Dear Sir,

If you publish this in your blog, please remove loan account number
and service request number.

I had taken a home loan from ICICI during 2002 (account no. removed)
The last EMI was paid in Jan, 2014. However, when I went to the
branch to collect the original property documents, it was found that
an important document was missing.

On 03/Feb/2014: I have raised a complaint, in writing, with the bank
(removed). It is now two weeks and bank is asking for more time
to trace the missing original document.

On 14/Feb/2014: i escalated the complaint to Mr. Krishnan Govindan,
Head Customer Service using bank’s website. There is not even an
acknowledgement of my escalation, forget resolution!

My questions are:

1. how long is a reasonable time for me to wait ?
2. what are my next steps ?
2. If document is not traced, what is the responsibility of the bank ?
3. If document is not traced, what are the rights of the customer (like me) ?

Eagerly looking forward to your answer.

Your information will not only help me, but will surely help all other
home loan borrowers where original documents are not traceable by the
bank.

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  1. My wife and I had a similar experience with LICHFL in May-2011.
    We had taken joint a loan against LIC policies kept as collateral with them.

    They had given us an appointment 3 months in advance for meeting their officials and collecting the loan-closure documents along with our original insurance policies.

    When we reached there at 11:00 AM, were told that our file is at the bottom of the pile in a list of 10 customers. We didn’t even bother to ask why they couldn’t have called us at 2:00 PM, to avoid wasting our time !

    At around 4:00 PM we were still awaiting our turn.
    Finally when we were the only ones left in the waiting area, I went and sat opposite the lady and asked her what was the reason for the delay. She mumbled something about some paper missing from our file, and asked me to wait for a little more time.

    At 4:30 PM when I had lost my patience and cool, she finally admitted that our original policy documents were not in the file, and were not traceable in their archives either !!!

    We asked to see her manager, who heard us out patiently, and reassured us that she would ensure a resolution for the problem within 15 days. And if the policy documents were not found by then, they would arrange for duplicate policy documents within another 15 days.

    When I checked with her after 15 days, she told me that they would initiate the process for issuing duplicate policy documents, as they had not located them yet.
    After repeated follow-up phone calls and emails, we finally got the duplicate documents after almost 3 months.

    They took such a long time to arrange for duplicate documents from their parent organization. I can’t even imagine what would have happened if they had misplaced the property registration agreement !

  2. My wife and I had a similar experience with LICHFL in May-2011. We had taken joint a loan against LIC policies kept as collateral with them.

    They had given us an appointment 3 months in advance for meeting their officials and collecting the loan-closure documents along with our original insurance policies.

    When we reached there at 11:00 AM, were told that our file is at the bottom of the pile in a list of 10 customers. We didn’t even bother to ask why they couldn’t have called us at 2:00 PM, to avoid wasting our time !

    At around 4:00 PM we were still awaiting our turn.
    Finally when we were the only ones left in the waiting area, I went and sat opposite the lady and asked her what was the reason for the delay. She mumbled something about some paper missing from our file, and asked me to wait for a little more time.

    At 4:30 PM when I had lost my patience and cool, she finally admitted that our original policy documents were not in the file, and were not traceable in their archives either !!!

    We asked to see her manager, who heard us out patiently, and reassured us that she would ensure a resolution for the problem within 15 days. And if the policy documents were not found by then, they would arrange for duplicate policy documents within another 15 days.

    When I checked with her after 15 days, she told me that they would initiate the process for issuing duplicate policy documents, as they had not located them yet.
    After repeated follow-up phone calls and emails, we finally got the duplicate documents after almost 3 months.

    They took such a long time to arrange for duplicate documents from their parent organization. I can’t even imagine what would have happened if they had misplaced the property registration agreement!

  3. Dr M.Chandrashekhar

    You should escalate to Bank Ombudsman . If you do not get that document, pl. file a police FIR.

    You should also be talking to a lawyer as finally the option is only protracted litigation.

    Bank is not bothered as they have a full fledged Legal Department.

  4. Adding comment to get notification.
    Its almost impossible to get the property document on your own. Plus you will require bank NOC letter for future sale or loans. I don’t know the solution to this but filing RTI through lawyer can be the first step.

  5. My wife and I had a similar experience with LICHFL in May-2011.
    We had jointly taken a housing loan against LIC policies kept as collateral with them.

    They had given us an appointment 3 months in advance for meeting their officials and collecting the loan-closure documents along with our original insurance policies.

