Sending letters to landowners who live in Puerto Rico? A good idea?

Hello Everyone,
I’m thinking of including landowners who live in Puerto Rico in my neutral letter mailings. IE: The person owns land in Texas but is a resident of Puerto Rico and has a Puerto Rico mailing address. Postage is the same rate, and I understand that the mail service there is pretty good. The only challenge I see potentially for me is a language barrier if the person doesn’t speak English (I don’t speak Spanish). I just wanted to bounce this off the group. I see no reason to not do this, but I just want to make sure I’m not missing something. Thanks.

@leonh sounds like an interesting idea. I know they have USPS down there, so everything about the mail should be the same as the rest of the United States.

How is the data availability down there? Are you able to find all the usual information you need from your data service of choice?

On the language barrier issue, I’m not sure how significant the problem would be for the average landowner down there, but I hear PATLive (and probably other similar receptionist services) has bilingual receptionists available during certain hours of the day. You could route all your calls that way to at least handle the initial information gathering stage.

@retipsterseth The list I’m using is directly from the county, it is the same address they send the tax bills to, so I’m confident with the accuracy. I will check our PATLive if I run into the the language issue. Thanks Seth!!! I think I will give it a go.

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@leonh I’ve done several deals with landowners based in Puerto Rico. Here’s a few things to consider. The addresses are very odd down there and there’s no consistency. Use a mail house that cleans up the addresses like Rocket Mail, then they will either clean them up or delete them so that you’re not paying for mail that will never be delivered. The language barrier will be a problem, and it’s something I’m trying to figure out now. PatLive will be able to answer the incoming call, but it may be difficult for you to work the deal after that. If you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll have to have some way to communicate with the seller. And if you send it to title, the title company might have difficulty in communicating with the seller. And the third issue you’ll encounter is that notaries in PR must be licensed attorneys. So your seller will have to go to an attorney to get the deed notarized, and that costs over $100 in PR. Depending on where the the property is located, some states allow online notarization, but the ones I spoke to in the States wouldn’t do the deal.


@billwalker That’s great information Bill. Definitely some things to consider. Over $100 for a notary! Ouch. Thank you!!!

@billwalker My second caller EVER who I am preparing an offer for is spanish speaking only. I didn’t know what to do and I called my mom and made a conference call to translate. She actually connected with the seller because they are both from Venezuela. Ha

Anyway, my question is documentation. Do you have the purchase agreement signed in Spanish with written English translation or vice versa?

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@sgurney, that’s a great question. I’m surprised I’ve never encountered this. I would think English, but on the same coin, there are situations where legally binding signatures can be reversed if the signer was found to be ‘not of sound mind.’ Say, if someone signed a deed while they had Alzheimer’s or dementia and they had no idea what they were doing.

This isn’t the same thing as signing in a different language, but I can see some parallels. If a person signs a document in a language they don’t even understand, is it still legally binding if they didn’t know what they were doing?

Sorry I’m not helping answer any questions here, but just pointing out, it’s an interesting dilemma. I’d love to hear from an attorney how this would be treated in our legal system.

I’m in the process of calling title companies and will ask but I my thought is adding the Spanish translation in italics after each clause.