Published On: Thu, Oct 9th, 2014

Fraud or Incompetence? The Chemuyil Situation

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Fraud or Incompetence? The Chemuyil Situation (A Yucatan Times Exclusive)

Chemuyil is located approximately 109 kilometers (68 miles), South of Cancún,  following the Federal Highway 307.
With white sands, shallow waters and excellent visibility for diving and snorkeling. This quiet community is made up mostly of houses for rent and is ideal for those looking for a peaceful destination surrounded by nature.  There is an observation path along the coast and camping areas.
Within walking distance from the beach of Chemuyil, is the Yunaan-Ha cenote.
Chemuyil beach

Chemuyil beach

A letter to the TYT Editor:
Miss Julia Genatossio of The Monsoon Group has contacted The Yucatan Times to publicize her plight along with that of 50 other homeowners who have waited years to obtain title to properties they purchased in Chan Chemuyil, Quintana Roo in 2008.
On Tue, Sep 2, 2014, Miss Genatossio wrote the following letter to the office of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
Dear Sir/Madame,
This is the story of how over fifty people from the United States, Canada and Europe, who came to Quintana Roo with a dream to live in Mexico, have had to fight to save their homes because of a perfect storm consisting of the corruption of a state notario, the slowness and ineptitude of their lawyers, and a bumbling wealthy gringo who did not know how to conduct his own real estate business on the Mayan Riviera. Now it seems this bumbling gringo’s health is very bad and he may die soon. As you will read from this letter, this case has turned an even more treacherous turn.
We are reaching out to you to help us schedule a meeting with the Governor of Quintana Roo on November 5, 2014. We invite you to make a phone call on our behalf to help make this meeting happen.  As a group of people who live all over the world we need a commitment for an appointment with the Governor that coincides with the day we will be arriving in Chetumal with our legal papers for the Governor to inspect and to witness firsthand what has happened to over 50 of his state’s would be homeowners.  We must present our cases to the Governor personally and ask him to declare amnesty with regard to the liens that currently prevent the final processing of our titles. These liens must be lifted so that we might finally obtain the titles to the homes we have lived in and occupied since 2008.
We need you to call your contacts in Quintana Roo and help us obtain an audience with the Governor this November 5. The homeowners of Chan Chemuyil plan on going to the Governor’s Palace that day, and we respectfully request an audience with the Governor. That we are over fifty homeowners in his state warrants this audience.
From what we understand about the Governor of Quintana Roo, we can count on his strong commitment to human rights and social justice and his proclamation that government must be transparent. Our plea to the Governor is to find that we are no longer a legal problem, we are indeed, a social problem.
There were a batch of titles that were mysteriously released one year ago. I say mysteriously because after paying $10,000.00 a piece, certain homeowners received their titles, even though the same liens that prohibit our titles from being released were in place.
Although it remains a mystery as to how these homeowners were able to receive their titles, it begs the question, if they got their titles, why not us?
But why $10,000.00? Was there a sale going on that we were not aware of? We do not have that kind of money and we would like to know, why is it some people were able to buy their titles, if in fact there is a lien in place on the properties? How is that possible?
We know President Nieto’s commitment to ending corruption in Mexico and we feel that whatever intervention can take place in helping us to get our titles will prove that the nation of Mexico is committed to social justice. We believe that the Governor’s attendance to this issue directly gives the message that Mexico is a safe place to invest and retire in.
Chan Chemuyil Vacation Rental

Chan Chemuyil Vacation Rental

During the 5 or 6 months leading up to, and including, April 2008, approximately 180 homes were sold in Chan Chemuyil, Quintana Roo. The majority of buyers were from Canada and the United States. I purchased one of these homes.
I sent a deposit, sight unseen, and flew to Mexico to inspect the property. Since childhood, I had always had the fondest feelings for the Yucatan, and the state of Quintana Roo especially. I learned how to camp in the jungles of Tulum, and my sister and I enjoyed being the only gringos in Tulum in 1979. When the opportunity to buy a humble little house in the village of Chemuyil arose, I was sure it it was one of the biggest blessings in my life.
Since my purchase, my family and friends have visited the area over twenty times. Eventually, I plan on retiring in Chan Chemuyil. We have grown to love not only the area, but even more so, the people. It is the place I dream of going to feel tranquility and to live out my retirement years.
Unfortunately, those of us who bought in this development now find ourselves part of a group of 50 plus homeowners who are in need of Mexican government support.  We specifically need the attention of the Governor of Quintana Roo as we believe only he can correct the abuse we have suffered at the hands of corruption, money laundering and greed that has prevented us from receiving the titles to our homes. To this day, when you look in the registry to see who owns our homes it is still the Burns Group.
Villa-House In Chan Chemuyil Quintana Roo

