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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4 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

  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

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