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  1. #1
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    SunBelt Lawyers in Chiang Mai

    I have a mate who is soon to retire to Chiang Mai. He has "paid" for a house and has a "letter of permission to live in it". I told him that he should at least be able to get the infamous Yellow Book as proof of ownership, to make sure he doesn't get shafted (that's if he hasn't been already).

    I intended to point him at Sunbelt, as they've been doing shit like this for years, and they also do the whole residency application thing (he can afford it).

    But when you go to Sunbelt Chiang Mai's website, all of a sudden it now points to "Lanna Associates" - with no Chiang Mai office visible.

    Anyone have any comments on Sunbelt, or know the background to the sudden change?

    Cheers,
    Harry

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    Anyone have any comments on Sunbelt
    Yes, but they're all libellous.

  3. #3
    ding ding ding
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    and they also do the whole residency application thing
    I think you need 4 years back to back visa extensions before they will even take your application, regardless of coinage status.

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    Their website states "formerly Sunbelt Lanna" so it would appear it was a joint venture of sorts then. Perhaps Sunbelt have sold their interest.
    Also at the bottom of the site if more information is required of their services then their e-mail address is info@sunbelt-chiangmai.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    Anyone have any comments on Sunbelt
    Yes, but they're all libellous.
    Care to PM me?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    and they also do the whole residency application thing
    I think you need 4 years back to back visa extensions before they will even take your application, regardless of coinage status.
    Mea Culpa, I meant retirement visa.

  7. #7
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    Yellow book does not indicate ownership of the house. Not does blue book. They are just what they are called i.e. house registration books that include the names of the people that have registered into that address. Blue one is only for Thais and yellow is issued to foreigners.

    Also good to remember that foreigner can not own land in Thailand period. So your friends options are 30 years lease (yes 30 years is max and any options depend on the owner being willing to renew) or do usufruct of whatever it's called. Also company route could be doable but many advice against it nowadays.

    The procedure of preparing the documents to secure your friend is not that complicated and something that Sunbelt and Isan lawyers do all the time.

    I've used Sunbelt in Bangkok myself to check land titles and to draft sales contracts and while they did not dispatch their top gun expat team for the work they did what they promised to do with very reasonable cost.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    he should at least be able to get the infamous Yellow Book as proof of ownership,
    as said above, the yellow book is proof of residency in that house

    but to secure his investment all he needs to do is get his name put on the deeds, no need for lawyers, the land office will help you do that

    then the house cannot be sold without his signature
    I have reported your post

  9. #9
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    ^ and ^^ Thanks for the comments, I think I've persuaded him to stop off in Bangers and go and see Sunbelt on his way through.

    I understand the Usufruct is the way to go, because he's no spring chicken, and at his age he can bequeath it to his sons for the duration of the lease. Does that sound correct?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    as said above, the yellow book is proof of residency in that house
    My name is in my ex's blue book. I've never understood quite what that meant. The name is in Thai transliteration. They spelled my middle name, which is Francis, as ฝรั่ง which at least finally explains why Thais I've known for 10+ years refer to me as ฝรั่ง when they think I can't understand what they're saying. Does my name in the Tabien Baan also mean residency in that house (which is not true for either of us)? What's the difference between that and having a yellow book?

    As for Sunbelt, I tried to use them once. I wanted to go to court to legitimize my child. They told me, after I ran the gamut of lazy fucks who couldn't even be bothered to talk to me, that all I needed to do was to use their service to get a passport for the kid from my home country. This was about as wrong as it's possible to get. In my experience they are both ignorant and incompetent and have no interest in anything but screwing you for property services you don't need. In the end I got a Thai lawyer, his fees were just as expensive as Sunbelts but, unlike Sunbelt, he had the inestimable advantage of understanding Thai law and getting the job done.
    Last edited by DrB0b; 15-05-2012 at 07:43 PM.
    don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just god when he's drunk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b
    My name is in my ex's blue book. I've never understood quite what that meant.
    me neither - they said I could not be put in the blue book because I was not a Thai citizen, so needed the yellow book for foreigners

    I am not sure if that is correct or not

    anyway, the yellow book works ok for residence proof

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    Yes, but they're all libellous.
    Agreed!!!

  13. #13
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    Weren't they closely associated with Thaivisa in the old days?

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    To get your name in blue house book you need to be thai citizen or hold permanent resident book aka PR. But TiT it is possible some office might write you down regardless. It is also possible that you are listed in the blue book as father of a thai national child etc. which is not the same as "being in the book" as resident.

    As for Sunbelt they didn't screw me for anything. I contracted them to verify a land title at land office i.e. who is the owner, is there loan attached to it etc. which they handled professionally (staff assigned was a thai laywer and his paralegals did the leg work). I also got them to draft a standard sales agreement which they did, both in thai and english.

    I don't know if they are experts in family law but for simple property related tasks worked very well. And with very reasonable price. Although these basics tasks and legwork we are talking here could be done by anyone i guess. I just paid them few thousand as i had better things to do than hang out in the land office myself.

  15. #15
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    ^ Essentially, that's all I think he needs, and my communications with them so far have been quite articulate. He's already paid fortunes to a Thai (Thai) lawyer, and he still doesn't really know what he's got; plus they can do the legwork for his retirement visa as well, then it's two less things to worry about when he makes the big jump.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
    Yellow book does not indicate ownership of the house. Not does blue book. They are just what they are called i.e. house registration books that include the names of the people that have registered into that address. Blue one is only for Thais and yellow is issued to foreigners.

    Also good to remember that foreigner can not own land in Thailand period. So your friends options are 30 years lease (yes 30 years is max and any options depend on the owner being willing to renew) or do usufruct of whatever it's called. Also company route could be doable but many advice against it nowadays.

    The procedure of preparing the documents to secure your friend is not that complicated and something that Sunbelt and Isan lawyers do all the time.

    I've used Sunbelt in Bangkok myself to check land titles and to draft sales contracts and while they did not dispatch their top gun expat team for the work they did what they promised to do with very reasonable cost.
    Great post.
    Way better than the posters with over 38,000 posts on their name!!

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