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What is all about a Title record in Colombia?

A Title Record in Colombia is a way to track the chronological chain of the property's ownership.
Be sure everything is clear before signing any purchase agreement.

registro escrituras colombia
One of the most important things to do before buying real estate is to check the title record in Colombia to ensure that the property actually belongs to the person selling it and it is not subject to any liens or other financial attachments. You can follow the chain of sales and transfers of the property - from the original grant of the land all the way to the current owner. This is call Title search ( Estudio de titulos).

This is a procedure to do before signing the purchase agreement. In fact a purchase agreement must contain a clause briefing the property ownership history .

When using a mortgage loan, local banks makes that for you with their own legal staff.

The cheapest and simple way of doing this is to require the seller to provide the property's ownership history and a no-lien certificate (Certificado de tradición y libertad), which should date back not more than one month. This includes the property's real estate registration number ( Matricula Inmobiliaria), owner's name, and the property's record summary.

The certificate cost COP$12,100 in every Colombian city ( about US$5 to US$7 depending on the exchange rate).

Requests for the ownership history and no-lien certificate of the property can be made at the local Government's records office (Oficina de Registro de Instrumentos Publicos) in the area where the property is located.

Now it can be requested online. Click here to know how

Additional to this the clearances of all the taxes can be ensured by obtaining an account statement of the property from the treasury office (Oficina de Catastro) of the city or district where the property is located.

After checking the title record, we could have two possible scenarios:

  1. If there are no liens against the Title, the sale can proceed.
  2. If there are liens against the Title:
    1. You can commit the seller to clean up the property's liens before you sign the purchase agreement.
    2. You can settle a clause in the purchase agreement with a time limit committing the seller to clear up the property. Then an initial down payment of 20 to 30 percent of the sale price is used by the seller to clear the liens and other charges such as unpaid municipal taxes, public utilitie, etc.

    How can I make the recording of the Title?

    When you get the deed from the Notary's office, you should record it at the local government's records office in the city where the property is located. The purpose of recording the deed is to give "notice to the world" that you now have an ownership interest in that particular piece of real property.

    So, You have to register your deed before the Registry office of Public Instruments . Righ there, you have to pay city and state taxes (Boleta fiscal). You left some extra money right?

    Title will be recorded in the name of the Buyer at the Government's Records Office. This could take about a week or five business days.

    At this time the Buyer can claim the documents showing that title has been legally transferred to the Buyer.

    After the deed is released by Registry office, It is recommended to ask for another title certificate updated (the one that cost US$7) to confirm that the process was made properly and the property is finally registered at your name.

    REMEMBER: Once issued the deed, you have two months to manage your legal validity before the Government's Records office

    We had a case in which the owner realized 20 years after buying the home, that the title record in Colombia was made wrong and the property was registered at someone else's name!!. Just because the government's office changed a single ID number. They never asked for a title certificate, because they did'nt need it before. Yeah that could happen.

    Requesting a Title Certificate online

    Property owners, buyers and investors of Bogotá, Barranquilla, Medellín, Cali, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Santa Marta among others cities, will have access to the history of any property over which they have their registration number.

    These are great news because people will save time and money, avoiding going to those offices and the unbearable long queues it used to be there. In theory, if you are in New York and you have a house in Bucaramanga, you can request online the title certificate paying the same $12,000 pesos you pay at local Register's offices.

    However, and here it comes the bad news, goverment webmasters forgot two simple internet rules: Globalization and credit card payment!

    The payment system is only available through local banks. So, if you are a foreigner or a colombian living abroad, you can't use the system unless you have registered an online savings or checking account in a Colombian bank.

    Things to bear in mind before trying to issue your Title certificate Online:

    • Verify if the property is located in any of the cities and municipalities where the system is available.
    • List of the cities where you can get your online certificate
      Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Leticia, Cartagena, Tunja, Manizales, Florencia, Popayán, Valledupar, Montería, Quibdó, Inírida, San José del Guaviare, Neiva, Santa Marta, Villavicencio, Pasto, Cúcuta, Armenia, Pereira, San Andrés, Bucaramanga, Sincelejo, Ibagué, Puerto Carreño, Andes, Caucasia, Dabeiba, La Ceja, Sonsón, Santa Rosa de Osos, Santo Domingo, Segovia, Sitionuevo, Carmen de Bolívar, Simití, Garagoa, Moniquirá, Santa Rosa de Viterbo, Soatá, Puerto Boyacá, Anserma, Guapi, Bolívar, Caloto, El Bordo, Puerto Tejada, Silvia, Orocué, Paz de Ariporo, Aguachica, Chimichagua, Cereté, Lorica, Sahagún, Chinú, Agua de Dios, Guaduas, La Mesa, Pacho La Palma, San Juan del Cesar, La Plata, Fundación, Plato, El Banco, Acacías, Puerto López, Barbacoas, Samaniego, La Cruz, Chinácota, Convención, Salazar de las Palmas, Puerto Asís, Piedecuesta, Puente Nacional, Málaga, San Vicente del Chucurí, Contratación, Corozal, San Marcos, Sincé, Armero, Cajamarca, El Espinal, Fresno, Guamo, Honda, Purificación, Líbano, Buenaventura y Sevilla.
    • You must know the registration number or Matricula Inmobiliaria of the properties you want to get your title certificates Online.
    • Have a enabled checking or savings account in a financial institution which is registered in the ACH network with the correspondent password for internet transactions.
    • Your computer must have Interner Explorer 6 or higher.
    • You can request one (1) to ten (10) online Certificates per each transaction in different available cities .

    Steps to get your certificate online

    1. Go to the page of the Super intendencia de Notariado y registro Click here to enter directly to the request page
    2. Click on the botton "Pagos en Linea Certificados de Tradicion" you find flashing at the right bottom of the page.
    3. Choose in the left menu the option "Solicitar PIN" - Request for PIN-.
    4. Choose de Colombia city on the list.
    5. Write the registration number of the property - Matricula Inmobiliaria -
    6. Use the PSE system to pay ( only works for checking or saving accounts in Colombia)
    7. Yo receive a confirmation of transaction with a PIN number that you will use to download your certificate. Be sure to print the transaction bill.
    8. Choose in the left menu the option "Generar Certificado" -Generate certificate-. Include the PIN number you received at the bottom of your transaction bill.
    9. A PDF file will be generated and also you will receive an email with the PDF file. In case you missed the email, You can save the file in your PC hard drive choosing the "Save As" botton in the Adobe toolbar or you can print it on paper as well.

    Return from Title Record in Colombia to Real estate law

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