How to Detect a Fake Transfer of Certificate of Title :
Please take note that the Land Registration Authority has come out with a new form and procedure for both Transfer Certificate of Title ( TCT ) and Condominium Certificate of Title ( CCT ) which make production of FAKE TITLES more complicated that ever before. This is a good sign that the government is progressing on the right track. A new article on how to detect fake title will be out as soon as we’ve done our research.
When buying pre-owned real estate property, be sure to double-check the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT). Here are some things that you should check when you’re given a copy of the TCT:
1. On the upper right hand side of the title is the page number. This number is the page in the registry’s books where the title is located. The last two digits of this page number should match the last two digits of the Transfer Certificate of Title number. For example, if the title shows a page number of 275 and the TCT no. is 12345, it’s a fake!
2. On the upper-left hand of the title, the month and year when the form was revised will be shown. For example, it could say “Judicial Form No. 109 (Revised January 2009)”. After you locate this information, check when the title was entered into the books of the registry. The title could say something like “Entered at City of Muntinlupa Philippines, on the 15th day of March in the year two thousand and five at 11:28 a.m.” Notice the discrepancy? The form was revised in 2009, but the title was entered in 2005! The entry date should come in the same year or after the form was revised. It’s a fake!
3. TCTs are printed using paper produced by the Central Bank of the Philippines. The paper should have fibers at the least. If not, it could be fake.
4. Each TCT must have a serial number located on the upper left hand of the title. Without a serial number, the title is a fake!
5. More recent TCTs have security features including a regular 2-D bar code and a 3-D barcode. If a title was entered in 2010, check for the presence of the bar codes. The 2-D barcode serial number should match the serial number shown on the upper left hand side of the title.
6. And finally, after you’ve verified the above information, go to the registry of deeds that is reflected in the title. Get a certified copy of the title to make sure that it does exist. More importantly, do compare the title you got from the seller and the title you got from the registry of deeds. If they are not a match, the seller might be taking you for a fool.
7. Verify the technical description of the property in the title against the physical location of the real estate property you are buying. Make sure you are really buying the correct property.
8. Check the section on encumbrances of the title you got from the registry of deeds. Ensure that it is indeed free and clear to save yourself from future legal problems.
9. There are more items to verify depending on the title. This includes: checking if the person who signed the title is indeed the signing authority at the time the title was issued; checking if the serial number of the TCT falls under the range of serial numbers assigned to the particular registry of deeds.
10. Check the entry of a related transaction in the Primary Entry Book to be certain that the title was issued on the basis of a duly registered document;
11. Check the Enumeration Book or logbook which contains information on the personnel assigned to prepare the title on a certain date and the serial number of the judicial form used;
12. Check the Releasing Book if there was a title of such number that was released by the registry on that certain date;
13. Of necessary, trace the history of the title to determine the genuineness of its source. This may entail going back to the mother title, the derivative titles and relevant documents.
14. If necessary, trace the history of the title to determine the genuineness of its source. This may entail going back to the mother title, the derivative titles and relevant documents.
The Land Registration Authority has embarked in the E-Title conversion project.
Original titles in the Registry of Deeds are now digitized ( also known ad e-Title ) making them safer and more secure.
To view the video on this procedure, click on : https://youtu.be/zLh4jVMUWls
For more information, inquiries and the directory of LRA offices, please visit www.lra.gov.ph or contact and visit the nearest LRA office in your area.
UPDATE ON VERIFICATION OF TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE :
PHYSICAL QUALITIES :
The papers used for authentic land titles in the Philippines are supplied by the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas. These papers are physically unique from all other kinds of papers that you can buy from stores. Here are the things you should look for :
- The texture is similar to that of a bank check
- It has a faint watermark that says “LRA“
- If it’s an old title (before the newer e-Titles being used today), the color of the paper is light yellow.
- If it’s an e-Title, the color should be pale straw.
- Tiny fibers and dots should be noticeable
- And if you could use a UV light, these fibers should fluoresce or shine slightly when subjected to UV light.
Below are the items you should look for in the contents of the title you are verifying :
- If it’s an Original Certificate of Title (OCT), it should indicate “Judicial Form No. 108-D” at the top.
- If it’s a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), it should indicate “Judicial Form No. 109-D“
- The serial number label (SN No.) should be in red color, while the digits should be in black for the owner’s duplicate.
- The last two digits of the page number in the upper right hand side should correspond to the last two digits of the TCT number.
- The red/blue border should be slightly embossed and not flatly printed.
- For e-Titles, all entries should be computer encoded and printed, unlike the old versions which were manually type-written
- The seal on the lower left hand side should be dark red and does not blot when a litle water check is done.
- Signatures : for Judicial OCT, it should have 2 signatures present – the Administrator and the Registrar ; while for TCT, only the signature of the Registrar is present. For Administrative Titles : one signature from a PENRO or CENRO officer and another from the registrar.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION :
When it comes to transactions involving any kind of real estate, the money involved is usually considerable, if not a serious amount. So you’ll have to be careful, especially when you’re dealing with strangers. Keep in mind the above items and look for them in a land title that is presented to you. If the title does not pass this simple test, then you have saved yourself a lot of trouble, time and money; You don’t have to do further verification anymore since you already know it’s fake.
However, please also note that even if the title passes this first and immediate test, you still can’t be 100% sure that it is authentic, until you verify it with the LRA, the Registry of Deeds and the concerned local offices of the Municipality where the property is located.
Since there are no escrow and title companies here in the Philippines to verify authenticity of title, you really have to do your own due diligence and more importantly, deal with a knowledgeable LAWYER or a Licensed Real Estate Broker as required by the recent passage of the RESA LAW in 2009.
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Robert G. Sarmiento Properties
Professional Affiliation :
Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards
Member, City of Taguig Real Estate Board 2016, 2017
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President, Greenhills Chapter 2008, 2009
Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers 2000-2015
San Juan Mandaluyong Chapter 1998, 1999
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