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Posted by Siegfried on June 25, 2008, 4:00 pm

There are two reasons for writing this story here :

One, it is better ( and cheaper ) to learn from other people’s mistakes
So here is my contribution to civic duties , and
Two, a lot of people heard about this dilemma and keep asking me about details,
So here it is and so I do not have to tell the story again and again…

If someone would have asked me a year ago about Joe Santana , I would have told them that we are really very good friends, which is to explain that I was not as prudent with my real estate purchases as one should be and I normally would be .

Ok , let us go to june of 2006, my friend Joe introduces my to his friend Lito from Rebalcito. I am told that Lito is an ejido member and as such has access to these wonderful “insider”Real Estate deals. Not much later I was offered a package of 4 properties, three of them in Tenacatita , and I went for it, ie. I bought the 4 properties., and Joe, far making the connection , taking care of his commissions and he also taking care of the necessary paperwork, would own one third of the properties and get his share of the profits when sold. I was told at the time that these “inside’ deal properties need to go first into the name of a family member of the ejidatario and then, at a later time ownership can be transferred to some-one else. Fair enough, I did get a copy of the respective constancia, showing that the derechos for the 4 properties are now ( august 2006 ) in Oriana’s name, sister of Lito.
A few weeks later, over dinner at Palapa Joe’s I suggested to Joe and Joanie that I had drawn up a trust agreement ( Sara had translated for me into spanish, and there was also I discussion about that ) and that we should go and get that signed and notarized… OH NO !!!, I was told , that would create all sorts of problems…that is when a flag should have gone up , but it did not, we are good friends, right ?
Summer of next year after Maggie had moved here and our extensive honeymoon, we met Lito and told him that we are no ready to transfer the 4 properties into Maggie’s name . NO Problem !…we shall get together and take care of it, just give me a call to fix a time and here is my phone #. After that it was impossible to find Lito, even though we left so many messages with his mother to call us.
End of august last year I approached Joe and told him about the ‘problem’, no problem, he is going to take care of it .by September I got a bit excited and talked about legal procedures, on oct 3rd Joe told me that David Martinez, the ejido secretary in Rebalcito is drawing up the ‘papers’. In the course of the next months I heard that 7 times , to this day I never got to see any such paper. By the end of October I had enough and I started digging a bit with the help of some lawyers. We found out then that I was lied to, Lito at the time when I bought the properties, was NOT an ejido member, in fact I bought an ejido seat with this package of properties, but I had not ever been told , my purchase made Lito an ejido member! To put the properties into a family members name was also a lie, no such requirement exists !…but of course in hind sight it makes perfect sense from their point of view and plan !…it was crystal clear that I fell victim to an ‘old’ local scheme( : SNAG A GRINGO !)…they had my money, an ejido seat and the constancia to my properties. i also found out that part ownership of a real estate agent without investing cash is also illegal !
Mexican lawyers and the legal systems work in wondrous ways and is nowhere like what we are used to, so I had to get the help of several lawyers and in the last few month had to ‘press a lot of buttons’, and there are still a few more buttons to press, and I will keep you informed…
Now, you may have noticed that it says’ part I’ up top, I had made several “purchases” and I will tell you about the others soon…


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