How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Law Pro Your Own Question

Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 23448
Experience:  20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Law Pro is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I own a house in Merida, Mexico. I have a buyer for the house

Resolved Question:

I own a house in Merida, Mexico. I have a buyer for the house and am planning to travel to Merida to open a bank account at ScotiaBank. I have been told that ScotiaBank does not do wire transfers to US banks and the buyer's bank (Infonavit) does not work with an transfer bank such as interbanco/Intercam.

My question is: Do I need an FM2 or FM3 to open the bank account in Merida and is it necessary for me to provide them with my Social Security Number which I do NOT want to do?

In your opinion, would I be foolish to allow my Mexican Realtor to open the account in my name and give her Power of Attorney to transfer the proceeds of the sale to my US bank?

Thank you!
Robin
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


To open a bank account in Mexico:

First:
  • You must be a citizen of the United States or Canada for dollar-denominated accounts.
  • Present a valid identification such as passport or drivers license.
  • You must present proof of address or domicile.


  • Second, you need to apply personally at the Mexican bank to open your account. Have your passport or drivers license ready. Present evidence listing you at your address. You have to have proof that you’re a U.S. or Canadian Citizen if you want an account in dollars.


    At most Mexico banks they will allow to fill out any paperwork in English.


    Have $1,000.00 in cash handy to open your account. Open a peso based checking account if you intend to use that bank solely for Mexico related transactions. Use a U.S. dollar based account if you want to reduce currency loss resulting from dollar rises and falls.

    Generally, you will need your passport, your FM3/No Inmigrate or FM2/Inmigrate card, some proof of address such as an electric bill, and an initial deposit. Some banks will open an account with a tourist visa (FMM). It took me about 20 minutes to open the account. Loans may require you to have a FM2 type visa, especially for mortgages.

    Check with your local bank at home to see if they have any partnerships with any banks there.

    You may contact any accredited financial institution in Mexico. Among the largest banks are Bancomer and Banamex. They all operate along the border and have offices in the U.S. and Canada. You can wire transfer through them.

    So, you don't need a MF2/3 to open a Mexican account.


    As to your last question giving a POA to your real estate broker - I would seriously advise against such.




    Customer: replied 1 year ago.


    ScotiaBank is the institution holding my Fideicomiso and they do NOT do any wire transfers to US banks as I mentioned.


     


    So, do I need an FM2 or FM3 to provide them in order to open the account there in person?


     


    Will they require me to provide my Social Security Number to open the account?

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
    Then you might open another bank account there with a bank (Bancomer and Banamex) who would would make wire transfers and transfer the monies therein.

    You don't need a MF2/3 to open a Mexican account.

    You don't need your social security number - just a valid passport (a passport doesn't have your social security number therein).

    Customer: replied 1 year ago.


    I have been told that an administrator at ScotiaBank can sign the Deed for the house sale since they are the Trustee of my Bank Trust (Fideicomiso) and I am the Beneficiary. So, I don't know how it would work to open an account at Bancomer or Banamex??


     


    I am really scared now because the Branch Manager at ScotiaBank is asking for my SSN in addition to what you mentioned I needed to provide.


     


     


    I will not use the Attorney that established my Fideicomiso to act as my POA because he lied to me in emails and kept the money I sent to him to pay bills and fix damage done to my house.


     


    Help!! What would you suggest I do? Time is of the essence because the buyer is on a deadline for closing to use "credits" issued by Infonavit.


     


    Thank you!


    Robin

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
    Have you asked them why they want and need your social security number?
    Customer: replied 1 year ago.


    Yes, the Real Estate agent said to verify that the money from the proceeds is not being used for money laudering purposes. I won't give it to them no matter what they say they need it for.


     


    Do you know if ScotiaBank could just sign the Deed for the closing, accept the money from Infonavit Bank and I would never see any of it? I am trying to avoid having to travel to Mexico and be there in person for the closing.


     


    That is why I started inquiring about opening an account at a Mexican Bank and thought it would need to be ScotiaBank who holds my Trust??


     


    What do think?


     


    Thanks!


    Robin

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
    Now the bank is one thing - but the realtor another.

    I would most definitely permit the administrator at ScotiaBank to sign the Deed for the house sale since they are the Trustee. I didn't like the idea of the realtor doing such.


    Most definitely you would have a cause of action against them if they didn't deposit the monies into your account.


    I understand the money laundering issue though - we have the Patriot Act here in the USA and you would have to jump through hurdles.
    Customer: replied 1 year ago.


    The realtor was only suggesting that she open a bank account at Scotiabank in my name so she would be able to then wire the proceeds to my account in the US. You have told me you think that is a poor choice.


     


    I would not have any power to take any action against the Bank if I didn't have to sign any of the documents for the closing (which I hoped could be sent to me via Fed-Ex and returned with my original signature). So, if I didn't have a copy of the closing documents, I don't know how I would be able to prove the house even sold.


