Bouncing Checks (B.P. 22)

Some people still have confidence, which confidence may be regarded as misplaced by others, in the deterrent effect of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, also known as the “Bouncing Checks Law” (full text here). Here are some things a layman should know:

1. Filing fees are generally not required for criminal cases. For B.P. 22 cases, however, the complainant is required to pay the filing fee (based on the value of the check/s and the damages claimed, just like in civil cases) upon filing of the case in court.

2. One major deterrent against the issuance of bouncing checks is the threat of a warrant of arrest being issued once the criminal case is filed in court. This is no longer true. No warrant of arrest is issued unless the accused fails to appear when required by the court.

3. Even if a criminal case under B.P. 22 is filed, the court cannot issue a hold-departure order. All violations of the Bouncing Checks Law, regardless of the amount involved, are filed only with the municipal/metropolitan trial courts. These courts cannot issue a hold-departure order.

4. Courts have the discretion of imposing: (a) imprisonment only; (b) fine only; OR (c) both. It is entirely possible that only a fine, without imprisonment, will be imposed.

5. The issuer is not automatically liable simply because the check “bounced”. A check generally “bounces” when dishonored upon presentment (reasons include: account closed, drawn against insufficient funds or DAIF). However, it is indispensable that the issuer must be notified in WRITING about the fact of dishonor, and he has five (5) days from receipt of the written notice within which to pay the value of the check or make arrangements for the payment thereof. This is based on the 1999 decision of the Supreme Court in King vs. People of the Philippines (G.R. No. 131540).

Recently, the SC “appears” to have relaxed this ruling in the 2005 case of Yulo vs. People of the Philippines (G.R. 142762). In this case, the SC reiterated the elements or requisites of the offense penalized by BP 22:

(1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value;

(2) the 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 the check in full upon its presentment; and

(3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficient funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.

It is immediately clear that the “written notice” is not an element of the crime. In fact, in the Yulo case, the High Tribunal rejected the argument of the accused regarding the absence of a written notice, thus:

We likewise find no reason to sustain petitioner’s contention that she was not given any notice of dishonor. Myrna had no reason to be suspicious of petitioner. It will be recalled that Josefina Dimalanta assured Myrna that petitioner is her “best friend” and “a good payer.” Consequently, when the checks bounced, Myrna would naturally turn to Josefina for help. We note that Josefina refused to give Myrna petitioner’s address but promised to inform petitioner about the dishonored checks.

This ruling, however, did not categorically overturn the doctrine enunciated in the earlier King case. In other words, at this stage, both sides could logically argue either way.

(See also: Basic Reminders in Preventing Check Fraud)

16 Responses to “Bouncing Checks (B.P. 22)”


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  1. 15 Mary Soria Aug 7th, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I had a friend, nagmakaawa sa akin na tulungan ko sya kasi tuition ng 2 anak nya, hiniram nya checke ko para makahiram sya ng pera sa taong nagpapautang, pinahiram ko sya but it was PDC, pagdating ng due date,hndi nya pinundohan, tinawagan ko ung bank, kung nasa kanila na ang checke, kaso lng dormant na pala account ko pero ipapasok pa rin nila kaya nagkaroon ng charge na 2,200 binayaran ko na lng para hndi maclose acct ko. binalik ung checke ko doon sa nagpapautang kinontack ko ung humiram ng checke sabi nya babayaran nya na lng daw ung nagpapautang, kaso lng after a week hndi pa rin nagbayad ung friend ko kaya she presented again the check for the second time kaya ginawa ko pinaclose ko na lng talaga account ko, anong gagawin ko po, wala namn po akong pantapal. masakit sa part ko na magbayad hndi ko nman napakinabangan thanks po

  2. 14 Paulo May 25th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Yung brother ko who is a Physical Therapist in the U.S. went home last year and when his funds were depleted he opted to get a loan, an OFW Loan, this is from a lending company. His wife was the borrower and I agreed to be a co maker since I had total confidence in them. Payments were going smoothly up until 2 months ago when before their whole family immigrated to the U.S. they tried to pay in full and realized the interest was not as he had expected, my brother has used this as reson not to continue his payments. My problem is I am the co-maker and my signature also appears on the checks they were made to issue. I would pay if I could but the amount is too much for my budget. I’ve talked to my brother but he is adamant not to pay anymore and keeps assuring me that I won’t get into trouble because of this. What could happen to me as a co-maker?

