G.R. NO. 182963, June 03, 2013
SPOUSES DEO AGNER AND MARICON AGNER, Petitioners, v. BPI FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC., Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
In case of my/our failure to pay when due and payable, any sum which I/We are obliged to pay under this note and/or any other obligation which I/We or any of us may now or in the future owe to the holder of this note or to any other party whether as principal or guarantor x x x then the entire sum outstanding under this note shall, without prior notice or demand, immediately become due and payable. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
The Civil Code in Article 1169 provides that one incurs in delay or is in default from the time the obligor demands the fulfillment of the obligation from the obligee. However, the law expressly provides that demand is not necessary under certain circumstances, and one of these circumstances is when the parties expressly waive demand. Hence, since the co-signors expressly waived demand in the promissory notes, demand was unnecessary for them to be in default.14
All correspondence relative to this mortgage, including demand letters, summonses, subpoenas, or notifications of any judicial or extrajudicial action shall be sent to the MORTGAGOR at the address indicated on this promissory note with chattel mortgage or at the address that may hereafter be given in writing by the MORTGAGOR to the MORTGAGEE or his/its assignee. The mere act of sending any correspondence by mail or by personal delivery to the said address shall be valid and effective notice to the mortgagor for all legal purposes and the fact that any communication is not actually received by the MORTGAGOR or that it has been returned unclaimed to the MORTGAGEE or that no person was found at the address given, or that the address is fictitious or cannot be located shall not excuse or relieve the MORTGAGOR from the effects of such notice.16 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
x x x The creditor's possession of the evidence of debt is proof that the debt has not been discharged by payment. A promissory note in the hands of the creditor is a proof of indebtedness rather than proof of payment. In an action for replevin by a mortgagee, it is prima facie evidence that the promissory note has not been paid. Likewise, an uncanceled mortgage in the possession of the mortgagee gives rise to the presumption that the mortgage debt is unpaid.23
WHEREFORE, plaintiffs [pray] that judgment be rendered as follows:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
ON THE FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
Ordering defendant Rolando Lantan to pay the plaintiff the sum of P39,054.86 plus legal interest from the date of demand until the whole obligation is fully paid;cralaw lawlibrary
ON THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
To forthwith issue a Writ of Replevin ordering the seizure of the motor vehicle more particularly described in paragraph 3 of the Complaint, from defendant Rolando Lantan and/or defendants Rina Lantan, John Doe, Susan Doe and other person or persons in whose possession the said motor vehicle may be found, complete with accessories and equipment, and direct deliver thereof to plaintiff in accordance with law, and after due hearing to confirm said seizure and plaintiff's possession over the same;cralaw lawlibrary
ON THE ALTERNATIVE CAUSE OF ACTION
In the event that manual delivery of the subject motor vehicle cannot be effected for any reason, to render judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant Rolando Lantan ordering the latter to pay the sum of SIXTY THOUSAND PESOS (P60,000.00) which is the estimated actual value of the above-described motor vehicle, plus the accrued monthly rentals thereof with interests at the rate of fourteen percent (14%) per annum until fully paid;cralaw lawlibrary
PRAYER COMMON TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION
1. Ordering the defendant Rolando Lantan to pay the plaintiff an amount equivalent to twenty-five percent (25%) of his outstanding obligation, for and as attorney's fees;nadcralavvonlinelawlibrary
2. Ordering defendants to pay the cost or expenses of collection, repossession, bonding fees and other incidental expenses to be proved during the trial; and
3. Ordering defendants to pay the costs of suit.
Plaintiff also prays for such further reliefs as this Honorable Court may deem just and equitable under the premises.27
The remedies provided for in Art. 1484 are alternative, not cumulative. The exercise of one bars the exercise of the others. This limitation applies to contracts purporting to be leases of personal property with option to buy by virtue of Art. 1485. The condition that the lessor has deprived the lessee of possession or enjoyment of the thing for the purpose of applying Art. 1485 was fulfilled in this case by the filing by petitioner of the complaint for replevin to recover possession of movable property. By virtue of the writ of seizure issued by the trial court, the deputy sheriff seized the vehicle on August 6, 1986 and thereby deprived private respondents of its use. The car was not returned to private respondent until April 16, 1989, after two (2) years and eight (8) months, upon issuance by the Court of Appeals of a writ of execution.
Petitioner prayed that private respondents be made to pay the sum of P39,054.86, the amount that they were supposed to pay as of May 1986, plus interest at the legal rate. At the same time, it prayed for the issuance of a writ of replevin or the delivery to it of the motor vehicle "complete with accessories and equipment." In the event the car could not be delivered to petitioner, it was prayed that private respondent Rolando Lantan be made to pay petitioner the amount of P60,000.00, the "estimated actual value" of the car, "plus accrued monthly rentals thereof with interests at the rate of fourteen percent (14%) per annum until fully paid." This prayer of course cannot be granted, even assuming that private respondents have defaulted in the payment of their obligation. This led the trial court to say that petitioner wanted to eat its cake and have it too.28
(a) Before trial, and upon filing and approval of the bond, to [forthwith] issue a Writ of Replevin ordering the seizure of the motor vehicle above-described, complete with all its accessories and equipments, together with the Registration Certificate thereof, and direct the delivery thereof to plaintiff in accordance with law and after due hearing, to confirm the said seizure;nadcralavvonlinelawlibrary
(b) Or, in the event that manual delivery of the said motor vehicle cannot be effected to render judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant(s) ordering them to pay to plaintiff, jointly and severally, the sum of P576,664.04 plus interest and/or late payment charges thereon at the rate of 72% per annum from August 20, 2002 until fully paid;nadcralavvonlinelawlibrary
(c) In either case, to order defendant(s) to pay jointly and severally:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary(1) the sum of P297,857.54 as attorney's fees, liquidated damages, bonding fees and other expenses incurred in the seizure of the said motor vehicle; and
(2) the costs of suit.
