Azure Liquidation Updates

Updates 07/05/20, 08/05/20, 13/05/20, 19/05/20, 20/05/20, 09/07/20 & 07/08/20

Azure Services Ltd. Malta Liquidation 07/05/20

KwikChex has been informed that Azure Services Ltd. of Malta has entered into liquidation proceedings.

Click here to view the PDF notification that has been issued concerning this.

At this stage, it is not clear how this may affect a number of issues, from continuing timeshare ownership, to the ongoing matters concerning legal challenges made regarding loans made for the purchasing of timeshares through Azure during the period between 1 April 2014 and 24 April 2016. Click here to view a copy of the PDF of decision made in August 2018 by Judge Timothy Herrington.

All of these matters are likely to be complex and take some time and KwikChex will do all possible to provide updates. In the meantime, we strongly recommend that those likely to be affected – creditors and timeshare owners, register their interest as per the notice by sending an email to the following address – rrohan@alvarezandmarsal.com As there is an initial creditors meeting (by telephone conference call)  at 17.00 hrs Central European Time on Monday 11 May, you may wish to do this as a matter of urgency.

We would also urge Azure timeshare owners to be very cautious regarding any approaches made regarding ‘compensation claims’.  We have seen many examples of attempts to defraud consumers in similar circumstances. The fact is that at present, both the status of the timeshare ownerships and the question of the challenged loans are going through legal processes and the outcomes are currently unknown. If you are approached, get all the details you can – preferably asking those that make the approaches to put details in an email to you. KwikChex will be pleased to respond to any owners making checks in this regard.

 


 

Further Azure Information 08/05/20

Information coming direct to KwikChex and in the media in Malta appears to confirm that timeshare ownership at the Golden Sand Resort in Malta will not be affected by the insolvency proceedings taking place concerning Azure Services Malta, which operated as the sales & marketing company for timeshares at the resort.

Major shareholder Corinthia Group  expressed its intention to conduct the liquidation process in an orderly manner and that timeshare owners would continue to enjoy the same service and benefits as they had in past years. They  reaffirmed that the Golden Sands Resort will fully honour all timeshare commitments arising from obligations entered into with existing members.

With regard to matters related specifically to Azure Services Ltd. such as the review ordered of loans for timeshares that took place between 1 April 2014 and 24 April 2016, this matter remains ongoing. KwikChex continues to urge caution regarding any approaches to timeshare owners by businesses offering compensation services and will be pleased to help owners evaluate any such approaches.

KwikChex has been in contact with a number of parties, including trustees and will continue to provide information to the best of our ability. Further updates are expected to be available next week.

 


 

Azure Clarification 13/05/2020

Several owner / members  at ‘Azure Malta’ – the timeshare clubs Island Residence Club, The Heavenly Collection and Azure Ultra, have been asking KwikChex for further clarification as the information first released regarding insolvency processes was difficult to understand. KwikChex has been in contact with the liquidators, who continue to reassure that the benefits of timeshare ownership will remain.

We have specifically asked if owners have to contact the liquidators to ensure their rights are secured and / or complete the claim forms for creditors and have been advised that they do not have to do this. For the sake of clarity, please see a copy of the response  we received – which also includes a link to a dedicated information website.

With regard to consumers that may have already been seeking to relinquish their timeshares or are actually involved in claims processes,  these will need further assessment and KwikChex will be pleased to assist upon request.

Some consumers have also been seeking clarification regarding the earlier court order concerning loans made to purchase timeshare between 1 April 2014 and 24 April 2016.  This is an ongoing review process by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and will continue.

We again advise members / owners to be extremely cautious if approached regarding claims  said to be connected to the liquidation process. KwikChex will be pleased to help evaluate any such approaches.

Response to our request for clarification below:

……………………………………………

Thank you for your email.

At the current stage, the members do not have to contact the liquidators or complete the claim form.

Members of the timeshare clubs managed by the Company are considered to be a stakeholder in the liquidation to the extent that the Company remains the club manager for Island Residence Club, The Heavenly Collection and Azure Ultra. As mentioned in the FAQs, we are working diligently to transfer the role of club manager so that the club can continue and members remain able to utilise their timeshare holiday entitlement. We will provide members with updates on our progress through the dedicated website – https://cvr.global/azure/.

We will have more information in the coming weeks.

Kind regards,
Martin Brylka
Executive
cvr.global


 

Update 19/05/20

The first creditors meetings have taken place with regard to the various ‘Azure companies’. These were formalities as such to enable the continuation of the liquidation process.

For Azure timeshare owners, the principal interest is in the continuing right to use their weeks at the resort and KwikChex is advised that there is no change to previous statements in this regard – i.e., that the rights will continue as soon as the travel restrictions related to Covid-19 are lifted.

KwikChex will continue to provide updates.

Claims processes
If you are an owner that is currently involved in a claim alleging misselling of any type or have been approached in this regard with a view to making a claim, this is a separate but potentially connected matter likely to fall into a number of different categories, including matters associated with loans being reviewed by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and claims that may have been or may in future be submitted to the UK Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). KwikChex will provide free information assistance to any consumers affected by such matters.

