Want a refund of the thousands $$$ of pesos you paid in closing costs?
Many of us Attorneys remember fondly all the Tax Law and Constitutional Law classes in Law School. We learned some great theories and even had some professors that had annulled traffic tickets and certain fines and penalties. We thought that was pretty cool. Things have now progressed to a different level.
I have taken some postgraduate classes in taxation and real estate and they have touched on the subject of filing a Federal Constitutional Writ or Amparo to attack the basis for enactment of legislation, namely the collection of certain taxes and fees.
When people buy a home in Mexico the closing costs are much higher than one might be used to in other countries.
One large fee besides the transfer tax is the fee to register the deed in the Public Property Registry.
This fee is found in Article 16 of the Jalisco State Treasury Law. The fee is set at 0.5% of the tax or commercial value. The problem is that upon having a percentage based tax, it violates the law (constitutional principles of Equality and Proportionality) as it is the same work to register the deed whether it is for a shack that is worth $100,000 pesos or a mansion worth $100,000,000 pesos.
As the fee violates the law, once people have closed on their home and the deed has been registered attorneys turn around and file an Amparo to attack and annul the law specifically for the person who purchased and the government is required to return the money that was paid for a fee that was not enacted by the legislature nor collected on principles in harmony with the Mexican Constitution.
Bad news is that your time limit to present your Amparo is 15 days. Good news is that the 15 days are business days, even better news is that the 15 days start when the fee is paid and that can be weeks after you signed your deed as there are other fees and filings to pay first and this is usually the last fee paid to record the deed.
Attorneys are usually charging 30-50% on a contingency fee basis, if you paid $20,000 pesos you will probably pay 50% to the attorney, if you paid $40,000 then they may take less. It is free money, you just sign papers, let the attorneys do their work and then pick up the check in 2-3 months. We have seen all cases won so far, while we have only worked on cases in Jalisco as these are federal principles, if other states collect and enact fees the same way then those fees can be annulled as well.