Monday, December 21, 2009

Panama bank offers gold for sale to the public

Panama: Credicorp Bank Now Offers Precious Metals

Thursday, December 3, 2009
The bank will offer its investment clients gold and silver bars and coins.
The product was born as a request from the customers, who demanded investment alternatives, specially in gold, a commodity whose price has grown around 60% in the last 12 months.

"Called 'precious metals' the product comprises the sale of gold and silver bars and coins, refined exclusively for Credicorp Bank (BVP: CRED) and certified by Swiss company Argor-Heraeus", reported

According to the newspaper, Credicorp is the first entity offering this product in Panama.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Can I obtain a turista pensionado visa and not relocate to Panama?

Objet: Question
Date: Dimanche 20 Décembre 2009, 7h33

Is it possible to obtain a turista pensionado visa and not relocate to Panama? I have herad you can do this with a multiple entry permit. Also,is there a major backlog to receive these visas and how long is the time for these visas to be issued? Thanks
Yes, you can. However, one visit has to be made for the actual application of the visa and then no more than 1 year after actual approval to be served of the approval.
A multiple-entry permit must be requested when leaving the country after filing. However, you have to budget a $25 monthly fine if you do not return to Panama after the 3-month multiple-entry permit expires to have it renewed.
Backlog of applications has reached new records with the new Administration, with delays going into 14 months from the time of filing.

Canada Trade Mission / Opportunities for Your Company in Panama

January 25, 2010 - January 29, 2010
Opportunities for Your Company in Panama
Deadline December 17, 2009

Join other Atlantic Canadian companies and travel to Panama to discover business opportunities for your company.

Following a successful trade mission to Panama in June 2009 with 10 Atlantic Canadian companies, NSB Inc. is currently recruiting companies to participate in a follow-up trade mission to Panama in January 2010.

Key sectors in Panama include building products and construction, information communications technology, environmental industries, and professional and educational services.

For a registration fee of $500 you will receive:

One-on-one business meetings tailored to your business goals;
Ground transportation to and from your business meetings;
High-level networking events to assist you in your entry or expansion into the market.
You are responsible for the cost of round trip airfare, accommodation and meals.

Space is limited. Register today. Fill out the
application form and return to Jennifer Dunbar at jdunbar@

Cost: $500 (Cheque payable to World Trade Centre Atlantic Canada)
Application Deadline: Friday, December 17, 2009
For additional information:
Peter Giffin

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Real estate agent liability Re: Any recourse?

Objet: Real estate agent liability Re: Any recourse?
À: "panama laws for expats"
Date: Dimanche 8 Novembre 2009, 11h57
  • The real estate agent's liability for defects

The agency is not responsible for concealed defects in the apartment

The agent does not have general liability for defects in the apartment, for example damage from humidity discovered after conclusion of the sale or other concealed defects. The seller of an apartment or real estate is liable to the buyer for defects - including the information provided by the agent prior to sale and any defects in that information.
The agent is not liable for e.g. incorrect information on the house manager's certificate, unless the agent had reason to believe that the information in question was incorrect. The seller is liable in such situations.
On the other hand, the agent has a far-reaching liability for the legality and quality of his brokerage work.
  • For instance, if information regarding a humidity defect is noted in the brokerage contract, but the agent fails to disclose this to the buyer, the agent has made a mistake in his work. Under such circumstances the agent is liable for any damages suffered as a result of the mistake.
  • If the agent's work performance is not up to the agreed standard, the customer may request that the commission is decreased.
Get help from the consumer advisor and file a complaint if necessary
If you have questions on any ambiguities regarding the work of real estate agents, contact the consumer advisor. The consumer advisor gives counsel regarding the legislation and rules governing the work of real estate agents and, if necessary, directs consumers forward, for instance to file a complaint with the Consumer Disputes Board.
Disputes over real estate transactions are sometimes unclear as to who is liable for incorrect or incomplete information supplied with regards to the apartment - the real estate agent or the seller. In this case the complaint should be filed against both parties.
Complaints regarding real estate agents may be filed with the State Provincial Office. The State Provincial Office may issue a warning to the real estate agent, force temporary closure of the agency or have them removed from the register of real estate agents. The State Provincial Office may not, however, order a real estate agency to pay damages or compensation.

