Please Pass the Mustard

Who doesn’t love mustard, be it yellow or brown, on a hot dog, a sandwich, or even blended into a casserole, salad dressing or appetizer. We love our condiments, and, second only to ketchup, no one loves mustard more than Americans. It’s practically a national institution (alongside the hot dog). During the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, a small company named French’s introduced their yellow mustard on hotdogs, and the popularity exploded.

There are more than 40 species of mustard plants, with their seeds each offering a slightly different flavor and color to create many varieties of mustards. Add other flavorful ingredients, like cranberries, horseradish, hot peppers or honey, and the condiment aficionado could have a veritable cupboard full of delightful mustards to try.

In the Bible, the mustard seed is used in the book of Matthew as a parable, where Jesus teaches that one need only have the faith of a (lowly) mustard seed to move mountains. For Christians, it has been a symbol of faith since the New Testament.

The actual condiment, in some form, dates back to the early Romans, when it was ground from seeds and mixed with juice into a paste, similar to the prepared mustards we use today. The name is derived from “mustum” (from the Latin meaning “burning must” which was the practice of using the juice of young grapes to form a paste). Mustard as a spice was popular in Europe long before the ancient Asian spice trade, and grape-loving Romans planted it in their vineyards alongside the grapevines. The country of France embraced it when many brothers in French monasteries cultivated, prepared and sold mustard as early as the ninth century and can be traced back to shops in Paris in the 13th century.

Two enterprising Frenchmen by the names of Maurice Grey and Antoine Poupon created one of the most popular mustards in the world, Grey Poupon Dijon, in the 1770’s. They discovered that by adding white wine to their private recipe, a totally different and pleasant flavor emerged. Their original store still exists in the town of Dijon. Who can forget the classic TV commercial where two limousines pull up next to each other, and a very proper and obviously wealthy passenger calls out the window inquiring if the other limo has any Grey Poupon on board.

Across the pond, in 1866, a Brit named Jeremiah Colman, founder of the recognizable brand of Colman’s Mustard of England, was appointed as the official mustard maker to Queen Victoria. Colman pioneered the same grinding technique used today, which pulverizes seeds into a fine powder in a way that protects the escape of the flavorful oils. In many British pubs, a crock of spicy mustard can be seen on each table, which, when placing a small amount on one’s tongue, is purported to create a thirst prior to ordering one’s favorite ale or beer.

Even Pope John XII was such a fan of mustard that, like Queen Victoria, he appointed a young man as the Grand Mustard Maker to the Pope. It just happened to be the Pope’s nephew, who was a resident of the Dijon region in France.

Like so many other words in the English language, mustard has other unrelated meanings, such as “cutting the mustard” or “mustard gas,” a lethal weapon during WWI and WWII. In Ireland, referring to someone as “mustard” can mean ill-tempered.

Regardless of your preferences (make mine Grey Poupon, please) there are hundreds of mustards to choose from. If you just can’t get enough, you can visit the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin, where more than 5,500 mustards are on display, and you can sample many of them at the tasting bar. And of course there are hundreds of beloved mustards on sale, so you won’t leave empty-handed.

Customer Service Can Makes a Company Great

What makes a company great, makes it stand out head and shoulders above the rest; has not only loyal but repeat customers who go back time and time again?

Is it the size of the company – bigger is always better?

Is it the amount of profits they make – well they must be good if they are making all that money – right?

Is it maybe they are the only business which has a particular item – hardly.

Or is their marketing excelling, taking full advantage of ALL media including online, social, TV and broadsheets as well as radio and tabloids.

What is their secret?

The truth is there is no secret, it all boils down to one thing – no matter size, profits, products, services or marketing plan, if you don’t have this one thing you may as well shut up shop and go home – and that one thing is Customer Service.

Don’t get me wrong the other things do help in some small way but Customer Service is King.

It should be natural and not forced. How annoying did “Have a nice day” become? It was novel at first but…

So how do you achieve great Customer Service?

