House scam

I bought a house in Veliko Tărnovo after a few months I received court papers saying the house still belonged to a previous owner. 4 years later they have taken the house off me. Very difficult to tell what exactly has happened but there is clearly corruption, I now have to fight to get my original purchase money back from my seller.
Has anyone else had an experience like this?

It hasn't happened to me, but I have heard of it happening to others. Sometimes what happens is the property is owned by multiple people- for example, my husband's grandmother was going to will her house to all four of her grandkids. When that happens, one can claim ownership enough to sell it, but then another one steps forward with proof of ownership, meaning the original sale was illegal.

Sucks to get caught up in. :( Hope you can get your money back.

It is frequently the case that a property has multiple owners however if the purchase is done correctly through the local Notary there will be no problem as he/she will conduct a search to establish ownership.

In Russia, there was/is the trick, that a property was/is sold, which had some ownership problem in the past. Like a child, which was deprived of its heritage, because ran away, or a prisoner, deprived of heritage. After sales, this legal previous owner shows up, and invalidates the sale. There were/are lawyers, doing history checks on the property, to avoid such scam.
Might be a good idea, to spend some money on such an evaluation.

Have you been scammed out of money  ?


The scam is that they claim they never sold the house wait for someone like me(English) to come along then claim house back.

But if you do it properly through the local Notary THIS CAN'T HAPPEN!!!!!!!!

I did and it can.

What is your advice to avoid getting into the same situation.
I'm looking to buy soon and assumed the notary was supposed to ensure the seller was owner

My own expirience from Russia: Notary checks _ACTUAL_ ownership. However, it is still possible after the sale to invalidate it, in case seller was not legal owner because of a violation of rights in the past. Like a previous sale without considering the rights of children. _I_ would only buy in BG after examination of the properties history by a lawyer.

Don't let my story put you off, I have bought a few other houses without issues. I think I just picked the wrong house. To be safe you need an independent lawyer and must instruct them to do full ownership search. I believed the notary was responsible but apparently not.
I love Bulgaria but I do think there is corruption, you need to be extra careful when buying anything of value.
Hope this helps

I am Bulgarian and I can confirm that this could happen in deed because the notary could be corrupt too. There was such case with a citizen of Finland in Balchik. The technical reason behind this is that we don't have common digital registry where each property has something like its own passport. Other countries from the former Eastern block have such digital registry since 10 - 11 years at least and this can not happen there. The info from the digital registry there has legal priority over any other unknown circumstances. Apart from the technical reason, the moral reason is something which can not be discussed here with several words.

I feel ashamed  for the people who did this to you. But if you sue Bulgaria in an external international court you will most probably win. Just do it. It is also good idea to contact some of the BG TVs and to tell them your story. Nova TV has a TV show dedicated to foreigners living in BG.

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