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Advice Forum / Re: Relinquishing Timeshare
« Last post by daveh44 on June 25, 2019, 12:55:14 »

I do not know Diamond, but have experience of 20 years of timeshare as an owner/user, once owned 8 weeks on 4 different resorts. With experience of Silverpoint, Wimpen companies.

The timeshare concept I believe has always been a good one for taking holidays. The downside (apart from frauds and rip-offs) are that there is rarely an exit route.
Many contracts are signed with the dreaded  "in  perpetuity" clause which basically means for ever (and not just your forever - either)

I do not know fellrunner and have no wish to cast any aspersions on his advice, but he didn't answer your question of - is there a published exit process. The reason this is important is because most resorts do not want you to be able to relinquish. If there is such a process then find it and choose whether it is a route you can employ.  One solution is simply ask Diamond to provide you with the exit options - if they have them - why wouldn't they tell you?
A non response from them - may also tell you something!

My experience and advice, is to state very clearly that you no longer wish to own this timeshare and will not be paying any maintenance or admin fees.
I find it highly amusing that 20 years ago - if you didn't pay one years maintenance fees - they took your timeshare off you!!!
But now the market has disappeared and no one is buying timeshare - they don't want to let you off the hook.

There used to be a very knowledgeable barrister on this site - who often quoted that there had never yet been one successful prosecution for non payment of fees. They threaten a lot but in reality can do nothing - in what court are they going to bring an action - UK, Spain, somewhere else ( a lot of companies selling timeshare were registered in offshore tax havens!!) ? Can the debt be proven? Timeshare was nearly always sold as an investment - can they prove your investment ahs increased in value? Spanish law has actually ruled that  most timeshare contracts signed after 1995 are unenforceable.

I realise its an unpleasant course of action, and one that many English people find most strange - wanting to be lawful and upright. I would ask Diamond in writing (keep a copy) for your exit options. Wait for their reply. If they do not ever provide you with an exit route - just sit tight and continue non payment. There is nothing they can realistically do.

If it was me, and they did provide an exit route and it was very expensive _ I would still just continue non payment.

Read Beverly Hills Club history for an example of how, when they want to screw you - they will.

I hope this is of some help in your deliberations.
Praetorian Legal Ltd - Mercantile Claims – Timeshare ‘The wages of Sin’

Many will recall all past and present owners/Directors of Praetorian legal [Praetorian] and Mercantile Claims Mercantile [Mercantile] were managerially involved with Eze Group and when it mis-sold, their corrupt brand of Leisure Credit products.

Mr. Gary Smith was the ‘director of compliance’ at Eze Group and his wife Mrs. Karen Hesker-Smith ran the Leisure Credit Association.   The facts show, the Eze Group crime family - target Timeshare consumers and when doing so, invited them to sale presentations.   In the confines of those sales presentations, the court heard how badly consumers were treated.

The courts ruled; the Directors were found guilty of offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.   These offences related to misrepresentations regarding the selling of ‘Leisure Credits’ or ‘Concierge Services’ (a ‘holiday and lifestyle’ product) and connected legal assistance – that was provided by Praetorian Legal - controlled by the Smiths and a director of Eze Group.  Noteworthy the product was aggressively sold and with applied coercion. When the legal services which were provided, those services were conducted under the direction of the Smiths and in partnership with the Eze Group crime boss - Mr O’Reilly.

When Eze collapsed, the alleged sale of legal services by Praetorian Legal continued despite Eze Group Directors being arrested charged and now convicted for the crimes they perpetrated. In that backdrop, the now debunk Leisure Credit Product still causes financial misery to the many consumers who bought them.

When the huge scandal was exposed and arrests were made, both Praetorian and Mercantile tried to distance themselves from Eze, composing and publishing missives denying all knowledge of the scam, yet its Director of compliance Mr. Smith gave witness testimony to the High Court that showed he was at the heart Ez,  was employed to protect consumers and in the Eze Groups compliance department. His wife Karen; was also a Director at Praetorian and officiated over the Leisure credit association which was also controlled by Eze Group.

Praetorian and Mercantile Claims were and still are assisted by a struct off solicitor ‘Mr. Ian Benbow’ who’s fall from grace landed him in Prison for stealing money from client accounts.

With the loss of work from Eze crime family, Praetorian Legal continued with another Leisure credit sales company who like Eze had significant complaints. When the torrent of complaints escalated, the Smith again tried to distance themselves and created many fake websites in which to defame others and deflect timeshare topics - elsewhere.

In need of a plan and to set themselves above other real legal service providers, Praetorian Legal the Mercantile claimed to have been granted a legal insurance indemnity policy, which by all accounts would cover any client legal costs in the event the timeshare resort challenged Praetorian’s termination notices.

