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Case Study: Shirley Wilson , Resort Properties

Client Nationality: British

Defendent Resort: Resort Properties / Silverpoint

Resolution Location: Madrid, Spain

Judicial Level: Supreme Court

Case Type: Civil

Timeshare Structure: Club Membership

Resolution Period: 5 years (2011)

Amount Awarded: 31,000€

 

Client Story

Our Client purchased a timeshare membership at Club Paradiso on January 2008 while attending a sales presentation. She told the Silverpoint sales representative that she was not interested in buying a timeshare as she was recently divorced.

The representative suggested that she should purchase in an exclusive club, persuading her that this purchase would be safe. She could have it at the bargain price of £26,640, it would seem this price was because the previous owner had lost his £19,000 deposit.

Throughout the sales pitch, our client was continually being assured by the representative she could sell at anytime. Our client reiterates that to this date, there is no resale office and she has not received anything back from her original investment.

 

Action Taken by CLA

Canarian Legal Alliance was contacted by this client in May of 2011, they offered her their assistance regarding her timeshare nightmare with Silverpoint.

The client decided to entrust CLA with her case, signing up immediatley. Once all the preperations were done, her case was accepted into the Court of First Instance in March of 2012. That November the client travelled to Tenrife to attend the hearing. At the last moment it was suspended, Silverpoint asked for all the cases against them to be accumulated and heard at the same time, this is known as a Civil Class Action. The lawyers opposed this and it was rejected by the court. The trial took place in the Spring of 2013, after 5 months of anxious waiting she received a favourable ruling, the court accepted that Silverpoint were responisble for the contract signed by Resort Properties, declaring them null and void. Unfortunately, not content with this decision, Silverpoint appealed to the High Court, who in 2014 found in favour of Silverpoint. Their decision stated that her membership did not fall under timeshare law.

Following the advice given by Canarian Legal Alliance, the client appealed to the Supreme Court, the case was heard during 2016, they dismissed the arguments of the High Court and declared her contract null and void, ordering her 31,000€ to be returned.

Resort Infraction & Sentence Summary

The court ruled that the membership of Club Paradiso was indeed timeshare, thus falling under the scope of timeshare law, (42/98), even though there was no concrete apartment number or week attached.

The court also agreed that as members had to pay a yearly maintenance fee, this was a clear indication of a timeshare product. Also, not having a clear description of the acquired product, required by Article 1.7 of the 42/98 Spanish Timeshare act made the contract null and void.

The judges also considered that by calling the product “an affiliation to a club”, the company (Silverpoint) could not avoid the law. The fact that this product was set up to avoid being regulated by the law, means that this in itself as an infringement of it.

Another aspect of the judgement, was the consideration that the client was a “Consumer” and not an “Investor”, rejecting the Tenerife courts argument that the timeshare did not apply.

These ruling will have a profound impact on future cases, not just against silverpoint but othe “club” schemes and points systems.

January 25, 2017

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