Positive Impact: RBI's Issues Guidelines Penalising Banks For Lost Property Documents
Dear Moneylifers,
Greetings! Before I share a bit of positive news from our efforts to safeguard the interests of borrowers and their property documents, allow me to invite you for an important webinar that we have planned this month.
In an increasingly digital world, protecting sensitive data is paramount, especially for activists, journalists and anyone working with sensitive information. Understanding your rights and responsibilities concerning digital security is crucial to protect your privacy while remaining compliant with the law. With this in mind, we have planned an interesting and important webinar this month with Advocate (Dr) Prashant Mali, who's a renowned International Cyber & Privacy Policy Lawyer.
Adv (Dr) Mali will be speaking on the topic - Navigating Legal Boundaries in Digital Security: Your Rights and Responsibilities, and shall explore the intricate relationship between digital security and the law. Do join on October 19th at 6pm to learn how to protect your sensitive data while staying within the legal boundaries. Register now to secure your spot: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/ tZ0ocOihrT4oGdd8hXfXobPJw6BL0ZDs5OnH

Lost Property Documents
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has finally addressed borrower grievances by directing banks and financial institutions to release property documents within 30 days after personal loan repayment. Failure to do so will result in a daily compensation of Rs5,000 to the borrower. If original property documents are lost or damaged, lenders must assist borrowers in obtaining duplicates at their own cost. Members would recall that Moneylife Foundation had suggested these measures to RBI's Kanungo Committee, highlighting issues with customer service standards.
RBI has emphasised the need for standard procedures in releasing property documents and the importance of mentioning this timeline in loan sanction letters. In case of borrower demise, lenders must have a clear procedure for returning documents to legal heirs, which should be publicly available.
This directive aims to protect borrowers and their property rights, as original documents are crucial for establishing ownership and preventing disputes. It also reduces the risk of future fraud or disputes. RBI's move comes after a recent case where ICICI Bank was directed to pay Rs25 lakh in compensation for mishandling a borrower's property document.

New Studies on Bank Charges and Asset Transmission Woes
We are conducting a study focused on the challenges and obstacles faced by legal heirs and beneficiaries when attempting to claim financial assets such as bank accounts, fixed deposits, credit cards, and securities. As members would recall, we have consistently emphasised the need for the RBI to establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) in these areas. Your feedback, thoughts, and suggestions can greatly contribute to our research efforts. To facilitate your input, we have also designed an online survey - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/asset_transmission. If you haven't already done so, please complete the survey and share your valuable feedback through it.
We are also actively seeking feedback and suggestions on another study to address and understand the issue of banks imposing excessive service charges on customers. While we will soon have a separate online survey to gather feedback for this study, in the meantime we welcome your insights on which bank charges you believe are reasonable and which you consider excessive.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] with your input, thoughts, or suggestions. Your participation is essential in addressing these critical issues effectively.

Housing Society Problems & Solutions
Members would recall that Mr Shirish Shanbhag has been diligently answering and providing guidance to queries on housing society and property related matters, through weekly columns on our website, one-on-one sessions at our office and also on our Legal Helpline.
While the in-person counseling sessions were limited to people residing in Mumbai, the weekly columns have become immensely popular with members across India. Mr Shanbhag now spends valuable time to answer atleast 20-30 queries on a weekly basis. His solutions to common problems have always been comprehensive, yet easy to understand and concise.
If you are facing a problem within your housing society with respect to parking, maintenance, leakage or need guidance on redevelopment, deemed conveyance or any such matters, do make the time to read the weekly column. But do note, that the solutions provided are based on the facts that a user provides and the knowledge you gain should never be taken for legal advice.
You may find a solution to your problem in one of the weekly columns, or you can post your query on our Helpline where it would be answered by Mr Shanbhag.

Upcoming Webinar
Navigating Legal Boundaries in Digital Security: Your Rights and Responsibilities
Thursday, 19 October 2023; 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Join us for an interesting webinar with Adv (Dr) Prashant Mali, renowned International Cyber & Privacy Policy Lawyer, as he explains how you can keep your data safe while staying within the legal and ethical boundaries.
Register Now: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/ tZ0ocOihrT4oGdd8hXfXobPJw6BL0ZDs5OnH

Frauds, Scams and Mis-selling of Financial Products
Moneylife Foundation, works hard to warn you about different types of frauds through Yogesh Sapkale's weekly column Fraud Alerts. We also have Free Helplines and Guides or Templates and on our YouTube Channel.
And yet, it is heartbreaking to come across people falling for template frauds and mis-selling of insurance schemes and toxic investments. Please make it a point to help spread the word about our activities, so that your friends and families also benefit from what we do and are spared from losses. Encourage them to become members – as you know, all the knowledge and help is absolutely Free.

Our Webinars
It started as an exercise to do counseling and workshops online during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, but has now become part of our regular routine. For those who have not been keeping up, we have been hosting webinars online on a wide range of topics from right to information, health, financial literacy, broker defaults and investor grievance mechanisms, redevelopment and conveyance, wills and nominations, and more. Video recordings of all our webinars are available on our YouTube channel. Do subscribe, so that you get notified when a new video is available.
If you would like to be notified when our next webinar is scheduled, please become a member of Moneylife Foundation so that you are automatically added to our mailing lists. Do encourage others to join and take advantage as well!

