What can be done about unregulated timeshare companies? Meredith Pritchard is exposed.

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How do unregulated timeshare firms operate?

Many unregulated companies are operating in the timeshare industry. This is due to the fact that many timeshare owners are unhappy in their contracts. Unfortunately, this makes for the ideal space for unregulated firms to offer seemingly helpful services to people who are desperate. We looked in more detail in this article about how to spot and deal with timeshare fraud. Our best piece of advice is always to put the phone straight down if you are cold called about your timeshare.

Here, we are going to be focusing on the recent case of Meredith Pritchard Claims Consultants Ltd (MPCC) and First Law Solutions Ltd (FLS) and looking at how these companies operate.

Many of these companies operate in the same ways and are:

  • Being run by unregulated, uninsured directors
  • Charging extortionate fees for their services
  • Ran by successful ex-timeshare salesmen
  • Have no qualifications in timeshare law
  • Making promises to help clients
  • Are not acting on behalf of the client
  • Do little or nothing

These firms often do very little, or nothing, to help the client who has paid an extortionate fee for a service.

Meredith Prichard exposed as unregulated timeshare company.

Meredith Pritchard Claims Consultants Ltd (MPCC) and First Law Solutions Ltd (FLS) have been exposed as failing to provide the services they were selling.

Both companies were based at the same address on Nicholas Street in Chester, and both were directed by 59-year-old Stephen Paul Fairclough, of Chester. Both companies claimed to be able to help clients, for a fee, but investigations found that they were not acting on behalf of their clients and in many cases did nothing with the money they had been paid.

On the 22 February 2019 both firms were put before District Judge Obodai at the High Court-Manchester. The court heard that MPCC traded between October 2016 and August 2017, before FLS continued MPCC’s activities. The Insolvency Service presented petitions to the court on the grounds that both companies traded with a lack of commercial probity by failing to provide contracted services promptly or at all. This included accepting payments in respect of non-viable claims, charging excessive fees, and using misleading and aggressive sales techniques.

The outcome of the case against Meredith Prichard

Confidential enquiries by Insolvency Service investigators found that a total of 113 customers between the two companies had typically paid between £1,950 or £5,950. These fees made a combined total of over half a million pounds for the two companies (£550,000), but investigations found that MPCC had made no payments to overseas lawyers. FLS had, however, paid £13,000 and instructed lawyers in some of the cases they had been paid for. The overwhelming outcome for their clients though was that little, or nothing was done to help their situation. Neither MPCC or FLS were able to show any significant evidence of compensation being secured or contracts being relinquished for the amount of money they had been paid for their services.

The Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, David Hope said: “People genuinely sought out these companies for help to get them out of difficult situations concerning their timeshares”.

How to avoid unregulated firms

You can read our full article here on how to deal with timeshare scammers. But, our best advice is:

  • Always put the phone straight down if you are cold called about your timeshare.
  • Always check the company very carefully.
  • Never agree to a deal over the phone first time
  • If you are approached by someone you think is fraudulent – report them
  • Trust your gut instincts
  • Make sure they are SRA regulated
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