Lender can file case to collect unpaid debt

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
What steps shall I do to compel a colleague to pay the P32,000 which he owed me?

Dear MM,
Your colleague has the obligation to pay the P32,000 that he borrowed on the due date and place that you have agreed upon. His failure to comply with this obligation shall give you the right to pursue legal action to compel him to pay the money that he owed you.

To be able to collect from your colleague, you may initially send him a demand letter for collection of sum of money. If you are residing in the same barangay, you may also seek the assistance of your barangay’s Lupon ng Tagapamayapa for a possible out of court conciliation. If despite the foregoing, your colleague still unjustly refuses to comply with his obligation to pay, you may file a complaint for collection of sum of money before the court.

However, since your claim for payment of money is less than P100,000, your action should be instituted in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Small Claims Cases. You may commence a small claims action against your colleague by filing before the small claims court of the place where you or your debtor resides an accomplished and verified Statement of Claim (Form 1-SCC) in duplicate, accompanied by a Certification of Non-forum Shopping (Form 1-A, SCC), and two duly certified photocopies of the actionable document/s subject of the claim, as well as the affidavits of witnesses and other evidence to support the claim (Section 5, Ibid.). Upon filing of the complaint, you shall be required to pay the docket and other legal fees prescribed under Rule 141 of the Revised Rules of Court, unless you are allowed to litigate as an indigent (Section 8, Ibid.).

If the court finds no ground for the dismissal of your claim, it will issue Summons (Form 2-SCC) on the day of receipt of the Statement of Claim, directing the defendant to submit a verified response to your claim, issue a notice (Form 4-SCC) to both parties, directing them to appear before it on a specific date and time for hearing, with a warning that no unjustified postponement shall be allowed, as provided in Section 19 of this Rule (Section 10, Ibid.).

The small claims court shall first conduct a judicial dispute resolution (JDR) on your claim (Section 20, Ibid.). If the JDR fails, hearing of the case shall be presided over by the judge who conducted the JDR, the hearing shall so proceed in an informal and expeditious manner and terminated within one day (Section 22, Ibid.).

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net


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