Ray from Delaware:

Hi, Ángel. Unfortunately, my story is that I was sued three and a half years ago by a person claiming to be a staff member of my home; it was a labor lawsuit. The person alleged that they had worked for me for several years, when, in reality, they were a subcontractor to my property management company. We fought in a labor court in Celaya for a very long time and were sent to numerous remediations by the judge, all to no avail. Then there were delays due to COVID-19. To make an extremely long story as short as possible, my attorney charged me a lot of money, and, at last, we finally won. My question is can I counter sue for the legal fees? Thanks, Angel!

Ángel:

Hello, Ray. Yes, after a positive judgment (sentencia) in your favor, you can counter sue for damages such as opportunity cost of capital, legal services, and mental anguish—something only recently approved by the courts. Now having said that, an old adage comes to mind that’s loosely translated to “The soup cost more than the meatballs.”

I have given you the legal theory. The actual practice is that if you sue for damages, with most attorneys, you will incur more out-of-pocket legal costs to recuperate the legal costs you’ve already incurred. Often, only a percentage of the legal fees being sought is granted, and mental anguish may be recognized but not renumerated. Plus, more often than not, opportunity cost of capital lost is negated due to poor recordkeeping, often on the part of the client.

The moral of the story is that when you enter into litigation, always require a clear explanation of where you stand, what needs to be done, the likelihood of winning, timelines/costs, and make sure that, as part of your legal representation, recuperation of your trial-related legal fees is included.

 

Jeffrey and Terri from San Diego:

Hola, Angel. We flew into Puerto Vallarta in January and were only given 14 days on our tourist visas. We asked for the standard 180 days that we have always received and were shuffled through with no change to the 14-day limit that was granted. So, we looked into getting an extension as we had been told this was possible but found this not a reality (at least not in P.V.). Our extended winter vacation is over, and it’s time to go home as snowbirds, so the question is, what do we do about our papers???

Ángel:

Hi, Jeffrey and Terri. I am sorry to hear your tale, but it is one of many. Spoiler alert: it has a happy ending. At the beginning of this last tourist “high season” (October 2021), the federal branch of immigration tapered the issuance of 180-day visas in an effort to “sell” more visa extensions.

By shortening the time allotted to visitors, they created a new revenue stream to offset the dampened income received due to COVID-19. This was not so much targeting anyone’s nationality as it was an attempt to recuperate from back-to-back dismal tourist seasons, the income from which Mexico deeply depends for its national revenue.

Your immediate solution is to apply for the extension. This can cost up to US$450, which should be a standardized fee but is not issued as such. Another option is to fly home on your expired visa; you may or may not be asked for it. You should be aware that an applicable fine of up to US$800 could be levied, though I have yet to hear that it has ever been applied.

The last and best option for you would be to apply for temporary residency under a new program allowing all retired guests with expired tourist visas to apply for temporary residency, which would solve all future stays in Mexico (but note that the application is not automatically approved). The second benefit of this program is that you can pay for up to four years in advance and then make the transition to permanent residency! Yes, a silver lining. Good luck and best wishes, Angel.

 

Sharon Shultzman from Dallas:

Dear Ángel, I am getting up there in age and am looking at end-of-life planning. I have owned a beautiful home in Acapulco for the past 28 years and have been living in Dallas full-time since the pandemic began. The property value of my Mexico home has soared since my late husband and I built it, and I want to see it go to my grandchildren, all now in their late 30s and older. Besides a will, what’s the next best way to do this?

Ángel:

Hello, Sharon, the only way to avoid probate court, which can be time-consuming and costly, is by gifting the residence to your grandchildren through a donation process also known as a living inheritance.

Thank you all for your questions this week, for more specific information on Inmtec Legal Services™, Inmtec Title Services™, Inmtec Insurance™, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and AfterLife™ Medical Advocacy by Inmtec™ please contact the author, Angel Marin Díaz, at info@inmtec.net, 415 121 9005 and 415 121 8943.

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  • by ÁNGEL MARÍN DÍAZ
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