After several attempts to purchase a home, my husband and I finally decided to materialize it on our 8th year together. Since the husband is an engineer, we opted to buy a lot so he can get his hands on in building the structure we’d call our home. We were able to fully pay for an 88-square-meter in a never-heard, quite-isolated subdivision in Laguna for less than 500k. After around 5 months of waiting, we were ecstatic when we finally got the title! We celebrated with unlimited rice in Mang Inasal’s 🙂
So we started applying for a Construction Loan (later, I plan on writing about our journey on it as well). Out of the 3 banks, one, which happened to be our most preferred, pointed out about an error on our land title.
In the Philippines, a land property title is called Certificate of Title. The original document is kept in the Registry of Deeds in every region. The owners are given the TCT or Transfer Certificate of Title, which is the same with the Owner’s Duplicate Copy. In 2017, when we first got hold of our copy, it was in a yellow paper but in 2019, we were issued with a blue lined paper.
The TCT bears a heading, stating from which region the property is under. You will also find the names of the original owner, the previous owner and the present owner. Then, a technical description is provided, where coordinates as to where the piece of land is located. Encumbrances are also included at the last part of the document. It is in the technical description where dirt was found in our TCT. Though, it was clearly a typographical error (one number in the coordinates was stated as 17 instead of just 7), the bank emphasized that the title must be corrected first before we can start the process of our loan.
It was a shock to us but we had no choice but to find ways to solve the problem. To save others from shock and ignorance of what to do in a case like this, here’s the process of correcting a mistitle, which we underwent in 2019.
The following information will be helpful if the error you have in your title is also in the Technical Description part:
1. Go to your regional Registry of Deeds (RD) to get at least 2 Certified True Copies (CTC) of your title.
In RD Calamba, price is less than P200 for the first 2 pages and less than P40 for each subsequent pages. Processing usually takes 3 to 4 working days after. In their office, there is always an announcement posted where they indicate the release date of papers being processed on that day.
2. With a photocopy of your CTC and ID, go to DENR-Records Section.
In Laguna, it is in Brgy. Lalakay, Los Banos. Request for a copy of Lot Data Computation (photocopied bond paper showing lot descriptions of lots in a block since our property is in a subdivision) and a copy of Survey Plan (blue printed copy of the subdivision map). For these 2, we paid P100. We added P20 for them to stamp and sign, certifying it as well. Release is 4 to 5 days after you made your request.
3. Next you will need the Certified Narrative Technical Description of your property and you will get it from DENR-Surveys and Mapping Division.
In Calamba, it is just 3 blocks away from RD. Bring the 2 documents from DENR-Records, photocopy of IDs of land owner/s, and the certified true copy of your TCT. You will need an SPA (special power of attorney) if you have someone request on your behalf. Price is within P200 and release is 4 to 5 working days again.
4. While waiting for your TD (Technical Description), prepare your Affidavit of Discrepancy.
This affidavit states the errors you found on your TCT. In our case, we have also provided a plot of our lot, following the erroneous description in the TCT versus the corrected plot.
5. Claim your TD from DENR-Surveys and Mapping Division. Attach it in your Affidavit of Discrepancy together with the Original TCT, and your ID/s.
Have these notarized. We made 1 photocopy of all the documents and had it notarized as well to serve as our own copy. In Muntinlupa, we got our documents notarized for P300.
6. Go back to RD. In Calamba, we went straight to the 2nd floor.
At the Information Counter, we were given a number for queueing to a window for accepting documents. It took us 3 hours of waiting before our number was called. Upon receiving, the lady seemed to pull out information from the computer regarding our property, printed it and attached it together with our Affidavit. Then, she gave us another number for the cashier. We paid less than P500, then the cashier asked us to wait again. It took another 30 minutes of waiting. We were, then, invited inside the office when called. Our documents were reviewed and received (stamped). We were told to go back to claim our corrected title 4 to 5 working days. The form from the cashier will serve as our claim stub.
7. Last stop: RD to claim the corrected title.
When we returned to RD the next week, we were given a similar-looking TCT, except that its blue. The Technical Description part was not corrected but they added a paragraph in the Encumbrances portion, stating the discrepancy and bearing the name of the lawyer who notarized our Affidavit. I included this here, so you know what to expect when you come to get your “corrected” title.
My key takeaway from this experience is that inadvertent errors like these bring hassle to unknowing people. But these unknowing people like ourselves, proved that we can have it corrected all by ourselves. At first, we tried to find people who could help us but after a trip to the RD, government people there provided just-enough guidance for us to know what to do, one document at a time.
So, if you find an error on your TCT (Philippine property), I am here to tell you that you can have it corrected in a month or two and without breaking the bank. My suggestion is for you to bring along a friend, with whom you can bond during queues and to take time to explore the places on your way to the different government offices.
Good Luck! Enjoy the journey!