A recurring theme has appeared on our pages, the subject, Finance Agreements for the purchase of timeshare brokered by the very sales staff selling a questionable product. Our last article by Irene Parker, (link below), highlighted the impact finance on timeshare has had on serving and retired members of the military, posing the question “is it a risk to National Security?”
Although this article focused on the US, it followed three articles on “Timeshare Lending” affecting European consumers and especially those from the UK. In the first article “Purchasing with Finance: Is There a Difference Between Timeshare & Any Other Major Purchase?” We explained the fundamental difference between finance for timeshare and any other major purchase.
The pressure involved in the sales presentation and the urgency to “purchase” there and then, even when the consumer says it is not affordable. The solution? The sales staff broker a “guaranteed” loan to cover the cost.
Purchasing with Finance: Is There a Difference Between Timeshare & Any Other Major Purchase?
In the next two articles “Unmasked: The Truth About Timeshare & Finance Part 1 & 2” we went into more detail on the sales practices and the brokering of the loan agreements. The examples used are ones many are familiar with, Silverpoint and Azure.
Part 1 concluded with the involvement of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), their handling of a very important consumer issue, “were the loan agreements legal and enforceable?”.,
This article clearly showed whose side they were on.
Part 2 introduced the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the problems being encountered by one of AIT’s readers.
The story again is one of denial by a body that is supposed to protect consumers, staff with absolutely no knowledge of the subject they are dealing with, yet they are called “Investigators”. Even when all the evidence is presented to them which does bring into question the validity of the loan agreement, the blinkers are on and they believe everything the finance company tells them.
So that now brings us to our “Title Question”, which does appear to be a virtually impossible question to answer.
Our reader has been sending many emails and letters to various bodies, which have included the Treasury Select Committee, as well as various MP’s. All give their sympathies with her problem, yet none can give an answer as to who is ultimately responsible for the “Regulation and Consumer Protection” of the finance industry. They all refer to the same organisations who the complaints are about, in other words, “nothing to do with us, they deal with their own complaints”.
We should also point out that all these organisations “Tasked” with regulating and protection, are all “independent”, we use that term lightly, from what we have seen they are far from “independent”.
We base this belief on several factors, these all centre around timeshare contracts sold in Spain with loan agreements brokered by sales staff at the time of the presentation. These contracts have been deemed illegal yet still sold since 5 January 1999, that is 23 years, thousands have been contested in the Spanish Courts and declared null and void.
Numerous court documents have been presented proving the illegality of the sale, not just from the lower courts but also the 130 rulings from the Spanish Supreme Court. The courts have themselves ordered investigations of these companies, including criminal. These are still underway.
We then have the brokering of loan agreements by unauthorised staff, this case involving Azure in Malta, yet another Silverpoint related company, yet the FCA “Validated” over 1,400 agreements made by unauthorised brokers when Barclay Partner Finance asked!
This dispute is still ongoing, yet from what AIT is being told by those involved, the same resistance from the FCA and FOS is being met.
Then last week we announced the news of charges against 18 people involved with Monster Group, on various fraud charges. Three of those are also associated with the sale of timeshare and the brokering of loans to pay for those sales with Silverpoint and possibly Azure. Yet this does not set any alarm bells ringing?
There is something fundamentally wrong with the way the system works, no one is willing to take responsibility even though there are indications that fraud may be involved. Those elected to represent you take no notice and consistently refer you back to the very people you have a problem with. Yes I know I have repeated myself, but that is what consumers are facing, repeated denials that anything untoward has taken place when the evidence suggests otherwise.
So the answer to our Title Question is
After Inside Timeshare will continue to highlight this problem and we are asking for your help, we would like to hear your own stories of what you faced, did you succeed, lose or just give up?
From what we have seen, we believe the latter is their basis for the constant denials, grinding you down with nonsensical jargon and reasons knowing you are likely to give in. Please use our contact page and we will get back to you.
Unmasked: The Truth About Timeshare & Finance Part 1
Unmasked: The Truth About Timeshare & Finance Part 2
Why Timeshare Lending Poses a Risk to our National Security. By Irene Parker.
That is all for today, we hope you had a good weekend and as you will remember from Friday, Baby Dog had plans for me. Well, I think I won!