We will help you free of charge when you need financing
Should you require financing when purchasing your villa, Panama Portfolio will assign a team member (Nadine Wilson) to help you meet the requirements of the banks in Panama. Nadine Wilson will immediately contact you and discuss your specific situation. We will do our best to help you obtain the best mortgage deal possible.
Because Panama Portfolio has been operating in Panama since 2006, we have established excellent contacts with a number of banks. Currently we are dealing mainly with Multibank, BAC, BANESCO, Banco General, Credicorp and Scotia Bank, because these banks have the best terms for foreign clients.
How does the process work?
- Panama Portfolio will ask you to forward the required documentation. It is extremely important to prepare your financial statements very well, because any mistake in the documentation can delay the process for 2 to 5 months.
- We will arrange the pre-approval process with the most interesting banks. The bank we select will match your specific profile, in other words, we will maximize your chances of obtaining a mortgage
- Once pre-approved by a bank, we will help you getting through the formal approval process
A real life example
Recently one of our clients asked us to help him with the application process for a mortgage when he wanted to buy a oceanview villa. Below we will give you an example of the requirements for pre-approval with, in this case Banco General:
The client had to supply the following documentation for the pre-approval process. Please note you will need to supply the following documentation (at a minimum, please note the requirements change almost every month)
- A reference letter or a “letter of good standing” with your current bank relating to the transactions on one of your active accounts
- Full copy of your passport including all stamps etc
- A visa issued by Panama, either an investment visa, a “Friendly Nations” Visa or a Pensionada Visa (retirement visa). If you do not have a visa, we are experts in getting you a visa!. In some cases the banks will accept a “letter of Engagement” from a Panamanian attorney stating that you have started the application process to obtain a visa.
- Proof of current employment or proof of retirement. The banks require you to prove that you have steady monthly income.
- US citizens need to complete the W-9 credit report, other nationalities need proof from a Credit Bureau that their credit is good.
- Tax statements of the last two years. Non US citizens need to provide a taks clearance certificate, which states their annual income
- Signed purchasing contract of the villa as supplied by Panama Portfolio
Most banks treat foreign clients differently compared to local clients. Usually interest rates are higher for foreign nationals, but Panama Portfolio has contacts with several banks which currently charge interest rates around 6%, also to foreign clients.
The bank will obtain power of attorney over the property, if a client fails to pay the monthly mortgage payments for over 60 days, usually the bank will declare the client in default and take possession of the property.
Registration fees for the pre-approval process are 100$
Bank commission is usually 1% of the mortgage value
Downpayments vary between 25 and 35%
Our guarantee to you
If you are able to supply to required documentation we will:
- Check your pre-approval application package for any missing documents and errors
- Help you submit the application to the bank with the highest succes rate
- Help you obtain a quotation (once you are pre-approved) in maximum 7 days
Our advice to you
1. Use local expertise
Panama still has a business culture based on personal relationships. Each bank has a different process which often also varies per local bank office. Only if you know the right officials you have a chance that your application is processed quickly. There are usually no written procedures or guidelines. Some banks have easier procedures, but tougher repossession rules, for instance Banco General will offer favorable terms but might at the same time have Power of Attorney over your property, which means that they will be able to take ownership without a court case in case you are falling behind on your mortgage payments for more than 60 days.
2. Arrange your visa or provide a Letter of Engagement (and let us help you)
Not a single bank will process your mortgage application if you do not meet the requirements for residency because a visa or a Letter of Engagement is a pre-set condition by the Panamanian treasury, and every bank in Panama has to comply. So no residency or no formal Letter of Engagement means no application. In some cases banks will accept a Letter of Engagement from an attorney stating that you are in the process of obtaining a visa, and will start to process your application.Panama Portfolio can assist you in obtaining a visa, as we have the right contacts which means the visas will be issues quickly. One of our employees has processed over 100 visa applications in the last year. This process involves filing the immigration papers at the attorneys office and paying a fee between 3000 and 7000 $ depending on the type of visa. Usually a downpayment of 2000 to 3000$ is required to start the process.The Letter of Engagement is widely recognized as the legal equivalent of a real visa. The reason for this is that issuing a Letter of Engagement means that the client has met the criteria to obtain either an investment visa, “friendly nations” visa or retiree visa and has paid an immigration lawyer to handle the immigration proces. As the licence of an immigration lawyer can be revoked if they do not handle the immigration proces correctly, immigration lawyers are extremely careful when issuing a Letter of Engagement.
3. Prepare your documentation very carefully and ask our mortgage specialist for help.
The reason is that a quick processing of your application can only be assured if there are no errors. If there are errors usually your application will end up “at the bottom of the pile” and a delay of many months could be the result.
The professionals of Panama Portfolio are committed to provide you with the best help possible to obtain a mortgage. We want you to live in our fantastic villas and financing is often the most important factor to start living in beautiful Panamá! So we will help you achieve your goals.