Are Spanish Timeshare Claims a Scam?

If you have been contacted by a Spanish timeshare company claiming to be able to cancel your Spanish timeshare or claim compensation on your Spanish timeshare you may be wondering whether it is a scam.

Whilst it is actually completely possible to cancel a Spanish timeshare and also to make a Spanish timeshare compensation claim there are LOTS of scam timeshare companies who promise to make these claims for you but are instead attempting to con you out of money for bogus ‘legal fees’ or ultimately into signing up to another “holiday club”.

We have provided some guidance below to help you ensure that you do not become a victim of a Spanish timeshare scam.

How to find a reputable Spanish timeshare claims company 

To ensure that you do not become a victim of a timeshare claim:

  • do not use a Spanish timeshare company that has ‘cold called’ you – no genuine company will telephone you out of the blue or buy lists of timeshare owners to gain this contact information. Many scammers (or timeshare operators themselves) acquire lists of timeshare owners and will contact each name on the list in an attempt to scam them.
  • do not use a Spanish timeshare company that has offered you a ‘free holiday’ out to meet them or requested you attend a presentation- these are common offers made by many scam timeshare companies. The idea is to get you to meet them so that they can apply their pressure tactics in an attempt to get you to sign up to their ‘services’.
  • do not use a Spanish timeshare company that only deals with timeshares. So called ‘timeshare companies’ set up solely to deal with timeshare claims can quickly and easily disappear without trace once they have conned enough money out of unsuspecting timeshare owners. You should use a well establish law firm who can not just ‘shut up shop’ once their scam has been rumbled.
  • do not hand over any money unless you have thoroughly checked out the firm and the lawyers dealing with your claim.

To make a legitimate Spanish timeshare claim:

  • do ensure you use a registered and regulated law firm. You should also actually check that the law firm and the names of the lawyers you are dealing with are genuine. Just because someone tells you they are a ‘lawyer’ doesn’t mean that they are! Some scammers also fraudulently use the name of a legitimate law firm but you will never actually be dealing with the real law firm. You really do need to check them out to make sure they are reputable.
  • do ensure you use  a law firm that deals with a range of legal work not just timeshares.  They should also have plenty of experience in making these timeshare claims and a successful track record. If you use a well established law firm with a proven history of providing lots of legal services as well as timeshare claims, they are unlikely to be a ‘fly by night’ company set up solely to scam timeshare owners.
  • do ensure you use a law firm that can offer a genuine ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement. Lots of scam companies do advertise ‘no win no fee’ but when it comes down to it they do ask for money for something or other or encourage you to exchange your timeshare for something else (often another timeshare with more expensive maintenance). Genuine no win no fee offers will be backed by litigation insurance. This means that the insurer has investigated the law firm and the circumstances of your particular case and considers that the chances of success are so good that they are prepared to insure the claims as they consider there is a low risk of the claim being unsuccessful. You should therefore speak with the lawyers about this insurance (and any terms attached) and satisfy yourself that the no fee no fee offer is genuine.
  • do take advantage of a genuine no win no fee offer if possible. Although lots of legitimate companies do charge up-front legal fees (and this can work out cheaper for you in the long run), the only way of really knowing that you won’t be scammed out of your money is not to hand over any!

If you have a Spanish timeshare that you no longer want, it is possible to cancel your Spanish timeshare and it may also be possible to claim some compensation even if you have regularly used it.

If you would like a recommendation for a reputable and regulated law firm who specialise in dealing with Spanish timeshare matters, please contact us on 01244 470 339 or email and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Author: Sara Janion, overseas legal expert, solicitor and Notary Public