RBI asks banks to ensure borrowers are not harassed by recovery agents

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked financial institutions that their loan recovery agents should not intimidate or harass any person either physically or verbally for their debt collection efforts. RBI has also advised that, agents should not humiliate publicly or intrude upon the privacy of the debtors family members, referees and friends. AIR Correspondent reports that RBI has observed that, the recovery agents employed by financial institutions have been deviating from the extant instructions issued time to time.

In view of concerns arising from the activities of these agents, RBI has asked recovery agents not to call the borrower for recovery of overdue loans, making false and misleading representations before 8 am and after 7 pm. It has also barred recovery agents from sending inappropriate messages either on mobile or through social media, making threatening and/ r anonymous calls, repeatedly calling the borrower and/or calling the borrower before 8:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m.

These instructions will be applicable to all Commercial Banks including Regional Rural Banks, Co-operative Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies, Asset Reconstruction Companies and All India Financial Institutions. RBI has warned that, any violation in this regard by Recovery agents will be viewed seriously. It has clarified that, these guidelines will not be applicable to microfinance or collateral-free loan given to a household having an annual income up to ₹3,00,000.

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