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)

48 thoughts on “Bouncing Checks (B.P. 22)

  1. fatima117f

    I have a loan po back in 2007 amounting to 60k po and nahulugan ko naman po cya ng maayos before.. At katulad po ng dahilan ng karamihan e nawalan po ng trabaho financial problem kaya d na po napondohan ang bank at nag close na po. Di ko na po nahulugan at di na din po ako nakaka receive ng latter from them.Lumipas po ang ilang taon, ngayong 2013 naka recveive po ako ng letter na almost 300k na daw po ang utang ko At nagdemand po cla na bayaran ko bigla …. Since madami po akong anak at lahat e nag aaral na, di ko kayang maghulog ng sobrang lake 5k po per month ang binabayaran ko. Ask ko lang po kung pde po ba akong magreklamo sa sobrang lake nung interest. May batas din po na tayo tungkol sa pagpatong ng interes , panghaharas at panggigipit. Salamat po. Malaking tulong po sa akin ang inyong kasagutan.

    Reply
  2. Christine

    Gusto ko lang po sana magconsult and I humbly hope that you can enlighten me on this. Nag-loan po ako from a lending company and as a company rule kailangan ko mag-issue ng cheque hence ni-refer nila ko s isang bank para makapag open ng checking acct na ini-issue ko sa lending company. Payment goes smoothly pero one time nakatanggap po ako ng tawag sa lending company na nagreturn daw ung cheque ko due to insuff funds. I right away set an appointment with the bank and due to admitted error ng bank (di agad na-submit ng teller ung deposits ko on time hence cheque bounced) they settled and refunded me of fees and other charges. Ung lending company ask me to closed my checking account at mag-over the counter deposits na lang daw po ako. The bank closed the account upon having conversation dun sa representative ng lending company. Sadly, nagkaroon po ako ng financial difficulties in the middle of paying the lending company thus nag-stop payment ko. Ive received demands from them and they told me that they will sue me in court for this incident. What will I do? will i be sued due to this and be penalized for issuing cheques na na-closed ko at their own decision? I hop[e I can hear a response from you. God Bless.

    Reply
  3. aiz_01

    Hi,

    I just need your advice on what to do; i have bank loans at nag issue ako ng post dated check as payment since this is a requirement of the bank. Same problem with others, i have financial crisis now and im not sure if until when ko kayang magawan ng paraan na mapondohan ung check account ko. What if i failed na mapondohan ko ung check account ko at magbounce ung issued check ko upon presentment ng bank. Ano po ba ung mga possibles actions ng bank kung saan may loan ako? at ano ung pwede kong gawing remedy?possible po ba na makulong ako, possible ba na mag issue sila ng warrant of arrest? i need your help..please advice.

    Thanks

    Reply
  4. seric

    hi gud pm nag co-maker po ako sa frend ko nagloan sya sa isang financing company naawa po kasi ako sa kanya kasi paalisin sya patungo saudi eh wala sya pambili gamit at pocket money nagloan sya pumayag ako maging co-maker di sya puede maaprove kapag wala ako checking account na iissue sa financing ako ang pina issue ng check ng financing and then until now di parin nagbabayad ung principal ang pinasok nila check sa akin po nakapangalan ngayon po tumalbog at nagclose account ung bank na nagaapproved ng checking account indorsement po ng financing company kaya nag open ako and then nag issue ako sa kanila sila humawak ng boung checkbook ko ano po gagawin tinatakot nila ako……thanks i want and advice kung ano po gagawin ko30k po ung inutang umabot ng 45k kasama tubo within 6months…

    Reply
  5. Sed

    Good Pm,

    Hi give advice pls the same story co maker sa frend check ko ang ginamit sa lending company OFW ung frend di po sya nagbabayad nag bounced ung check ko kasi pinasok po nila sa bank hangang ito na close may pinirmahan po na co-maker po ako ngayon ako ang denedemanda nila ano po gagawin ko pls ang amount po ng hiniram ng frend ko ay P30k with tubo naging 45k sya good 6month sa lending pls advice me ano po gagawin ko…

    thanks

    Reply
  6. Cris

    Marami po ako naka issue na cheke,sa limang tao,loan at suppliers,ano po mangyayari dahil bigla hina ng business,hirap na po ako sa pagbayad