Try following these dos and don’ts as guidelines:-

Do smile when talking – seems strange I know but it works, try it and see the difference.

Do listen and hear what your Customer is saying but don’t sit in silence use audible nods and empathise then repeat to show you have been listening using expressions like “If I have heard you correctly… ,” or “If I may repeat to make sure I have understood you… ” Goes a long way and also informs customer that you have been listening.

Never use the expressions “You need to… ,” or “You have to… ” They neither have to nor need to do anything.

Do ask permission “Is it OK if I take some details?” “May I have your name?” “Can I take a message?” “Are you happy to give me…?”

Don’t swear, be rude or argue back, tempting as it maybe, wait till your are of the call/ customer has gone/can’t see you, if you must vent/rant.

Don’t take it home, and never carry it over to the next customer.

Do treat each customer individually and although you may think that they are Bat Crap Crazy/stupid or what they are contacting you about is trivial, always remember to them it is important.

Don’t take it personally, they are just wanting to rant at somebody and don’t know you, all they want is for someone to take responsibility, not pass them from pillar to post and to listen.

And finally always end on a positive note, even if it’s a simple thanks for your call.

Follow these guidelines and you will notice a difference, not just in your customers but also in your staff who will be happier in their work and less stressed and if they are less stressed then they are willing to go that extra mile.

Common Bail Bond Questions and Answers

There is a lot to know about bail and bail bonds. Many people are very unfamiliar with the difference between the two, and the details of the industry and the services they offer. Fortunately, you have resources like these to help you understand what bail bonds are, what a bail bondsman does, and how to obtain bail in your time of need. In this article, we will cover plenty of frequently asked questions regarding the bail bonds industry, arrest warrants, getting out of jail, and more. Continue reading to learn about all of these topics, and more, when it comes to the indemnity industry.

What is Bail? What are Bail Bonds?

Bail bonds are formal documents that allow a release from jail for a person being detained on suspected charges or crimes. Bail is the amount of money or surety set by the courts. These amounts differ for everyone; depending on the crime, a person’s criminal history, and more. Once bail is set, a bail bond can be obtained so that a person can be temporarily released from jail to await their following court hearing at home.

What is a Bail Bondsman? How Much is a Bail Bond?

A bail bondsman, or bail agent, is the individual who operates a service that provides bail bonds for people who need to turn themselves into authorities, or need a release from jail. They operate by lending, or covering, the bail amount for those who cannot afford the entire fee upfront, in exchange for a non-refundable fee. Bail can be set as low as a few hundred dollars for minor infractions, and some in the high-thousands.

To get out of jail, a person has the option to pay this money as a deposit to the court, and then receives this money back when they show for their scheduled court hearing. The issue is that not everyone has this type of cash on hand, and cannot afford to pay the courts these amounts to get out of jail. This is where a bail bond agency comes in handy. They will pay the entire bail amount for you, in exchange for a fee.

These fees are regulated by the state, so bail bondsmen can only charge between 10-15% of the person’s total bail amount. So if a person’s bail is $5,000, they would pay a bail agency $500-$750 for bail. They do not get this money back. They are also obligated to sign a contractual agreement promising their return to court. If a defendant obtains a bail bond, then skips their court date, the bail bondsman does not get that money back. This is when they come for you.

Are Bail Bondsmen Bounty Hunters?

Bounty hunting is not a real vocation, and bail bondsmen are nothing of the sort. If a person skips bail, the bail bondsmen will simply track them down with the information they have, and give police a heads up on the whereabouts of a fugitive. They do this in order to get their bond money back. They will send police to your home, office, work, daycare, gym, friend’s house, and any other place they think you may be. Before they come looking for the fugitive, they will contact the person who signed for the bail contract, and pursue recompense from them. Since most individuals do not wish for their loved ones to get stuck paying thousands of dollars, most people choose to show up for court. An arrest warrant is issued for anyone who skips a court date, so police can arrest them anywhere at any time; such as routine traffic stops, the BMV, the post office, border crossing, and more.

