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Estafa and Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. 22)

Estafa and Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. 22)

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Estafa and Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. 22)

It is inevitable that we will encounter a check at least once in our lifetime. This medium of commerce is still very common despite the proliferation of credit cards. Sadly, with the increase in its use there is also the increase in the number of individuals taking advantage of checks to defraud other people.

For this reason, a provision in a Revised Penal Code was placed to deal with this issue. This law however has defects and deemed insufficient to answer certain situations, thus the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. 22) was passed into law.

For non-lawyers, these two laws may create confusion because of its highly technical terminologies. As such, I have decided to write this simple guide to aid those who seek more information about estafa and the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. 22).

How is estafa through the issuance of bouncing checks committed?

It is committed by means of any of the following false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud:

By postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check. (Article 315(2)(d) of the Revised Penal Code as amended by R.A. 4885)

What are the elements of estafa through the issuance of bouncing checks?

This form of estafa has the following elements:

  1. Postdating or issuance of a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the check was issued
  2. Insufficiency of funds to cover the check, and
  3. Damage to the payee thereof.

If any of these elements is not present then a person cannot be held liable for estafa.

Marian went to a boutique to shop for clothes. Since she is a friend of the store owner, she was allowed to pay later. After 10 days, Marian issued a check in payment of the clothes she bought. The check bounced to the dismay of the store owner. Can Marian be held liable for estafa?

No. Marian cannot be held liable for estafa because the check was issued in payment of a pre-existing debt. As mentioned earlier, estafa through the issuance of a bouncing check can be committed only if the check was issued in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the check was issued. Note however that while there is no estafa, nevertheless, Marian can be held liable for another crime, which will be discussed below.

Can the issuance of bouncing checks give rise to other offense aside from estafa?

Yes. A single act of issuance of bouncing checks may give rise to several offenses such as estafa and violation of B.P. 22 or the Bouncing Checks Law

How is a violation of the Bouncing Checks Law committed?

There are two possible ways by which this can be committed, to wit:

  1. Making or drawing and issuing any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment
  2. Having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.

What are the elements of violation of the Bouncing Checks Law?

An offence under this law is committed when the following elements are present:

  1. Making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value;
  2. Knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and
  3. Subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.

How can there be presumption that the maker, drawer, or issuer had knowledge of the insufficiency of funds?

The presumption arises only after it is proved that the issuer received a notice of dishonor and that within 5 days from receipt thereof, he failed to pay the amount of the check or make arrangement for its payment.

In the same example given earlier, can Marian be held liable for violation of the Bouncing Checks Law?

Yes, because in Bouncing Checks Law, unlike in estafa under Article 315(2)(d) of the Revised Penal Code a person can be held liable for making, drawing or issuing a check for account or for value. Meaning, even if the check was issued in payment of an existing obligation, the person can still be held liable.

Can Marian use as a defense the fact that there was no malice or bad faith on her part when she issued the check?

No. The law does not consider important whether or not malice and intent attended the issuance of the check.

If Marian pays the check or makes an arrangement for its payment within 5 days from notice of the dishonor, what is the result?

She can invoke this payment as a complete defense if a case will be filed against her by the store owner.

53 Comments

  • …sir we would like to ask about the small claims in the phil. does the brgy. settlement necessary before we file a case in a small claims court? and another is, is it lawful for a brgy. captains to insist not to settle problems between a corporation and a person who belongs to his jurisdiction? (they claimed that it is not anymore part of their duties as brgy.captain).. 
    _thank you! 

  • Jhona Merioles says:

    Sir, with regards to this case. Which is more appropriate case to sue, is it BP22 or estafa? and as to litigation costs or expenses, which can incur lesser costs? I’ll wait for the reply sir. thank you :)

  • Jhona Merioles says:

    (sir I can’t register on http://www.jamesbiron.com/forum)

  • jm garcia says:

    Good day Atty., in relation to your topic here, i just want to ask a question, what is my first move to seek justice when a check is issued to me then its funds are insufficient? I have a friend / business partner in a call center and we do business there, invested 80k to him and he is unreachable at this moment, then we realized that he is gone and deceived his co-workers also, we are at least five who are swindled attty., your response will be very much appreciated.. Thank you..

  • jm garcia says:

    sorry for posting here but ms. jhona is right, image verification on registration is not completing our reg..ty

    • Atty. James Biron says:

      jm, the images shown are sometimes difficult to read, so you have to retry. i installed this image verification system to prevent spam posts.

