It is the end of another week with Inside Timeshare, we began this week with an old story, that of Mrs B and her long-running battle with MacDonald Resorts over maintenance arrears for a timeshare she no longer legally owns. We also highlighted two new companies who have begun a cold calling campaign, Timeshare Refund Calculator and World and European Marketing Ltd. Once again these have been supplied by our regular readers who have been contacted by them. Another major article this week was the article Lopesan Sue Apollo Capital Management in UK Courts, a story that has aroused the interest of some of our US readers.
There was also some very good news from the courts, these were mainly sentences against Anfi. Many of these were judgements from the High Court of Las Palmas, GC, these were appeals by Anfi against the rulings from the Court of First Instance, in every case, the appeal was dismissed with the original sentence endorsed and returned to the original court for execution of sentence.
Considering the number of appeals that Anfi is making to the High Court, with all of them being rejected and sentences endorsed, it makes Inside Timeshare wonder why Anfi continues to appeal?
We suspect they are playing for time and just delaying the inevitable, possibly to deter any new claims being filed using time as a tool. After all, we know how devious Anfi can be!
We finish this week with news of another court case, this time it is not Anfi, but Holiday Club based in Gran Canaria.
The Court of First Instance Number 4 of SBT, has declared the clients contract null and void, they have also awarded over 20,000€ plus legal interest and legal costs.
This amount also includes the payment of double the amount of the deposit taken within the statutory cooling-off period.
Apparently, this is another case where the judge decided that a full trial would not be necessary and issued his sentence at the pre-trial stage. This means the case has been dealt with within a very short period of time, from filing with the court to the sentence has only been 6 months. It certainly is speeding things up now judges are dispensing with full trials.
Inside Timeshare is constantly being asked about new companies that have appeared and begun a cold calling campaign, over the past few months there have been many news ones emerge. On Tuesday it was Timeshare Refund Calculator, this has also been appearing on Facebook and this has caused some laughter. Reading through the comments people have placed, praise the company no end, not bad for something that has only just appeared. But it is when you check the profiles of those commenting it becomes apparent what is going on, one commentator posted a long and wonderful post of praise, it turns out this person actually lives in Tenerife, which we suspect is where the call centre is located. Could these wonderful comments come from the call centre staff themselves? Today however we reveal the latest to come to our attention and also bring the latest news from the courts.
World and European Marketing Ltd is the latest name to come up from our readers who have been cold called. The company was incorporated on 11 September 2019, so is only just about a year old. The registered company director is Derek James McCaig, Company Registration Number 12201105, registered address (which is the same address given on the website ad is also very familiar):
Strange how the landline and mobile numbers are the same with a 0203 London code?
According to their about me page, they claim to be:
“We are experts in the field of sourcing experienced UK lawyers for all types of Timeshare miss-representations.”
“Our experienced team simply finds the best lawyers available to secure a successful outcome for you.”
On this, it certainly looks like they are actually a lead generator for other companies rather than a “claims & exit” company. This is borne out by the contact one of our readers has had with them.
Our reader was contacted by World & European Marketing with regards to terminating their Club la Costa contract and claim “compensation” through their loan agreement. This company has passed them to Fulbrook Associates of Stirling, who we are very familiar with as they work hand in hand with Claims Solutions Group of Aberfeldy, Meridian Associates of Tenerife and the latest Aegis Direct SL of Tenerife. None of these are law firms or lawyers!
There is also something very disturbing about this scenario, payments are made by credit card, that is good as you are then covered by Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974, but you will be mistaken, you will not be covered.
You pay World & European Marketing, they in turn hand the work to whichever company, they fail to do the job, no claim under Section 75. The company you paid has done their job, you have paid them to find you a firm to terminate your contract, that is what they have done, claim denied.
Once again we have a company that makes claims on their website that they are “experts” in locating the best lawyers and yet, they team up with many of the companies that are, to say the least suspect. We leave it to you, the reader to decide what you think.
Now for some more news regarding the trials and tribulations of Anfi.
