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Sps. Barrera v. Sps. Lorenzo (G.R. No.

130994, RTC ruled in favor of petitioners, orders return


September 18, 2002) of overpaid amount (P215,750) ; return of TCT
offered as security.
Sps. Felimon and Maria Barrera, petitioners,
borrowed P230k from spouses Miguel and Mary CA reverses RTC.
Lazaro. The loan was secured by a real estate
mortgage over petitioners' residential lot located ISSUE:
at Bunlo, Bocaue, Bulacan.
Whether the 5% monthly interest on the loan was only
The Lazaro spouses needed money and informed for three (3) months, as maintained by petitioners, or
petitioners that they would transfer the loan to until the loan was fully paid, as claimed by
spouses Emiliano and Maria Concepcion respondents.
Lorenzo, respondents. Consequently, petitioners
executed another real estate mortgage over their HELD:
lot, this time in favor of the respondents to
When the terms of a contract are clear and leave
secure the loan of P325k, which the latter
no doubt as to the intention of the contracting
claimed as the amount they paid spouses Lazaro.
parties, the literal meaning of its stipulations
The mortgage contract provides, among others,
governs. In such cases, courts have no authority
that the new loan shall be payable within three
to alter a contract by construction or to make a
months; that it shall earn interest at 5% per
new contract for the parties; its duty is confined
month; and that should petitioners fail to pay
to the interpretation of the one which they have
their loan within the said period, the mortgage
made for themselves without regard to its
shall be foreclosed.
wisdom or folly as the court cannot supply
When petitioners failed to pay their loan in full material stipulations or read into the contract
after 3 months, respondents allowed them to words which it does not contain.[16] It is only
complete their payment for another 4 months. when the contract is vague and ambiguous that
They made a total payment of P687k by this courts are permitted to resort to construction of
time. its terms and determine the intention of the
parties therein.
Respondents wrote petitioners demanding
payment of P325k, plus interest, otherwise they The salient provisions of the mortgage contract
would foreclose the mortgage. Petitioners then read:
claim that they have overpaid their obligation
"a) Ang sanglaang ito ay sa loob lamang ng
and demanded the return of their land title and
tatlong (3) buwan, o hanggang sa Agosto 14,
refund of their excess payment. This prompted
1991.
respondents to file a petition for extrajudicial
foreclosure of mortgage. b) Ang tubo na aming napagkasunduan ay 5%,
o cinco por ciento isang buwan.
Petitioners filed a complaint for the return of
their TCT, sum of money and damages, and
application for a TRO and WPI with the RTC.

Respondents then alleged that petitioners' loan


has been restructured three times and that their
unpaid balance was P543k.

RTC issued an order in favor of the petitioners


enjoining the sheriff from proceeding with the
foreclosure of mortgage, upon their posting of a
bond in the amount of P543k.