Home » Articles » Legal Advice

Paying the debt of a friend...

Paying the debt of a friend
"My friend owes my neighbor a sum of money. Knowing that my friend was having deep financial problem, I decided to pay in full her debt to my neighbor without her knowledge. After some time and upon realizing that my friend recovered from her financial situation, I decided to demand in full the amount I advanced. Unknown to me, my friend was able to pay partial of the amount of her debt to my neighbor. Can I still recover the full amount of the debt from my friend? Can I ask her to recover the excess payment from my neighbor to lessen the hassle on my part given that it was me who gave her the favor at a time when she seemingly was unable to pay? ElvieDear Elvie, The answer to your query is no. Under the law, specifically Articles 1236 and 1237 of Republic Act (RA) 386, otherwise known as the “Civil Code of the Philippines,” it is stated that without the knowledge of the debtor, the payer can only recover insofar as the payment has been beneficial to the debtor, to wit:“Article 1236. The creditor is not bound to accept payment or performance by a third person who has no interest in the fulfillment of the obligation, unless there is a stipulation to the contrary. “Whoever pays for another may demand from the debtor what he has paid, except that if he paid without the knowledge or against the will of the debtor, he can recover only insofar as the payment has been beneficial to the debtor.“Article 1237. Whoever pays on behalf of the debtor without the knowledge or against the will of the latter, cannot compel the creditor to subrogate him in his rights, such as those arising from a mortgage, guaranty, or penalty.” When the payment by a third person such as yourself in this case is made without the knowledge of the debtor, the payer can only recover from the debtor in so far as the payment has been beneficial to the latter. Moreover, if the original debt is secured by a mortgage contract, the same cannot also be invoked, since you paid without the debtor’s knowledge.In line with the above-mentioned rule, the Supreme Court in the case of Philippine Stock Exchange vs. Litonjua (GR 204014, Dec. 5, 2016, Ponente: Associate Justice Jose Perez), states, viz:“Whoever pays for another may demand from the debtor what he has paid, except that if he paid without the knowledge or against the will of the debtor, he can recover only insofar as the payment has been beneficial to the debtor.“Reiterating Article 1236, the Creditor is not bound to accept the payment or performance by a third person who has no interest in the fulfillment of the obligation unless there is a stipulation to the contrary. Whoever pays for another may demand from the debtor what he has paid, except that if he paid without the knowledge or against the will of the debtor, he can recover only insofar as the payment has been beneficial to the debtor.” (Emphases supplied) Applying the law and jurisprudence to your question, you can only recover to the extent that your friend debtor has benefitted. Succinctly, you cannot recover the full amount of the debt from your friend since accordingly she already made a partial payment of her debt prior to your payment in full to her creditor. On this note, she only benefited to the extent of the difference between her partial payment and the full amount of the debt. The fact that it is you who gave her the favor without her knowledge does not give you the right to recover the full amount absent any further proof that your payment in full has been beneficial to the debtor.We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our narration 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"
 

Please support us in writing articles like this by sharing this post

Share this post to your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, or any social media site. In this way, we will be motivated to write articles you like.

--- NOTICE ---
If you want to use this article or any of the content of this website, please credit our website (www.affordablecebu.com) and mention the source link (URL) of the content, images, videos or other media of our website.

"Paying the debt of a friend" was written by Mary under the Legal Advice category. It has been read 108 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 15 September 2021.
Total comments : 0