Moneylife Events
How Moneylife Foundation's Free Credit Helpline is important to you
Moneylife Foundation has launched a new Credit Helpline, which will offer free, confidential information about loans to prospective borrowers and indebted customers, stopping them from getting fleeced by ‘debt doctors’
 
Dr Kirit Somaiya, Member of Parliament, on Friday launched Moneylife Foundation’s Credit Helpline (www.FreeCreditHelp.in), in the presence of, Dr Deepali Pant Joshi, executive director, Reserve Bank of India, Mohan Jayaraman, managing director, Experian India, Ranjan Dhawan, executive director, Bank of Baroda and D Venkatesh, director of Softcell Technologies.
 
Being reported a defaulter on a loan or a credit card has serious consequences to a person's financial life. Unfortunately, along with poor financial literacy, the failure to understand how credit reporting works or its impact on every individual's borrowing ability is rampant. This affects youngsters the most, because the propensity to default starts with education loans and goes on to credit card dues. 
 
The objective of Moneylife Foundation’s Credit Helpline is to provide information, advice and preliminary guidance to persons needing help in credit related areas. This is being supported by Bank of Baroda for running costs, Experian India for the counselling support and Softcell Technologies for the technology support.
 
The confidential counselling will suggest ways to resolve a payment problem and even negotiate with lenders. This will prevent financial consumers from being fleeced by ‘debt doctors’. Through the use of internet and video technology, the Helpline aims to reach people in smaller towns as well.
 
Speaking at the event, Dr Somaiya, a Chartered Accountant & PhD (Doctorate) from Mumbai University in finance & capital markets, highlighted the need to punish the cheater who defaults. "We cannot encourage defaults. However, at the same time we need to make sure small borrowers are not punished while big borrowers are being given settlement options."
 
Talking about the Credit Helpline, Mr Somaiya said,"Lets develop this concept of handholding borrowers in distress at the national level. I will try to take it up to the Ministry, the Parliament. Let us all try and stop the extortion of borrowers who may have defaulted by the recovery agents and debt doctors."
 
Mr Jayaraman, who has spoken at Moneylife Foundation's past events on credit reports, spoke about the role of a Credit Bureau and at the same time offered free credit reports to first 250 applicants through the credit helpline.
 
Dr Pant Joshi, Executive Director of the RBI spoke on the need for a credit helpline and she mentioned that all over the world there are strong financial regulations. In India we have wealth managers, relationship managers, yet many refrain from visiting the banks.
 
Mr Dhawan spoke on Bank of Baroda’s support to the credit helpline and how banks could benefit from such an offering. He said illiteracy in financial matters is very high even among educated individuals. Financial literacy at the bottom is extremely low, hence there is a lot of mis-selling that takes place. A great deal of consumers education is required, he said.
 
Mr Venkatesh,  plays an important role in spreading the reach of the helpline. He said that technology plays a very important role for spreading the reach of the helpline. And he will always be there to support moneylife.
 
Often individual borrowers are ill informed or confused about the terms of credit/loan, actual interest rates applicable and the hidden charges on their loans. They are also scared of admitting financial difficulties to their lenders. Consumers who default in their payment are easy prey for “debt doctors”. Certain credit repair agencies / debt doctors charge fees that range from Rs7,000 at the lower end to as much as Rs16,000. Some agencies start from Rs3000, but have add-on costs including for obtaining the Credit Information Report (CIR), explaining the CIR and signing a Power of Attorney to represent the defaulter with banks/ financial institutions. Some ‘debt doctors’ partner with recovery and collection agents and are sometimes seen buying bad-loan portfolios from lenders and are in a position to threaten consumers with legal notices.
 
This is bad for the lending environment and people need and are entitled to a reasonable service that does not profit from their financial distress. Moneylife Foundation hopes to fill this gap.
 
Moneylife Foundation’s Credit Helpline as well as a panel of counsellors and our other resources in this initiative are free and can be availed by anyone.
 
We expect the Credit Helpline to go a long way in creating an informed customer base for banks and finance companies and helping solve the vexing problem of bad loans.
 
In fact, it is beneficial to banks as well. If a defaulter can be made to understand that he cannot renege on his obligations without consequences to himself, he will make an effort to pay at least some of the money, rather than run away. This allows banks to improve recoveries in personal credit far more than through threats and recovery agents.
 
Debashis Basu, founder trustee of Moneylife Foundation made a presentation about the newly launched Helpline and the process. He also mentioned the features and benefits of the helpline.
 
Process
To access Moneylife Foundation's Credit Helpline, please fill up the form available at www.freecredithelp.in. If you are a Moneylife Foundation member, your details get pre-filled in by our algorithm, for your convenience. However, you need to be logged in to www.moneylife.in to see your pre-filled details (and edit them, if needed).
 
  • Consumers shall email/ call and Moneylife Foundation personnel shall set up a confidential meeting with counsellors, if required. 
  • Counselling shall be done by ex-central bankers, commercial bankers and credit bureau experts. 
  • The details of each case reaching out to the Credit Helpline will be opened with a standard documentation and closed with a feedback form.

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COMMENTS
Nifty, Sensex may try to rally – Weekly closing report
Nifty is on a short-term support level. If it does not go below this week’s low, Nifty may rally to 7850 or higher subject to dips
 
 The S&P BSE Sensex closed the week that ended on 17th October at 26,109 (down 189 points or 0.72%), while the NSE's CNX Nifty ended at 7,780 (down 80 points or 1.02%). Last week, we had mentioned that the move on Nifty may remain weak and it may go below 7,800 in the absence of triggers. From here if Nifty manages to hold above this week’s low, it may rally to 7,850 or higher subject to dips.
 