It must be stated that; if this was true - Praetorian had found and created a great legal product. Believing they had, the Smiths announced their claim in the mainstream press and boasted the prestigious accolade - everywhere.

Many lawyers were taken back and were astounded that such an insurance model existed, accordingly scuttled off to their own insurance brokers demanding access to this fantastic policy. Alas no ‘A’ rated broker could find it. Many were told no-such insurance existed in the marketplace and that Praetorian must have developed the policy with others and retained rights over the selling of it.

When created, Praetorian offered the policy to Mercantile and in order to access the insurance policy, Mercantile suggest that it could only be viewed online and directed its clients to visit the webaddress and then log in using the password ‘Romans623!’ The term Romans 6:23 is a reference in scripture which states ‘for the wages of sin is death.

This information was given to us by a client whom we have assisted. The client is 70 years old and was cold called by the Timeshare Advisory Board [TAB] who claimed he was mis-sold his ‘Tropical Park’ timeshare 20 years ago and needed urgent ‘legal advice’. On account of the mis-selling, the contract could be cancelled – he was told, and compensation would flow. TAB explained Miss Nataly Dougan would be in contact shortly and to advise.

She did call and explained that she represented the Timeshare Advisory Board however, upon arrival then claimed to represent ‘The Claims Solutions Group Ltd’ [CSG] who were Solicitors.

After delivering her legal advice, she went on to explain a fee of £4,396.00 plus vat was required which totalled £5,247.00.  It must be stated neither Miss Nataly Dougan nor The Claims Solutions Group Ltd is solicitors.  The Claims Solutions Group Ltd’ is headed up by Mr. Bryn Wilson (another ex-timeshare who worked for the Eze Group crime family as a salesman).

When the 70-year-old client was roped in, the matter was passed to Mr. Wilson who passed the client to Mercantile who then claimed the payment agreed.

Pausing here for one moment - the ‘Timeshare Advisory Board’ – claims to be a ‘board’ and ‘advisors’ thus, anyone would believe, they were qualified to advise. They do not post any contact details, other than a Manchester telephone number 0161-850-6426 and I now understand TAB is owned by Havelock Consulting Ltd of 7 Stirling Business Centre, Wellgreen, Stirling, FK8-2DZ which is a Marketing Company (salespeople).  Accordingly, TAB is incapable of delivering the legal advice suggested.

The payment was made and when made, the invoice provided did not contain a VAT number, our client being concerned became alarmed, therefore, got in touch with Mr. Harry Darby who became flustered and passed the case to Mr. Smith.

Smith claimed in his response- Mercantile had taken advice from ‘Queens Counsel’ in respect to the product sold by ‘Tropical Park’ and their QC claimed the product was a ‘long-term holiday product’ not a timeshare. It should be noted that Long term Holiday products are referred to in the 2010 Timeshare Regulations however, the product was bought 11 years before those regulations were brought in, so this alleged advice was incorrect as the product sold was a ‘floating timeshare’.

In a later letter, Mercantile then having received its payment claimed no compensation was available so, the promised claim tanked but - thanks for the money.

That said, they would terminate the timeshare. No termination notices or any correspondence came to light but Mercantile provided an insurance policy to protect the client in the event the termination notice failed.

This policy suggested that our client was covered for £10,000 of legal cover. So, in the absence of a claim and no agreed termination, Mercantile was selling Insurance. Mercantile asserted its insurance cover was provided by ‘All Round Travel Services Ltd’ which is headed/Directed by ‘John Fosbery’ and was a £1.00 company. The declarations evidenced show his company has never traded. In the filings, ‘John Fosbery’ claims he is a ‘Risk Manager’ and lives at 9 Elm Rd Oldham OL8-3UQ.

When Mr. Fosbery was approached and asked to provide a copy of the policy, he became very agitated and stated he was asked to draft one, however, when Mr Smith received a draft copy, they failed to pay for the services provided and did not want the cover offered. So, the upshot is no one is covered, and the insurance cover is fake.

In desperation, our client explained the Smith owed him money and we suggested he should immediately contact Praetorian Legal and demand they pay back to him the money they took. In response, Mr Benbow (jailed Solicitor) issued a threating letter to the client, however, ended the letter by offering to pay all his money back. That said, our client would be subject to a gagging clause.

So, there is no insurance, the houses are burning, no cover is available and 1,000’s of innocent consumers are exposed.

The story as told has been, reported by our client to the Police, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Insurance Ombudsman Service, Trading Standards, Action Fraud and the Law Society. by the Smiths, Mr Benbow, Praetorian Legal, Mercantile Claims, Bryn Wilson and The Claims Solutions Group Ltd.

At present they are investigating the matter and have serious concerns.

