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Consumer Protection Laws Help Home Buyers in Mexico  

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Consumer protection laws have been on the books in Mexico since the 1990s, particularly for timeshare and consumer products and services. But these consumer protection laws help home buyers in Mexico, also.

The Mexican legislature in 2021 voted to require compliance in areas where little past progress had been made. An example is the need for consumer protection buying new construction of condos within the Bay of Banderas.

As real estate agents. we can represent the new development for the owner as listing agents. In this case, for the project to be listed in the local Bay of Banderas Flex MLS and promoted to the public, we have required more documents for a resale, to try to ensure the best information is provided to help a buyer decide.  Pre-construction is a very popular and there is risk to evaluate before the buyer signs a contract and pays a down payment. We accept this law and as agents are required to work to protect the consumer.

In Sept 2022, we will be implementing new procedures to further address consumer protection in purchasing real estate in Mexico.

We also represent owners of resale condos, homes, land, etc.  This real estate has more documents available for legal review than new construction, which is in progress. And the states of Jalisco and Nayarit have some differences in the law for pre-construction and condo regimes.

The following agencies and laws are most applicable to consumer protection in the Mexico real estate industry:

The Federal Consumer Protection Agency, or Profeco (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor).

COFECE – ANTI TRUST Federal Economic Competition Commission. COFECE is an autonomous, constitutional body responsible for overseeing, promoting and ensuring competition in a free market.

Mexico’s official AML is the law to prevent illegal income and protect the national economy. This law also plays an effective role in preventing crimes, such as drug trafficking, fraud, corruption, and tax evasion.

Mexican Privacy Laws. Mexican privacy laws distinguish between transfers of personal data (to third parties and transmissions of personal data (to processors). A transfer is any communication or transmission of personal data by or on behalf of the Controller to a third party, not including a processor.  There is no specific legislation in Mexico that governs doing business over the internet. Mexico does not have a system of IT law, which means that the activities carried out on the internet are regulated in accordance with the general provisions of law (civil and commercial).

Cybersecurity is regulated in the Federal Criminal Code, the Data Protection Legislation and other sector-specific legislation applicable to entities operating within those sectors (e.g. the Fintech Law).

Additionally, Mexico is a signatory of international agreements on Data Protection, like the Convention for the Protection of the People Regarding the Automated Treatment of Personal Information. Mexico is also a member of the Inter American Network of Data Protection.

This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices, and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas area.  I recommend that each potential buyer or seller conduct his/her own due diligence and review.