Posted & filed under debt.

As the world gets smaller and more and more of us move either abroad or to America, Canada, Australia, or the UAE, the issue of carrying our debts with us, and insolvency issues, becomes more complicated and complex.

What happens if we move to another country and have accounts/debts there, and then move back to the UK?

What are the collection laws in various countries and how will they affect me if I move?

What happens to the accounts I owe if I just leave the country?

Can I be made bankrupt even if I am not in the UK?

As you can see, it can get complicated.

Each country can have their own laws on banking, debt, and the collection of debts, just as each country’s insolvency laws can vary.

Can Debts From One Country Be Collected In Another?

The quick answer here is yes, they can. However, as with everything, it can get complicated.

AustraliaExample 1: You leave the UK and move to Australia. You left behind accounts you owed money on, and for a period of time you were making the payments on those accounts. Then for whatever reason stop making payments on the accounts in the UK.

You then receive collection notices and possibly a phone call from the creditor in the UK demanding payment. As the creditor or collection agency has no authority in Australia, there is little they can do to force you to pay. They could however, make you bankrupt in the UK, which if you have any assets anywhere in the world, could cause a problem, as in a UK bankruptcy, any property, no matter where it is located, can be taken in the bankruptcy.

The main issue here is going to be if the collection firm in the country where you had the debts, in that example the UK, has any authority in the new country where you live, in that example, Australia.

Example 2: You leave debts behind in the UK and move to an EU country. The creditor or collection agency my have authority to collect the debt as the UK is a part of the EU. This can vary amongst countries and collection agencies.

Can My Debts Be Sold?

Can an account or debt be sold to another bank, collection company to be collected… again, the quick answer is…..YES.

It is a practice that has gone on for quite some time. Let’s say for example you owe HSBC, or 123 Bank, or any lender for that matter, and you fall into arrears with the loan.

Then one day ABC Collections is phoning you asking you for payments. You’re thinking, I don’t owe ABC Collections any money, but you very well may. The collection firm could be collecting the debt for the bank you had the loan with, or they may have bought the debt from the original creditor or bank, in which case it is their loan and you owe them now.

This can get confusing for people, and if it does occur, the collection firm is to provide you the required information as to their acquiring the loan/debt.

If you have numerous accounts and they get sold onto other companies, and then you try to pay them off or settle them, it can be very confusing as to who has the account, and whom to pay.

Another confusing aspect is if you move out of the country, or have debts in other countries.

Some examples:

Example 1: Let’s say you have some debt here in the UK and move to America. It is possible the debt could be sold to an American debt collection firm, and they can chase you for payment there in accord with the laws and collection policies in that country.

This goes the same if you have UK debt and move to Australia or elsewhere. There are no guarantees the account could be sold on, but if it is, then the laws of that country come into play; and not all countries have as easy and lenient insolvency and collection laws as we do here in the UK.

Example 2: You had a few accounts in Dubai and when you lost your job there, you lost your Visa and had to move back to the UK. Dubai has a very antiquated and harsh collection system, you can go to jail for non-payment.

However, you are back in the UK where the Dubai collection agencies have no authority. The Dubai banks then decide to sell the accounts to a UK collection agency, and the UK collectors begin their collection efforts based on UK laws.

As you are now back in the UK, you are afforded all the debt management schemes and insolvency options to resolve the debts/accounts. It works in your favour, as opposed to Dubai’s harsh collection practices.

Can I Go Bankrupt In The UK From Another Country?

BankruptOnce again the answer is yes, however, it can depend on what country you have moved to, and how long you have resided there.

In considering going bankrupt in the UK whilst living outside the UK, one must keep in mind some time constraints on doing this.

These windows of opportunity or time, vary according to what country you may now be residing in.
If you are now residing in any of the EU countries, you have three (3) months from the time you left the UK, to go bankrupt back in the UK.

After that time frame, you will need to go bankrupt in the country you are now residing and in accord with that countries rules and laws. Some EU countries have harsh insolvency and bankruptcy laws, and some have no real form of bankruptcy.

If you have left the UK and are now residing in any other country outside the EU, you have a three (3) year window of time to go bankrupt back in the UK. And you do not need to return to the UK in order to go bankrupt. You can have a representative file the bankruptcy forms on your behalf.

Does this mean you should wait three years until the time is almost up to consider and possibly go bankrupt, no it does not.

Much can happen in three years, yes your situation may improve, that would be a good thing; however the laws may get changed, the debt could be sold to a collection agency in the country you now reside, etc. None of these are good things.

However, if you are outside the UK, in a non-EU country for over the three year limit, you can still go bankrupt, but you will need to return to the UK and do this yourself. You cannot have a representative handle this for you.

Now should you chose to move back to the UK, regardless of where you were living, you will need to re-establish residency here back in the UK, prior to going bankrupt.

Usually this means living back here for a period of 6 months or more, and showing your majority of interest is in the UK.

What Happens If I Leave Unpaid Debts Behind?

A major concern many people have is what happens if they leave unpaid debts behind them. They have debts in the UK, or another country, and just move away.

What can happen?

Is it a crime?

Can I ever go back to that country?

UK: One example may be that you are a UK citizen, have some debt here in the UK, and move abroad or somewhere outside the UK. The creditor may try to collect the debt or even sell the debt as explained previously.

Then after a period of time you want to move back to the UK, and are concerned about being stopped or detained at the airport.

Just for leaving debts behind, you will not be stopped, questioned or detained. You are a citizen of the UK and are allowed back into the country. It is not a crime to just be in debt or to have left unpaid bills and accounts behind.

Non-UK Citizen

Another example may be that you are living in the UK on a Visa, have bills and debts in the UK, and need to leave the UK for some reason. Perhaps your Visa has expired and is not renewed.

You can leave the UK, and the unpaid bills and accounts behind. The same process may follow as above, your creditors may attempt to collect the debt or sell the debt on to a collection agency in the country you now reside in.

Then after a period of time you wish to return to the UK, perhaps as a visitor, or even by obtaining a new Visa, and you are concerned by the debts you left behind.

Again, just for leaving debts behind in the UK, you will not experience any issues entering the UK.

As for obtaining a new Visa, while for some Visa’s there are some financials that need to be stated or shown, the UK Border Agency does not ask about debts or any debts left behind.

Other Countries

It would be impossible to list each and every country and their rules and laws regarding leaving unpaid debts in that country.

It is safe to say that the majority of countries have no issue with someone leaving unpaid debts, and then returning to that country.

The United States and Canada do not deny someone back into the country if they have left debts or unpaid bills behind. However, one must keep in mind that as the world grows smaller, more and more debts are being sold to collection agencies outside the country the debt was originally taken out.

Statute Barred

When does a debt become no longer owed?

When someone moves outside the UK, or even still residing in the UK, and has left debts behind, they may think they no longer owe the debts, or question as to a time frame when the debts drop off or are no longer owed.

A debt or account can be said to be “Statute Barred” if there has been no payment or acknowledgement of the debt for a period of six (6) years. This also means the creditor has had no contact with you.

The grey area here is if you move away and your creditors attempt to contact you, but have no new address, they may send notices to your old address, does this constitute contact?

Antiquated And Harsh Laws Regarding The Collection of Debts

Many Brits get jobs and move to Dubai or the UAE/United Arab Emirates. Their Visa’s to live in that country are tied to their jobs, and many people find good paying employment there. Once their jobs end, so does their Visa and they may not qualify for a renewal.

Naturally, while living there a person may purchase a car on finance, or take out a credit card or loan. With no job, how do you repay the credit card or loan? You cannot.

So what can happen to you?

  • You can go to jail if you owe debt and cannot pay it back. A warrant is requested by the
    bank/creditor, and the police issue the warrant for your arrest and imprisonment.
  • Oddly enough, jail time satisfies the criminal issue, but not the civil issue.
  • If you are not a UAE citizen, it makes sense to flee the country. Why stay around? You have no job or Visa, you will be required to leave anyway.
  • If you are a UAE citizen there is a national debt settlement fund. This has just recently been started, and the majority of banks are participating. However, it is only for UAE citizens.
  • If a warrant has been issued against you and enter a GCC country, you can be arrested. There is cooperation between the countries.
  • From what research I have found, no one has reported a problem with changing flights in GCC countries.
  • Foreign debt collectors trying to collect on UAE debts make harsh threats and can be harassing, but there are no reports of anyone being arrested back in their home country. The collectors have no authority outside their own country.

So obviously a good reason to try and stay out of debt, where ever you may choose to live. However, keep in mind, debts can be sold across country’s borders, and here in the UK we have consumer friendly insolvency laws. We hope you enjoyed this post from guarantor loans company buddy loans

682 Responses to “Debts In Other Countries And Going Bankrupt From Abroad”

  1. Dane

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I would to ask you,whether the person can apply for bankruptcy in England if he is immigrant from EU country, lives and works in England,but the debts are in home country.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Dane,

      As long as the “majority of your interests” are in the UK, you can go bankrupt here. The UK has to be the centre of your interests, meaning you live here, work here, pay taxes, etc.

      You can include debts in other countries, however the protection afforded to you in a bankruptcy here, only applies to the UK/EU.

      Regrds,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Peter

        Hi. I am a UK citizen and I am looking to move to america to be with my wife. Will any debts or ccjs stop me from moving to be with my wife ?

        Thank you

        Reply
        • admin

          Peter,

          That is a question you may wish to pose to who is helping you with your Green Card.

          Having debts and/or CCJ’s in the UK in itself is not going to stop you travelling to the USA.

          If you are looking to obtain a Visa or Green Card, some contries have financial requirements to show you, or your spouse, can afford to provide for you, or that you have work, but debts alone are not an issue.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
          • Haroon

            Hi,
            I have defaulted 300 pound on my credit card and recently 600 pounds on my bank overdraft.i want to travel outside the UK for some personal matters.my concern is whether I’ll face any issues at a UK airport when departing?I don’t know whether the bank or the CC company applied for my bankruptcy or CC.Will I face any problems when departing from the UK or coming back?

          • admin

            Haroon,

            Having debts is in itself not a reason to be stopped leaving or entering the UK. I do not see why you should face any issues at the airport.

            As to if your bank kor credit card company may have made you bankrupt, with the balances you state you owe, odds are that they will not make you bankrupt, as it is not cost efficient for them to do so. Bankruptcy feees are near £700.

            I would expect your bank and credit card issuer to just try and collect the account, and possibly look to obtainining a CCJ.

            Can you afford to repay anything, or set-up a repayment plan?

            Regards,

            Jon

          • george

            Hello,
            i have recently received several emails from a house renting company in Germany i live in the Netherlands but i am a slovenian citizen. I rented a house there during 2015 for a year with a roommate and the past 2 months i have received several emails from them about annual utility payments of 300euros which i was never aware off i payed all the rents of course but its been 11 months since then and now they inform me about it.
            They told me i have to pay in 5 days or they will contact their layers they are private company , i really dont have that money right now since im a student.
            My question is what can they do next, what legal actions can they take ? I am really stressed about it and i dont really plan on returning in germany since i finished my degree there.

          • admin

            George,

            While I may know a little about UK, and some other country’s collection practions, I can only speculate as to what a collection agency or estate management company in Germany may do to collect a debt.

            Have you spoke with them to get the full details of what they state is owed and why?

            Were the bills strickly your responsibility?

            If this bill is yours and you cannot pay it, I would assume the company may very will use whatever legal actions within their power to collect the account. As to what extent this may go, I cannot say.

            I would speak to the company in question, and you may also wish to seek advice from someone who is knowledgable of German collection laws.

            Regards,

            Jon

          • Jack

            I am foreigner and I take loan from foreign country and then I move to my residence country so is this any problem in my residence country on me

          • admin

            Jack,

            Without knowing what country you plan to return to, what country you may have a loan in, it is difficult to respond.

            For most countries, if you are a citizen there, having a loan or debt in another country si not going to hinder your returning to that country.

            This doesn’t mean the original lender may not try to chase you for payment, but depending on the countries involved, they may not have any authority to collect the debt.

            Regards,

            Jon

    • milan kc

      Dear sir/madam,
      i just want to ask some few questions.regarding the debts of uk.
      my friend went back home(his country).he had some debts on his name.so does it affect if he want to come back to uk after 4 yrs and do you think home office will give him visa to come uk or they might reject visa.

      Reply
      • Maria Jones

        As what i read on the content of the above explainations, leaving debts behind wont stop you to enter to the uk border again, they are not going to check if you have debts behind, but once you get there the collecter will not stop collecting payment from you.

        Reply
    • Edgar

      If i have 10 debts in UK by 200£ each and i don’t pay back… I move to other country!!! What hapens???

      Reply
      • Maria Jones

        in my own understanding , it depends on the country where you move in, if the UK will have access to collect payments from that country.

        Reply
        • admin

          This is true. The main issue comes if the debt is sold to a collection agency in the country where a person now resides. Then the debt can be collected by that debt collector in that country.

          It is limited where a UK bank or collector has authority to collect a debt in other countries, however, many banks have sister companies abroad as well.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
    • Rey

      Dear jon,

      Hi im rey, im a US Citizen and i started to petition my wife because i want her to live with me here in the future.. Right now we were asked by the nvc to submit a police certificates from a place she worked/lived before and at present. The problem is she worked in hongkong 5years ago and she had unpaid loans of 45,000hkd…and unpaid internet bill as well.. She was also a guarantor of her friend who purchased gadget–cellphone from a shop which was supposed to be paid monthly…her friend didnt pay as well..now shes afraid to get a police a certificate because shes thinking she might be arrested if they found out that she runaway from her debt… The thing is we really need to get a police certificate from that country… Please i need your advice…thank u…

      Reply
      • admin

        Rey,

        Are you currently living in the US? I ask as you mention NVC, National Visa Center?

        I do not know if owing debts in Hong Kong is a crime or not, and even if not a crime, if it would affect a background check or police clearance. You may want to inquire with who is helping you in getting your wife a Visa. If you do not have someone helping you, then you may wish to seek out that service.

        Regards,

        Jon

        Reply
  2. ozzie

    Im waiting for a permanent Australian visa to be granted but have a 400.00 debt with catalogue and the rep is threatening to phone Australia house and report me and get my visa stopped? Is this a real thing I have been googling for ages? Can it stop my visa?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ozzie,

      Can you afford to repay the £400, or set-up a payment plan? If so that may stop the debt being an issue.

      As to if the debt would stop you getting an Australian Visa, I cannot say as different countries have different rules for immigrating.

      You may wish to speak to the border agency for Australia, or who is assisting you in obtaining the Visa.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Wud

        I have $1500 debt from an over draft and a phone contract from Australia will this stop me from entering again just as a holiday? And can they collect this from me?

        Reply
      • lalalala

        hello,

        i have some some debts and will
        move to abroad. i am uk citizen, wantto know if i can make iva with the oayment £50 in a month before i keft the country? what is the best option for me? thanks

        Reply
        • admin

          Hi,

          You will need to speak to an Insolvency Practitioner, or a company that handles IVA’s to see if an IVA is suitable for you, and what your monthly payments will be.

          In most instances an IVA needs to be in place prior to someone leaving the UK. And then there can be a currrency issue due to the exchange rates and different currencies.

          You can always look into a debt management plan as well.

          Speak to Payplan or Step Change and they can help you.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  3. Jacq

    I had a BD17k debt in Bahrain with HSBC. Due to the riots in 2011, I left the country. For four years I heard nothing from the bank on repayment. In the last three months, a QatRi debt collection agency has been severely harassing my parents in UK threatening them if they do not give my details of my arrest, Interpol intervention etc. I live in the EU – is this illegal to what this company is doing to them?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Jacq,

      I cannot comment as to if what the collector is doing is illegal or not, you would need to seek legal advice on this.

      The chance that this collector has authority in the EU is probably extremely rare. If the debt is sold to an EU collection firm, then they can collect it in accord with the laws and rules in that country.

      I have not heard of Interpol being involved in the collection of a debt.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Harun

        Jon, is it possible to get a visa residence stay because of a debt? I have a debt in Austria and i recently lost my visa status and had to move back to Bosnia. I told the bank i can’t pay the debt from Bosnia, can I ask for a visa so I can pay back the loan?

        Reply
        • Jon Emge

          Thanks for the additional resource to help those who may be experiencing issues with this.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  4. wouter

    I like to know I have debt in South Africa but want to go work overseas because I am a qualified Goldsmith and wants to go and make jewelry and design for a big international company. Here is South Africa our money is very poor and the companies don’t want to pay for what they get. They want cheap labour. But i like to look for work overseas and apply but I have outstandiung Debt what can I do?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi,

      As to if having an outstanding debt in South Africa will affect your receiving a Visa in another country, will depend on the country you wish to move to and their immigration rules.

      Many countries do not ask about any debts you may have, but are more concerned about how you will support yourself.

      You can inquire with the immigration office for the country you wish to move to.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  5. robin

    Hi
    I would like to know that,if i leave UK forever for whatever reason and moving other EU countries,and i might need ‘police report’
    from UK after leaving year.In that case bank or creditors can located me in abroad? Police report reflects me that some amount i need to pay in UK? or depends on how much owed ?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Robin,

      To my knowledge a criminal background check or police report, does not reflect debts or your creditors. This report only shows any criminal activity you may have been charged with.

      It is not a crime owing money. Unless you have committed a crime that caused a debt, it would not be on this report.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  6. Jean

    Hi,

    I have left the UK 5-6 months ago for a EU country but until now I’ve managed to keep making payments in my current account to avoid unpaid overdraft issues.
    However I wasn’t able to keep paying back my credit card (less than 2k) and my phone contract.

    I was renting a room in a shared house and I have no assets on my name in the UK.

    What do I risk? My main fear is that they bother the new tenants or owner of my old address. Is that possible? I didn’t know about bankruptcy or I would have filled for it by the time I left.
    What are my possible options?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Jean,

      If all you owe is £2,000 or less n a credit card, and a phone contract, bankruptcy is not an option, even if you were in the UK. And since you have been outside the UK over 3 months, there are no real insolvency options in the UK available to you.

      Can you afford to set-up repayment plan?

      If not, the credit card company and phone company my send post to your previous address, or try to phone you on what number they last had, but they should not contact any new tenants of your previous address once they are aware you no longer live there.

      At this point based on what you have said, your creditors may try to seek out a CCJ against you, but since you have no assets, and are not in the UK, there is not much they can do. Should the debt get sold onto a collection agency in the EU, you could be chased for payment there.

      Are you planning any return to the UK?

      If so, you can also deal with the debt at that time.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  7. Ana

    Hi I’ve got a question on behalf of a friend that has gone abroad. Basically my friend got divorced and lost his job so he’s been in a very bad place ‘mentaly’ so he moved abroad to stay with his family (EU). This was roughly about a year and a half ago. Now he contacted me to find out what happens with his bill ex: mobile phone bills and a load of around £6.000. Could you please give me some advice so I can pass on like what can happen as in can debt collectors find him there? Or could he be arrested or something etc….

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ana,

      Leaving debts behind in the UK is not a crime, so your friend will not be arrested. So no worries there.

      His creditors may continue to try and collect the debts, or seek out a CCJ, but since he is not here in the UK, there is not much they can do. If the debts get sold to a collection company in the EU, they could try and chase him for payment there. Of course they would need to locate him.

      If he were to retun to the UK, he could look at a repayment plan such as a debt management plan, or use an insolvency optin such as a Debt Relief Order.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  8. Joe

    Hi I owed personal loan from hsbc bank Singapore now I already outside of Singapore , if I still want to travel other country is it still possible to travel ?
    Example if I want to go travel Bangkok am I get caught in Bangkok immigration ?

    Reply
  9. john

    Hi,

    How can collection agencies make u pay a GCC loan if you are Canadian and back home in Canada? Even Canadian banks and agencies can not do this:)

    Reply
    • Jon

      John,

      Up until a few weeks ago I said the same thing. How can a debt from the UAE or other places, be collected in the UK, Canada, the USA, etc??

      We had quite a few UK citizens returning to the UK, and then being chased for UAE debts by a solictor’s firm here in the UK.

      In speaking with the firm, and also a few other experts in the field, it turns out that the banks in the UAE cannot collect the debt, but they can assign it to a firm here in the UK to collect the debt. In the terms and conditions for these loans there is a non-UAE jurisdiction clause. Small print, I know.

