Legal and legit way to demand payment sa mga nangutang sayo. Check the procedure on how to file a claim via the Small Claims Court in the Philippines.
There are some of us who regret having loaned a sum of money to a friend or even a family member, who never paid back. We could have used the money for something important, use it in an emergency situation, or invested the money in something profitable.
Are you one of those people who have had endless attempts to get your money back but to no avail? When you send a pm thru Facebook, you’re just ‘seen zoned’, or you are made to appear as ‘bad’ because ‘naniningil ka’, or worst you are blocked by the person na nangutang sayo or when you visit their home, di ka pinagbubuksan. Saklap. Well, don’t lose hope because we now have a legal procedure for you to be able to collect back the money that was owed to you.
Singilin Ang Mga Pautang
What is even more convenient about this is that you will not need to have a lawyer under the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases.
Here is a clip about it from a report on PTV via the news show segment The Rule of Law:
As of February 01, 2016, however, the total amount of money that you can claim should not exceed P 200,000. Moreover, any amount being claimed higher than the amount aforementioned will require the complainant to file the case with the regular court.
* Paano maningil sa utang – You can file sa Small Claims Court if ang utang is LESS than P200,000. No need to hire a lawyer to do this.
The Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases has been in effect since 2009. According to Section 4 of the amended ruling, on Applicability:
The Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall apply this Rule in all actions which are: (a) purely civil in nature where the claim or relief prayed for by the plaintiff is solely for payment or reimbursement of sum of money, and (b) the civil aspect of criminal actions, either filed before the institution of the criminal action, or reserved upon the filing of the criminal action in court, pursuant to Rule 111 of the Revised Rules Of Criminal Procedure.
These claims or demands may be:
(a) For money owed under any of the following:
- Contract of Lease;
- Contract of Loan;
- Contract of Services;
- Contract of Sale; or
- Contract of Mortgage;
(b) For damages arising from any of the following:
- Fault or negligence;
- Quasi-contract; or
(c) The enforcement of a barangay amicable settlement or an arbitration award involving a money claim covered by this Rule pursuant to Sec. 417 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.
Based on the list above, it is very important that when you lend money to someone, relative, friend, or anybody, mas maigi to make sure na MAY KASULATAN kahit simple na promissory note lang or a loan agreement signed by you and the borrower. Or as in the case of landlords, there is a Contract to Lease, etc.
You need to present a signed doc as proof when you go to the Small Claims Court. Pag wala to, if there are witnesses na nangutang sayo yung tao and pina-utang mo naman, you can request these witnesses to sign an affidavit in support of your claim.
SMALL CLAIM RULES and PROCEDURE in FILING
The following are the Procedures in filing a case in the Small Claims Court in the Philippines.
- To file your small claims case, you can proceed to the First Level Court of the city wherein which you reside or the First Level Court where the accused/debtor lives.
Note: First Level Courts are also known as either of the following: Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.
- When you get to the court building, go directly to the Office of the Clerk of Court, request for these forms, and completely fill them up:
- Information for Plaintiff (This is your details.)
- Statement of Claim
- Certification of Non-Forum Shopping
A Verified Statement of Claims has to be submitted by the complainant (2 copies). This certifies that all the information given by the complainant is true. At the same time, you must also have accomplished the form Certification of Non-Forum Shopping (2 copies) to certify that you have not filed the same case in any other court.
- Provide a Proof of Loan. This document is required to serve as a sufficient proof that there was a loan in agreement between the defendant (borrower) and complainant (lender). Get two copies of this proof and have it certificated as true copies.
Proof of Loan can be ANY of the following: Contract Signed by the Defendant, Promissory Notes, Receipts, Bank Deposit Slips, Cheques, Paper Trails, Latest Demand Letter with Proof of Delivery and Receipt, and Affidavits of Witnesses. If you can submit multiple docs as proofs the better, so your claim is well supported.
- A filing fee will be due from the complainant to set the case in place. It is approximately in the amount of P1, 250.00.
Once all the documents have been completed and submitted, plus the administrative fees have been duly paid, the case will be designated to a Judge who will be determined via a raffle draw.
If the findings show merit to the case, a hearing will be scheduled. The defendant will be given a Summon by the Small Court. There will be a Notice of Hearing and the defendant will be given Information, a Response Form and other documents. The defendant will be given maximum of 10 days to submit a Response after he/she receives the Summon from the court.
In the same manner, the complainant (you) will also be provided the Notice of Hearing that will indicate the schedule of the appearance in court for both parties.
Upon commencement of the discussion for the settlement, mediated by the Judge, the two parties will have the opportunity to discuss the settlement and come to an agreement. In the event that no agreement is made, and the complainant and the defendant both agree in writing during the hearing-mediation phase that the case shall be presided over by the judge who conducted the mediation (legal term: Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR)), the hearing shall so proceed in an informal and expeditious manner and terminated within 1 day – meaning may decision agad sa same araw ng hearing.
Absent such agreement, the case shall, on the same day, be referred to the pairing judge for hearing and decision within 5 working days from referral.
Explanation / Demo during the hearing:
First round: Ikaw at ang nangutang sayo mag-uusap hanggang magkaron ng kasunduan or “amicable settlement”. Ang judge ang mamamagitan sa inyong dalawa during sa pag uusap.
Second round: Pag hindi kayo nagkasundo or walang “settlement”, you and the borrower can agree in writing na bahala na si judge to preside and decide based on his assessment sa kaso. On the same day may result na, may decision na agad-agad.
Third round: Ikaw o ang nangutang ay hindi pumirma na si judge na ang bahala maglabas ng decision on that same day, ang mangyayari next is that the case will be further evaluated by the judge and the decision will come within 5 working days. (Antay pa ng 5 working days para malaman ang decision).
The decision of the Judge is deemed final, non-appealable and immediately executory.
Hearing Date Schedule
How soon will you get a hearing date for your small claims? It depends on the work load of the court, completion of your papers/docs, submission of Response, etc.
iSensey recommends that when you file, ask the Office of the Clerk of Court personnel for estimated time for the schedule of hearing.
What if the defendant will not show up on the scheduled hearing set by the Small Claims Court in the Philippines? Or what if he/she will not file a Response to the Summon?
In this case, the law states that:
“In case of failure to file a Response, the court by itself shall render judgment as may be warranted by the facts alleged in the Statement of Claim limited to what is prayed for.”
“Failure of the defendant to appear has the same effect as the failure to file a Response.”
Read the Source if you want to see the full Supreme Court Resolution on The Rule of Procedure For Small Claims Cases.
IS FILING WORTH IT?
You may think that filing a claim in the Philippines Small Claim Court is all too tasking and may take a lot of your time. However, if you think about it further, what is this compared to all the time you spent running after these people and barely getting paid or worse, not getting paid at all? So, really, this is an effective method para singilin ang mga nangutang sayo na ayaw naman magbayad.
We owe our gratitude to the Supreme Court for this legal way to recover money from those who borrow from us.
If anyone you know has the same dilemma that fall under all the conditions to qualify for a Small Claims case, click on the SHARE button to spread the good news!