Summarized below are several recent court cases involving misrepresentations in real estate transactions. These cases illustrate what appears to be the current trend in judicial thought away from the traditional concept of "caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware) and towards the more modern, consumeroriented philosophy of "caveat licensee" (Let the licensee beware).

WASHINGTON -Summary of Facts: A "listing broker" gave a "selling broker" an incorrect description of the boundary lines of a property. Although information on file with the listing service clearly contradicted the listing broker's statements to the selling broker, the selling broker relied on the listing broker's statements and transmitted the incorrect information to a buyer. The buyer discovered the error after closing the transaction, and subsequently filed suit against both the listing and selling brokers, alleging misrepresentations. Decision: The court ruled in favor of the buyer, stating that the listing broker (although an agent of the seller) was, nevertheless, liable to the third party for the misrepresentations- that the listing broker was also liable for the actions of his subagent (i.e . , the sell ing broker) whom he authorized to transmit the incorrect information; and that the selling broker was also liable because he failed to exercise reasonable care and skill to discover the error.

MAINE-Summary of Facts: A purchaser of a lot filed suit against a seller for fraudulently representing that the lot had been approved for installation of a septic tank; the purchaser made no independent inquiry to determine the accuracy of th 11 representation. Decision: The court ruled in favor of the purchaser ' stating in part that "A plaintiff may justifiably rely on the fraudulent misrepresentation of a defendant, whether made intentionally or recklessly, without investigating the t'ruth or falsity of the representation. Reliance is unjustified only if the plaintiff knows the representation is false or its falsity is obvious to him". (Although the defendant in this case was the seller, the same reasoning would also seem to apply equally to agents of a seller.)

IDAHO-Summary of Fact: A broker had made representations to a buyer which were based upon i'ncorrect information supplied by a seller. The buyer filed suit against the broker for making misrepresentations, but the broker claimed that he was only acting as a "conduit" for information flowing from the seller to the buyer. Decision: The court, in its ruling, stated that "(T)he real estate agent (broker) will be liable to a prospective purchaser if he knew or should have known that the representations were inaccurate or if he could have, by reasonable investigation, determined the accuracy of the representations."

ALABAMA-Summary of Facts: A seller who knew his house had a faulty septic tank did not reveal this defect to his broker. A subsequent buyer of the property filed suit against both the seller and the broker for failure to disclose this defect. Decision: The court ruled in favor of the buyer stating that although the broker did not have actual knowledge of the defect, the broker (as agent for the seller) was obligated to learn about any deficiencies and to inform prospective buyers of such defects.

TEXAS-Summary of Facts: A broker who was selling his own property failed to advise the purchaser that the foundation of the structure on the property had settled and needed repairs. The purchaser subsequently filed suit against the broker/seller. Decision: The court ruled in favor of the purchaser, stating that a seller has a duty to reveal known defects to purchasers. (Although the defendant in this case was a seller, the same reasoning would also seem to apply equally to agents of a seller.)

NORTH CAROLINA -Summary of Facts: A purchaser of a house and lot filed suit against a builder, alleging that the builder had failed to disclose that the house had been built on "disturbed soil" (the house was constructed over a large hole filled with debris and then covered with clay). Decision: The court ruled that "Since this defect in the lot and the house . . . was not apparent to plaintiffs (the purchasers) and not within the reach of their digilent attention and observation, defendant (builder) was under a duty to disclose this information to plaintiffs". (Although the defendant in this case was a builder/seller, the North Carolina Supreme Court held in a related case that a real estate agent would also have come within the rule applied in this case if the agent knew or had reason to believe that the builder had constructed the house on "disturbed soil" yet withheld this fact from the purchasers.)

