quinta-feira, 5 de novembro de 2009

Long distance purchases

I guess I knew that having seen a nice small property, within my price range and in the village that I liked, it would have its snags. One thing was that I saw and viewed the house in the morning of the same day that I had to leave for Scotland, I had seen another house before hand and certainly the small one had appeal, not just the price, but I really never thought that it would be possible for me to buy since I was leaving and would not return for several months.
After returning to Scotland, I had my eye operation and was some what house bound for two weeks, during this time the house in France stayed on my mind and seemed to be such a good idea that I started to think about making an offer, encouraged by friends wanting me to make some effort to stay nearer to Britain, at least for some of the year, and also encouraged by my three months of work in France.
When I returned to Brazil I decided I would at least try to buy the property and if I failed I would look at more houses on my return to France. I wrote to friends in France and the mayor of the local village to get information on the house and a derelict neighbouring house. The result was my offer and an acceptance of it, so I am now in the process of buying a house in another country at a distance, long at that, and also in another language to my own and the country that I am presently living in.
A few days ago I received the request for a deposit and to sign a first contract, the preliminary emails to France had all been in French and it was only after my offer had been accepted that I had the Notaire write to me in English. However, the contract is in French and now having fully understood the details I am required to sign and return the document, all OK and fairly straight forward, except that the signature needs to be verified and witnessed, and here I have come up with a slight problem. It was not totally a surprise to me to find that the system in Brazil requires me to have a certified translation of the document for them to certify my signature on the document, even though it is not to be used in Brazil and not for any Brazilian use.
I had contacted my Brazilian solicitor, last night, by email and arranged to meet him today in Salvador.
I had planned to go by omnibus as its cheaper than the petrol for the car and less fraught in the parking, but the painter waited until late last night to tell me that he needed more paint, so i decided I would drive to Salvador. Like most cities, Salvador is fairly congested early in the morning and it requires extra time to get into the centre and park. I arrived in time and before my solicitor, was given a newspaper to read and offered water to drink, and after some time my solicitor rang the office to say that he was 30 minutes late and for me to wait, after some time he rang again to tell me to see one of his colleagues to settle my problem with the document. It was quickly apparent that I was not going to be able to have a solicitor verify the signature and that I would need to go to a Cartorio to have this certified and stamped.
The office of my solicitor happens to be close to a Cartorio so I walked there, only to find that the office did not open before mid day so i then decided to go to another which was close to the beach in Salvador and on the route back to Jauá. I arrived there and found a parking space and quickly rushed in to mark a time to 'abrir a firma' and authenticate my signature, passed the queue on the staircase, normal here, only to spot on the door a notice saying that this agency does not 'abrir a firma'......so I returned to the first Cartorio and waited to get a number for the queue, but wasthen told that this agency also did not do this work and I would have to go to another.
I was now feeling that the painter would be waiting on paint so I decided to return home and get the paint on the way back.
I stopped off at the stockist and bought the list of things that the painter wanted, having loaded the car I asked one of the assistants if there was a Cartorio close by, he replied that there was and gave me instructions to find it. I arrived there and parked, on entering the building I was struck by the lack of queue or any body, on asking I was told that the agency did not function over lunch break, but it would be prudent for me to ask some in one of the other departments to see if they could help.
This I did and waited for another person to attend me, this lady directed me to another department and there I was told that I could not get the document authenticated because it was in French, I assured them that I only wanted the signature verified and not the document, they assured me that it was not possible without an authenticated translation of the document for them to be able to authenticate my signing of the original. So I am now going to return to Salvador and visit the French consulate there, I have written to the consulate but not received a reply, that is why I decided on my solicitor's help in this matter.
I remember when I was getting my permanent visa I had to have the marriage certificate translated by an approved translator and it took ages as well as being expensive, so I am hoping that the consulate can resolve this without more trips to Salvador.
5th November. Friday
hi Jane I have managed to find the French consul and get him to authenticate the documents, cost R$48, so cannot be bad at that, mind you what a job to find him, the internet has all incorrect information and since no one had replied to the emails I had sent I decided just to go to the address on the internet. I am not very sure of Salvador, it as a road system second to non, very difficult to work out where you are and what direction you are pointing in, I suppose I must get a compass. As it happened i actually drove in without making a mistake and parked, walked to where the consul should be and then asked folk in the area, but no one knows anything, I eventually asked a key cutter who was just outside the building were the consulate should have been and he said it had been there for more than 20 years but no more. I asked inside and they agreed that the consul had moved but to somewhere in the Barra. This is vague by any standards but I decided to try and find him in any case, so I back tracked and again manage with luck to find the area without a mistake and parked. Remembering a time when Graca and I had eaten crepes in a French bar with an art gallery and language school, so I went there. By luck it was the right place and the consul had just that minute arrived. Well he ushered me in and sorted the document very quickly, he says that he has lived here for 35 years and every year he gets one months holiday and returns to France. We chatted a short while and he told me that he also has a friend that has had a bad time married to a Brazilian lady, but he has children by her as well.

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