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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Bar Assn. urges amending law that it says puts undue burden on notaries public

Puerto Rico Bar Association President Daisy Calcaño López

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico Bar Association President Daisy Calcaño López has asked Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia to include in a proposed special session legislation that would amend Act 52-2022, because in her opinion, the law has put notaries public in a position where they are doing the work of employees of the Municipal Revenues Collection Center (CRIM by its Spanish acronym).

“Our request to the governor, Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, is that he call an extraordinary session to amend Act 52 of 2022, eliminating Article 86 of the law,” Calcaño López said in a written statement. “Our call to the Legislature is to address this matter with the required urgency immediately. Waiting for the ordinary session in mid-August has an economic cost for all stakeholders, especially for the constituents.”

Calcaño López said the amendments to the Notarial Law are similar to those contained in House Bill 827. The amendments have their genesis in the move to update the real estate appraisals that the CRIM must do. Article 86 passes the responsibility of the appraisal work to the lawyers when in fact it belongs to the CRIM, she said.

In the opinion of the attorney, the Law for the Stabilization of Public Finances of Puerto Rico “imposes an onerous burden in the process of dealing with real estate deeds.”

Article 86 of the measure provides for a real estate appraisal in any transaction of sale, donation, transfer, exchange, segregation, or grouping of a property as well as a title study and a measurement plan (plot plan).

As a consequence, several real estate transactions have stalled.

“This measure should not have included an amendment to the Notarial Law,” Calcaño López said. “The effect is that it imposes an onerous cost on citizens who want to sell their property and are forced to hire a surveyor and an appraiser. Furthermore, it disrupts municipalities and even the Department of Housing when it grants the deeds of houses and properties of social interest. Yesterday the legal businesses of real estate where there is no appraisal or measurement plan were stopped. The availability of appraisers and surveyors for hiring in these times is difficult. The delay and cost of completing these requirements discourages citizens and disrupts the legal traffic of real estate businesses and imposes additional burdens on the exercises of the notary’s office. Statements from the Notary Inspection Office on the new instructions to notaries are also urgent.”

“Without a doubt, an amendment of this nature included in the conference stage between the two legislative bodies, without informing the citizens, and those affected, is a harmful practice that is detrimental to the healthy exercise of democracy,” Calcaño López added. “This, without undermining the sovereignty of the legislative bodies.”

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