Duran & Duran-Schulze Law Blog – Reissuance of Lost Land Title

Replacing Your Lost Land Title: Your Step-By-Step Guide

If your land title is lost or destroyed, you will need to go to the Court to get a new copy. Here are the steps that you should do before a replacement title can be issued to you. 

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What is an Owner's Land Title?

An Owner’s Land Title refers to a legal document that acts as proof of ownership of real estate. It is issued by the Registry of Deeds and provides vital information about the property, such as its location, boundaries, area, and owner’s name.

There are different types of owner’s land title. These are:

  • Original Certificate of Title. This is the title issued to the owner when the land is first registered.
  • Owner’s Duplicate Copy of Transfer Certificate of Title. This is the title issued to the subsequent owners after the registration of the land.
  • Condominium Certificate of Title. This is the title issued to the owner of a condominium unit.

In asking the court for the re-issuance of your lost or destroyed title, you will be required to prove your ownership over the land. One document that you can use to prove your ownership over the land is, the owner’s duplicate copy of your land title. The rest are discussed below.

“Re-issuance” of title must not be confused with “reconstitution” of title. 

Re-issuance refers to the remedy when your owner’s title is lost or destroyed.   

Reconstitution, on the other hand, refers to the remedy when your land title that is in the possession of the Registry of Deeds is destroyed. 

What are the Documents to Prove For Lost or Destroyed Original Certificates of Title?

  • The owner’s duplicate of the certificate of title;
  • The co-owner’s, mortgagee’s, or lessee’s duplicate of the certificate of title;
  • A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;
  • An authenticated copy of the decree of registration or patent, as the case may be, pursuant to which the original certificate of title was issued;
  • A document, on file in the registry of deeds, by which the property, the description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original had been registered; and
  • Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

What are the Documents to Prove For Lost or Destroyed Transfer Certificate of Title?

  • The owner’s duplicate of the certificate of title;
  • The co-owner’s, mortgagee’s, or lessee’s duplicate of the certificate of title;
  • A certified copy of the certificate of title, previously issued by the register of deeds or by a legal custodian thereof;
  • The deed of transfer or other document, on file in the registry of deeds, containing the description of the property, or an authenticated copy thereof, showing that its original had been registered, and pursuant to which the lost or destroyed transfer certificate of title was issued;
  • A document, on file in the registry of deeds, by which the property, the description of which is given in said document, is mortgaged, leased or encumbered, or an authenticated copy of said document showing that its original had been registered; and
  • Any other document which, in the judgment of the court, is sufficient and proper basis for reconstituting the lost or destroyed certificate of title.

What are the Steps in Asking for the Re-issuance of Title?

Step 1. File an Affidavit of Loss before the Registry of Deeds 

In the Philippines, filing an Affidavit of Loss with the Registry of Deeds allows you to formally proclaim the loss of a land title, Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), or any other related document. This affidavit is required in order to begin the process of obtaining a replacement title.

The following are the general stages in filing an Affidavit of Loss:

  1. Prepare a “Affidavit of Loss” document that clearly describes the details of the lost title or document. It should include information such as the title number, the location of the property, the reason for the loss, and a full account of the circumstances surrounding the loss of the title.
  2. A lawyer or a notary public must notarize the Affidavit of Loss. This gives the document legal validity. In addition to the notarized Affidavit of Loss, you may be required to produce supporting documents such as an identification card or other evidence to prove your identify as the owner of the lost title.
  3. Go to the Registry of Deeds office nearest to the property. To the designated employee, provide the notarized Affidavit of Loss and the supporting papers.
  4. Fees for filing the Affidavit of Loss and getting a replacement title may apply. Make careful to ask about costs and pay them if needed.
  5. You may be compelled to issue a notice of the loss in a local newspaper or government gazette in specific situations.

Step 2. File a Petition for the Re-issuance of Title before the Regional Trial Court

Your petition for re-issuance of title shall be filed before the proper Regional Trial Court by the registered owner, assigns, or any person having an interest in the property. 

Your petition shall contain, among other things, the following:

  • the owner’s duplicate of the certificate of title had been lost or destroyed;
  • no co-owner’s mortgagee’s or lessee’s duplicate had been issued, or, if any had been issued, the same had been lost or destroyed;
  • the location, area and boundaries of the property;
  • the nature and description of the buildings or improvements, if any, which do not belong to the owner of the land, and the names and addresses of the owners of such buildings or improvements;
  • the names and addresses of the occupants or persons in possession of the property, of the owners of the adjoining properties and all persons who may have any interest in the property; (f) a detailed description of the encumbrances, if any, affecting the property; and
  • a statement that no deeds or other instruments affecting the property have been presented for registration, or, if there be any, the registration thereof has not been accomplished, as yet.
  • attachment of all the documents, or authenticated copies to be introduced in evidence in support of the petition for reconstitution, and a plan and technical description of the property duly approved by the Chief of the General Land Registration Office, or with a certified copy of the description taken from a prior certificate of title covering the same property.