      I would make the assumption that the same could hold true in Canada. The GCC bank cannot collect the debt, but if it is sold or assigned to a firm in Canada they could collect the debt. The debt would then be collected in accord with the laws in Canada, and the debtor would also be afforded any rights and debt repayment options available in Canada.

      This link may help as well: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/returning-to-the-uk-with-debts-outside-the-uk/

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • john

        Hi,

        Thank you. your answer was very informative. I have reached more or less the same conclusion based on little research I have done.

        Reply
  10. Amy

    Hello,

    My friend is a UK national who bought a property in dubai and is now living in Hong Kong. He has defaulted on the property. What are the repercussions of this (other than being banned from gcc)?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Amy,

      The issue is not so much being banned from the GCC, is if a warrant is issued which can cause arrest in Dubai, however just travelling through the GCC I have not heard of anyone being stopped. In addition, the rules and laws were being changed so non-GCC citizens were being detained or jailed.

      So good news there.

      The repercussions will be if the bank chooses to pursue the debt.

      Odds are your friend is fine unless the debt gets sold or assigned to a collection agency where they are living. As to this happening, and especially in China, I cannot say. It does happen here in the UK, but when it does, the person has all the resources here in the UK to deal with the issue.

      This link may help as well: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/returning-to-the-uk-with-debts-outside-the-uk/

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  11. Anthony

    Hi, I am going bankrupt in the UK (I am a UK citizen) and will be moving to Sweden. In the 12 month after period of going bankrupt, if I get married to my lady who is Swedish over there, will any of this affect her in any way? She has suggested I be added to her bank account, is this advisable? Many thanks for your help in advance, Anthony

    Reply
    • Jon

      Anthony,

      Unless you have jointly held debts or accounts with someone when you go bankrupt, your bankruptcy does not affect anyone else.

      So getting married does not affect your wife’s credit, and once the bankruptcy has been discharged, unless her bank takes exception to you having prior being bankrupt, going on her account is not an issue.

      So no worries, it is just you going bankrupt, and once the bankruptcy has been discharged it is all over.

      Congratulations on the pending nuptials.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  12. lela

    Hi
    I am a UK citizen but ten years ago I bought a time share with my exhusband in Orlando, we did pay most of it, but unfortunately we got divorced and I could no longer afford to pay the amount left wich I think it was around $ 2000, at the time I was living in Colombia so that is the contact a dress they have, it is been around 7 years since the last time a made a payment and now I am living in the UK . So far I have only have one email from a recovery agency urgent me to get in touch with them to come up with a payment plan, I did but they were asking for to much and I couldn’t, I haven’t heard from them, but now I have been offered a cabin crew job, and I will need an American visa, could this be deniedl ?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Lela,

      Immigration laws between many countries, and Visa requirements are changing all the time, however, to my knowledge, currently credit issues or having a debt in the US does not affect obtaining a Visa.

      I am assuming you are getting a work Visa as it sounds related to a job. It will be your employer that sponsors you for the Visa.

      The last time I checked US Visa rules, the only time any financials came into play was if a spouse was sponsoring their husband or wife. They may then have to show they can afford to provide for them.

      Good luck with the job, the Visa should be no problem just due to a debt or credit rating there in the states.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Lisa Catlin

        Hi hope you can help!! I lived and worked and married in Greece. My husband died and I received a small pension. I remarried July and took July money out of the bank. Two years later I have been prosecuted and been ordered to pay €845 euro. All fine my sister in law sorted out a payment plan € 75 euro a month to be paid by Feb 17 . Now the government has sent a letter telling me that they are taking me to court over this money!!! Can they do this I have not missed a payment????? And second why are they doing this I don’t understand? Please help I don’t know what to do and the consultant is temp unavailable. I’m so worried thanks

        Reply
        • Jon Emge

          Hi,

          Unfortunately I cannot really address your questions as I don’t know why if a repayment plan is in place, the government would take you to court.

          Have you spoke with them? Can you have your sister-in-law inquire as to why this is happening?

          Once you know exactly what is going on, get back to me an we can look into this in more detail.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  13. Rahat

    Hi Jon

    I am on a Tier-2 ICT long term visa. I have a personal loan of around £8000. My current responsibilities with my company are coming to an end and I might have to go back to India in a couple of months time and I’m afraid I might not be in a position to repay my debts to the bank. After I move back to India, will these unpaid debt pose any problem to me? Since I am working for a British company, I may have to return to the UK for work in the future, will these unpaid debts cause any problems in me getting the visa or be refused to enter the UK due to these bad debts?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Rahat,

      Hi, and I understand your concerns.

      As to what will happen to the unpaid debt(s) you leave here in the UK, that is difficult to say. If you have a lot of debts, you could look at a form of insolvency to resolve the accounts before you leave. Of course you can just leave the UK and leave the accounts behind.

      I cannot say if your creditors will chase you for payment in India, they may try, but they have no authority there, so little they can do.

      Should the account(s) get sold on to a collection agency there in India, then they can collect the debt in accord with the rules and laws there, of which I am not too familar.

      Returning to the UK and getting a Visa here is not an issue just for having unpaid debts or owing money. Some people have experienced issues with owing a TV licence fee upon trying to leave the UK for holidays, but only at some airports. You don’t need to worry about this.

      Owing unpaid bills and debts alone is not a reason to be denied entry back into the UK, or currently to obtain a Visa.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  14. Greg

    I left Kuwait more than 10 years ago and I am not aware of having any debts, I now get a letter from debt collection agency in Uk saying I have a 3500 GBP debt with my old bank NBK . I don’t have bank records of my time in Kuwait. Is this real ? Is there a time limit on when they could expect payment. Obviously if I do owe it I’ll pay but how can I do that without records?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Greg,

      If you feel or don’t recall any accounts or debts you left behind, ask the debt collection agency to show proof of the debt. It may be a case of mistaken identity.

      Is the collection agency here in the UK? If so, and for any reason you did owe the money, you have a few options.

      In the UK if you have had no contact from a creditor for six years an account/debt can be statute barred, meaning it is no longer owed. Other countries have varying time periods.

      Request documentation you owe the account and let me know. You also want to know if the collection agency owns the debt, or if they are just agents collecting the debt.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  15. Chris

    Sorry, you are scare mongering …. In the uk under the credit consumer act. A Uk debt is not enforceable within another countries laws … It is a civil debt, and has no legally binding contract in any other country. Please be mindful. That when a bank sells a debt on to a collection agency it’s normally a 3rd ie a 9k debt a CA will pay 3k.

    Please also remember no debt collection agency are allowed to refuse a payment you can offer 1£ a week in the uk … To many people are panicked. This is a private website there is not one reference to a UK credit consumer law act such as section 97 or 98 etc to back this up

    Legislation.gov.uk gives all the information you need. Also bare in mind a dca (debt collection agency) want to get there money back, business sense pay 3k for a 9k debt debtor pays back 9k 6k profit.

    I formerly worked for the office of fair trading in the UK … So you get a loan from a bank, 10k make one payment and leave the country, not a crinmal offence.

    and please seek advice from a solicitor or citizens advice .. Legal aid sometimes pays for lawyers to act on your behalf of you ca. Meet the financial requirements.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Hi chris / jon

      I have friends who are looking at moving to australia they have been granted a permanent residency visa. They have debts in the uk they cannot pay. Will this effect them getting a morgage or more importantly their australian citzenship ?

      Reply
  16. Alice

    Hi
    A friend (uk citizen) has debt in France after living there for 5 years. It amounts to €35,000 and she has been back in the uk since 2013 and not been paying any back. A uk debt collection agency had contacted her to arrange collection of the debt on behalf of the original lender, a debt which she cannot afford to make repayments on. If she goes down the route of bankruptcy here in the uk, will the debt be wiped off in France?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Alice,

      Sorry to hear of your friend’s debt issue, but the quick answer is yes.

      As long as your friend has the majority of her interests in the UK, which it sounds as though she does, she can include EU debts in a UK bankruptcy and be afforded the protection from collections and have the debt discharged; meaning she no longer owes it.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  17. Graham

    Hi John

    I was living in Dubai for 15 years, working in for the past 3 years I moved to another company with a really good Salary. I have loans and credit cards total around 80k sterling which I was making payments with out any issues. recently I was helping my wife set up a business with a friend to which my work heard about who are currently going though difficulties out of the blue they said we cannot work together due to inconsolable differences and terminated me on the spot with no End of Service nothing. So I was left with no choice but to leave and deal with my issues from outside of the UAE. I am currently in Turkey and UK looking for work during the past couple of moths I am getting multiple emails from the credit card and loan banks to which I have informed of my situation and once i start working again we will work out some payment plan. this is falling on deaf ears. I also have Credit Sheild with all my cards which they are also ignoring. form loan there is no credit shield but I keep telling them that I will work on something when I start working. they keep ignoring this. they are now threatening me with a police case and Interpol case. which I cannot understand what interpol would be involved. I received an email from the bank where my loan is they are saying my company has told them I went on vacation and never came back. which is complete lies as I have a termination letter. they are also threatening with interpol and also know that I am currently n turkey and they will proceed to recover the money immediate. this has left me and my family with a huge worry. I am in turkey at the moment as the cost of living is very low and it allows me with was little money I have to survive until I find a new position. reading through what you are saying about other countries Civil laws I don’t know what they are in Turkey or they can do anything when I am here. They other credit card companies keep seeding emails with similar threats ignoring the credit shield I keep telling them about. I suspect they got my IP from my emails to know I’m in turkey as I work in IT Security and thats how I would find out where someone is. regards Graham

    Reply
    • Jon

      Graham,

      I understand your situation and know how difficult it can be.

      Banks in Dubai may have a police warrrant issued against you for owing money, this is something they can do, however, as you are not in Dubai, there is little they can do. Obviously if a warrant has been issued, you would not want to return to Dubai.

      There have been some changes to stop non-GCC citizens from being arrested just for owing money. But why take the chance.

      As to the bank’s authority to collect the debt in Turkey where you are currently residing, I am unsure, however I would venture there is not much they can do except threaten and try to collect the accounts.

      As for Interpol becoming involved, I have heard of banks making this threat, but have never hear of Interpol getting involved. A friend of mine researched this for me and said it is just a threat the banks make.

      Should you return to the UK, you may have more options.

      You may wish to read this: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/returning-to-the-uk-with-debts-outside-the-uk/

      While some debts from Dubai and the UAE are being collected in the UK, you also have all the options available in the UK to deal with debts.

      As I am not an expert on debt collecting laws in Turkey, you may wish to seek advice from someone there.

      If you do get advice there in Turkey, let me know what you find out.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  18. Peter Roznavsky

    Hi John,

    I would like to ask you about unpaid credit card. I have lost my job in UK and thinking to return back to Eastern Europe. My oustanding balance on my credit cards is nearly 4k pounds, I have no money to pay it back. What will be your advice? What should I do.? I do not think that I will ever return back to UK, I am not trying to avoid debt but I have no money left. How much they can charge me for late payments? Can they increase it from 4k to lets say 6k in 2 or 3 year? because I did not pay?

    Thank you for your answer

    Reply
    • Jon

      Peter,

      I understand your situation, and of course if you could repay the credit card you would. If you cannot afford to pay it now, you cannot afford to pay it. Maybe in the future you will have the funds to do so.

      Leaving the UK and the account behind is not a problem. As to if the bank will chase you for payment or sell it onto a collection agency, I cannot say with certainty, but again, if you cannot pay at this time, you can deal with the issue later if it even becomes an issue.

      If you had other debts, you may want to look at some form of insolvency prior to leaving the UK. However, there are fees involved with this as well.

      Regarding being charged any interest or late fees, I would suspect that yes, the bank may do this. And if the debt gets sold on the agency that buys the debt may add their own fees. However, that is getting ahead of yourself. If the debt did grow to say £6k, and you had the means to pay some of it, you can always negotiate a settlement.

      I wish you the best.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  19. Jake Lyon

    Hi Jon,

    I owe money to a collection agency in Norway, I am a UK citizen and have moved back after a year studying abroad in Norway.

    The debt I owe the collection agency is the interest built up from not paying my rent, I have since settled the debt of the actual rent with the company I was renting from. But the collection agency are still hounding me for the interest that accumulated during the period when my debt was outstanding.

    Can they do anything serious in terms of getting me to pay?

    I paid the rent I owed, like I said they are just chasing the interest.

    Could they stop me entering the country? Or have any jurisdiction in terms of bailiffs or anything?

    Just curious about what will be the outcome if I leave and ignore their claims as I’m dead against giving them money for the interest of a debt I’ve cleared.

    Hope it makes sense and look forward to your response! Thanks a lot!

    Jake

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi Jake,

      How much money are we discussing that they say you owe in interest?

      If it isn’t much, you could look to negotiate a settlement for less than what is owed, or wait and see what may or may not happen.

      As Norway is not in the EU, although closely associated with the EU (at least to my knowledge) the collection agency is not going to have any real authority to collect the debt from you here in the UK.

      If they place the debt out to an agent or firm here in the UK, then yes, it can be collected here, but much will depend on the original contract’s terms and conditions and if there are no jurisdiction clauses. You also would then be afforded all UK repayment options.

      I am highly doubtful you would be stopped entering the country simply based on owing interest on a debt, but I am no expert in Norwegian laws.

      I understand not wanting to pay the interest after settling the actual debt. I would have thought, and hoped the original creditor or who you owed would have pulled the account back from the collection agency. Have you spoken to the company you settled the rent with to see if they can stop the collection agency or pull the account back?

      Leaving a debt unpaid is not good advice, however, again, I am unsure what this collection firm can actually do to you here in the UK, unless they give the debt to an agent here, which depending on the amount owed, may not be economically viable for them.

      Let me know how you get on with this.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  20. Rafat

    Dear jon,

    My friend took personal loan in Bahrain for and after paying first installment in December 2015 he went back india in December 2015 and couldn’t able to come back in bahrain and now couldn’t pay January and February installments,and now he is in UAE and HSBC bank is emailing him that we know you are in UAE so pay your all outstanding payment before you leave UAE.
    So will my friend have any problem once he’ll exit UAE ?

    Reply
  21. DJ

    Hi,

    Please tell me what will UK check for issuance of Police Certificate. While issuing Police Certificate do they also check with Banks for bank defaulter if i have taken a loan and did not pay back…did this written on POLICE CERTIFICATE.

    I left UK in 2010 and now its 2016….plz advise..

    Reply
    • Jon

      DJ,

      To my knowledge a police check or CBR is only for criminal activities. Just owing a debt or leaving a debt behind in the UK is in itself is not a crime.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  22. Louise

    Hi we have left Australia owing money but are now residing back in the UK permanently. We are struggling to keep up repayments to 2 credit cards and a loan. I don’t want to default on the repayments but it looks like we will have to in the next few months only paying a small amount back to each one. If the debt gets passed on to a collection agency in Oz or UK will this affect our credit score in UK? They have our current address also.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Louise,

      If a debt from outside the UK is then sold or assigned to a UK collection agency it can affect your credit in the UK, if that agency reports it to any of the three credit bureaus here in the UK. Not all collection firms may do this. However, if as a part of the collection process the collection company seeks out a CCJ against you, this will be on your credit history and can have a negative effect.

      Keep in mind, if the debt does get sold or assigned to someone in the UK, you are also afforded all the repayment schemes we have here, such a making token payments, debt management plans, and IVA’s.

      Even if the debts are not sold or transferred to here in the UK, if you were to go bankrupt, you could include the Oz debt(s). While this discharges the debts here in the UK and EU, it would not discharge them in Australia, should you return.

      This link may help as well: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/returning-to-the-uk-with-debts-outside-the-uk/

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Louise

        Thanks Jon are there any such firms that would help us consolidate our debt in Oz though assume we would need to be living and working there to arrange this.

        Reply
        • Jon

          Louise,

          From my research and from what I know, you can include the Australian debts in a repayment scheme here in the UK.

          As long as your centre or majority of interests is in the UK, you can include debts in other countries. However, while you are protected and afforded this right in the UK/EU, it does not mean it carries over to that country.

          Depending on how much debt you have in Oz, if it gets moved onto the UK, and what other debt you may have in the UK, will be the guiding light as to what you may wish to do. It may be a waiting game. No one can say what a creditor may decide to do. If the balances are low, they may just write the account off.

          You can speak to the Money Advice Service, or a Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or any debt advice agency for advice.

          If they do not seem to understand your circumstance, please let me know.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  23. Kezz

    Hi we bought a property in Cyprus back in 2007 off plan, we have in the last two years brought a class action with other people for the mis-selling of the Swiss Franc mortgages, the loan was restructured over a year ago and this brough the amount we owed down and the monthly payments down and it became a sterling mortgage.
    My husband has recently been diagnosed with several illnesses and he probably won’t ever be able to work again.
    We have debts in the UK and decided to sell the Cyprus house, but after getting it valued and working out all the fees that we need to pay when selling the property, we would be left with a debt of £70,000, this does not include the debts we have already accumulated in the UK from trying to pay the Cyprus mortgage each month.

    We have looked at going bankrupt in the UK as a way to get rid of our debts, but the bank in Cyprus have said that doing so would not affect the Cyprus mortgage and they would still be able to chase us for the debt.

    Is this correct? if so could we go bankrupt in Cyprus as well as the UK even though we are resident in the UK?

    Reply
  24. Nat

    Hi I had to leave UK to my home country India because of the VISA refusal and as result I cant pay my current outstanding bank loan of around £15.5K which I took 3 years back. I had immigration issue from approx one year and was fighting my case but unfortunately lost it and had to return. My question is how can I get relief on the loan I took few years ago. I do not have any money left and on the top of that I was unemployed since Apr 2015.
    Kindly tell me what should I do as I am little scared if debt agency come to my place here in India. Please advise

    Reply
    • Jon

      Nat,

      I understnd your concerns, and if you cannot afford to pay anything, then you cannot afford to pay.

      You could set-up a token payment plan of just a few pounds each month to each of your creditors. They must accept the payment, however, they can still pursue you for the balance.

      As to if they would sell the debt onto an agency there, I cannot say. The banks here are not going to have any authority to collect the debt in India, so it may be you do nothing or a token payment plan and wait and see.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  25. Ronald

    Hi Jon,

    I’m a EU citizen and left Spain with unpaid phone contracts which back then wouldn’t expire for another 22 months. I couldn’t afford to pay off the rest of the contract back then, so I left without terminating it. The amount owed because of this would be around 2000-2500 euro in total (excluding additional collection company fees / late pay fees). I have never seen a letter nor heard from them again, so they might have sent post to my old address. It has now been almost 3 years since I left and I’m wondering If I can go back to Spain to accept a job offer without having to worry about that old bill as I’m simply not able to pay it. I’ve read something that the bills will be void after 5 years, but I’m not sure. Can you tell me more about how this works and if I open a new bank to receive my salary from my new job, that they will get notified and right away charge me again?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ronald,

      I am unsure of any statute of limitations on debts in Spain, here in the UK it is six years with no contact from a creditor.

      What country are you living in currently?

      I would guess that just by going back to Spain, taking a new job, and opening a bank account is not going to trigger the collection process for the bill.

      When you begin working will you be able to afford to make any sort of payment, or possiby settle the debt?

      Let me know.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
    • Erika

      Hey Jon i have a similar problem, i lived in Spain in 2012 had left a phone contract which was for 2years and i left it after 6 month for some reason. Im EU citizen, i live in Uk now and planing to go to Spain for holiday. I never heard from them since the day i left Spain. Its been 4years now and im curious if i can still come to Spain just for holiday without being worried if they find me at the airport or anything? Thanks ,Erika

      Reply
      • Jon

        Erika,

        As I mentioned I am unsure of any statutes on debts in Spain, but I would doubt you will have any problems taking a holiday in Spain just for leaving a phone contract. I do not think you will be stopped at the airport or anything like that.

        Enjoy your holiday.

        Regards,

        Jon

        Reply
      • Adam

        Hi Erika I was wondering if you ended up going on your holiday to Spain and if all turned out alright 🙂 Hope so!

        Reply
  26. Annalie

    Hi. I’m a South African that was settling in the uk. Learnt I’m on the wrong visa and had to return home.
    Now I cannot afford the 10k debt to HSBC
    What can I do? Can they collect from South Africa?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Annalie,

      Sorry to hear of your Visa issue.

      HSBC may try to collect the balance of the loan from you, but unless they apply for authority in SA, or pass the debt to a SA collection firm, there is not much they can do to you there.