     


    Even if I went to MX, opened a bank account, was at the closing in person -- it takes 3 days after the account is opened for the closing -- and another 4-5 days for the funds to be released into my account, I cannot get 11 - 12 days off work at one time so I would need to leave before I could transfer the money.


     


    How do you suggest I handle this whole situation besides not grant my realtor POA?


     


    Thanks!

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.


    The realtor was only suggesting that she open a bank account at Scotiabank in my name so she would be able to then wire the proceeds to my account in the US. You have told me you think that is a poor choice.

     

    Yes, the bank and their employees it one thing - the real estate agent another. Bad choice in my opinion.


     


    I would not have any power to take any action against the Bank if I didn't have to sign any of the documents for the closing (which I hoped could be sent to me via Fed-Ex and returned with my original signature). So, if I didn't have a copy of the closing documents, I don't know how I would be able to prove the house even sold.


     

    Ownership of property is reflected by deeds - so there would be a history of the transfer which you could prove.

    Moreover, under Mexican Law, the deed to the property must be prepared by a Notary Public.

    The Notary Public will ensure that all documentation and permits are in order so that the transaction can proceed.

     

    Do not confuse the role of the Notary Public in the US with that of Mexico - they are quite different. In Mexico, where the role is appointed directly by the State Governor (the highest seat in State Public Office).

     

    The Notary Public has the power to witness and certify important business documents which require absolute authenticity. The appointment also holds responsibility for the management and secure storage of original records. Notary Publics must be Mexicans of at least 35 year in age, they must have a degree in Law, have 3 year's work experience at a Notary Public office, and they must pass a stringent exam. Those who pass, in time, are appointed as Notary Public by the State Governor.




    Even if I went to MX, opened a bank account, was at the closing in person -- it takes 3 days after the account is opened for the closing -- and another 4-5 days for the funds to be released into my account, I cannot get 11 - 12 days off work at one time so I would need to leave before I could transfer the money.


     


    How do you suggest I handle this whole situation besides not grant my realtor POA?

     

     

    I would let the Notary Public handle the transfer and ScotiaBank have your consent to make the transfer on your behalf.

    Customer: replied 1 year ago.


    I don't know the Notary Public except that he is a relative of the Realtor's husband. I have never questioned his authenticity because I realize that she wants to get paid her 5% commission so do you think my logic is safe and a legitimate "deal" will take place?


     


    If I let Scotiabank sign the Deed on my behalf, how should I handle to bank account issue so the proceeds will end up in an account in my name and then be wired to my bank account here?

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

    I don't know the Notary Public except that he is a relative of the Realtor's husband. I have never questioned his authenticity because I realize that she wants to get paid her 5% commission so do you think my logic is safe and a legitimate "deal" will take place?


    Yes, a "deal" will take place - you just want to be secure that you are going to get your monies.


    If I let Scotiabank sign the Deed on my behalf, how should I handle to bank account issue so the proceeds will end up in an account in my name and then be wired to my bank account here?

     

    You are going to have to set up another bank account with a bank who will perform wire transfers. Scotiabank will have to deposit the monies into that bank account and then you can wire the monies here to your US bank account.

    Customer: replied 1 year ago.


    So, do I need to go to Mexico in person to open a bank account & which of the 2 banks you recommended do you feel would be the best for me?


     


    The bank that would be releasing the proceeds would be Infonavit which I understand is unique and issues "credit" to those who qualify for low income housing. It is not like most standard banking institutions in MX.


    How can I be sure they would transfer the monies to my account and not ScotiaBank --the one who is signing the Deed??


     


    W

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
    Yes, you would need to go to Mexico to open the account as I stated.

    Either Bancomer and Banamex are good choices but there are other banks certainly that you can choose. You should contact them to see if their costs for wire transfers.


    How can I be sure they would transfer the monies to my account and not ScotiaBank --the one who is signing the Deed??

     

    It would be ScotiaBank that would be telling them. They should do as you request - they are the trustee and you the beneficiary. I can't make a guarantee but the bank would be liable if they didn't do as you asked.

     

     

     

    Customer: replied 1 year ago.


    Do you mean that Scotiabank would be telling Infonavit where to deposit the proceeds? If so, then it would be my responsibility to inform Scotiabank in writing which bank I set up an account and give them the account number right? I guess I really don't need to open the account at Scotiabank do I?


     


    If I have to go to MX in person, it eliminates the idea of granting my realtor POA and opening an account in my name. Basically, I have no option but to travel to Merida right?


     

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
    Do you mean that Scotiabank would be telling Infonavit where to deposit the proceeds? If so, then it would be my responsibility to inform Scotiabank in writing which bank I set up an account and give them the account number right? I guess I really don't need to open the account at Scotiabank do I?

