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Timeshare Fraud in Europe

Posted 26th March 2010.

Claims Directive report on the timeshare buy-sell scam that was estimated to be catching over 400 European timeshare owners every week in 2009.

In the late 1990s an estimated 60,000 timeshare owners in Europe were scammed into buying extra timeshare weeks on the promise of selling their existing timeshare or membership, the set up was to create a fictitious buyer that would be purchasing their weeks or membership at a greatly inflated price, so that the profit would pay for the new purchase of weeks, which would be concluded within 6 months to a year, of course no buyer ever existed and the purchaser would end up with two or more timeshares, some clients were buy-sold many times, and fell into what we know now as the timeshare trap.

In 2001 this practice of illegal selling was brought to a head, by the jailing of a Tenerife timeshare developer, who reportedly swindled over 16,000 families, the buy-sell scam was now out in the open and a new European timeshare directive was in place.

Claims Directive have received evidence that some European timeshare developers were still running illegal buy-sell stings as recently as 2009, with most of the promises of a sale, being made verbally by the sales persons involved, but with the full knowledge of contacts staff and senior management, these operations were spread across 4 countries and 18 timeshare resorts, that are supposed to adhere to European timeshare directive laws, laid in place by the European Union back in 1994, updated in 1997 and 2007.

The sales pitch now involves a complex screen of smokes and mirrors in some of the contracts shown to Claims Directive, with the promise of buying a number of weeks to sell on at a profit within 12 months, rent out for a yearly income which has been loaded into the purchase price or even to be traded in for a profit in equity against Real Estate properties. Timeshare owners that have fallen for this scam have been left in the unfortunate position of being hit by a triple whammy, for after paying up to 100,000 to purchase extra timeshares and then find out that they cannot sell or rent, they are then left with a yearly maintenance bill of up to 10,000 a year, and they still own the original timeshare.

Timeshare resale value in Europe is now at an all time low, with most developers not even wishing to receive unwanted timeshares back for free, rental values on timeshare resorts can be expensive in high season but do not warrant a 5 figure purchase and yearly maintenance costs with no guarantee of a rental income, when a presentation holiday can be booked for less than 150 , Real Estate prices in 2010 are still falling, and of the properties shown to Claims Directive linked to a buy-sale purchase could have been obtained for a lower price without a timeshare trade in.

This Claims Directive report was compiled from information supplied by timeshare owners that are presently pursuing timeshare compensation claims against these developers, and as such all names have been removed.

Claims Directive timeshare advice and compensation claims for mis-sold timeshare owners that purchased in Spain or its islands after 1996.