Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh ! for a loan ?

Recession has brought the real estate prices down -so we thought, till, we started a reality check.Yes,the prices had slightly come down but not much.My hubby opined that this is the best time to go for a home loan as loan rates were coming down.What we hadn't bargained was that the loan procedure takes so long that the rates would have risen up again by the time the loan is finally disbursed .Or in some cases,loan may even be refused . After all action oops, go slow speaks louder than words, nope decreasing loan rates !

So,we applied for a loan from a leading private sector bank as my hubby banks with them.The creditworthiness check that we were subjected to has left us breathless- in agony that is.They wanted to know if the house we were staying was our own or on rent.If we already owned a house in that area ,why would we want to buy now in the same area - but such logic is lost with bankers.Moreover, after the real estate bubble burst,would we want to buy a house only for investment ?Anyway,we informed them, that we were staying at a relative's place & there was no rent agreement.This led the bank to believe that we had usurped that house.So they needed the power bill to confirm that the bill was being paid & in the relative's name only.Next,they asked for our house property details. We had brought a flat in a distant suburb more than 10 years back & now it is rented out.The bank wanted the lease agreement we had with our tenant & the telephone bills as also the power bills again to ascertain the veracity of our statements.The bank agent also called up our tenant to enquire about their landlord & were curtly told by the tenant that the bank better check up with us rather than with them.The reason our tenant refused to divulge information was that he thought that we must have suppressed this information from the tax authorities. This added fuel to the suspicions raging in the mindset of the bank.

The bank also kept on asking us if we had taken any loans earlier & we answered in the negative.They were not convinced- they kept on demanding all the details of all the bank accounts.We realised that being in debt is a blessing indeed -of the financial kind that is.I was reminded of my professor at Law College who reminded us now & then that "All are not lucky to be declared bankrupt.Only those who have a retinue of cars & wives are declared bankrupt."

To confirm that we were in actual need of a housing loan, we had a personal meeting with their loan manager & his parting words were,"We have in principle agreed to sanction your housing loan."As days turned into weeks & then into months,we understood that "in principle" need not be followed in practice !On second thoughts,maybe we need to improvise on our understanding of the English language oops, Banking jargon !

My hubby is touring most of the time & hence,when he is out of town,I attend to all queries by the bank.Hence,the bank has never seen us together.Therefore, the bank wanted us to execute a power of attorney as per their format.The general power of attorney which we submitted was brushed aside by the bank as they were sure that I was not the wife of the customer & even if I was,we were separated. We are still very much husband & wife but if the attitude of the bank persists like this,I am sure,very soon,I would be filing for divorce!

I got the power of attorney by a procedure that would even shame late Telgi,the stamp duty scamster. But then, this is how we gain experience,albeit of the wrong kind ?! After all this,my hubby had to submit his employment certificate & other documents. Finally,the bank said that we had passed the creditworthiness test.

Then,the bank agent inquired if we would take a look at properties which were preapproved by the bank.We then had to tell that we had tried umpteen times with the bank to give us a list of the same but to no avail.The bank agent then had the audacity to ask if we were ready to do part payment in cash.He said this had to be done in certain cases as the builder will demand so.We thought that due to recession,banks had decided to give reimburse even such unaccounted money but were told that it was not so. We now harbor a nagging suspicion about the agent- that he is an estate agent in the disguise of a bank agent.

The bank has cautioned us that the title deeds scrutiny will take a minimum of two months.They very wisely left the maximum period this may take to our wild ,sorry wildest imagination going by what we have gone through till now.

Then we negotiated with a builder & asked him to submit his papers to the bank for verification of his antecedents & for the legal scrutiny of the property papers. Of course,we told the builder that the bank can be impolite lest he get a feeling that we & the bank had formed a consortium !In that case,the price of the flat would have shot up many times over !

The process is still continuing but now we are in no hurry as all this loan procedure has taught us detachment which years of meditation & prayer could not.We are indeed indebted to the bank for reasons other than the yet to be disbursed loan.

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