      HSBC could seek out a CCJ/County Court Judgment here in the UK, however, there is no way to enforce it as you are not in the UK. However, if you left any assets here in the UK, such as property, HSBC may then try to enforce the CCJ to access that asset.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Annalie

        Thank you so much for your reply. I’m also thinking of possibly going bankrupt in UK. I won’t ever live there again. But it’s quite expensive. To stop the worry, is this maybe a best option ?
        I don’t have any assets anywhere in the world

        Reply
  27. Thine

    Hi Jon
    Im a UK citizen and keft the country permanently to migrate abroad. Ihave a debt management plan in the uk left behind. I dont have a job at the moment. I left feb 2015 and ive bern paying the minthly arrangement of the plan using the money left on my uk account until january this year and now i ran out of money and i cannot afford to pay them. Im currently on a course and under allowance by the company sending me to this study course and i have to finish it before i get the job and earn actual money. Apart from this allowance i do not uave any source of income at all. I cannot afgord to pay the fee on my debt management plan.
    What can you suggest for me to di. I am nit running away from the debt. I just need extra time or a time break for payments until i manae to get a job.
    And if ever i need to go back to UK for a short stay and then l ave again after a week will i have a problem at teh airport?
    Tin

    Reply
  28. Tin

    Jon
    Im a UK resident and i have been under debt management plan since 2007. I left UK to migrate abroad last feb 2015 and i continue to pay my monthly fee on the plan up until jan 2016 with the money left on my uk account and now it has run out. And i dont have a job yet here as i am finishing a course and just under small allowance and i dint have enough for everyday expenses. I cannot afford to continue paying the debt mnagement plan at the moment.
    What can i do about it? Im not trying to run away from it i just need few months break on payments until i have the job and earn proper salary.
    And if ever inplan to go back to UK for a week or so will i not be stopped in the airport when i arrive and when i leave?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • jon

      Tin,

      Have you discussed this with the company handling your DMP?

      Missing a few payments for a few months may not be an issue. If you cannot pay it, then you cannot. In time you can start payments again.

      Just owing debts will not be an issue returning to the UK.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Tin

        I did email them about it but still waiting for response. How about leaving the UK after the visit? As i plan to stay inly for a week or so.

        Reply
        • Jon

          Tin,

          Leaving the Uk with debt is not an issue either.

          There was a new issue for some people leaving the UK owing TV license fines or council tax, however that was only specific airports, and also seemed to be isolated in Scotland.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  29. Erika

    Hello, please advise my friend. He is a EU citizen who left Dubai with unpaid loan. Our question is the local bank from Dubai will do what exactly? The black list from there travels internationally? Can my friend be stopped at the airport if he wants to go back home? Will they contact a collection agency in Europe to try to get their money back?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Erika,

      While I cannot say for sure what the bank in Dubai may do, I can pretty much guess with some certainty.

      If they have your friend’s new contact details, the bank may continue to contact him to try and collect the payments. They may also have a warrant issued against him with the police, only in Dubai. Your friend can contact the local police there to inquire about any warrants.

      Your friend should not be stopped doing any travelling, however, he may wish to not return to Dubai unless he is 100% certain no warrant was issued.

      Should the bank pass the debt onto a collection agency in the country he resides in, they can attempt to collect the debt there in the country he now lives, however, your friend will also have the laws of that country that are in place for someone in debt or insolvent to aid them.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  30. Anna

    Hi Jon,

    My partner is from the UK, living in Holland. He was married to a woman who (he found out only 6 years after the divorce) made huge debts during the marriage, and because of Dutch marriage laws these debts are now his. It’s around 270.000 euro. He has a good job but this is too much for anybody. If he would move back to England and find a new job, would the payment of the debts be unchanged? There are no arrangements yet with any of them since he only found out recently. And what if he can’t find a well paying job, or no job at all? Could he go bankrupt?

    Anna

    Reply
    • Jon

      Anna,

      Sorry to hear about your partner’s finding out about the surprise debts. That is always a huge shock when revealed.

      Has he sought any legal advice in Holland as to if he is 100% responsible for the debts? Can his ex contribute to the accounts, or is she responsible as well?

      Moving back to the UK does not relieve him of the debts.

      If your partner were to move back to the UK, he could look at the various repayment schemes here to repay the debts. If he were to go bankrupt, as long as the majority of his interests are in the UK, he would be allowed to go bankrupt, and he could include those debts in the bankruptcy.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Anna

        Thanks for your reply!
        He is 100% responsible, as well as his ex wife is. She doesn’t have a job an no intention of getting one either. So they will come after my partner big time. I talked to various lawyers and they all say he is basically screwed… That’s Dutch law for you!

        What do you you mean with ‘the majority of his interests’? Meaning he should work and live there? Or do you mean most of his debts should be there?

        Best regards, Anna

        Reply
  31. Laur

    hy Jon really good answers you give but I have a more particular one.2 years ago I opened an account in France with a credit card they issued and I could take out some money on credit if I wanted to.I’ve been living in Romania for the past 1.9 years and haven’t redraw any money from that account till today as I wanted to check if I had any left.I took about 50 euros and my account was 0 so I owe the bank 50 euros now.For such a small sum is there any problem if I don’t pay back as long as I don’t live there anymore, the bank doesn’t have my adress and phone number here in Romania and I don’t plan to moving to France too soon???Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Laur,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      While I cannot say as to if a creditor would chase you for 50 euros, and since they don’t have your current details, odds are they may not pursue it.

      However, leaving the debt loom out there is not a good thing. It could get sold onto a collection agency, and they may add fees and interest.

      If you can afford to pay the account, you may want to do so. However, for such a small amount, they may not bother chasing you for payment.

      Regard,

      Jon

      Reply
  32. Gisele Ferrari

    Hi my best friend was living in Dubai in 2014 And had 40k dirham credit card dentro which she was paying when she was there (working). She had to leave the country because she got pregnant (not married) so she wouldnt go to jail for that. But since Then she didnt Get a proper job that can pay for the aed 40k. She is in Brazil Now (she is brazilian) with the baby but the bank keep sending her police And interpol threaths And she is afraid they do something to her in Brazil. Is that possible? She said she tried to negotiate a small amount of Money a month but they wouldnt accepted. Is she in trouble? Thank u só much for your help And post!

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi,

      Unfortunately many banks in Dubai make threats stating Interpol will be notified and track someone down. To my knowledge, and to anyone I have discussed these cases with, Interpol does not get involved or notified.

      So no worries there.

      The bank may have notified the local police and had a warrant issued, but as long as your friend does not retun to Dubai, there is nothing they can do.

      Another unfortunate aspect of the banks in Dubai is that they won’t accept affordable monthly payments towards the account(s). They want it all paid.

      The bank in Dubai can try to collect the debt from your friend in Brazil, however, to my knowledge they have no authority there.

      If they were to sell or assign the debt to a collection agency in Brazil, my not knowing the collection and insolvency laws there in Brazil is a hindrance as to providing any advice. She may wish to consult someone there.

      She is not in any “trouble” and Interpol is not going to be involved just for leaving debt in another country.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  33. James

    I have a slightly different situation
    A friend of mine incurred debts in Hong Kong but now lives in Korea. Could the Hong Kong Bank chase him for the debt in the UK. I believe he still owns a house in the UK

    James

    Reply
    • Jon

      James,

      A debt owed anywhere in the world can be chased here in the UK, it is just that the creditor/bank has no real authority here in the UK.

      If the bank assigns the debt or sells the debt to an agency here in the UK to collect it, depending on the nature of the contract and terms and conditions, the debt can be collected here in the UK.

      It can depend on if there are jurisdiction clauses in the terms of the loan.

      This may help explain it as well: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/returning-to-the-uk-with-debts-outside-the-uk/

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  34. john

    a friend of mine from India is in trouble for incomplete repayment of personal loans…he is now in united states but he got a contact through social media and has no such money as of now for him to repay…what could be the highest lawsuit or consequences for him to face when he goes back to india from United States?

    Reply
    • Jon

      John,

      Why would your friend return to India, is that where he lives and plans to return?

      I ask as some of the laws in the various countries can be quite harsh to someone who defaults on a loan.

      What bank(s) does he owe?

      Depending who he owes, and if they have filed a case or police warrant against him, he could face time in prison.

      If he is a UAE citizen, there is a national debt settlement fund he could apply to and possiby pay/settle the accounts and not have to worry.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • john

        thank you for your response…the bank with which he has had some personal loan to pay is ICICI bank…but he doesn’t know what to now because his family is getting harassed calls from the advocates now..it said the loan was taken in the year 2005 or 2006 but he has been in sickness and not able to work after some time…can you kindly tell how i can help him by going the right way to ensure that the deb t collectors in India do not harass the family in India? and if he ever goes back which he likes t go back sometime…would he get a clean certificate from the bank if he pays without interest? or what can he do in this scenario?

        Reply
  35. Joy

    Hi Jon,
    U are giving really good advice. I need some advice too, i had a loan with my bank for £5500, paid a couple of payments and have now moved to an EU country, the bank has not got my new number or address can they find me if they do not know what country i am in? And can i get deported for owing my bank money? Thank you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Joy,

      You will not be deported for owing a debt, so no worries there.

      Can you afford to set-up some form of repayment plan?

      Do you still bank with them?

      As to how a creditor may find you, there are many ways, but don’t lie awake at night wondering and worrying. It’s not the stuff you see in spy films or read about. If you were to still bank with them, they may locate you via how you access the account.

      Chances are the bank will attempt to contact you at your last known address. They may also try to phone you if you still have the same number. If you have no redirection on, or have left no forwarding details, they may not be able to find you, and after a period of time write off or sell the debt to a colllection agency.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • joy

        Hi Jon, Thank you for replying. No i do not still bank with them as i have a bank account in my new country so i dont access the bank online at all.
        I was just wondering what they would do to me and if i faced prison for leaving it.
        Joy

        Reply
        • joy

          I actually earn very little in the EU country so i am very unlikely to be able to afford to pay anything.

          Reply
  36. Arthur

    Jon,

    I find myself in an awkward situation and could do with some advice.. I am a Brazilian national and I was attending university in the UK as an international student but my financial sponsor lost her job and we couldn’t keep up payments so I was forced to quit university and leave the UK. However, I left a debt of around 7 thousand pounds – this debt is not a student loan, it is owed directly to the university for the first semester of uni. This debt was sold to a collection agency and I could set up a payment plan to which I was able to pay until last month when I found out that Brazilian banks are no longer transferring money to English banks; I don’t really know why they do not do this transfer anymore but the bottom line is that no bank in Brazil will make the transfer to England. I have asked the collection agency for assistance in resolving this issue but their reply was along the lines of “the problem is on your end, nothing we can do about it – pay now”. Because I could not keep up payment I am now being threatened with a CCJ but since I don’t live or have any properties in the UK what would happen if the collection agency goes ahead with the CCJ? The outstanding debt is around 2,400.00 pounds and I do wish to pay it back at some point but at the moment there’s no way I can make anymore payments until this bank issue is resolved; also what would happen if I started to make payments again after the CCJ has been entered against me? In addition, I am not residing in Brazil and the collection agency does not know which country I am in.

    Any help you could give me would be extremely appreciated! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Jon

      Arthur,

      I understand your situation. As to why banks in Brazil will no longer send money to the UK, I am unsure why this is. There are changes in banking laws all the time due to terorists shifting money around, but who knows.

      Am I to understand you can afford to make payments, but it is just a banking issue? If you are not in Brazil, can you open a bank in another country that does transfer funds to the UK?

      Regarding the CCJ, if you have no assets here in the UK, there is little the collection agency can do, with a CCJ or not.

      You may wish to try once again to explain to the collection agency, your intent is to pay the debt, but need assistance in sending the payments.

      Let me know how this works out for you.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  37. Christine

    Jon
    if a person’s debt are already under collection agencies for at least 8 years or so and that person moved to America and stopped paying for a few months after that time period due to certain persona circumstances, will they be able to locate the person and demand a payment? Can the person be demanded for payment whike in the UsA?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Christine,

      As to if a UK collection agency can locate someone in America to collect a debt, yes, it is possible. Can that collection agency demand payment, yes, they can. Do they have the authority to use other means besides just asking for payment, probably not. They can demand, but have no real authority there.

      The collection agency here has no authority in America, unless they assign the debt to a collection frim in the states, or sell it onward.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Christine

        Thank you. Can they issue a CCJ though even if you dont leave there anymore? And if you dont own any propert at all?

        Reply
        • Jon

          Christine,

          Yes, a CCJ can be issued even if you are not living in the UK.

          Enforcing the CCJ is another issue, and if someone has no assets in the UK and lives outside the UK, it can be difficult if not impossible to enforce.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
        • Lisa

          it was said that Leaving a debt behind in UK when you move abroad is not a crime as it is a civil issue. But what if you have been issued a CCJ and you are not living in the uk anymore and obviously you wont be able to attend court summons or hearing and this will be a ground for them to issue a warrant of arrest? This sounds like being a grey area about “having a debt wont get you arrested” idea.
          Im kinda confused.

          Reply
          • Jon

            Lisa,

            CCJ’s are still a civil issue and not a crime.

            The issuing of a CCJ alone will not get you arrested.

            Having debt, and/or leaving debt in the UK is not a crime in itself.

            Regards,

            Jon

  38. john

    thank you for your response…the bank with which he has had some personal loan to pay is ICICI bank…but he doesn’t know what to now because his family is getting harassed calls from the advocates now..it said the loan was taken in the year 2005 or 2006 but he has been in sickness and not able to work after some time…can you kindly tell how i can help him by going the right way to ensure that the deb t collectors in India do not harass the family in India? and if he ever goes back which he likes t go back sometime…would he get a clean certificate from the bank if he pays without interest? or what can he do in this scenario? – See more at: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/debts-in-other-countries-and-going-bankrupt-from-abroad/#comment-63160

    Reply
    • Jon

      John,

      Collection laws vary among countries, I am unsure of the exact debt collection laws in India. Your friend’s family can advise any collectors that he no longer lives there or is in the country. As to if the collectors will cease their efforts, I cannot say.

      If he returns and a warrant has been issued, he could face being arrested and prison. He can inquire locally there with the police as to if a warrant has been issued,

      Banks in India are not as receptive to settling debts, or stopping interest. He can conatct them and try to set-up a repayment plan. And again, if he is a UAE citizen, he can apply to the national debt settlement fund there to help him repay the debt.

      If he is now living in the UK, and can prove that the UK is his centre of interest, meaning he lives here, banks here, pays taxes, works if he can, he can include the debt in a UK bankruptcy. But that only affords him the protection of bankruptcy in the UK/EU, not back in India.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  39. David Meany

    I have a UK citizen client who is resident here – he has no assets but has debts in the UK and US – he has been offered a job in the US which he intends to take – if he goes bankrupt here in the UK will it capture the US creditor or will the US creditor be able to continue to pursue him in the US ?

    Reply
  40. Raj

    I received a letter from UK HMRC asking to pay 800 pounds tax. It seems there was some mis-calculation in tax caluculation during my last salary or something due to which there was difference of 800 pounds in tax paid to HMRC by my employer. So, I received extra salary. My last working month was April 2014. As I have moved to india I am not in situation to pay this back? What steps can UK Gov take against me? Can I travel back to UK for work/ tourist ?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Raj,

      Currently owing taxes to HMRC, is not an issue in coming back to the UK to visit. It may be an issue in receiving a Visa to work here, and if you were to get another job here, then HMRC may try to collect the taxes they are owed.

      HMRC has to authority to collect the taxes in India, so unless they sell the debt on, you should be fine

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  41. HumblePie

    Just a clarification to readers of this website.

    As you all know, there is more MISinformation on the internet than genuine information.

    One such example is the myth that being a debt defaulter/skipper in the UAE can cause you to be arrested in other GCC countries.

    This is FALSE!

    Unless you are a drug dealer or other such criminal, GCC do not share intelligence on “petty” things like loan default. Can you imagine the large volume and frequency of information that would need to be exchanged if this were true?

    I left the UAE in 2009 with around Dh 1.4 million in bank debts.

    I have since been to Bahrain, Qatar and Saudia. I even called 2 of my banks in Dubai to offer a monthly repayment solution (Dhs 2,000 each, for those curious) but being Dubai banks they refused. Well, if banks want to refuse money, I’m not one to complain!

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi,

      Thanks for the posting and sharing of information.

      We have not heard of anyone being stopped or arrested in any GCC countries, however we were told it is a possibility.

      I agree that sharing the volume of information is too large a task to undertake, and am glad you have made your trips without incident.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  42. Virgílio

    I am a guarantor for a friend who bought a house in Portugal.He moved to the USA and left the house with a cousin who stopped payments 5 years ago. I am now recieving letters from the bank about the debt. The bank has now sold the house but the there is still a big amount of debt.
    Can this debt be collected in USA where the owner has properties and business?

    How can i protect myself in this?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Virgilo,

      Are you residing in the UK or US?

      If you are residing in the UK it may be possible for the bank to attempt to collect the debt as there are some cross-border agreements regarding debts originated in the EU. In addition, an EU collection firm may have an office, or partnered with a UK office.

      Regarding the bank collecting the debt in the US, they may try, but they will have no real authority unless they sell or transfer the debt to a collection firm there in the US.

      If you are living in the UK and the bank attempts to collect the debt, you have all the debt tools here in the UK to use in setting up a repayment plan.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  43. Andy

    Hi,
    I am UK citizen however worked in Germany for 10 years, my ex wife lift me a lot of debt, I have had nothing from the company’s since I got back to the UK however I know this ain’t getting paid,and it’s over €20,000. The problem is I must return to Germany soon for 2 weeks, my question is will I be stoped or questioned at the airport on arrival or departure?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Andy,

      You won’t be stopped at any airport in the UK, and to my knowledge just for owing debts alone, you would not be stopped in Germany.

      Depending on when the accounts were placed into default, and if any legal writs were issued, there can be a statute of limitations in collecting the debt.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  44. charmaine

    This page has been so informative!! I’m so glad I found it.

    I am going bankrupt in the UK for a sole trading debt and the business is now closed. Can i start an LLC in the USA or do i have to wait for the official discharge notice, or does it not count because im in the states?
    Many thanks
    charmaine

    Reply
    • Jon

      Charmaine,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      If you are going to be a Director of the LLC in the states, that technically is against the restrictions of a UK bankruptcy, as you cannot be a Director whilst still bankrupt here in the UK.

      I cannot state as to if the restriction is so broad it covers being a Director anywhere in the world. but I would venture it may just.

      You also may find that starting a LLC in the states, some of the questions asked may relate to your personal finances. I was a Director of a LLC in America many years ago, and was questioned regarding my credit and personal finances. However, that was many years ago and probably a much different business than what you may be starting.

      As to how the OR here in the UK handling your bankruptcy would know you have beome a Director in the USA, I cannot say fi they would or would not.

      When will you be going bankrupt, and can you wait the 12 months to start the LLC?

      You can always begin in the states as a sole trader, or appoint someone else the Director until your bankruptcy has been discharged.

      Let me know.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Max

        God bless you Jon, really, I mean it!!
        Have a question here myself.. Does someone knows how to find UK debt collection firms that are partnering with a EU countries?

        Reply
  45. Lisa

    If a uk person has lived in America and fathered a child out there, then comes back to the uk. Unpaid child support mounts up to more than $4000.00.in arrears.
    Can this unpaid debt effect a credit rating?

    Reply
  46. Lucy

    Hello, thanks for all the info!
    If you could help me out, I would be so appreciative…
    I am an Australian citizen who lived in the UK on a two year youth mobility visa. While living abroad, I missed the deadline for my self assessment tax return submission and incurred a penalty of £100. To my understanding, these penalties continue to incur every few months while the tax return is outstanding. Below is a breakdown…

    One day late: You automatically receive a £100 fine.

    3 months late: A fine of £10 for each following day up to a 90 day maximum of £900.

    6 months late: A fine of either £300 or 5% of the tax due.

    12 months late: Another £300 fine or 5% of the tax due.

    I did not submit my tax return for several reasons, and left the UK at the expiration of my visa in July 2015. Would my financial penalties still be tallying in the UK? Would it be likely that I get chased up for outstanding debts in Australia? What would be the worst that could come of this situation? And what if I tried to re enter the UK as a visitor in a few weeks time?
    I really appreciate your time!
    Lucy.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Lucy,

      I understand your concerns, and I must preface this with, I am not a tax expert.

