Can a real estate developer forfeit buyer’s payments?

It is really painful to hear from our fellow Filipinos that their hard earned money can easily be forfeited by some of the real estate developers without proper guidance on their part. Agents and brokers do not even discuss this with the buyers during the presentation and signing of the reservation agreement.

As per your reservation agreement, reservation fee is non-refundable if you wish not to continue with the payment. Most of the reservation agreements further provide that your payment will be forfeited if you delay in payment, thus your purchase of the property will be canceled.

However, real estate developer cannot forfeit your equity payment or what we called instalment of your down payments for two main grounds: (a) developer did not develop or construct the property as prescribed and approved by the government (Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board –HLURB), (b)developer  did not deliver the property to the owner on the time specified  in the License to Sell (LTS)  issued by the HLURB (government agency).

Furthermore, the buyer must notify or inform the real estate owner or developer, not just to the agent or broker of his or her interest to suspend payment or his/her interest to refund due to the non-compliance of the approved specification and non-delivery of the property on the specified timeline.

Written and curated by: Exequiel Mondejar, REB, BSC, MBA, LLB/JD. Source: