dear pao persida acosta
My best friend for 15 years discussed with me her intention of putting up a business. Unfortunately, she didn’t have enough capital to start her business. Hence, she solicited some money from me. Being the good friend I was and due to our long-standing friendship, I acceded and gave her half of what she was asking. In return, I asked her to execute a promissory note as evidence of the amount she borrowed from me. Two years have passed and I haven’t heard anything from her. I decided to review the promissory note she executed and was surprised to find out that the amount is payable “when her means permit.” Will I still be able to collect money from my former best friend?
To answer your question, we shall refer to Article 1180 of the New Civil Code, which reads as follows:
“Article 1180. When the debtor binds himself to pay when his means permit him to do so, the obligation shall be deemed to be one with a period, subject to the provisions of article 1197.” (Emphasis supplied)
In connection with the cited provisions, your remedy is to go to court and ask that a period be fixed for the payment of the debt. Moreover, Article 1197 provides that the Courts may fix a period if such was intended from the nature of the obligation and may also fix the duration of the period when such depends on the will of the debtor.
This opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Thus, the opinion may vary when the facts are changed or further elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to [email protected]