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JohnSurrey

Cocoa Land Question...

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JohnSurrey
Posted (edited)

My wife's Father owned some Cocoa land that he used to work...

It was originally classified as Abacca Land on the Tax Declaration of his mother but somewhere along the line it was reclassified as Cocoa land on the Tax Declarations in his own name.

Before my wife's Father died my wife's Uncle (one of the sons of her Father's sister) popped up and said half (There were only two children a brother and sister) of the land that was owned by her Father belonged to his Mother(the sister).

Nothing in writing anywhere but the Uncle has insisted on this position - stating my wife's Father verbally agreed to it shortly before he died.

 

According to my wife's Mother the deal was: that because her husband owned and worked that particular piece of land it was his - that's why it appeared in the Tax Declaration under his name. And because the sister (The uncle's Mother) didn't work the land she had no rights to it.

 

Does anyone know what the correct position is?

 

Edited by JohnSurrey
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cogon88
Posted (edited)

In the Philippines it probably is. If he farmed the land even if he was not related to the family under the Agrarian Reform Law he has rights Tenants usually have more rights to property then the titled owner.

Best to check with you local DAR office as all agricultural land titles now need a sign off from them before transfer of title. If not titled DAR can issue a title to current Tenant but only in the amount of 3 Hectares any excess will be awarded to Beneficiaries under CARP All agricultural land now falls under CARP only 2 exemptions Cattle Land and Fish Ponds here are some government web sites http://www.dar.gov.ph and http://www.chanrobles.com/legal3dar.htm#.WrrErMaB2u4

Edited by cogon88
Mis Spell
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Dafey
39 minutes ago, cogon88 said:

Best to check with you local DAR office as all agricultural land titles now need a sign off from them before transfer of title.

Is the land "titled"? You mentioned tax dec. but often here they don't spend the money to acquire an actual title.

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hyaku
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, JohnSurrey said:

My wife's Father owned some Cocoa land that he used to work...

It was originally classified as Abacca Land on the Tax Declaration of his mother but somewhere along the line it was reclassified as Cocoa land on the Tax Declarations in his own name.

Before my wife's Father died my wife's Uncle (one of the sons of her Father's sister) popped up and said half (There were only two children a brother and sister) of the land that was owned by her Father belonged to his Mother(the sister).

Nothing in writing anywhere but the Uncle has insisted on this position - stating my wife's Father verbally agreed to it shortly before he died.

 

According to my wife's Mother the deal was: that because her husband owned and worked that particular piece of land it was his - that's why it appeared in the Tax Declaration under his name. And because the sister (The uncle's Mother) didn't work the land she had no rights to it.

 

Does anyone know what the correct position is?

 

2
3

Verbal won't wash. You need a will or deed of donation Mortice Causa. The father should have done one. Check with the assessor's office as to whose name the land is registered under. Sounds like a family court decision if they cant come to an amicable agreement.

Edited by hyaku
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to_dave007

Very interesting thread..  But I've already deleted two aborted starts to a response because I just can't be sure that I know anything about the subject.  I would dearly like to understand this subject better, but it just seems like a minefield. Will be lurking on this thread.

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Jawny

This sort of situation is very common here.  My own family has battled some land inheritance issues in court for many years.  Not resolved, just died away due to lack of motivation to pursue the case.

It was similar to your description.  Titled land was distributed to children (siblings).  The original owners died, titles were never adjusted, families grew and grew.  Some with money from working in Australia decided to contest the inequities of the distribution of the land.  This only caused hateful angry feelings among the family and never did get resolved.  

Ive not heard of family court here.  Maybe in other countries. The situation for our land dispute went to  the regional trial court in Baybay city.   

A lot of how the issues get resolved has to do with whether there are titles, deeds or tax declarations.  Each presents particular issues.

Sometimes what can be done is to reach an agreement rather than go to court.  

I attempted to resolve a land dispute by making different offers, three different times, all with the local sitio council involvement. None worked, so I went to a lawyer and filed a case.  Funny when the court date notification was received by the opposing party.  His comment when served at work was..."oh, you were serious". 

Handshake transfers of property are done all the time here.  Doesn’t mean it will work if there is a protest later.  But, continues to now.