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Food Specialities Of Different States Of India That Everyone Must Have

The variety of food India has to offer is simply unbelievable. Every state of it has an array of food and different cooking style. From the spiciest to the most ordinary preparations, they have something different to offer. To know more, we bring to you some authentic, must have, local dishes native to the various Indian states.

DAAB CHINGRI- West Bengal
Filled with green coconut, it is a traditional Bengali dish of soupy mustard prawn curry. The aroma of the coconut water and kernel gets mixed up with the prawn, giving it a most fabulous taste. This special delicacy is best served with a plate of boiled rice.

BAL MITHAI- Uttarakhand
This exquisite dish comes from the state of Uttarakhand which is made by roasting the evaporated milk cream with cane sugar and later coated with white sugar balls. It is one of a true delight for all the dessert lover.

KAMBU KOOZH- Tamil Nadu
It is cool refreshing and healthy dish from the state of Tamil Nadu. The dish is prepared from millet and is stored in the earthen pots to create a perfect taste.

MALAAI GHEWAR- Rajasthan
This round shaped food delicacy is a traditional dish of Rajasthan. It is made from flour, milk and pure ghee. There is a possibility that you might find it in the other parts of India also, but the one you get in Rajasthan is simply incomparable.

CHHENA PODA- Odisha
This is an Oriya desert prepared from the baked ricotta cheese. This sweet delight could also be taken as an Indian version of Cheesecake. Do explore when you plan your visit to the state.

THALIPEETH- Maharashtra
It could be taken as the multigrain pancake, prepared from roasted chana daal, wheat, sorghum, millet, rice and mildly spiced with coriander seeds, onion fresh coriander and cumin seeds. The delicacy is very nutritious and is best served with buffalo milk cream.

BHUTTE KA KEES- Madhya Pradesh
It is a dish made with spicy grated sweet corn. The tangy taste of this authentic delicacy is must to try when you plan to visit the state.

IRACHI ISHTU- Kerala
This is a traditional food item from Kerala which is made with Chicken, beef or lamb. This tasty stew is best served with appam or plain bread.

RUGDA- Jharkhand
When you planning to visit Jharkhand, do not forget to try Rugda. It is a variety of mushroom indigenous to the forests of Jharkhand. The dish is very healthy and is best eaten with rice or poori.

KALAADI CHEESE- Jammu and Kashmir
Prepared from cow’s milk, Kalaadi is a traditional local hill cheese which comes from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. You simply cannot forget to miss out on its divine taste when you are there.

MADRA- Himachal Pradesh
Coming from the state of Himachal Pradesh, Madra is a traditional pahadi gravy. The dish is prepared with yoghurt, coconut, almonds, peas and raisins. This special food item offers a very aromatic flavour and delicious taste.

BAJRA KHICHDI- Haryana
This amazing khichdi is made with coarsely crushed pearl millet and is served with pure ghee or sesame oil. The dish becomes all the more tasty with lassi, pickles, papad, gur or curd.

KHANDVI- Gujarat
This delectable snack is made from gram flour and yoghurt, tempered with sesame, mustard seeds and decorated with green chillies, coconut and coriander leaves for its amazing look.

BEBINCA- Goa
Famous for its seafood cuisine, Goa is also known for its authentic and exquisite pudding dessert. The traditional Bebinca in Goa is made up of 16 layers and is rightly served warm with cold ice cream.

DEHRORI- Chhattisgarh
It is a delicious dessert from the state of Chhattisgarh which consists of fried rice dumplings dipped in sugar syrup and garnished with nuts. The dish is usually prepared on Diwali eve to make the celebrations more joyful.

LITTI CHOKHA- Bihar
This crunchy dish from Bihar is prepared with wheat balls stuffed with Pitthi – roasted and spiced gram flour) and Chokha (mashed potatoes). The dish becomes all the more delicious with pure desi ghee on its side.

