“ATTY., UMUTANG PO AKO SA LENDING COMPANY PERO NGAYON KO LANG NALAMAN NA MAY FINANCE CHARGE NA SINISINGIL KAYA LUMAKI BABAYARAN KO. ANO PO BA RIGHT KO SA BATAS?”
ANG TRUTH IN LENDING ACT O REPUBLIC ACT NO. 3765 AY ISANG BATAS NA NAGPROPROTEKTA SA SINUMANG TAO NA UMUUTANG SA MGA TAO NA NAGPAPAUTANG SA PAMAMAGITAN NG PAGRE-REQUIRE NA BIGYAN NG MALINAW AT NAKASULAT NA BREAKDOWN ANG AMOUNT NA INUTANG, ANG INTEREST NA IPAPATAWA AT IBA PANG FINANCE CHARGES AT FEES NA SISINGILIN NA MAY RELASYON SA PAGPAPAUTANG. KUNG WALANG PAGSUNOD SA BATAS NA ITO ANG CREDITOR, PWEDENG SINGILIN SIYA O KAYA AY KASUHAN NG KASONG KRIMINAL.
Marami ang nagtatanong sa E-Lawyers Online kung ano karapatan ng isang tao na nangutang sa isang lending company na hindi pinaliwanag ang mga tubo at finance charge na pinapataw. Ganito ang question ng isang reader ng E-Lawyers Online:
“Atty., ang mister ko po ay OFW at umutang kami ng pangplacement fee sa lending. After po namin magbigay ng checks, binigay na ang pera at marami po bawas. Ngayon po ay malaki po singil ng installment kakaiba po sa napagusapan. Wala po sa amin sinabi na marami po pataw na charges. Pwede po ba namin ireklamo sila?”
Ang Republic Act No. 3765 otherwise known as Truth in Lending Act ay nagproproteksyon sa mga umuutang sa pamamagitan ng pagrerequire sa mga nagpapautang o creditor na bigyan sila ng maliwanay at nakasulat na breakdown ng mga amount na pinautang, ang interest o tubo, at iba pang information at iba pang finance charges o fees na related sa pagpapautang ayon sa Section 4:
Section 4. Any creditor shall furnish to each person to whom credit is extended, prior to the consummation of the transaction, a clear statement in writing setting forth, to the extent applicable and in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board, the following information:
(1) the cash price or delivered price of the property or service to be acquired;
(2) the amounts, if any, to be credited as down payment and/or trade-in;
(3) the difference between the amounts set forth under clauses (1) and (2);
(4) the charges, individually itemized, which are paid or to be paid by such person in connection with the transaction but which are not incident to the extension of credit;
(5) the total amount to be financed;
(6) the finance charge expressed in terms of pesos and centavos; and
(7) the percentage that the finance bears to the total amount to be financed expressed as a simple annual rate on the outstanding unpaid balance of the obligation.
(a) Any creditor who in connection with any credit transaction fails to disclose to any person any information in violation of this Act or any regulation issued thereunder shall be liable to such person in the amount of P100 or in an amount equal to twice the finance charged required by such creditor in connection with such transaction, whichever is the greater, except that such liability shall not exceed P2,000 on any credit transaction. Action to recover such penalty may be brought by such person within one year from the date of the occurrence of the violation, in any court of competent jurisdiction. In any action under this subsection in which any person is entitled to a recovery, the creditor shall be liable for reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs as determined by the court.
(b) Except as specified in subsection (a) of this section, nothing contained in this Act or any regulation contained in this Act or any regulation thereunder shall affect the validity or enforceability of any contract or transactions.
(c) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this Act or any regulation issued thereunder shall be fined by not less than P1,00 or more than P5,000 or imprisonment for not less than 6 months, nor more than one year or both.
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