An all too common story. Bajan expat sends money to build a retirement home…

barbados-construction

Dear Barbados Free Press…

A mother working in the USA  asked her daughter to supervise the construction of a property in Barbados, sent all money to that daughter at various stages of the construction from beginning through completion. The mother also payed the mortgage for the ensuing 20 years, returned to Barbados on holiday in the intervening years believing the property was in her name as indicated by correspondence.

Finally retired from her work in the USA only to find several years after that the property has been stolen (deeded)  by  that same daughter who registered the property in her name as sole owner. When the matter; supported by documentation is brought to the very law firm who did the original settlement find that the firm is unwilling or non cooperative or too embarrassed  to unmask the obvious fraud.

Leaving the victim, the mother, to seek alternative legal representation from other lawyers who take the case ask for a large sums of money with the promise to recover that property only to find that despite all the proof and supporting documentation of ownership nothing is done, 5 years on.

What would BFP’s readers suggest is the best course of action/suggestions to make this right?

* The photo has nothing to do with this story. Just a home under construction.

24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

24 responses to “An all too common story. Bajan expat sends money to build a retirement home…

  1. Caswell Franklyn

    Sue the original law firm.

  2. Anonymous

    Where would she get a law firm on the island to take the case given the Barbados lawyers reputation,

  3. Squat in/on property…..regardless of “land laws” ….forcing a political decision on land reformation…..act of parliament. Land in Barbados should
    not be “freehold”……but ” leasehold” ….all lands property of state leased to
    residents used for purpose or returned to state. Look for loopholes in legislation….did not Barbados belong to their colonial masters….bajan ancestors slaves?😈 HISTORY teaches fools. USA or UK archives will
    have living proof of who owns Barbados…..HRH QE2 UKPLC ?

  4. D Oracle.

    Break legs.

  5. Party Animal

    Is this not a common situation in Barbados, maybe we should bring back Colonialism to sort out the modern day Lawyers we have, who only know how to rob poor people of their retirement, which one has a conscience ? the daughter should be sent to Jail as well as the Lawyer.

  6. de castro

    Liked the knee jerk reaction. Break legs.
    Seriously ….the law is an ass unless it is just…respected.
    My suspicion is “corruption” in the justice system.
    Charge convict and jail a few ….it sends the right message.
    With technology available today its easy to video/record
    on mobile phone in interviews….then pressure police to press charges.

    Undercover police are more effective today than poorly paid regulars.
    Double police wages for starters. A well paid police force will reduce corruption..and if they continue accepting bribes jail them also..
    If I offer a UK police officer a bribe (discreetly with my drivers license)
    he is more likely to charge me for trying to bribe him. In most countries
    he let’s it fall on road put his boot on it and politely returns my licence.

    Corruption is everywhere just lesser in the more developed countries.
    There will always be corruption but if laws on anti corruption are rigorously enforced it is a step in right direction.

    Wake up bajans its 2015…protest peacefully protest …..no freedom is won without a struggle.

    Fight on

  7. BBBAT

    A common situation in many ways: bad daughter, bad lawyer. Lady should have been smarter and demanded to see all legal papers as things progressed. Should have gone to the lawyer herself. Trusted her daughter without verification of one paper from the lawyer until it was years later.

  8. Helen

    Bajan Lawyers are basically useless pompous degenerates.
    Morally bankrupt and inept. They like to operate as slow as possible.
    Just look at the inept useless Govt with their inertia addled leader for a prime example of the mindset of these so called professionals.

  9. AK

    BBBAT, you make a good point, trust but verify.Whast a mother supposed to do when that daughter had everyone including siblings that the property was in her mothers name. Folk’s today would certainly verify, but people of mother’s generations would simply trust as it was unheard of to have such deception and robbery on this scale within a family and a time when children; most would be quite honest.

  10. Mac10

    How much are these kind s of stories costing the construction industry in Barbados??

    I know for sure I had the money I would NEVER build any house in Barbados!!

