Estafa vs. Bouncing Checks Law

A lot of people are confused by the similarities and differences of estafa and bouncing checks law. Estafa may be committed by the issuance of a worthless check, just like in bouncing checks law. So, in order to have a clearer and simpler understanding of both concepts, I have listed down in a tabular form their distinctions.

ESTAFA by issuing a check



  • When check is issued in payment of an obligation. The issuance of the check is done before or at the same time that the obligation is incurred.
  • Even if check is issued in payment of a pre-existing obligation, violation of BP22 may be committed. So issuance of check before or after the obligation has been incurred may lead to violation of BP 22.
  • Upon notice of dishonor by the drawee bank, the drawer of the check is given 3 days to pay the check or make arrangements for its payement.
  • Upon notice of dishonor from the drawee bank, the drawer is given 5 days to pay or make arrangements for the payment of the check.

So, by knowing the fine line that separates these two acts you can now clearly determine which one to file when the need arises. However, it should also be known to you that despite having the option to file either one of them, you also have the right to file both of them against the same person, if the elements for both crimes are present. So a person may become liable for estafa and violation of BP 22 by just issuing a worthless check.

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26 thoughts on “Estafa vs. Bouncing Checks Law

  1. Hi. May I ask on how to get my money back? the friend who borrowed it disappeared after signing a note that indicated the amount he owes me and he was supposed to pay it all last June2012. I filed a complaint at the Barangay office where his last known address is. However, his uncle denied his staying there. What should I do next? thank you and God bless us all

    • hi po may tanong ako…..may na issue po sa akin na check dated sept.2012 pero di ko po napa encash kasi ang sabi ng may hiram ng pera sa akin is she will pay me cash in two months time but stiil now wala payment mag two two years na po at yong check is stillcheck napo ano po pwede ko gawin check issued PS bank po…..

  2. my friemd barrowed money from me but failed to pay on the said date I have given her extended date but still she wasn’t able to pay her debts. the debt was made to and agreed through verbal agreement no written communication and just a but O have proof through text message the she has debts from me. amd also she did answer my recent calls. I think shes tryin to get out with the situation without proper discussion. I got worried these days because I found out thats she gumbles and theres alot more debts she have at other people. I really need my money back coz its all I have. if somebody could help me what to do? Thank you

  3. Hello,

    I have a question pls. I was granted a loan from a bank and the issued m Post-dated checks as mode of payment. I dont have my own checking acct. Those pdc were issued by that bank for the sole purpose of paying that specific loan. Term of my loan is 36 months. After more than a year, i stopped paying due to financial prob. They are now threatening to file charges for bounced checks. is this covered by that law? consid

  4. Good day,

    I would like to ask for an advice on how we can get my mother’s money back… A now retired policeman owes a big amount of money to my mother… The debt was made year 2006 with a signed document… The guy was still on service and the deal was he would give like 3 percent interest every month to my mother, their business went well for how many months then he started lapsing with the interest and even to the point of not giving anymore and with the capital stuck on his hands… my mother then tried to get the money (capital) from him but failed and even filed a case against him regarding the debt… since she filed the case against him it affected his work, he tried to make an early retirement but with the case against him, he couldnt do anything… so he tried to settle the case with my mother by promising that if my mother pulls out the case he will make an early retirement so he can pay his debt… he even gave my mother an authorization to take the amount he owes her directly from the office where they release retirement funds (i thought its impossible for that agreement to happen)…So my mother agreed, she was keeping track of the day he will get the lump sum but 2 days ago my mother recieved a news that the guy already got his money (all of course) and so now my mother is left with disappointment and is so depressed… the amount is 370K… my mother is now broke, the money she lended to that guy was a part from the money she got from the retirement of my father (deceased; was also a police)… i would be very thankful for an answer… God bless…

  5. hi may i ask what would i do i have a bouncing check because my acct was closed i issue a good for 1yr to a lending company but i locked to pay one of there agent from legal collection we have agreement for settlement but because of financial status i still delayed in paying when i deposit to the acct last mo. the agent of legal collection was anger with me because as per the agent he paid for my delayed and i receive a text that he already forwarded my case because of my bouncing check and he told me that they will send me a subpoena what would i do thank you hope for your response god bless

    • Hi Liza, just follow the instructions on the Subpoena so you can explain your side in court. If you fail to do this, the case will be decided based only on the evidence presented by the complainant.

  6. Can I ask something about Estafa cases? You see I’ve received a check as payment for products I have delivered to a customer and since I needed cash I went to a cooperative bank ang have the check rediscounted. After that the bank discovered that the account was closed and cannot able to contact the issuer of the check. The manager of the bank filed a case against me and I was like why am I the one who is liable or who was blamed? Isnt it that it should be the issuer who should be charged of Estafa? Can you please help me with my problem?

    • hi Sheng. When you issued the check you were unaware that it would bounce so there cant be estafa. But you should still pay the bank the amount on the check since you were given cash in exchange for it.

