Money & Banking

Security pledged by deceased husband for loan not returned to wife

| Updated on March 03, 2011


The deceased husband of the appellant had taken a loan by pledging his gold ornaments and this loan was waived under the agricultural loan waiver scheme of the Government of India. The appellant, a daily wage earner, approached the bank for taking delivery of the jewellery pledged by her late husband which was refused by the bank on the plea that she was a member of an SHG (self-help group) which has turned an NPA and the bank was exercising its right of general lien, even though her husband was not an SHG member.

The banking ombudsman disposed the case under Clause 13(d) of BOS 2006. The complainant went in appeal where the Appellate Authority (AA) observed that under the banker's right of general lien, if the borrower has several loan accounts with the bank, bankers have the right to appropriate the security pledged in respect of one loan account against other loans even if the particular loan is repaid in full.

In the instant case, the deceased did not have any other loan account with the bank. He has no connection with the SHG loan where his wife was a member.

His widow was only claiming the gold pledged by him as his legal heir as the loan is closed. She had not deposited this gold with the branch for taking any loan.

The gold had come to the possession of the branch quite accidentally. As this gold was not deposited by her in connection with some other loan she has taken from the bank, the general lien will not be applicable in this case. The AA allowed the appeal and directed the bank to return the gold to her along with a token compensation of Rs 5,000.

Education loan — collateral security: The complainant had taken an educational loan of Rs 2.98 lakh from AB Bank on February 20, 2007. The bank had taken LIC policies and fixed deposit of Rs 75,000 as security. As per the terms and conditions of sanction, payment of interest was to commence six months after the completion of course and EMI from March 2009 in 84 instalments.

Contrary to the above, the bank started recovering the EMIs from September 2007 by en-cashing six cheques (PDCs) without obtaining the consent of the borrower and also levied cheque bouncing charges.

The banking ombudsman noticed that the bank had not adhered to the terms and conditions set out while sanctioning the loan.

Further, as per IBA guidelines education loan up to Rs 4 lakh was to be granted by obtaining the co-obligation of parents without insisting on collateral.

The ombudsman directed the bank to make an offer to the complainant to settle the issue wherein the complainant would pay the overdue amount and the bank would reschedule the EMIs, reverse the cheque bounce charges and return the collateral securities.

(Source: Annual report of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme.)

Published on February 25, 2011

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