  11. St George's Dragon

    Surely, if the original law firm acted in good faith (unproven, but not proven they acted in bad faith either) it could never act for the mother as that would be a conflict of interest. Do a Freundel – get a lawyer. Also, a new daughter.

  12. Jane 1

    I would never build on Barbados either, I prefer other islands.

  13. Did the daughter inform the lawyer that she was acting on the behalf of her mother who was resident overseas? Did the mother send anything in cheque form with her signature? Can the mother read? Why does the daughter hate her mother? Is the daughter aware that her life is cursed and in the same way that she robbed her mother of the property that one of her own children will do the same eventually and at a time when she will not be able to work and own another house? Is the daughter aware of the pain that she has caused her mother to bear? If the daughter had any idea of the Law of Compensation, she would hand over the house to her mother quickly. Let us hope that the mother’s blood pressure does not rise to such a level as to be a threat to her life.

    The mother must also be clear in her conscience that she had not robbed anyone of the money that she had sent to the daughter. Maybe the daughter knows something that the mother has not disclosed to the public otherwise, I do not believe that she could hate her mother so much as to act in such a manner to her. Let’s hear what the daughter has to say on this matter.

  14. Dear BFP:

    To resolve this hypothetical matter, she could consider the following (I know that she has tried some of these steps, but they are listed here for others in similar situations).

    1. First, she should go to the original lawyer and request an explanation of how it could have occurred, and what can be done to make it right. The mother must not go in accusing the lawyer of anything, since he/she may have been acting in good faith on instructions from the daughter.

    2. If there is no satisfaction, then she should go to a senior respected lawyer and request a legal opinion, and a recommendation on the way forward after reviewing her evidence. It is very important that the mother be truthful about everything at this stage.

    3. There may be various opinions, including:
    a) she has no right to title because of a legal technicality;
    b) she has a right, but it must be determined in civil court;
    c) there may be fraud, and there is sufficient evidence for a charge;
    d) there may be evidence of misconduct, and the Bar Association’s disciplinary committee should be notified.

    4. If the opinion is favorable to her, then she should calmly meet with the original lawyer, share the legal opinion, and request a speedy resolution in order to avoid a messy dispute.

    This is the type of advice that she should receive from her parliamentary representative.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

  15. johnjickum

    Let’s face it ! Bajan expatriates should never expect justice and fair play in Barbados particularly in matters of real estate .There is NO ONE you can trust !

  16. Victor

    It’s now acknowledged internationally that Bajan lawyers are rotten to the core in conveyancing matters, even the most highly regarded practitioners hanging onto deposits for ages after exchange of contracts by creating delays etc. It’s a mystery how they get away with it since client accounts/escrow accounts are meant to be sacrosanct protected by law; that’s the whole point!
    Could it possibly be that the Barbados Judiciary and the Attorney General are turning a blind eye to this? Shock horror, may that august sector of Government be also creaming off profits too? Could it be imagined that foreign buyers of real estate in Barbados are seen as fair game at all levels of the Judiciary? One tends to draw that conclusion; worse still, locals suffer similar woes. Skulduggery of the most blatant order is now the norm in Barbados in the real estate sector.
    This behaviour has escalated over the past 15 years to the point where no real estate deal can run smoothly, no matter how simple or straightforward. Barbados seems to be turning into a kind of Third World dump in this respect.
    In my view, there should be strict regulation against foreign buyers of land in Barbados anyway. Purchases should only be leasehold and for a fairly short time span. This island is tiny and large chunks of it are now in foreign hands. That cannot be a good thing. Mind you, “caveat emptor”, buyer beware!, There’s nothing to stop any present or future Government from preventing suddenly the legal ownership rights of Barbados land by a non-resident or even a non-national.
    Anyone who is interested can Google what the government of Australia is doing right now to stop Chinese buyers buying up land there!
    As far as I am concerned, non-nationals should be restricted to various forms of renting/leasehold. Nobody would get ripped-off, terms would be clear, profits would go straight into the pocket of a Bajan landlord, a person, not an international conglomerate. And may I add, the system would be governed by market values, rather than by opportunists in the legal profession or Government Ministers.

