Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10,171
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Land/Title/Deed forgeries in the DR

    I want to address something that Criss Colon brought up earlier regarding property rights or what's known as "property deeds" or "Land Titles." If one of the moderators wants me to start a new thread about this and explain it there, then feel free to copy and paste this explanation.

    Ok, forging of a property deed is a common theme down here, so much so that it has been going on for as long as i can remember. it was going on pretty consistently in the 80's, picked up steem in the 90's, then went nuclear after 2001. basically, there are a lot of way to forge Titles, but i'm going to explain in laymans terms the most common and most efficient way that the thieves here like to utilize the most:

    Say you, John Smith, owns a clear title to a piece of property somewhere on this island. A copy of that deed is sitting in a government office (sorry, can't remember the name for the office right now). In your Title/Deed/property file is a copy of your Cedula and/or passport--but always a copy of both (passport and cedula) if you are a foreigner.

    I can walk into this office, pay someone to look into your file, give me all the details--i.e passport number, cedula number, etc. i can then go down to the cedual office and get another cedula with your name and same details on it, but with my picture on the new photo id. Now i can go back to the Title/Deed office and ask for a copy of everything in your file by claiming, quite clearly, that i am John Smith, and i have lost the original title of my land. I don't care if you got a 1000 acre property, a 50,000 acre property or a 1,00000 acre property, i now have a clear copy of your ID with my picture on it. I can request anything i want out of your file. Now, i will have the office make me a copy of everything in that file--becuase i will explain to them that i've lost the original Title/Deed to the property. Now, with copies in hand, i can now legally go down to a lawyers office (usually someone in on the deal, but not always), and get the Title/Deed/notarized, and then sell your property to anyone i want--place name here______. Why? because legally, i have your ID (Cedula) in my hand, only with my picture on it instead of yours.

    As far as the law is concerned, i fullfilled every legal obligation neccessary in order to prove that i am who i say i am. and since i have declared that the original title has been lost, i can pay to have the government office re-issue me a new "Original" Title/Deed. Now i can legally sell your land to anyone i want.

    There's other modifications to this, but they all work in a similar fashion. the goal is to get a copy of your ID (Cedula), a copy of the land/deed/title, then apply for another "Original Title/Deed, then turn around and sell it to some unsuspecting Joe.

    It happens everyday, everywhere, all around this island. How do i know? Becuase it happened last year to my cousin who lives in Florida and is a Doctor in West Palm Beach. she came here to take a family vacation and was showing her husband (Non-Dominican) and son some of the land she inherited when our uncle died. When she got to the property, there was a "For Sale" sign on it. she called the number and said she was interested in seeing the property. They said "Sure, we can meet you tomorrow wherever you like." She then contacted some family members, who contacted some higher ups and then met up with them (The new owners) the next day.

    It all ended fine, and she got the property back, but if had she waited another year before visiting, they would have sold her land right from underneath her feet and they would never get caught becuase we don't know who was the original person who cloned her ID? We only have a copy of her ID but with someone else's picture on it. And who knows who is on the picture??? Unless they decide to broadcast that picture on National TV and ask for help, there is no way to know who it is on her picture ID.

    Frank

  2. #2
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10,171
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Oh yeah, i forgot to add...if her (my cousin) property would have gotten sold to some unsuspecting Joe, she would have to spend a lot of money, time, and energy fighting to get her land back and prove to the court that it was not her who actually sold the property to Joe whoever. These cases can drag on for years because now, the new owner, did nothing wrong, and he or she doesn't want to lose their lifetime savings for something that wasn't their fault. Ultimately, she would win, and she would get the land back, but not without a big fight and a lot of court dates.

    It goes on everyday, everywhere in third world countries i would imagine.
    Frank

  3. Likes GinzaGringo liked this post
  4. #3
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,636
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Actually, Frank, it is not a foregone conclusion that she would get her land back. The Dominican law protects investors (buyers) who have purchased real estate in good faith. In other words, if they followed the rules then the law is on their side. It would be up to your cousin to hunt the crook down and deal with her. But obviously a judge will decide and only the Lord knows what side of an argument a Dominican judge will rule for.

    There are as many ways to rip you off as minds thinking about it. The only thing I've found to be safe is to have an excellent lawyer to help you purchase the property, fence it and then consistently protect it.

  5. #4
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    648
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    They (the title government office) should offer some type of (paid) service where they would call a given number if any changes are request are made to the title.

  6. #5
    Gold
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    9,821
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Would a buyer be more protected going through a real estate agency?

  7. #6
    Silver
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    3,101
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Isn't this the reason the deslinde got into play. In order to attempt such fraud?

    I know that 9 out of 10 properties up for sale, do not have the deslinde yet, and the owner will always say he will arange it with the money of the sale. That alone should be warning enough.

  8. Likes frank12 liked this post
  9. #7
    Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    244
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterInBrat View Post
    Would a buyer be more protected going through a real estate agency?
    Basic 'DRnomics' would indicate that no - quite the opposite. Adding a third-party into the transaction is another person that has a financial motivation to orchestrate the fraud, and is another level of distance between you and the source files / deed etc.

    Thank you for posting this thread. Gives many of us looking at land something to think about.

  10. #8
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    21,792
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Wouldn't it be wonderful,if Dominicans spent the same amount of time and effort to give service to others,
    as they do "Servicing" others!!!
    CC

  11. Likes frank12 liked this post
  12. #9
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    648
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by belgiank View Post
    Isn't this the reason the deslinde got into play. In order to attempt such fraud?

    I know that 9 out of 10 properties up for sale, do not have the deslinde yet, and the owner will always say he will arange it with the money of the sale. That alone should be warning enough.
    I also assumed that was the purpose of the deslinde, but if you think about how it works, it woudn't do much to curve the fraud cause the deslinde is many times done AFTER the sale. When i bought my land in Gurabo the property wasn't "deslindada" so I had to get it "deslindada" after the sale. But if it would have been a fake title then I would have been f'ed.

    It should be that the deslinde must be done BEFORE a sale can be done. That would make more sense.

    Either that or banks should require a title insurance company be paid to insure the title after the sale. Yes it costs money but atleast the companies can push law makers to get there **** together and come up with a better system to curve fraud.

  13. #10
    Regular
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    356
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Frank,

    That was a very insightful post. Thank you. I do have a follow up question for you.

    In the United States, some of these kinds of issues are dealt with by title insurance. A title insurer searches the title you intend to buy and passes judgment on its authenticity, quality, on its strength, then gives you an insurance policy on that title.

    If something goes wrong with your title down the line and the insurer has given you a policy, you can make a claim against the insurance company. So in that case, neither the unwitting good faith buyer nor the real/original owner are left holding the bag, the insurance company is.

    The system works well.

    Does the DR have a comparable system of title insurance?

    Thanks!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •