Friday, July 10, 2009

Beware of taking a home loan from ICICI Bank: Consumer court levies 1 Lakh penalty

From an article in Times of India:

"After completing all formalities needed to avail a loan, Goyal entered into an agreement with a home finance company and the bank. A loan of Rs 37 lakh, which was to be paid in 180 instalments in a period of 15 years, was sanctioned and he started paying the instalments from March 2005 onwards on a regular basis. However, a letter took him by surprise in August 2008. The letter allegedly stated that the repayment schedule through EMIs was being revised to increase the repayment time from 180 to 502 months. He immediately approached the bank's local branch and requested cancellation of the payment rescheduling but to no avail. "

Read the full article here:

This means that first ICICI bank agreed to give a loan for 15 years (180 / 12). Then using some obscure terms and conditions (who reads those anyway?), they hiked the tenure to 42 years (502 / 12).
42 years means your children (and maybe your grandchildren) will still be paying EMIs!!!

It is not humanely possible to read terms of conditions for each financial product, and clearly it is the banks fiduciary duty to adhere to the spirit of the agreement. I think any bank which shows such tendencies to violate fiduciary duty will exploit its customers.

Another issue is that of charging higher interest rates to existing home loan customers, and lower interest rates to attract new customers, but that merits a blog post of its own!

Can we share our experiences of taking home loans with different banks.?I have two home loans, one from HDFC and one from LIC housing finance, and the experience has been good so far (for the past 2 years).

Thanks to Ravi Karandeekar for blogging about the article.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Ackruti City's Q4 results worst amongst listed realty companies

Ackruti City's Q4 results worst amongst listed realty companies

Mumbai-based real estate developer Ackruti City’s fourth quarter results were the worst amongst the pack of listed realty companies. Due to negative sales, its net profit for the quarter ended March ‘09 took a big hit. Despite a slight improvement in the sentiment for the sector, Ackruti could not register any sales. In fact, it had to write off close to Rs 105 crore worth of FSI sold in the previous year. The company reported a 300% drop in net sales in its fourth quarter and its net profit turned red. It fell to a negative Rs 123 crore from Rs 22 crore earned in the December ‘08 quarter.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sea link hits Worli property prices

This is commonsense for everyone to see. If a calm area is invaded by 5000 cars an hour, think about the impact. Tough luck for the residents and lovers on Worli seaface. Maybe it is time to commercialize this area too.

According to real-estate experts, increasing traffic and the consequent noise and air pollution are bound to have a negative impact on property prices along the promenade.

"Individuals who may have wanted to shift to Worli Sea Face will be put off," said Anuj Puri, managing director, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a real-estate consultancy firm. "There are many issues like pollution, easy access to buildings, and security of children due to the increase in vehicular traffic."

Residents are already complaining that noise levels and air pollution have gone up. Moreover, the exit of the sea link has created a bottleneck, ruining the peace of the locality. The press of the National School for the Blind is on this road which, interestingly, is designated a silence zone.