    When we reached there at 11:00 AM, were told that our file is at the bottom of the pile in a list of 10 customers. We didn’t even bother to ask why they couldn’t have called us at 2:00 PM, to avoid wasting our time !

    At around 4:00 PM we were still awaiting our turn.
    Finally when we were the only ones left in the waiting area, I went and sat opposite the lady and asked her what was the reason for the delay. She mumbled something about some paper missing from our file, and asked me to wait for a little more time.

    At 4:30 PM when I had lost my patience and cool, she finally admitted that our original policy documents were not in the file, and were not traceable in their archives either !!!

    We asked to see her manager, who heard us out patiently, and reassured us that she would ensure a resolution for the problem within 15 days. And if the policy documents were not found by then, they would arrange for duplicate policy documents within another 15 days.

    When I checked with her after 15 days, she told me that they would initiate the process for issuing duplicate policy documents, as they had not located them yet.
    After repeated follow-up phone calls and emails, we finally got the duplicate documents after almost 3 months.

    They took such a long time to arrange for duplicate documents from their parent organization. I can’t even imagine what would have happened if they had misplaced the property registration agreement !

  6. In January 2014, the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) introduced revised code of commitment for banks aimed at protecting customers’ rights and entitlements.

    With respect to your query it says under section 8.12.1.2

    p. We will return to you all the securities / documents / title deeds to mortgaged property within 15 days of the repayment of all dues agreed to or contracted. If any right to set off is to be exercised for any other claim, we will give due notice with full particulars about
    the other claims and retain the securities/documents/title to mortgaged property till the relevant claim is settled/paid.

    q. We will compensate you for any delay in return of securities / documents / title deeds to mortgaged property beyond 15 days of the repayment of all dues agreed to or contracted.

    r. In the event of our losing the securities / documents / title deeds you have provided to us when you availed a loan, we will compensate you for the loss. We will issue a certificate indicating the securities / documents / title deeds lost and extend all assistance to you for obtaining duplicate documents etc.

    I hope this information will be useful to you in resolving your issue of lost documents with ICICI Bank. If you need a copy of banking codes or any further queries, you can write to us at http://ask.apnapaisa.com/

  7. In January 2014, the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) introduced revised code of commitment for banks aimed at protecting customers’ rights and entitlements.

    With respect to your query it says under section 8.12.1.2

    p. We will return to you all the securities / documents / title deeds to mortgaged property within 15 days of the repayment of all dues agreed to or contracted. If any right to set off is to be exercised for any other claim, we will give due notice with full particulars about
    the other claims and retain the securities/documents/title to mortgaged property till the relevant claim is settled/paid.

    q. We will compensate you for any delay in return of securities / documents / title deeds to mortgaged property beyond 15 days of the repayment of all dues agreed to or contracted.

    r. In the event of our losing the securities / documents / title deeds you have provided to us when you availed a loan, we will compensate you for the loss. We will issue a certificate indicating the securities / documents / title deeds lost and extend all assistance to you for obtaining duplicate documents etc.

    I hope this information will be useful to you in resolving your issue of lost documents with ICICI Bank.

  8. I guess the bank should compensate you for its irresposible act and also pay for obtaining duplicate copy. Mr. Amrut had commented above to file an RTI, i guess these private banks are not under the purview of RTI, however you can file an RTI against nationalised banks.

  9. Dear Sir,

    I am happy to report that missing document has been found and returned to me.

    Perhaps due to my escalation of complaint or perhaps due to the readership of this blog, it seems bank took up this complaint on priority. This particular document was traced to a govt office and a bank official helped me in collecting the same from the govt office.

    This was supposed to be collected by the bank prior to loan disbursement. It looks like this was the step missed by the bank. God knows how the bank disbursed the loan without original document!

    To the other readers, I suggest that the customer should not only collect acknowledgement/copies of all original documents given by the customer, but also collect copies for other documents which bank collects from various govt offices, on customer’s behalf.

  10. I completely agree with you sir. I also experienced the inactive work schedule of banks. I have an account with Central bank of India, Branch Mumbai. The offline process is very good but in terms of online transaction, the system blocked my ATM without any reason 3 times and giving too many complaints still I face the same problem. So instead of keeping track of this, literally I changed my bank o save my time.

  11. Hi, great article.
    Unfortunately I am a victim of low cibil score and was looking measures to improve it as I also wanted to avail a personal loan to renovate my house. Please suggest me as the banks keep cibil score as the fundamental factor in giving loans.

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