Alligators 'n Roadkill

Alligators 'n Roadkill
On The Road


Friday, July 20, 2012

I learned yet another Tico word just before we left Costa Rica.

Prenda – a Tico word that means “Guess what?  Just when you thought we couldn’t screw you over any more, we have a way to do it one more time!”

We were anxious to sell our car before we left Costa Rica, so you can imagine how happy I was to recently receive payment from a buyer.  This buyer happened to still be in the States, and is not due to be in Costa Rica until September or October, long after our departure.  So, in order to be sure that he can have the car in his name, I went with our friend, Pete (who happens to be a realtor who sold property to my buyer, and who found this buyer for me), to visit a lawyer in Tilaran, to effect a Power of Attorney (from me to Pete) so that they can go to another attorney when the buyer gets here.
It is bad enough that the Power of Attorney cost me an additional $80.00, but the first thing the attorney told me is that the Registro Nacional shows there to be a lien against the car.  I asked him how that could be, and he said that the car dealer from whom we bought the car had placed a lien against it in June of 2009 because of the way in which we purchased it. - - We paid a total of $16,000.00 for the car, putting the first $10,000.00 on my credit card.  Then, per our agreement with the dealer, we returned to them in September of that same year, and paid the balance in full.  Actually, we ended up paying more than we had expected because they added fees and interest that we had not anticipated. - - When we paid the balance, we asked them if that was all, and were we done, and we received reassurances that we were done, and owed nothing further.
Well, just like with so many other things in this country, we have now learned – three years later – that we were not, after all, done.  The dealership never mentioned the lien to us, and more importantly, never told us that we were the only ones who could get it removed.  And, wouldn’t you know it, that removal has to cost even more money!?
The lawyer in Tilaran wanted me to give him an additional $200.00 to remove this lien, but I declined, saying that I would contact the dealership and inquire as to how this had come to pass.  I did indeed talk to their legal department only to learn that (as the lawyer in Tilaran said) this was the responsibility of the lawyer who did the paperwork when we bought the car, but no excuse or apology for this oversight was forthcoming.
There is (just as with most things in Costa Rica) considerable paperwork to be done, and hoops to jump through.  So, we went to another lawyer in Nuevo Arenal, looking to get this stupid thing resolved.  It cost me $160.00 more to remove (hopefully) all impediments to the completion of the sale of the car to this buyer.  Would you believe that I am delighted, relieved, excited, and very, very happy to have left that place behind?

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