SARFAESI bare act


A Look at SARFAESI Act

The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) is a crucial piece of legislation in India’s financial landscape. It equips banks and other financial institutions (FIs) with effective tools to tackle a major challenge – Non-Performing Assets (NPAs).

What is SARFAESI Act and How Does it Work?

SARFAESI stands for “Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest.” The Act essentially allows banks and FIs to recover loans from defaulting borrowers by auctioning their residential or commercial properties that were used as collateral (security) during the loan process.

Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  • Classification as NPA: When a borrower fails to repay their loan for a specific period (as per RBI guidelines), the bank classifies the account as a non-performing asset.
  • Notice and Opportunity to Repay: The bank then issues a written notice to the borrower, demanding full repayment within a stipulated timeframe (usually 60 days).
  • Enforcement Action upon Default: If the borrower fails to comply with the notice, the SARFAESI Act empowers the bank to take one or more of the following actions:
    • Take possession of the secured property.
    • Lease, sell, or assign the right to the security.
    • Manage the property themselves or appoint someone else for the task.
SARFAESI bare act
SARFAESI bare act

Key Objectives of SARFAESI Act

The primary goals of the SARFAESI Act are:

  • Streamlined NPA Recovery: The Act provides a faster and more efficient mechanism for banks and FIs to recover debts from defaulters compared to the traditional court-driven approach.
  • Reduced Burden on Judiciary: By enabling banks to resolve NPA cases outside of courts (except for agricultural land), SARFAESI alleviates strain on the judicial system.
  • Financial System Stability: Efficient NPA recovery strengthens the financial health of banks and FIs, promoting a more stable financial system overall.

SARFAESI vs. Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act (RDB Act)

It’s important to distinguish SARFAESI from the RDB Act, 1993. While both aim to recover debts owed to banks and FIs, they have key differences:

  • Applicability: SARFAESI applies to secured loans exceeding Rs. 1 lakh with a default amount of 20% or more. RDB Act applies to unsecured and secured debts of Rs. 20 lakh or more.
  • Focus: SARFAESI primarily deals with enforcing security interest and asset recovery through auctions. RDB Act also encompasses insolvency resolution and bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Dispute Resolution: SARFAESI allows appeals against bank actions to Debts Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) and Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs). RDB Act follows a similar tribunal structure for debt recovery and insolvency cases.


The SARFAESI Act serves as a valuable tool for banks and FIs in India, promoting financial stability by expediting NPA recovery. However, it’s crucial for borrowers to understand their obligations and take proactive measures to avoid loan defaults.



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