We bought a portion of land from a sibling and when we made the deed, we mistakenly used the title to a different lot.  In effect, the deed shows we bought a different parcel.  Never changed it.  We’re the only ones who noticed, so we can live with the error.

I believe some initial land titles were given to tenant farmers who chose to work the land.  This goes back to when there was a USA governor.  I may have this wrong, but recall this was how some of my family land was initually acquired.

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JamesMusslewhite

The previous advice to approach the local DAR is correct. The tax records will be reviewed to see who is paying the land tax. In rural communities the local barangy captains are the first step in resolving land disputes, they primarily get all the parties together to review the facts and proofs. This is useful as it allows the parties to be openly present their stories and documentation without all the high-drama, screaming and machete wielding. The captain will then write-up their findings and give copies to all the parties involved. Then if certain parties still want to duke it out, then they hire lawyers who will then stretch it out as long as possible so they can milk that puppy for every peso. Eventually all the lawyers usual stalling tactics will all be exhausted, and then the judge residing over the case can finally make a final decision.

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to_dave007
Posted (edited)

Question..  If grandfather and grandmother die, leaving a piece of agricultural property to son (with no siblings), does grandson and granddaughter have an automatic right of inheritance to the property, even before son dies?  If son wished to sell the property, would he need to get a quit claim signed by grandson and granddaughter?  Lets assume that property is Tax Dec only, and that son got the Tax Dec in his name and paid the taxes, and actively farmed the land.

Edited by to_dave007
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Jawny
31 minutes ago, JamesMusslewhite said:

The previous advice to approach the local DAR is correct. The tax records will be reviewed to see who is paying the land tax. In rural communities the local barangy captains are the first step in resolving land disputes, they primarily get all the parties together to review the facts and proofs. This is useful as it allows the parties to be openly present their stories and documentation without all the high-drama, screaming and machete wielding. The captain will then write-up their findings and give copies to all the parties involved. Then if certain parties still want to duke it out, then they hire lawyers who will then stretch it out as long as possible so they can milk that puppy for every peso. Eventually all the lawyers usual stalling tactics will all be exhausted, and then the judge residing over the case can finally make a final decision.

Very true assessment.  In addition,there is often a lawyer wannabe in the community and that "expert" will give advice which can lead to major problems.  This is exactly what happened in one of the land disputes I’ve been through.  

The neighbor was poorly advised by another neighbor "expert" and took steps to block our right of way.  Literally block it with a barrier.

Ive mentioned this before, so forgive a repeat. While we were searching for a lawyer to assist us, we were in a lawyers waiting room.  In typical fashion, no secrets here, so another’s client asked about our issue.  He was provided a short description (this is for the land dispute between decendants of our family over fairness of land distribution). 

The client made a short speech about how this is bad when Filipino families quarrel this way and need lawyers.  He was asked why he was see8ng the lawyer.........he was suing his nephew over a land dispute.

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Jawny
31 minutes ago, to_dave007 said:

Question..  If grandfather and grandmother die, leaving a piece of agricultural property to son (with no siblings), does grandson and granddaughter have an automatic right of inheritance to the property, even before son dies?  If son wished to sell the property, would he need to get a quit claim signed by grandson and granddaughter?  Lets assume that property is Tax Dec only, and that son got the Tax Dec in his name and paid the taxes, and actively farmed the land.

If this was a situation I had, I would consult a lawyer familiar with property law.  The advice would probably be free and he would be laid to execute th deed I feel appropriate.

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smokey

When dealing with family walk soft and if someone screams land grabber them are fighting words

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cogon88
4 hours ago, Dafey said:

Is the land "titled"? You mentioned tax dec. but often here they don't spend the money to acquire an actual title.

I can just tell you my experience on Titled Land I bought 4.6 Hectares from a retired judge his family owned over 300 hectares. The property was titled but in his father's name deceased never transferred property into his name. We had portion subdivided of the main tract and registered with court house along with a note that the title would be transferred upon completion of mortgage payments to him. When it was paid off court house refused to transfer title as the law now required a DAR sign off.

