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Delta Motors Sales vs. Niu Kim Duan [G.R. No. 61043. September 2, October 1977 ordering the defendants to pay Delta Motors the
1992.] amount of P6,188.29 with a 14% per annum interest which was due on
the 3 “Daikin” air-conditioners the defendants purchased from Delta
Second Division, Nocon (J): 4 concurring
Motors under a Deed of Conditional Sale, after the same was
Facts: On 5 July 1975, Niu Kim Duan and Chan Fue Eng (defendants) declared rescinded by the trial court. They were likewise ordered to
purchased from Delta Motor Sales Corporation 3 units of ‘DAIKIN’ air- pay Delta Motors P1,000.00 for and as attorney’s fees.
conditioner all valued at P19,350.00. The deed of sale stipulates that
Niu Kim Duan and Chan Fue Eng appealed. The case was elevated to
the defendants shall pay a down payment of P774.00 and the
the Supreme Court by the Court of Appeals, in its Resolution of 20 May
balance of P18,576.00 shall be paid by them in 24 installments; that the
1982, on a pure question of law.
title to the properties purchased shall remain with Delta Motors until
the purchase price thereof is fully paid; that if any two installments are The Supreme Court set aside the judgment of the trial court in Civil
not paid by the defendants on their due dates, the whole of the Case 25578 and dismissed the complaint filed by Delta Motor Sales
principal sum remaining unpaid shall become due, with interest at the Corporation; without costs.
rate of 14% per annum: and in case of a suit, the defendants shall pay
1. Treatment of installment payments as rentals not unconscionable
an amount equivalent to 25% of the remaining unpaid obligation as
(even if it approximates 1/3 of cost of the 3 airconditioners)
damages, penalty and attorney’s fees; that to secure the payment of
the balance of P18,576.00 the defendants jointly and severally Defendants cannot complain that their downpayment of P774.00 and
executed in favor of the Delta Motors a promissory note. The 3 air- installment payments of P5,655.92 were treated as rentals, even
conditioners were delivered to and received by the defendants. After though the total amount of P6,429,92 which they had paid,
paying the amount of P6,966.00, the defendants failed to pay at least approximates one-third (1/3) of the cost of the 3 air-conditioners. A
2 monthly installments; that as of 6 January 1977, the remaining unpaid stipulation in a contract that the installments paid shall not be returned
obligation of the defendants amounted to P12,920.08. Statements of to the vendee is valid insofar as the same may not be unconscionable
accounts were sent to the defendants and the Delta Motors’ under the circumstances is sanctioned by Article 1486 of the New Civil
collectors personally went to the former to effect collections but they Code. The monthly installment payable by defendants was P774.00.
failed to do so. Because of the unjustified refusal of the defendants to The P5,655.92 installment payments correspond only to 7 monthly
pay their outstanding account and their wrongful detention of the installments. Since they admit having used the air-conditioners for 22
properties in question, Delta Motors tried to recover the said properties months, this means that they did not pay 15 monthly installments on
extra-judicially but it failed to do so. The matter was later referred by the said air-conditioners and were thus using the same FREE for said
Delta Motors to its legal counsel for legal action. period, to the prejudice of Delta Motors. Under the circumstances, the
treatment of the installment payments as rentals cannot be said to be
In its verified complaint dated 28 January 1977, Delta Motors prayed
unconscionable.
for the issuance of a writ of replevin, which the Court granted in its
Order dated 28 February 1977, after Delta Motors posted the requisite 2. Remedies available to vendor in a sale of personal property
bond. On 11 April 1977, Delta Motors, by virtue of the writ, succeeded payable in installments
in retrieving the properties in question. As of 3 October 1977, the
The vendor in a sale of personal property payable in installments may
outstanding account of the defendants is only in the amount of
exercise one of three remedies, namely, (1) exact the fulfillment of the
P6,188.29 as shown by the computation, after deducting the interests
obligation, should the vendee fail to pay; (2) cancel the sale upon the
in arrears, cover charges, replevin bond premiums, the value of the
vendee’s failure to pay two or more installments; (3) foreclose the
units repossessed and the like. In view of the failure of the defendants
chattel mortgage, if one has been constituted on the property sold,
to pay their obligations, the amount of P6,966.00 which had been paid
upon the vendee’s failure to pay two or more installments. The third
by way of installments were treated as rentals for the units in question
option or remedy, however, is subject to the limitation that the vendor
for 2 years pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 5 of the Deed of
cannot recover any unpaid balance of the price and any agreement
Conditional Sale. The trial court promulgated its decision on 11
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to the contrary is void (Art. 1484).
3. Remedies alternative, not cumulative
The 3 remedies are alternative and NOT cumulative. If the creditor
chooses one remedy, he cannot avail himself of the other two.
4. Air-conditioning units repossessed, bars action to exact payment for
balance of the price
Delta Motors had taken possession of the 3 air-conditioners, through a
writ of replevin when defendants refused to extra-judicially surrender
the same. The case Delta Motors filed was to seek a judicial
declaration that it had validly rescinded the Deed of Conditional Sale.
Delta Motors thus chose the second remedy of Article 1484 in seeking
enforcement of its contract with defendants. Having done so, it is
barred from exacting payment from defendants of the balance of the
price of the three air-conditioning units which it had already
repossessed. It cannot have its cake and eat it too.

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