  17. St George's Dragon

    I can suggest a good lawyer for property transactions, Michael Carrington. I haven’t used him myself but he is well known and apparently returns his clients’ money after just a few years of litigation.

  18. Victor

    Dear Dragon how I would love to unleash my list of names but I can’t do so whilst suffering friends may be hurt further as a result of my indiscretions. That’s the thing isn’t it? It’s a bit like Stalinist Russia with the KGB breathing down your neck. If you threaten them with exposure, your threats are met with guffaws since the beaks are hand-in-hand with the judiciary, which in turn is just a part of the whole government apparichtik. The whole thing reminds me of Haiti. It’s hard to believe Barbados is meant to be a modern democracy. I always keep wondering whether democracy as a system is in fact the way forward for Barbados. It hasn’t worked in Africa and it is a system which has been foisted upon developing countries by the Western world. Yet the interesting fact is that Ghana, a multi-tribal country, has forged through difficulty to have a democratic system and has a thriving economy. And Ghana is where most Bajans originally came from. Barbados, with such a small population, could work on a consensus system of politics and if you look at it, it struggles to do exactly that with its two parties holding such similar agendas, votes being almost wholly partisan.
    Imagine a Supreme Court composed of respected Elders of both sexes whose positions in the government were held simply as a result of respect for wisdom proved throughout their lives; not about money, though including that, people who ruled you because they had shown by their own behaviour that they could be trusted, looked up to.
    I suppose every country has its favourite politicians, regardless of party yet if you look at Barbados, there’s a clear set of them. Any thoughts?

  19. Bimlady

    She should put the daughter the lawyer and the law firm name, along with what documents she in the Barbados free press, the Barbados nation, and the Advocate, and she will get justice, I can write a long story about my parents. also

  20. Did not Judas betray Christ.
    Kane kill Abel.
    Daughters cheating on their mother is nothing new or sons cheating on their father’s.

    If you live near your children “trust” becomes secondary.
    If you live thousands of miles away “trust” should precede “love”.

    Trust is as important as love especially ” unconditional” love.

    I love and trust my four adult children….but would trust only two in money matters……they are too “smart” “clever” and greedy.

    Que sera

  21. Anonymous

    Maxjustina, are you suggesting that the lawyers where informed that the daughter was acting on the mother’s behalf and being aware completed the settlement documentation without recording that detail?

  22. johnjickum

    Solutions Barbados
    Your suggestions are neither practical nor achievable in Barbados. Going to to the original lawyer will achieve NOTHING ! Going to ” a senior respected lawyer” ( most likely at great additional expense ) will achieve NOTHING , and to return to the original lawyer to share the (hopefully positive) opinion of the “senior respected lawyer”,will also achieve NOTHING ! Knowing that she is an older person residing abroad, they will make it so very expensive …in terms of length of time, stress and exhorbitant legal fees …for her to pursue this matter, she may be driven to an “early grave”.As far as advice from her parliamentary representative is concerned, the parliamentary representative may very well end up owning the property ! Pity ! What a pity ! What a God-fearing people !

  23. de castro

    Am not afraid of God until scientists have proven there is one.
    However I do respect the fact that some of us are more godly than others.
    My jury is out on the god thing for the moment.
    If bajans continue to vote peanuts they will be led by monkies.

    Vote for individuals you can trust…..if there isn’t any … stand up and be counted. No justice is won without a struggle. Protest peacefully for change as per your neighbours in Guyana …land of change..hopefully for better.
    There is hope for PARADISE.
    better to live in hope than die in despair.
    Que sera

  24. johnjickum

    Let’s agree that the saying “people should not argue about politics or religion” has some merit.The reality is, we are nonetheless, forced to encounter “politics” and “religion” daily. Life is a constant battle (or “struggle”)resulting from interaction between the two. Surely, “protest” and hope have their place, but some situations do not inspire hope but rather “hopelessness”…the genesis of revolution… and revolution which is often violent… which is deemed necessary to effect meaningful change…especially when “PARADISE” has become HELL ! Birth is always accompanied by pain !