Villa-House In Chan Chemuyil Quintana Roo

As previously stated, there were about 180 houses purchased during the 5 or 6 month period ending in April 2008. It is our understanding Burns Group 2004 S.A. De C.V., owned by Rob Wilson, purchased the homes from Instituto Del Patrimonio De La Administracion Del Estado De Quintana Roo.  The titles were changed to reflect ownership by Burns Group 2004 S.A. De C.V. and registered as the individual homes were sold. Then began the process of transferring and registering the titles to each buyers name.
Many of us did our “due diligence” and researched the real estate system in your country.  The consensus of the articles researched stated the Real Estate system in Mexico is one of integrity. It is robust to the point that American insurance companies will even grant title insurance.
The only stated problem rests in the slowness of the system. It was recommended we remain patient, and not unnecessarily harass the lawyers involved. Most of us took this advice and waited patiently. Whenever we became worried, it seemed a few titles would trickle through and have the affect of easing our anxiety.
Some of us either signed or had our attorney with Power of Attorney Rights sign for us – before notary public number 46, of the state of Quintana Roo, Lic. Alma Lilia Luna Oliva on September 13, 2010.  This is the Notario who was convicted of money laundering and corruption in aiding and abetting Zetas.
Others of us were with the lawyer who coordinated everything: Adolfo Mota Castellanos from Certeza legal office. To this date, we do not have our title registered at the public registry office in Playa del Carmen.  We have since been unable to determine the progress of our title transfer from either the Notario or Adolofo Mota Castellanos.
On the day Adolfo Mota Castellanos signed the title documents on behalf of many of his clients, only one person received their title.  The rest of us have not, even though the necessary signatures were provided in September 2010.
Lots for Sale in Chemuyil

Lots for Sale in Chemuyil

The Situation Worsens
Three years ago, Hacienda put either a hold, or liens, on the assets of BURNS GROUP 2004 S.A. DE C.V.. These assets are the homes whose titles have not yet been transferred. It has been reported that Rob Wilson, owner of BURNS GROUP 2004 S.A. DE C.V., had failed to pay the required capital gains tax resulting from the sale of the homes.
It also seems that Mr. Wilson, nor his company, has any intention of paying the tax. He has claimed that, as there was no Hacienda lien at the time he signed off on the houses, neither he, or BURNS GROUP 2004 S.A. DE C.V. is responsible to the buyers to ensure they receive their titles. We have also been informed that Hacienda seized Mr. Wilson’s bank accounts and the multiple homes he owns and to which he has title.
Further, we’ve been told that all have been returned to Mr. Wilson as BURNS GROUP 2004 S.A. DE C.V. is a registered limited liability company. Our legal council states the only way Mr. Wilson can be held accountable, financially, is if his company, BURNS GROUP 2004 S.A. DE C.V., has no assets. Unfortunately, the company has assets. It has title to 50 or more homes that were purchased from the company in 2008 and which the titles have yet to be registered.
All the untitled homeowners in our group purchased their homes in 2008 or earlier. All paid the same closing costs at the time of purchase. All have waited patiently.  None have received their titles. We have done nothing different than the other homeowners who have received their titles.
It is not right we be punished for wrongs committed by BURNS GROUP 2004 S.A. DE C.V. and the State appointed Notario who was supposed to process our titles in a timely manner.  The titles should be transferred and, when BURNS GROUP 2004 S.A. DE C.V. has no assets, Hacienda can collect from the person who is responsible for causing this situation, Mr. Rob Wilson.
I speak for all when I say how much we enjoy your country and the community in which we have chosen to purchase homes. We have been embraced by the greater community and have always felt welcome. We enjoy the support of the Mayor of Tulum, our Homeowners Association de Chan Chemuyil, the Delgado de Chemuyil and a broad range of citizen support in our community.
All of us who have purchased homes in Chemuyil, with or without titles, are the biggest marketing icons for Mexico, in general, and the Mayan Riviera in particular.  We are constantly telling people that the news reports are greatly exaggerated.  We feel safe. We feel welcome. We feel at home.  Many of us are in the process of getting our FM 1 because we are so in love with your great country.
I hope you can help this remain a reality and not simply a dream.
Respectfully Yours,
Julia Clement Genatossio
Chan Chemuyil Title Group
TEL: 760-699-1053
On September 4, Miss Genatossio received the following reply from NAFTA:
From: NAFTA Desk <>
To: Julia at Monsoon <>
Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2014 6:55 AM
Subject: Re: Over 50 homeowners in Mayan Riviera Cheated of their titles
Julia Clement Genatossio
Dear Miss Genatossio,
Thank you for contacting NAFTA Desk. We have received your message. In response to your request, we inform you that this office does not have authority to intervene in disputes between particulars. However, we are looking for the right department to address your solicitude, hoping to help you get through this anomaly.
We will soon contact you to inform where to recur in order to solve the planted situation.
I hope this information is helpful.
Best regards.
Angelia Arias.
202 728 1705/1700

Julia Genatossio and other members of the Expat Community that own property and reside in the Chemuyil area are planning to march on and meet with the Governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge Angulo on November 5th and 6th in Chetumal.




