Do you have a business, perhaps a sari-sari store, where one of your neighbors have accumulated credit so high they’re now avoiding you or making silly excuses already because they don’t want to pay anymore?

Well, we have good news for you. There are still hopes for your money to get paid.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno said that the "Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases" allows any individual or business to file a case against someone who owes them money.

To be able to file a case against your debtor under the Rule of Procedure for Small Claims Cases, the money claim should not exceed P200,000 including interests and penalty fees (if there’s any). If the claim is more than the said amount then the plaintiff would have to go to regular court.

The clip below is a primer video shows how it is easy to file for 'small claims' cases in the country. No need to hire for a lawyer.

Meanwhile, here are the basic steps in filing for Small Claims Case in the Philippines

1. Go to either one of these places to file your case:

* First level court of the city where you live.
* First level court of the city where your debtor (defendant) lives

2. First level courts are defined as any of the following:

* Metropolitan Trial Court
* Municipal Trial Courts in Cities
* Municipal Trial Court
* Municipal Circuit Trial Courts

3. Go to the Office of the Clerk of Court and fill up the following forms:

* Information for Plaintiff
* Statement of Claim
* Certification of Non-Forum Shopping

4. As plaintiff, you would also need to accomplish a Verified Statement of Claim which certifies that all information you gave is correct and you have not filed the same case in any other court.

5. You would also need to provide other important documents that will show sufficient proof that the loan occurred, this can be ANY of the following:

* Signed contracts by the defendants.
* Promissory notes, receipts, bank deposit slips, checks and other “paper trails”
* Latest demand letter with proof of delivery and proof of receipt
* Affidavits of witnesses

6. After this, the plaintiff will then have to pay a small amount of around P 1,250 to file the case.

What happens next?

Now that all the documents are submitted, and all administrative fees are paid, the court will then assign the case to a judge (through a raffle) and if it’s found that there is merit to the case, the defendants will be given a SummonNotice of Hearing, Information for the DefendantResponse Form and other documents.

The plaintiff will then be informed and a Notice of Hearing will be sent to them stating the scheduled date and time of appearance in court.

During the Settlement Discussion, the two parties, with the mediation of the judge, will have the chance to settle the case. If no agreement happens, the case will now move to a court hearing which should occur on the same day.

Lastly, at the hearing, the judge will now make his or her decision regarding the case. The decision is final, non-appealable and immediately executory.

Source: Nation's Press

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