A land title is an important document that landowners need to safe keep all the time. It is the best evidence of ownership. It protects your property rights and allows you to enter into transactions involving your land (e.g. sale, lease, mortgage). Without it, questions regarding ownership may arise, especially when other persons have different claims and interests in the land. It will also be difficult, if not impossible, to sell, lease, or mortgage your land.
However, a land title is still a paper document that is very much susceptible to getting lost, stolen, or destroyed. There are different scenarios wherein this could happen, including such natural causes such as fire or flood. What should you do then? Check out this quick guide on how to secure a new owner’s duplicate copy of your land title.
Q: How do I secure a new owner’s duplicate copy of my land title?
Both the owner and the Registry of Deeds (“RD”) are supposed to have a copy of the land title. The legal remedy of an owner depends on which copy is lost.
If the lost or destroyed copy is the one on file with the RD, the remedy is a Petition for Reconstitution of Title, governed by Republic Act No. 26. On the other hand, if it is the owner’s duplicate copy that is lost, the remedy is a Petition for Reissuance of Title, governed by Section 109 of the Property Registration Decree (Presidential Decree No. 1529).1
In this article, we will focus our discussion on filing a Petition for Reissuance of Title.
Q: What is the procedure with the Registry of Deeds?
|NOTICE TO THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS – The notice shall be made in the form of an Affidavit of Loss filed with the RD where the property is located. In the Affidavit, it should be explained how the title was lost.
|ANNOTATION OF THE AFFIDAVIT OF LOSS – The RD will annotate the Affidavit of Loss to the RD’s copy of the title.
|SECURE A CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF THE TITLE WITH THE ANNOTATION OF THE AFFIDAVIT OF LOSS – You will need this in the next step.
Q: After going to the Registry of Deeds, what do I do next?
Filing a Petition for Reissuance of Title is a judicial process, which means that you will need to go to court. The Petition must be filed with the Regional Trial Court, the only court which has exclusive jurisdiction over these kinds of cases.2
Q: What is the procedure with the Regional Trial Court?
|FILE A PETITION WITH THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT – The Petition shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court where the property is located. REMEMBER: You must be able to show that you exerted diligent efforts to look for the owner’s duplicate copy, to no avail.
|THE COURT WILL NOTIFY ALL OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES AND SET THE PETITION FOR HEARING – The Court will give notice to the RD and all other interested parties, if there are any, as can be determined in the examination of the land title.
|THE COURT WILL ISSUE A DECISION – After notice to all other interested parties and hearing, the court will issue an order directing the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate copy of the land title. The new owner’s duplicate copy is as good as the original copy on file with the RD.
|FINALITY – Request for a: (1) copy of the court decision and (2) a Certificate of Finality of Decision. File these with the RD for the issuance of the new owner’s duplicate copy.
|UPGRADE TO E-TITLE – Stay tuned for a more comprehensive discussion on how to upgrade to e-title.
If you need assistance and representation with securing a new owner’s duplicate copy of your land title, you may contact our team as the initial consult is always free.
Prepared by Cheza Marie Biliran.
1. Heirs of Spouses Ramirez vs. Joey Abon; 910 SCRA 216 (2019)
2. Section 2, Presidential Decree 1529