Plaintiff further prays for such other relief as this Honorable Court may deem just and equitable in the premises.29
1 Penned by Associate Justice Vicente Q. Roxas, with Associate Justices Josefina Guevara-Salonga and Ramon R. Garcia concurring; rollo, pp. 49-54.
2Id. at 56.
3 Records, pp. 149-151.
4Id. at 28.
5Id. at 29, 33-35.
6Id. at 36.
7Id. at 40.
8 TSN, November 23, 2004, p. 15.
9 ART. 1484. In a contract of sale of personal property, the price of which is payable in installments, the vendor may exercise any of the following remedies:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
(1) Exact fulfillment of the obligation, should the vendee fail to pay;nadcralavvonlinelawlibrary
(2) Cancel the sale, should the vendee's failure to pay cover two or more installments;nadcralavvonlinelawlibrary
(3) Foreclose the chattel mortgage on the thing sold, if one has been constituted, should the vendee's failure to pay cover two or more installments. In this case, he shall have no further action against the purchaser to recover any unpaid balance of the price. Any agreement to the contrary shall be void.
10 G.R. NO. 109966, May 31, 1999, 307 SCRA 731.
11Royal Cargo Corporation v. DFS Sports Unlimited, Inc., G.R. NO. 158621, December 10, 2008, 573 SCRA 414, 421.
12 TSN, November 23, 2004, p. 11.
13 523 Phil. 548 (2006).
14Id. at 560.
15 G.R. NO. 153788, November 27, 2009, 606 SCRA 1, 20-21.
16 Records, p. 31.
17 RULES OF COURT, Rule 131, Sec. 3 (v).
18 398 Phil. 481 (2000).
19 Records, p. 145.
20Royal Cargo Corporation v. DFS Sports Unlimited, Inc., supra note 11, at 422; Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Spouses Royeca, G.R. NO. 176664, July 21, 2008, 559 SCRA 207, 216; Benguet Corporation v. Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines Adjudication Board, G.R. NO. 163101, February 13, 2008, 545 SCRA 196, 213; Citibank, N.A. v. Sabeniano, 535 Phil. 384, 419 (2006); Keppel Bank Philippines, Inc. v. Adao, 510 Phil. 158, 166-167 (2005); and Far East Bank and Trust Company v. Querimit, 424 Phil. 721, 730-731 (2002).
21Tai Tong Chuache & Co. v. Insurance Commission, 242 Phil. 104, 112 (1988).
22Supra note 20.
23Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Spouses Royeca, id. at 219.
24Id. at 216; Citibank, N.A. v. Sabeniano, supra note 20; and Coronel v. Capati, 498 Phil. 248, 255 (2005).
25Royal Cargo Corporation v. DFS Sports Unlimited, Inc., supra note 11, at 422; Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Spouses Royeca, supra note 20; Benguet Corporation v. Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines Adjudication Board, supra note 20; Citibank, N.A. v. Sabeniano, supra note 20; Coronel v. Capati, supra note 24, at 256; and Far East Bank and Trust Company v. Querimit, supra note 20.
26Supra note 10.
27Elisco Tool Manufacturing Corporation v. Court of Appeals, id. at 735-736.
28Id. at 743-744.
29 Records, pp. 24-25.
30 In Cabrera v. Ameco Contractors Rental, Inc. (G.R. NO. 201560, June 20, 2012 Second Division Minute Resolution), We held:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
The principle of unjust enrichment is provided under Article 22 of the Civil Code which provides: Article 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
There is unjust enrichment "when a person unjustly retains a benefit to the loss of another, or when a person retains money or property of another against the fundamental principles of justice, equity and good conscience." The principle of unjust enrichment requires two conditions: (1) that a person is benefited without a valid basis or justification, and (2) that such benefit is derived at the expense of another.
31Arthur F. Menchavez v. Marlyn M. Bermudez, G.R. NO. 185368, October 11, 2012.
32Macalinao v. Bank of the Philippine Islands, G.R. NO. 175490, September 17, 2009, 600 SCRA 67, 77, citing Chua v. Timan, G.R. NO. 170452, August 13, 2008, 562 SCRA 146, 149-150.
33Arthur F. Menchavez v. Marlyn M. Bermudez, G.R. NO. 185368, October 11, 2012, citing Macalinao v. Bank of the Philippine Islands, supra, at 77, and Chua v. Timan, supra, at 150.