Desirable Qualities of a Legal Advisor or an Advocate dealing with NPA & SARFAESI Matters in DRT
Desirable Qualities of a Legal Advisor or an DRT Advocate / Lawyer who handles the NPA & SARFAESI Matters
Normally, a Bank files suits for recovery of loan on defaulters in NPA accounts in the Debt to practice in any Court or Tribunal in India must be the law graduate holding recognized professional degree in law and a Certificate of practice issued by the Bar Council of India (BCI). Before issuing a Certificate of Practice, the BCI also conducts an exam of such professional degree holders.
The advocate practicing in DRT / DRAT normally represents either of the Bank or the NBFC, the borrower and/or guarantor side in the NPA Account or the auction purchasers under SARFAESI Act or the third parties like tenants and claimants of certain rights or interests in the mortgaged properties invoked under SARFAESI Act by the lending Banks or NBFCs.
Though any law professional having the above qualifications is competent to practice in DRT, but taking in view the specialized nature of work, the following qualifications are to be of an added advantage;
The advocate or legal or NPA advisor should be well versed in the Loan Recovery Laws and Rules.
He should be updated with RBI Prudential Norms and the latest RBI guidelines affecting the rights and responsibilities of the borrowers and Banks.
The DRT Lawyer should be keeping himself updated on the judgments of Hon’ble DRT, Hon’ble DRAT, Hon’ble High Courts, and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India concerning the recovery of bad loan, restructuring of loan and the SARFAESI Act vis-à-vis the rights of different parties like banks, borrowers, guarantors, auction purchasers and the third parties like tenants, etc.
The DRT Lawyer should be well versed in the procedures of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) and the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT).
The DRT Advocate should have the thorough knowledge and experience of the system of accounting and the banking side, the various books, formats, CBS, and working of software of the Bank especially the rules for the application of interest in the loan and defaulted / NPA Accounts. This is the lesser-known area in public, from where one can catch the errors, negligence, and lacunae to strengthen the borrower side.
Having practically worked in a Bank especially in the Loan & Credit Department is an added advantage to the NPA & SARFAESI Advocate, as he will be knowing the internal working of the Bank and this may help him to understand the sensitive areas to check for the violation of RBI prudential norms by the Bank. But, in any case, an advocate or legal advisor having first-hand knowledge of working in the NPA and Loan Recovery Department like SAM Branch of SBI or ARB in PNB, etc., may give good insights into the case.
The work of the Banking and NPA Advisor is a bit different. He thoroughly conducts a historical study of business, loan account, reasons for NPA, steps taken by the bank and borrower to upgrade the account and to nurse the sick or ailing industries, the documents executed and the notices, RTI Applications and the correspondence exchanged between the parties.
Last, but not least the advocate should be appearing for non-banking parties and defending the borrower/guarantor/auction purchaser side in DRT and DRAT. This is because the SARFAESI Act is Bank oriented and as such rebutting the Bank’s actions involves a greater insight.
Category: Advocate of DRT, Legal Advisor for NPA Accounts & SARFAESI Act