Civil Law

Edmerito Gobonseng vs Unibancard Corporation

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G.R. NO. 160026 – 539 SCRA 564 – Civil Law – Credit Transactions – Credit Card – Credit Card Fees – Interest Rate – Penalty

Edmerito Gobonseng subscribed for a credit card with Unibancard Corporation. The credit limit was P10k a month. The terms of the subscription are: that interest rate is at 3% per month; that penalty is at 5% per month; that in case of litigation, a penalty of 25% of the amount due for atty’s fees is to be required.

Gobonseng defaulted from paying. Unibancard sued him.

ISSUE: Whether or not Gobonseng is liable for all the fees.

HELD: Yes. Because he agreed to it before he subscribed. But, the 5% per month penalty is quite high considering that Unibancard failed to monitor Gobonseng’s expenses which exceeded his monthly limit; that sustaining it at 5% would almost double the principal balance. Hence, the penalty should be reduced to 1% per month.

The atty’s fees clause should be reduced to 10%. 25% is quite high and exorbitant. The court has jurisdiction to ascertain atty’s fees regardless of contractual stipulations.

The 3% interest rate is sustained, it being the agreed amount. In short, it is the law between the parties. The legal rate of 12% per annum cannot be applied here for there was a stipulation between the parties beforehand.

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