BALANGA CITY, Bataan – The top official of the Register of Deeds (RD) here issued a warning and at the same time advised the public so as not to be victimized by unscrupulous persons using fake land titles.
Atty. Amante Capuchino, RD-Bataan chief said that since he assumed his present post in March 12, 2012, he has encountered complaints from more than 50 persons who purchased lands but received bogus titles. He later confiscated the fake titles. “We advise the public to come here to verify if the titles that they get are genuine or not before they pay a large sum of money,” Capuchino added.
The official said that the Land Registration Authority (LRA) has issued some guidelines on how to know if a land title is genuine or not. “We advise the land title holder to check if the initials, signatures, technical description, annotations and other component elements appearing on the front and at the back of the original title are exactly the same as that appearing on the owner’s duplicate copy. Any variance is a ground for suspicion,” Capuchino said.
The LRA, Capuchino explains further, distributes the judicial forms with serial numbers in consecutive order to various Registries of Deeds. Any certificate of title bearing a serial number which is not among the ones delivered to a particular registry is of doubtful authenticity.
A number indicated on the upper left-hand corner of the form is assigned to each judicial form. For instance, a Judicial Form No. 109 is used for the original copy of the TCT which emanated from a judicial decree of registration and Form No. 109-D if used for the title is not the proper form as indicated by the Judicial Form number, this should be investigated. Immediately, below the Judicial Form number is the year the form was printed or revised. However, if for instance, the judicial form on which the title was prepared bears a date previous to the time when such form was printed or revised, then this is a ground for suspicion.
Moreover, the Judicial Forms for titles are considered accountable forms. A serial number is assigned to each judicial form. The serial number used for the original copy printer is in red and the serial number for the duplicate copy is in black.”
The owner’s duplicate copy of the title contains the words “Owner’s Duplicate Certificate” on the left margin of the judicial form. On the lower left corner of the form is a red seal which should not blot or stain when wet.
Furthermore, the last two digits of the title number should correspond with the page number of the registration book indicated on the upper right corner of the title. Any variance should be investigated. A reconstituted transfer certificate of title is identified by the letters “RT” preceding the title number, while the reconstituted original certificate of title carries the letter “R” before the title number.
The Central Bank judicial form is printed on security paper which contains security features. The paper is 50% cotton and 50% chemical wood pulp with artificially colored silk fibers. It has a NALTDRA or LRA watermark which can be seen if held against the light. Patently fake titles are usually printed in forms made of poster board or some other material of inferior quality.
The title holder is also advised to check if the Register of Deeds who signed the title is the incumbent Register of Deeds at the time the title was issued. 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.
Capuchino also advises title holders to 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. Likewise, the Releasing Book must be checked if there is a title of such number released by the registry on that certain date.
Lastly, if necessary, it is also important to 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.