Loan Default: Are you unable to repay the loan? Know your 5 rights and ways to avoid difficulties

Loan Default: Anyone can need to take a loan. Be it a home loan or a personal loan, once you take a loan, you have to pay EMIs till the end of the tenure. If you fail to pay the monthly installment of the loan ie EMI, then its immediate result is seen as a penalty. However, its far-reaching consequences are also seen. 

According to Manavjit Singh, MD & CEO, CLXNS (Collections), if you feel that you may not be able to repay the loan amount on time, then you can take some preparatory steps in the beginning itself. For example, you can increase the loan tenure, which reduces the EMI. Similarly, organizing your financial situation and loan restructuring can also be of great help before deciding on loan terms. You can also request temporary relief because of a financial emergency, but you may have to pay a fine.

Singh says that if you have not been able to take such measures or have not been able to repay the loan even after doing whatever you could, then you should be aware of your rights as a loan defaulter. As per the law, the financial institution takes steps to recover the borrowed amount. However, lenders and banks have to follow norms while doing so. Loan borrowers also have some rights which need to be known.

right to be heard

As a loan defaulter, you have the right to be heard or heard. You can write to the loan officer explaining the reasons for failure to repay the loan, especially if it is due to job loss or medical emergency. However, if you are not able to repay the loan amount and have received an official notice from the bank, it is your right to make a representation to the authorities with any objections to the repossession notice.

right to terms of con‍tract&zwj

According to Singh, the bank or any third party recovery agent cannot harass or compel the borrower to repay the loan amount at any time of the day. As per RBI guidelines, banks will have to follow a code of conduct while outsourcing collection work and appoint trained agents to handle customers with utmost sensitivity. They should be aware of the calling hours and confidentiality of customer information. The time and place of recovery can be pre-decided, for example between 7am and 7pm.

right to be treated like a civilized citizen

Singh says it is your right to be treated civilly. You can use legal remedies if the representative of the bank/lender is shouting or using physical violence or threatening. The bank/lender will also have to share the details of the recovery agent with you. Your privacy should be respected and treated with courtesy when visiting an agent.

right to fair price

If you have been unable to clear your dues and the bank has initiated the process of auctioning your property to recover the payment, you should have received a notice from the bank informing the same. It should also mention the fair value for the property/assets, details of the time and date of auction, reserve price etc. Your rights as a loan defaulter entitle you to raise an objection if the property is undervalued.

right to balance income

If there is any excess amount from the money recovered after the sale of the property, it will have to be returned to the lending institutions. Since the value of the property or asset may increase at any point of time, its value may exceed the amount that you had to pay to the bank. Therefore, monitoring the auction process is important.

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