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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have a consumer question. Approximately 4 year ago I was

Resolved Question:

I have a consumer question. Approximately 4 year ago I was approached by a Spanish company (the agent) purporting to be able to sell a time share property that I then owned. As part of the sale process, I was required to sign up with a Spanish based holiday company through which the time share was supposedly being sold and when I questioned this I was advised that the membership with this company would cease when my time share was sold and that membership was only a formality. I paid up front fees of about £1,500 to these companies only to discover that the whole scheme was a scam and I had been defrauded. However, I am being harassed for membership fees by the holiday company and threatened with legal action in the event of non payment. The company which acted as agent has been closed down by the Spanish police and its directors have been prosecuted for fraud.

I have refused to pay any fees to the holiday company on the grounds that the membership was obtained through fraudulent means and, as such, any contract I signed becomes null and void, but they are still harassing me for payment and divorcing themselves from any illegal practices that their agent might have taken in order to obtain memberships for them. Can you please advise me what my legal position is?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if you have any evidence of the fraudulent misrepresentation the agent gave you please - you mention a police prosecution. However do you have evidence of the misrepresentation that was specifically given to you?

Customer:

I have the documentation regarding the supposed offer that was made for my timeshare that came to nothing, as apparently the purchaser had problems obtaining a loan. This is apparently a well known ruse used by the agent of the holiday company and similar companies and is the reason why these companies were closed down. At the time I was not told that I was purchasing membership of the holiday company and when I queried the contract that was sent to me, I was told that it was a mere formality to enable me to sell the time share. As this information was imparted over the phone, I have no written proof of what was said.

Joshua :

Thank you.

Customer:

It therefore transpires that the agent was, in fact, selling membership of the holiday company and not acting as agent for the sale of my timeshare.

Joshua :

If you can show on the balance of probability that there was a misrepresentation made to you in respect of your entering the alleged contract or worse that there was an attempt to defraud you into entering the contract, then you can claim that the contract is rescinded due to misrepresentation as to essence of contract or in the case of fraud that the contract does not exist as there was no intention on your part to enter into a contract which is a requirement in order to establish contractual relatinos.

Joshua :

*relations.

Joshua :

In addition, their business practices may not conform to Spanish legal requirements and may be void as membership documents may not be properly "deeded" as required by Spanish law.

Joshua :

There is an action group which may be able to support you in respect of action against this company. You may wish to join the group or at least obtain information from them in this respect.

Joshua :

You can contact the group via [email protected] mentioning the above group and they should be able to provide you with information and the current updated position as to any legal actions presently being undertaken which may be of assistance to you.

Joshua :

In the meantime your position regarding the company will likely be along the lines that you deny any contractual liability to them whatsoever on the above grounds and that if they consider they have a claim against you to issue proceedings which will be vigorously defended and any further contact from them will be considered to be harassment and reported to the police

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

Thank you for this advice. It has been most helpful. It was never my intention to join a holiday company; my intention was to sell my timeshare and it was only through the misrepresentation of the agent that I went ahead and signed the contract. I shall certainly, contact the action group as you have suggested.

Joshua :

If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

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