Special Power of Attorney: How Special is your SPA?

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What is a Special Power of Attorney?

A Special Power of Attorney or more popularly known as an SPA for the sale of property for example, is loosely defined as a document prepared by the registered owner of the property authorizing another person to advertise, sell, negotiate and dispose of it in the former’s behalf.

What Should an SPA have?

The document should distinctly indicate the names of the registered owner and the authorized representative. It should also completely describe the property and more importantly, the document should spell out the specific powers or acts that the representative may or may not do. Lastly, an SPA should be acknowledged by a Notary Public whose signature and seal should also appear to be regular on its face.

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Precautions When Dealing with Persons Other than the Registered Owner

Being scammed out of your hard-earned money is brutally painful, especially when you could have avoided it in the first place. Some of the precautions a buyer must take in order to exercise due diligence are the following:

  1. Ask for a copy of the title and confirm if it matches with that in the SPA.
  2. Verify with the Land Registration Authority if the title is clean or appears like what it was represented by the seller.
  3. Investigate the identity of the registered owner further whether he/she is still alive, outside the country, married, etc.
  4. If the registered owner is in the country,  set up a meeting and try to put a face behind the name.
  5. If practicable, look into the notarial record of the SPA. It should normally be in the Regional Trial Court where the Notary Public practices.

The precautions stated above may seem too burdensome. However, if dealing with a worst case scenario, going through these steps will eventually put you in favor of the court in case the property was sold by a scammer or someone without authority.

In buying real estate, remember that it’s always better to be on the safe side.

Email the author ksborja@bsblaw.ph for further reference.

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