Although several of the cases cited above were not decided on the basis of North Carolina law, North Carolina real estate brokers and salesmen should be well aware of the principles set forth in all of these decisions: These principles, simply stated, are (1) that a real estate agent who intentionally or unintentionally gives a purchaser incorrect or incomplete information may be held liable for such statements even though the source of the incorrect information was the seller or another broker, and even though the purchaser could have verified the information himself; (2) that a seller and nis agent have an affirmative duty to disclose to prospective purchasers any latent (hidden) defects connected with the property (for example, faulty septic tank, leaky basement, etc.) about which they are aware or should reasonably be aware,- and (3) that although a real estate agent owes his primary loyalty to his principal, (usually the seller), the agent must treat all parties in the transaction fairly.

Furthermore, if a licensee has actual knowledge of material facts regarding a property (or should reasonably have known of such facts), but the licensee fails to disclose these facts to a prospective purchaser, then such nondisclosure may subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Board.

--From information published in the Idaho Real Estatement, California Real Estate Bulletin, Mississippi Real Estate Hotline, and the Washington Real Estate News.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Up to 15 hours in line for residence visas in Panama

The article by Eliana Morales Gil is a revealing expose about the backlog in residence visas applications in Panama. The new administration inherited 15,000 applications filed more than one year ago. However, bad habits die hard: users complain about a limited number of applications received per day and of "privileged" users gaining entry without standing in line.
In an age when passport information is entered at airports by scanning a barcode, current applicants (including spouses and children) are ordered to have their picture taken every 3 months IN PERSON before an aging Polaroid camera at Immigration offices with no air conditioner and insufficient seating, which involves losing half a day of work or school. Holders of expired 3-month cards - and even permanent residents with "E-" cedulas - are subject to detention without probable cause at jail cells in Curundu and at Immigration offices. Pensionados only endure this uncertainty for a limited period because they are granted an indefinite visa but spouses and dependants who cannot live as perpetual tourists have to spend mornings at Immigration offices every 3 months, along with another day at Motor Vehicle offices IN PERSON to renew a driving license for the same period.
This is rarely disclosed to prospective investors at road shows abroad or "Invest in Panama" seminars.

See also:

Immigration the setting for complaints of racial discrimination

Immigration reform group on Facebook

Esperan hasta 15 horas por un turno en Migración
La administración se defiende alegando que se heredaron 15 mil expedientes con más de un año de retraso.

TRÁMITE. El Servicio Nacional de Migración atiende a unas 200 personas por día. 1298703
Eliana Morales Gil mailto:emorales@

El pasado viernes 20 de noviembre es una fecha que, difícilmente, Rosario Pérez* podrá olvidar. Ese día tuvo que esperar 15 horas para que le llegara el turno de ser atendida por funcionarios del Servicio Nacional de Migración.
Había llegado a la sede de esa entidad en la Ricardo J. Alfaro a las 4:30 a.m., pero no fue hasta las 6:19 p.m. cuando fue atendida. Ella, al igual que otros abogados panameños y extranjeros, esperó de pie y sin probar alimentos para que le admitieran su expediente.
Y pasó de todo. Al filo de las 4:00 p.m., todos los que allí estaban se quedaron boquiabiertos cuando los turnos fueron interrumpidos para recibir los papeles de una persona que no había hecho fila. Un funcionario de la entidad les explicó que la dirección había dado la orden de recibir los expedientes del recién llegado.
En ese momento el sistema se cayó, lo que provocó más retraso. Ese viernes, Pérez pudo presentar sus papeles a las 6:19 p.m., pero otros usuarios, narró, se quedaron hasta más tarde.
La larga espera no es de lo único que se quejan los usuarios en Migración.
Un abogado, que pidió el anonimato, contó que por estos días tramita el caso de un extranjero que prefirió vender sus propiedades y sacar una suma importante de dinero del Banco Nacional, porque su esposa fue víctima de malos tratos en esa entidad, cuando hacía diligencias para sacar un carné.
Otros tachan de groseros a los funcionarios y agentes de seguridad que trabajan cerca de la Dirección General. “Uno de los encargados de anunciar a las personas que van a ser atendidas por la dirección, no contesta ni los buenos días”, dijo una mujer visiblemente molesta.
Eduardo Peñaloza, subdirector de Migración, dijo que no comprende cómo las personas pueden llegar en la madrugada, cuando la entidad abre sus puertas a las 7:30 a.m., y pese a que cierra a las 2:00 p.m., los funcionarios siguen atendiendo a las personas que están en la institución a esa hora. “A veces se quedan hasta las 8:00 p.m. atendiendo a los usuarios”, dijo. Aseguró, además, que hay algunos abogados que presentan hasta 20 expedientes al mismo tiempo, y eso les quita horas a los que reciben los documentos.
Y es que, según Peñaloza, esta administración heredó unos 15 mil expedientes migratorios con más de un año de retraso. Por ejemplo, explicó que hasta la fecha han logrado ponerse al día con papeles que llegaron a la entidad en mayo de este año.
Migración también emitió un comunicado de prensa para informar que los funcionarios de esa institución no pueden otorgar boletos numéricos a los solicitantes de trámites. Indican que se atenderá de acuerdo con el orden de llegada.
Peñaloza también informó que actualmente se trabaja en cambios a la Ley 3 del 22 de febrero de 2008 (ley de Migración), para lo cual ya se han empezado a reunir con abogados y la Cámara Marítima, la cual debe atender trámites relacionados con los marinos que llegan a los puertos panameños, entre otros grupos.
El Servicio Nacional de Migración atiende diariamente a unas 200 personas. Según estadísticas divulgadas por su oficina de Relaciones Públicas, hasta la fecha han entrado al país un millón 212 mil 995 extranjeros, y han salido un millón 22 mil 892 . Los estadounidenses y colombianos lideran la lista de extranjeros con más entradas a Panamá: 196 mil 428 y 164 mil 826, respectivamente.
(*El nombre fue cambiado a solicitud de la fuente por temor a represalias en Migración).


