The Mirror’s investigative reporter Andrew Penman has published an article warning of scams and other potential problems related to compensation claims against the insolvent timeshare businesses Silverpoint and Club La Costa (CLC) – both businesses are in liquidation proceedings.
Silverpoint timeshare claims
He has first reported on the case of a Silverpoint owner, continuously pestered by people phoning him, offering compensation claims. The owner was informed by one cold-caller that tens of thousands in compensation was being held on his behalf in the Spanish courts – and all he had to do was pay a near £3000 administration fee to receive the money.
This is a common scam that KwikChex sees frequently – and many owners have been caught out by it – fooled by fake court documents and callers posing as legal officials. There are no such monies held in the Spanish, or any other court – anyone trying to convince owners otherwise is committing a criminal offence and should be reported.
Club La Costa (CLC) timeshare claims
A similar story occurs in the case of CLC – again owners are told that monies are ‘ready & waiting’ to be claimed – and again, it is a total scam.
These are just the latest examples of fraud against timeshare owners that has been continuous for years. On no account should owners pay monies for the purported release of ‘compensation monies’.
'Contingent claims’ – ascertaining the facts of the claim viability
The Mirror article quotes KwikChex CEO Chris Emmins, who also goes on to explain about businesses taking thousands from timeshare owners for what must be described as ‘contingent claims’. To explain further the term, ‘contingent claim’ simply means that it is a more speculative claim owing to it relying on uncertain factors. In the case of Silverpoint and CLC, the principal uncertainty is the fact that both businesses are deep into insolvency / liquidation processes. The liquidators have indicated there are insufficient funds to pay the claims being made. If that holds true, then owners who have paid thousands upfront for compensation claims services related to Spanish law and a decision made in the Spanish Supreme Court in 2015, will lose all the money they have paid to the claims businesses.
In the case of Silverpoint, the claims business salespeople usually convince owners to pay big upfront fees to file claims in the Spanish courts – pointing to ’victories won’. This was initially the same method for CLC claims – but legal decisions in Spain have meant that the claims are now being referred back to the UK and are in the hands of the liquidator there. What the claims businesses are not making clear is the current situation that, as per the liquidator statements, even if a claim is accepted and proved valid, there is a very substantial risk there will be no money to pay the claims. Owners who query this are told that ‘investigations are ongoing’, and ‘assets are hidden away’ that will be used to pay the claims – but whilst there are ongoing investigations and processes taking place – no proof exists that the money will be made available, and the claims businesses are categorically failing to make this clear – a serious omission.
Owners that are approached by businesses who are offering to make claims against insolvent timeshare companies on their behalf should insist on having an explanation of the proposed service, including a written viability report – and this should be provided by a qualified lawyer, not a salesperson.
Owners that have paid fees already and may now have doubts about the likelihood of ever receiving a compensation payment can take steps to help clarify the position.
KwikChex will be pleased to assist any owners that are in any doubt about the legitimacy and viability of claims – and this will be carried out in conjunction with qualified lawyers owners will have access to, and the appropriate authorities.