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Spanish Court Claims

On March 16th, 2015, a ruling set by the Spanish Supreme Court came into effect following the European Directive (implemented in Spain by Real Decreto – ley 8/2012). These regulations actually regulate timeshare, long-term holiday products, resale and exchange products and have set a precedent that has brought about big changes to the timeshare industry.

 

The Supreme Court ruled that all contracts signed after 5th January 1999 are not allowed to be held in perpetuity. They ruled that a contract can last no longer than 50 years. This has subsequently had a huge impact on many timeshare owners who signed their contract after 5th January 1999 and has opened up more possibilities to these owners in their mission to escape their contract.

 

Another ruling is that resorts are obliged to give clients a 14 day ‘cooling off period’ that is designed to give consumers adequate time to consider the purchase. It is illegal to accept any monies or have the client sign for any finance agreement during this period.

 

Also, they ruled that any timeshare sold since the beginning of 1999 must state the details of the apartment / unit / week(s) bought, together with the time of arrival and departure. Failure to comply with these rulings can end up with the contract being deemed Null and Void and buyers are eligible to receive a full refund on all monies spent on the purchase of their timeshare property.

The main focus points of the ruling are:

  • That there is a 14 day cooling off period
  • That clients must be informed of this cooling off period before signing any contract
  • No money can be accepted at signing of the contract or within the 14 day cooling off period
  • All contracts must be put in writing

  • Before signing any contract, certain points of information must be made clear to the client, in their own language, so that the client is fully aware of all conditions. If this is not done, the contract is deemed null and void
  • If a contract is cancelled by the client, for example during the cooling off period, then all other related finance agreement contracts would also be cancelled
  • That a contract can run for no longer than 50 years

Finance Claims

Finance claims are submitted to the lender where credit has been used to purchase the timeshare.  This could be credit in the form of a deposit, part or complete payment made by credit card or a loan that was linked to the purchase of a timeshare.  The timeframe to process a finance claim is much shorter than with a court claim and can usually be resolved within 4 to 8 months.

 

To process a claim with the finance lender, it is necessary to prove that misrepresentation or a breach of contract has occurred.

Misrepresentation

 

Misrepresentation always happens before the contract to purchase is signed.  This could be in the form of promises that were made that you relied on and which induced you to sign a contract.  It could be that you were promised monetary gain or that you would have the opportunity to cancel other timeshare contracts if you purchased other weeks.  Or perhaps you were promised benefits to signing up with the resort or the guarantee that you could give up your membership at any time.  When the promises that are implied to consumers fail to materialise, this is when it is realised that misrepresentation has occurred, and as long as a form of credit was used to pay for the purchase, it is possible to process a finance claim.  You should always keep every piece of evidence relating to your timeshare.  This could be notes that were made during the sales presentation or correspondence in the form of emails, letters and photos.

Breach of Contract

 

A breach of contract always occurs after the contract has been signed.  This means that any terms which are written in your contract but have not been fulfilled implies a breach.  For example, if you have a contract that states that you have occupancy rights for the duration of a term that is in the future, and then your resort closes, then you would no longer have those occupancy rights as stated on your contract.  This would give you the right to make a claim.  Another example would be if it was written into your contract that the resort would take over or relinquish another timeshare that you owned.  If this did not materialise, then the seller failed to fulfil a term of your contract. Evidence of this would be if you continued to receive maintenance fees for the timeshare that you assumed you had disposed of.

Contract Relinquishments

Entering into a timeshare agreement is easy, unfortunately trying to exit one is not so straightforward. When buying a timeshare for many thousands of pounds, questioning your rights to cancel is not always at the forefront of your thoughts. Many find resorts not willing to assist and the process onerous, and for those that require assistance we offer services to legally relinquish these contracts.

 

Where it has been decided that there is no possible claim to pursue, we assume responsibility of finding an exit solution to end your contract with your resort / timeshare company and advise you on how best to handle continuing demands for maintenance fees from resorts.

 

In all aspects of the services we provide, we strive to meet the needs of our clients in the best possible timeframe and are proud of the transparent nature in which we work.