A Virtual Assistant

In this year and age, everything is related to the internet. From shopping, banking, bills payment, social interaction, communication and every bit of actions we humans do nowadays was somehow linked to the use of the internet. For several years I had been working a very traditional job in retail. However, personal circumstances made me re-think my current situation. A part of me always feels that traditional jobs here in the Philippines are very time-consuming. With a standard 48-hour work and a 1-day off per week, quality time with family and peers seems unlikely. So if work schedules are eating much of our time, is it after all worth it? This question bugged me for a lot of months. Then one day I came across KOM Academy’s Facebook posting for a free seminar on “How to be a Virtual Assistant.” Curious, I immediately inquired and pre-registered for this event. That’s when I realized that there are a lot of opportunities outside the traditional work environment.

What is a Virtual Assistant by the way? These are smart individuals offering administrative, creative and technical skills to remote clients. So what made me think this virtual job is kick-ass better than my old job? Reason number 1, “I am my boss”! As VA, as they call it, you work as an independent contractor to the client. Which means that you don’t work for a company or an employer, but instead they outsource you to render them the services they require. About this, you are not limited to work for a single client. Hence, the second reason – more clients, more income. By this I mean you can are not limiting yourself to only one source of income. You have the control to expand your financial gains as you deem fit. The third reason, it is home-based. What is not to love working at the comforts of your space? No hassle from commuting, dealing with worsening traffic situation of the city, increased transportation expenses, annoying amnesiac office mates who always borrow your things but never bothers to return them are just a few to mention.

If there is a convenience in the environment, work schedule is something that is flexible as well in this industry. That is the fourth reason why I considered engaging into this business. The chance to be given a schedule that is favorable to your liking is something that is highly unheard of in traditional jobs. Often you must be employed a full-time job to get a decent salary. Whereas in VA, even part-time jobs can still get you good pay. Mainly because you are paid based on the quality of your work output and not just merely on the number of hours you spent. Furthermore, output-based jobs present more opportunity for workers to get promoted as evaluation is real-time.

The fifth reason I seriously consider is that this job is never boring. As mentioned earlier, VAs provide different service from administrative, to creative and even technical for those highly-skilled individuals like the programmers. Thus, this job can present you wide range of tasks that you can explore and hone your skills.

These things cited above are just a few of the factors why I considered becoming a Virtual Assistant. To have the convenience of time and place in your hands is a privilege that an ordinary worker won’t be able to experience in a traditional work setting. As I go along my journey into this business, I am looking forward to discovering more things to love and enjoy.

To be successful in business, sometimes the wisest move to make is to ask for help. Remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. Get a co-worker from a distance!

7 Common Immigration Mistakes To Be Avoided

While applying for immigration benefits, there are some common mistakes people make, but can be avoided. These mistakes can sometimes cause serious trouble at the end of the road, like not being able to reunite with their family, loss of both the application filing fee and the immigration fee, being deported and inability to re-enter the US. So, caution must be taken to avoid these simple mistakes listed below.

1. Providing Incorrect information:

When applying for immigration benefits, it is necessary to provide all the right information. This is right from the point where the immigration forms are filed. Fraudulent information or misrepresenting any facts for obtaining the immigration benefits must be avoided.

2. Late Responses to USCIS queries:

If the US Citizenship and Immigration Services needs any additional information for processing any immigration application, it sends a Request for Evidence (RFE) to the applicant. This request has to be replied with sufficient documentation within the stipulated deadline. Ignoring or missing the deadline for the RFE can lead to denial of the application.

3. Immigration Interviews and Court Hearings:

Attending the interviews set up by the USCIS and the court hearings is very important in the process of granting an immigration. Ignoring these interviews and court hearings can also lead to the application being rejected.

