Carriage Resorts Annual Meeting Report

Welcome to the last article for this week, as you know Irene Parker is now concentrating on her work with Tarda, so this slot will no longer be called Friday’s Letter from America as it was her one of her twice-weekly slots. Although Irene will continue to submit reports on the timeshare situation in the US when she is able to. For those wishing to follow Irene’s posts plus those from many timeshare owners’s/members, you can do so at the link below. Also please do join and donate to TARDA, they will be working in your interest and need your support.

www.TARDA.org

Carriage Resorts October 21 and 22 Annual Meetings

Will BDO Dunwoody Find Solutions to the Need for an Exit Strategy?

By Irene Parker

October 25, 2019

The Wyndham Carriage Hills annual meeting was almost held October 21 and the Carriage Ridge annual meeting was held October 22 in Ontario Canada. The Carriage Hills October 21 annual meeting was cancelled because the facility could only hold 500 while another 500 members waited outside. Owners were annoyed but felt the chaotic debacle was the best message they could have sent.

The reason for the robust attendance was because the Carriage Board of Directors had notified Owners that they had retained the strategic accounting firm BDO Dunwoody to study the two-fold problem of no responsible exit from the timeshare and the resulting and escalating bad debt. Owners, even those with severe medical and financial hardship, have not been allowed a release from their fully paid for timeshares. They are liable for ongoing annual maintenance fees, as well as their heirs – there has been no responsible exit.

At the Carriage Ridge Oct 22 annual meeting, not much new news was provided other than a statement concerning early-stage negotiations between the two Carriage Boards of Directors and BDO Dunwoody. Board President Marti Ginsherman reported that information as to actual proposals and desired outcomes would not be made available until first quarter 2020.

The U.S. timeshare lobby ARDA does have a Coalition for Responsible Exit. Owners in good standing need only to look for their resort on the ARDA website. If the resort is not found, it doesn’t mean there is no exit. The resort may have a program, but not be a part of ARDA’s program. Usually, there is a charge to voluntarily deed back the timeshare points or deed. Some U.S. resorts are still resistant to any form of exit except foreclosure.

https://responsibleexit.com/

The Canadian counterpart to ARDA is CVOA. They are aware of the dilemma Carriage owners face, responding that a solution will require time and considerable resources. Those considerable resources include the strategic accounting firm BDO Dunwoody which will work with a Transition Team to address problems and solutions.

At the October 22 Carriage Hills meeting, Carriage Ridge board secretary/treasurer Maureen Lee Ah Yen volunteered to head the Transition team and Carriage Ridge owners Lori Smith and Bruce Fleming volunteered to act as the liaison between owners and Transition Team board members.

The most glaring example of the need for a medical and hardship release concerns Stephanie’s grandparents, Gary, and his wife of 53 years Sandra. Gary resides in a nursing home and Sandra lives with her unemployed son. Gary’s entire pension must go towards his care. Sandra suffers from depression, and the worry over finances contributed towards a recent hospital stay.

Published marketing materials provided at the time of purchase stated:

  • Freeze costs of future vacations
  •  Equity $ position
  •  Worry-free vacations

 Maintenance fees have increased from $600 a year to $1,500 over the years. Owners feel they do not have worry-free vacations as the absence of an exit strategy has caused significant stress for many. In addition, thousands of dollars have been lost to timeshare exit providers and timeshare listing services.

Carriage Resorts were acquired by Shell Vacation Club and subsequently, Wyndham acquired Shell. No doubt the argument will be that current owners are not responsible for the original developer’s marketing claims. That does not change the unfairness of owners finding themselves held timeshare hostage.

On Monday Carriage Hills Owner Karen Levins will offer her comments on the current situation and hope for the future.

Thank you, Irene, from all the previous articles on these two resorts and now this report of the Annual Meeting, it is very clear there is a very serious problem for our Canadian friends. In all the years that Inside Timeshare has been running and we include the original incarnation, we have never had a series of stories such as these. They are truly a “Nightmare on Timeshare Street”.

That is all for this week, join us again on Monday with another story of why you need to be careful about who you do business with.

Have a great weekend.

European Timeshare Law Institute Report

The European Timeshare Law Institute is an organisation that has a specific mission, to increase trust among consumers in the field of timeshare litigation. Recently they highlighted three of the top timeshare compensation specialist in Europe, they then published their findings on their website.

https://www.tetli-institute.com/three-top-timeshare-compensation-specialists-europe

The institute recognises that many consumers are walking through a veritable minefield of scammers, fake law firms and some unscrupulous law firms selling bogus legal services. Many of these we have highlighted on Inside Timeshare. The institute’s aim is to verify the claims made by many law firms and to highlight the ones they have verified as doing the best job on behalf of consumers.