Displaying 7 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Bob Stewart says:

    I disagree with the opening which states the community is made up of houses mostly for rent. There are some places for rent , but the majority are not.

  2. Rigina Monk says:

    Mr and Mrs Fiege had a pleasant buying experience because they bought second generation, from an original owner who was fortunate enough to receive his title from the developer. They have no concept of the continuing struggle of those in Chan Chemuyil who were cheated out of their titles. They would not have been able to purchase their home had the previous owner not been one of the LUCKY to receive his. The rest if us have either had to hire attorneys and soend tens of thousands of dollars to obtain one, or are still waiting, due to a lien being placed on their home .
    While I am happy that their buying experience was positive, it does not reflect the situation in Chan Chemuyil, or many other places in Mexico.

  3. Ben says:

    The inherent problem that led to the downfall of the sales in Chan Chemuyil, is that buyers worked with the seller directly based upon “trust”. What the buyers did not understand is that in Mexico the governor of each state appoints a limited number of lawyers called “Public Notarios”, who have the power, and obligation, to safely guide both the buyer and the seller, through the sale process. This is the process that is sanctioned by the state, in real estate transactions. What foreign people have a difficult time grasping is that the Public Notario stands between the public, and the state authority, with a lifetime appointment. And, if the notario should make a mistake, the person has recourse with the governor of the state. BUT, if a person does it his own way, with private lawyers involved, and an unauthorized party does something wrong, then it is a private matter, and the state authority can wash its hands of the problem. SO, to avoid all of the problems created by gringos, who try to buy property in Mexico – while doing it the “gringo way” – one must do due diligence, and come to grips with the reality that this is not Canada, it is not the US, and one must follow the Mexican process, IN ORDER TO BE PROTECTED. I was trained by Notario 40, of Cancun, in the fall of 2010, to make sure that people never suffered in Chan Chemuyil. I was educated about the entire sale process, in a single four hour meeting. I spent an entire year trying to persuade my neighbors to return to the Notario, before the homes ended up in the collections proceedings, since the seller refused to finish. I also took a group of neighbors to the capitol, Chetumal, QRoo, in the fall of 2014, to meet with the state authority, to try to get this resolved. Today, the people are EXTREMELY LUCKY, that the homes were not lost, because a $53 million peso fine had been calculated against the seller. In the last five years, the three biggest mistakes that I have seen get repeated over and over are (A) people tried to deal directly with a gringo seller, who did not speak Spanish, and was clueless about the sale process. (B) People failed to do due diligence, and come to grips with the reality of Mexico, and Mexico’s legal system, as it pertains to real estate transactions. (C) People felt happy FOLLOWING THE CROWD. The last mistake – following the crowd – greatly compounded all of the other mistakes, because instead of sitting down at the table and discussing everything, as a community, people spent more time “having fun”, and socializing. Meanwhile, the situation only worsened, and became more complex. What should have happened is that the community should have addressed this as a community problem, and exercised basic Mexican “social rights”, in addressing the political powers of the state. The fact that the properties are being freed, today, is virtually a miracle on par with “divine intervention”, because under normal circumstances, people would have needed to band together, and petition the state authority to intervene. And, somehow the people failed to band together, even when the homes were one step away from re-sale. So, the fact that an order has been given to release the properties, is on par with a miracle. The odds are that they would have been sold, to pay the seller’s $53 million peso debt, while the jilted buyers would have been told to “sue” the seller, for fraud. Also, before making the trip in 2014, to see the governor’s people, many people were told by their private lawyers to “not speak to the governor”. So, if our little meeting of six neighbors is what brought about the release of the homes, then it will show that a little band of neighbors outfoxed all of the lawyers put together. Also, the release order came from the director of the Fiscal Auditing director for the state. And, he works under the authority of Governor Borge. This release order should be made public in another week or two, in the Public Registry. So, we hope to find out what triggered this unusual release of the seller’s assets.

  4. D johnson says:

    Could I get an update on how those titles stand currently? 9/18/16

  5. Clar says:

    It was my understanding that foreigners couldn’t own property in MX. They set up a fudiciary with a bank. How is this situation different?

    • Nicholas Sanders says:

      that is a very curious question. Since Fideicomisos cannot have a lien against them. They must have used a corporation. Another reason to use both a reputable realtor and a reputable legal office. They all should probably have been using a trust to purchase the property. But there is a lot to speculate in this story.

      • Steve says:

        I guess you are not aware that a trust is a fideicomiso. Regarding the lien not being able to be issued, this is the first I have heard of this. Not likely and this woukl and could quickly be abused. Also not in favor of the national so again hard to beilve ev3n is it’s correct.

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