      I would suggest speaking to HMRC and finding out exactly what they show you owe, and if you can work out a repayment scheme, then try to do so. If you cannot afford to repay the taxes and penalities, then you cannot do so, but you will know what you owe.

      I have found when you can get through to HMRC, they are helpful, even when you owe taxes. They have a new online system as well to inquire about taxes.

      Coming back to the UK is not an issue, you will not be stopped. Applying for a Visa to stay here may be another matter. Immigration laws and rules are constantly changing here, but just to travel here to visit, is not a problem.

      As to if HMRC would try to collect the tax in Australia, I cannot say, they may, they may not. They would have no real authority there unless they passed the debt onto a collection firm there in Oz. You could then deal with the issue at that time.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  47. Lor

    My brother owes a mortgage in Spain about 8 years ago. We think the property has now been sold but don’t know how much for or if the debt had been settled. My brother wants to go back to Spain for holidays but scared he will be detained at the airport and asked for his address in UK for them to start chasing him for any outstanding debt. Would it be better not to return for holidays.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Lor,

      To my knowledge your brother should have no problems returning to Spain on holiday, or even if he wished to live there.

      He may want to quietly inquire as to the status of the loan and what is still owed, if anything.

      If he has other debts that he is struggling with, he can include the account in Spain in a repayment plan here in the UK as long as the account is now unsecured.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  48. Lor

    Thank you Jon, when you said to your knowledge my brother should be ok would that be 100% that he will be OK? because If I give him that information and he goes and gets pulled up by the passport control he will blame me. I have read on Internet that people with property in Spain are now being asked to fill in a form with all their assets and address information in UK in case anyone racks up any debt in Spain. Do you know if they will make him fill in a form as well on his return to the UK?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Lor,

      I understand yours and your brother’s concerns.

      I don’t think anyone can say 100% going or returning to any country could not be without a problem, but owing debt in itself is not a crime.

      I know nothing about if you own property in Spain being asked to provide your UK details. If they do request this, providing those details is not an issue as if the bank or lender were to be given those details, and I cannot imagine why immigration or border control would give those details out, your brother has all the rights and laws in the UK to deal with the debt if the lender tries to collect it.

      Your brother can always inquire with the Spanish border agency if he is still concerned.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  49. To Anh

    I am not a UK citizen. I had a 24 month contract with three UK 4 years ago and one month later I left the UK. Now, after more than 4 years I feel really remorseful and wish to pay the unpaid amount but I do not how to do so? I even cannot remember the phone number or my bank account in the UK. What should I do If I really want to pay off the unpaid amounts?

    Reply
    • Jon

      To Anh,

      You could try contacting 3 and see if they can search for the account using your name and last UK address. You could also see if the account is listed on your UK credit history, however, if you are not residing in the UK and don’t have an address here, getting a copy of the credit history can prove to be a problem.

      Try 3. If they cannot locate the account, there may be little you can do.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Tracy may

        Jon!!!!:)
        my daughter lives in canada and went to university in buffalo and quit.
        Buffalo University still wants to charge her for the terms she did not complete?
        Although she sent a letter stating she would not be returning, They insist on her paying another 10,000 us dollars?!?
        What happens if she dont pay?
        Thank- you in advance for youre time. Tracy

        Reply
        • admin

          Hi,

          You may want to have your daughter try to resolve the situation by speaking to the university.

          If according to their terms and conditions she does indeeed owe the money/tuition, can she set-up a repayment plan?

          The bank or university could chase her for payment, or sell the debt to a collection agency in Canada for payment.

          The best way to resolve it is to get the university to agree she doesn’t owe the money.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  50. Simon

    Hi, I used to live in UK for more than 6 years. I had a bank account which provided me a planned overdraft for £3000. Something happened and I had to leave uk and leaving a debt for nearly £2000. I have no finance at the moment to pay my debt to a bank. I live in EU now and not planing to come back to UK ever again. What a UK bank can do to me?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Simon,

      Have you had any contact with the bank in question?

      How long have you been outside the UK or had any contact with the bank?

      The bank may try to collect the debt, but if you have not heard from them in a while, and if you have no means to repay the account, after six years the debt could be statute barred, or no longer owed.

      If the bank wanted to aggressively collect the debt they may have gone to the courts to get a CCJ against you, or gave the account out to a collection agency to collect it.

      If they did obtain a CCJ, unless you have assets or are working here in the UK, there is not much they can do.

      Let me know when you last had contact with the bank, and we can look further into this.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Simon

        Could you explain what means CCJ? I haven’t contacted them yet, because I am still paying them monthly charges for using planned overdraft, but soon I will not have any funds to pay that charge and I don’t know what will happen next.

        Reply
  51. Ste

    Goin bk to the uk I owe 3,000 dollars on a credit card in Canada and I am unable to pay it would this effect me applying for residency in the future in the states or Australia?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ste,

      There are some countries that do ask financial questions and inquire about your work status, income and any savings when applying for a Visa to live there.

      You would need to inquire with that country’s border agency to confirm if they do or not. To my knowledge they do not do a credit history check.

      You can include the Canadian debt in a UK bankruptcy, but you are only afforded protection from the debt in the UK and EU. Should you go to Canada, the creditor could still attempt to collect the debt.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  52. Anto

    Hi ,
    If you leave the country like Dubai with a a debt
    Can you still travel and transit in the airport of Dubai ?

    Thanks

    A.D

    Reply
    • Jon

      Anto,

      You may wish to confirm if a warrant has been issued against you prior to travelling to or through Cubai.

      I have not heard of anyone having any issues, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

      As to how the police or whomever would know you are in the airport or there, I am unsure.

      How much debt did you have and when did you leave?

      Have you had ny contact with the bank(s)?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  53. M

    Hi,

    I just wanted to ask I have a personal loan of about 10,000 pounds that I have been unable to make a repayment on and an account which is in overdraft. I lost my job due to a death in my family as I couldn’t continue with it. I’m going to dubai in 2weeks due to a family issue. My only question is would I be stopped at the airport or refuse visa to dubai once I get to dubai? I’m a British citizen and only going there for a month

    Reply
    • Jon

      M,

      How far in arrears are you with the accounts?

      Have you looked at your options such as a token payment plan or possibly a form of insolvency if you don’t think you’ll be back working soon.

      As far as I know you should not have an issue with travelling to Dubai or returning to the UK just due to debt in the UK.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • M

        Thank you!! Not much has been paid yet due to the circumstances I’ve been in. I have spoken to the bank and made them aware of my situation so they have put a hold on my account for 30days as I am looking for a job now so once I’m back from Dubai I will start working again and will be paying it off. I am only concerned because I don’t want to get stopped at the airport if they think I’m leaving the country and running away from my debts because that’s not the case

        Reply
  54. Max

    God bless you Jon, really, I mean it!! Have a question here myself.. Does someone knows how to find UK debt collection firms that are partnering with a EU countries?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Max,

      Thanks for the kind wods.

      That’s a good question, and short of phoning some UK collection firms and inquiring, I am unsure how you would find out.

      You can review some collection agencies web sites as well and see if they state they work in the EU as well as the UK.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  55. Laco Smoljak

    Hello, I would like to ask you. I have to leave the UK to the EU country ( Slovakia ) with unpaid loan which is not from bank 28k and I am in very bad situations that I can’t come back from very important reasons. Do you know if I can normally live there without be arrested or something else? Thank you for help.

    Reply
    • Laco Smoljak

      Hello, I would like to ask you. I have to leave the UK to the EU country ( Slovakia ) with unpaid loan which is not from bank 28k and I am in very bad situations that I can’t come back from very important reasons. Do you know if I can normally live there without be arrested or can they some how stop my bank in Slovakia or something else? Thank you for help.

      Reply
      • Jon

        Laco,

        If you are asking will the unpaid loan cause you to not be allowed back into the UK, no, the loan in itself would not cause you to be denied entry into the UK.

        If the loan was obtained through fraud or some other crime, then possibly it could be an issue.

        If the loan was from an individual, while it should not cause you to be denied entry, there could be other issues to address.

        Regards,

        Jon

        Reply
  56. Laco Smoljak

    Hello, I would like to ask you. I have to leave the UK to the EU country ( Slovakia ) with unpaid loan which is not from bank 28k and I am in very bad situations that I can’t come back from very important reasons. Do you know if I can normally live there without be arrested or can they took some how from my bank in Slovakia or something else? Thank you for help.

    Reply
  57. Terry

    Hi, my situation not very good, I live in US and owe 30k for credit cards and 30k unsecured personal loan.I can`t pay payments and also leaving country to one of EU to live.I understand that,whey want me to pay this amount money,but how can whey know where I`m living ? How can collect money ?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Terry,

      Banks and creditors have numerious ways to locate people who owe them money. As to if they will try to find you if you move and do not leave a new address, I cannot say.

      Are you a US citizen, or from the EU?

      Do you hold any Visa’s for either country?

      Travelling with debt is not an issue in the US or EU.

      If the lender sells the debt on to a collection agency in the country you move it, and the collection agency can locate you, they may collect the debt in accord with the laws of that country.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Terry

        Thanks for answers, Jon

        I`m from EU and have Green Card (permanent resident)
        It`s true that some banks or creditors don`t look you if the amount it not big? Because it`s expensive to find you and collect the money

        Reply
        • Jon

          Terry,

          There are many factors involved in trying to collect a loan, and yes, the lender may look at cost effectiveness. Are they going to spend more to collect a loan than what they can recover.

          In some instances if this the case, the lender may sell the debt onto a collection agency for pennies on the pound/dollar, just to get what money back they can.

          If the debt is sold on, that collection agency now owns the debt and you owe them.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  58. Tahmina

    Hi,
    I was an International student in Uk between 2010 to 2013. I had two phone contracts £35 and £40 monthly, a Sky bill contract £28 monthly and a cine world £15 monthly contract while I was in Uk. I thought after my Bachelors I ll continue for visa extensions to pursue my Masters the reason why I continued paying my contracts, and at the last minute I was informed by my university that due to new rules applied I will have to go back to my home country to extend my student visa and study masters. I accordingly came back to my home country and continued paying the contracts through auto debit from my account with whatever balance I was left with. I thought visa extensions will not be an issue and I ll get back to UK however I could not apply for an extended student visa from my home country because the bank whose statements I wanted to show as my financial solvency was on the black list of UK home office. I was not left with any time to transfer my fund to a white listed bank and wait for another 28 days to apply for the visa because my classes were starting by then. I eventually cancelled my application and couldn’t go back to UK. The bank account in uk eventually became nil. I was not financially secure to pay all the debts at that time as being a student and doing part time job. It has been 2 years now and fate has given me another chance to go back in UK which I never expected. I am offered a job by a company and I am submitting a tier 2 visa application next week. I am worried if I will be refused the visa and still worried as to what consequences I may have to face if I am granted a visa and enter uk again, will they still have my records? It has been more than 2years now. Getting a job in uk and coming here will be a dream come true..But I am afraid if I will be ever able to open another bank account in Uk. It wasn’t intentional from my side to not pay any debts.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Tahmina,

      I understand your concerns, and it sounds as though you did everything by the book and followed all the rules and regulations, which is good.

      In applying for a Tier 2 Visa, to my knowledge, border control/immigration had not been asking about any previous debts or unpaid accounts. They are more concerned with who is sponsoring you, and your finncial ability to provide for yourself once here; what income you will be earning.

      Who is handling your Visa application?

      You can query this issue with them as immigration rules change regularly, however, I don’t see it as a problem.

      How much in total do you owe and when was the last time you had contact with those you owe?

      Once back in the UK, you may be able to set-up a repayment plan to repay the accounts.

      Once back in the UK and working, you may find getting a mobile phone contract difficult depending on who you owed, however you can always get a PAYG.

      Regarding getting a bank account, you should have no problem getting a basic account, however, depending on what your wages are, you may be able to get a current account. You may wish to avoid your old bank as they may decline you.

      Let me know how you get on, and I wish you the best!

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Tahmina

        Thank you for the reply Jon,

        For your information my company is listed ‘A rated sponsor’ and thus they are the ones sponsoring me. Also there was no one handling my application, I applied on my own with the CoS and other details provided by my company, the reason why I was worrying thinking about my previous credit history. My phone contracts were for 2 years, one contract was about to finish while the other contract just began. I couldn’t get in touch with the phone companies after I left UK in December 2013. To let you know I have now submitted my visa application, and now looking forward to their decision. I really hope the decision not to be against me due to my previous credit history. Please advice if that’s the case.

        Reply
      • Tahmina

        Jon,
        I successfully got the visa. You were right about the fact that immigration will not investigate previous credit history and in my case they didn’t. I am okay to go for a PAYG and I will definitely not contact my previous bank to open an account. However I am still worried about other banks declining me. I am planning to contact my creditors once I arrive to settle down with my dues and fines to be paid in installments.

        Reply
  59. Sam

    Hi John

    I have a debt of about AED 300k with a bank in Dubai but I currently reside in Australia since last 5 years. I use to pay the instalments amount even when I left Dubai in the start but then my financial conditions changed and I wasn’t able to keep up the instalments. Since I was outside UAE the bank started demanding full amount payment and no options to do monthly instalments. For past 3 years the things went cold and I haven’t heard anything from the bank. But now an external collection agency from Dubai approached me to settle the account and threatening me if I don’t they will initiate a legal proceeding against me in Australia. Can you please assist me about what really can happen and what are my options here?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Sam,

      Unfortunately the banks in Dubai do not entertain reduced payments or lowering the instalments.

      As to what the collection agency can do will depend on where they are located and what authority they may have in Oz.

      If they are a collection agency based in Oz, and they have the account assigned to them, or they bought the account, they can collect the account in accord with the rules and regulations in Australia.

      You may wish to read this: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/living-in-the-uk-with-debts-in-other-counties/

      If the account has a non-juridisction clause, it can be collected anywhere if assigned out to a collection agency. However again, if the collection agency is not in Australia, they will not have any real authority to collect the account.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  60. raj

    i my relative owes a debt of 14000 pound in uk ..his visa was curtaled n he coudnt find a job cane bk to india…its almost 7 months now n he has been receiving maiks from bank for payments…lastly they sent him a default notice..my q is will it have adverse on him while he is in india

    Reply
    • Jon

      Raj,

      Unless the account(s) are sold onto a collection agency there in India, there is very little your relative’s creditors in the UK can do against him in India.

      If his creditors were to seek out A CCJ/County Court Judgent against him here in the UK, it could affect any assets or property he may have here in the UK. If he has no assets or property, then again, there is not much the creditors can do.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  61. Matt

    Hi,

    I am a British citizen, have lived in London since birth. I am considering moving abroad (outside the EU) to Singapore. What are the chances of any debt I have being sold abroad to a country like that? I will be selling everything to move so leaving no assets behind. The debt is just a credit card and bank loan, probably 6-10k. I doubt I would ever come back to the UK so is there anything to worry about?? Would you apply for bankruptcy?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Could you please email me dominguez14@hotmail.co.uk

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Matt,

      I cannot really say as to if any accounts would be sold to be collected abroad, specifically Singapore.

      There can be many factors involved as to if a debt gets sold, the amount of the debt, how much is offered to buy the debt, what pence on the pound, how far in arrears the account is, etc.

      Debts of 6-10K do not qualify for bankruptcy, however, depending on your full situation, you may be able to enter into a Debt Relief Order to be relieved of the accounts.

      The decision to do this is yours, however, if you discharge the debts prior to leaving, or even if you file and the debts are discharged whilst living away, it resolves the issue and brings closure.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  62. Anamika

    Can anyone tell me if I have a loan n credit card unpaid in uk and I left uk and moved to India with loan approx 15000
    What difficulty in getting job in India? Does India and U.K. Credit agencies do check each other ? Or employers checks each other or not?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Anamika,

      To my knowledge, the different credit agencies between the UK and India do not share information back and forth.

      A perspective employer may inquire with a previous employer as to a reference or to verify employment, but not credit.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  63. Andy

    Hi, I lived in Spain for a long time, 8 years ago there I got a mortgage with one of the big banks, I paid the mortgage for 8 years but have since left and am back in the UK.
    I did not contact the bank I just left, so question is would the bank in Spain look for me in the UK recover any money they lost on the property / mortgage?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Andy,

      I cannot say as to if the bank would seek to try and collect the debt here in the UK.

      How long have you been back in the UK?

      I would venture if you have not heard from them in a few years, you may not hear anything. You would need to explore the statutes for debts in Spain as to if you even still owe the debt.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  64. Serj

    Hiya Jon.
    I’m living in UK for last 3 years and unfortunately will leave UK in September and will stay out a year. I have debt on me credit cards and phone contracts £6-7k and the country i’m heading now (non EU) is quite bad for salaries. I wouldn’t be able to pay my monthly payments and not sure what shall i do. Any chance i can stop all for a year and when i came back just to start paying again? Is it better to talk with my creditors or just to leave country and sort everything when i came back?

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Jon

      Serj,

      You have an interesting set of circumstances, and one that does present various options for you.

      You can contact your creditors and advise them of your situation and set-up token payments to each of them of say £5 each a month. You could do this for the year, with the hope you then get a better paying job and can resume higher payments.

      There always is the option of not contacting your creditors and just leaving the UK, however it doesn’t resolve the situation, and collection efforts could follow you if the accounts are sold.

      If for any reason after the year you do not return to the UK, or earn enough to make regular/higher payments, we can address the issue at that time.

      You can also consider a DRO/Debt Relief Order if you wish to resolve the accounts now prior to leaving the UK.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Serj

        Thanks a lot Jon.
        Definitely will try to contact them because don’t wanna ppl chase me around the globe 🙂
        Wasn’t sure what was the best option for me , this is fixed 10 months out of UK and with their monthly payments can’t do nothing ( although £5 a month is more than great ) . Will try to solve some more debts in next four months and defy back in UK will start again with normal paying cos will come back to my old job.

        You think i can make a deal with them without some big fuss? Never missed me payment in a years (basically from the time i got my first card) so wanna make a deal rather than just disappearing .

        Don’t have anything on me name so will try this.

        Thanks a lot for your help

        Regards,

        Serj

        Reply
  65. Carol

    Hi Jon
    Could you help me on the following I have lived in the uk for the past 22 years but now I have to go back to the Republic of Ireland where I’m from for family reasons i have credit cards debts in the uk which I can not pay totalling 5K will I get chased for these or will they be written off
    Thamks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Carol,

      I cannot say as to if those you owe will write off the accounts, or sell them on or attempt to chase you for payment in ROI.

      You could look at setting up a token payment plan for the accounts, and maybe in time be able to increase the payment amounts.

      If you know you will not be able to pay the accounts anytime in the future, depending on the exact amount, and when you are to leave the UK, you could look into an Administration Order or Debt Relief Order prior to moving. You would need a CCJ filed against you before you could do an Aministration Order.

      If you do just leave the UK, and the debts get sold on to a collection firm in ROI, the laws there have changed a few years back, so you are afforded some repayment schemese there as well.

      This link may help: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/economic-and-insolvency-changes-in-the-republic-of-ireland/

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Ajay

        Hi Jon,

        I have some debts in UK totaling 5000 and my current visa is expired. I am about to leave UK and I have so far made the minimum payments to keep my account up to date which will not be the case. I will be coming back to UK in 10 months time by switching to a different category. I have no savings at the moment, will I be able to put my account on hold as I have no right to stay and start repaying once I come back? As I am likely to have some money and can afford to clear my debts in 10 months time.

        Reply
        • Jon

          Ajay,

          Have you discussed this with the creditors you owe?

          That is a good starting point, and yes, they may be able to allow you a “holiday” to not make payments. If they cannot do this, you could try to set-up a token payment plan,sending each crditor a few pounds each month. Then when you return you can resume regular payments.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  66. Damian

    Hello, Im from the Uk but lived in Canada for a number of years, we returned back to the Uk last year when we lost our jobs due to the economic downturn. Just about managed to sell the house. We owe a Canadian bank $35k from a credit line. We are slowly repaying it back, What would happen if we stopped paying ? Or reduced the amount to $ 50 dollars per month ? Can / would it be sold to a Uk collection agency ? Does interest stop being applied ? Would it be worthing mentioning to a Uk lender if applying for a new mortgage back here ?

    Thanks Damian

    Reply
    • Jon

      Damian,

      I cannot say as to if the debt would be sold onto a UK collection agency, there always is that possibility.

