Press release -
Barclays/Azure loan cancellations open floodgates for other timeshare loan claims
"Just the beginning," says timeshare claims expert, following landmark £48 million Azure/Barclays loan cancellations
Recently Barclays Partner Finance confirmed that 1482 timeshare loans will be cancelled following a heroic 4 year battle by timeshare lawyer Adriana Stoyanova. The loans were processed by unregulated, commission only timeshare salespeople who "cited the credibility of Barclays" to convince customers to sign up on the day.
Initially Barclays were only ordered to refund interest paid on the loans, as well as cancelling future interest. Stoyanova and one of the affected consumers, Ivor Williams (together with his support group) refused to accept this decision as fair and fought on, demanding total nullification of the loans. Barclays eventually acceded and not only agreed to completely cancel the loans in question, they will also refund any payments already made and even pay interest of 8% on those payments.
Tip of the iceberg
£48 million is a lot of money," says Andrew Cooper, CEO of European Consumer Claims (ECC), "but you have to remember this is only one resort, Azure, in a specific two year time period, and only loans with Barclays.
"This is undeniably an important precedent, which hopefully will now be applied to other Azure/Barclays timeshare loans outside the narrow time period considered here.
"The real game changer will be when this turns the spotlight on other potentially unsound partnerships between finance houses and timeshare companies.
"Literally hundreds of thousands other timeshare owners who were also talked into signing up for a life changing loan during a high pressure sales presentation may now have a path to freedom"
Cooper estimates that the amount of 'tainted loans' could conservatively run into billions of pounds. "A couple of years ago M1 Legal, the firm of lawyers collaborating with ECC, took a random sample of £17 million worth of timeshare loans," he says. "They then cross referenced with the FCA website to audit how many of the people processing those loans were not licensed to do so.
"The results of this investigation, while by no means conclusive, indicated a rate of around 44% of timeshare loans to have been managed by personnel who were unlicensed. This figure can be extrapolated to show that billions of pounds worth of timeshare related loans may be unsafe.
If in doubt, seek advice
Andrew Cooper recommends anyone who felt pressured into a timeshare loan while on holiday should seek advice. "It's obviously a case by case process, but many people who have suffered financial hardship due to high pressure sales may find they are entitled to their money back.
"Anyone with a timeshare they want to get out of can also get in touch with our team for a free, confidential chat."
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- Timeshare Consumer Association
- ECC client reviews
- ECC contact page
- Why are genuine timeshare claims firms so rare?
- Barclays facing potential loss of £billions over fresh timeshare mis-selling claims
- Maintenance fees
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ECC provides timeshare claims services, expert advice and help
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Andrew Cooper background article can be read here