 Except for the sudden upsurge little before 2.00pm the Nifty witnessed a gradual up move after a weak opening on Monday. Nifty closed at 7,884 (up 24 points or 0.31%). Market awaited the combined consumer price indices (CPI) for urban and rural India for September 2014. IMF meetings in Washington last weekend showed differing opinions over how much more stimulus the euro-area economy needs from the European Central Bank.
 
 The gain of Monday was almost reversed on Tuesday. Nifty closed at 7,864 (down 20 points or 0.26%). Data released by the union government after trading hours on Monday showed the annual rate of inflation based on the combined consumer price indices (CPI) for urban and rural India eased to 6.46% in September 2014, from 7.73% in August 2014. The rate of inflation based on the combined consumer food price indices (CFPI) for urban and rural India eased to 7.67% in September 2014, from 9.35% in August 2014. Core CPI inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, eased to 5.9% in September 2014, from 6.82% in August 2014. September 2014 quarter result of Reliance Industries showed that although the bottom line recorded  increase on year on year basis, the sales fell for the relevant period.
 
 The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data was released on Tuesday. The continuing decline in food prices, including vegetables, pulled down the September wholesale price inflation to a five-year low of 2.38%.
 On Wednesday, stock exchanges were closed on account of assembly elections.
 
 On Thursday, market moved in the negative for most of the session trading closer to Tuesday’s closing except for major pull down nearing the end of the session. Nifty closed at 7,748 (down 116 points or 1.47%).
 
While India's merchandise export rose 2.7%, the merchandise imports surged at more than two-and-half year pace of 26% resulting in the trade deficit to more than double to $14.25 billion in September 2014 from $6.12 billion in September 2013, while also galloped from $10.84 billion in August 2014.
 
 Market now awaits the results of the assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. The counting of votes for elections in both these states takes place on Sunday and the results will be out on the same day.
 
 On Friday by the end of the morning session Nifty regained its strength and marched higher. However in the last few minutes of trading it gave up some intra- day gains. Nifty closed at 7,780 (up 32 points or 0.41%).
For the week, among the other indices on the NSE, the top two performers were PSU Bank (3%) and Bank (3%) while the worst two performers were Realty (10%) and IT (5%).
 
Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:
 
 

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Nifty, Sensex may enjoy short bounce – Friday closing report
If Friday’s low hold, Nifty may rally higher on Monday
 
The Indian market which was trading directionless for almost the entire morning session suddenly caught up strength around 11.30 am and marched higher for rest of the session. However, during the last few minutes of the session, the indices fell from the day’s high giving up almost half of the intraday gains. We had mentioned Thursday that NSE's CNX Nifty can dip a bit more and stabilise at the current level. However, any rally from here will be short-lived.
 
S&P BSE Sensex opened at 25,950 while Nifty opened at 7,734. Sensex moved from the low of  25,911 to the high of 26,249 and closed at 26,109 (up 109 points or 0.42%) while CNX Nifty moved from the 7,724 to 7,819 and closed at 7,780 (up 32 points or 0.41%). NSE recorded a volume of 75.75 crore shares. India VIX fell 0.20% to close at 16.4000.
 
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan said in an interaction with students of the Indian School of Business on Thursday that “We really need a financial resolution authority so that we can close financial institutions in trouble, without necessarily merging those and taking the losses. We need to clean institutions…while resurrecting those functioning well. FRA will be the entity that will do it.”
 
Emami (6.04%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock hit its 52-week high today. Its September 2014 quarter shareholding pattern saw an increase in the FIIs holding to 17.23% from 16.77% in June 2014 quarter and the DIIs holding increased from 1.33% to 1.43% in the relevant period.
 
CMC (14.40%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. After market hours on Thursday it posted its September 2014 quarter result. It posted a net profit after tax of Rs52.12 crore for the quarter ended September 2014 as compared to Rs 47.76 crore for the quarter ended September 2013. Revenue increased from Rs 284.51 crore for the September 2013 quarter to Rs 315.43 crore for September 2014 quarter.
 
Hero MotoCorp (3.05%) is among the top two gainers in Sensex 30 pack. It posted a net profit of Rs 763.37 crore for the quarter ended September 2014 as compared to Rs 481.41 crore for the quarter ended September 2013. Revenue increased from Rs 5,726.21 crore for the quarter ended September 2013 to Rs 6,915.34 crore for the quarter ended September 2014.
 
TCS has obtained its board's approval to merge its public listed subsidiary CMC with itself. As per the scheme of arrangement, shareholders of CMC will receive 79 equity shares of Re1 each of TCS for every 100 equity shares of Rs10 each of CMC held by them. After posting fall in the net profit for September 2014 quarter over September 2013 quarter. The stock was the top loser (8.73%) in Sensex 30 stock.
 
US indices closed  Thursday flat.
 
St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said policy makers should consider delaying the end of bond purchases to halt the decline in inflation expectations.
 
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo housing market index fell unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Thursday. In a report, NAHB said that NAHB Housing Market Index fell to 54, from 59 in the preceding month.
 
Except for Shanghai Composite (0.65%), Nikkei 225 (1.40%), Seoul Composite (0.95%) and Taiwan Weighted (1.40%) all the other Asian indices closed in the green. Jakarta Composite (1.56%) was the top gainer.
 
European indices were trading in the green. US Futures too were trading higher.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers in Berlin yesterday, that existing economic aid had been underused and now wasn't the moment to ease up on the fiscal discipline she credits with bringing stability to the continent. 

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