Modes of debt recovery other than normal debt recovery procedure

(1) Where a certificate has been issued to the Recovery Officer under Sub-section of section 19, the Recovery Officer may, without prejudice to the modes of recovery specified in section 25, recover the amount of debt by any one or more of the modes provided under this section.

(2) If any amount is due from any person to the defendant, the Recovery Officer may require such person to deduct from the said amount, the amount of debt due from the defendant under this Act and such person shall comply with any such requisition and shall pay the sum so deducted to the credit of the Recovery Officer: Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any part of the amount exempt from attachment in execution of a decree of a civil court under section 60 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).

(3) (I) The Recovery Officer may, at any time or from time to time, by notice in writing, require any person from whom money is due or may become due to the defendant or to any person who holds or may subsequently hold money for or on account of the defendant, to pay to the Recovery Officer either forthwith upon the money becoming due or being held or within the time specified in the notice (not being before the money becomes due or is held) so much of the money as is sufficient to pay the amount of debt due from the defendant or the whole of the money when it is equal to or less than that amount.

(ii) A notice under this sub-section may be issued to any person who holds or may subsequently hold any money for or on account of the Defendant jointly with any other person and for the purposes of this subsection, the shares of the joint holders in such amount shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to be equal.

(iii) A copy of the notice shall be forwarded to the defendant at his last address known to the Recovery Officer and in the case of a joint account to all the joint holders at their last addresses known to the Recovery Officer.

(iv) Save as otherwise provided in this sub-section, every person to whom a notice is issued under the sub-section shall be bound to comply with such notice, and, in particular, where any such notice is issued to a post office, bank, financial institution, or an insurer, it shall not be necessary for any pass book, deposit receipt, policy or any other document to be produced for the purpose of any entry, endorsement or the like to be made before the payment is made notwithstanding any rule, practice or requirement to the contrary.

(v) Any claim respecting any property in relation to which a notice under this sub-section has been issued arising after the date of the notice shall be void as against any demand contained in the notice.

(vi) Where a person to whom a notice under this sub-section is sent objects to it by a statement on oath that the sum demanded or the part thereof is not due to the defendant or that he does not hold any money for or on account of the defendant, then, nothing contained in this sub-section shall be deemed to require such person to pay any such sum or part thereof, as the case may be, but if it is discovered that such statement was false in any material particular, such person shall be personally liable to the Recovery Officer to the extent of his own liability to the defendant on the date of the notice, or to the extent of the defendant’s liability for any sum due under this Act, whichever is less.

(vii) The Recovery Officer may, at any time or from time to time, amend or revoke any notice under this sub-section or extend the time for making any payment in pursuance of such notice.

(viii) The Recovery Officer shall grant a receipt for any amount paid in compliance with a notice issued under this sub-section, and the person so paying shall be fully discharged from his liability to the defendant to the extent of the amount so paid.

(ix)Any person discharging any liability to the defendant after the receipt of a notice under this sub-section shall be personally liable to the Recovery Officer to the extent of his own liability to the defendant so discharged or to the extent of the defendant’s liability for any debt due under his  Act, whichever is less.

(x) If the person to whom a notice under this sub-section is sent fails to make payment in pursuance thereof to the Recovery Officer, he shall be deemed to be a defendant in default in respect of the amount specified in the notice and further proceedings may be taken against him for the realization of the amount as if it were a debt due from him, in the manner provided in sections 25, 26 and 27

(4) The Recovery Officer may apply to the court in whose custody there is money belonging to the defendant for payment to him of the entire amount of such money, or if it is more than the amount of debt due an amount sufficient to discharge the amount of debt so due.

The Recovery Officer may, by order, at any stage of the execution of the certificate of recovery, require any person, and in case of a company, any of its officers against whom or which the certificate of recovery is issued, to declare on affidavit the particulars of his or its assets.]

(5) The Recovery Officer may recover any amount of debt due from the defendant by distrait and sale of his movable property in the manner laid down in the Third Schedule to the Income-Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961).

Use of lok adalat

The Honorable Supreme Court also observed that loans, personal loans, credit card loans and housing loans with less than Rs.10 lakh can be referred to Lok Adalats. In this connection, banks’ attention is invited to Circular DBOD.No.Leg.BC.21/09.06.002/2004-05 dated August 3, 2004 wherein they were advised to use the forum of Lok Adalats organized by Civil Courts for recovery of loans. Banks are advised that they should preferably use the forum of Lok Adalats for recovery of personal loans, credit card loans or housing loans with less than Rs.10 lakh as suggested by the Honorable Supreme Court.

Banks, as principals, are responsible for the actions of their agents. Hence, they should ensure that their agents engaged for recovery of their dues should strictly adhere to the above guidelines and instructions.

Complaints received by Reserve Bank regarding violation of the above guidelines and adoption of abusive practices followed by banks’ recovery agents would be viewed seriously. Reserve Bank may consider imposing a ban on a bank from engaging recovery agents in a particular area, either jurisdictional or functional, for a limited period. In case of persistent breach of above guidelines. Similar supervisory action could be attracted when the High Courts or the Supreme Court pass strictures or impose penalties against any bank or its Directors/ Officers/ agents with regard to policy, practice and procedure related to the recovery process.

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