Legal disputes can be exhausting and costly, but in many cases they are necessary. Legal action must be taken in cases where a breach of contract generates damages. In real estate transactions, the amounts for damages tend to be substantial and many times these amounts represent the lifetime savings of a person buying a property. Mexico is no exception in this regard. Damages here can represent high amounts, especially if you are buying a brand-new unit from the developer. If you bought property in Mexico and the developer fails to fulfill the contract, our legal system allows you to take certain legal actions in order to obtain a remedy.
So what are the legal actions that can be taken against a developer that doesn´t fulfill a contract?
If a developer refuses or is not able to fulfill his obligations under a contract, such as to deliver the unit that you paid for or failing to provide you with title over the unit, a lawsuit can be filed in court so that the contract is either terminated and the developer is ordered to return your money and pay damages, or you might obtain a ruling from the judge where the fulfillment of the contract is ordered. If the developer did deliver the unit but is not respecting the guaranty established by law, then you can start a proceeding before the Consumer Protection Agency in order to force the developer to make the guaranty valid.
And what about filing charges against a developer who incurred in criminal activity?
If the developer incurred in a criminal offense such as fraud, you can press charges and start a criminal proceeding that eventually will trigger a trial. These criminal proceedings can be stopped if the developer reimburses you the amounts that are the base for the charges. In order to avoid going to trial and eventually setting foot on a Mexican prison, many developers reach a settlement with the victim during the criminal investigation.
Some developers use intimidating tactics to make you believe that they are untouchable and above the law, but you should know that this is not the case. Our legal system here in Mexico is far from perfect, but it is still able to provide protection to someone who falls in the hands of a dishonest developer. The key element here is to find the proper legal counsel.