Titles in Vieques and the Title Grapevine – What gives?
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