All the pros and cons relating to the issuing are being considered before coming to a final conclusion, National Housing Bank (NHB) Managing Director S Kalyanaraman told PTI.
"We are looking at relaxing NPA classification window. Whether it is beneficial or will lead to more chaos in the system is being examined. Will they be able to pay EMIs in one shot if the repayment is postponed by six months?
"I can relax the 90 days but where do I stop. Do I stop at 120 or 180 days? While we want to do something, there is a little bit of a challenge as what is the right thing to do. So, there are other practical problems which we need to consider. But yes, we are at it," he said.
Currently, an account turns into a non-performing asset (NPA) or bad loan if it is not serviced for 90 days.
To check possible instances of 'mis-selling', the NHB is also examining data on home loan transfers and may issue guidelines for direct selling agents in the interest of borrowers.
"We are looking at it (home loan transfer) closely because some of the complaints seem to be emanating from 'mis- selling'. We are also looking at balance transfers, whether it is genuine customer transfers or agents are playing a game on it.
"We have asked for some data which credit bureau will share. Once we have it, it will help us to take a call," he said.
Overall, the goal of NHB is to bring in a very well trained set of agents because buying a house is a lifetime investment, he said.
"We want data before we decide whether it is a systematic risk or we need to do something. There has to be the right balance between the customer's choice and the balance transfer.
"The goal is that customers should have the free choice of the institutions. So our goal is not to take that freedom away from customers," he said.
The direct selling agent should not force the borrower to shift running loan portfolio and gain benefit at the cost of the latter, he said.
Asked if the regulator can impose a minimum time period, Kalyanaraman said they are contemplating the same.
"Whether we need to bring in, if so, what period. That will all come in after we see the data. There can be many other ways, like create a foreclosure charges. Whatever we do, we need to do with customer interest in mind".
Recently, HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh said that allowing customers to shift their housing loans from one lender to another at will does not necessarily ensure growth in housing.
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