My Biggest Second Biggest Financial Mistake in 2010

Update: I realized just yesterday that I’ve made a worse mistake: a BIG miscalculation in my income tax liabilities. Bummer! I’ll write about this in detail in the next post.

Having spent quite some time in thinking about my personal finance resolutions for 2011, I also spent some time reflecting upon what was perhaps my biggest financial mistake in 2010. You already know that I saved quite aggressively towards closing the loan on my Swift. But once done, I became quite lax in taking the next steps. I closed the loan on priority but completely procrastinated in getting the hypothecation removed from the Vehicle Registration and Insurance records.

I couldn’t have made as bad a mistake as this one. My Swift isn’t really mine until the hypothecation is canceled.

Too many things happened that led to such a situation.

To begin with, Axis Bank, from whom I’d availed the car loan, messed up in mailing the No Objection Certificates. They had my correct postal address on record but they managed to send the post to a wrong address. I waited for close to 2 months (since Axis Bank had quoted 45 days for the post to be dispatched) before I made a personal visit to their Regional Processing Center (whose location had changed since the time I pre-closed the loan). I discovered their mess-up only then. Thankfully, they had my certificates lying around in a cupboard. It’s vital that you keep the loan pre-closure receipt safe until you have the No Objection Certificates in your hand since that’s the only proof of payment you have.

The next couple of months were hectic since I was settling down at my new job and was also traveling around on personal and official trips. Come mid-December, it was already 4 months since I’d pre-closed the loan but the hypothecation was yet to be canceled. I should have prioritized this task and made time in-between, but I didn’t. Thankfully, the No Objection Certificates were valid for 6-months from issue — they’re generally issued with a 90-day validity.

It was only last week that I finally took my own advice. In a couple of days, my Swift will finally be mine. :-)

Lesson learned.

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