Law 129, based on the model prepared by the Organization of American States (OAS) used in similar legislation throughout Latin America, provides numerous advantages to businesses seeking credit, and especially to small businessmen, who are typically only able to provide security in the form of movable property rather than real estate. Specifically, Law 129 enlarges the types of goods upon which a security interest can be placed, such as the inventory of a business and its intangibles, including trademarks, patents, and intellectual property. Further, the newly-enacted law allows for successive mortgages on the same good, establishes priority rules for security interests, provides a mechanism for the return of money to the consumer when the value of the secured goods exceeds the amount of the outstanding obligation, and streamlines the registration process by replacing the necessity of a public deed for personal property, with the submission of certain forms or sworn declarations which can be directly registered with the public registry, thus saving both time and money.
The passage of Law 129 is a prime example of an attentive legislative body listening to the needs of the market and responding accordingly. It will definitely benefit potential investors, lenders, and businessmen in Panama for years to come.
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