What are the solutions?
Since their creation, we have seen and heard, from our clients, that all of the different types of timeshare and holiday-club ownership have been mis-sold to consumers.
In many cases, the consumers could not afford to make a purchase and, as such, they were encouraged to finance the purchase. This lending was through various financial institutions, such as Barclays Partner Finance (BPF), Hitachi Finance (HF), Clydesdale Bank (CB), Shawbrook Bank (SB), Honeycomb Finance (HC), and First Holiday Finance (FHF).
Unfortunately, in most cases, the benefits of these types of timeshare ownership were grossly oversold. The lack of availability of accommodation, the rapidly rising maintenance fees, and, in the case of fractional ownership, the lack of profit, and left many consumers with a worthless product.
We have sought to bring our clients’ complaints directly to the attention of those who sold the products and those who sold the finance. Given the uncertainty as to the viability of most timeshare companies, we sought to the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 to bring claims against the banks and lenders, who would have the money to settle any claim.
In all instances, those claims were rejected by the timeshare companies and the lenders. Indeed, these timeshare companies have written to our clients, advising them that we cannot terminate timeshare agreements and that the information we have provided to our clients is untrue and dishonest.
This has been distressing for our clients and us. We referred each and every claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for an adjudication. It would be the Financial Ombudsman Service who would decide whether we were right or whether the timeshare companies were right.
Financial Ombudsman Service determinations.
On the 06 March 2020 and 20 April 2020 respectively, the Financial Ombudsman Service issued some critical determinations relating to our fractional timeshares claims. Those decisions related to fractional timeshare products sold by Diamond Resorts and Club La Costa. Those decisions by the Financial Ombudsman Service found in favour of the legal arguments put to them by Mercantile Claims, along with our sister company Praetorian Legal.
The Financial Ombudsman Service found overwhelmingly in favour of the claims submitted by both Mercantile Claims and Praetorian Legal. The Financial Ombudsman Service determinations focused on the selling process. And found that, in both instances, the product purchased by our clients was ‘missold as an investment, to the detriment of our clients.’
The determination ordered the finance company to :
‘Put the fractional owner back into the position they would have been in had they not have purchased a fractional timeshare.’
The Financial Ombudsman Service ordered the finance company to take the following steps, in order to put things right:
- All payments made by our clients to the timeshare company, be repaid to them.
- Any remaining loan payments cancelled, and the agreement voided.
- Interest on all payments refunded to our clients at a rate of 8% per annum.
- The cancellation of our clients’ timeshare product.
In short, the decisions of the Financial Ombudsman Service have vindicated both Mercantile Claims and Praetorian Legal. We now expect the hundreds of similar claims currently held by the Financial Ombudsman Service to follow those precedents.
We believe that we are the only companies who are fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to have received decisions of this nature at this time. If you have a timeshare or fractional timeshare, which was financed by a regulated finance agreement, then we can pursue a financial compensation claim on your behalf, and we can remove the financial burden of that product from you.
What will we do?
We will work hard to make sure that you have the right kind of support when making a claim. As we have shown, with the decisions received from the Financial Ombudsman Service, we have the expertise and experience to ensure that your claim is presented in the best way possible. We will work tirelessly to make sure that your experience is one which is right for you. It can be challenging to take on big companies, but you can with our help.
We fight in your corner for you, because we know it is what you need and it is what is right. Our refusal to give up helps to endear us to our clients.
So, please get in contact with us and start the process. We stand ready to help you. Our team is more than happy to talk with you to assess your situation and find the right way forward. Let’s talk about what we can do for you.