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Double Sale

What is a double sale?

A double sale is the selling of the same property by the same seller to different buyers with conflicting rights.The following instances must be concurring: there are two or more transactions must constitute valid sales, they must pertain exactly to the same object or subject matter, they must be bought from the same or immediate seller and two or more buyers who are at odds over the rightful ownership of the subject matter must represent conflicting interests.

What is the remedy to a double sale according to law?

The New Civil Code has provided for the instance which will constitute a double sale and the manner on how it would be resolved:

Art. 1544. If the same thing should have been sold to different vendees, the ownership shall be transferred to the person who may have first taken possession thereof in good faith, if it should be movable property.

Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property.

Should there be no inscription, the ownership shall pertain to the person who in good faith was first in the possession; and, in the absence thereof, to the person who presents the oldest title, provided there is good faith. (1473)

*This provision lays down the rules of preference to who shall be given priority in a double sale. When it involves a personal property, the first possessor in good faith shall be preferred. If it involves a real property, the first registrant in good faith and if there is nothing to show this fact then the first possessor in good faith shall follow and if still cannot be determined then the person with oldest title in good faith shall be given precedence.

References

De Leon, H. (2010). Comments and Cases on Sales. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

New Civil Code of the Philippines

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