Bouncing Checks (B.P. 22)

Some people still have this misplaced confidence in the deterrent effect of Batas Pambansa (BP) Blg. 22, also known as the Bouncing Checks Law (full text here). Here are some things a layman should know:

1. The issuer is not automatically liable simply because the check “bounced”. A check generally “bounces” when dishonored upon presentment (reasons include, account closed, drawn against insufficient funds or DAIF). However, it is indispensable that the issuer must be notified in WRITING about the fact of dishonor, and he has 5 days from receipt to pay the value of the check or make arrangements for the payment thereof. (Please see update on this matter at the Philippine e-Legal Forum).

2. Filing fees are generally not required for criminal cases. For B.P. 22 cases, however, the complainant is required to pay the filing fees (based on the value of the check/s and the damages claimed, just like in civil cases) upon filing of the case in court.

3. One major deterrent against bouncing checks is the threat of a warrant of arrest being issued once the criminal case is filed in court. This is no longer true. No warrant of arrest is issued unless the accused fails to appear when required by the court.

4. Even if a criminal case under B.P. 22 is filed, the court can’t issue a hold-departure order (HDO). All violations of the Bouncing Checks Law, regardless of the amount involved, are filed only with the municipal/metropolitan trial courts. These courts cannot issue an HDO.

5. Courts have the discretion of imposing: (a) imprisonment only; (b) fine only; OR (c) both. It is entirely possible that only a fine, without imprisonment, is imposed.

(See also: Basic Reminders in Preventing Check Fraud)

135 thoughts on “Bouncing Checks (B.P. 22)”

  1. hi atty i have a problem po nag issue po ako ng checks payable in 12 mos for salary loan and i was able to pay them for 6 consecutive months kaya lang po un mga sumunod na months nde ko na napondohan dhil nagkaron ako ng financial problem pero nag huhulog po ako kahit magkano to update my account kya lang po nagtext sa akin un legal dept daw nila na kelangan ko bayaran ng buo and sinabe ko po na kaya po ako nakikiusap dhil di ko kayang bayaran and besisdes naghuhulog nmn ako ang sagot s akin nun legal na nde nmn sila pumayag sa paymaent arrangement pero bakit nila tintangap un deposit ko and ang end up they will file a case pa rin pla. if ever po na magfile sila ng case right after po ba ng hearing kung nde po pumyag nag payment arrangement un nagdemanda pwede po ba ako agad ikulong? or may hearing pa po na susunod?? totoo po ba na pag kumuha ako ng pao na lawyer ay nde hahawakan ang kaso ko kung matuloy ang demanda nila sa akin

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