La Bufadora, Baja – Escape from SoCal Sprawl

Hi Guys, I really enjoyed the article and, as always, found it to be well written and most informative. I wasn't here for the situation that several Americans and Canadians found themselves in but have talked to some of them. I have also talked to the heads of the Ejido and to some of the people that won the legal battle over rights to the land. From what I understand from both is that the Ejido felt that the land belonged to the Ejido and was available for sale. However, since there was a lawsuit going on, they made that clear to the prospective buyers. The buyers were aware that there was a cloud on the title to the land. In this case, a fideicomiso (land trust) would have done nothing to protect the prospective buyers. by the way, fideicomisos were not started because of this situation. They have been around for a very long time and were available then. I also understand that some of the buyers went to the winners of the lawsuit and came to a new agreement in which they leased the land and kept their homes. Others listened to their lawyer who urged them to go as far as taking their lawsuit to the Mexican Supreme Court. There the only winner was that lawyer. It is truly a shame that such a situation arose in this area with stunning beauty. As you know, Tom, I bought a couple of lots from the Ejido. However, under similar circumstances as met the ex-pats so many years ago, I would not have even considered such a purchase had I ascertained there to be a cloud on the two lots. Rather, as a holder of dual citizenship I was and am able to own land in Mexico. However, I still did my due diligence by going to the State's land office to verify that the person I was dealing with was the true owner of the land, by hiring an attorney to handle the wording of the sales contract and by going to a Notario (has nothing in common with a US based notary but acts much like a title company) and made certain that there were no claims against the two lots and that the sale was registered both locally and nationally. I would do this in the US as well by going to a reputable realtor and insisting on a title search and title insurance. I hate that some people were removed from property they felt was truly and legally theirs, but also feel that they failed in doing their due diligence. PS As you know, my background is in international banking, real estate and mortgage lending. I'll tell you of some of the situations I ran into in the US as well. Land fraud is not just here. It was and, probably is, north of us as well.
— May 25, 2012 8:14 a.m.

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