  3. 13 peaceofmind Mar 25th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    may financer po kmi dati sa negosyo nmin bale po nkhiram po ako s knya ng huli ng 100k less interest po na 20percent ok nman po pumyag nman po kmi ng husband ko kc po klksan un ng ngeosyo at may inaashan din kmi na sasalo sa amin na ksosyo po nmin.pero wla po inshan nmin humina ang negosyo at ngkbaon baon kmi s utang..etong ngphiram sa amin..ginigipit n kmi kya po sa takot ko nppirma nya ko s 240k n utng ko n dpat ay 60k n lng..dahil po dun s mg isuued n checke ko…d ko po nkuha yung mg nbyran ko na at bukod dun bwat bwan n d kmi mkpgbyad hingan nya po ako checke..nttkot po ako nung time n yun kc po may katungkulan sya d2 s lugar nmin..at tlgng mrming pera.year 2005 demanda nya po ako..kya lng ndismis ung kaso kc s husbnd ko po ung checke after a few months ung husband ko demnda nya.ngmediation po kmi n monthly maghuhlog kmi umpisa sa 2500/month after 3mos 3k …..hnggang s mging 5k per month..nstop po ako ng hulog last jan 2011 kc po d n nmin kya at ng ackso ng papers husband ko pra mging ofw.nka more than 45k n ko ng hulog s knya..last dec1 2011 ng file sya ng motion to revive pano po b ggwin ko kc po wla nman d2 husband ko at may order na ng court n mmay pre trial ng march 29,2012..wla nman po ako nttnggp n sulat may isang concerned citizen lng po n ngsbi skin..kya ko nlman actually ngyon arw ko lng nkuha ung copy ng order dhil ngrequest po ako sa court..sana po mtulungan nyo po kmi..wla nman po kmi intensyon n tumkbo dun s obligasyon kya lng po mtaas po msydo ung nghbla konsehal po sya ng byan d2 sa lugar nmin..sana po mtulungan nyo ako..mrming salamat..violation of bp22 po,4counts..cnampa po nung 2009 tpos po ngkron po ng compromise agreement nung july 3 2009 meron pong provisional dismissal nung july 21,2009.ngyon po nsa agreement n mula sept 31 mghulog po kmi ng 2500 hnggng dec 31,2009,tpos po jan 2010-june 2010(3500)july2010 to dec2010 (4k)MONTHLY PO YAN..last 2011 ncra n po hulog ko kc po ng ackso husband ko n mag apply abroad..last year nkiusap po ako n medyo gipit po kmi at ng salary deduction mr ko at mrmi kmi ngstos at ngsr buss ko..nglit po sya wla dw sya pkialm s problema ko..tpos ngpdla po sya ng motion to revive the case..bgay lng po ng tanod.nung sept13,2011,nklgay po n mgsubmit dw po ng motion s court kc dw po may hearing ng sept 15,eh nung ngpunta po ako s court wla nman dw po n hearing sched.kya kla ko nman po wla un..actually kpitbhay kolng po ito.pag pinkikiusapn ngglit po..lagi din po ako tintakot..d ko p kc kya ung 5k monthly nmin start po kc ng jan2011 5k n po kmi..tpos po yan ng ho last week ngpunta ko s court may pre trial ng dw po ngtanong po ako s dati nmin abogdo bka dw po mawarrant ang mr ko..ako n lng po sana attend s pre trial..pro gumwa po sya ng motion for reconsideration un lng dw mtutulong nya..na wla kmi nttanggap n order..nung march 20,2011 ako mismo lng kumuha ng copy.na ung provisionnaly dismissal nung july29,2011 ay more than a year na..na hindi din mkka aatend ang abogdo kc may nauna sya bista s march 29,2012.mawarrant po b husband ko.un po iniiwasan nmin kc last n alas n po nmin po..binuhos po nmin kbuhyan at pera nmin pra lng mkpag abroad mr ko..tpos eto n nman d p po kmi nkkbngon s pgbankrupt nmin last year..ung shod po mr ko kulng n kulng pa..pero gsto po nmin n maayos tong problema kc po d kmi tinitigilan..sana po mtulungan nyo ko..d po ako nkktulog ng aalla kc po kao..3 po ank nmin n lhat ng aaral pa..tnx po..d ko n po kc alm anu ggwin ko..mr ko po seaman last year lng po sya nkskay nung april 2011,6mos po kontrata nya..inaalla ko po bka s sunod n alis nya mhold sya s immigration,,lgi nya po kc cnsbi s mg tao d2 s amin n ippkulong nya dw po kmi..sa totoo lng po d nman gnun kalki utang nmin,kya lng po wla n nman kmi mggwa kya bbyaran nmin..

  4. 12 michael Feb 15th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    im paing my loan using a check in a bank but recently they file a case against me dahil tumalbog daw po yung check…wla ng pondo sa bank. nasa abroad po ako nung binayaran ko last payment but they said they didnt recieved it. may proof po ako na binayaran ko…ngayon po nabayaran ko na lahat ng utang ko sa kanila but still nasa court parin case ko and they want my appearance its just that i cant come coz im in abroad. makukulong po ba ako pag umattend ako ng hearing kahit nabayaran ko na utang ko?

