Nagtalon vs. UCPB
G.R. No. 172504
31 July 2013
Ponente: J. Brion
This is a petition for review on certiorari.
Roman Nagtalon and petitioner, Donna Nagtalon, mortgaged some properties in order to secure a credit agreement they made with respondent United Coconut Planters Bank. The spouses failed to comply with the terms of conditions thereof so the properties were foreclosed and sold at public auction. The UCPB was the sole and highest bidder. It was issued a certificate of sale and caused the entry of the sale in the records of the Registry of Deeds. After the one-year redemption period had expired with Nagtalon having failed to redeem the properties, the UCPB consolidated the ownership over the properties, cancelling the Nagtalon titles while issuing new TCTs in UCPB’s name. UCPB then filed an ex parte petition for the issuance of a writ of possession from the RTC, but Nagtalon opposed this petition by reason of a pending civil case concerning the credit agreement. The RTC agreed with Nagtalon, but the UCPB brought this to the CA after its motion for reconsideration was denied and the CA reversed the RTC decision. Thus, Nagtalon’s petitioned the SC to review the CAs decision.
ISSUE AND ANSWER:
WHETHER OR NOT THE PENDENCY OF A CIVIL CASE CHALLENGING THE VALIDITY OF THE CREDIT AGREEMENT, THE PROMISSORY NOTES, AND THE MORTGAGE CAN BAR THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF POSSESSION AFTER THE FORECLOSURE AND SALE OF THE MORTGAGED PROPERTIES AND THE LAPSE OF THE ONE-YEAR REDEMPTION PERIOD.
No, it cannot be a bar.
a) THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF POSSESSION IS A MINISTERIAL FUNCTION OF THE COURT. The rule is that once the title to the property has been consolidated in the buyer’s name upon failure of the mortgagor to redeem the property within the one-year redemption period, the writ of possession becomes a matter of right belonging to the buyer.
b) PENDENCY OF A CIVIL CASE QUESTIONAING THE MORTGAGE AND FORECLOSURE IS NOT A BAR TO THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF EXECUTION. As a ministerial function of court, the judge need not look into the validity of the mortgage or the manner of its foreclosure, as these are questions that should properly be decided by a court of competent jurisdiction in the pending case filed before it.
c) EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE: 1) Gross inadequacy of purchase price 2) Third party claiming right adverse to debtor/mortgagor 3) Failure to pay the surplus proceeds of sale to mortgagor. Nagtalon did not qualify for any of these.
d) PETITIONER WAS ACCORDED DUE PROCESS. Issuance of a writ of possession is an ex parte petition, a non litigious proceeding where the relief is granted without requiring an opportunity to be heard for the person from whom relief is sought.