  • Djovi R. Durante says:

    Sir, what would be my recourse if the other party (heir) claims the lot i purchased through deed of absolute sale. The claimant was the son of the previous owner who sold the lot through deed of sale to the administrator who later on sold the same to me.

    • Atty. James Biron says:

      Mr. Durante, please post your question at the Forum Section of this website. I will answer your question once I see it posted there.

  • mark says:

    dear sir i applied for a globe plan last year but unfortunetly i was not able to pay my bills it has been a year and now i have   receive txt msgs requiring me to pay my bills or else they will file a case against me.

    my question is… will i go to jail if im not able to pay my bills
    what are my options so i will not be bothered by this?
    what legal action can the telecom companies use against me?
    will this affect my credit rating?
    since i dont have money now if i pay my bills lets say after a month will it still be okay? will the charges ( if there is any) be drop?

    thank you i hope you can give me a good advice

     

  • Dan says:

    I have a case right now, estafa and b.p22. I had a payment for two months amounting to 10k a month. But i stop the payment because she fabricated a case againts me. My questio is, is it possible that the case estafa will be dismiss?  The story of this bouncing checks because she offered me a term before 3days and then when i established my credit, i asked another favor to the manager that i will withdraw my lpg to them but i want the term like the term that i got to other co. Which is 20days. And then the manager gave me the term.  First we had a good relationship as supplier and customer but unfortunately she decline my terms to 15days, and then 10days up to 5 days. I had know knowledge why she did it to me. Considering that my issued checked was cleared. But when my term is already 5days of course my issued checks will be bounce and up to account closed. The reason why because i gave also terms to my customer. I hope you will give me guidelines what to do to my case. Thank you and god bless!

  • Welmie barcela says:

    Hi,  just want to ask bout my case. Im into jewelry busines and 1 of my dealer tool all the jewelries and pawned it to a known pwnshoP. we filed case to the dealer and   She was captured but had bailed. We are scheduled for an arriegnment but sad to say that dealer run again. And we can no longer find her. Now my Problem is my supplier filed us cass of estafa. Me  and my husband was involved for he is the one who issued the chek for me. I made a seetlement to my suPplier pay her every month to a sum in our capacity to pay. But all of a sudden. my supplier refuse our payments and put all things into court. What is our right action to this? Can we with my husband be in preson? Can we bail? This bothers me a pot for i have to kids. Who would take good care of them without us. Please help.

  • Tinkle bell says:

    How to erase comments?

  • Alvin says:

    Hello Atty, I want to ask about my case, what’s the best thing I should do or file? I’m into IT business, my story is this.. This client of mine is we been doing business for almost 4yrs. last Apil 2,2013 she purchase to 1st laptop worth 14,580 and issue me a check due date on May 2,2012 then within the same month she purchase again another unit a Computer Set worth 18,800 the she issue another check due May 14, 2013…and On May 13 she then purchase to me a high-end unit worth 43,700 and issue again a check with a date June 4, 2013… Then I keep on calling her and she won’t answer my call. When I got to see her on her office she said that she simple say WALA PA DAW SIYANG PERA. Then when I called her office today her secretary just answer me wala daw siya sa office parti right now I’m alarm, when I call the bank they told me HInid lang daw ako nag inquiry for that account number. This my 1st time I’ve this kind of scenario.. can you tell me Atty. What is the best thing to do. Kasi parang tinatago-an na ako. Hope to hear your response. Thank you and God Bless

  • uneasy says:

    Good day, Attorney!
    I would like to ask for opinion on my case…my mother was into lending business, and has borrowed 6 checks from me in collateral to the amount given by her financer. the check asked was blank knowing and believing that it will be returned as soon as the loan transaction is paid.after their transaction with my checks, it was returned lacking 1 pc of it. 4years after the said transaction,1 recently received a demand letter for bp. 22 asking me to settle in the amount of 2.5m in connection with the 1 check not returned to me.please help me on what to do, because the financer clearly knows i don’t owe her anything and what transaction they have was between her and my mother .thank you very much.

  • cleanne says:

    sir, hello! how could i send my message to you? what should I place sa “recipient” box? thanks! can’t send po kasi yung mail ko sa inyo po.

