How to deal with property fraud in Costa Rica. Cancel fraudulent deeds in Costa Rica administratively.
A new legislative bill that is being introduced in the Costa Rican Legislature is aimed at resolving the inequities caused by fraudulent property transfers in Costa Rica. If a property owner is a victim of a fraudulent property transfer in Costa Rica their only recourse at the moment is to file a criminal complaint. That judicial process can take many years resulting in further victimization of the property owner. During that time the victims do not have title to their own property. In many cases they have also lost physical possession to the property.
Legislative bill number 19.968 the Law for the Cancellation of Irregular Entries in the Property Registrar (Ley De Cancelación De Asientos Irregulares En El Registro Inmobiliario Del Registro Nacional) is creating an administrative mechanism to cancel fraudulent property documents that have entered into the Property recording system. By using the Administrative instead of the judicial system the time frame to revert a fraudulent transfer would be significantly reduced.
Article 1 of the proposed law indicates that the purpose of the law is to establish the framework for the Property Registrar to have the legal authority to cancel registrations when they are derived from fraudulent situations. Article 5 empowers the Property Register to cancel the fraudulent registration and return the property to the previous condition.
This law is very necessary for Costa Rica where a typical fraudulent transfer case can take 3-6 years to litigate in a criminal proceeding. In the meantime the property thieves have transferred the property several times over creating even more damage. We are very pleased to see this type of initiative coming from the legislature and would hope that this project becomes law to avoid property owners the anguish and despair caused by fraudulent property theft.
The full text of the proposed law in Spanish is set forth below: