In recent months there have been many rulings against fraudulent behaviour in multiple ongoing court cases across the UK. These cases have been initiated by clients of these companies, on the precedent that the services that they were promised by the said fraudulent companies were never fulfilled. Therefore, in many of these cases it has been ascertained that these clients have been mis sold. We go further into some of these cases with a summary of the latest proceedings and judgements to be enforced in the UK.
We begin with ITRA or International Timeshare Refund Action group, to give their full company name. This company is well known in the murky world of timeshare, by timeshare resorts and timeshare owners alike.
At the end of January 2019 the High Court Justice in London has ruled that ITRA, who operate out of a PO Box address in Gibraltar, must be placed into compulsory liquidation. This means that ITRA have been forced into liquidation by a court order due to a creditor petitioning for the company to be wound up. If the company then fails to meet its liabilities, it therefore becomes insolvent.
The company that was run by the late Peter Utal and his consultant Andrew Cooper, claimed to have succeeded in relinquishing the ownership’s 1,790 of ITRA’s 2,964 clients while under their management.
Having been investigated on many different occasions over the years by the UK authorities for various misrepresentations, ITRA offered its clients a relinquishment service to fully remove themselves from any timeshare ownership they may hold, alongside pursuing a compensation claim against the resort on the client’s behalf for mis selling the product in the first instance.
On initial enquiry, ITRA seemed to be a lifeline for these distressed owners. Enticing the client with the classic bait and switch by using the allure of legal assistance, the company then assumes responsibility for the unwanted timeshare ownership and ITRA then switch the client to their vacation product, either a holiday club membership or holiday credits.
The supposed relinquishments that ITRA were carrying out, it seems, were not being done legally or correctly. With clients then beginning to receive demands for annual maintenance fees from their timeshare resorts and the further stress of them then threating legal action if these were not paid. Yet when ITRA were questioned by the clients, they were advised they no longer owned the Timeshare.
So many owners have been caught out with this guise of exiting their timeshare and have lost thousands of pounds to ITRA for a service which was wholeheartedly false. Some have even taken credit to pay for the service and have lost a lot more than their money. This landmark case will help pave the way for many other timeshare owners who find themselves in the same predicament.
This case was actioned by a British couple that had already won a previous court case against ITRA for unlawful conduct, which was on par with misrepresentation of product, as well as failure to provide a service they could not provide. The court ruled in the couple’s favour but ITRA failed to refund the money as ordered by the courts.
Although the client had a resounding success in the first case, the injustice had not been rectified! They never received their refund as the court had said they would. The couple decided to continue fighting ITRA by enforcing the ruling with the High Court in London as matter of principle, with another success for the client, the courts ruled in their favour again.
Another case that compares with this one, is regarding a UK resident who also took ITRA to court citing misrepresentation and a non-useful service. This owner had been approached while at his resort in Fuengirola and was enticed to relinquish his ownership with Diamond Resorts with the allure of compensation that he was apparently entitled to. In this case the judge ruled that ITRA were to pay back £9,765 inclusive of all court fees, interest charges and any costs incurred which is a fantastic result although, again no renumeration has been received by the client thus far.
Now with ITRA in compulsory liquidation it is anyone’s guess as to when any reimbursement will be fulfilled, but the law is changing, and it is changing in favour of the people not the companies hiding behind their lies.
Posted on: February 22, 2019
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 01253 804 318 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk