In India, consumer rights have been disregarded for a long time, especially when collecting outstanding dues like bank loans and credit cards. There are numerous cases of oppressive and illegal conduct by recovery agents attempting to collect pending or missed dues on behalf of the banks.
In the past few years, there have been many instances where borrowers were harassed and threatened by recovery agents for their unpaid debt. Many recovery agents have even made surprise visits to a borrower’s home to mock them in front of their neighbors and friends.
Some borrowers have faced not only humiliation but also intimidation and physical threats. Borrowers have developed serious mental conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression in the worst cases.
Unfortunately, some borrowers even committed suicide. The recovery agents are ignorant of the plight of the borrower and unwittingly destroy their lives.
Recovery agents seek clients’ information and visit their offices or organizations that owe installments to banks. Banks can hire a third-party agent to complete the transaction. These agents are generally considered a third party since they are not a part of the original contract.
Recovery agent harassment refers to the aggressive and illegal tactics used by debt collection agents to recover unpaid debts from individuals. It includes behaviours like continuous and threatening phone calls, using abusive language, harassing family members or colleagues, making false threats of legal action or arrest, or visiting the debtor’s home or workplace without permission.
Such actions can cause immense stress and mental trauma to the debtor and may also violate their rights under the law. Many countries have laws in place to protect debtors from recovery agent harassment and provide avenues for filing complaints and seeking legal action against such behaviour.
If you are facing recovery agent harassment, there are some important things you should know:
If your recovery agent tries to collect the money owed by engaging in any of the unlawful behaviors listed below, it may be considered harassment. These actions include:
In case you as a borrower are on the defaulting list and are stuck into Harassment from Recovery Agents, you will need to keep in mind a few things:
As per RBI guidelines, a recovery agent is not allowed to violate your personal space. It means that the third party cannot discuss the loan with your colleagues, friends, or families. In the event he does this, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the recovery agent.
You must verify the identification of the recovery agency when they arrive to collect the money. The bank provides each agent with an official identification card as a representative for the bank. Make sure they do not refuse to show their identity. If they refuse, immediately call the bank or the police.
Recovery agents have a few protocols to follow and uphold. For example, recovery agents have no right to use abusive language to collect money from the borrower on behalf of banks. In addition, even though they are collecting pending dues, they must treat all clients respectfully.
Per RBI guidelines, a recovery agent can contact you between 7 am and 7 pm. They have no right to contact you at odd hours before 7 am or after 7 pm.
You can also ask the recovery agent to call you later if you work in shifts by giving them an appropriate time. However, they cannot force clients to communicate at an inappropriate time.
You can file a formal complaint against the bank or the third-party agent. Once you file a complaint against them, it will stop their constant harassment for credit recovery.
You can file a civil injunction suit in court with interim relief against the bank and recover damages for harassment. Legal action against the authorities will prevent creditors from visiting the person’s home to recover their credit.
You could file a defamation complaint against the bank and recovery organization if the credit lenders relied on inaccurate data to cause a person’s CIBIL score to appear low.
Borrowers may sue banks directly for violating and trespassing if the bank’s debt recovery agents illegally enter borrowers’ homes or offices without prior approval or consent.
If the recovery agents force you to recover the money, individuals can file an extortion case against them.
If you’re facing any kind of harassment from a third-party agent, you can take that complaint directly to the bank. Ideally, you should communicate your concerns with the bank manager.
In conclusion, borrowers who are experiencing harassment from recovery agents have several options available to them.
It is worth noting that there are strict norms and regulations in place to prevent harassment by recovery agents. For example, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued guidelines that prohibit recovery agents from using abusive language, threatening violence, or calling at unreasonable hours. In addition, the FDCPA in the United States and similar laws in other countries provide protection for borrowers against abusive debt collection practices.
If a borrower is experiencing harassment from a recovery agent, they can file a complaint with the appropriate regulatory authorities or seek legal assistance. By taking action and advocating for their rights, borrowers can put a stop to harassment and work towards resolving their debt issues in a fair and respectful manner.
SingleDebt is the solution if you’re being harassed by a creditor and need immediate protection. They will help you resolve your debt problems, stop harassment from creditors, and pursue legal action. SingleDebt has a team of advocates and paralegals that will answer your harassing calls from creditors. All you need to do is sign up to get your first credit counseling consultation for free.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of illegal loan apps, there are solutions for you. SingleDebt can help cease harassment from these agents and handle the legal side for you. We urge you not to resolve this alone as this can lead to further harassment. Contact SingleDebt on +91 961 910 3594 or fill out the form either on the home page or contact page