Update 20/05/2020

We have been advised by an Azure consumer of an important update from the Joint Liquidators. The email received by the consumer from Azure contained the following information:

Please note this important update from the Joint Liquidators, which includes reference to the appointment of the new club manager.

Alternatively, download the update directly (PDF download).

 


 

Update 09/07/20

The below update was sent to Azure consumers yesterday.

Dear Member

Please find attached a communication regarding the appointment of a new Club Manager for Golden Sands Island Residence Club, The Heavenly Collection, Azure Experiences Membership Club (Azure X).

Kind Regards

For and on behalf of FNTC (UK) Ltd

Attachment below (opens a PDF)

English
Svenska
Italian
Deutsch

 


 

Update 07/08/20

The below update was sent to Azure consumers yesterday.

Dear Member

Please find attached a letter we have been asked to forward to you by the joint liquidators.
If you have any questions on this letter please contact the liquidators at the address provided in the letter.

For and on behalf of FNTC (UK) Limited

Attachment – Club Transfer Communication (opens a PDF)

Timeshare claims cold callers using false identities, including initially claiming to be KwikChex

Consumers have advised that they are increasingly being cold called by people that initially identify themselves as KwikChex or a purported ‘official authority’. They have claimed to be from (for example), The Timeshare Council’ or consumer protection organisations or law firms or court representatives, citing supposed cases that have already taken place which entitle the consumers called to a large compensation sum upon payment of an administrative fee. They also often state that the consumer telephone number was obtained through a ‘European Timeshare Owner Register’.

We ask consumers to be on guard against these deceptive practices and to report them whenever they occur. If you have received such calls and would like assistance in taking action please contact KwikChex using the following:

Online – via Timeshare Business Check https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/free-assistance/

By phone via the UK Timeshare Helpline : 0044 (0)1823 510625

KwikChex services are free to consumers, and are vetted and approved by Trading Standards.

Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) deceptions

Please note: Updates from 15th May & 17th June 2020 below

12/05/2020

The now infamous Timeshare Consumer Association website, often known as the ‘TCA’ has been taken over once again by people connected to scams against timeshare owners.

Concerns have been rightly raised by consumers that the TCA is not by any means an independent ‘watchdog’.  Until recently it was owned by Mark Rowe, who was arrested and is currently on police bail regarding the activities of his Monster Travel and SellMyTimeshare.tv businesses. It was recently taken over (along with other trading names and websites previously owned and operated by Rowe, including ABC Lawyers and Timeshare.Lawyer) by European Consumer Claims (ECC), a business controlled by Andrew Cooper, who was previously one of the principal figures behind a number of businesses closed down by the UK authorities and civil actions by consumers, these included Club Class Concierge and ITRA.

The latest deceits by ECC follow exposure of similar practices when the site was controlled by Mark Rowe, with the Daily Mirror producing an article in December 2016, titled “The Timeshare Consumer Association claims to be an independent consumer champion, but is it?” – see details on this link https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/timeshare-consumer-association-claims-independent-9367808

KwikChex is advising any consumers that are contacted with information about the TCA or who see online information about the TCA, to exercise extreme caution – and ideally report the matter to Citizens Advice and the Advertising Standards Authority.

 

Update 15/05/2020

Following complaints made by consumers and information provided by KwikChex, European Consumer Claims (ECC) have now published the following information on the TCA website.

“TCA is sponsored by European Consumer Claims Limited, registered in England and Wales under registration number at Companies House: 10243428 ECC is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) under registration number: ZA291149
All content on this website is dependent on the opinion of the author. – Privacy Policy”

This ‘part-admission’ confirms that information provided to the TCA is shared with ECC. More information will be provided shortly.

 

Update 17/06/2020

Since control of the TCA website passed to ECC, at the end of 2019,  ownership details have varied.

  • Originally no ownership details were published
  • This then changed to a statement saying that the TCA was sponsored by European Consumer Claims Ltd (ECC)
  • On 11 June 2020, a new company was incorporated – The Timeshare Consumer Association Ltd. and this information currently (information provided 17 June 2020) appears on the TCA website
  • The registered office address is given as Artemis House, 4a Bramley Rd, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, United Kingdom, MK1 1PT
  • The sole director of the company is a Keith Graham Dewhurst, stated to reside in Spain.

As of 17 June 2020, the TCA site remains under the control of ECC.

Bogus ‘Consumer Council’ Cold-calling timeshare owners

KwikChex has received reports of a new cold-caller phoning from UK number 01792825993 and calling itself the ‘Consumer Council’.

This is the latest version of fake consumer organisation cold calls. In addition to obvious data breaches, they are also giving false information to consumers.

KwikChex is currently operating an initiative via the Timeshare Task Force, an award winning, Trading Standards approved resource that is investigating data protection breaches and will file reports with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) . Details can be found on the following link https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/cold-calling-data-theft/

Fact File – Links between ECC, the TCA & closed down businesses

 

The indisputable facts that clarify the links between European Consumer Claims / ECC, the Timeshare Consumer Association / TCA and businesses closed down for scamming consumers

A number of consumers have contacted KwikChex to advise that European Consumer Claims/ECC and M1 Legal have been denying that information provided by KwikChex is accurate. They have even stated that defamation proceedings are to be taken against KwikChex.

