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Old 11th October 2007, 14:34   #1
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Default Need help in going to consumer court (EDIT: Axis Bank car loan)

Guys,

I had a very interesting(!!!) incident today. In June, I purchased my Verna from Trident Hyundai, Bangalore, with a loan from UTI Bank, now Axis Bank. In the month of August, Axis bank did NOT present a cheque for my EMI to ICICI bank, which has my savings account. About last monday, a guy had called up from Axis bank, and had asked me to pay my August month EMI, stating the reason that the cheque presented by them had "bounced"...his exact words. Since a cheque "bounce"ing is a criminal offence and i had more than sufficient funds in my account to prevent any such event, i had called up ICICI bank to get a clarification, and they informed me that no cheque was ever presented, and that had such a cheque been presented, my account had enough balance in august to pay the EMI for that month.

Today, some agent turned up at my house, when i was in office, and spoke to my aunt, who stays downstairs. The story i got from my aunt, who was freaked out, is that the recovery agent threatened to repossess my car if i did not hand over the EMI.

I called up the Axis guys some time ago, asking for a clarification (and threatening with a police and consumer court complaint), and they told me that there had been a mistake on their part in august, which is why the cheque was not presented to ICICI, so can i please give them a cheque for the missing EMI. I am going now to their Korsamangala branch to give the cheque.

However, knowing collection agencies, if the collection agent does come tomorrow, i want to register a consumer court compalint. Does anyone here have any idea how to go about doing this?

Moreover, since there has been a SC order stating that vehicles cannot be repossessed without a court order, is it possible to file a criminal case also, against the recollection agency as well as Axis bank. (since the recollection agency is an "agent" of Axis bank, and is acting on behalf of Axis bank, Axis bank IS responsible for the actions of its agent - that much i remember from my law classes at IIM)

Guys, please help!!!!

PS: Mods, i do not know where else to post this....is this is posted at the wrong place, please feel free to post it in the right forum.
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Old 11th October 2007, 14:53   #2
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Unfortunate experience. Some suggestions (coming a bit late and little OT):
1. Give the cheque in the presence of the collection agent.
2. Get an 'official' letter from the bank that you paid it off so you can show to anyone who bothers you. This will also be a proof that they are consistently terrible if same thing happens again.
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Old 11th October 2007, 15:10   #3
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Why do you need to give the cheque. They can represent the old cheque. In case they don't havethe old cheque. Take them in writing on their letterhead that they have misplaced your cheque no. drawn on some bank and for the amount. Also needless to say ask your bank for a stop payment of the cheque. In case your bank asks for a stop payment fee ask Axis bank to refund the same.
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Old 11th October 2007, 15:11   #4
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You can contact RBI.
Reserve Bank of India

Second thing to do is, contact CNBC-Awaz, they can guide you.
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Old 11th October 2007, 15:23   #5
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Ashwin,

Also make sure that the old cheque is stopped or better get it back from AXIS bank. There is a likellyhood that at a later date they may submit your old cheque.

One of my frined had a similar experience with the banks.

So, be very careful.
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Old 11th October 2007, 15:28   #6
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This is terrible.
1.Good that the bank at least admitted their lapse and apologised their mistake. However, as Androdev pointed out, insist on the bank to give out the name of the agency and the person who came to your house. Ask them to communicate to the agency as well as the individual team leader about the payment having been made by you so that there is no physical problem.
2.next comes the legal part. Anyone visiting your house and issuing any kind of threat is an illegal act and you can lodge a police complaint. Just do it. They will lodge FIR in the name of unknown persons as agent of the Bank.
3. Next is the issue of August EMI- since, they didnt present a cheque, there may be no bouncing charges. However, they will impose late payment fees, penalty and service tax on the whole amount will will be in the range of approx. Rs.1200/-.
4.They may not tell you all this at this stage. You will get a shocker when you need to close the loan/ repay after all the EMIs. Its important for you to know as to what remark have they put against Aug EMI as they will use this info, when you applying for a closure letter / certifcate from them to remove hypothecation.
5.In case, they comply with your request, well and good. in case, they dont, you have a case for proceeding against them in the consumer court as well as criminal court ( in view of the recovery agent's threat- harassment case).
6. In case, you need to go to consumer court, you will need all the loan documents- copy of agreement, your bank statement- to prove sufficient balance in your account to validate your stand and also to prove that it was their fault ( not presenting the cheque) and also, date and approx.time you need to mention about the visit of the agent at your house. And to get the name of the agency/ agent you need to speak to the bank and if they dont give it, take help of police.
7. Police may try to dissuade you as these agencies sometimes have acquaintances with the local police as well. But show some perseverance and everything will fall in place.
You have all the rights to teach them a lesson and fight for your rights. Lets do it. I wish I was in Bangalore , I would have joined you.
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Old 11th October 2007, 15:48   #7
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I don't see why you have to give them another cheque. They already have your cheque for August and they haven't submitted that for collection. Get your other cheque back if they push for a new one.
Also make sure that they don't chrge you any penalties.
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Old 11th October 2007, 16:47   #8
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First thing, immediately drop an email to bank's PRO/Sr manager and copy RBI banking ombudsman on this. I dont think you can goto consumer court on this, but you can approach RBI. If required you can file a complaint to RBI.

