Notes on Article 1239: Incapacitated Person Pays

Article 1239. In obligations to give, payment made by one who does not have the free disposal of the thing due and capacity to alienate it shall not be valid, without prejudice to the provisions of article 1427 under the Title on "Natural Obligations."

If payment is made by a person who does not have any capacity to give either because he has no right to dispose of the thing due or because he still has no legal capacity to dispose of such property, the same shall be invalid. We should remember the following general rules:

(1) Payment is not valid even if accepted if the person paying has not capacity to give;
(2) If the person has no capacity to give, the creditor cannot be compelled to accept the payment, and;
(3) The remedy of consignation cannot be availed of by the person attempting to pay without the capacity to do so.

Good faith is always a defense in cases covered by this Article?

Yes. "When a minor between eighteen and twenty-one years of age, who has entered into a contract without the consent of the parent or guardian, voluntarily pays a sum of money or delivers a fungible thing in fulfillment of the obligation, there shall be no right to recover the same from the obligee who has spent or consumed it in good faith." (Article 1427)

If A, an incapacitated person, made payment to B who was unaware of the former's incapacity in the amount of $1000, 75% of which B spent for his life and living, how much can A's parents recover from B?

Only $250 (the remaining 25%). B made use of the $750 under the innocent faith that A is capacitated.