Bouncing Checks (B.P. 22): What You Need to Know

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:

Elements of Bouncing Checks under BP 22

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)

P&L Law

56 thoughts on “Bouncing Checks (B.P. 22): What You Need to Know

  1. AvatarPaulo

    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?

    Reply
    1. Avatargeorge

      hi sir! nasagot n po b ung tanong nyo as quoted below? we have the same case po kasi.. ano po ang nagyari n kung may naisampa po b against u as comaker? un po kasi kinakatakot ko…

      thanks po!

      Paulo
      May 25, 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?

      Reply ?

  2. AvatarMary Soria

    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

    Reply
    1. AvatarCristina

      Magandang hapon po.

      Taong 2012 nagkasundo kami ng pinsan ng aking asawa na babayaran ako sa halagang 1Million para sa mga alahas, celphone at kung ano-ano pang mga bagay na pina ride nila sa credit card ko. Huhulugan nila ito ng 100k sa taong 2013 at madadagdagan pa ang 100k sa taong 2014 hanggang sa ito ay matapos. Ang usapang ito ay verbal lamang. Ngunit lumipas ang taong 2013 hanggang sa kasalukuyan ang nahuhulog pa lang nila sakin ay 102,500. Nitong huli ay nag issue sila sakin ng tatlong tseke sa halagang 2,500 bawat isa. Ngunit tumalbog po ito. Noong Sept. 09 nagkaroon ako ng pagkakataon na papirmahan sa kanya ang breakdown ng kanyang utang. Proof na inaa-acknowledge nya ang balanse pa sa kanyang utang.

      Sa dokumentong hawak ko at sa tsekeng tumalbog, maari napo ba akong magsampa ng kasong estafa sa kanya?

      Inaasahan ko po ang inyong maagap na kasagutan.

      Marami pong salamat.

    2. AvatarLorelyn

      Gug day po may nag issue po sa akin ng tseke 70k hindi sapat ang laman yan ang sinasabi sa bangko ngayon nagdemanda po ako tapos na po kami sa brgy. Peru d xa sumipot nagpadala na rin ako ng demand peru d pinansin ano po ba ang dapat gawin para matuluyan na po kasi madami kami nagkaso kaso ung iba siguro walang sapat na pera kasi magastos po nahihirapan na ako kasi nagpunta na rin ako sa 3 station ng pulis peru wala pong nangyari pls advise u po ako thank you.

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  4. Avatarfatima117f

    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
  5. AvatarChristine

    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
  6. Avataraiz_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
  7. Avatarseric

    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
  8. AvatarSed

    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
  9. AvatarCris

    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

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