Could we be wrong?
The recent legislation on the liberalisation of real estate mortgages and other government charges (such as property tax, etc.) has greatly helped achieve some sense of tranquility to the buyer, the State (by achieving transfers) and of course the whole operation of the property sector.
My recent experiences show a great number of differences in what the law says about the release of mortgages, etc., and what is actually implemented. Lenders require that the buyer proves that he has paid his dues (and not only present a declaration and receipts from the seller) and that the relevant payments were deposited into the account where the bank loan is held. So, I ask, where does the law refer to this specific procedure? Lenders continue to insist on the above procedure even if the loan for this project has been paid off (but perhaps the project remains mortgaged in order to facilitate buyers who secured a loan from the lender), thus even though the developer is not obliged to, the buyer has this obligation and so the whole system of free transfers is blocked by the arbitrary interpretation (or due to extortion) of the law.
What is also surprising is the failure of lenders to consider a fast pace to review these cases of freeing up mortgages, etc. In my recent experience, a client informed our office that in order to release even a single apartment, all buyers throughout the project must be reviewed, and even then, one by one.
So? Why is this process being implemented and where does the law say so? Also, in order for the authorities to release the mortgage and secure the property tax, they continue to demand full settlement. But are transfers not prevented in this way and is this not against the provisions of the law?
The lawmakers missed out that charges for the municipal taxes, sewerage, etc. be included in the release, and so, if the rest settled or released then this obstacle still remains. I wrote to the Minister of Interior on this issue with the hope that these charges be included for the release, otherwise the whole system will be almost unworkable (ie. the effort of direct transfers). Of course, there remains the right of direct appeal to the Land Registry for the transfer and this Department is not involved in matters related to loan collections, etc.
The appeal to the Land Registry, with the 5,000 existing applications still pending and which are expected to double in the coming months, is not an easy tast. Besides the cost, the waiting process may even go beyond 12/2016 and so the buyers cannot reap the 50% discount on the transfer fees. I expect, however, that depending on the progress of transfers by mid-2016, perhaps this measure of the discount incentive be extended to the end of 2017.
The easiest thing to do in this country is the filing of a “complaint” against several people who do not follow the law and certainly taking legal action against them. But is this a solution or should there be a proper implementation of the law as proposed by the government and approved by the House? Complaints filed to the Central Bank for non-implementation of the law by the lenders or even submitted to the Interior Ministry, the Auditor General and others, may be a little “in fashion” nowadays, but perhaps in the end we should end up there? Do we need to resort to such measures?
Then again, perhaps we have “misinterpreted” the law and are wrong in the matter, an argument I can hardly find to be realistic or logical.