4. Filing application without the fee:

USCIS forms usually have a processing fee. Fee waiver is also available for most forms. Those who cannot afford to pay the fees, can send the application along with a request for fee waiver. USCIS does not process any application which does not have the fee or the proper fee waiver request.

5. Send the application to the wrong office:

The instruction form along with the application should be read carefully. The address to which the application form should be sent to is given clearly in the instruction form. The application must be sent to the correct address to avoid delay where the application is either returned to the sender or sometimes forwarded to the right address.

6. Not everyone who applies is successful:

Some of the applicants, even though they do not meet the criteria for immigration benefits, simply apply because their friends or relatives have applied and have obtained the benefits. Every applicant is evaluated and not everyone who applies is eligible for the benefit. Reading the instruction forms thoroughly clarifies the eligibility criteria and provides newer options available.

7. Eligibility:

Applying for an immigration benefit for which they are not eligible is a very common mistake. Reading the Instruction Form before applying and checking for an individual’s eligibility can be done before applying.

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Qualities of Great and Professional General Contractors

If you want to become a great and a professional one General contractor at a managerial level, then you need to possess these qualities in you. To complete your project in a great way, to complete hundreds in some specific tasks in prescribed time, to possess leadership qualities in you, this is what great and professional Home contractors do! Here you will know that which are those main and crucial abilities if you want to count yourself as the best and great one contractor’s at the managerial scale:

Communicate clearly and in an effective manner

It is always seen that the best and reliable contractors, they pass clear communication messages to their team members. They effectively communicate with their teammates be it they work on small projects or big projects. If you know the importance of understanding effective communication and applying effective communication between your project, then you can become a great Builder at the managerial level. To execute and plan for your project and activities, it is this effective communication that matters. How can your teammates be able to perform on projects if you will not tell them precisely that what exactly you want! Your subordinate will fail to show their abilities if they do not get clear messages and instructions from their manager contractor. Most of the projects performances get completely and wholly derailed because of poor and worst communication skills from the sides of General Contractors. To become a great manager related to construction projects, you should know how to transcribe minor and intricate project details to your teammates.

Delegate the tasks

A professional and a senior Builder do not take the credit of the whole success of a project. He is the one who equally gives credit to his team members as well. A successful General Contractor delegate tasks and assignments to his skilled workers. He alternates their duties, assigns different tasks to them so that each of the workers gets equal chance to show the best part of their abilities.

They furnish references

All professional general contractors are registered. If you ask them for references, then they furnish it instantly. They always promise and assure a professional job. They do not feel hesitant to show a satisfied and happy list of their clientele to share with you. If that list shares their good and satisfying experiences with you, then that general contractor should be chosen by you.

They show certificates

Professional general contractors do not have to boast and brag about employing and hiring highly professional qualified technicians for your project. If he is a licensed contractor, then he will not hesitate to show his certificates to you. Reliable contractors are insured and also registered as well.

Problem-solving potential

A smart General contractor comes with problem skills as well. It is true that each and every construction project, they come with huge in some challenges and obstacles, hidden problems. He is the one who has this ability to identify each and every worst-case scenario and then makes his project to come out from that worst-case scenario as well. At times, construction projects do experience many of the additional problems like that of community backlash and political opinions, because of these issues the progress of any project gets also hinder and stops. A smart and sharp General contractor can easily handle these additional problems too.

Teamwork spirit

Anyone actually realizes the importance and significance of team work, then it is this smart and clever enough General contractor who understands! Any project cannot have success without the cooperation and coordination of rest of team workers. If any project gets accomplished and successful than a friendly General contractor does not forget to give credit and praise his teammates as well. He has this belief on phrase “let’s work together”! He develops and creates the environment of trust and also an appreciation for his workers. It is just a welcoming feedback which employees love a lot.

To call yourself as the smartest Contractors at the managerial level, you should not disregard these skills of communication and teamwork, problem-solving skills and delegating the tasks. To get this assurance that your project will get a success and too high return on investment, you need to possess these abilities in your personality then.