      You can discuss reducing your payments to the Canadian bank if it is a hardship for you to pay them. They may or may not be receptive to the idea. Some banks in some countries, specifically the US, don’t have the ability to accept reduced payments, especilly if it was for a mortgage. It is worth inquiring with them anyway.

      Regarding mentioning it to a UK mortgage lender, some mortgage applications have broad questions regarding if you have ever had a default, or bankruptcy, or repossession. The question does not always ask, just in the UK.

      As to if the lender would find out??? Who knows.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  67. Sandra Povall

    We are old age pensioner’s and want to go and live in spain. When we sell our house we should just be left with £25/30 grand. However we have £20 grands worth of debt. If we just up and go can they stop our pension or take money from our account.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Sandra,

      If you owe a bank that holds your savings or has money deposited in the account, they may have the right to take that money to offset any losses.

      Pensions are usually protected, but again if they are deposited into a bank you owe money to, there is a chance it may be an issue, so you would want to use a different bank.

      You can just leave without paying the debts, however, a creditor may chase you for the debt, and/or sell it on.

      You may want to resolve the issue by attempting to settle the accounts. Offer a lessor amount and if accepted, the accounts get cleared and you still have some money to take with you.

      You may qualify for full and final IVA.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  68. Simon

    Hello,

    I am British living in the EU. I have a loan student from the UK but never returned to the UK when I finished my degree. Since then I have continued studying in the EU and plan to stay here.
    My British passport has expired and I need to renew it from abroad. To my knowledge, there is no trace to me in the country I currently live in. Will the Passport Office provide the SLC with my address when I apply for a new passport?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Simon,

      To my knowledge, no, there is no sharing of information or details between the two offices.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  69. Vasy

    Hello there! I have a £2000 overdraft with a bank and 3 phone contracts. I had to move back to my country, Romania, because my mom is sick and I need to look after her. I can’t afford to pay that amount. Don’t know what is happening bakck in UK as I won’t come back there. I have a job now in Romania and don’t afford with my wage to pay that. What is the worst thing that could happen? Cheers

    Reply
    • Jon

      Vasy,

      Worst case scenario is the account(s) get sold onto a debt collection agency there in Romania, which I think is highly doubtful.

      If it were to occur, you could deal with it at that time, and make use of any insolvency laws or protection afforded to debtors there.

      Regards,

      JOn

      Reply
  70. Danny

    Hi john
    Just a quick question I’m leaving for a holiday in one week and have outstanding debts which have been sold to a debt company would I be stopped or refused to go holiday due to my debts??

    Reply
    • Jon

      Danny,

      You should not be stopped, no worries.

      There had been some issues with people owing council tax and/or TV license penalties being stopped, but I have not heard much of anything new on this.

      Have a nice holiday.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  71. Detlef

    Hello Jon

    First of all , a big compliment of what you are doing here..Amazing!

    I live now since 1,5 years in the UK and left Germany with a lot of debts (100k).

    I will apply now for bancruptcy online and I got 3 Question, which you maybe got answer me:

    1 I got Banc Depts here in the Uk but a lot in Germany- Will they be taken into the Bankruptcy too
    2 After applying for bankrupty , do have have to stay 12 months in the UK or can I go back to Germany earlier?
    3 Would it make sence to ask for professenial help to apply for BR ?

    rgds
    Detlef

    Reply
    • Jon

      Detlef,

      You can do your own bankruptcy if you feel 100% comfortable with doing it and the questions. There are services out there to help you, but sometimes their fees are high.

      You can include EU debts in a UK bankruptcy, so you are good there.

      There are no travel restrictions once you are bankrupt, but you do need to make the Official Receiver aware of any changes, such as address.

      Look over the forms, which are all online now, and see how you feel with what is asked and what information is required.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  72. Paul

    Thanks for the article.

    I am now a permanent resident in Australia. However over the years I have got myself in to more and more debt. In total I owe over 34000 GBP.

    When I work full time I am able to pay off my debt. However, I have struggled with mental health issues over the last 5 years which has resulted in periods of unemployment as I have been unable to keep my job. Each time has resulted in more and more debt. I am now doing casual work which is not regular, but suits my health needs more.

    I have informed he banks that I now live in Australia. However, my address is down as being my parents. I have no assets.

    My issue is, how can I start the process of applying for bankruptcy from Australia. Secondly, will my parents be affected? They have not guaranteed anything. But my debt is still down as being at their address.

    Any advice on how I can start the ball rolling and how it might affect my parents would be greatly appreciated. I have only been in Australia for a year and a half.

    Paul

    Reply
    • Jon

      Paul,

      As you have not been outside the UK for over three (3) years, yes you can still go bankrupt here in the UK.

      You can either have a representative here in the UK do this for you, or you can return and file the bankruptcy yourself. These cases had been heard in the High Court in London.

      The bankruptcy will not affect your parents, but the address may be linked to your credit history. If it is, or becomes an issue credit wise for your parents, they can have a notice of disassociation placed on their credit files.

      As to getting started, you need to decide or inquire with some firms here that aid in an ex-pat going bankrupt, or return and do it yourself.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  73. Hayward

    Hi

    My friend left uk 10 years ago. And he had more than 10 credit cards. Money to owe around 4,000 pounds. He intentionally built up credit card. With no intention to pay back the money.
    Now he wants to return back to uk as a visitor.

    Will he can get the visa or no. He also says that on visitng immigration form. Its written like do u have unpaid debt or ccj in uk. Yes or no. What u suggest him to write yes or no. 11 years already passed.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hayward,

      I was unaware that immigration was asking about unpaid debts in the UK??

      If your friend is getting a Visa to stay here in the UK, he can inquire with who is handling this for him as to if old debts are an issue, to my knowledge they are not.

      As the accounts are so old 11 years, they may be statute barred if he has had no contact from the creditors, in addition, after six years they should have dropped off his credit history in the UK.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Hayward

        Sorry, i meant on the uk application form. To apply for visitor visa

        There is question like.

        Do u have any debt or ccj issued in uk. He is confused to answer yes or no.

        After 2015 new application form this question is there.

        Reply
        • Jon

          Hayward,

          The first thing your friend should do is get a copy of his UK credit history if he can. This will show if there are any CCJ’s and outstanding accounts.

          Again, due to the time frame, any accounts may have dropped off.

          As to how to respond to the question, that is his decision. He may wish to discuss this with who is sponsoring him or helping him with the Visa.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
        • Jon

          Hayward,

          One additional thought after consulting someone who also deals with these issues, just because immigration may be asking the question regarding CCJ’s or debts, doesn’t mean it affects the outcome of issuing the Visa.

          For a indefinite stay Visa they do ask these questions, but that is a different form of Visa, and owing debts is a civil matter between the creditor and the borrower.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
          • Hayward

            Thanks jon for the awesome reply.

            And the last question is. He is saying that. He has applied for 4 credit. And after receiving the 4 credit card. He took 3 contract mobile phones. And did shopping from the credit card. And left the uk country. That time he was on student visa. And now its nearly 11 years. And wants to return back to london for vacation. He is worried that do they put him under fraud case. Will he get the visa if he apply. In between he travelled to many europe country without any problem.
            Thank u

  74. Marissa

    Hi Jon,
    I am from Australia and recently went to canasa on a 2 year holiday visa, while I was there I had a credit card and at the time of moving back to Australia the card had $1,300 still left to pay, when I got home it took me a long while to secure a job and so I have still not paid this debt, I have not received any emails etc from the bank requesting payment at all. I’m just a bit concerned that this will chase me or damage my credit in Aus? Or that I won’t be able to visit Canada in the future?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jon

      Marissa,

      The account won’t affect your credit in Oz unless the account gets sold onto a collection agency there, which it may or may not be done. If the credit card company doesn’t know where you are, they have no way to sell the debt on.

      Visiting Canada in the future should not be an issue either. Having an account owed there is not going to affect visiting on a holiday.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  75. Chris

    My friend cut his knee and went into another hotel pharmacy. They put a small plaster on his knee. They charged him £60 which he paid last summer. Last week a debt collection company in Bradford wants £170 in unpaid bills relating to that cut threatening to charge human £500 if he doesn’t settle immediately. Can they do this.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Chris,

      Where was your friend charged £60? The NHS does not bill or charge people.

      If this was outside the UK, then he could possibly be billed.

      If he paid the bill, then explaining and showing this to a collection agency should resolve the matter.

      Debts do get sold on to collection agencies on other countries, but again, if he paid the bill, he should be fine.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Chris

        Thank for your reply. Your very kind. The bill was originally in turkey. Although he paid in full he can’t find paper work. They are saying cause he didn’t pay via his insurance company the bill he payed in full is not valid. It makes no sense. I told him now to go back to his insurance company. These companies that buy debt seen to be like a dog with a bone. I feel that by the time he has gone from pillar to post he will be left with a bill for thousands. How can he stop this merry go round. Thanks

        Reply
  76. Detlef

    Hi Jon

    Thanks for your answer.. I am almost ready to submit online now and got one more question:
    Do I need to pay the full 655 pounds before I can submit my bankruptcy or can I pay 5 times and the procedere start immidiately?

    This is what the online site says:

    Applying for bankruptcy costs £655. If you’re paying online, you can pay the fee in one go or in as many instalments as you need.

    For example, you could:

    make 5 monthly payments of £110 pounds each
    make a final payment of £105

    The minimum payment by card is £5.
    Paying by instalments isn’t available for cash payments, and you must cover the full fee in a single £655 payment.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Detlef,

      That is a good question, and I don’t know for sure. You’ll have to query that with the insolvency service as they are the ones that handle it.

      Let me know what they say.

      I am guessing they need payment in full before proceeding with the actual bankruptcy.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
    • Jon

      Detlef,

      I did some research that showed the entire fee has to be paid before you can submit your bankruptcy application.

      You can pay in installments, but the entire fee needs to be paid before the application can be submitted.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  77. Hayward

    Hi jon

    On the uk visa application form.

    6.12 Have you had any UK court judgment against you for >> non-payment of a debt, or received a civil penalty under the UK Immigration Acts?
    Put a cross (x) in the relevant box

    Since it is 11 year old credit card debt. What u would suggest my friend to answer yes or no

    Thank u

    Reply
  78. bella

    Hi Jon
    One of my friends work in hong Kong he left hong Kong 2013.he received an email today stated he own tax for year 2012/2013.he don’t have any income what can happen if he can’t pay that money.he is from south-africa

    Reply
    • Jon

      Bella,

      Hi, I am assuming your friend is living back on South Africa.

      I really cannot say with a high degree of certainty as to what exactly may occur. As a guess, I would venture not much will happen. They are two separate countries with separate taxes and tax laws.

      I don’t know how the collection laws for taxes work in Hong Kong, if your friend were to return there, they may try to collect the taxes should he go back to work there.

      Some advice may be to advise the taxman there in Hong Kong/China of his situation and that he cannot afford to repay the taxes. He also may wish to request an accounting as to how they find he owes taxes.

      I hope this helps in some way.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  79. KIM

    Jon,

    I am a UK citizen but now live in USA. 4 of us from the same family (3 us citizens and 1 brit) purchased a business in the UK in 2011 we borrowed money from the vendor as directors of the business in order to make the purchase price. We discovered that the business was bankrupt when we bought it ( evidence of fraud but that’s a different case) in the end administrators took the business back after 3 years. The vendors pursued us through the civil courts in the UK. WE have moved back to the USA but we have just been served in the USA with a judgement that was made last year in the UK. We cannot afford the debt we are challenging the ruling but in the meantime if we declare bankruptcy in the UK and consume the debt in the UK can they stiil come after us in the usa?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Kim,

      Any accounts or debts you include in a UK bankruptcy will be discharged after 12 months, so no, none of your UK creditors could pursue you for the account/debt in the USA.

      If there is a judgement filed against you in the USA, while you can include this in a UK bankruptcy, you are only afforded protection from the debt in the UK/EU, not the USA.

      You will also need to note the time you have been outside the UK in order to go bankrupt back in the UK. If that time has been over the three (3) year mark, you would need to return to the UK to file for bankruptcy here in the UK.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  80. Dave

    on

    I moved to the US a number of years back. I own a house still in the UK. I can not sell it because the lease has dropped to about 56 years and the lease company want about 25 k to extend. The house is worth approximately 105k and I owe around 95k. What would happen if I just left it to the bank?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Dave,

      You can just let the property be repossessed, however there may be a shortfall from the sale, of which you would still owe.

      You may want to try and negotiate a settlement with bank to accept what the property sells for to settle any balance that may be owed.

      If this cannot be done, any remaining balance owed the bank may chase you for. As to if they would try to collect the debt in the US, is difficult to say. They have no authority there to do anything, however, they could sell the debt on to a collection agency there in the US.

      Do you have other debts in the UK?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  81. Kase

    Hi jon ,

    I would like to have some advice for my current situation , as i just received a letter form a debt collection agency on behalf a company base on some damages and charges around £1000 , i wish to know what will happen next . As i am a student in UK which not lived in the EU zone what happen if i go back to my home country next month , will the debt still carry on ? if so what can they do about ??

    Thanks .

    Reply
    • Jon

      Kase,

      What country do the debt(s) originate from?

      Where is the debt collection agency based? In the UK?

      Just by moving outside the country does not make the debt go away.

      If the debts are in the UK and being collected in the UK, and you move to a country outside the EU, the collection agency may or may not pursue you for the debt. The collection agency my have no authority in that country, or have an agent they can use there.

      As to if the debt may be sold onto a collection agency in the country you move to, it is difficult to say. It can depend on many factors, including which country you move to.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Kase

        thank you for the reply , the debt is originate form UK . I think that was actually the credit control department of the firm base in UK as they sent me the invoice refer to the company . I was wonder would they actually made me bankrupt if i left the debt behind and go back to my home country for a period of time , and would the bankrupt in UK made any impact to my life in my home country?

        Reply
        • Jon

          Kase,

          It is doubtful that for a debt of £1,000 someone would mke you bankrupt as the fees to do so are £655. It is not worth it.

          Can you afford to set-up some form of repayment, even £10 or so a month?

          If not, yes you can leave the UK, and again it is doubtful they would make you bankrupt.

          And returning to the UK should not be a problem either. People are not stopped just for owing a debt.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  82. Elvi

    Hi Jon, i left Dubai with a loan of 170k which i paid for for almost 4 years that i was working. Now after 4 years they called me from a collection agency in Dubai on my work number in Romania where i live now and told me to pay 120k. What can they do? Thank you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Elvi,

      Unless the bank has any authority in Romania to collect the account, there is not much they can do, except ask you to pay and make threats.

      If the bank has an agent in Romania, or sells the debt on, then it can be collected there in accord with the rules and laws there. You also have the rights afforded you there as someone owing money as well.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Elvi

        Thank you so much. They called me from Dubai so i’m thinking maybe if they had anyone here, they would call me from here. I think they found out on facebook where i work so nobody should have too much info there and not accept friends requests from strangers. How can i find out if they can collect here? Nothing on my name though, just salary

        Reply
        • Jon

          Elvi,

          You can speak to someone there in Romania, maybe a solicitor or a debt advice agency there. They may be able to advise you.

          My thoughts are that a Dubai bank is not going to have authority to collect a debt in Romania.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  83. Raj

    I have credit card debt in Singapore for $25k and i lost my job from my Singaporean company & I return back to india. will my debts will be sold to indian collection agency. what will be the consequences will happen.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Raj,

      Have you been in contact with the credit card company(s) that you owe?

      You can inquire with them as to what their process is in collecting the account.

      As to if the accounts or debts will be sold on to an outside collection agency, I cannot say. Not all debts get sold on, and there can be some issues between countries due to laws and collection rules.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  84. Katie

    Hi Jon I lived in the UK for 2 years on a working visa. Upon returning to Australia I left credit card debt, a phone contract and a small overdraft on my HSBC bank account. I have nearly been back in Australia for 3 years. I would like to return to visit but am worried I won’t be allowed into the country. Seeking some advice please.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Katie,

      I understand your concerns.

      How much in total did you owe?

      Are you coming back to the UK just to visit/holiday, or come back to live?

      Leaving debts alone in itself, will not stop you from coming back to the UK to visit, so no worries there.

      Even some Visa’s to stay and work here in the UK are not concerned with previous accounts or debts.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Katie

        Hi Jon,

        I owe about £3000 in credit card and over draft debt and a phone contract.

        I will just be returning to visit/holiday.

        Was just concerned I would get stopped at the airport.

        My old flat mate is still receiving debt collection letters to my previous address, so I was concerned about returning to visit.

        Reply
        • Jon

          Katie,

          You won’t be stopped at the airport.

          If you have no contact from those you owe, meaning they do not contact you, for a period of six years, the debts can be statute barred and no longer owed or collected.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  85. Zak

    Hi Jon,

    I am working in the UK for past 4 years and living here for a total of 6 years. I am moving back to India for good. I have a usual credit card debt of around £4k and i am not in a position to pay it back immediately. My concern is if i leave the UK without having paid it off or having some kind of arrangement with the back and in the future if i wanted to relocate to the UK will it present a problem with getting a visa sponsorship? I am aware the companies are very likely to run credit checks before hiring. How detrimental could leaving debt behind with returning to the UK to live here in the future?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Zak,

      There is nothing stopping you from leaving the UK with credit card debt, and returning to the UK, at present having left debt here is not an issue.

      You are correct that some employers do credit checks as a part of their hiring process. If a perspective employer does do a credit check as a part of their hiring process, and they were to sponsor you for a Visa to come to the UK, it may be an issue. It would be their decision to make.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  86. Cristina

    Hi,

    I live in the UK and owes amounting to £10k and need to leave UK for a job in US. I dont have any savings and would not be able to pay it back in 3 years as I wont be paid much. I do not have the plan of returning in the UK. What will I do?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Cristina,

      I cannot tell you what to do, but can advise on your options.

      You could do a Debt Relief Order if you qualify prior to leaving to resolve the accounts.

      You could also set-up a token payment plan of small payments each month in the hopes you may earn more in the future to pay more towards the accounts.

      You can also just move and do nothing. This does not resolve the issue, but is an option.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  87. Jane Glen

    Hi,

    I live in Northern Ireland with my husband, Between us we would have in excess of 10k in debt.

    We are considering moving to Southern Ireland and wanted to know if we could use our new address to give to the creditors and come to an arrangement for repayment. Because my husband will still be working in the North we will be still be entitled to tax credits and child benefit there. Will HMRC be able to trace me if I give these creditors my southern address?

    Also can you advise of any way we can reduce the payments as they are extremely high and will this effect the address in the North were we live as this is not our home but a relatives.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Jane,

      Moving south will not make the debts go away as you know, and it doesn’t really change or address the real issue, which is affording to service the accounts.

      Depending on who you owe and how much you owe in total, you could consider a Debt Management Plan or some other payment arrangement, which allows you to pay what you can afford each month. That would address affording the debts, and yes, you can do this from Southern Ireland or anywhere.

      Setting up a repayment plan like this is something you can do yourself, but it can be difficult to get all your creditors on the same page, a local CAB may be able to help you and there are also compnies such as Step Change http://www.stepchange.org that can help you as well for free.

      If for any reason your credit affects someone else whose is living at the same address, they can have a notice of disassociation placed on their credit file. If they are denied credit for any reason, they can also have the lender look more into the applicant’s situation to see any poor credit is not theirs.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  88. Faizan

    Hi my friend deliberately commit frauds on his credit cards like he puts fake money from someone’s else accounts in his credit card accounts and withdraw it then repeat it like 3-4 times on 3 credit cards and his personal account, he did had contract phones 8-10 as his credit history was good, he tried to put fake money in his buisness account but business account did not process it and the account was closed, it all happened 3 years ago, he did recieve emails from collection agencies but no one persuade him physically, now he wants to move back to UK on business visa and wants to open business account, he wants to clean his credit report which he does not know what will show, what do u think can he operate his business in uk like open a shop and while remaining on the shop can he return his all the debts or money made from fraud, as u have mentioned that it remains on credit report for six years and its been 3 years since he left uk, therefore can he open his business account in uk, he dont wanna get any further loan or contract in coming years, please advice???

    Reply
    • Jon

      Faizan,

      Committing fraud is a serious issue and one that may lead to criminal charges being made. From what you have stated it doesn’t sound like this has been done, however, your friend may wish to check to see if any criminal charges have been made, in addition to getting a copy of his credit report to see what accounts are there.

