Property Issues

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

Real Estate and Timeshares: U.S. citizens should exercise caution before entering into any commitment to purchase property in Mexico. We recommend hiring competent Mexican legal counsel to advise you because Mexican real estate law differs significantly from U.S. law. For more information, please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Mexico.

Boat registration: If you are sailing or boating to Mexico, you must follow Mexican regulations for the temporary import of your vessel. Failure to obtain a permit and follow the import regulations could result in the detention of your vessel. More information is available from the Mexican government here:
http://www.sat.gob.mx/aduanas/vehiculos/importacion_temporal/Paginas/embarcaciones.aspx

PROFECO, the Mexican Consumer Protection Agency, has published a brochure which gives more information about buying a timeshare in Mexico. The brochure can be accessed at PROFECO’s website: http://www.profeco.gob.mx/. Follow the link for English and find the brochure entitled: “Take your Time When Buying a Timeshare.”

American citizens who experience problems with timeshare companies can file a formal complaint against the company with PROFECO. PROFECO has the authority to mediate disputes, investigate consumer complains, order hearings, and, levy fines and sanctions for not appearing at hearings. All complaints by U.S. citizens are handled by PROFECO’s English-speaking office in Mexico City:

From Mexico: (55) 5625-6700, ext 1317
From the U.S.: 52-55-5625-6700, ext 1317
or via email at extranjeros@profeco.gob.mx; extranjeroscare@gmail.com

We strongly suggest you contact PROFECO via email to maintain a record of your communications. A telephone call cannot be verified.

Stolen Vehicles: In 1981, the U.S. and Mexican governments signed a treaty regarding recovery of stolen vehicles and aircraft. If a vehicle that is stolen in the U.S. is taken to Mexico and recovered by Mexican law enforcement, the Embassy works with the legal owner to return it to the U.S. Unfortunately, the Embassy does not have the resources to conduct independent investigations. Owners of stolen vehicles should file a report with their local police department and notify their insurance agency.

Banking: If you are having problems with a bank account in Mexico, you may contact the CONDUSEF (National Commission for the Protection of Users of Financial Services) telephone toll free from any location inside Mexico: 800 999 80 80; From Mexico City: 5340-0999. Webpage: www.condusef.gob.mx

Listed below are the documents needed by the United States Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to support a request to the Mexican Government under the 1981 Convention for the return of motor vehicles stolen, converted or embezzled in the United States and subsequently brought to Mexico.

Original Title of the Vehicle

If the title is not available, you should present “Title Verification”, issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the tilting state. According to the treaty, this must be certified.

*The title or verification of the title MUST also be translated into Spanish and notarized.

Where to obtain a Verification of the Title from Texas or New Mexico?

Texas Department of Transportation
Vehicles Titles and Registration Division
3160 Lee Trevino, Suite B-104
El Paso, TX 79936
(915) 591-8149

New Mexico Motor Vehicles Division
P. O. Box 3290
Sunland Park, NM 88083

Police Report (Original Document) or Certified Copy from the Police Department

*Report must be translated into Spanish and notarized.

If the Police Report is from El Paso, TX you can obtain the report in English and Spanish from:
EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT
911 N. Raynor
El Paso, TX 79903
(915) 564-7000

Power of Attorney (If required)

If person recovering the vehicle is other than the owner, a Power of Attorney must be presented.
*The Power of attorney letter should be notarized.
*The Power of Attorney must also be translated into Spanish and Notarized.

Current Picture ID Must Be Presented. Recovery Letter Fee: $ 6.00 USD. Our Hours of Operation for Revovery Letters are from  8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Certifications and Translations:

The Power of Attorney must be made before a Notary Public or other official empowered to administer oaths. The title, registration certificate, and police report of theft must be originals or certified copies bearing the seal of the issuing office and the signature of the responsible public official. Simple photocopies of these documents, even bearing a “true copy” notarization, will not suffice.

The Bill of Sale must be the original or a copy certified as a true copy by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The translator’s affidavit must be executed before a Notary Public.

Conversion

In general, any act (except failure to make payment) which violates a provision of a rental or sales contract probably results in a conversion of the property. If the act is part of a transfer of the vehicle to Mexico, the vehicle is probably recoverable under the 1981 Convention. Two examples of common acts which result in conversion are: renting the vehicle and failing to return it by the date agreed; and renting a vehicle for a specific trip within the U.S. and subsequently taking it to Mexico.

In event of conversion rather than theft it is necessary to establish a basis for a claim under the 1981 Convention. Documents establishing ownership (e.g. sales contract, security agreement) and the terms establishing the use of the vehicle, (e.g. rental agreement) must be presented. In addition, Mexican Government agencies require a police report of conversion (the police report is often overlooked by the owner in conversion cases).

If you have any questions about what is required, please do not hesitate to write or to call:

American Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Paseo de la Victoria 3650
Fracc. Partido Senecú 32543
Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, México
Phone: +52-656-227-3411
cdjscs@state.gov

Although obtaining all these documents in the proper form may prove time consuming, it will avoid possibly longer delays that could result from the Consulate’s presenting incomplete or inaccurate documentation to the Mexican Government.

The Consulate does not know whether a car is part of a legal procedure within the Mexican Court System. Should the vehicle be considered as evidence in a legal proceeding, it may not be released until the judge issues a final decision.

They do not speak English at the Mexican government offices.