Why (and When to) Speak to a Real Estate Lawyer When Purchasing a Property in Puerto Rico

May 20, 2015 Leave a comment

I am frequently asked when is the oportune time for a buyer to speak to a real estate lawyer when performing a real estate transaction in Puerto Rico. Through this video I clarify when and why.

Yes, the answer may seem obvious to most readers.  My recent (surprising) experiences on this subject have motivated me to publish this video which I hope you will enjoy.

Yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Mother’s Day Wishes

May 9, 2015 Leave a comment

My mother has been and continues to be a very special person in my life by making sure I did not stray from the right path, and also motivating me to help others along the way.

I also have the blessing of sharing my life with another spectacular woman who is my wife and mother to my son.  We are both better persons because of her continued positive influence.

Hence, I fully understand how important a mother is to everyone everywhere in the World.

To all of you mothers out there, my admiration and my desire that you have a very happy and enjoyable Mother’s Day.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Categories: Uncategorized

Traffic Tickets Amnesty – Time Running Out

May 4, 2015 Leave a comment

http://www.dtop.gov.pr/noticias.asp?cnt_id=2312

An amnesty is in progress for pastdue traffic tickets and also for those issued through AutoExpreso.  The last day of this amnesty is coming up in June. 

While I calculate the deadline to be June 22, you should verify official sources for the official end date.

The link above will take you to the page where the basic information on this subject is communicated by the agency on charge in Spanish.  For those who do not read Spanish, I believe Google Translator can take care of the translation for you.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F.  Lampón

Categories: Uncategorized

Puerto Rico’s New Tax Averted

May 2, 2015 1 comment

You probably know this by now, but I just want to make sure that you do:  The proposed new tax called “IVA” was not approved by the Puerto Rico House of Representatives.  This means that, for now, there is no need to change or adapt your business accounting practices. 

Neverthelss, do note that the Government of Puerto Rico has a serious cash flow problem which forces the Governor to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks.  In my opinion, this means that the possibility of new taxes is likely.

Accordingly, business owners need to be on the lookout for how any chsnges affect our businesses and what we nwed to do to adapt to them.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F.  Lampón

Categories: Uncategorized

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

Categories: Uncategorized

Cultural Festival in Vieques

April 17, 2015 Leave a comment

image

Categories: Uncategorized

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

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