China: 保理业务系列文章(五):保理业务法律实务难点(下)——保理商未尽审ĉ

Last Updated: 15 April 2019
Article by Sheng Zhong and Xinru Zhou
Most Read Contributor in China, March 2019

一 、法眼观察

债权人与债务人之间是否存在真实的交易关系以及保理商对应收账款及其转让是否尽到审查义务是认定保理商与债权人是否存在恶意串通骗取保证人提供保证的关键。应收账款转让未有效通知债务人,并不必然构成保理商与债权人恶意串通骗取保证人提供保证。

二、典型案例

原告:中国工商银行股份有限公司杭州经济技术开发区支行(以下简称工商银行)。

被告:浙江光大锦豪交通工程有限公司(以下简称锦豪公司)、中达建设集团股份有限公司(以下简称中达公司)。

2014年3月11日,原告(工商银行)与中达公司(乙方)签订《保证合同》,约定:为了保证工商银行债权的实现,中达公司自愿向工商银行提供保证担保;中达公司所担保的主债权为工商银行依据其与锦豪公司于2014年3月12日签订的《国内保理业务合同》而享有的对锦豪公司的债权;中达公司承担保证责任的方式为连带责任保证;中达公司保证担保的范围包括主债权本金、利息、罚息、复利、违约金、损害赔偿金、汇率损失以及实现债权的费用(包括但不限于诉讼费、律师费等);工商银行与债务人协商变更主合同,未加重中达公司的债务或延长债务履行期限的,无需经中达公司同意,中达公司继续履行其在保证合同项下的保证责任。

2014年3月12日,原告(工商银行)与锦豪公司(乙方)签订《国内保理业务合同》,约定:锦豪公司以其与义乌市交通运输局之间形成的应收账款向工商银行申请办理有追索权国内保理业务;有追索权国内保理业务是指锦豪公司将其应收账款转让给工商银行,由工商银行为其提供应收账款融资及相关的国内保理服务,若购货方在约定期限内不能足额偿付应收账款的,则工商银行有权按照本合同约定向锦豪公司追索未偿融资款;锦豪公司保证向工商银行提供的所有资料都是真实、准确、完整而没有任何隐瞒;锦豪公司保证转让给工商银行的应收账款真实、合法、有效,没有争议;锦豪公司将应收账款债权及相关权利转让给工商银行,工商银行审查确认后,给予锦豪公司总额为11000000元的保理融资用于支付材料款;锦豪公司对本合同项下融资承担最终偿还责任,无论何种原因致使锦豪公司不能及时、足额收回应收账款,均不影响工商银行对锦豪公司行使并实现追索权。同日,原告向锦豪公司发放融资款11000000元。期间,锦豪公司未将案涉应收账款转让通知债务人义乌市交通运输局。

融资期限届满后,锦豪公司尚欠工商银行融资本金11000000元,利息、罚息、复利合计324925.98元。经催收无果,工商银行诉至法院。

原告工商银行诉称:现融资已到期,锦豪公司、中达公司至今未按约履行各自的合同义务,请求判令被告锦豪公司返还融资款本金及相应利息、罚息、复利;中达公司对上述债务承担连带清偿责任。

被告中达公司辩称:工商银行与锦豪公司恶意串通骗取保证人提供保证,保证合同无效,保证人不应承担保证责任。

三、裁判观点

一审法院经审理认为,关于中达公司是否需要承担保证责任的问题。首先,工商银行与中达公司签订的《保证合同》中明确表明,中达公司"完全了解主合同项下债务的用途,为债务人提供保证担保完全出于自愿,在本合同项下的意思表示完全真实。对于国际国内贸易融资,中达公司承认融资所依据的基础交易真实,不存在欺诈"。因此,中达公司签订上述保证合同系基于自愿,其为锦豪公司提供保证系其真实意思表示,不违反法律、行政法规的强制性规定,合同应属有效。

其次,根据《保证合同》约定,主债权到期而锦豪公司未予清偿的,中达公司应自接到工商银行通知之日起5个工作日内,无条件履行合同项下的保证责任。因此,中达公司在锦豪公司未能清偿到期债务的情形下,应依约承担保证责任。