    Correct - opening an account at Scotiabank wouldn't do you any good.


    If I have to go to MX in person, it eliminates the idea of granting my realtor POA and opening an account in my name. Basically, I have no option but to travel to Merida right?

     

    Correct - to open a bank account, etc. While there you can give the representative at Scotiabank (the trustee) all information as to your bank account that you just set up.

     

     

    Your positive rating of my service benefits my ability to continue to assist you and others like you. Thank you.

    Please remember to rate my service. If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

    Customer: replied 1 year ago.

    Hang in there for a few more minutes.....next I will rate your service!


     


    Before you go, however, I would like to ask you to please offer me a couple tips before my travels since I am scared to death to be in a foreign country where I don't speak the language for ANY length of time AND conduct an important business transaction.


     


    I am really afraid that after I leave Merida and before the monies will be released, that somehow Scotiabank will not deposit the proceeds into my newly established bank account.


     


    Even if they did, how do would I have that money wired into my US bank once I am back home?

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
    I think you would be best served talking to a travel agent - I'm only an attorney and couldn't advise you.



    You stated:

    I am really afraid that after I leave Merida and before the monies will be released, that somehow Scotiabank will not deposit the proceeds into my newly established bank account.

     

    I'm sure that's a scare but they would be criminally liable if they stole the monies or civilly liable if they didn't follow your instructions.

     

     

    You could transfer the money yourself - even from back here in the USA. You would just notice your bank in Mexico to wire transfer the monies to your bank account here in the USA.

     

    As I stated, you should contact Bancomer or Banamex as to what their charges would be to do such.

     

     

     

     

    Your positive rating of my service benefits my ability to continue to assist you and others like you. Thank you.

    Please remember to rate my service. If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.
    Customer: replied 1 year ago.

    I promise my rating comes after this important question that I just thought about.


     


    I have already signed a letter( with my original signature) authorizing ScotiaBank to cancel my Trust AND I paid their fee of $1056.00 USD. Do you know of any way that they could cancel my Fideicomiso BEFORE a house sale is completely finished if for some unknown reason this deal falss through?

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
    Know, they have a fiduciary duty to you to complete the transaction and do what you want them to do.

    I had to leave to go watch my daughter play a lacrosse game which is why I didn't immediately reply to you earlier.

    Good luck!!


    Your positive rating of my service benefits my ability to continue to assist you and others like you. Thank you.

    Please remember to rate my service. If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.
    Customer: replied 1 year ago.


    Thank you for reassuring me of the Bank's fiduciary responsibility to me. You gave me the idea of having a lawyer here draft a letter with my instructions as to which bank and account number I will provide to have the monies deposited.


     


    After re-reading your answers I want to clarify something. Were you aware that in November of 2012 a new regulation was instituted with regards XXXXX XXXXX and travelers to MX?


     


    So, do I need a FM2 or FM3 to open a bank account in MX (in person) for the only purpose of having the proceeds of the house sale transferred by ScotiaBank following the closing? I am not planning to stay in Merida for more than 1 week.


     


    Thank you!!

    Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
    I went and contacted Bancomer directly - they want an FM3.

    Here is a link to all that they can provide as to banking assistance for you:

    http://www.terrabancomer.com/pcu/download/ManualOnline.pdf


    Good luck!! I wish you success in your sale!!

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to let me know…

    You can always ask for me in your question, “This question is for Law Pro . . (then on with your question) . . . .

    Law Pro, Lawyer
    Category: Real Estate Law
    Satisfied Customers: 23448
    Experience: 20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
    Law Pro and 11 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

    JustAnswer in the News:

     
     
     
    Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
    JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
    Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
    ...leave nothing to chance.
    Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
    Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
    I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
     
     
     

    What Customers are Saying:

     
     
     
    • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
    < Last | Next >
    • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
    • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
    • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
    • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
    • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
    • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
    • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
     
     
     

    Meet The Experts:

     
     
     
    • Tina

      Lawyer

      Satisfied Customers:

      4813
      16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
    < Last | Next >
    • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

      Tina

      Lawyer

      Satisfied Customers:

      4813
      16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
    • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

      Law Pro

      Lawyer

      Satisfied Customers:

      6227
      20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
    • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

      Barrister

      Lawyer

      Satisfied Customers:

      4966
      13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years
    • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

      LawTalk

      Attorney

      Satisfied Customers:

      4446
      I've more than 27 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.
    • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/rayanswers/2012-6-7_23346_Untitled1.64x64.jpg Ray's Avatar

      Ray

      Lawyer

      Satisfied Customers:

      4030
      Texas Attorney for 29 years dealing in real estate
    • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

      P. Simmons

      Lawyer

      Satisfied Customers:

      2377
      12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
    • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

      Phillips Esq.

      Attorney-at-Law

      Satisfied Customers:

      2355
      B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.