The replacement of a lost owner’s duplicate Certificate of Title of a parcel of land is governed by Section 109 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 (PD 1529) known as the Property Registration Decree.
To sum it up the following are the requirements:
- The owner’s duplicate Certificate of Title must have been actually lost. This is the most important thing. If the owner’s duplicate Certificate of Title has not been lost but in the possession of some other person then the replacement owner’s duplicate Certificate of Title is void. The person in possession of the owner’s duplicate Certificate of Title can petition the court to have the replacement Certificate of Title be void from the very beginning. This is undisputed and held by the Supreme Court as a well settled rule. The Supreme Court has enunciated this rule in the case of Straight Times, Inc. versus the Court of Appeals wherein it said that when the owner’s duplicate certificate of title has not been lost, but is in fact in the possession of another person, then the reconstituted certificate is void, because the court that rendered the decision had no jurisdiction. This rule has been upheld by the Supreme Court several times in various cases.
- The Register of Deeds of the place where the underlying parcel of land is located should be notified of the loss of the owner’s duplicate Certificate of Title. This is done by filing an affidavit of loss with the concerned register of deeds detailing the circumstances surrounding the loss of the title.
- This is followed by filing a petition with the court, particularly the regional trial court of the place where the land is located, which is vested with exclusive jurisdiction over all applications for original registration of title and over all petitions filed after original registration of title.
- The petition must be made by the owner or the person in interest. Person in interest could mean the the heir, buyer, the mortgagee or the transferee or any person who has interest over the underlying property covered by the Certificate of Title.
- Thereafter, the matter will be heard by the court and the petitioner must establish the fact of loss of the owner’s duplicate certificate of title. Otherwise, the petition may be dismissed.
- Should the court grant the petition, it shall order the issuance of a new title which will contain a memorandum of the fact that it is issued in place of the lost duplicate certificate. The new title will then be entitled to like faith and credit as the original duplicate in all respects.
Certificate of Titles of your real estate properties are very important. Make sure that you keep them safe.