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G.R. NO.

178288 - August 15, 2012

Spouses Charlie and Ofelia Fortaleza (spouses Fortaleza) obtained a loan from spouses Rolando and
Amparo Lapitan (creditors) in the amount of P1. million sub!ect to "#$ interest per annum. As seu!"t#,
s$%uses F%!t&'e(& e)eute* %+ ,&+u&!# 28, 1--8 & .ee* %/ Re&' Est&te 0%!tg&ge %1e! t2e"!
!es"*e+t"&' 2%use &+* '%t and re%istered under &C& 'o. &(#1)1. *+r,-ll
.hen spouses Fortaleza failed to pa/ the indebtedness includin% the interests and penalties0 the creditors
applied for e1tra!udicial foreclosure of the Real 2state 3ort%a%e . &he public auction sale 4as set on
3a/ 50 661. At the sale0 the creditors son 7r. Raul Lapitan and his 4ife Rona (spouses Lapitan)
emer%ed as the hi%hest bidders 4ith the bid amount of P.) million. &hen0 the/ 4ere issued a Certificate
of Sale 4hich 4as re%istered and annotated at the bac8 of &C& 'o. &(#1)1. T2e %+e-#e&!
!e*e3$t"%+ $e!"%* e)$"!e* 4"t2%ut t2e s$%uses F%!t&'e(& !e*ee3"+g t2e 3%!tg&ge. &hus0 spouses
Lapitan e1ecuted an affida9it of consolidation of o4nership on 'o9ember 60 66" and caused the
cancellation of &C& 'o. &(#1)1 and the re%istration of the sub!ect propert/ in their names under &C&
'o. &()")5#) on Februar/ #0 66#. 7espite the fore%oin%0 t2e s$%uses F%!t&'e(& !e/use* s$%uses
L&$"t&+ s /%!3&' *e3&+* t% 1&&te &+* su!!e+*e! $%ssess"%+ %/ t2e su56et $!%$e!t#.
On Au%ust :0 66#0 spouses Lapitan filed an e1 parte petition for the issuance of 4rit of possession as
ne4 re%istered o4ners of the sub!ect propert/. ;n their opposition0 spouses Fortaleza <uestioned the
9alidit/ of the real estate mort%a%e and the foreclosure sale. &he/ ar%ued that the mort%a%e 4as 9oid
because the creditors bloated the principal amount b/ the imposition of e1orbitant interest. Spouses
Fortaleza added that the foreclosure proceedin% 4as in9alid for non(compliance 4ith the postin%
re<uirement. &he R&C ordered the issuance of a 4rit of possession e1plainin% that it is a ministerial dut/
of the court especiall/ since the redemption period had e1pired and a ne4 title had alread/ been issued in
the name of the spouses Lapitan0 S$%uses F%!t&'e(& 3%1e* /%! !e%+s"*e!&t"%+, '&"3"+g t2&t t2e
su56et $!%$e!t# "s t2e"! /&3"'# 2%3e &+* "s e)e3$t /!%3 /%!e'%su!e s&'e. &he R&C denied their
motion. CA affirmed.
;SS=2> .?' the sub!ect propert/ is e1empt from forced sale because it is a famil/ home
@2L7> 'o0 spouses FortalezaAs ar%ument that the sub!ect propert/ is e1empt from forced sale because it
is a famil/ home deser9es scant consideration. As a rule0 the famil/ home is e1empt from e1ecution0
forced sale or attachment. @o4e9er0 Article 1))(") of the Famil/ Code e1plicitl/ allo4s the forced sale
of a famil/ home Bfor debts secured b/ mort%a%es on the premises before or after such constitution.B ;n
this case0 there is no doubt that s$%uses F%!t&'e(& 1%'u+t&!"'# e)eute* %+ ,&+u&!# 28, 1--8 & *ee* %/
Re&' Est&te 0%!tg&ge %1e! t2e su56et $!%$e!t# 42"2 4&s e1e+ +%t&!"(e* 5# t2e"! %!"g"+&' %u+se'
%/ !e%!*. And assumin% that the propert/ is e1empt from forced sale0 spouses Fortaleza did not set up
and pro9e to the Sheriff such e1emption from forced sale before it 4as sold at the public auction.
As elucidated in Honrado v. Court of Appeals>
.hile it is true that the famil/ home is constituted on a house and lot from the time it is occupied as a
famil/ residence and is e1empt from e1ecution or forced sale under Article 1)" of the Famil/ Code0 su2
'&"3 /%! e)e3$t"%+ s2%u'* 5e set u$ &+* $!%1e* t% t2e S2e!"// 5e/%!e t2e s&'e %/ t2e $!%$e!t# &t
$u5'" &ut"%+. Failure to do so 4ould estop the part/ from later claimin% the e1emption.