Shark Alley / Re: Bryan Wilson and his ‘Gravy train to the Courts’
« Last post by Tanveer Karn on June 25, 2019, 10:05:01 »
Pretorian Legal Ltd - Mercantile Claims – Timeshare ‘The wages of Sin’

Many will recall all past and present owners/Directors of Pretorian legal [Pretorian] and Mercantile Claims Mercantile [Mercantile] were managerially involved with Eze Group and when it mis-sold, their corrupt brand of Leisure Credit products.

Mr Gary Smith was the ‘director of compliance’ at Eze Group and his wife Mrs Karen Hesker-Smith ran the Leisure Credit Association.   The facts show, the Eze Group crime family - target Timeshare consumers and when doing so, invited them to sale presentations.   In the confines of those sales presentations, the court heard how badly consumers were treated.
very bad lawyers- me thinks
Advice Forum / Re: Relinquishing Timeshare
« Last post by fellrunner on June 24, 2019, 15:04:12 »
They will not make exceptions as it would create a precedence. So they are highly unlikely to negotiate whilst there is a maintenance debt.

* It is worth taking into consideration that the costs being charged by some release companies can and sometimes does exceed the cost of paying 2 years maintenance to get out.

You may well have been advised by someone not to pay the annual fees. That advise was wrong as you have now found out but it is the fault of the organisation giving the advice and not the fault of Diamond Resorts.

The first port of call should have been the developer who the contract is with and not some release scam company. 

The next thing I am going to ask is does the person who wishes to get out of their timeshare contract believe that they will never go on holiday again ever!
The reason I ask this is because currently the price of hotel stays has rocketed and it is now likely to cost around £1000 per week per person to stay in a 4 star hotel room.  Whereas it is costing around £500 per couple per week in a 4 star roomy apartment with timeshare. So the maintenance fees "saving" would soon be swallowed up by the extra costs of holidaying outside timeshare.
Advice Forum / Re: Relinquishing Timeshare
« Last post by malinian on June 24, 2019, 13:32:30 »
Thanks for the response.

Do you know if Diamond have a documented policy that states the methods of relinquishing? Thinking the discussion will be easier if there's a stipulated policy.

From your experience do you believe it's likely they will discuss with us whilst membership fees remain outstanding or will they expect them to be up to date prior to being prepared to discuss?

Advice Forum / Re: Relinquishing Timeshare
« Last post by fellrunner on June 24, 2019, 12:56:10 »
To walk away without incurring charges the rules are as follows.
Over 75  not over 70 as some believe
Certain Health Problems.
 which have all to have proof.

All are allowed to walk away providing all their maintenance fees are up to date.

Anyone else wishing to terminate can do so by paying 2 years maintenance fees (Points or weeks are not permitted to be taken once you express the intention to leave and pay those 2 years fees)
Advice Forum / Relinquishing Timeshare
« Last post by malinian on June 24, 2019, 11:40:11 »
Hi all,

I'm looking for advice on essentially relinquishing a timeshare contract.

A family member has had a contract with Diamond Resorts for over 20 years, and has been trying to relinquish the contract for a number of years, without success. They made the mistake of employing the services of one of the many unscrupulous companies that offered the world and delivered nothing (thankfully and luckily they were not left out of pocket as a result of a section 75 claim).

The company stated to have no further contact with Diamond, as part of their withdrawal process. As a result they are now in the position of having not paid the management fees for over 2 years, and are receiving demands for payment, which also includes admin fees / charges.

I'm trying to determine the best course of action, which seems to be limited to the options below:

Contact Diamond Resorts to try to negotiate a withdrawal agreement. Would they be likely to negotiate a price to withdraw, which includes some or all of the outstanding fees? Would they be prepared to even discuss the issue with fees outstanding? The family member is over 70 if this helps.

Continue to ignore the demands. Obviously this approach is not ideal as fees will continue to escalate. Additionally it does not sit comfortably but not sure if they have any other options.

It would be much appreciated if anyone can provide guidance / further options / personal experience of relinquishing with Diamond or of the impact of ignoring.

Timeshare News / Some of M1 Legal Results
« Last post by Tanveer Karn on June 20, 2019, 14:46:12 »

The table below is a summary of legal cases which have been undertaken against individual timeshare companies over the past 12 months.  The legal companies contained in the list are not necessarily members of the Institute.  The list is provided for information only and by including the names of these companies, the Institute is not providing a testimonial or reference for them.
A legal team of both Tess Law (Previously Tess Timeshare Exit and Support Service) Ltd based in Lancashire and Athena Law in Manchester, were conjoined in this matter as both believed a ruse had occurred.

Before embarking on any litigation, Miss Shamilah Ali of TESS was commissioned to carry out a thorough investigation. When completed, she produced a report which explained the extent and magnitude of the problem many suffered from. The report was so good, it was sent to authorities, the police, trading standards and many others to highlight the problem.

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