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G.R. No. 183984 April 13, 2011ARTURO SARTE FLORES, Petitioner,vs.SPOUSES ENRICO L. LINDO, JR.

and EDNAC. LINDO, Respondents.



Facts:
1. On 31 October 1995, Respondent obtained aloan from petitioner amounting to P400,000payable on 1
December 1995 with 3%compounded monthly interest & 3% surcharge incase of late payment. Edna
executed a Deed of Real Estate Mortgage (the Deed) covering aproperty in the name of Edna and her
husbandEnrico (used SPA [Special power of Attorney] on4 November 1995).2. RTC Branch 33 ruled that
petitioner was notentitled to judicial foreclosure of the mortgage. Itfound that the Deed was executed was
withoutthe consent and authority of Enrico.Furthermore, it ruled that petitioner was notprecluded from
recovering the loan from Ednaas he could file a personal action against her.However, it did not have the
jurisdiction, as itshould be filed where the defendant resides.3. On 8 September 2004, petitioner filed
aComplaint for Sum of Money with Damagesagainst respondents. It was raffled to Branch 42.4.
Respondent filed counterclaims that it onlyamounted to 340,000; Along with the prayer for dismissal on
the grounds of improper venue, res judicata and forum-shopping, invoking theDecision of the RTC,
Branch 33. Branch 42denied the motion of the respondent.5. The Court of Appeals ruled that under
Section3, Rule 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, aparty may not institute more than one suit for
asingle cause of action. If two or more suits areinstituted on the basis of the same cause of action, the
filing of one on a judgment upon themerits in any one is available ground for thedismissal of the others.
(It must be either apersonal action for the collection of debt or areal action to foreclose the mortgage, but
notboth)

Issue:
W/N Court of Appeals committed a reversibl eerror in dismissing the complaint

Held:
Petition has meritRatio:1. Each remedy is complete by itself. Thus, an election to bring a personal action
will leaveopen to him all the properties of the debtor for attachment and execution, even including
themortgaged property itself. And, if he waives such personal action and pursues his remedy againstthe
mortgaged property, an unsatisfied judgment thereon would still give him the right to sue for deficiency
judgment, in which case, all the properties of the defendant, other than the mortgaged property, are again
open to him for the satisfaction of the deficiency.2. Art. 124 of Family code(administration of property),
in the absence of consent or authority, disposition and encumbrance is void.
However, transaction shall be construed as acontinuing offer on the part of the consenting spouse and the third person,
and may be perfected as a binding contract upon the acceptance by the other spouse or authorization by the court
before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors.
3. Although the SPA on 4 November cannot beapplied to retroact, such act perfected the contract, making
the Deed of Real Estate Mortgage a valid contract.4. Art. 22 of Civil Code (Unjust Enrichment); the
principle against unjust enrichment, being a substantive law, should prevail over theprocedural rule on
multiplicity of suits. The Courtof Appeals, in the assailed decision, found that Edna admitted the loan,
except that she claim edit only amounted to P340,000. Edna should notbe allowed to unjustly enrich
herself because of the erroneous decisions of the two trial courts when she questioned the validity of the
Deed.5. RTC 33 and CA Resolutions are set aside and Branch 42 is directed to proceed with the case.