The Judge could legally sell 5 hectares of land. As all of his property was under land reform and he was illegally selling it off with mortgages to get around the law before it was confiscated Several other people bought land from him the same way as us no one could get title after paying off the mortgage. This is why a DAR sign off was put into effect before any property can now be transferred to make sure it is not govt land and the transfer complies with CARP Law 

We ended up going to DAR who actually wanted to take the land from us and award it to beneficiaries lucky my wife's brother was a tenant on that property and DAR  issued a DAR title to him for it. With a DAR title your must farm the land 7 years before a regular title can be issued. 3 years go by and DAR drives in with Survey Crew says law has changed and now they are only allowed to transfer 3 Hectares to us they survey the land and issued another DAR title to another brother in law for the 1.6 hectares.

If you only have Tax receipt and go to get a title it is worse be prepared to have the govt rep from CARP also in court with you. Many LGU's here just issue tax receipts and even titles on government owned property. If they determine the property belongs to the government even though you lived on it for 50 years and paid taxes they can still  claim it. Also with the inheritance laws here if the property was never titled you may have 50 or more people alive that can lay claim to it through right of inheratance 

A good example of Tax Receipts and ilIegal titles is Boracay Island the whole island belongs to the national government the local LGU has been issuing titles and building permits for years illegally mostly to Political's The Supreme court ruled the whole island is gov't land several years ago  last president just ignored this ruling for political reasons

This is one of the reasons Duterte can close the island down if he wants as everyone is a squatter under the law. 

Just my experience after 16 years of living here just know that nothing here is what it seems each DAR Office interprets the law as they see it 

Just be aware you are going to get an expensive education in property law if you take this to court

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Jawny

A contract and deed may not always end up the way it was intended.  I bought a house and lot for 1.2 million.  The agreement  was for me to pay 1.0 million with 200,000 remaining.  The remainder would be paid upon delivery of the title, their expense to obtain.  This was a small group of six adult siblings.  

After a couple of years waiting for the title, I ended up asking the barangay captain to work on getting the title.  He readily agreed.....for a small fee of 50,000. There’s more to the story, but I think the picture is being painted clearly.

The title was never obtained.  This was in 2004. 

Amusingly, one of the siblings approached me a few years later needing her share of the 200,000 for a Medical emergency. Of course, if I paid for this sibling, the others could easily come forward and request they get their share.  I refused.  To this day I owe them 200,000. 

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Jawny
33 minutes ago, cogon88 said:

 

Just be aware you are going to get an expensive education in property law if you take this to court

I agree that going to court can be an expensive and time consuming lesson.  No matter what the dispute is.  Once the court is involved, it takes a long time and money to get completed.

My FIL and a friend bought a parcel of land more than a decade ago.  The owner was an elderly woman, who wanted to sell the undeveloped property before she died.  She sold the land, us8ng a properly executed deed.

Not long after they bought the land, some distant relatives made complaints that the land was promised to them.  In turn, they decided to take my FIL to court. This dragged on through the years while their lawyer died and had to be replaced, and two judges retired and the case passed along.

Finalky, this past December, the decision was rendered by zthe current judge.  In reality, the decision had been rendered years before, but the judge retired and the court clerks were "too busy" to get the older cases completed.  In fact, the December decision was handed to my FIL this past March.   Too busy.  

Of course, in the meanwhile, the complaining parties had built on the land.  They are threatening violence if there is any action taken.  No way to know how that will end up, but shit happens.

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Jack Rat
1 hour ago, Jawny said:

I agree that going to court can be an expensive and time consuming lesson.  No matter what the dispute is.  Once the court is involved, it takes a long time and money to get completed.

My FIL and a friend bought a parcel of land more than a decade ago.  The owner was an elderly woman, who wanted to sell the undeveloped property before she died.  She sold the land, us8ng a properly executed deed.

Not long after they bought the land, some distant relatives made complaints that the land was promised to them.  In turn, they decided to take my FIL to court. This dragged on through the years while their lawyer died and had to be replaced, and two judges retired and the case passed along.

Finalky, this past December, the decision was rendered by zthe current judge.  In reality, the decision had been rendered years before, but the judge retired and the court clerks were "too busy" to get the older cases completed.  In fact, the December decision was handed to my FIL this past March.   Too busy.  

Of course, in the meanwhile, the complaining parties had built on the land.  They are threatening violence if there is any action taken.  No way to know how that will end up, but shit happens.

Another point to consider is access.... In some cases a seemingly genuine land purchase has turned out a complete disaster, simply because a portion of the access road was 'later' found to be on private property.

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