The High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas, GC, has once again dismissed another appeal by Anfi, these are now becoming very frequent. The judges in their deliberations fully supported the original sentence handed down by the Court of First Instance of SBT.
The contract has been declared null and void with Anfi being ordered to repay the Norwegian client over 41,000€ plus legal interest and legal costs.
In this case, the client had already received around 31,000€ back in March, so now that the sentence is confirmed they will soon be receiving the rest.
It still seems very puzzling why Anfi persists in these frivolous appeals, every single time they appeal it is dismissed and the original sentence is confirmed. Quite often the High Court will increase the award, this is obviously a sign that they are getting fed up with the delaying tactics employed by Anfi.
Down the road in the south of Gran Canaria, the Court of First Instance of SBT have declared another Anfi contract null and void, in this case, the Swiss client has been awarded over 46,000€ plus legal interest.
This is another case where the case has been finalised at the pre-trial stage, the judge again felt that the case did not need to go to a full trial, thus saving the courts and the client time. The timescale for this case is from the point of submitting the case to this conclusion has been only 11 months. Had it not been for the pandemic, the case would probably have been held earlier.
Going on past experience no doubt Anfi will lodge yet another frivolous appeal.
To end today’s article, we bring you the latest video from the CLA Lawyer Cristina Batista, in this video, Cristina gives the latest figures from CLA cases
Remember, beware what you are being told by “cold callers” not all are genuine or telling the truth. If you have received a call with some remarkable news and you are not sure if it is true or not, then use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.
Inside Timeshare today reports on the latest development involving IFA Lopesan who as we have reported is the 50% shareholder of Anfi in Gran Canaria, it now appears that Lopesan is in a legal battle with Apollo Capital Management LLC, who are also the owners of Diamond Resorts. The lawsuit involves the sale of two of the top Lopesan hotels on Gran Canaria and the deal seems to have gone sour.
Inside Timeshare broke this news back in April 2020 when it was first announced that they had “teamed up”. In the article below there are several links to various articles on Apollo and Leon Black, who has a bit of a reputation for operating in the “junk bonds” market.
The case being brought by Lopesan Touristik SA has been filed in the London Courts for the non-payment of the purchase of IFA Buenaventura and IFA Faro, both are high-quality hotels with the Buenaventura in Playa del Inglese being a four-star and the Faro in Meloneras a five-star.
The sale price for the two hotels is reported at being €93M, this is a fraction of what they paid to build their new resort in the Dominican Republic which is reputed to have cost $481M.
When the case was filed on 15 September, Lopesan said it entered into a share sale and purchase agreement with Oldavia ITG SLU, which is a company incorporated by Apollo as their entity to hold investments in Spain.
The sale had been agreed in late February 2020, with the funds being given an extended deadline for payment of 30 April. One can only assume that the reason for this extension was the effect of the COVID_19 restrictions which has decimated the tourist industry.
El Economista has also reported in their article (link at the end of this article) that the IFA Hotels brand which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, has not had a very good year so far. IFA Hotels has a share capital of 128 million euros and have suffered a loss of 71% since the start of January 2020.
The deal has also been approved by the European Commission as there would not be any significant impact on competition in the tourism industry. This agreement was made on 15 April 2020.
Once the European Commission gave the go-ahead, Lopesan apparently wrote to Oldavia proposing a completion date, with the two sides appearing before a notary to execute the public sale. It turns out that Oldavia did not turn up for the meeting and they continue to refuse to undertake the completion.
Resources for this article came from Law360 and El Economista, PDF to the original Law360 article and the one in El Economista are below.
At present, there is no indication of how this is going to affect the relationship between Lopesan and Anfi, could it be a case that this money is required to ensure they have enough for a full takeover of Anfi. This is a distinct possibility considering the expenditure on the new hotel in the Dominican Republic and the current closure of the tourist industry. All hotel chains are struggling at present, most are still closed and the ones that are open have a very reduced capacity, this has had a dire effect on their incomes. Obviously with the loss of 71% of IFA‘s share capital so far this year, the future obviously is not looking good at the moment.
This is a case that Inside Timeshare will be keeping an eye on, as and when more news comes to light it will be published here.