  • rexy says:

    Hi Atty. Biron,
    Good day! I just would like to seek your assistance regardng my current dilemna. On year ago, na-approved aku for personal loan with BPI and the monthly amortization would be via Auto debit from my savings account. It was a one year contract and for some reasons, hindi ku na napondohan ung savings account q hanggang one day may letter na dumating sakin from Law firm advising me na isettle ko yung full amount or they will file a case against me. After receiving the said letter, nakipag-coordinate aku with the law firm regarding payment options and unfortunately, was not able to comply with the said agreement. Now ung law firm is nagthreaten ulet that they will file a case SUM OF MONEY against me. What should I do. I have tried talking to the law firm pero I was really disgusted the way they talk to me. I did not issue anything like checks or whatsoever, ang alam ku lang na pinasa ku sknila is the payment agreement na hnd ku naman na comply. Will they use it to file a criminal case against me? Will I be put in jail for this?

    • Atty. James Biron says:

      Hi Rexy, I don’t have a copy of the agreement which you signed so I cannot tell what case will be filed against you. I suggest you settle the amount to avoid going to court.

  • DONGMAC says:

    HiAtty! I’d like to ask on the process/requirements before someone can be filed a case in the MTC for BP22? Is BP22 a bailable case? Do we need to wait for Warrant of Arrest before bailing? When the party does not want to amicable settle anything we can do more? this is an Bank Loan unpaid.

    • Atty. James Biron says:

      Dongmac, the requirements could be found in the BP 22 law, I suggest you get a copy of the law and read it. Yes it is bailable. Yes you have to wait for that, unless you are already in the custody of law, then you may already file for it. If the other party does not want an amicable settlement then you have to face trial.

  • Carlo Yabut says:

    I just want to ask what if my friend borrowed checks from me and used them as post dated checks in exchange of money. I was not the one who had the transactions. But when the checks bounced the person who received the bounced check was telling me that he will sue me even if i dont know their transactions. What will i do? Will i go to prison? The checks were issued 4years ago, no demand letter until now.

  • jpb says:

    Gud day atty! I need your advice regarding my loan in a lending company. Pumunta ako dun to inquire about sa salary loan pinagpasa nila ko requirements and yung kulang to follow nlng daw. They asked me to open a checking acct sa banko nila, then pina pirmahan nila sakin yung mga check at nilagay yung mga date ng pagbayad ko. That time di pa nila sakin na issue yung niloloan ko. Nid ko daw muna ma kumpleto ibang requirements, after a week naisip ko di ko nlng itutuloy ang loan ko kc mataas ang interest, nagulat ako after 2 weeks tinawagan nila ako at sabi na kelanan ko n ipasa yung mga kulang ko. Kc pag d ko ginawa ma chacarge daw ako 5k for cancellation fee. Natakot ako so, tinuloy ko nlng yung loan.
    Last october nag close yung checking acct ko kc d ako aware na holiday pla so d ko nahulugan yung cheke nung araw na yun, tumawag ako sa kanila to inform them at binigyan nila ako ng bdo acct pra dun ko ihulog ang pera. So dun nko lgi naghuhulog, but january and feb d pko nkakahulog sa kanila bec my mom got sick. Pinadalhan nila ko demand letter saying mag fa file sila estafa and criminal case dhil sa bounced check. Pls help me.

    • Atty. James Biron says:

      Good day jpb, get in touch with them and settle your obligation. In that way, you will prevent them from filing a case against you.

  • LAM says:

    Hi Atty. Biron,
    Just to clarify with regards to bouncing check law and estafa . I was granted a loan at China trust in the year 2007 payable in 36 months which they gave me checks to cover for my monthly amortization meaning they gave me 36 checks which I signed. I started default in paying on the 7th month but still I continued paying even the amount is less than my monthly amortization until today which in fact I already paid my entire obligation and more than pa nga but since I do not have a new arrangement yet I am still paying it, since my account was forwarded already to a collection agency and they kept on threatening me that they will file a case against me cause what they want is for me to pay a huge amount which I am not capable. The agency even use profane language , insults me and even harm my reputation by communicating to anyone here in the office.Can I be sued? Please tell me what to do. I am really worried and depress.Thank you and best regards.

    • Atty. James Biron says:

      Yes, you can be sued but the question whether they have a good case against you. What you have to do is to go directly to the bank, talk to them how you could settle your obligation.

  • miggy says:

    Good day atty james. Such a relief to find a forum like this. :) ito naman po ang kaso ko atty. My creditor already filed a Criminal case against me for failure to pay my loan in full. I’ve actaully paid almost half of the amount I borrowed before I stopped paying. I was unable to pay then because I resigned from my regular work to establish my own distribution business. Unfortunately, I ‘failed’ in that business venture, went bankrupt, ergo, i couldn’t pay my obligations. Right now, i would like for my case to be settled once and for all (after almost 2 years). Instead of agonizing over it, id like to tackle it by the horns before it gets any bigger. My question is, is it still possible to settle my case with the lender even if i already have a warrant of arrest? :( pls enlighten me about this. Would sincerely appreciate any advice. Thank you po!