They wait until 15 hours by a shift in migration The administration defends the ground that it inherited more than 15 thousand cases a year late. STEP. The National Immigration Service caters for about 200 people per day. 1298703 Eliana Morales Gil On Friday November 20 is a date that hard, Rosario Perez * will forget. That day he had to wait 15 hours for his turn came to be attended by officials of the National Immigration Service.
He arrived at the headquarters of that entity in the Richard J. Alfaro at 4:30 am, but it was not until 6:19 pm when it was served. She, like other Panamanians and foreign lawyers, stood and waited without food for which they admitted their application.
And everything happened. At exactly 4:00 pm, all those present gasped when shifts were interrupted to receive the papers of a person who had been queuing. An agency official explained that the management had given the order to receive the files of the newcomer.
At that time the system crashed, causing further delay. That Friday, Perez was able to present their papers at 6:19 pm, but other users, narrated, stayed up later.
The long wait is not the only thing users complain Migration.
One lawyer, who requested anonymity, said that these days handles the case of an alien who preferred to sell their properties and get a large sum of money the National Bank because his wife was abused in that state when he made inquiries to draw a card.
Others accused of being rude to staff and security officers who work near the DG. "One of the managers to advertise to people who are going to be addressed by management, not answer nor good morning," said a visibly upset woman.
Eduardo Penaloza, assistant director of Immigration, said he does not understand how people can arrive at dawn, when the institution opens its doors at 7:30 am, and although close at 2:00 pm, officers continue to serve people who are in the institution at that time. "Sometimes they stay until 8:00 p.m. light users, "he said. It added that there are some lawyers who have up to 20 files at the same time, and that takes away hours to receive documents.
Because, according Peñaloza, this administration inherited some 15 thousand cases of migrants over a year late. For example, he explained that to date have been catching up with papers that came to the institution in May this year.
Migration has also issued a press release reporting that the officials of that institution can not give tickets to applicants numerical procedures. They state that will be addressed according to the order of arrival.
Penaloza also reported currently working on changes to Law No. 3 of 22 February 2008 (Migration Act), for which have already begun to meet with lawyers and the Chamber of Shipping, which must meet procedures related to marine arriving in Panamanian ports, among other groups.
The National Immigration Service serves about 200 people daily. According to statistics published by the Public Relations office to date have entered the country 995 million 212 thousand foreigners, have left one million 22 thousand 892. The U.S. and Colombian topping the list of foreigners with more tickets to Panama: 196 thousand 428 and 164 thousand 826, respectively.
(* The name was changed at the request of the source for fear of reprisals from Migration).