NRI Real Estate and Property Investment in India
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National Housing Board, NHB Proposes Common Home Loan Forum
Monday, June 04, 2007

Home loan seekers confused about disparities in housing loans extended by various housing finance companies can look forward to a common forum being proposed by the National Housing Board (NHB). The NHB is deliberating over a common forum of banks and HFCs to maintain proficient and principled standards in the housing loan sector.

To this effect, leading banks and HFCs are being consulted and a decision on the forum would be taken based on their feedback.

Last October, the RBI had suggested evenness and lucidity in the dealings of all banks in matters related to disbursal of housing loans in its mid-term review of the Annual Monetary Policy 2006-07.

The NHB, accordingly, has initiated the process of bringing about uniformity in the loan process of banks. Some of the proposals by the NHB include: counselling on mortgage, a common platform for HFCs and banks which would in due course develop into s Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO); and start on a housing finance portal which would keep customers informed on housing finance issues.

The forum would function as a pool of specialists, imparting legal, technical and financial expertise to guide clients. Mortgage Counsellors On appointing a Certified Independent Mortgage Counsellor (CIMC), either a qualified chartered accountant, cost accountant, CFA, MBA, insurance agent with IRDA accreditation or a retired banker would be considered, subject to his clearing an online examination conducted by the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance.

Various housing finance companies have different interest rates and repayment options which leave customers perplexed about the kind of loan they should avail.

Being non-partisan in nature, the forum would extend professional and unbiased advice to clients. Mortgage Forum The mortgage forum would ensure standardisation and uniformity in the housing finance sector, in terms of documentation and products.

Moreover, customers and HFCs would bring the builders under closer scrutiny, ensuring consistency and regularity in prices, terms and conditions and the like.

Experts in the industry have welcomed the move, offering suggestions to make the forum play a more constructive role than being just a lenders club. Consumer forums and NGOs should also be included in the forum, they suggest, bringing more benefits to customers.

An ombudsman for housing loans could also be appointed to set off the efforts of the forum, ensuring the implementation of procedures.

Related Readings

NRI Housing Finance
NRI Property Loans: How to Approach Right
Home Loans for NRIs
Home Insurance for NRIs

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