Daisy Daruwala had been quite stressed lately. She was sure that her husband, Navroz’s, name would be present in a “CIBIL defaulter’s list”, after he quit paying his personal loan some five years ago. And if that happened then all her hopes of moving into a bigger house would come down like a house of cards. Daisy had been insisting that Navroz should seek professional help for it.
Navroz brushed her pleas aside in a condescending sort of way. He wasn’t going to anyone with his sop story. Five years ago, in a terrible storm his entire orchards were wiped out. That was the third year in a row that he couldn’t produce enough to make ends meet. The year before that it was drought, while earlier locusts destroyed his entire crop. He didn’t know from where to get the money to pay for his loans.
He had taken a huge HDFC personal loan to keep his family business alive. After fighting a long battle for three years, his hopes were repeatedly quashed by nature and finally he decided to accept it as God’s will. He moved to Mumbai from Dahanu. He left his land barren, his family home locked, took the last train in the dead of night and left all his troubles behind, including his clueless lenders.
Just because Navroz escaped his lenders and left them wondering where he disappeared does not make his liabilities disappear as well. Navroz was certain that Dahanu was such a small place and that no one knew about CIBIL over there, so he couldn’t care less about his defaults.
In Mumbai, the city of dreams, lady luck smiled on Navroz. He found a job and soon started with an online business. Five years passed and he was able to establish better fortune soon. Today, he was in zero debt except for the forgotten ones. No matter what, he would get a home loan as he earned well.
Daisy was still shaking inside. She was worried about a possible “CIBIL defaulters list”. An online search revealed that “CIBIL is but a repository and does not maintain any defaulters list”. Both heaved a sigh of relief. A week later, to their horror, they received a letter rejecting their loan application. It was quite devastating for Daisy because her fears were now a reality.
Navroz was so angry. He marched into the bank’s branch and had a showdown with the manager. He said he knew there is no such thing as a “CIBIL defaulters list” so how he could be called a defaulter. That is when he learnt the truth behind a loan defaulters list.
The truth behind a Defaulters List
It is true, there is no such list maintained by CIBIL. But banks and RBI maintain a “Bank defaulters list”. All those who have not repaid their loans will find their names have enlisted in such a register.
It was quite silly of Navroz to assume that because his lenders belonged to a small town so his deeds would not surface. In this digital age, all banks work on a centralised platform. Records of one place can easily be viewed by a member of that institution at another location.
This is basically to keep fraudsters at arm’s length. Many people would fraud at one place, then shift and try to con the bank at another location. To give such tricksters a miss, banks maintain an overall defaulters list.
As part of protocol, before a loan is sanctioned, banks check this list. This list is not just for internal reference but it is sent to and maintained by RBI. Banks can check each other’s records of default. So if a person hasn’t repaid debts of one bank and is trying to secure loan from another bank then he or she would not succeed.
It may not be wrong to call Navroz a swindler. Yes, he was a victim of misfortune but he escaped his dues without keeping his lenders in the loop. To avoid having his name featuring in such an ominous list, he should have spoken to his lenders frankly about his situation. Even if he wished to move to Mumbai, he should have transferred his loan account to Mumbai and arranged to repay his outstanding debts at the first opportunity.
What he did was not short of trying to evade his responsibility as a borrower. That can damage one’s score and reputation for years to come.
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