  7. may pagkakautang po ako kaso ang pinirmahan po namin ay blanko at walang direct na agreement 5-6 po sa tao yun nga lang po pinapapirma po kami ng walang legal na contract at blanko po anu po ba ang pwede nila maikaso sa akin di na po kasi ako nakakapagbayad dahil wala na po talaga ako pera at ang isa pa ay 20% po ang tubo at payable within 40 days
    nahulugan ko na po yung iba may natitira pa po

    • una sa lahat, ang pagpirma mo sa blankong papel ay pagtanggap na anuman ang isulat nila dito ay sinang-ayunan mo. kung gusto mong patunayan na hindi ka sumang-ayon dito, kailangan mong magsampa ng kaso sa korte para ipawalang bisa ang kasunuduan.

      mas mabuti pa rin kung ipapakita mo sa iyong pinagkautangan na willing ka magbayad at pumirma ng bagong kasunduan na magpapawalang-bisa sa una mong pinirmahan.

  8. paano po ba ang gagawin ko. may nag issue po sa akin ng cheque pero wala po pa lang fund. nag balikan ko po ung tao na un nagtatago na po sya ano po ang gagawin ko para mahabol ko po un?

    • Notify the borrower of this fact. Send it to her last known address. Send also a demand letter. If she fails to pay then you may file a case for collection of sum of money or estafa.

  9. A person loan an amount to me and issued pdc as payment. The the last check was dated march 2014 and she has been putting it on hold ever since siting a lot of different reasons why she can’t pay. I have been asking her to pay and a lot of exchanges of excuses has been made since then. For the past 2-3wks I cannot call her anymore or contact her with all the numbers i have of her. Can i still deposit my check dated march 2014 and if bounces file either or both a case of bouncing check and estafa against her?

  10. good afternoon po. may inutangan po ang nanay ko, at may pirmahan po sila. 5% monthly interest. humiram po ang nanay ko ng cheke ko. hindi ko po sinulatan ng pangalan ng taong pinagkakautangan nya. nagbabayad po ang nanay ko monthly, hanggang umabot po sa monthly interest na lang ang babayaran. hanggang nakiusap po ang nanay ko na, sana ibawas na sa principal ang hulog nya. pero nitong nakakaraan na buwan, nag de-demand na po siya ng full payment, at hindi na tinatanggap ang hulog. may dumating po na demand letter sa akin. at hinihingi ang buong kabayaran. hindi po binawas yung mga naihulog dati, pati yung napag kasunduan na ibabawas na lang sa principal amount.
    wala pong binigay ng cheke ang nanay ko, pero ako po ay natalbugan na ng cheke sa knya, dahil na po pilit niyang hinihingi ang buong kabayaran.
    ano po dapat naming gawin? at ano po ang magiging liability ko.

    • You may be liable for violation of BP 22. Pondohan mo ang cheke na na-issue mo then settle the matter with the lender. Pag fnag file na kaso ganyan din naman ang gagawin but you may be liable for more (e.g. attorney’s fees, damages, etc) Best to settle the matter as soon as possible.

  11. Hi! May nagbayad po saken ng check dated sept 30, 2014 tapos nagtext po sya ngayon na pinaclosed account na nya yun account nya sa bank last week pa kaya sabi nya wag ko na daw ideposit. Wala po sya plano magbayad. Magdemenda na lang daw po ako at alam nya naman daw po ang pwede mangyari. Anu po pwede ko gawin.? Salamat po.

    • GIve her written notice that the check bounced then send her a demand letter asking her to pay within 5 days from receipt. If she still wont pay, file a case for violation of BP 22 or a simple collection case.

  12. Hi Atty..

    Sobra po akong baseless sa subpoena na aking natanggap. Nagloan po kasi kami ng kapitbahay ko dati sa puregold sakin pinangalan kasi mas maganda ang trabaho ko. Pinag isyu ako ng checke. kabuuan ng halaga na dapat ko bayaran.. Nung una ay ayos mag hulog ang kapit bahay ko . nung huli puro na po ako paluwal. may kasulatan kami ng kapit bahay ko. Hanggat sa umabot na kami sa brgy. tapos sinabi ko din sa puregold iyon. kaya ang ginawa ko po pina closed ko ang checking accounts ko at na inform ko ang puregold na huhulugan ko nalang ang loan ko sa affilitaed bank nila at yun po ang ngyari hanggat sa mabayran ko ang loan ko at sinabi din nila na sila na ang bahala maningil sa kabitbahay ko ngayon pina subpoena nil ako sa kasong BATAS pambansa blg 22. na pinaaddress sa opisina k at nakalagy po doon ay pumunta sa prosecutor office ng october 16 , samantalang inabot lang sakin ng gurad namen nkaninang umaga. anu po gagawi ko atty

    • Pumunta ka sa hearing sa fiscal. Magpaliwanag ka lang na nabayaran na ang loan. BP 22 punishes the mere act of issuing an unfunded check even if it as issued as a guarantee or security to a loan secured. Maari kang makiusap sa fiscal na wag na ituloy ang demanda. Mas mabuti kung makakahingi ka ng kasulatan sa bangko na katunayan na bayad na ang utang.

  13. Hi, meron po akung na issue na cheque amount of 6000. na-closed po yung checking account ko due to insufficient fund. Then, I’m trying to contact yung na issue-han ko ng cheque but out of reach. gusto ko po sanang i settle pero hindi ko mahagilap yung tao. Ano po pwedeng mangyari sa akin? automatically po ba file a case for BP22?

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