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Can I file for ESTAFA?

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1 Can I file for ESTAFA? on Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:30 pm


Arresto Menor

Here's my situation. My dad entered into a contract to buy a piece of land. My dad was to pay the seller in instalment over 6 years. In the 4th year of his instalment, my father started to default on payments which caused the seller to file for an ejection case against him (since he is already occupying the property). To settle, it was agreed that my dad is to file for a loan from PAG-IBIG to pay for the remaining amount he owes the seller. The seller agreed. My dad applied for the loan and it was approved. Since we have already made previous payments to the seller and the PAG-IBIG loan was for the entire amount of the lot, the seller told us that he will just return to us any excess payment minus the interests and lawyer fees, based on the contract. We asked for a statement of account several times but the seller never gave us one, giving us different excuses each time.

Now, the my dad's loan was approved and a check was issued to the seller for the full amount on the contract to sell. I once again asked for a statement of account so that we will know how much money will be returned to us. The seller accepted the PAG-IBIG check (from pag-ibig) and told me to go to his office for a statement of account (after he has already possession of the check). Much to my surprise, his statement of account included fees of over P60,000 which is not in the contract plus attorney's fees which is P120,000 higher than what was stipulated in the contract to sell (contract to sell states that in the event a case in court will be filed, buyer is liable to pay P30,000 in attorney's fees. In their SOA, they asked for P150,000).

In short, the money they are offering to return to us is over P180,000 short than what is supposed to be given back to us. Per the advice of our lawyer, we did not accept the check they offered us because it was short a substantial amount. So, despite us being able to pay for the lot, the case was continued because we contested the amount that should be returned to us.

The case is now finished and the judge has made a ruling in our favour that we cannot be ejected from the lot because we are the rightful owners of such, after paying the seller the amount we owed them. However, the judge did not make a ruling as to cost and he did not include in his judgement the amount that should be returned to us by the seller. The seller did not file for an appeal.

My question is, what are the legal remedies available to us so we can get back the money that was given to them as overpayment? It's not only the disputed amount that was not returned, but it includes the amount they were offering to give us as we did not accept it. The amount in question is now for over P400,000.00. Can we file a case of estafa against the seller? I know that deceit is a an essential element in estafa cases but can we take the fact that the seller refused to furnish us a statement of account prior to their acceptance of the PAG-IBIG check as deceit? I know that the reason he never gave us a SOA is because of these "hidden" charges that he was planning. Is this enough for a case of estafa?

Please help.

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2 Re: Can I file for ESTAFA? on Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:31 pm


Arresto Menor
Also, can we charge them legal interests from the time they had possession of the money that was rightfully ours? Can we also ask for damages and attorney's fees since we would have to file a case against them and have to pay a lawyer to do the same?

I would really appreciate your output.

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