  5. 11 vens_02 Jan 19th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Hi! I have loan from a bank and I issued a checked kasi require daw un before I hospitalized monthly naman ako nakakapagbayad sa kanila but after ko ma hospital and mag leave without pay for two months for recovery di ko sila nabayaran pero nung bumalik ung normal salary ko nagbayad ako sa kanila, tapos ito ngaun di nanaman ako nakabayd dahil sa financial crisis and I promiz to pay and I ask for extention pero sinusungitan pa ako, do they sue or they can file a case bouncing of check to me? please reply. Thank you.

  6. 10 cristin Aug 22nd, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Hello po, I loaned to a friend P20,000 with a 10% after a month. she issued to me a check of P22,000 which she told me to encash after a month. the check bounced..Right now I heard she transferred residence and doesnt answer any of my calls. I text, emailed and contacts her office but she also resigned from her work. The court said that i should give a notice in writing about the fact of dishonor, but how can i contact her? Please kindly help me on what to do? Thank you and God bless..

  7. 9 jennyviokey Jun 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Ive been in court case of bp22 for 10,000 I will not let myself be in court in this small amount if I am guilty with this. I want to continue go in court to prove that I already paid it. This is the story.

    Dahil sa financial problem and need immediate remedy, I look for a person that can help me, isa sa staff ko refer her friend na isang agent ng check rediscounting interest of 20% per month, dahil sa badly need ako kaya grab ko even high interest. I issued check to her within the day binigay nya pera sa akin. Then less than a week before mag due I text her na baka pede ko ito tubuan muna dahil di pa maganda flow ng budget ko, then she aggree and kinuha nya ang tubo na 2K pinuntahan nya ako sa office ko. Binigay ko new check ko for replacement ng may bago due date di pa nya dala yun old check ko dahil dapat daw dala na nya kapalit na check bago irelease yun una.Sabi ko cge by next week na nya bigay dahil thursday nun at friday naman di ako makakapsok dahil check up ko, sat and sun wal naman kami pasok. Days after agent maybe its the exact date of my check agent called me na on going na daw yun pagdep ng check ko at di daw makontact yun nagdedeposito para ipahold,nagcomplaint ako sa kanya na bakit ganun they agreed naman na tubuan if not eh di sana ginawan ko ng paraan, because of that I called her to talk to me personally then he drop by at my office, nag usap kami at nagdecide ako na bayaran na lang yun check pero di ko na pinaredeposit dahil sabi ko idededuct ko yun 2k na naibigay ko na. Maayos naman sya kausap.She gave to me the new check dahil nasa kanya pa pala yun, and I gave her the full amount na kulang pa sa 10K, the following days hindi na ko masyado nakakapasok dahil sa selan ng pregnancy ko so I told to my staff na kontakin si angie at kunin yun check ko, I also text and called angie na pakibigay na lang sa staff ko na tatawag sa kanya yun check and ibinigay ko rin yun mga name ng mga staff ko na pede komontak sa kanya at pagbigyan ng check ko. Hanggang sa hindi na talaga nya naibigay at ang dami dami nya naging dahilan and alibi, Hindi ko naman pinuntahan kahit may idea ako kun san nya dinala yun check ko bec I respect her sa mga csinabi nya na sya yun kausap nun financer at inuunawa ko sya dahil at keep on believing ako sa mga reason nya and binibigyan ko sya ng chance na ayusin yun sinasabi nya na pikikipag usap dun sa financer dahil may konti raw prob pero sya daw aayos. Hanggan nga sa punto na pinagtataguan na nya ako at nareceived na nga ako ng demand letter. Now ang kaso is nasa korte na for preliminary investigation and araigment. Yoko isettle dahil gusto ko ipaglaban na bayad ko na yun at biktima ako ng agent nya at feeling ko gusto nila ako biktimahin pareho. Please kindly help me to decide may karapatan po ba ako na ipaglaban ko or I need to surrender dahil sa end talo ako sa kaso ko? Thanks and more power!

  8. 8 ysabelle@3 Jan 9th, 2010 at 7:32 am

    good pm, i also have the same problem with our checks, makukulong po ba kme pag di po namin nabayanran yung mga checks na na issue namin sa mga banks na may loan kame, ano po ba ang dapat namin gawin?

  9. 7 sweetfunnygirl_05 Oct 29th, 2009 at 7:24 am

    hi warrior.
    Gug pm.. tanong ko lang po may loan po kasi ako last year, and i issue post dated check, kasi un daw un required,. nakakabayad naman ako on time before, kaso due to finacial crisis, at nawalan na din po ako ng trabaho, bread winner pa ko sa pamilya ko.. d na ko nakahulog, parang nagclose aacount na ako sa bangko kasi hindi ko na sya napopondohan ng pera.. sa ngayon po kasi wala pa po akong trabaho, naghahanap palang..
    Ano po bang pwede kong gawin?
    Ano po ba makukulong po ba ako?
    Please advise me…
    Thank you po..

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