    Reply
  7. STR

    Hello po. You mentioned that even if bp 22 has been filed the court cannot issue a hold departure order. Unfortunately, I have a bad experience with that hold departure order. I was going to Singapore to attend a conference but I was held at immigration because apparently a hold departure order was issued to someone who has the same name as mine. Furthermore, the hold departure order has the name only (my name is a very common name) indicated and the case which is violation of bp22. There is no data on the birthday, or no picture was even sent by the court. So I was asked to get a Certificate of Not the same person from the Bureau of Immigration. Since my NBI clearance has a hit also, they told me that if I wanted to speed up the Certification (because I have to leave again for another trip outside the country) I have to get a Certification of not the same person from the municipality where the case was filed. Imagine me taking several days of leave just to be able to prove my innocence. I have to suffer because of that hold departure order. I would appreciate if you could comment on this. Thank you.

    Reply
  8. gladys

    I would like ask kung paano ang format ng small claims demand letter and kung ano gagawin.. kasi may pinahiram ako na staff ng bank for 20k with 6%per month for 5 months..she issued me 10 checks of 2600…but only 1 check nag good and the rest nag account closed..she is still working with bank but dont know her home address kasi palipat lipat siya..want to send her the demand letter to her office…HR and bank union..baka madami pa sya maloko..can you send me the format and steps how to claim?.thank you

    Reply
  9. dco

    An intention to pay cheque on a closed account than insufficient fund account
    Is it the same bp22 case penalty paying in bad faith plz reply. on how the case be files tnx

    Reply
  10. Drew

    Hi Atty. Fred,

    You mentioned that “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.” Does this written notice need to originate from a lawyer or the complainant can send it to the issuer of the check in his/her own capacity?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  11. boyet

    is the issued check has a validity period para magamit sa bp22? Example po na issue ang cheke tapos ipinasok lang after 3 months then nag bounce na….then hindi na sya na redeposit at nag compromise na lang na babayaran muna ang interest pero verbal lahat…tapos lumipas ang isang taon hindi na makabayad ng interest…so ipinababalik na lang ay ang principal pero hindi na rin maibalik….now magdedemanda sya at gagamitin nya yung nag bounce na cheke which is a year ago na….pede pa ba yun gamitin as evidence pa rin…wala naman mga kasulatan…

    Reply
  12. Dyun

    Good pm Gladys..

    Sa Demand Letter kung mag file k ng Small Claims sa MTC dapat ang demand letter mo is not more than 100K as rules and procedure sa SMC. Then ung demand letter mo is dapat naka address sya kung saan nakatira or nagwork. When it comes to format ng DEMLET dapat naka saad kung anu ang kontrata ng pagpapahiram mo sa kanya…Kung SMC ang ikakaso mo dapat makapaghabla ka sa kanya ng kaso bago lumampas ng sampung taon kc ung ang procedure when it comes to written contract…at kung BP 22 ikakaso mo dapat within 90 days naka file kana ng complain.

    Reply
  13. chad

    hi Goodmorningm

    ask ko lang po kung reply below question as we have the same case, thankyou nad godblessed,
    ****************************quote*****************************************
    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..
    *********************************unquote*******************************************

    Reply
  14. Maria Joan

    Hi po we filed a group case for BP 22 checks issued for three of us that was bounce with markings of DAIF, STOP PAYMENT & account closed. It was dismissed allegedly telling the prosecutor of full payment. Submitted an accounting report not even duly sign by anyone nor an accountant. Checks was issued in bicol & was deposited on 3 places where our bank account located. Is it true that the jurisdiction to file case is where the transaction was made? Transaction meaning where it is deposited & bounces. This checks issued has accompanied list of postdated checks sign by the issuer. If the jurisdiction is where it is deposited & bounces, can we file a new case on where our bank account located? How come it was dismissed?

    Thank you po.

    Reply

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