Our latest victories
M1 LEGAL’S HAT-TRICK SECURES ANFI PAYOUTS TO 3 SETS OF OUR CLIENTS
In the past few months our lawyers at M1 Legal have met Anfi in court 3 times and have won on each occasion. All contracts were deemed to be mis-sold as they were signed in perpetuity (ie. without an end date) and in one case a full description of allocated accommodation was missing. Clients were awarded amounts of £18,000, £25,000 and £26,800 and also had their contracts cancelled putting an end to their timeshare and the annual maintenance fees.
INFINITI/MGM/PETCHEY PAY OUT AGAIN
A Spanish court recently awarded £19,400 to one of our clients after our lawyers challenged MGM in court and won! The former Royal Park Albatros owners also had their contract declared null and void on the grounds that it was mis-sold on two counts the first being that it was signed in perpetuity (i.e with no end date) and the other being that a deposit was taken within first 3 months. For this reason alone they got double the deposit paid back included in their compensation.
FIRST WIN AGAINST A RESORT AND THEIR FINANCING BANK
Within the past few months, some Judges presiding over cases where loans and financing are linked to the timeshare, have requested that representatives from the lending banks also attend the hearing.
We have had our first such incident of this on behalf our client versus Turrihoteles when their lending bank Bankia was also called to court. Our lawyers won the case and as a result the client was awarded 14,337.91€ for the contract being signed in perpetuity and a further 13,515.10€ which was double payment of the deposit the company took before the legal 3 month period.
Lending banks – from high street to high court
Banks which are affiliated to major timeshare resorts are now being held accountable for the irresponsible provision of loans to new timeshare owners.
Judges are now declaring many high street banks guilty of irregularities in the issuing of loans where they have failed to carry out their due diligence when accepting and granting loans.
Big bank names, including Barclays, who have a strong partnership with resorts such as Silverpoint, and Hitachi who supply finance to Club La Costa owners, are being found guilty of failing to carry out due diligence when approving and granting loans. Shawbrook another bank linked to timeshare companies, have previously announced that they had not carried out necessary checks when providing lending and as a result set aside millions of pounds to cover defaults on these loans.
Finance agreements are made out by timeshare sales staff on the day of the sale and have therefore clearly not had the usual credit checks made on them such as: Does the applicant earn enough? Can the applicant afford the repayments? Does the applicant have a good credit history? When approving the loan, the banks usually state on the paperwork, that the purpose of the loan is given for ‘home improvements’ a deliberate move in order to break/disguise/bury the link with timeshare.
The all too well-known aggressive style of selling at resorts, resulted in many timeshare owners being over-stretched financially, coupled with the fact that that they were also burdened with an unwanted product and its ever-increasing annual maintenance fees.
To find out more about your timeshare contract and any lending you may have associated with it, call one of our advisors today on 0203 6704 616
Pinder Reaux secure an out of court settlement for our client
TWENTY years locked into a timeshare holiday agreement finally ended for our clients from Frimley.
Chris and Lin Matthews spoke of their jubilation at becoming unburdened from the millstone around their necks in the form of their previously owned timeshare at the Cromer Country Club in Norfolk through Universal Vacation Club, part of the Petchey Group.
“Yes, we lost a lot of money, but thank God we are finally free of it,” said Chris. “If our story helps someone else to get out of a horrible situation, then some good will have come of it.”
When the Matthews first came in and shared their story with ECC, it had very strong similarities to other stories that we had previously heard.
Their timeshare nightmare began in February 1997 when the couple went along to a presentation in Reigate, Surrey, with open minds to consider whether to ‘invest’ in a timeshare holiday property.
Lin said that first presentation seemed “open and above board” and because it was an English company they felt “protected and safe”. They agreed to pay almost £6,000 for a week’s timeshare at the club, and also pay annual service/maintenance fees. They also took an option to pay an annual fee to timeshare exchange operator RCI, to be able to swap their week in Cromer for a week elsewhere. “At that stage no one said anything about the contract being in perpetuity,” said Lin.
In 1998 the Matthews were invited to two separate sales presentations with each occasion resulting in them increasing their timeshare stake.
Their annual charges started increasing drastically, from £258 in 1997 to nearly fivefold of £1,200 by 2008, while also being hit by more “one off” payments.
Then in January 2002, at another presentation, they were told their timeshare with UVC was being taken over by Infiniti, operated by Atlas Resorts Marketing, also part of the Petchey Group. Following that they were subjected to another high pressure sales presentation where they were told the cost of the change was an additional £5,750 which they paid.
They only used the Infiniti scheme once and stopped using their timeshare in 2008 while still paying into it for a further five years.
In 2012 they got a call from a timeshare disposal company when they learned their contract was ‘in perpetuity’.
“It really shocked us,” said Lin. “It meant they could keep coming after us for the annual fees - not only that, they could do so from our estate after we die, meaning they come after our kids and grandkids.”
ECC advised the Matthews that, together with their team of lawyers, they could get them out of their contract. Our UK legal team at Pinder Reaux in London settled with the timeshare company after pursuing them through the High Court.
“We’re just so relieved to be free of the stress and worry of this.” said Lin. “We didn’t want this being put on to the kids and grandkids. If our story helps someone else, then some good will have come from it.”
If you are unhappy with your timeshare and would like to know if you can be helped, please contact one of our advisors today on 0203 6704 616
GDPR & You
As you will have already heard, new data protection laws have been launched all over the world including General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. The GDPR is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It gives you as an individual greater control over your personal data thereby further protecting you and strengthening your rights.
Visiting Costa del Sol?
As summer gets underway, we know that many of you will be travelling to Spain for holidays. If any of you are visiting Málaga, Costa del Sol, we would love to meet you! Please do call into our office to say hello and meet our teams. We are easy to find in Mijas Costa/Fuengirola area and are located right on the main Costa road the N-340 directly opposite the Mijas Aqua Park and in the office block above Iceland supermarket. Should you have difficulty finding us or getting here, phone Sharon on 951 562 209.