Past Programmes
This month we had the pleasure to host Yazdi Tantra, computer consultant and tech guru for an important webinar on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI). Mr Tantra briefly introduced the participants about AI and demoed various tools that are widely available to enhance your daily workflow. There are tools which can help you write, create images, plan for travel, create music etc. If you missed the webinar do check the video recording on our YouTube Channel and also read our coverage of the same here.

Our Counseling Sessions
It's been a few months since we restarted our in-person one-to-one counseling sessions, and we are glad to report that many of you have taken advantage of this FREE service. Our experts, Mr Shirish Shanbhag for housing society and property related matters, and Mr Abhay Datar for banking, insurance, medi-claim and consumer related issues, have continued to provide workable solutions to your grievances and have helped many in these past few months to resolve issues.
They spend their valuable time to provide guidance through counseling sessions and also through our online helplines, and their efforts continue to help many of those who have sought help. If you have a specific concern or issue related to co-operative housing societies, insurance, mediclaim or consumer related complaints, do call our office - (022) 2444 1058 or (022) 2444 1059 for an appointment if you are in Mumbai. Otherwise use our Free Helplines for guidance.

Consumer Awareness & Financial Literacy
As members of Moneylife Foundation, you have access to various content in the form webinars, recorded videos and articles on matters of consumer awareness and financial literacy that we have published on our websites and YouTube channels. All of our published content is available for free, with no restrictions whatsoever. If you've not taken the time to educate yourself, please do so and spread the word about our work to your friends, colleagues and family so that many others can benefit.
As consumers you need to be vigilant when shopping or transacting online. Deals that seem too good to be true, are most likely scams designed to lure unsuspecting consumers. Thousands of people become victims of holiday scams every year. Scammers can rob you of hard-earned money, personal information, and at the very least, a festive mood. It is important you remain vigilant and aware in an increasingly online world that becomes unsafe for consumers in new ways everyday. Moneylife Foundation has actively made efforts on several fronts in this regard.
We continue to educate our members on the latest frauds, scams and attractive yet fraudulent schemes through series of articles on Moneylife. Our Youtube Channel has a vast repository of videos from past seminars and workshops, as well as short videos on topics of financial literacy which are a great resource to those willing to spend some time learning. Our online helplines are always open for counselling from a panel of experts on issues on banking, insurance, housing and property related matters, consumer and other issues.
Do take the time to read our articles, watch the videos and also share them with others, so that many more can take advantage of the knowledge and remain safe. Please also do encourage your friends, family members and colleagues to become members of Moneylife Foundation.
Take extra precaution when using banking apps, websites or e-commerce sites while shopping, as they have been instances of fake apps and fraudulent websites masquerading as authorised ones. Read this article to know what you should do when you are cheated while shopping online and follow this how-to guide when you want to file a consumer complaint.
Recently we have made efforts to present our financial literacy videos in languages other than Hindi and English. You can now learn to use credit cards safely, stay away from online frauds, learn about the fallacy of gold loans and more in Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Tamil, all on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/moneylifetv).
Do subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular updates and notifications when a new video is released, and also encourage your friends and family to do so as well. After all, the more number of people that watch and learn from these short videos, the more financially literate we can all be.
We are also happy to send them to you in the language of your choice on WhatsApp and Telegram if you share your numbers at Moneylife Foundation's WhatsApp number (+91 7045156415). This is also a good opportunity for you to join our WhatsApp broadcast list as well as our telegram channel. Join to stay in the loop about Moneylife Foundation's activities.
Do send us your feedback on these and if you have benefitted from our work, please do not forget to pass it forward by introducing our videos, free helplines and membership benefit to others. Do register for a free membership and also encourage your friends and family to join as well.

File your RTI Applications with Expert Guidance
RTI Advice App पर विस्तृत गाइड से विशिष्ट उपयोग के मामलों के लिए आरटीआई आवेदन दाखिल करने का तरीका जानें। हिंदी और मराठी भाषाओं में उपलब्ध।
Many of you are already aware of our 'RTI Advice' app, which was launched for both android and iOS devices a year ago. The app helps you get expert advice on your RTI queries in any language or format (text, audio or video) and access to over 900 queries that are already asked and answered by our 14 highly regarded RTI experts.
Don't worry about how to navigate the app-we now have user guides for you in English, Hindi and Marathi! Download the app or access the guides from our website here.

Moneylife TV & Helplines
Catch up with our financial literacy work through Moneylife TV and Moneylife News Bites.
Get guidance and counselling through our Legal Helpline or Credit Helpline.
Also, Moneylife Foundation is now on Telegram and Instagram, so do follow us on these channels to stay updated on our activities and events.
Sucheta Dalal
Founder-Trustee, Moneylife Foundation
Trustees: TS Krishnamurthy, Walter Vieira, Sucheta Dalal, Debashis Basu.
Moneylife Foundation is registered with the Charity Commissioner of Mumbai, is an Affiliate member of OECD's International Network on Financial Education, is a Supporter Member of Consumers International, Development Partner of Advocates for International Development (A4ID), and is a winner of the 10th MR Pai Memorial Award.
Donations are eligible for tax benefits under Sec 80G of the Income Tax 1961 (50% tax exemption) and MLF is registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

80(G) Reg No: DIT(E)/MC/80G/685/2010-11 dated 7.2.11 effective 8.+9.2010 | FCRA Registration No: 08378138