The Benefits Of Getting A Personal Loan

A personal loan is usually not secured. It means collateral does not need to be provided by you when you borrow. The loan is offered to you by the lender on the basis of your credit and qualifiers. You can easily get the approval of loan, if you have a good credit. A lower interest rate can also be offered to you. Visit a financial institution or search online to get a personal loan.

Here is a list of some of the benefits of such a loan:

  • Lower interest rate – If you have good credit, then personal loans with lower interest rates can be availed by you. Around 15% APR on a credit card balance is paid by the people with lower credit card balance. But if you have good credit, you have to pay only 6% APR. While making a big purchase, it is considered as a big difference.
  • Use for many purchases – Your cash can be used by you for making any purchase. A loan of this type can be used even for purchasing a vehicle, starting a business or renovating your house. Restrictions may be placed by other types of loans on the usage of fund. But the conditions of using a personal loan are flexible and can be used for any purchase.
  • Consolidate debt – High interest debt can be consolidated by using a personal loan. Several smaller debts with high interest such as credit cards and student loans can be paid off by using a larger loan. Money on interest can be saved if you consolidate your debt by using this loan. Your debt repayment plan can be managed in a better way by combing several loans in one place.
  • Smooth your cash flow – Your cash flow can be smoothness by using a personal loan. A personal line of credit can be got by you, by using your personal loans. You have to pay a low interest rate in this alternate way of use. An emergency fund doesn’t need to be raised for future. The borrowed amount can be repaid by accessing your line of credit.
  • Boost your credit score – Your credit score is counted depending on your different types of accounts. One type of credit is represented by credit cards. In this case, you can use your credit score to handle your loans. Your score can be boosted slightly by adding installment loans in your credit report.

Thus, save a huge amount on all your purchases by using a personal loan. Always remember to compare different loans before borrowing any sum.

Which Country Is Better for a Permanent Residency Visa – Australia Vs Canada

Both Australia and Canada are beautiful countries; both have high living standards and quality education to offer. Both have common elements including British heritage among other things. Both these countries are popular among the immigrants who are thinking to migrate. People often approach us looking for Visa Immigration Services but most of them are always confused between Australia and Canada. So, here are some comparisons made out.

Australia the smallest continent in the world but is the largest island with warm weather, typical climates are temperate, subtropical or Mediterranean. Canada has mostly the continental type of climate it’s very cold here, during winters. The northern part of Canada mostly covered with snow for around 6 months. When comes to unemployment, Canada has the higher unemployment rate which is 7.1% whereas Australia has an unemployment rate of 6.0% also immigration to Canada is easier and less stringent. The cost of living including housing, rent, groceries are a little high in Australia than in Canada. Healthcare system is slightly better in Australia. People of Canada are friendlier towards the immigrants than in Australia. It would be bad and judgemental if it’s said Australia is a racist country which is not anymore, even though few cases of racism are found but then those don’t make the headlines. Canada is ethnically diverse and multicultural nation which is a product of large scale immigration from many parts of the world.

For permanent residency, both countries follow a point based system, the processing is around 3-4 months in Australia where as in Canada it’s around 5-6 months.

Permanent Residency in Canada

To become a permanent resident, a foreign national must make an application to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizens of Canada). There are various ways in which one can the fastest being The Express entry system. The express entry is considered the fastest in Canada it has 2 stages first, apply for PR invitation and get selected from a pool of candidates based on total point score (based on age, language, work experience, studies etc.). Secondly, on receiving an invitation, the visa application form has to be to the immigration office. Then it is processed by the IRCC within 6 months from the receipt of application. The PR in Canada sub categorised as federal PR and PNP (Provincial nominee program), the former is applicable all over the country. PR expires after every 5 years and has to be renewed after 5 years. The benefits being a permanent resident holds same rights as Canadian citizens, they also may obtain other social as well as Canadian pension plan benefits.

