Titles in Vieques and the Title Grapevine – What gives?

April 24, 2015 1 comment

The last few weeks have been very interesting in our work with real estate business in Vieques, specifically titles.  The number of transactions is growing exponentially,  which in turn also increase the number of individuals interested in pursuing recognition of titles for their properties.

While the work conducive to completing titles is gaining speed, what has proven challenging is handling the “grapevine lawyers” and the comments spread–of course–through the grapevine.

Reading through my posts on this blog and through Twitter and Facebook, you would notice that I tend to stay away from criticism and definitely negativity as a whole.  Today I need to communicate this message, since this subject keeps appearing on my radar screen  requiring some level of handling.  I will be brief and will them continue on with my production.

A “grapevine lawyer” is that unknown character that tells someone what he or she should be doing regarding a title or real estate business in general.  This person is not a licensed lawyer, and has little or no experience performing titles.  Usually, this person literally and bluntly tells someone the “right thing to do” and totally promotes and desires that the person does exactly what she is being told to do.  Additionally, this person also expects that his “recommendation” be forwarded to others, hence the inclusion of the word “grapevine” aspect of it all.  Unfortunately, more often than not this grapevine recomendations are flawed or simply carry no truth at all.

Titles in Vieques and other parts of Puerto Rico have been and will continue to be a challenge for the property owners, government officials and lawyers alike.  Even in places like Vieques, title issues for Bravos de Boston,  Villa Borinquen and Monte Carmelo are handled by three different government offices, one of which is currently under the control of the court.  Moreover, these are not the only untitled areas in Vieques, and some of the areas not mentioned in this posts are under the control of yet additional independent agencies.

Inevitably,  each area has different decision makers, different clerical employees and different regulations and procedures. 

In sum, there are no cookie cutters in the title business.  Noting the magnitude of areas, agencies, regulations and decision makers involved, it is worth mentioning that the so called grapevine indiscriminately carries any message placed on it, and there are no antivirus programs to protect you from the lies or plain misinformation commonly  associated with such messages.

Enough said.  Back to production.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

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Cultural Festival in Vieques

April 17, 2015 Leave a comment

image

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Monte Carmelo Titles – Are they forthcoming?

April 14, 2015 2 comments

Monte Carmelo is a sector in Vieques generally comprised of “untitled” properties.  The term “untitled property” is used with regards to a property which does not appear within the Puerto Rico Property Registry.

Technically speaking, all properties in Puerto Rico are registered in some form or fashion at the Registry.  For purposes of this article, an untitled property would be one which lacks a complete ownership/segregation record at the Registry.  If you want more details on this subject,  please read the various articles I have posted on this in this blog.

Monte Carmelo as a whole does appear at the Registry.  What does not appear at the Registry are most of the numerous segregations and transactions performed throughout the years for property located in this sector of Vieques.

Monte Carmelo was land owned by the US Navy which was later sold together with other land in Vieques to the Government of Puerto Rico, specifically the Puerto Rico Housing Department in Spanish “Vivienda”.  Some of the land sold to Vivienda was purchased by the Municipality of Vieques (i.e. Bravos de Boston, Villa Borinquen and others) but not Monte Carmelo.  Hence it follows, Vivienda is the current registered owner of the land known as Monte Carmelo, and is the entity which has authority under the law to grant or recognize titles through a deed–leaving aside the subject of adverse possession as described in other articles I have posted on this site.

For many years Vivienda has been “working” to grant titles in Monte Carmelo.  Unfortunately the process has been very slow, particularly when  compared to the successful actions conducted in Vieques for areas like Bravos de Boston and Villa Borinquen.  I have been and continue to be involved in the title process for these areas, and find it somewhat disappointing yet unserstandable, that Monte Carmelo has not moved at a faster pace.

Recently, I have learned that this condition (slowness in granting titles) may become a thing of the past.  I have learned through my recent meetings with Vivienda represemtatives, that titles in Monte Carmelo could be happening at some point in the coming months.

Stay connected since there is more to come on this subject very soon.  Meanwhile, let me know if you have any questions on this or any other subject regarding real estate in Vieques.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Cancelling a Mortgage (Note) in Puerto Rico

March 25, 2015 2 comments

I regularly deal with transactions involving loans which were paid in full, but the mortgage was not removed from the Property Registry.  In this regards, paying the loan with the bank is a separate action to cancelling the mortgage at the Registry.

Through this video, I explain why this is an important issue and what you need to do to correctly handle the cancellation of the mortgage.

Yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

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Filing a Deed at the Puerto Rico Property Registry

September 2, 2014 Leave a comment

Finding a Property Tax ID Number in Puerto Rico

August 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Through this video, you will learn the steps you need to take to identify a property tax ID number for a property in Puerto Rico.  The site for this tool is public, and so is the information published therein.  In this regards, do note that the name or other information about the recorded owner of the property is not shared.

There is a follow up video through which I also explain some of the issues which could appear when you locate a property.  Accordingly, I suggest you watch both videos on this subject.

Well, here it is.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Lawyer and Notary Public
Puerto Rico

 

Orientation on Room Tax for Rental Properties

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Rentals of property for tourism purposes is on the uptrend across Puerto Rico and Vieques in Particular.  The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has as a key objective promoting Puerto Rico as a tourism destination.  In order to achieve this goal, they have as an important goal of helping property owners to successfully promote their rental properties.  For this purpose, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company has been entrusted with collecting what is commonly referred to as the “Room Tax” and directing the funds collected thereto towards promoting Puerto Rico as a tourism destination.

On March 13th, 2014 at the W Retreat and Spa Vieques, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company will be delivering an orientation talk on this subject, including ideas on how to successfully promote rental properties.  The talk is scheduled to begin at 5:30 PM.

The number to call for reservations is (787) 474-2525 xt 385.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

 

Invitación Charla Vieques

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