Step 3. Comply with the submission of the Jurisdictional Hearing.

The petitioner shall, at the hearing, submit proof of the publication, posting and service of the notice as directed by the court.

A notice of the petition, filed, and to be published, at the expense of the petitioner, twice in successive issues of the Official Gazette, and to be posted on the main entrance of the provincial building and of the municipal building of the municipality or city in which the land is situated, at least thirty days prior to the date of hearing

A copy of the notice to be sent, by registered mail or otherwise, at the expense of the petitioner, to every person named therein whose address is known, at least thirty days prior to the date of hearing.

It shall state:

  • the number of the lost or destroyed certificate of title, if known
  • the name of the registered owner
  • the names of the occupants or persons in possession of the property
  • the owners of the adjoining properties and all other interested parties
  • the location, area and boundaries of the property, and
  • the date on which all persons having any interest therein must appear and file their claim or objections to the petition.

Step 4. Attend and Testify in Court.

In the Philippines, if you are asked to attend and testify in court for the reissuance of a land title, it usually signifies that you are participating in a legal procedure involving the replacement or reissuance of a lost or damaged land title. A court hearing may be required to establish the facts surrounding the loss or damage to the original title and to ensure that the reissuance is valid and in accordance with the law.

You may be required to submit relevant documents and evidence to back up your testimony. The notarized Affidavit of Loss, identity documents, evidence of ownership, and any other documents ordered by the court may be included.

Step 5. Wait for the Court Decision.

Waiting for a court ruling in the Philippines, particularly in situations seeking the reissuance of a title, can be a time-consuming process. Remember that the timetable for court decisions might vary greatly depending on the facts of the case and the workload of the court. While you wait, you should rely on the counsel and guidance of your legal representative and prepare for a variety of outcomes.

Step 6. Register the Court Decision before the Registry of Deeds.

Registering a court decision with the Registry of Deeds in the Philippines is an important step to ensure that the legal changes resulting from the court decision are correctly recorded and reflected on the property title.

Here is a general approach to registering a court ruling with the Registry of Deeds:

  • Once the court ruling on reissuance of the title is issued, obtain certified copies from the court where the matter was heard. These certified copies will be used as official proof of the court’s ruling. In addition to certified copies of the court ruling, you may need to prepare other documents, depending on the Registry of Deeds’ special needs. These could include:
    • A duplicate of the original title or any pertinent land documents.
    • The Registry of Deeds may demand affidavits or certifications.
    • Identification papers for all parties involved.
  • Go to the Registry of Deeds office in your area that has authority over the property in question. Obtain and fill out the appropriate application paperwork for registering the court decision. Depending on the jurisdiction, these forms may differ. Submit to the Registry of Deeds the completed application forms, certified copies of the court ruling, and any other relevant papers. The Registry of Deeds staff will walk you through the submission procedure.
  • Pay any necessary fees for the court decision’s registration. Fees may vary depending on jurisdiction and transaction type.

The Registry of Deeds will assess the supplied documents and process the registration throughout the processing period. The time it takes to complete the registration can vary, therefore it’s vital to check about the expected processing time.

After the registration process is completed, the Registry of Deeds will issue a new title or alter the existing title to reflect the court decision. This new title will serve as legal evidence of the modifications brought about by the court ruling. Make copies of any documents relevant to the registration procedure, including the new or modified title.

What are the effects of a Re-issued Land Title?

Under R.A. 29, reconstituted certificates of title shall have the same validity and legal effect as the originals. Any annotations or encumbrances on the lost or destroyed certificate of title shall be indicated in the reconstituted certificate of tile.

In the event, however, that the right or interest of any person on the reconstituted certificate of title does not appear so noted, a petition may be filed with the Regional Trial Court for an annotation of such right or interest on the reconstituted certificate of title.

The court, after notice and hearing, shall determine the merits of the petition and render such judgment as justice and equity may require.

The petition shall state the number of the reconstituted certificate of title and the nature, as well as a description, of the right or interest claimed.

Do you have any further questions that need to be addressed? Talk to our team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law to know more.

You may reach us at (+632) 8478 5826 or email [email protected] for more information.

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