Velasco v. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. L-31018, 29 June 1973, 51 SCRA 439

FACTS:

This is a suit for specific performance filed by Lorenzo Velasco against the Magdalena Estate, Inc. on the allegation that on November 29, 1962 the plaintiff and the defendant had entered into a contract of sale by virtue of which the defendant offered to sell the plaintiff and the plaintiff in turn agreed to buy a parcel of land with an area of 2,059 square meters for the total purchase price of P100,000.00.

It is alleged by the plaintiff that the agreement was that the plaintiff was to give a down payment of P10,000.00 to be followed by P20,000.00 and the balance of P70,000.00 would be paid in installments, the equal monthly amortization of which was to be determined as soon as the P30,000.00 down payment had been completed. It is further alleged that the plaintiff paid down payment of P10,000.00 on November 29, 1962 as per receipt No. 207848 and that when on January 8, 1964 he tendered to the defendant the payment of the additional P20,000.00 to complete the P30,000.00 the defendant refused to accept and that eventually it likewise refused to execute a formal deed of sale obviously agreed upon.

The defendant, in its Answer, denies that it has had any direct dealings, much less, contractual relations with the plaintiff regarding the property in question, and contends that the alleged contract described in the document attached to the complaint is entirely unenforceable under the Statute of Frauds; that the truth of the matter is that a portion of the property in question was being leased by a certain Socorro Velasco who, on November 29, 1962, went to the office of the defendant indicated her desire to purchase the lot; that the defendant indicated its willingness to sell the property to her at the price of P100,000.00 under the condition that a down payment of P30,000.00 be made, P20,000.00 of which was to be paid on November 31, 1962, and that the balance of P70,000.00 including interest a 9% per annum was to be paid on installments for a period of ten years at the rate of P5,381.32 on June 30 and December of every year until the same shall have been fully paid; that on November 29, 1962 Socorro Velasco offered to pay P10,000.00 as initial payment instead of the agreed P20,000.00 but because the amount was short of the alleged P20,000.00 the same was accepted merely as deposited and upon request of Socorro Velasco the receipt was made in the name of her brother-in-law the plaintiff herein; that Socorro Velasco failed to complete the down payment of P30,000.00 and neither has she paid any installments on the balance of P70,000.00 up to the present time; that it was only on January 8, 1964 that Socorro Velasco tendered payment of P20,000.00, which offer the defendant refused to accept because it had considered the offer to sell rescinded on account of her failure to complete the down payment on or before December 31, 1962. Hence this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether the talks between the Magdalena Estate, Inc. and Lorenzo Velasco either directly or thru his sister-in-law Socorro Velasco ever ripened into a consummated sale.

RULING:

NO, there was no contract of sale that was perfected because the minds of the parties did not meet “in regard to the manner of payment.”

The material averments contained in the petitioners’ complaint themselves disclose a lack of complete “agreement in regard to the manner of payment” of the lot in question. The complaint states pertinently:

4. That plaintiff and defendant further agreed that the total down payment shall by P30,000.00, including the P10,000.00 partial payment mentioned in paragraph 3 hereof, and that upon completion of the said down payment of P30,000.00, the balance of P70,000.00 shall be said by the plaintiff to the defendant in 10 years from November 29, 1962;

5. That the time within the full down payment of the P30,000.00 was to be completed was not specified by the parties but the defendant was duly compensated during the said time prior to completion of the down payment of P30,000.00 by way of lease rentals on the house existing thereon which was earlier leased by defendant to the plaintiff’s sister-in-law, Socorro J. Velasco, and which were duly paid to the defendant by checks drawn by plaintiff.

It is not difficult to glean from the aforequoted averments that the petitioners themselves admit that they and the respondent still had to meet and agree on how and when the down-payment and the installment payments were to be paid. Such being the situation, it cannot, therefore, be said that a definite and firm sales agreement between the parties had been perfected over the lot in question.

Indeed, this Court has already ruled before that a definite agreement on the manner of payment of the purchase price is an essential element in the formation of a binding and unforceable contract of sale.

The fact, therefore, that the petitioners delivered to the respondent the sum of P10,000 as part of the down-payment that they had to pay cannot be considered as sufficient proof of the perfection of any purchase and sale agreement between the parties herein under article 1482 of the new Civil Code, as the petitioners themselves admit that some essential matter — the terms of payment — still had to be mutually covenanted.

*Case Digest by Doreena Pauline V. Aranal, JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020

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