious about having paid maintenance fees during the pandemic without getting a holiday in return, and are actively investigating ways to escape their memberships.
Timeshare resorts have been called out for their greed during the pandemic, and owners are asking themselves why they should continue to pay for something so dated and restrictive.
Minimal resort running costs
Since the start of the pandemic, timeshare resorts have seen record profits due to closure of resorts and furloughing of their workforce. Since then, some have partially re-opened but many staple facilities have been cut or downsized.
Timeshare units being advertised
Timeshare resorts are no longer exclusive and most can be booked through regular holiday sites like Booking.com. Owners are demanding to know why resorts are promoting elsewhere while claiming there is no availability necessary to accommodate existing owners.
In 2021, two of the largest European timeshare resorts went into business with larger timeshare companies and have been rebranded. Club la Costa has announced a ‘partnership’ with Wyndham network and Diamond Resorts is now part of Hilton.
Owners are concerned as to how these changes will affect their memberships what extra costs may be introduced.