Buying and selling real estate in Mexico is similar to the closing process in Europe and South American countries: A notary (specialized attorney appointed for life) is empowered to transfer real estate. Using a notary for closing is different from US and Canadian transactions. The notary in most of the world is the highly trained and paid professional we use here in Mexico. Notary public in our experience is not by any means the same profession even though the names are the same.
Money laundering is considered to be the crime of operations with resources from illegal origins under article 400-bis of the Federal Criminal Code. The money laundering offence is also complemented by the Federal Law Against Organized Crime, which provides higher criminal sanctions for money laundering offenders considered to be members of a criminal organization, and the Federal Criminal Procedures Code, which considers the money laundering offence to be a serious offence and thus limits the ability of any defendant to obtain release prior to conviction.
If you are thinking of buying or selling property in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico here are the most important Spanish words you’ll need to know in real estate transactions.
Ejido: Farming land owned by a legal entity, or group called the Ejido. Collective land that can now be privatized. Foreigners cannot acquire rights to Ejido property. Through a proper process, the Ejido can sell to a Mexican individual. The Mexican can then sell to a foreigner.
Escritura Publica: The document issued by the notary to transfer ownership of property. The escritura is a public deed. If there is bank trust for foreign ownership it is described in the escritura. In the escritura the bank defines its authority and sets out its fees. The time to negotiate the terms of this agreement is at the beginning of the purchase process.
We make choices every day. They need to be informed ones. President Kennedy said: “We choose to stay with the comfort of opinion rather than the discomfort of thought”.
A recent discussion with a seller made me realize she needed to become aware of misunderstandings which could happen by her not understanding Mexican immigration and tax requirements. In this local real estate market, nationals and foreigners should be registered to do business and pay taxes to Hacienda or the Mexican IRS. However, there are people who choose not to be registered and illegally earn income they do not report.