Want a home loan for your dream house? Chances are that banks may misplace your house documents, leaving you high and dry.
Sudhir Bawa had taken a home loan from a multinational bank and repaid it, but when he sought the original sale deed papers back from the bank he was told that his property papers were lost. "I had taken Rs.900,000 as home loan from HSBC Bank in Connaught Place in 2000. By 2002 I had repaid the loan. But the bank apprised me that the original sale deed papers were lost," said Bawa, consultant with an international pharmaceutical company, told IANS.
The bank washed its hands of the matter by lodging an FIR at the Connaught Place police station. "They informed me by a letter and then merely registered an FIR. However, they refused to compensate me for the loss caused by the bank's carelessness. If the documents get into the wrong hands they can easily be misused," Bawa added.
Bawa had to eventually sell off his property at a lower price, bearing a loss of over Rs.1 million. "This is sheer negligence on the part of the bank and they are liable to compensate the loan applicant," said lawyer Manjeet Singh Ahluwalia.
Lawyers handling consumer matters also agree that though such cases are not the norm, banks are averse to granting compensation to the aggrieved. "Banks are generally not inclined to compensate the loan applicant, leaving him with no recourse but to move court. This unnecessarily adds to the backlog of cases," said Sugriv Dubey, a lawyer.
Last year, the State Consumer Commission slapped a fine of Rs.500,000 on Citi Bank for misplacing the original documents of the property of Prem Narain Gupta.
Gupta, a resident of east Delhi, had taken a loan of about Rs.700,000 for renovation of his property valued about Rs.15 million in 2001.
"Once a service provider resorts to such a procedure that a loan applicant has to deposit the original deed and not the certified copies of the title deed, he has to exercise utmost care and caution in the safe preservation of documents," the commission had said in its order.