Banks and consumer rights

Last week, a friend of mine had his leased car repossessed by a local bank, supposedly due to missed payments on his part. In fact, he had just paid his dues the same day well within the 90-day allowed grace period. It seems the actual issue was quite different.

A few days ago, my friend got a call from a very rude lady from the bank threatening him with action if he didn’t pay up immediately. She also (mis)informed him that he had missed 2 payments which we later found out was only one. The rude woman went on to call his house and harass his family and when my friend refused to talk to this particular rep, he got a call from her superior. Not one of apology, but one accusing him of harassment. Harassment laws aren’t very strong here so there wasn’t much legal action either could take.

What did the bank do? Seemingly sent out people to find the car in such a spread out city and bring it in to their compound. It took many hours of negotiation to settle the dispute and get the car back, but we did see a glimpse of how much power these banks hold. Delving into the lease agreement, it was found that the bank has the right to repo the car at its own will, even if you’ve been a good customer. If you haven’t, then you won’t even get any of your paid amount back. Though my experiences with local banks are much more limited, I myself am having a hard time coping with them.

Now, a lot of us have agreed to do our best to avoid these banks altogether and some are even selling their leased cars, preferring a less costly one bought with hard-earned cash or even willing to brave the abysmal public transport system.

3 thoughts on “Banks and consumer rights

  1. I was going to put the bank’s name, but just to protect everyone involved, I decided not to put it online. It can be provided offline though. 🙂

  2. If more people start to use the public transportation system, maybe it will get better. It’s sad to hear that the tyranny of the car is as powerful in Pakistan as it is here in the United States. I think it comes from the same idea – that it’s better to spend a thousand (or, god forbid, ten thousand) a year on your car, which only benefits one person, or perhaps a family, than to spend a hundred a year supporting a public transit system that benefits everybody.

    Speaking of which, it’s time for me to figure out how to take public transit to the car rental place, because unfortunately I need a car this weekend. :'(

    You have a nice blog – I really appreciate being able to read it. :’)

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