The first law firm which the institute has highlighted in their report is none other than Canarian Legal Alliance, no strangers to these pages. According to their report, CLA is the top law firm in the number of cases it has ongoing and is also top for the amount of cash returned to consumers. It is believed that they have secured over £7.8 million with a further 2.4 million in bank guarantees, plus they have embargoes on 11 Silverpoint properties.

In second place, they have named M1 Legal, a law firm based on the Costa del Sol, Spain. According to the Institute’s report, M1 Legal have been making great efforts in delivering cases in the Spanish Courts. They are also involved in many cases against banks who have worked with timeshare companies to provide finance agreements to help push the sale through. Inside Timeshare knows that M1 Legal is involved with the ongoing case of Barclay Partner Finance and the granting by the FCA of “Validation Orders” to legalise agreements brokered by a non-authorised agent in Malta.

In Third place, the Institute recognises TESS Law as one of the most successful companies based in the UK. According to the information the Institute has published, TESS Law are representing around 1,000 consumers in Section 75 claims in the UK, securing over £3.9 million in payments of which £2.8 million has been paid to date. They are also involved with a further £8 million worth of claims in Spain and are in the process of negotiating on behalf of 190 consumers in respect of the mis-selling of Monster Credits.

Number of cases

Top: – Canarian Legal Alliance (Spain) £95 million in pipelined claims

Second: – M1 Legal (Spain) over  £20 million in the pipeline and many more millions with UK law firm Messrs. Pinder Reaux.

Third: – Tess Law (UK) £12-14 million in the pipeline

Cash returned to consumers this is an estimate and based on facts share with us: –

As a group (not declared) all 3 companies collectively £11 million

CLA has a further 2,4 million in bank Guarantees and 11 apartment Embargos silverpoint.  TESS LAW also has 1.8 million in embargos.

This report from The European Timeshare Law Institute does give further information, please see the link at the top of this article for the full report.

Are you looking to find a genuine company to see if you have a claim or wanting information on relinquishment, if so then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you?

More on the Fake Law Firms

Inside Timeshare has been receiving further information on SG Abogados and it does now appear that Solutions Group in Tenerife is working with this fake law firm. This company has been around for a number of years and was also known as XYZ Solutions SL and Simple Solutions.

They used the website www.consumeract75.co.uk  which is no longer available, they also used the email address  [email protected] which is now appearing on the letters being sent to “clients” regarding recent court cases and claims awarded.

One reader has sent us copies of the letter and also a “fake” court documents showing that she has been awarded a substantial amount against Incentive Leisure Groups SLU, DWVC SL and Personal Travel Group SL. Now, remember, that none of these companies exist anymore so it is strange how Solutions and SG Abogados are able to have court cases against them let alone get payouts from them.

The letter from Solutions begins with “As you are aware the recent hearing went ahead as planned on Wednesday 25th September”. It then goes on to say “Although you chose not to appoint a collection agency to represent you, it would seem that a favourable outcome was also reached on your case”.

This is then backed up by the “fake” court document.

The letter also goes on to say that a “managed payment plan of 12 to 32 months has been set by the court, meaning that the defendants must compensate all members of the action group within this period”.

The letter also lays out other stipulations set by the court on of which is that the court will “review the progress of the pay-outs every 3 months”. It also explains that the defendants and their representatives appear in person to testify to the progress made. Well, it would be very difficult for the owner of the companies to appear as Gary Peter Lee was killed in a cycling accident in Marbella many years ago.

The letter is signed on behalf of Solutions by Julia Garcia.

In another email from a regular reader, he has now been contacted again by SG Abogados, the email from Manuel Jalvo Liorento another fake lawyer who we named in an earlier article. According to the email, another “new” lawyer Carlos Loubtito says that “after the lodgement of the claims on 1st October, the conclusion to the hearing on 17th October was successful and compensation available”. They now require the client’s bank details to pay the awarded amount.

Now, this is very speedy action, the case lodge on the 1st and the conclusion on the 17th a mere 16 days!

This particular readers case is against Diamond, he did not ask SG Abogados to proceed yet they still maintain that his case went to court. He even contacted Diamond to ask if they were aware of any action in the courts in Tenerife were being brought by SG Abogados, I think you all know the answer to that!

These are very well organised and planned frauds, the standard of the documentation is very good, especially if you have never seen the genuine article. This really reinforces what Inside Timeshare tells all readers, you must do your homework, don’t be taken in by the huge sums these fraudsters are telling that you have won, never send them any money for procurator fees, court taxes or any other tax. You will never see a penny from the award and you will have lost all that you pay them.

If you are contacted by any company with a similar story and need help in checking if they are genuine or frauds, use our contact page and we will point you in the right direction.