  • cheng says:

    Good day atty!

    Just want to consult regarding the checks that i didnt issue. My former staff issued my close accounts checks without my knowledge and falsificate my signature. She used it as payments for her debts. Now yung pinag utangan nya was threatening us na they will file BP22 against me.Its not my signature and i have a waiver from my former staff na she issued my checks without my knowledge.

  • mizchel says:

    hi sir we want to consult po sana regarding what we are going to do in our situation.,we decided to have a business ng Mangga and may naka usap po kami mga tao to be a business partner sa may parting pangasinan and tarlac and we required them to have 200- 250 grams per mangga for 6 tons, naka kuha po kami ng mangga with first delivery 6tons but hindi un pumasok sa requirement na 200- 250 grams only 1+ tons lang po ang pumasok sa wieght and we paid the partial payment with the balance of only 20,000 nalang and again nag padilever po ulit kami ng 8 ton para po pumasok sa requirement ng company na pag ddileveran namin but still 5+ tons lang pumasok sa 8 tons we issued a check of 150,000.00 and we decided to closed the account. and we please the person na kung pwede po sana eh ma less ng konti ung babayaran namin pero ayaw po nila ok na po un but ung nag mamay ari ng manga ay marami pla sila nag kaayos na po kami sa baranggay and we give the partial pay ment of 10,000 and the remaining ay sa na pag kasuduan na na date pero the day before the settlement date eh my nag txt saamin at naniningil sinabing hindi pa kami nag babayad na kahit mag kanu., kaya po nag decide kami na mag file nalang po sila ng case sa part namin dahil po sa ayaw namin na at the end of the day na nagbayad na kami sa knila ay may maningil pa po saamin na iba., please help po! thank you marami pa po kaming sasabihin sir., thank u..

  • Joy says:

    Hi Atty., I have this issue too. Yung kumpare ng bayaw ko humiram sakin ng 200k last Dec 2013 with 5% monthy interest. May pinirmahan po kaming kontrata, nagissue din po sya ng 10 PDCs. Ang problema, since April 2014 hindi na po sya nakakapagpondo sa banko, hindi na po nya sinasagot ang mga tawag ko at hindi nadin nagrereply sa mga text ko. Nung Monday diniposit ko po ung 3checks nya sa banko (30k each), ngayon po nagadvise na ang banko na may return checks ako. Bukas po pupunta ako sa kanila para ibigay yung demand letter para papirmahin nadin sya. Gusto ko po sanang kumuha ng abogado para mapabilis ang kaso. Ang tanong ko po, mahal po ba ang bayad sa ganitong kaso? Pwede nyo po ba akong tulungan?
    Maraming salamat po.

    • Atty. James Biron says:

      Hi Joy, depende po yung fee sa lawyer na lalapitan mo. If you are looking to save money, go to the lawyer nearest your place.

  • cathy says:

    My mother issued a check worth 300,000 but it bounced due to closed account. She already talked to the person who received the check and have it settled na babayaran na lng basta makapaningil din may utang sa kanya. Naghuhulog nman sya pero wala pirmahan dahil ayaw nung may ari ng pera, tapos last week lng nagaway sila dahil masyado demand nung may ari kaya nagdeposit.n.lng mother ko sa banko ng hulog nya. Ngayon,ngpadala sila demand letter for estafa and bp22. What are we hoing to do,my mother cannot pay the whole amount of the check dahil nabankrupt na negosyo nya. Tnx po

  • ems says:

    Dear Atty James

    May check na issue sa akin na open date amounting to 1.5M. Maibabalik ang pera namin ng 2 to 3 months advance notice. Kapalit nito na kikita ang pera namin ng 3%. May natatanggap kami ng pera every month for almost 2years at eventually naging 2.5%. Ngayon, almost 2 years ng di regular ang bigay. Minsan wala pa. Nag advice na kami ng widrawal last year pa. ’till now wala pang binibigay. Plano kong mag file ng case. May pagasa pa bang mabawi ang pera namin? Anong case ang pwede kong file? Yun na ang lahat ng savings namin kaya hindi pwedeng mabali-wala ang pera kase yun ang kayamanan namin.

    Salamat po.

    • Atty. James Biron says:

      Dear Ems, please send me a private message.

      • ems says:

        Dear Atty James,

        Please help.