Permanent Residency in Australia

The processing time is around 3-4 months for key permanent residency visas. There are the skilled independent visas and the skilled nominated visas. To apply for PR one needs to follow the point based immigration system firstly there has to be an online submission of an application that is EOI (Expression of interest) in Skill select online system which is an online form which asks a series of questions about your skills depending upon the visa subclass you select. The score is calculated based on education, skills, experience etc. And if you are selected you will get the ITA for the visa.

Also, there’s another factor that affects your visa which is the rules and regulations, considering the immigration rules and policies of both the countries Canada has easier and flexible immigration rules.

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Estafa Vs B.P.22 – What Is the Difference?

We’re pretty sure there’s a point in time that you became party to a transaction, either as payee or payer. Of course as payee, receiving cash is much preferred as you are sure that your payment was given to you in full sans any further action needed from your end. Now as payer, issuing a check is so much more convenient, especially for substantial transactions, as you would not have to worry about bringing cash and making sure that all your expenses are accounted and debited for, up to the last centavo.

It’s great if all transactions went smoothly without any hitch. However, with both parties making and receiving payment all in good faith. But what if you were conned by someone you had the mistake of trusting? Or what if you issued a check as a show of good faith to close out on a deal but at the time of issuance, the account has insufficient funds and you made a mental note to replenish the account as soon as you got paid. Alas, you then notice that your check bounced.

The above instances had surged over the years and has caused an unfortunate chain reaction which prompted the filing of either or both the following cases: Estafa and Violation of Batas Pambasa (BP) 22 or the Bouncing Checks Law.

Estafa Through Issuance of Unfunded Checks
The crime of Estafa is punished under the Revised Penal Code. One can be held guilty for Estafa by means of issuing a bouncing check with the use of false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud:
“By postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check. (Article 315(2)(d) of the Revised Penal Code as amended by R.A. 4885)”

How can a person be held guilty for Estafa?

Under the RPC, the following elements are necessary to hold a person guilty of Estafa:

  1. Postdating or issuance of a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the check was issued
  2. Insufficiency of funds to cover the check, and
  3. Damage to the payee thereof.

The most important element here is the damage caused. Absent any of the following elements, a person cannot be held liable for Estafa.

Case in point:

Andres owns and operates a trading good business and bought merchandise from Bonifacio and issued an unfunded check in consideration of the goods received.

In this scenario, Andres can be held liable for Estafa because he issued a check knowing it to be without sufficient funds to pay the items he bought from Bonifacio. The issuance of the bounced check here was with fraudulent intent.

Bouncing Checks Law (BP 22)
Unlike Estafa which has its basis under the RPC, BP 22 is enacted through a special law. A person can be charged for violation of BP 22 when he commits the following acts:

  1. Making or drawing and issuing any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment;
  2. Having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.

How can a person be held guilty for Violation of BP 22?

Violation of BP 22 can be filed against any person when the following are present:

  1. Making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value;
  2. Knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and
  3. Subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.

Same with Estafa, the presence of all these requirements is important. Otherwise, the charge of BP 22 will not attach. Note that knowledge of insufficiency of funds is presumed when it is proved that the issuer received a notice of dishonor and that within 5 days from receipt thereof, he failed to pay the amount of the check or make arrangement for its payment. Additionally, in BP 22, good faith is immaterial. Meaning, the mere issuance of an unfunded check already consummates the crime.

Using the same example above, Andres can also be charged for Violation of BP 22, other than Estafa, because BP 22 cases also cover issuances of bouncing checks for value received.

Where does the disparity lie?

It is Estafa when, among others, you issue an unfunded check with fraudulent intent in consideration of something of value you received. Here intent is material and good faith may be used as a defense.

It is a case for Violation of BP 22 when you issue an unfunded check whether or not it is for an obligation you contracted prior to the issuance of the check or not. Simply put, you are liable for BP 22 whether you issue a check for a present or a past obligation.

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