Bravos de Boston Titles in Vieques, Puerto Rico – Restriction to Sales and Penalties
On December 2 and 3 of 2010, the Municipality fo Vieques held two meetings for property owners of the Santa María and Bravos de Boston sectors in Vieques. This post includes the essence of the information presented at these meetings.
I first present a brief background.
The individual properties on these sectors are mostly not recorded at the Puerto Rico Property Registry. Accordingly, certain deeds were executed whereby individuals were recognized as the title holders for these properties. Under regulations which existed at the time, the deeds contain certain clauses which mandate that the title holders cannot sell or transfer their properties within a period of 5 years, noting that some deeds contain a longer period of 15 years. If the title holder wants to sell the property within the restrictive period stated in the deed, the person would have to notify the Municipality and pay a penalty as a condition precedent to the transaction. Moreover, I am aware of at least one instance in which a mortgage company concluded that such a penalty had to be paid as a condition precedent to issuing the mortgage. I am also aware of another instance in which such a requirement was not demanded, and the mortgage was approved and disbursed notwithstanding the restriction.
At the meetings held yesterday and today, the Municipality announced that beginning on January of 2011, it would not enforce such restrictions and will not be demanding payment of the penalties as a condition to sales, transfers, mortgages or the like. Accordingly, title holders will be free to transfer or mortgage their properties without having to request a waiver or authorization from the Municipality.
The Municipality also announced at the meetings, that it will start to perform certain tasks conducive to granting titles in the future, including the engagement of a surveyor and an appraiser, as conditions precedent to entering into a title recognition process. Perhaps it is too early for the Municipality to disclose the conditions under which it will be granting the recognitions of titles.
There are a couple of items I want you to have in mind on this subject.
First, Villa Borinquen or other sectors of Vieques were not mentioned at the meetings.
Additionally, there are certain “procedures” the Municipality will most likely have to execute and comply with to bring these concessions to fruition. Since the sales restrictions and penalties were established through regulations, the Municipal Assembly will have to (or must have) approved a regulation consistent with the concessions being announced. Another regulation will be required for the title process, which means that I expect the Administration to be working on those as well.
Once we ascertain that the regulations come into effect, I will notify you through this blog.
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