ESTAFA AND BOUNCING CHECKS LAW: WHEN TO FILE, WHAT TO FILE

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

BOUNCING CHECKS LAW

 

  • 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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