第三,案涉应收账款未有效转让并没有加重中达公司的保证责任。案涉《保证合同》已经明确约定保证担保的范围为主债权本金、利息、罚息、复利等,而不是除已收回的应收账款之外的剩余主债权本金、利息、罚息、复利等。中达公司对应收账款未有效转让情形下其所担保的范围以及应收账款有效转让而工商银行未能收回任何应收账款情形下其所担保的范围都是可以预见的。而且上述保证合同签订于《国内保理业务合同》之前,此时中达公司对其担保应负更多的注意义务,对可能出现的风险应当预见。现案涉应收账款未有效转让,工商银行要求中达公司承担保证责任并未超出其可预见的保证范围,也没有加重其保证责任,该请求理应得到支持。

第四,案涉应收账款未有效转让并不必然构成工商银行与锦豪公司双方恶意串通,骗取中达公司提供保证。一方面,从恶意串通的构成要件来看,恶意串通必须以双方具有共同的意思联络为要件,而就本案事实而言,中达公司确认锦豪公司与义乌市交通运输局之间存在真实的交易行为,工商银行对应收账款以及应收账款转让后的通知行为也进行了必要的审查,因而不能认定原告与锦豪公司存在骗取中达公司提供保证的共同意思联络。另一方面,从举证责任的角度来看,《中华人民共和国担保法》第三十条规定的"主合同当事人双方串通,骗取保证人提供保证的"情形,其举证责任在于保证人,而中达公司未能提供相应的证据证明。事实上,锦豪公司已经向工商银行供了加盖"义乌市交通局"印章的《应收账款债权转让通知书》,可以认定工商银行对应收账款转让是否通知已经尽到了审查义务,对应收账款最终未有效转让并没有过错。同时,根据《最高人民法院关于适用〈中华人民共和国民事诉讼法〉的解释》第一百零九条规定:"当事人对欺诈、胁迫、恶意串通事实的证明,......人民法院确信该待证事实存在的可能性能够排除合理怀疑的,应当认定该事实存在。"该规定提高了当事人对于欺诈、恶意串通事实的证明标准,以至于需要达到排除合理怀疑的程度,而中达公司的举证显然没有达到该证明标准,应承担举证不能的法律后果。根据《最高人民法院关于适用〈中华人民共和国担保法〉若干问题的解释》第四十条规定:"主合同债务人采取欺诈、胁迫等手段,使保证人在违背真实意思的情况下提供保证的,债权人知道或者应当知道欺诈、胁迫事实的,按照担保法第三十条的规定处理。"本案中,即使锦豪公司采取欺诈手段使中达公司在违背真实意思的情形下提供保证,保证人也没有提供证据证明工商银行"知道或者应当知道欺诈事实",故本案也不符合该规定的情形。综上,中达公司并未提供足以证明工商银行与锦豪公司存在恶意串通骗取其提供保证的证据,应承担举证不能的法律后果。中达公司关于工商银行与锦豪公司恶意串通骗取其提供保证,因此保证合同无效,其不应承担保证责任的辩称缺乏事实和法律依据,本院不予采纳。

综上,案涉《保证合同》合法有效,中达公司应对锦豪公司的上述债务承担连带清偿责任。

一审判决生效后,中达公司向上级法院申请再审,再次以工商银行和锦豪公司骗取保证为由,请求法院判决中达公司不承担保证责任。杭州中院经审理,最终裁定驳回中达公司的再审申请。

四、专家建议

在保理业务到期保理商未能收回融资的情况下,保理合同保证人可能以"保理商没有审查基础交易的真实性,没有完全履行应收账款转让的合同义务"为由,向法院主张保理商通过欺诈、胁迫等手段,使保证人在违背真实意思的情况下提供了保证,进而实现保证人不承担保证责任的目的。

实践中,还有保证人以保理合同双方(保理商、保理申请人)伪造单据(发票、货运单、仓单)、印章、虚假帐户为由,向公安机关举报保理商涉嫌合同诈骗罪,给保理商及保理申请人造成巨大法律风险和声誉损失。因此,保理业务的保证合同须设置专项条款对基础交易、债权转让(主体、金额、期限、通知、回购)、追索权等基本事实情况做出明确说明,向担保人进行充分信息披露。同时,保理商应当按照前文介绍的审查方法,对整个业务流程环节全面审查,并固定保留相应证据,防止保理业务逾期后担保脱手的风险发生。

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