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RCBC v Court of Appeals, Felipe Lustre, private respondent RCBC assumed Lustre defaulted on his payment because of the

[Kapunan, 1999] unsigned August 10 check being unsigned. In a letter dated January
21, 1993, RCBC demanded from Lustre the payment of the debt plus
TOPIC liquidated damages. Lustre refused thus RCBC filed an action for
Concept of Delay – “Article 1170 of the Civil Code states that those replevin and damages before the RTC of Pasay City.
who in the performance of their obligations are guilty of delay are ISSUE
liable for damages. The delay in the performance of the obligation
however must be either malicious or negligent [the Court cited WON private respondent is liable for damages and the unpaid
Tolentino] x x x There is not imputation, much less evidence, that balance. – NO, in fact RCBC should pay him damages
private respondent acted with malice or negligence in failing to sign
the check. Indeed we agree with the Court of Appeals’ finding that The delay in the performance of the obligation must be malicious or
such omission [to sign the said checks] was mere ‘inadvertence’ on negligent. [Pls see TOPIC heading] Lustre’s failure to sign the said
the part of the private respondent” checks was mere “inadvertence”. Toyota salesperson Jorge
Geronimo testified that he even verified whether Lustre signed all the
FACTS checks and returned 3 or 4 unsigned checks and Lustre did not
object. There was a lack of malice or negligence.
Atty Felipe Lustre purchased a Toyota Corolla from Toyota Shaw, Inc.
He made a down payment P164620.00. The rest of the balance would Petitioner already debited the value of the unsigned check from
be paid with 24 postdated checks for P14976.00 each. They would be private respondent’s account only to re-credit it much later. Petitioner
paid every 10th day of each month, starting April 10, 1991. also encashed checks subsequently dated, then abruptly refused to
encash the last two. Pet did not even bother to call Lustre to sign the
Lustre executed a promissory note and a contract of chatter mortgage check.
over the vehicle in favor of Toyota Shaw. Paragraph 11 of the contract
says that if the mortgagor defaults in the payment of ANY installment, Pet is liable for damages caused to Lustre including moral damages
the whole amount remaining unpaid shall become due. Mortagor will for “mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
also be liable for 25% of the principal due as liquidated damages. feeling sand social humiliation suffered by the latter” [LOL]. Then the
Court quotes a paragraph describing Lustre’s good reputation. He’s a
Toyota Shaw assigned all its rights and interests in the chattel lawyer who loves golf and has children who are professionals
mortgage to RCBC.

RCBC encashed and debited all checks from April 10, 1991 to
January 10, 1993 except on echeck for August 10, 1991 which was
unsigned. The amount was debited from Lustre but was recalled and
re-credited to him. Because of the recall, the last 2 checks for Feb 10,
1993 and March 10, 1993 were no longer presented for payment in
conformity with RCBC’s procedure.