The activity provided by notarial and registry services was once again surpassed during the coronavirus pandemic, presenting one of the greatest leaps in quality and computerization in its more than 100-year history. The provision of online services was already a concern of extrajudicial activity, but, with Covid-19, it was put into practice in all corners of the country, connecting services from Amapá to Rio Grande do Sul, from Rio de Janeiro to Acre. In just a few clicks, we can locate birth or property records, search for protests or business records, buy and sell real estate, get divorced, get married, and even make wills.
Essential to everyone’s lives, notary and registrar services remained 100% open, whether physically or virtually, throughout the pandemic period. The integrated databases, formed by indexes indicating where the records are located, remain under the individual custody of notaries and registrars, who are responsible for the collection and issuing of the respective certificates. It was this structure that allowed the activity to function uninterruptedly throughout the period of social isolation, safeguarding the rights of people seeking legal security for their personal and property relations.
Even so, attacks without technical or legal basis are made against the notary and registry offices, accusing them of exercising what would be a “monopoly” on the digitization of services. It is a fallacious speech and turned to a false liberalism to justify the interest of private sectors that try to advance in public activity. The blurred vision of these sectors, which insist on treating vital data of citizens, their assets and their assets in a trivial way, boils down to discussing how much the associative entities of notary offices are supposedly earning to keep a system in operation. it serves society, the market and the government so well, uninterruptedly and with advanced end-to-end security.
Critics of the registries do not reveal, however, that they defend a system of middlemen, who profit millions by charging exorbitant values from users for a service that, in the registries, is tabulated and available 24 hours a day at official centers regulated and supervised by the Judicial power. A survey by the specialized publication “Notaries with You”, in the January 2018 edition, estimated that the surcharge charged by middlemen could reach more than 1,000%.
Liberalism and freedom have nothing to do with promoting private businesses in the shadow or at the expense of the public purse, let alone the citizen’s pocket. Gone are the days when the population was required to hire services from intermediaries who did not hold public tenders, are not subject to accountability for their acts and are not subject to inspection by the Judiciary. The price for the citizen is fixed and predictable. Brazil has changed, and so has the extrajudicial service.
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