Lic. Carlos G. Suncin Sarmiento
How is Property ownership registered in Panama?
Not all properties in Panama hold a property title. Panama allows people to possess government-owned land to make improvements upon it. It is called “Rights of Possession” (ROP). An ROP property can be sold to third parties, including foreigners. These properties are not recorded at the Public Registry as titled property deeds are. ROP properties are recorded at the local Mayor’s office and local justices department (Corregidor) of the area. Panama has enabled ROP owners to convert the ROP into a Titled property with a deed which can then be recorded with the Public Registry.
All titled properties in Panama are registered in a computer system with a key number called “Finca Number,” which is the property title number. The property title will show pieces of information such as ownership, boundaries, location, existing mortgages, or other liens. In addition, the National Registry can be accessed online to obtain certifications of a property, corporation, copies of powers of attorney (POA), and a copy of the property survey map.