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Dateline: “The file’s in there…somewhere”

We have your file

“So how’s your house purchase going?” a friend recently emailed me.

The house purchase is a nightmare. On the 29th of January, my lawyer wrote me an email saying the notario had contacts in the SRE and would call them. Well, a week or so later, I emailed the notario asking how had the conversation with the SRE gone. Well, I got some very vague replies, but no answers to my questions. I emailed back and asked a second time. Same result. And as you’ll see below, I now have reasonably concrete proof that she never even talked to someone at the SRE. Makes me want to go to a different notario, really. Lying to clients isn’t cool.

So we took matters into our own hands. My BF, Marco, who’s a lawyer and has TONS of experience doing trámites, managed to get a hold of someone on the phone at the SRE on Tuesday. They said they needed copies of my visa, and that’s why the file was held up. Well, let’s never mind the fact that I have already sent them multiple copies of my visa, on Dec 6th and January 11th. Mauricio also said I should attach a copy of my passport for good measure. Within minutes of hearing this, I dashed off two emails, one for each house, with a copy of both documents.

“Call them Thursday and make sure they have the documents,” said Mauricio. “You will have to nag them to get anything done anyway. So just be persistent.” Thursday morning in an email time-stamped 4:25 AM, I received a reply saying they had received my documents. Later that morning around 10:00, I called the SRE to be informed that they were missing a copy of my passport. I said I had literally sent them Tuesday, but I’d send them again. I began to wonder if the SRE folks understood the concept of an email attachment. So this time I sent copies of the visa and passport as inline images, e.g., a picture in the middle of the email. I figured there was no way to miss this. About an hour later, I called back, and the same woman said they had received the documents. Around 1:02 I got an email saying: “Tomamos nota de su correo electrónico. A la brevedad posible le daremos una respuesta.*” Yeah, right. If that were the case, this would already be done.

Friday morning, I called back and spoke to a very nice woman who said something along the lines that she couldn’t check the system, but that I should just be patient and it would all work out. I said I was afraid they’d lose the emails. “Don’t worry; we don’t lose emails,” she said. I explained that I had already submitted the same documents multiple times, only to get emails asking for them again. Wasn’t this proof positive they were losing emails? “Well, what’s your folio number, name and e-mail address?” she asked. She said she’d email someone within the department to remind them to look for my documents. That was the best I could get from her, so I hung up.

That was Friday. No word yet today. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting nervous. I struck a deal with the seller on November 19th. On the 6th of December, I started the process to get my permission from the SRE. My visa expires March 30th, and so far I haven’t had any more luck scheduling an appointment to get a visa temporal from the Mexican Consultate in Boston either. So I might not even be able to get back on a tourist visa to close the deal.

So that’s how it’s going. If my house purchase were a patient in the hospital, it’d be in intensive care, with anxious family members wondering about the will, and contemplating funeral arrangements. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll need to find an undertaker. The only question is will the dead body be the deal? Or me?

* We note your email and with all possible brevity will give you an answer.