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Question A11


(Question XI, Civil Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

Samantha sold all her business interest in a sole proprietorship to Sergio for the amount of PhP1 million. Under the sale agreement, Samantha was supposed to pay for all prior unpaid utility bills incurred by the sole proprietorship. A month after the Contract to Sell was executed, Samantha still had not paid the PhP50,000 electricity bills incurred prior to the sale. Since Sergio could not operate the business without electricity and the utility company refused to restore electricity services unless the unpaid bills were settled in full, Sergio had to pay the unpaid electricity bills. When the date for payment arrived, Sergio only tendered PhP950,000 representing the full purchase price, less the amount he paid for the unpaid utility bills. Samantha refused to accept the tender on the ground that she was the one supposed to pay the bills and Sergio did not have authorization to pay on her behalf.

(a) What is the effect of payment made by Sergio without the knowledge and consent of Samantha? (2.5%)

(b) Is Samantha guilty of mora accipiendi? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Samantha’s obligation to the utility company is extinguished and Sergio is subrogated to the utility company. Answer

Under the Civil Code, there is legal subrogation when, even without the knowledge of the debtor, a person interested in the fulfillment of the obligation pays, without prejudice to the effects of confusion as to the latter’s share. Rule

In the case at bar, Sergio has interests in Samantha paying the Php1 Million utility bill to the utility company. Accordingly, Sergio may pay the debt and be subrogated to the utility company. Apply

Thus, the debt on the utility bill is extinguished and Sergio is subrogated to the utility company. Conclusion

(b) Yes. Answer

Under jurisprudence, there is mora accipiendi when there is delay on the part of the obligee/creditor in accepting the performance of the obligation by the obligor/debtor. Rule

In the case at bar, Samantha as obligee is delaying on the acceptance of the payment from Sergio as the obligor. She had no justification nor reason not to accept the payment. As indicated earlier, Sergio validly paid the utility bill on her behalf since he had interests thereto as the buyer of the sole proprietorship. Apply

Thus, Samantha is guilty of mora accipiendi. Conclusion

(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)

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