As this Court ruled in Gomez v. Gealone>
Althou%h the Rules of Court does not prescribe the period 4ithin 4hich to claim the e1emption0 the rule
is0 ne9ertheless0 4ell(settled that t2e !"g2t %/ e)e3$t"%+ "s & $e!s%+&' $!"1"'ege g!&+te* t% t2e
6u*g3e+t *e5t%! &+* &s su2, "t 3ust 5e '&"3e* +%t 5# t2e s2e!"//, 5ut 5# t2e *e5t%! 2"3se'/ at the
time of the le9/ or 4ithin a reasonable period thereafter.
Certainl/0 reasonable time for purposes of the la4 on e1emption does not mean a time after the e1piration
of the one(/ear period for a !ud%ment debtor to redeem the propert/. *+r,-ll
2<uall/ 4ithout merit is spouses Fortaleza s reliance on the cases of Tolentino and De Los Reyes in
pra/in% for the e1ercise of the ri%ht of redemption e9en after the e1piration of the one(/ear period. ;n
Tolentino0 4e held that an action to redeem filed 4ithin the period of redemption0 4ith a simultaneous
deposit of the redemption mone/ tendered to the sheriff0 is e<ui9alent to an offer to redeem and has the
effect of preser9in% the ri%ht to redemption for future enforcement e9en be/ond the one(/ear period. And
in De Los Reyes0 4e allo4ed the mort%a%or to redeem the disputed propert/ after findin% that the tender
of the redemption price to the sheriff 4as made 4ithin the one(/ear period and for a sufficient amount.
&he circumstances in the present case are far different. &he spouses Fortaleza neither filed an action nor
made a formal offer to redeem the sub!ect propert/ accompanied b/ an actual and simultaneous tender of
pa/ment. It "s &'s% u+*"s$ute* t2&t t2e# &''%4e* t2e %+e-#e&! $e!"%* t% '&$se /!%3 t2e !eg"st!&t"%+ %/
t2e e!t"/"&te %/ s&'e 4"t2%ut !e*ee3"+g t2e 3%!tg&ge. F%! &'' "+te+ts &+* $u!$%ses, s$%uses
F%!t&'e(& 2&1e 4&"1e* %! &5&+*%+e* t2e"! !"g2t %/ !e*e3$t"%+.
Lastl/0 4e a%ree 4ith the CA that an/ <uestion re%ardin% the re%ularit/ and 9alidit/ of the mort%a%e or its
foreclosure cannot be raised as a !ustification for opposin% the petition for the issuance of the 4rit of
possession. &he said issues ma/ be raised and determined onl/ after the issuance of the 4rit of
possession. ;ndeed0 BCtDhe !ud%e 4ith 4hom an application for 4rit of possession is filed need not loo8
into the 9alidit/ of the mort%a%e or the manner of its foreclosure.B T2e 4!"t "ssues &s & 3&tte! %/ %u!se.
B&he rationale for the rule is to allo4 the purchaser to ha9e possession of the foreclosed propert/ 4ithout
dela/0 such possession bein% founded on the ri%ht of o4nership.B &o underscore this mandate0 Section
E of Act 'o. "1") %i9es the debtor(mort%a%or the ri%ht to file a petition for the settin% aside of the
foreclosure sale and for the cancellation of a 4rit of possession in the same proceedin%s 4here the 4rit
4as issued 4ithin "6 da/s after the purchaser(mort%a%ee 4as %i9en possession. &he courtAs decision
thereon ma/ be appealed b/ either part/0 5ut t2e %!*e! %/ $%ssess"%+ s2&'' %+t"+ue "+ e//et *u!"+g t2e
$e+*e+# %/ t2e &$$e&'.
BC'e&!'# t2e+, u+t"' t2e /%!e'%su!e s&'e %/ t2e $!%$e!t# "+ 7uest"%+ "s &++u''e* 5# & %u!t %/
%3$ete+t 6u!"s*"t"%+, t2e "ssu&+e %/ & 4!"t %/ $%ssess"%+ !e3&"+s t2e 3"+"ste!"&' *ut# %/ t2e t!"&'
%u!t. &he same is true 4ith its implementationF other4ise0 the 4rit 4ill be a useless paper !ud%ment a
result inimical to the mandate of Act 'o. "1") to 9est possession in the purchaser immediatel/.B *+r,-ll