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Some Common Grounds For Claims
For many of the Timeshare owners who contact us, the main concern is to get out of their Timeshare contracts and to rid themselves & their families of long-term maintenance fee liabilities - but since the first breakthrough Timeshare mis-selling claims in 2015 and the flood of claims that has followed, a wide range of legal precedents have been set. For your reference, here are some of the most common grounds upon which mis-selling claims are based:
Deposit taken on the day
This has long been an illegal practice under the EU Timeshare Directive, but the practice was very common. Potential customers were lured to 4-6 hour sales presentations and subjected to relentless pressure until they finally agreed to go ahead - with the Timeshare sales organisation very often insisting on taking a deposit by credit/debit card or other means there and then to "seal the deal".
Timeshare contract length
Since 1999 it has also been illegal to issue a contract for a Timeshare or similar holiday ownership scheme with a term of more than 50 years. Some Timeshare companies simply flouted this law and even kept selling "in perpetuity" contracts - which effectively means the contact lasts forever. Not only are such contracts grossly unfair, they are simply not legal.
Cooling-off period not offered or explained
From 1999 onward it has been a legal requirement for Timeshare companies to provide a 14 day cooling-off period, to allow consumers sufficient time to properly reflect on their purchasing decision - and they were also obliged to clearly explain this cooling-off period to consumers. It has since come to light that, in large numbers of cases, there was no open explanation of any cooling-off period. In fact, this was kept very quiet indeed, buried away in complex small-print, or simply not offered or honoured at all.
"Floating Weeks" Timeshare contracts
In the early days, a Timeshare was usually sold as a specific accommodation unit for a fixed week each year. But, once resorts were reaching the point of being over-sold, Timeshare companies found different ways of selling more inventory than they could ever fulfill, with the concept of "floating weeks" being invented. Such contracts were deemed illegal in the Spanish High Court in 2015.
Unregulated mis-selling of loans to finance Timeshare purchases
Many of the Timeshare sales companies partnered with a variety of finance providers, to issue loans to facilitate Timeshare purchases. However, these loans were very often issued without following prevailing financial regulations - e.g. not checking whether the customer could afford to make the repayments, providing false income information on applications and/or falsely stating that the loan was for a purpose other than buying a Timeshare (e.g. "home improvements"). A series of precedents have now been set regarding such loans, with Barclays setting aside nearly £50m for claims and Shawbrook Bank £9m already.
This is not an exhaustive list - but is simply a guide to some of the most common grounds on which Timeshare and related finance mis-selling claims are often based. Every case is different so, if you have not already done so, please click below to tell us more, or call us on 01628 290499 today.