Buyer beware, beware, beware!!! — PART ONE

I spoke with another victim today. This person – I’ll call him Bob – started looking at Costa Rica websites and responded to a pop-up ad for an investment “opportunity” in what purported to be a booming housing development in the works in the Central Valley. For over 6 months, Bob was courted with phone calls by someone in Costa Rica who waxed on and on about what a sure thing his company was offering and how lucky Bob was to get in on the ground floor. Bob cashed in his retirement account, came to Costa Rica and plunked down a substantial sum of money (half of his retirement), which was enough to buy several lots in the development. He was assisted by an attorney recommended by the developer. The attorney’s office was located behind his wife’s hair salon in their home. There was no sign in front indicating it was a lawyer’s office. When no construction took place (although there was a very imposing front gate, some roads within the development and impressive architect’s renderings) he consulted with another attorney. This attorney did some checking in the National Register and discovered discrepancies in the title as well as in the description of Bob’s land. Bob is now in limbo. He doesn’t own the property he thought he did and can’t sell what he has. He has filed a lawsuit, which could take several years for a judgment to be handed down. Even if the law finds in his favor, enforcement of court ordered compensation would be next to impossible.  (This home has clear title and is safe to buy.)

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