Debt Collection Laws On Harassment In India


Don't let yourself be a victim of harassment by debt collectors! If your being harassed by creditors in India, and they are violating your rights by breaking the law, you may want to report them. Below is a list of fair practices of debt collection and recovery procedures that were set by the Reserve Bank Of India. This information is also located in more detail from the Reserve Bank Of India website at ( ).

a) In the matter of recovery of dues, banks / NBFCs may ensure that they, as also their agents, adhere to the extant instructions on Fair Practice Code for lenders (circular DBOD. Leg. No. BC. 104 /09.07.007 / 2002-03 dated May 5, 2003) as also IBA's Code for Collection of dues and repossession of security. In case banks / NBFCs have their own code for collection of dues it should, at the minimum, incorporate all the terms of IBA's Code.

b) In particular, in regard to appointment of third party agencies for debt collection, it is essential that such agents refrain from action that could damage the integrity and reputation of the bank / NBFC and that they observe strict customer confidentiality. All letters issued by recovery agents must contain the name and address of a responsible senior officer of the card issuing bank whom the customer can contact at his location.

c) Banks / NBFCs / their agents should not resort to intimidation or harassment of any kind, either verbal or physical, against any person in their debt collection efforts, including acts intended to humiliate publicly or intrude the privacy of the credit card holders' family members, referees and friends, making threatening and anonymous calls or making false and misleading representations.

The Reserve Bank Of India has a list of guidelines of Grievance procedures follow below if the above rules have been violated.
This information can also be viewed at the above mentioned website of the Reserve Bank Of India.

a) Generally, a time limit of sixty (60) days may be given to the customers for preferring their complaints / grievances.

b) The card issuing bank / NBFC should constitute Grievance Redressal machinery within the bank / NBFC and give wide publicity about it through electronic and print media. The name and contact number of designated grievance redressal officer of the bank / NBFC should be mentioned on the credit card bills. The designated officer should ensure that genuine grievances of credit card subscribers are redressed promptly without involving delay.

c) The grievance redressal procedure of the bank / NBFC and the time frame fixed for responding to the complaints should be placed on the bank / NBFC's website. The name, designation, address and contact number of important executives as well as the Grievance Redressal Officer of the bank / NBFC may be displayed on the website. There should be a system of acknowledging customers' complaints for follow up, such as complaint number / docket number, even if the complaints are received on phone.

d) If a complainant does not get satisfactory response from the bank / NBFC within a maximum period of thirty (30) days from the date of his lodging the complaint, he will have the option to approach the Office of the concerned Banking Ombudsman for redressal of his grievance/s. The bank / NBFC shall be liable to compensate the complainant for the loss of his time, expenses, financial loss as well as for the harassment and mental anguish suffered by him for the fault of the bank and where the grievance has not been redressed in time.

Addresses, Phone Numbers, Email Addresses and Area of Operation of Banking Ombudsman can be found at the Reserve Bank Of India Website at ( ).

If you need information in India on Banks and Links to their Cheque Collection Policies (as on October 31, 2009) please visit ( ).