Bill filed to investigate bidding process for repo housing units
Rep. José Aponte Hernández
By THE STAR STAFF
Rep. José Aponte Hernández announced on Thursday the filing of a resolution in the island House of Representatives to investigate the bidding processes for repossessed residential units in Puerto Rico.
“During recent weeks, we have received information from many citizens about serious irregularities in the auction process for repossessed houses,” the New Progressive Party at-large legislator said. “Among the data we have received are that people who bid -- and to enter the process you have to provide a certain amount of money -- do not receive information after the end of the auction period. Even worse, days later, they see the property again in sales listings, without knowing if it was awarded or not. Meanwhile, in some cases it is the citizens who have to call to have the deposit returned that they have made to enter the process, which should not happen.”
“Another issue that has been brought to our attention focuses on the fact that it is the clients who have to call their broker to corroborate whether or not they took the auction and it is not the other way around,” Aponte Hernández noted. “It is a very difficult process for many people and more so at the moment that the private sector itself is not producing the number of new units to meet the demand. That is why it is urgent to address this matter …”
The former House speaker emphasized that the situation adds to the difficulty that already exists for people, particularly in the middle class, to acquire a home on the island.
“There is no doubt that we live in a housing shortage in Puerto Rico,” Aponte Hernández said. “Many families cannot buy [a home] because of a volatile and inflated market in several respects. The lack of action and transparency about the auction process adds to this problem.”