      As long as there is no criminal activity, and he qualifies for whatever Visa he needs to return to the UK, then he can return and set-up some form of repayment to the accounts.

      Let me know how he gets on.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  89. Shelley

    A friend of mine lives in Canada but went to London UK for work for one week. When he was at the airport Immigration stopped him and told him he had to pay %5 of his pay as commission from his pay check. There isn’t a bank there that he deals with and the check is in pounds. His bank in Canada has to have him in person to do transactions from his account. He took all he could on credit card advances and pawned his watch and lap top but is still short but they will not let him fly home to cash the check and send the rest he owes. What can he do? He has work here in Canada but doesn’t have any money left there to pay his bill. He is at the embassy there because of having no money. Help??

    Reply
    • Jon

      Shelly,

      I am unsure how to address this as I have never heard of this or known anyone to experience it.

      I have never heard of Immigration stopping anyone leaving the UK, asking about wages, and being told they have to pay a 5% commission???

      In most instances Immigration stops someone or speaks to them upon a return to a country, when they fly into a country.

      How did Immigration know about his pay cheque?

      He pawned his watch and laptop? Then he must have been allowed to leave the airport in order to do so.

      Why 5%, and how much was that? How much did he earn in the week?

      If he is being detained, where is he being held?

      He could try the Canadian Embassy for assistance, they may be able to help.

      I sense more is going on here then just a pay cheque.

      Get back to me and we can look more into this.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  90. roberts

    robert

    Hi one of my friend took 15 phone contracts and £70 overdraft and sold his bank account for £800 people to some dodgy people in london while on study visa in 2013. But, now he plans to go on enterprenuer visa. My query is can he manage to get visa.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Robert,

      Your friend may wish to review the application for the Visa, and also the process to obtain the Visa. If he has someone aiding him in doing this, he may wish to inquire with them as well.

      If any of the phone companies filed court claims against your friend, or any legal proceedings were made, this may cause him an issue in getting a Visa. While for many Visa’s the immigration process does not check credit histories, they do ask about any criminal activities.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  91. Ced

    Hi Jon,

    I went bankrupt in the UK at the beginning of the month. I now live in France at my parents free of charge. I have no income and no bank account. I am thinking of finding a part time summer job in France but I would need to open a bank account. Can French banks actually check that you are UK bankrupt ? And has the official receiver actual powers to find out about a newly opened French bank account and the fact I’ve found a job ?
    Thank you in advance for your help
    Ced

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ced,

      According to Experian, it would be difficult for an EU bank to get a UK credit history, unless they have branches in the UK as well: http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/questions/askjames225.html

      Regarding how an OR may know that you ave a job and a bank account, you are obligated during the period of your bankruptcy to notify the OR of any changes, such as moving or working. I doubt having a bank account is an issue, but if you begin working, the OR may wish to revisit your income and expenses to see if you could pay into the bankruptcy.

      As to if the OR can “find out” you are working, odds are probably not. However, working part-time depending on your expenses may not put you in a position to be required to pay into the bankruptcy anyway.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  92. Anonymous

    Hi Jon
    I need some advice and hope you can offer some. I have been living and working in Norway for 7 years. I got in to difficulties with my Taxes after I lost my job and couldn’t pay what I owe. Now the Norwegian Tax Office has said they will make me Bankrupt (and I’m even worried that they could jail me). I’ve decided I should therefore leave and return to the UK as I don’t have a clue what else to do and obviously scared and very worried. Would the potential Bankruptsy follow me to the UK and prevent me from opening a bank account and starting over again etc? I can’t get any advice from anyone here – they all just want more money!
    Thanks,
    Ian

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ian,

      I would suggest you speak to someone there in Norway to get advice as to what options you may have with the taxes you owe. You may be able to set-up a repayment scheme or workout a settlement depending on your circumstances.

      As Norway is not in the EU, meaning not a member state, if you were to be made bankrupt there, it would not follow you to the UK. However, if you were to be made bankrupt there and you are asked about any bankruptcies on any loan applications, that is up to you as to if you disclose it or not.

      Not knowing Norway’s insolvency and bankrutpcy laws, I cannot say as to if you can be made bankrupt there or not.

      If you seek advice there in Norway, let me know what you find out.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  93. Shar

    Hi Jon, I am from ROI and have lived and worked in UK for 6 years. For the last 4 I don’t pay the mortgage on my flat in Ireland, I sent the keys back to the bank a couple of years ago, I had a letter 2 years ago saying there was a court date for repossession and assumed that that had happened, now 4 years of non payment later I have received a letter from solicitors saying they are commencing legal proceeding on behalf of the bank for repossession , there is a debt of 207,000, I have just got myself back on my feet here and am getting married and just got a joint mortgage for a property here. I have moved since I have lived here so they obviously were able to find my new address , can I ignore the letters or should I contact them , I don’t care about the property being repossessed but worry about what I should do next. I can’t afford to pay the balance outstanding and the arrears are 38,564euro. Am I crazy to ignore the letter, I will be moving to my new house in a few weeks. Thank for taking the time to help us. Shar

    Reply
    • Jon

      Shar,

      Ignoring any collection letters and notices does not make the situation go away. You may want to speak to who is collecting the account and inquire as to what options you may have.

      If you have other debts here in the UK, and cannot come to some terms with the collections agency, you do have options here in the UK, and currrently can include any unsecured EU debts in either a debt management plan or IVA, or even bankruptcy here in the UK. What your options are will be dictated by what you can afford, and if you have any equity in your new property.

      You may wish to speak to an advisor in ROI as a few years back some new laws were passed to help those who owned property in ROI and the properties had been devalued. The banks/mortgage lenders were only allowed to collect the value of the property, even if the mortgage exceeded this value. You may want to look into this.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  94. James

    Hi Jon,
    I would like some advice.
    I have recently moved from South Africa to the UK but have left around £10k debt there. Would the bank in SA be able to chace me here anf have any legal standing.
    I have messaged to bank to tell them as soon as i am able to settle i will.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.
    James

    Reply
    • Jon

      James,

      I cannot provide any legal advice, however, it is doubtful the bank in SA has any authority to collect a debt that originated there in SA, here in the UK.

      If you can workout a settlement, that would be ideal.

      If the debt is given to an agent here in the UK to collect, that agent may be able to collect the debt here depending on the terms and conditions of the loan. If the debt is sold to a UK agency, it can be collected here.

      In either instance, you have the rights and insolvency laws here in the UK to deal with the debt(s).

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • James

        Hi jon,

        Thanks for the advise.
        I will have a look at the insolvency laws and see what the best action would be.

        I did look around at getting a loan here to pay off the SA loan or to transfer the loan but as i have been in the uk for more that three years could not qualify for a loan to do that.
        Also worked out cheaper to settle and transfer the loan to the UK.

        Kind regards,
        James

        Reply
  95. Shar

    Thank you Jon , I will. I have good credit rating and no debts in the uk and could probably afford a plan to repay a certain amount a month especially if it is only on the amount the property is worth now. I appreciate your help. I will look into this as I don’t want it to be sold to a debt collection agency here in the uk.
    Sharon

    Reply
  96. J

    So as it is not a crime to have a debt, you would be allowed to leave the UK again with that debt still in place?

    Reply
    • Jon

      J,

      Having debts alone is not a crime in the UK. If the debts were brought about by a criminal act, that is a different story. The debt itself is not a crime, but the crime is.

      You can leave the UK with debts here, and return with debts here.

      For a short period of time there were a few reports of people going on holiday and being detained when they tried to leave the UK as they owed TV licence fees/fines, just the fines, not for other debts.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  97. Nick D

    Hi Jon,
    I am a citizen of Australia and I was residing in the UK up until a few weeks ago.
    Unfortunately I had a legal situation here where I now have over £50K in debts in the UK.
    I am still a 49% director/Shareholder of a business that is UK registered.
    Will the UK debt follow me back home to Australia?
    Is it best if I declare myself insolvent in the UK?
    Will they come after the business that I am a shareholder of even though this is a personal debt?
    Thanks for your help/advise.
    Nick

    Reply
    • Jon

      Nick,

      In most instances UK debts cannot be collected in Australia unless the creditor has an agent there, or sells the debt onto a collection agency there.

      If the debts arose from a legal siuation that involved a crime, I cannot say as to if the debts could be collected there in Oz as you would need legal advice on this.

      Even though the debts are personal, any assets you may have in the UK,, could be taken if whom you owe either makes you bankrupt, or obtains the proper court orders, CCJ and an Enforcement Order.

      If the shares have a value, they are an asset.

      If you were to make yourself bankrupt here in the UK, the same would apply. Any assets here or anywhere in the world could be taken for the bankruptcy. As to how a Trustee may sell an asset in another country, they would either apply for authority, or request your assistance.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  98. Dave Price

    Hi, I had some outstanding CC and bank loans in UK.. In 2009 I moved to Abroad and never been back UK.. I have had no contact from any creditor since I been abroad .. Iv been here 7 years already ..

    Please tell me the status if I go back to live in UK..

    Regards D

    Reply
    • Jon

      Dave,

      The accounts will not pose a problem in returning to the UK.

      Depending on the exact time frame and if your creditors did attempt contact with you at any previous addresses, the accounts may be statute barred, or no longer owed. This can occur if you have no contact from a creditor for a period fo six (6) years.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  99. harry

    Although we are disputing it an ex landlord in Portugal is trying to get 10000 Euros from us. We were living in a rent to buy and were doing work with the consent of the owner and can prove that we had consent, but after 2 years the owner would not renew the rent to buy option as previously agreed between us so we left. Alot of work had been done on the house, all good, and for some reason our ex landlord is claiming it is deliberate damage and is likely to go to court to try to get compensation. If this goes against us and we did not pay and we moved to another European country would this still be a civil matter and not affect us when travelling in Europe (Portugal excepted)?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Harry,

      Sorry to hear what you attempted in good faith went pear shaped.

      From what you have stated, your situation is more of a legal matter, and I would hope you seek legal advice on it.

      If you lose the case and owe a debt, it will not stop you from travelling, but can be collected across EU countries.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  100. alfredo iannotta

    hi jon
    i would like some advice ..
    i bean in the UK since 1990 and still here in UK still working but since last 6 years my debit went up to £15.000 pound and at moment i`am are whit Management Plant whit Company call ( Step Change ) paying each month all my creditor.. got wife and 2 children under 10 years old i found very hard to live like that at moment working only to pay bill and debt .. if i decided to back in my country in UE of course not because i don`t like here it is because we want to start NEW life we worried if we move out of UK this debt will effect us on different country can you give us some advice … thank you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Alfredo,

      Leaving the UK and just leaving your debts behind is not a problem, you can do this. Depending on your creditors and where you move to would determine if the debts get chased in another country or sold to a collction agency in another country.

      If you move outside the EU, and depending on what country you move to, there MAY be less of a chance of being chased in that country for the accounts.

      Have you discussed this with the company handling your debt management plan?

      If your debts are under £20,000, and you have no assets, you may be able to do a Debt Relief Order, which is similar to bankruptcy. This way the accounts are resolved/discharged, and you no longer owe them. This way you can resolve the issue and not worry later.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  101. Polo

    Hi, I leave in the UK, lost my job 2 months ago. I am going back home in italy next month as I am broke. My problem I won’t be able to pay my remaining 6 month phone contract, a 600 debt to currys as I took a financement with them for a laptop, and a 300£ water bill. I really can’t pay as no more cash. All my other debts have been paid. What are the risk of leaving this debt in the UK?

    I am very worried. ..

    Reply
    • Jon

      Polo,

      You can leave the UK, and leave the debts behind, that isn’t an issue.

      As to if the accounts will be chased and or attempted to be collected in Italy is anyone’s guess.

      If you are contacted there by a local collection agency, you can deal with the accounts at that time. Also if your finances improve later on, you can set-up a repayment plan when you can afford it.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  102. Prince

    Hi, I left UK in Sept 2014 and I have debt of £10K. Now I am interested to apply Canadian immigration. Does it create any problem to obtain immigration and my police certificate shows any debt?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Prince,

      In most instances having debt is not a crime and does not show up on a criminlal record check. If the debt originated from a crime, only the crime would show on the police check.

      Regarding Canadian immigration or Visa’s, you may wish to inquire with the person or firm aiding you in obtaining the Visa, and also Canada’s immigration service.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  103. Mark

    Hi.I lived uk 14 years.I left 2 years ago.And few credit cards.I need to come back to uk now.Do you think any problem for me? Do you think can they arrested me in airport.THANK YOU.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Mark,

      Just for debts and leaving debt in the UK, you will not be arrested upon returning to the UK.

      Depending on what debts you left in the UK, and your return, your creditors may try to locate you and collect the accounts, but you will not be arrested.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  104. Andy

    im british and have been living and working in the Netherlands for the past 16 years. I have lost my job and will return to the uk. My question is, I will leave behind a debt of €22000. Will the bank have any authority to collect this money from me in the uk? Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Jon

      Andy,

      Currently there are rules in place to allow debts/accounts to be collected across EU borders, as to if your creditors will attempt to collect the accounts in the UK, I cannot say.

      Have you discussed your situation with those you owe as to what options they may have to offer?

      If you cannot set-up a repayment plan, then you cannot. You can include EU debts in any of the forms of insolvency here in the UK.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  105. Mark

    Credit cards about £16.000.I am very worrying.And other Question if I didint come back to uk ün 2 years time,can I still use my british citizinship and my british passport?
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Mark,

      Having debt in the UK and leaving debt in the UK is not going to affect your citizenship here in the UK or your passport.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  106. Adam Wilson

    Hello,

    Hoping you can help me as you seem extremely helpful.

    I lived in Spain between 2012 and 2014 – in 2015 ( a year after) I was told that I had not paid 2 months of a Vodafone bill so i owed 72 euros.

    I paid this immediately but I am worried if this was communicated to the authorities. I have not been contacted, yet this might be due to the fact that I moved back to England. As it is paid I know I should be fine, yet they could have taken action prior to my payment.

    Many thanks,

    Adam

    Reply
    • Jon

      Adam,

      I am unsure what authorities you may be referring to. It is not a crime to have missed a couple of mobile payments, and you have paid them.

      If anyone were to contact you, and it is highly unlikely anyone will, you can show what proof you have that you paid the payments.

      The late payments may have been reported to a credit agency in the EU, but that is not going to affect you here in the UK.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  107. Adam

    Thanks for the reply Jon!

    I mainly meant the Spanish authorities. I was worried that if I take a holiday in Spain I would be stopped at security. I have now paid the phone bills and the phone company say there was no problem – but as it was a year after the bills were due I dint know if this would have caused a debt agency to take court action? Would that be likely?

    Thanks again for the help.

    Adam

    Reply
    • Jon

      Adam,

      To my knowledge going to Spain is not going to be a problem and you will not be stopped just for paying a late phone bill.

      Have a nice time.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Adam

        Thanks for your help with this one Jon.

        Speaking to the phone company, they are satisfied with the fact that I now paid them. They say they DID contact a debt collector but have now informed them of my payment. Vodafone also claim to have owned the debt.

        Does this therefore mean I can’t possibly owe money to the debt collector now? Since i paid the creditor.

        Thanks

        Adam

        Reply
        • Jon

          Adam,

          That is correct.

          Since you paid the bill, you do not owe the debt collection agency.

          Since Vodaphone contacting the collection agency making them aware you have paid, they should stop contacting you.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  108. MARTIN HUGHES

    Good day!

    My wife and I have recently separated. (We live in the UK). It’s all very amicable. Except when it isn’t. Which is a lot.
    But seriously, we do remain friends.

    Some months ago she renewed contact with an old school friend via Facebook (the Devil’s telephone) and she went to visit him in the USA, where he now lives, for a couple of weeks. She has returned full of the joys of love and I understand that he feels the same way.

    She wants to move to the US and I think that they do both understand the difficulties which they will have to overcome in any case in order for that to be able to happen.

    One thing has occurred to me which may prove an obstacle. I haven’t mentioned it to her because I don’t want to burst her bubble in case it is viewed as sour grapes on my part. (It isn’t. I truly want for her to be happy.)

    Quite a few years ago she went on holiday to Florida with her sister. When she returned she told me that she had “something to tell me.”

    The something was that she had bought a timeshare!

    Well, you can imagine how I laughed, shook my head and said what a silly girl she was.

    This timeshare was like a whole 2nd mortgage! – The maintenance fees alone were eye-watering. In the end, she simply couldn’t keep it up.

    At the beginning of May this year, the timeshare company wrote to her and informed her that they had imposed a lien on the property. Ordinarily this wouldn’t have been a major issue but (and this, at last, is my question): Presumably this lien will be a matter of public record. Is this likely to have any effect upon her entering the US on a 2 year work visa? And, similarly, if she subsequently wishes to apply for citizenship thereafter?

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

    Martin

    Reply
    • Jon

      Martin,

      I understand the concerns you have for your estranged wife and agree with you regarding Facebook. A whole new realm of mischief.

      If a lien was filed against her for the timeshare, it will show on a credit history in the public records section of a credit report there in the states. If there is not enough information to compile a credit history for here there in the states, and I believe unless she has lived there and paid taxes, there will not be enough information, she will not have a credit history to check, but the lien would still be on file at the courts.

      With that being said, I would venture the timeshare company may have inquired as to her credit at some point, so that may have created a credit file, but it would be missing a lot of information, such as current address in the UK, she has no social security number (I presume), etc.

      As to if the lien will cause her problems in moving to the states, she may wish to inquire with who is helping her with the Visa to live there.

      Immigration laws change all the time, and currently to my knowledge credit issues are not a problem.

      The real issue may be once she is living and working in the US, the timeshare people may wish to enforce their rights to collect any monies owed them. It is doubtful any repossession or sale will payoff what she may be contracted to pay in full.

      If she is working, the loan company could seek to get a judgement, attach wages, etc.

      Let me know how this goes as she moves forward.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • MARTIN HUGHES

        Thank you for that Jon. Appreciated. I think she intends to pay off the management fees, which amount to about two or three thousand dollars, and which were the subject of the lien in the first place. No doubt the fact that a lien was levied in the first place will still be recorded although it will also show as having been satisfied. This may go some way to addressing any issues and hopefully it won’t be a bar, in itself, to her entering the US.

        There will still be other inevitable hurdles to cross but at least its sounds as though this won’t be one of them.

        I’ll certainly keep you informed of any developments and thank you again for your advice.

        Best,

        Martin

        Reply
  109. Laz

    Hi, I have like £120k debt in the UK, but unfortunatly i had to go back to my country (EU) for some reason, and I cant pay the debt back from here. I dont think that I will go back to the UK for years. What could happen to me? Would they find me there? UK is leaving the EU so i think it will be even harder to contact me.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Laz,

      Currently there are agreements in place for UK debts to be collected in the EU. The UK may have voted to leave the EU, but they have not done so yet. Once the formal process is begun, by invoking Article 50, it will take two years.

      So you cannot really count on that right now.

      As to if your creditors will chase you for the debt in the EU, I cannot say. I would venture due to the amount you owe, the odds are high they will.

      Are you working at all?

      Have you looked into repayment schemes, even if it is just a token payment plan?

      You also could consider bankruptcy, however, if you are not in the UK, this can be difficult, and you may need to use the insolvency laws in the country you now reside.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  110. Sachin

    Hi Jon, I have a question..hope you would be able to help me out with this.

    Few months ago, I had a serious accident in Australia (I had a break-up and wanted to end my life…sadly I didn’t). I was admitted to a public hospital,at that time I was an overseas visitor in the country and did not have any private health insurance (as i was not a citizen, medicare would not cover me). Now I am worried about the costs and would the hospital chase me for money overseas?
    Cheers

    Reply
    • Jon

      Sachin,

      While I am sorry to hear of your financial concerns, I am glad your long-term attempt at a short-term problem did not work out.

      How much do you owe in medical bills?

      I cannot say as to if the hospital will chase you for the bill(s). They may not.

      It can depend on how much you owe, what country did you return to (UK?), and other factors.

      Can you afford to repay anything each month?

      If you are in the UK you can include those bills in with any other debts you may have in some of the repayment schemes we have here.

      And while i know the bills can be a source of concern. getting yourself in a better place and keeping yourself healthy should be a priority.

      Let me know, and if you are contacted by the hospital or any collection agencies, we can address it at that time as well.