Also, if collection agent continues to harrass you, please register an FIR against the bank manager and collection agent.

Also, present the cheque and take the old one back from them and i think you should be ok.
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Old 11th October 2007, 17:14   #9
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Immediate action: Try to convience them (AXIS BANK) to use the same cheque if possible. Speak to ICICI for stop payment of that cheque. If they represent, then you will have to again run around for the extra money they would have withdrawn from your account.

Next action: You can register FIR against this Agent and Bank Manager if he is troubling you again and speak/threaten to Bank Manager that you are complaining this to RBI and lodging FIR against him and agent for unnecessarily harassing you.
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Old 11th October 2007, 17:25   #10
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As "LLL" suggested complain to "ombudsman", there is usually a procedure to follow before contacting ombudsman, the procedure is published in all banks websites (some banks make it difficult to find though).

I had problems with my credit card and a mail to ombudsman, had the bank officials come back begging to forgive.
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Old 11th October 2007, 18:07   #11
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I had a similar experience with ICICI. In my case it was not even a representative who fouled up; ICICI itself went and misplaced an entire year's worth of post-dated cheques I'd given to repay a home loan.

One day I started getting phone calls from someone at the bank (or most probably a call centre). The calls kept coming even when I was out of Bombay, and this was in an era when roaming rates were high. I mentioned this, but to no avail. The woman told me I'd need to pay a penalty for missing a month. After a month, she helpfully informed me that I had missed two months.

I was working with the Economic Times in Mumbai at the time, and I escalated the matter to business journalist and consumer activist Sucheta Dalal via the Consumer Voice India group on Yahoo. I suggest you post your complaint there and see if you get any suggestions.

In my case, things went well. A few days after I published my grievance in the consumer forum, ICICI's deputy MD Ms Chanda Kochhar personally called me up to apologise for the "oversight", and said she was deputing two senior officials (Mr Madhvendra Das and Ms Satinder Kaur) to visit me and set things right. I have to give them credit: they kept their word.

And so, what I couldn't get done even after months of arguing with ICICI's representatives was accomplished in under two weeks. The costs I had to bear for no fault of mine was reimbursed at actuals, and ICICI paid the stop-payment charges on the cheques that they misplaced. After this was done, and they gave me the acknowledgement, I issued a fresh set of cheques as per their request.

The moral: if you feel you have a strong case, it helps to escalate the topic to the top brass, and not waste time parleying with clueless call center employees or collection agents. The latter can only make life miserable for you and give you high BP.
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Old 11th October 2007, 18:38   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blasť View Post
As "LLL" suggested complain to "ombudsman", there is usually a procedure to follow before contacting ombudsman, the procedure is published in all banks websites (some banks make it difficult to find though).

I had problems with my credit card and a mail to ombudsman, had the bank officials come back begging to forgive.
Per rules, you need to give a written notice to the bank and give them 1 month to resolve it. Hence i suggested ashwin copy ombudsman so that Axis bank knows that they are dealing with serious stuff here. I had 2 ABN complaints resolved within 24 hrs this way after trying to solve it for more than 6 months with them directly.
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Old 12th October 2007, 05:18   #13
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If it was me, I would: 1) do a stop payment on the existing cheque at my cost and 2) open a savings account at Axis bank and deposit some money in that account and ask the loan department of the Axis bank to deduct the EMIs from that Axis bank account. 3) negotiate with the recovery agent to see if there is any way to convince him that you have resolved this problem.
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Old 12th October 2007, 10:58   #14
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Ashwin

If You need to lodge a complaint for a consumer redressal try this forum Consumer Online Resources & Empowerment Centre

Best
Karthik
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Old 13th October 2007, 12:25   #15
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Welcome to Grahak Raja Jaga Ho - An organisation working in the field of consumer awareness
Preparing and Filing Consumer Complaint at Consumer Court in India
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