By Jose Santiago
Here is the third and final part of Jose’s article, with advice on hiring a lawyer in Brazil. To read the previous parts click the relevant link at the end of the article.
Once I had a client who contacted me to review some title documents provided by his realtor and I noticed that the house, the edification, had not been registered in the Real Estate Registry. Later on, I found out that the some of the construction workers were suing the seller and trying to place a mechanical lien in the house due to lack of payment. Not only that, but the governmental fees were not paid by the seller and one of the workers had suffered an accident during construction. Consequently, the seller had not been able to get the proper documentation to register the house and will never be able to do so, until these matters are completely resolved. My client was promptly advised of that and we were able to get their deposit money back after a few threatening letters.
Not only is the property search necessary but also seller’s searches are a must in Brazil. Once I had a client who was purchasing a mountain house that was registered to a corporation. Seller and realtor provided the buyer with the documentation from the jurisdiction where the house was located, all seemed fine, but when I requested the seller’s documentation from the jurisdiction where his corporation does its regular business, to my client’s surprise, the corporation had many lawsuits and was on the brink of bankruptcy. My client was then notified and after filing a lawsuit, the seller returned the deposit money to the buyer.
These are a few of many stories of buyers who in the last minute were able to resolve such issues by having a lawyer look over their documents, thus avoiding big losses or damages. That is the importance of knowing how to hire a good lawyer when it comes to real estate purchases.
Therefore, always make sure your lawyer does a complete search not only on the property’s title, but also on the current owners.
Remember, when you are being sued, it is too late. The time to look for representation and link with a good real estate lawyer is before you sign a contract or pay a deposit. Once you have been served with a summons and complaint, it’s too late, the problem has already occurred, and it’s just a question of how much you will have to pay (in court costs, lawyers’ fees, settlements and other expenses) to get the problem resolved.
I hope to have been able to shed some light on how to hire an lawyer and in the importance of having one.
Jose C. Santiago
Multinvest / Elite International
Licensed Attorney – Brazil
Licensed Real Estate Agent – USA
Phones: (55-11) 9348-5729 – São Paulo, Brazil
(800) 983-7060 – Miami, USA
Previous articles by Jose:
How to Hire a Lawyer in Brazil Part 2
How to Hire a Lawyer in Brazil Part 1
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 4
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 3
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 2
Tax Information for Foreigners in Brazil Part 1
8 Reasons to Invest in Brazil’s Real Estate
The Brazilian Resident Investor Program for Foreigners
Brazil: Annual Required Procedures to Keep Your CPF Number
Legal Aspects of Acquiring Real Estate in Brazil“