        Taong 2011 nag invest kami sa pinsan ng asawa ko ng P1.5M. Kapalit nito na kikita ang pera namin ng 3%. May checks (500k/500k/500k) na issue sa akin na open date katumbas ng pera na invest namin. Pangakong maibabalik ang pera namin ng 2 to 3 months advance notice. May natatanggap kami ng pera every month for almost 2years at eventually naging 2.5%. Ngayon, almost 2 years ng di regular ang bigay. Minsan wala pa. Bago pa ako magretire ng April 2012 nag advice na kami ng widrawal . Yung pera na yun ang inaasahan kong magagamit na panimula ng negosyo. ’till now wala pang binibigay na interest. April 2014 ang huling tanggap namin ng pera. Plano kong mag file ng case.

        May pagasa pa bang mabawi ang pera namin?
        Anong case ang pwede kong file?
        Magkano ang gagastusin sa pag file ng case?

        Yun na ang lahat ng savings namin kaya hindi pwedeng mabali-wala ang pera. Walang kasulatang nangyari. Checks lang ang pinanghahawakan namin. Dahil kamaganak sya ng asawa ko kaya nag tiwala kami. May 2014 nang sabihin ng asawa ko sa pinsan nya na wag na syang magbigay ng interest. Ibalik na lang ang pera namin. Papalitan daw nya ang checks. Close account na raw un. Di nya pinalitan ang checks. August 2014 ng magpasabi kami na kailangan namin ng P200k para pambayad- utang. Wala syang ibinigay kahit magkano. August 2014 din ng huling follow-up namin ng widrawal. Simula nun, di na sya nakipagusap. “sige sue nyo ako pero sana may kunsiderasyon” ang habang kunsiderasyon na ang binigay namin.

        Kasama transaction sa simula ay ang pinsan nya na syang nag iinvest ng pera.
        Kapatid na lalaking panganay sa kanya
        at kapatid na lalake na mas bata sa kanila.

        Ang kanyang mga kapatid ang tumatayong sekretaryo nya. Sila ang nagfa-follow-up ng widrawal pero walang nangyari. (Hanggang sa mamatay na ang Kapatid na panganay ng July 2012)

        Ang hirap ng sitwasyon ngayon, may pera kami pero di namin mapakinabangan. Drain na po kami ngayon dahil di na rin ako nakapag trabaho.

        Salamat po ng marami.
        Ems

      • ems says:

        Hi Atty, sorry for my ignorance. ‘san ako magse send ng private message?

        Salamat.

  • riza says:

    Dear Atty,

    Meron po akong lending business. May kaibigan po ako na nasa pharma business. Sa akin nya po pinapa rediscount ung collection check nya (pinapalitan ko po ng cash less a rediscounting fee). Ang ginagawa po nya, pag due date na ng cheke, binabayaran na lang po nya ako ng amount ng cheke para d ko na ideposit ung mga cheke. hanggang sa dumating po ung time na d na nya napalitan ng cash at nung deposit ko po ung mga cheke, puro po “daif”. Binigay naman po nya sa akin ung number ng nag issue sa kanya ng cheke at nakausap ko po, Nagalit pa po sa akin at hindi naman daw ako ang kausap nya sa mga cheke na inissue nya. inaako naman po ng kaibigan ko ung obligasyon. Recently po napag alaman ko din po na d naman pala talaga collection check, hiniram lang pala ng kaibigan ko ung mga cheke at wala talaga silang transactions nung may ari ng cheke. Sino at ano po ang pwede ko ikaso sa kanila?

  • DJ Ramos says:

    Hi Atty, good day! I sold my car with assume balance. The buyer was able to pay 3 months with no hassle but the last September, I tried to withdrae the PDC they gave me for payment but the bank told me that they have closed the account. Our agreement is every 25th of the month but because she told me that her account was close, I allowed her to deposit the payment to my bank account but told her that I will be needing PDCs for the next months.Ocotber 24, she called me that she wont be able to give me the check but would deposit it in my account on Oct. 28. I agreed but yesterday and last Sunday, she is not answering my calls, she blocked me and did not reply to my texts. I am very afraid that she is hiding from me. I am planning to deposit her check and for sure it will bounce since her account is closed already. What sould I do? I really need a legal advice. I am so stressed! We had a deed of sale notarized which said that in 2 months and have not paid the car, they will return it to me peacefully but I am afraid that they will hide from me. And also, they failed to get an insurance and it was hit last month (that’s what they told me). So the car is wrecked. I really dont know what to do. I hope you can help me please. Thank you

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