      Take care,

      Jon

      Reply
  111. danna Durham

    I have a friend from England doing a job in South Africa, he became ill and was taken to a private hospital for emergency treatment, can that hospital hold his passport as collateral for the hospital bill.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Danna,

      That may be a question to ask someone there in SA who has a legal background.

      To my knowledge, no, your passport is not held for any reason except in instances of being deported or for possible crimes, not for owing a bill.

      In most cases a hospital or doctor will treat you, and then bill you after the treatment, allowing a period of time for the bill to be paid.

      Your passport is never involved.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  112. Ex pat in Spain

    I am a UK citizen currently residing in Spain. I have a company here but with the doom and gloom around Europe at the moment I am very worried we may be forced to close within the next 6 months. We have back up plans to return to the UK and another small business we can pretty much start straight away with savings we have to try and get going again.

    We owe nothing in Spain but have tax payments due in October, December and April next year for around 4,500€ each on this years earnings followed by around 10,000€ this time next year.

    We could keep accounts here open and pay these but that would be a severe drain on what we currently have and really hinder any move back to the UK – I dont want to arrive there penniless!

    We have no plans to not pay – I don´t want to burn any bridges as things may not be so bad in the future and we would like to keep our options open but the schedule of tax payments will be very onerous given that we will no longer be earning anything.

    Is my understanding correct that we could return to the UK and then set up a repayment plan in the UK for any defaults in another EU country?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi,

      Yes, you can return to the UK and include any debts in the EU in a repayment scheme here in the UK.

      Depending on what debts you have, and the nature of the taxes owed, will determine what repayment options are available to you.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  113. Nijas

    Hi Jon. . Nijas here..

    Well I took a personal loan from citibank of 6k bhd 6 months back…I had paid first 4 month payments on time…later due lack of business in the company where I worked was going down without business and no salaries..so I had to quit the job and left to india and searching for a good offer…I would like to know is t possible me to travel back to gulf countries…and the citibank officers had called me to pay at least one installment but I was out of money for three months…but they didn’t accept and they told they forward my file to lawyer there…also I pleased the credit officers I shall pay once I get job..with 2 installments..now I belive they have forwarded my file to lawyer….can u pls advice me what is the best solution to sort out…should I contact or send some personal letter to the bank…..

    Reply
    • Jon

      Nijas,

      I understand your concerns with returning and also your willingness to repay the loan.

      Where exactly did you take out the loan, what country?

      You first need to know the status of the loan, was it sent to a legal representative, was a warrant issued by the police?

      The answers to these questions will determne should you return to the country or not.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  114. Anna Maria

    Hello Jon…I lived in Italy for many years, I am an American Citizen. I had a small business,in Italy… which in the end was not doing well, at all. During the time i was there, my business incurred a debt of about 80,000 Euros, with 2 banks. I left the country 10 years ago, and now am meaning to go back to visit. I still cannot pay this debt back, and i was wondering if I would be stopped at the Italian border. Thanks for this wonderful column!!

    Reply
    • Jon

      Anna,

      You’re welcome.

      Just for debts alone you would not be stopped going back to Italy. If there had been any criminal charges, then there may be an issue, but not for just owing money.

      Have you had any contact with the banks?

      Since it has been 10 years, those accounts have probably long been written off.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Anna Maria

        Jon, thanks so much for taking the time for replying; it meant so much to me. As to your question, if i had any contact with the banks, no, i have not. It’s funny, i had always been under the impression, that, in Italy, if one was to re-enter the country, after non-payments to a bank, one was going to jail! Thankyou for putting me at ease.

        Reply
  115. Laura

    Hi Jon
    My husband and I lived in Germany for over 5 years and had a couple of bank loans and overdraft…total around €12,000 all to the same bank. Unfortunately my husband fell into a deep depression a few months ago and desperately wanted to return to his home country, Portugal. He left his job which meant he was not entitled to benefits either there or here. Since we have been here we have had absolutely no income. We used what we had left of our overdraft and have had to rely on the kindness of my family to help us through. He has finally started work, but with a very low wage..€850 per month,which will be difficult to manage on. I’m not sure I will be able to find a job very soon as I don’t speak the language and I am 61 years old….
    We have not yet contacted the bank as we have only defaulted on the last couple of payments. Are banks willing to lower payments? But in the short term It is not going to be easy to pay anything, I don’t want to make a promise that is impossible for us to keep up. How rigorous are the Germans about chasing debt in another country? What would you suggest?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Laura,

      I understand your concerns and you bring up some good questions, unfortunately, I cannot really state as to if the banks in Germany may accept token payments for a period of time or not.

      And as to if they may pursue you in Portugal for the accounts, again I cannot say with certainty as to if they will or will not.

      My advice would be to speak to an adviser in Germany as to what they feel the outcome may be.

      You can also speak to the banks you owe to see what options they may be able to offer.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  116. Laura

    Many thanks for your quick reply Jon 🙂
    I think we will try to contact the bank to see what they say…..they can’t get blood from a stone!

    Reply
  117. Daniel

    My father worked in qatar for 8 years, last year he had to loan for about 1M riyal. Unfortunately, he lost his job and there are still remaining half of the debt needed to get paid. His company wouldnt give him a “release paper” because their company doesnt give that “release paper” my father doesnt have any choice but to return here in the philippines. Will the bank in qatar haunt him or sell his “debt” whatsoever. Sorry this is a bit diff from what i’ve read in the comment section and forgive me for my poor english. Thank you! Im really worried for my father 🙁

    Reply
    • Jon

      Daniel,

      I cannot say as to if the bank in Qatar will chase your father for the debt or not. There is no way to second guess these matters.

      Has he had any contact with the bank?

      Does the bank know your father has moved?

      Staying in contact with them is one way of knowing what they may be considering as to collecting the account.

      Let me know as your father finds out more.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  118. Charlotte

    Dear Jon,

    Firstly to commend you on the great work you’re doing here. I have been reading through some of the posts and you are being so helpful. Time for me to pick your brain on the following.

    I am a Dutch citizen, married to a British citizen and living in the UK. We lived in Spain for many years but left in 2008 due to the recession and both of us losing our jobs. At the time of leaving we weren’t yet married and I had a personal loan with about €14.000 outstanding and a credit card of roughly €6k. We first moved to Holland and I kept the repayments up as best I could. After about 18 months we moved on to the UK where we have been ever since. Due to personal circumstances I just couldn’t keep up the repayments and after missing about 3 in 2010 the bank contacted me via email to say they would start legal proceedings. That is the last I have ever heard of it. Fast forward 6 years and we now own a property in the UK, are married and have had 3 kids. We are very seriously considering moving back to Spain in about a years time and are going over at the end of the month with the kids to do a little recce. Suddenly this whole debt situation dawned on me and I am now petrified to get arrested at the airport or something and the kids would be traumatised for life!!
    Also, when we lived in Spain we were self employed but found it very complicated to work out all the tax payments etc. I am trying to find out at the moment, but we could potentially owe some money to the tax authorities too. So here are my questions:
    1. first and foremost, will I be in any danger of being flagged at the airport when we go in a couple of weeks?
    2. When we do move back to Spain; we will rent our property back in the UK. Would going back and opening bank accounts / starting jobs ‘activate’ the whole debt collecting / court proceedings machine and if so; could they try and go after our property back in the UK? It is in both our names and the debt is from before we were married so just mine. I am not working at the moment so unless I can get a payment plan with very low instalments, I won’t be able to meet the payments; could I declare bankruptcy in Spain without it affecting our house in the UK?
    4. Lastly, someone told me once that whilst owing a bank money isn’t a criminal offence, owing tax is. Is this true? Ie. If it turns out we do owe income tax or national insurance; can we be flagged for this when we travel for our holiday?
    I really appreciate your help as I am worrying myself sick here!
    Thank you so much in advance and apologies for the essay; just trying to give you as much info as possible.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Charlotte,

      Since some of your questions seem to be of a legal nature, I would advise you speak to a solicitor or someone trained in legal issues in Spain.

      Just for owing money you will not be stopped entering Spain, or even living there.

      You need to find out the statute if limitattions on owing debts in Spain. As it has been quite a few years, the accounts may have been written off.

      Taxes are a different form of debt, but again, due to the time frame, may have been written off. To my knowledge it is not a crime in Spain to owe taxes. However, there have been some tax law changes a few years back that you may wish to look into, owning property in the UK and living in Spain is one.

      You are correct that by moving back to Spain, and opening bank accounts, and working, etc, if the debts have not been written off, could bring about the collection process again.

      I do not know the bankruptcy laws in Spain. You can include any EU debts in a UK bankruptcy or other form of insolvency as long as you show that the UK is your centre of interest. However, in bankruptcy in the UK, your property may be at risk.

      As to if your property in the UK is safe, that depends on many factors, such as if whom you owe money to in Spain begins any proceedings against you in the UK, if any Spanish legal proceedings have authority in the UK, etc.

      You need to know the status of the accounts in question.

      Travelling and moving to Spain should not be a problem, but by living there you could begin the collection process again if the accounts have not been written off.

      Let me know what you find out.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  119. John Smith of course !!

    Hi, great website !! Hopefully an easy one for you : I am a UK citizen and left the UK about 6 years ago to live in Thailand. I have about £50,000 in UK borrowing – I will never go and live in the UK again. Borrowing as follows :

    1) Overdraft Lloyds Bank – £9,000
    2) Personal Loan Lloyds Bank – £9,000
    3) Credit card Lloyds Bank – £6,000
    4) Tesco Bank Loan £23000
    5. Virgin credit card £6000

    So total borrowing just over £50,000

    I own a house in the UK (with a Barclays mortgage) which is currently rented out and no other assets in the UK.

    I have just lost my job so have decided I have to sell the house in the UK. . I initially thought I would pay back the £50,000 borrowing above (so clear all the debts) with the equity from the sale of the house. But a friend just advised me to take the equity – stick it in a bank/or buy a flat in Thailand and leave the debts in the UK unpaid.. He said I would get ccj’s recorded against me in the UK, but there is no way they will or will chase me to Thailand for repayment of the £50,000.

    Just wondered if he is right ?? He tells me loads of people have done the same and all the debts will be written off after about 6 years. As I will never live in the UK again or ever want any UK borrowing again he said I am mad to pay the £50,000 back. (He hates banks) !!!

    Thanks in advance for any reply.

    John

    Reply
    • Jon

      John,

      I understand your friend’s thinking and logic, however, you may be on a slippery slope.

      First, if you have had no contact from a creditor for a period of six (6) years a debt can be statute barred, or no longer owed.

      I am doubtful this is the case for you as if you owned property, and the banks had this as your address, they probably made attempts over the years to contact you.

      Have you had any contact from any of your creditors, and if so, when?

      Do you know of any CCJ’s being issued against you?

      If a creditor knows you own property, especially if it has equity, which from what you have stated it does, they may have obtained a CCJ, and then got it enforced with a Charging Order against the property. When you sell the property, the order will get paid.

      You need to confirm if this has occurred or not.

      If the property is clear of any charging orders or liens, except the mortgage, in theory yes, you could sell the house and take the money and not pay anyone.

      However, if the accounts have not been written off or statute barred, and you wanted to resolve the issue by going bankrupt, then your property comes into play as it has equity. And if the amount of equity you have exceeds your £50K of debt, then you are technically not insolvent.

      As to if your friend’s thoughts on “there is no way they will or will chase me to Thailand for repayment of the £50,000” if your creditors have not contacted you, or know your whereabouts in six years, odds are they are not going to start now.

      How much equity in the property do you have?

      Get back to me once you research if there are any CCJ’s or orders against you or the property, and if the accounts have been written of, and we can look more at this.

      As you are not working, depending on exactly how much you net on the sale of the house, you may be able to settle the debts for less than what is owed.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • john smith of course

        Hi Jon, thanks very much for the reply. I am really sorry as I did not make myself clear. All the unsecured debts I have in the UK totaling about £50k are not in arrears at the moment. My mortgage is not in arrears either. All the payments on everything are up to date, and always have been. I have a perfect credit rating all my life. (I am now 49 years old)
        But, but I have just lost my job in Thailand, so will be hitting a problem very soon (a few days until my Bank – Lloyds, start bouncing payments to my credit card companies and mortgage company)

        I phoned my Bank (Lloyds) and they were totally unsympathetic. I asked if they could consolidate my personal loan, credit card and overdraft with them (about £24,000) and spread the debt over a longer period, and they refused.

        I phoned my mortgage company (Barclays)and asked if they could put the £50,000 unsecured borrowing on top of the mortgage on a secured basis and they said ‘No’

        I contacted several other UK lenders and they all refused to help, because I am living in Thailand and my only income now is the rental income from my house in the UK.

        My house is worth about £350,000 and the mortgage is £200,000. My loans/credit are about £50,000 and I owe my mum £50,000. After paying the fees for selling the house (about £10,000) in theory I could sell the house and pay off everything and I would be left with about £40,000 and have no debts at all. But £40,000 will buy me nothing in Thailand.

        I understand that if I default on the unsecured debt while I still have the house, then ccj’s will be registered and the companies will get their money back when I do sell the house. So I know I cannot default before I sell the house..

        So friend says I should sell the house (quickly) before I start getting ccj’s etc and bank the money in Thailand (about £90,000) and give the companies nothing… he says they deserve it for not helping me and there is nothing they can do as I will have no assets in the UK and they may try to chase me to Thailand, but they will fail..

        He says I may not be able to get a mortgage or any credit in the UK again, but I will never live in the UK again, so this does not bother me at all.

        I hope this is clearer and would be really keen to hear your thoughts.

        Kindest regards

        John

        Reply
        • Jon

          John,

          Thanks for the additional information, it does make things clearer.

          Again, your friend in theory, is correct, however, no one can predict the future as to if any of your creditors here would chase you there or sell the debt(s) onward.

          You do have a window of time, the timebetween when you default (miss payments), and any CCJ’s may or may not be registered, and you sell the house. Depending on the market, selling price, etc, you will probably sell the property before your creditors look to obtain a CCJ and any enforecement orders.

          Again, once the accounts are in default settling them for less than what is owed is an option, even though you are technically not insolvent.

          I cannot advise on how to go about this as it involves non-disclosures, and possibly preferring your mum as a creditor.

          Yours is a decision of ethics and conscious.

          Again as I said, a slippery slope.

          I wish you the best.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
          • john smith of course

            Hi Jon, thanks again for the reply. I will give it some thought. I think I will end up deciding to give the clowns at Lloyds Bank some of their money back. This Bank :

            1. Sold me a payment protection plan when they shouldn’t have – I was self employed and not eligible for it.
            2 Sold me an endowment policy telling me it would pay off my mortgage early – it failed to reach 75% of the mortgage debt on maturity.
            3. Recommended a fixed interest rate mortgage and when interest rates when down – charged me a huge redemption fee to go on to their variable rate.
            4. Reduced my agreed overdraft limit without prior warning claiming ‘I was not using the full amount of the facility’ and they ‘have to be a responsible lender.’
            5. Were bailed out by the UK tax payer because of their own greed.
            6 Refused to help me by consolidating my debts /securing them against my house. This way they would have guaranteed to get all their money back.

            So I agree with you it is a case of ethics. Normally I am a very honest man. But considering the above, do you think THEY have any ethics ?

  120. James Gibson

    Hi Jon,
    I lived in the UK for 4 years and returned to Australia in 2014. I received a letter from HMRC in May of this year stating I owe over £14k in Corporations Tax (I worked under a LTD Co. whilst in the UK as many expats do). I disagree with claim and have notified HMRC of their error. I have not heard back as yet, but given my response was 2 months ago, I expect to hear back from them soon. If they stand by their claim, what rights do they have in demanding this payment and what right do I have in continuing to disagree with this demand and not paying this claim? Can they hand this debt over to an Australian agent to action on their behalf and if so, am I compelled to enter into any agreement with this potential 3rd party to repay? To be honest I’m still in shock as to HMRCs claim and am at a point where I just don’t know what to do should they stand by this debt claim!! Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Jon

      James,

      I can understand your shock, and HMRC does make errors as we know.

      HMRC is also not the quickest moving arm of the government as well. You need to follow-up with them on a regular basis as to the status of the taxes. If you can provide any documentation as to not owing the taxes, sending copies to them will help as well.

      If HMRC stands by their claim and you appeal and lose, I cannot say with certainty as to if they may attempt to collect the debt there in Australia. They have no authority to collect the taxes there, they can make threats, but that is about it.

      If they sell the debt onto a collection agency there, then the debt can be collected there, and all the rules and laws of collection, and for you as a debtor are in effect.

      Let me know how you get on with disputing the claim.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  121. Lhey

    A friend of mine went to canada last month and left debt in kuwait. The garrantor asked him to pay the money he lend if not he will complain to the canadian rmbassy in kuwait. What will happen to my friend. He was in canada now ang cant stop worrying.

    Need your help asap..

    Thankz..

    Lhey

    Reply
    • Jon

      Lhey,

      Was the loan your friend had in Kuwait a guaranted loan? Or is it just the bank/lender making the threats?

      Whom ever it is, contacting the embassy is not going to do anything, embassies do not get involved in civil matters or matters involving accounts or debt. If a crime was committed, then they may get involved if the police are handling the matter.

      Embassies provide diplomatic services.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  122. Paul James

    Hi, I am a UK citizen living in Asia permanently. I have a couple of ccj’s in the UK totaling £30,000. I have no assets or income in the UK. My question is ; Can a creditor receive any of the benefits I will receive from my UK state pension or a UK company pension. I am aged 50 so will not be receiving any benefits for 10-15 years.

    Many thanks. I am hoping the answer is that pension benefits are somehow protected !

    Paul

    Reply
    • Jon

      Paul,

      To my knowledge most pensions and all benefits are protected from creditors and also in forms of insolvency, such as bankruptcy.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  123. luciano

    hi jon i live in the uk now for 5 years and have some debt in europe i was repaying my debts trough a lawer trough colective debt arrangement me and my ex wife where both in this arrangement but i was working and paying most of it and she dident pay back anything afther 3 years i was having enoff of it and left my country now recently i recieved a letter from the bank that they want the outstanding balance from me can they do anything except when they contact a uk debt collector to chase me can i be signed of of debt in the eu or will i be able to have a arrangement to repay i moved recently so they dont know where i am at the moment

    Reply
    • Jon

      Luciano,

      You are correct that if the debt is passed onto a collection agency here in the UK the debts can be collected in accord with the laws here, but there are also rules allowing UK debts to be collected in the EU and EU debts can in some instances be collected here in the UK.

      Can you afford to set-up any repayment plan?

      As you live here in the UK now, you could include the accounts in a repayment scheme here in the UK. You could also look at including the accounts in a UK bankruptcy as well. You would need to get advice as to if bankruptcy is the best option, especially if you own any property or other assets.

      How much in total do you owe, and what type of accounts are they?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  124. luciano

    hi jon thank you for taking the time to review my questions
    i can’t afford at the moment to repay
    and indead i have a property here on my name and my misses we are not married so my question is can they claim my house
    the debt is a personal loan from a bank and is 25000€
    the letter they sended was to start a repayment but as i said before i cant at the moment what can they do if i dont answer and also they dont know where i am at the moment so dont really know what to do my thought was they would go to my ex and claim it with her because she still lives there but the arrangement is afther 7 year they dismiss you from your debt but because i ran away they probably chase me now if i claim bankruptcy can i keep my house then ? i dont really know how it works
    kind regards luciano

    Reply
    • Jon

      Luciano,

      Thanks for the additional information.

      First, if your ex is on the loan with you, then yes she is just as responsible for the account. As to if they will chase her for payment, I cannot say, but if they know her whereabouts, I would think they would.

      Regarding your house here in the UK, if the bank or lender gets a CCJ here in the UK and looks to enforce it with a Charging Order, or they attempt to make you bankrupt here, your portion of any equity in the property could be at risk.

      Is there any equity in the property?

      Your partner’s share of any equity is hers, and they cannot take that. In bankruptcy they can allow her to buy out your share of any equity as well.

      That is if it even reaches that point, if they were to make you bankrupt.

      If you cannot afford to pay anything, then you cannot afford to pay. You could wait and see what the bank may do.

      Do you have any other debts here in the UK?

      Are you paying them?