In addition, ECC have been deceitfully using a website called the ‘Timeshare Consumer Association or TCA, originally not disclosing that they had purchased the site from Mark Rowe, a person currently himself on police bail following his arrest in connection with businesses selling ‘timeshare cancellation & compensation’ services.

Whilst we have provided extensive clarification in the past, in response to these developments we have produced a ‘fact file’ which focuses on the director of ECC, Andrew Cooper. This provides consumers with official and trusted sources and documents that show that far from being ‘consumer champions’, there is a long history of fraud and deceptions.

These include –

  • Bogus holiday clubs and Leisure Credit scams that robbed millions from consumers
  • Illegal ‘bait & switch’ operations that lured in timeshare owners, then pressured them into buying worthless ‘alternative holiday products’
  • 7 businesses closed down by the UK authorities to protect consumers
  • Another closed down in the UK High Court after failing to provide promised timeshare contract cancellations and compensation
  • Misleading advertising confirmed by the Advertising Standards Authority
  • Multiple deceitful ‘consumer associations’

All of the information is verifiable. It includes confirmation in the form of official company records, court documents and authorities.  It includes statements from authorities such as “These companies were set up with the aim of duping consumers” This is taken from the official release into the closing down of seven companies. Clearly named in this document are Bridge View Consultants Ltd and Club Class Concierge Ltd., both of which had Andrew Cooper, the owner of ECC as a director. Also named is ITRA, a ‘sister company’ of ECC that shared the same offices and personnel as ECC until it was also closed down. It also includes multiple links to news stories which additionally confirm the links between the companies, the identities of those involved and the scale of detriment suffered by consumers going back many years. 

We hope that the publication of these irrefutable facts will assist consumers in their quest to establish the truths of these matters and to make sound judgements with regard to the denials of the clear history involved and the attempts by ECC and M1 Legal to dissuade consumers from asking for assistance from KwikChex via the Timeshare Task Force resources, which have been vetted and approved by UK Trading Standards and whose contribution to consumer protection and support of law enforcement was recognised in June 2019 with a ‘Business Hero Award – 

“Fraud prevention service wins award – investigation and verification services provider KwikChex was awarded a CTSI Hero Award for its work in supporting Trading Standards”  https://www.journaloftradingstandards.co.uk/hero-awards/fraud-prevention-service-wins-award/

FILES

ITRA Club Class Insolvency Service CHARLES COOPER ANDREW International Executive Report Dato Capital ECC – European Consumer Claims & Director Andrew Cooper Fact File

 

Police warning for timeshare owners

KwikChex has received details of a warning and advice from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit UK police. This is related to ongoing matters concerning an investigation into a number of businesses. It makes specific mention of the following:

  • Fake Citizens Advice referrals
  • ABC Lawyers
  • Monster Credits
  • Staycation Lodges
  • Fraudulent claims of existing legal cases where compensation amounts are being held for consumers

The police advice is as follows –

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

In recent weeks we have received an increasing number enquiries from victims reporting contact from several different companies offering services in relation to either their previous timeshares, their monster credits or their investments in Staycation Lodges. The majority of the information provided by these companies when offering their services is incorrect or at times untrue. For legal reasons we are unable to name the companies directly, however if you are contacted by any company that offers a service based on any of the following information we would strongly advise you to not to accept their services.

1. A company claiming you have been referred to them from Citizens Advice Bureau. Citizens Advice Bureau will NEVER provide your details to any company or ask any company to contact you unless they have your express permission. They are an independent body and if they feel you need assistance from any other agency you will be provided with advice on how to refer yourself.

2. Companies offering to take civil action to reimburse you for your purchase of Staycation Lodges.

3. Companies claiming that Monster Credits had a perpetuity clause that was transferred to your Staycation lodges purchase.

4. Companies claiming that you still own your timeshare with an ever increasing maintenance bill and although you have not received contact for years the timeshare resort is looking to send you a large bill.

5. Companies claiming that you still own your timeshare with an ever increasing maintenance bill and that over the years your maintenance demands have been sent to ABC Lawyers.

6. Companies claiming that various defendants have been prosecuted abroad securing millions in compensation but payment is required to release funds to you.

If you have engaged the services of any company who offered their services based on any of the above points and you have concerns then please contact Citizens Advice.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

KwikChex is already providing free assistance to many consumers affected in the ways described and will be pleased to help all those affected or with concerns. As these are timeshare related matters, consumers can use our dedicated online reporting resource – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/free-assistance/

The level of service overall was excellent

The level of service overall was excellent. The amount of supporting material was extremely helpful as was the encouragement to not give up. The level of information allowed me to identify and avoid the “Rogue” companies which are still preying on us, unfortunate victims.
The friendly and supportive attitude of Mr Chris Emmins gave I am grateful for.

 

(Reviewed May 2020)

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