Dreadful and atrocious, the recovery agents hired by banks are mostly goons and local criminals who already have a 'reputation' in that area. Firing expletives without any concern, these miscreants flaunt every rule in the book and can go up to any limit just to get the money out of your pocket. Contrary to popular perception, loan recovery agents are not regular employees of the banks. They only survive on the commission received after recovering the dues from a defaulter.
Though a loan default is never advisable, a proper behavior and well defined loan recovery methods will help a lot. Bankers seem to collectively forget that at issue is not the obvious need to recover loans, but the grossly insensitive and inhuman manner in which their recovery agents perform this task. No bank can be singled out for the loan recovery excesses, this menace is spread across the entire industry. Here we present a chronicle of many such excesses allegedly committed by loan recovery agents.
22 Nov 2007: Four bank officials posing as recovery agents took away a Indica car from the owner, who couldn't pay four installments. Later they were arrested by Chandigarh police and charged with robbery.
21 Nov 2007: Recovery agents barged into the home of a Pune housewife, Renu Bhandwalkar late at night, damaged her car and took it away.
6 Nov 2007: Recovery agents forcibly dragged out a young man from his car, attacked him with iron rods and left him bleeding as they snatched the car and drove away with the vehicle. Ironically, the victim was not the owner but a friend of his. The 'vigilant' agents didn't even care to properly establish the identity of the owner. A fine of Rs. 55 lakhs was imposed on the bank for their recovery agents' misadventure.
1 Nov 2007: Insults and regular abuses by recovery agents forced a chicken shop owner to commit suicide at his house in Dilsukhnagar at Hyderabad. R Venkata Reddy, 40 a resident of Kodandaram Nagar in P&T Colony took Rs. 17,400 as a personal loan from a private sector bank. He was being continuously threatened by the recovery agents for the past three months.
21 September 2007: A 38-year-old man Prakash Sarvankar committed suicide at his Andheri (E) residence in Mumbai. The victim defaulted on few loan installments due to illness. In his suicide note he squarely blamed the intimidation and harassment by recovery agents for his death. The recovery agents abused him in front of his wife and young daughters. They also forcibly took away his music system with speakers. He had borrowed a sum of Rs. 50,000, which proved too costly for him. In a face saving act, the accused bank later announced an ex-gratia payment of 15.5 lakhs to the dependants of victims.
20 July 2007: CLN Murthy, a scientist with the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology was severely tortured by recovery agents after he defaulted on his Rs. 10-lakh loan. He was treated in the most inhuman way by shaving his moustache, cutting hairs and giving electric shocks. The recovery agents even spit on his face and ripped his shirt.
26 June 2007: An Andhra Pradesh government employee was allegedly beaten to death by four loan recovery agents. He took a personal loan of just Rs. 15,000.
Disclaimer: RupeeTimes has intentionally removed the names of banks involved in the above incidents. Our aim is not to victimize any bank or tarnish its image, these incidents are tabulated here to increase the awareness about such malpractices among our readers and ensure that such unfortunate events do not occur in future.