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Availing of a loan is the best way to purchase your dream home. However, there may be times when you fail to make timely repayments. Certain unforeseen circumstances like loss of job, high expenses, or rising inflation may prevent you from repaying the loan on time. Banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) try to contact you verbally or through written communication. However, if you fail to communicate, the financial institution sends a debt collection agent to recover the loan amount.
Generally, experiences with the housing loan recovery agent are unpleasant. Such agents may humiliate you in front of your family and neighbors or resort to unethical means to recover the pending amount. It is, therefore, important to be aware of your rights in case the debt collection agent gets offensive in the process of seeking recovery of debt.
Following are ten things you may do when the debt recovery agent comes at your doorstep.
- Ask for identity proof
The first step is to ask the agent to provide an identity proof to determine whether they genuinely belong to the recovery agency.
- Be aware of your rights
In case the agent gets abusive, let him know that you are aware of your rights. You may also file an FIR or complaint to the police in case of a verbal abuse.
- Speak politely
Remember, the agent is merely doing his job of collecting bad debts. Therefore, be polite while communicating.
- File a complaint if the agent reveals loan details to anyone else
The debt collection agent is not allowed to discuss the details of your pending loan amount with anyone else. In case the agent has informed your relatives or neighbors, you may file a complaint against him with your bank or NBFC.
- Know the visiting timings
Recovery agents are allowed to visit between 7 am to 7 pm. in case you are not available during the mentioned time, you may ask them to visit beyond these hours.
- Make sure the agent contacts you on the provided phone number
Recovery agents are supposed to contact you only on the phone number provided by you to the financial institution.
- Avoid letting the agent intimidate you
Due to miscommunication, agents may come to your door asking for repayment even if you have made the payment. In such cases, do not let the agent intimidate you into paying what you do not owe.
- Approach your lender in case of an abuse
According to the guidelines prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), financial institutions are advised to ensure that agents do not use abusive language or adopt unlawful behavior.
- Seek records
In case you wish to know the time the agent visited or the number of calls made, you may contact your lender. You have the right to access such information.
- Request the agent to avoid contacting you in times of bereavement
In times of bereavement, you may request the agent not to demand repayment of the pending home loan amount.
It is crucial to be aware of how to handle debt collection agents. Do not tolerate any unruly behavior, instead, stand up and assert your rights.