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Mysticism and ownership: how can an immigrant protect his property in his homeland

Do you believe in mysticism? What about karma? And in the boomerang law? Maybe you believe in God? Or to otherworldly forces? This article is based on the story of my client, which, I hope, will be interesting to many of you.

Photo: Shutterstock

My client, a resident of New York, has been living in America for a long time, since 1992. A doctor with many years of practice, which seemed to be biased by virtue of the profession.

But in her life, incomprehensible, inexplicable problems began to occur, which had nowhere to come from, and they came, overshadowed her life, did not let her sleep at night.

She began to scroll through her head all her past life and remembered that 10 years ago, when she visited her native Ukraine with her children, her mother told her: “Vitochka, I will be gone soon, and your father will marry another and leave nothing for you ".

With these words, the mother took her hand and led her to a notary public, where she gave her daughter 1/2 mother's share in the house with outbuildings.

After the vacation, her daughter returned to America, her mother was soon gone, and her father, as in the tale of the evil stepmother, married another.

Our heroine did not maintain a relationship with her father and lived in America, having no intention of coming to Ukraine - she expired both passports (domestic and foreign) and lost her identification code.

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In recent years, something has begun to stop her from living and working quietly. As a result, she had obsessive thoughts that all this was due to a share in the house, that her father’s wife wanted her evil, cursed day after day, and she decided to get rid of this share.

Upon my suggestion to turn to a psychologist, she replied that already ... did not help ... a lawyer is needed. I asked for help in restoring expired passports, an identification code, documents of title to her share in the house and, in the end, getting rid of this ill-fated property in any legal way.

But when I requested documents from the registry about who the owner of the house is at the moment, I saw that her father was the sole owner of this property, the ownership of the second half of the property was registered in his name on February 10, 2020. The basis for state registration of law is a court decision.

I requested a court decision and saw that from 2016 until the end of 2019, the father sued his daughter in a local court. Of course, no one notified her of the hearing, or rather, the court notified her at the place of registration, sending subpoenas to the same house.

As a result of a fierce struggle with the daughter’s ghost, the father managed to prove that his wife did not know what she was doing, and gave the house to her child, not giving an account of her actions and not knowing how to lead them. Later he entered into the inheritance for this share, proving that the daughter has no right to inherit ...

Now my client has no need to restore the Ukrainian internal and foreign passports, identification code. She does not need to get rid of the share - her father did everything for her. She returned to a healthy sleep and peace of mind. Trust your inner voice. Sometimes he knows what he is saying.

Karina Duval, a lawyer licensed in the United States as a foreign consultant, with more than 20 years of experience. Photo courtesy of Karina Duval.

Many who read this story have a logical question: is it possible to do something in such a situation and how to protect ourselves from such injustice? The peculiarity of the situation under discussion is that the wishes of all the participants coincided: the American daughter dreamed of throwing a stone from her shoulders in the form of unnecessary property, and the Ukrainian pope spent the years of his life fighting for this property. As a result, everyone was happy and satisfied.

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But it happens differently. And otherwise it happens much more often. Ask yourself: if you have property in your homeland, would you like to give it up? The absolute majority will answer decisively "no." Therefore, we will talk more about how to preserve property.

To begin with, I will talk about what our heroine could do if she did not agree with the current state of affairs.

You can cancel the state registration of any right by canceling the court decision. No matter how many years have passed since the decision was made, you can always raise the question of its cancellation, since the procedural deadlines can be restored at the request of a person who did not know about the violation of his right. The period for appealing against a judicial act begins to expire from the moment when the person knew or should have known that his rights had been violated.

Since our heroine never received a subpoena and was deprived of the opportunity to participate in the hearing and defend her rights guaranteed by law, now she would have to file an appeal with an application to restore the procedural term. As evidence that she only found out about what happened now, she would provide an extract from the register of property registration with the date it was received today.

The trial court is obliged to reinstate the appeal if it is missed for a good reason. In my practice, I was able to restore the time limit for appealing against judicial acts 10-15 years after the decision was made. After the appeal period has been restored, the case will go to the court of appeal, where with a high degree of probability the decision will be canceled on the simple reason that the rights of the participant in the process were violated.

Plaintiffs note: often in my activity I meet people who would rather do something behind an opponent. Having discarded the issues of honesty and decency, we will end up with a high risk of canceling a court decision at any time. Tell me, do you really want your efforts to go to waste in 10 years?

I will give an example from my practice. The couple were married and lived in Moscow. The husband passionately wanted to divorce, but he was afraid of his wife and did not know which way to approach this issue. Therefore, he divorced clandestinely while his wife was visiting his mother: quickly, taking advantage of the moment, he went to court and received a divorce.

Meanwhile, the wife returned home, but nothing has changed, they lived like a husband and wife. Relations, however, really gave a visible crack, but much later, and they fled. But when the wife began to negotiate with her husband about the conditions of the divorce, he only waved away: after all, they had divorced since there was nothing to talk about.

The court restored the time limit for appeal, and the date of divorce moved exactly 10 years. With all the ensuing consequences, the spouse had acquired disability by that time, so her husband had to pay her alimony. He outwitted himself.

But back to the topic of our conversation. So, if you decide to go to a distant country, preserving the property in your homeland, then my recommendations are:

  1. Keep your documents in order, keep track of the validity of your passport, do not allow the invalidity of your internal passport.
  2. Follow the payment of utility bills in your property (if we are talking about residential real estate).
  3. Pay property tax.
  4. Be vigilant in dealing with relatives, especially if the property is jointly owned. Remember that most often the problems arise precisely with the co-owners, who may have a false idea that you still live abroad, which means you do not need property, and they live here now, so it is more important to them.
  5. Have a representative in place who, if necessary, can quickly resolve the situation.
  6. Use your share, keep your things there, control their safety.
  7. Request extracts from the property registry from time to time.

If you have already managed to delay or lose something, then my office will help in the restoration of documents at home. In addition, I can request extracts from the property registry.

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You can sell or donate your share in the property at any time. It should be remembered that when donating, the donee, if he is not a close relative of the donor, is subject to income tax, and when buying and selling other participants in shared ownership have a pre-emptive right to purchase, that is, they can acquire the share you are alienating in priority order.

In order for the transaction to be legal, it is necessary to send the relevant proposal to the co-owners, and if after one month they do not take advantage of this offer, you can sell your share to any person.

Remember that regardless of the length of residence abroad, in most cases, you retain the citizenship of the country where you came from. My recommendation is to always have a valid passport. This will allow you, at a minimum, to fly home if necessary.

Your question Karine Duval

Material prepared in partnership with

Karina Duval - lawyer, notary, expert in international law

Russian registration: #78/857
NYS registration: 4775086
Notary public, registration: 02DU6376542

tel: + 7 (495) 662-8721 (in Russia) / + 1 (212) 205-2211 (in USA)

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