K. Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy

HYDERABAD: The A.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressel Commission (APSCRDC) pulled up the DHFL Vysya Housing Finance Ltd for keeping its client in dark about its hidden charges. It commented that the firm was resorting to untenable arguments to qualify its unauthorised collection.

The State Commission also upheld the verdict of Visakhapatnam District Consumer Forum –II, which found fault with the firm in collecting Rs.35, 644 from a borrower.

Punugumatla Eswar Rao, a retired employee from Visakhapatnam took two loans totalling to Rs.13 lakh in 2002 and 2003 respectively. As he was not happy with the conduct of the company, he cleared both the loans well in advance in April 2004. After going thorough the issued ledger account, Mr. Rao understood that he was excessively charged.

The account extracts, which he could get only after repeated requests, confirmed his doubts. The company had not only collected pre-closure charges from him but also cheque return charges, Rs. 400 for each. When he sought for clarification, the firm explained the rules that were set by its own creditors-financiers. Disgruntled, the borrower filed a case with the District Forum seeking the recovery of the excessive payment. The housing finance firm submitted an affidavit explaining the reasons why it had collected the disputed amount. Having seen no merit in the argument, the District Forum ordered the company to refund the amount. The firm challenged verdict in APSCRDC and argued that it was the onus on customer to keep himself updated about the loan provisions such as pre-closure charges.