      If you have other debts and are working, you could look into an IVA as a solution.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  125. luciano

    hi jon thanks for your advice
    i just gone type short answers inorder not to make it not complicated to read because my english wrighting isent the best my ex was on the loan also thats a plus on my side because they know where she is
    i dont have any debts in the uk exept the loan on my house and thats 50% and we are paying them perfectly i dont have any income my partner pays all the bills i have a question what if i go to a solicitor and poud my share of the house on my children then they cant touch my house i guess or am i wrong ? i would also like to thank you for all your help because its a blessing having you to ask all my questions that are keeping me awake
    just so you know the loan whe have is on my name and my misses here in the uk and we are not married so i was thinking they cant take the house thats my only worrie
    the equite thing i dont understand but i guess it means share in the house ?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Luciano,

      The only way a creditor can even get at your house is if they make you bankrupt, or they obtain a CCJ, and then enforce it with a Charging Order.

      If they were to get a Charging Order, it would be secured against the property to be paid when the house is sold or remortgaged.

      If a creditor were to make you bakrupt, only your portion of any equity in the property is considered for the bankruptcy, and your partner can be given the opportunity to buy-out that equity to pay into the bankruptcy.

      Transferring the property is an option, but if you do this and then are made bankrupt, it may look like you were trying to hide an asset.

      For it to get to the stage where a collector/creditor goes after your house takes time. And if there is no equity in the property, then there is nothig for them to get.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • luciano

        thank you jon for all of your time and i know now what to do i cant thank you enoff for your explenation and wish you all the best you deserve a statue kind regards luciano

        Reply
  126. Filip

    i would like to ask if i have left a dept 12k with a bank and i will leave the country but stay in eu , can creditors find me ? and if so what they will do ? how they can make me pay ?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Filip,

      Is the debt in question here in the UK?

      If you leave a debt here in the UK and move to the EU, it is possible that the bank/lender in question may attempt to locate you and try to collect the account.

      As to if they will, and what they may attempt to do, I cannot really say. If they pass the account on to a collection agncy in the country you move to, it can be collected in accord with that country’s laws, which many European countries have harsher insolvency laws then we o here in the EU.

      It is also possible the bank or lender may not locate you when you move, however, there are many ways to trace someone’s whereabouts.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  127. John Heavens

    Dear Jon,

    You are providing a much needed and valued service, it seems; well done!!! May I also benefit from your advice?

    I am a UK citizen who has moved permanently to France leaving a personal loan of around £5,000 and a credit card debt of around £3,000. It seems unlikely, given the level of wages here, that I shall be able to maintain my repayments over the long term and am worried about the consequences of defaulting.

    Can you therefore direct me as to whether the two creditors – HSBC and MBNA – would sell on my debts to a third party collection agency and if so, what legal action can they take against me here? Both companies are also present in France; would these French-based counterparts be likely to take this collection responsibility on?

    Although I have found work and made a new start in the French system, my income is quite pitiful and really only enough to pay my outgoings. As I am 53, the chances of my prospects improving are limited. However, I am incredibly fortunate in that I live with my partner who is a French citizen and who has her own material assets. We would like to marry but I am very concerned that the creditors or any collection agency would pursue her for payment of my debts. Incidentally, I have no assets whatsoever!

    Thank you so much in advance for any light you light shed on this.

    John

    Reply
    • Jon

      John,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I looking at your situation you do have a couple of options.

      One of those options is to set-up a debt management plan with a third party debt management service here in the UK, such as Step Change. They do this for free as well. You then make payments of what you can afford each month.

      While not a formal arrangement, the majority of creditors will stop any collection activity against you, which means the accounts should not be sold on or placed out to a collection agency there in France.

      Since you are outside the UK, a DRO/Debt Relief Order is not possible, unless you returned to the UK to live. Should you return to the UK and can show you live, work, pay taxes, etc here, you could then consider DRO.

      As to if you do nothing and the accounts are sold or transferred to a collection agency or agent for the banks, I cannot second guess this. If this were to occur, then the laws there in France would be the basis to collect the accounts.

      I do not know if French laws allow a spouse to become liable for a debt, or if their assets become involved. You would need to seek legal advice there on this matter.

      You could also look into insolvency options in France. Here in the UK you can include EU debts in any form of insolvency, France may have the same option of including UK debts in an insolvency proceeding there.

      Let me know how you get on.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • John Heavens

        Thank you so much, Jon. I will try Step Change when the necessity arises, as you suggest, and I will certainly keep you posted.

        Reply
  128. Joyce

    Dear Jon,

    Not sure if this is the right place to ask this, bust just trying my luck. 🙂

    I was studying in US in the 90’s and left US back to my home country in year 2001 after graduation. I remember I left behind some credit card debts that I was unable to repay at that moment, I can’t really recall the exact amount though since it has been 15 years, I remember it wasn’t a lot probably a few thousand USD.

    So, I am just wondering if it would cause any issues for me to enter US as a tourist now? I need a visa to enter US and I just worried that it would affect my tourist visa application as well as entering US as a tourist.

    Thank you so much in advance for any light you light shed on this.

    Regards, Joyce

    Reply
    • Jon

      Joyce,

      To my knowledge there is no issue with leaving debt behind in the US and then travelling back as a tourist.

      If you are just completing the ESTA form to enter as a tourist, last time I completed one of these 5 months ago, there were no financial questions at all.

      I would venture after all this time that the accounts have long since been charged off.

      Enjoy your trip.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  129. ali hayat

    Dear jhon,

    i have left uk one year ago and i had a bank account with Barclays. i did online shopping from my Barclays debit card in India and my account went over draft almost 200 Pounds and im not going to uk again .

    so my question is, can UK debt collectors reach here to get back thier money ?

    Thanks…

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ali,

      Is the £200 your only debt in the UK?

      Can you afford to repay the overdraft?

      The only way a UK bank could collect the account is to pass it on to a collection agency there where you now live. Chances are if all you owe is £200, it is not worth it for them to do this.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • ali hayat

        Thanks john for reply..

        yes I only owe £200, and i wont be able to pay them back.

        So they might close my account and put me in black list in thier document ?

        Reply
        • Jon

          Ali,

          Yes, they will probably close the account and possibly report it to the credit bureaus.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  130. Michelle Russell

    Hi Jon,

    I am not sure if you can help me at all, my case is this, I live in France and have done some work for a couple who live in England but own a house in France. The work was done is 3 stages, they paid up front for materials and then paid for hours, but on the last stage, we paid for materials and all work was completed, they will now not pay for the last stage, can I instruct a debt collection agency to act on my behalf to recover the debt for work done in France.

    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Michelle,

      Your question is really more of a legal nature and as such you may wish to seek legal advice there in France. Since everything was done in France, you may be bound by French laws, and also if you have a contract or not.

      If the couple in question live in England it may complicate matters, but that doesn’t mean you may not be able to collect what is owed.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  131. Nicole

    Hello Jon,

    A friend of mine is moving back to the US who has been in the UK for 10 years and now on benefits. He’s got good credit and has never been late on a payment but things have changed and will no longer be able to maintain this. He’s 2 months into a mobile contract (2 year) and a tenancy agreement (1 year.) Also he has £400 in credit card debt. Earlier on in the year he got a $100K inheritance. For personal reasons he is not acknowledging this money. (He calls it blood money, don’t ask???) He phoned EE to try and terminate but they won’t without it costing him. He also spoke with his property manager and was told since he’s breaking the contract they want the full term paid. (He has taken good care of the property so shouldn’t have any deposit issues. Also they don’t actually have a deposit.) Both of which he can’t pay and even if they weren’t to make him pay the full term he doesn’t have enough to pay any amount. So seems he’s stuck. He’s also on an account here shared with his mother but wants to be taken off when closing his other accounts. I understand you can’t say if the debt will be sold to a debt collector in the US. Once he moves back he won’t continue to contact these people.

    Side note; he’s a US (born) citizen and a UK (birth abroad) dual citizen (as in the same as if born here.) If that is of any relevance. He’s not sure if in the past he’s given any information to the bank or EE regarding past US info/address (parents.) However he did his property manager.

    So my questions are:

    Is it common for mobile phone companies to chase someone or sell the debt? Same for the property management company?

    Can his mother’s account be impacted at all?

    How will the $100k factor?

    If he does just try his luck and it does go to debt collectors in the US can he go back to the original “lender” and try and sort out a repayment? Or will he be forced to deal with the US collectors and all of the additional fees?

    Will they harass his parents even if he’s not living there?

    If he ever does move back to the UK, what issues will these financial/credit problems cause for him once living in the UK?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Nicole,

      Your friend’s situation seems complex on the surface, and I’ll address your questions as best I can.

      I am confused as to why he refuses an inheritance which would resolve the issue of owing money, and still leave him plenty left over.

      If I were to make a guess at how much he owes, it may be the £400, you mentioned, possibly £600 for the mobile contract (using £50 a month for a 12 month contract), and maybe £6,000 for breaking the tenancy agreement (using £500 a month for a 12 month ageement). And this may be on the hgh side.

      So maybe £7,000 in total.

      To answer your questions:

      There is no way to say for sure if the mobile debt or rent owed would be sold on or given to a US collection agency. I would venture the mobile bill would not, due to the amount not being worth the expense.

      I would venture who he owes the rent to for breaking the agreement would seek a CCJ, and that may be it. Since your friend will no longer be in the UK, there is not much they can do to enforce the CCJ.

      If the bank wil remove his name off the bank account he has with his mum, and there is no money owed, like with an overdraft, she will not be affected by his actions. As long as they do not have any joint bills, debts or accounts, she is fine.

      If the bank will not remove his name, she may need to open a new account in just her name.

      As to how the $100K factors in, it doesn’t unless he accepts the money. If he takes the money he can pay off what he owes. If he doesn’t accept the money, he can just leave the UK and the debts/accounts behind.

      Any of his creditors may phone his parents if they have their contact details to inquire as to getting your friend to pay, but they cannot harass them. His parents can simply state your friend no longer lives there and leave it at that.

      Moving back to the UK is not an issue. As to if anyone would try to collect the accounts at that point will depend on how long he has been away, and also if his creditors are even aware he is back in the UK.

      The only issue he may face is the accounts may show as defaulted and he may have a CCJ on his credit history here in the UK.

      I hope this helps, if i have missed anything just let me know.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Nicole

        Thank you so much Jon. Yes, the inheritance is from a “touchy” uncle. Legally he accepted the money as in signed forms etc. but he has mental health issues so as he said co-hersted into signing them. So it’s just sitting in an account he wants no part of. I didn’t really want to ask further.

        So I guess these questions would still apply. If he does just try his luck and it does go to debt collectors in the US can he go back to the original “lender” and try and sort out a repayment? Or will he be forced to deal with the US collectors and all of the additional fees?

        His rent is £1370pm. What is a CCJ? Also, they can’t send that onto a debt collection? Or really do anything about it even though they know his US bank accounts (not the $100k) and his parents address (used as his US mailing address?)

        How long would he of had to of been away so it wouldn’t be an issue if he moved back?

        Also what about the credit card debit? What if any issues will that cause?

        Thank you again,
        Nicole

        Reply
        • Jon

          Nicole,

          A CCJ is a county court judgment, which gives a creditor more ways to collect a debt legally.

          A landlord can also get a CCJ for unpaid rent. So a landlord can try to collect unpaid rent in the same way as any other debt/account.

          If a debt is sold to a collection agency, you can no longer deal with the original creditor, as the debt/account is now owned by the buyer/collection agency. If the debt is not sold, but just passed onto a collection agency or agent, then a person can attempt to deal with the original creditor.

          I cannot give a specific time that he would need to be away without the accounts/debts being an issue. Accounts can be written off after a period of time, but this time frame can be different with different banks and creditors.

          I would not be too concerned about when your friend decides to return to the UK. Just leaving unpaid bills/accounts will not be an issue in moving back.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  132. angelo

    i am a easter european from romania i just lost my job end i have a loan of 16500 pounds in uk.i canot fiind a new job so i am thinking to go back in my country ..what whill hapen if i canot aford to pay mi loan here in uk

    Reply
    • Jon

      Angelo,

      It is difficult to state with certainty as to what may happen.

      Yes, you can leave the UK and go back to Romania, you will not be stopped or detained just for owing the loan. So no worries there.

      As to what the bank may do to try and collect the account is the real issue.

      They may try to contact you, however, if they do not have your current detals, they may not be able to contact you and may just try your last known address.

      If they were to locate you, they could still try to collect the account, but if you cannot afford to pay, you cannot afford to pay.

      You could look at a form of insolvency prior to leaving, such as a Debt Relief Order or bankruptcy, however, bankruptcy cost almost £700, which is not cheap. If you qualify, a DRO may be an option. At least then the account(s) are resolved.

      If you move and the accounts are still open and owed, there is a possibility the lender(s) may chase you to Romania and try to cllect the account there by either selling the account or using an agent there.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  133. Susan

    hello Jon,
    Thank you so much for providing much needed advice.
    I am a US citizen and I was working in Abu Dhabi for 2 years. I ended my contract and owe $11,000 [USD] in credit card debt to HSBC Bank Middle East. I’ve been contacted by a Collection Agency in Dubai [Aug 2016] – and now I am ready to pay installments on the debt. My question – will this affect my travels to France [for vacation only]? I checked Interpol and did not find my name listed…but I’ve read conflicting reports from blogs stating that all names might not appear.
    Thank you for your advice!
    Susan

    Reply
    • Jon

      Susan,

      You are fortunate that the collection agency there in Dubai is accepting installments, the majority of the banks there just demand payment in full.

      You should have no problem visiting France, just for owing the account in Dubai is no reason to be stopped or anything.

      I have not heard of any real Interpol cases based on just owing an account. This is used as a threat in many instances to try and collect the debt.

      Enjoy your holiday!

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  134. Edward

    Hi. i worked in UK for 8 months and then moved back to Romania. I had to make a payment of 77 GBP as an overdraft at HSBC. I paid that but until the money was transfered they had put a late penalty on it. Now i have to pay back 97 GBP. I think it is unfair and do not want to ay. What will happen?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Edward,

      Is that your only account or amount you owe in the UK?

      If so, it is doubtful HSBC is going to chase you for payment.

      Have you discussed this with them to see if they will waive the penalty?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  135. natasha

    Hy! My problem is: I have a personal loan in Dubai for 4 years, paid only 1 and then I had to leave the country, so because I knew they will put a travel ban, I just left… my loan was 45 k euros.
    I received emails, but I never answered any of them.
    My question is: I want to move to other EU country at the moment, I am EU citizen, Romanian actually. I am concerned if I will be able to do that without problems, and if , from now on, I will face shame in the airports , being stopped and asked about this matter, not only in Europe but also everywhere in the world especially US except from GCC countries, where I will never go back.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Natasha,

      No one will stop you when you travel into or out of the EU or UK just for leaving debts in Dubai.

      You may experience an issue in a GCC country, but only if you are entering the country.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Natasha

        Thank you for your response.
        What about collection, will they sell the loan to an agency?
        Additionally, I want to know if I can ever get another loan in EU, and if there are any other problems facing me because of this issue.
        Thank you in advance

        Reply
        • Jon

          Natasha,

          No one can say with certainty that the loan may or may not be sold onto a collection agency in the EU or UK. You can deal with that issue should it arise at that time.

          Different countries have different credit rating agencies or bureaus. There is little chance a loan in Dubai is reported to an agency in the EU. Unless you are specifically asked about the loan, it is your decision to disclose it or not.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
          • natasha

            Jon, thank you for your opinion.
            I would still, if I may, ask you one more question: I most probably have there, in Dubai, a warrant for arrest with the police. Will this arrest warrant be an international one? is it even possible for such amount to issue an international warrant of arrest in my name?
            I would also like to hear your opinion about declaring bankruptcy. If, by bad luck, a collection agency will ever contact me, in my home country or in any other EU country where I will live, can I declare bankruptcy ? If I do, will the law in the country where I reside apply ?

            thank you in advance.

          • admin

            Natasha,

            Your questions and concerns are some what of a legal nature, and I cannot provide legal advice, so you may wish to seek professional legal help.

            With that being said/written, to my knowledge, if there is a warrant for you in Dubai, it should not be one that extends the boundries of that country’s legal extent.

            Here in the UK if you go bankrupt, you can include debts in other countries, and be afforded the protection of the insolvency laws here in the UK. Which means you cannot be contacted or chased for the debt here in the UK, and for now the EU. The protection is only here in the UK/EU.

            I cannot comment or advise on other countries insolvency laws, but many are the same.

            Regards,

            Jon

  136. dinesh

    Hi. I am from india which i took a loan of 117000 dirhams from uae when i am working in uae. Later i supposed to come back to india (jan 2015) for personal issues, at that time my visa was live for another(jan 2015 to aug 2015) 8 months. Later I went there again in may to ask long leave in my office and they refused, the next day i came back to india. Till now i didn’t went any where. I paid my loan EMI’s 13 out of 48 ( emi=3701). Now i dnt have any source of income or job since jan 2015. UAE banker representative in india mailing me for further actions for my pending amount. But i dnt have any penny at this momemt. I am requesting you please give a best suggestion to face my problem.

    Thanking You

    Reply
    • Jon

      Dinesh,

      If you have no source of income and cannot make payments or settle the debt, then you simply cannot pay.

      You can advise the bank of this.

      If you have no money, your priorities may be to cover the basics, food, accommodation, finding work, etc.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  137. Tom

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for this website. It is very informative! I have a question.

    My partner left debts in dubai. We are paying some banks but the others we just can’t afford. For the banks that we have defaulted, they have said they will file criminal case etc but we are not sure if there is actually a case yet. She is now living in the UK and on a spouse visa which will need renewed prior to getting an indefinite leave to remain in the UK. One of the questions in the application form is “Have you or any dependants who are applying with you been convicted of any criminal offence in the UK or any other country?”

    Does she then say yes or no to this question? It is a crime in the UAE but will this apply in the UK? hence we are not sure how to answer this question.

    Thank you

    Tom

    Reply
    • Jon

      Tom,

      You ask a very good question, and one I unfortunately cannot advise on.

      You are correct that in Dubai banks can file criminal charges with the police for unpaid accounts, however, there are things in place to limit this for those who reside outside the country.

      If you are unsure that any charges have been filed, then they may not have been filed.

      You may wish to speak to who is helping you with the Visa application. The UK does not acknowledge unpaid debt as a crime in itself. However, it can be an issue with the good character part of a Visa application.

      Please let me know how you get on with this. My gut feeling is that it will not be an issue.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Tom

        Hi Jon,

        Yes I also have a feeling that this will not be an issue. We ticked “no” to the question. We should hear back in 1 month (max) and will let you know.

        Regards,
        Tom

        Reply
      • Tom

        Hi Jon,
        We have finally received a response from the Home Office and our application was successful. So you are correct, debts are not an issue when it comes to UK visas.

        Reply
  138. Janice

    Hi,

    My situation is, I am an Irish citizen who lived in London for 2 years,2009-2011. I ended up leaving the UK with $1000 outstanding on my credit card.

    I was young and stupid and buried my head in the sand. I have never had contact from a debt collector but I’m sure they have tried. I moved around a lot (Canada and Australia) so it would be very difficult for them to find me. now I want to move to Scotland with my partner, we are leaving Australia next month. I’m so anxious about what happened with this debt and if it will impact on our ability to get loans/mortgages. The debt is almost 5 years old now. I did a search on line this morning for any CCJ’s against me and that came up as ‘none registered’. I’m just hoping I was searching in the right place.

    I don’t know what the best thing to do is. Do I leave it alone as I’ve heard nothing and let it drop off my record or should I persue it and try to settle it at this late stage. I feel sick over it. It’s the unknown that’s killing me. What can I do to fix this?

    Thanks for your advice,
    Janice

    Reply
    • Jon

      Janice,

      I understand your concerns, and also the unknown aspects of the situation.

      The odds are the account was reported to the credit bureaus here in the UK, so that could be an issue in being approved for any new loans here in the UK, including a mortgage.

      You need to review your credit history here to see how the account has been reported, and if it is still even on your credit history.

      If the account is even still showing, you could look to try and settle the account by offering less than what is owed.

      After 6 years, all accounts drop off your credit history, so if the account is showing, it should drop off soon.

      You could contact the bank in question to inquire about the account, they may or may not still have records of it. If they do still have records, it could be starting the whole collection issue over again.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  139. dinesh

    Thanks Jon
    Is there any issues if i got job in GCC countries like Kuwait. Because i recently heard that GCC countries created a rule if any country have like my issue GCC countries also can take action. If i went to Kuwait will they catch me in airport? I am afraid about this. Please kindly show me a way.

    Thanking you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Dinesh,

      You first need to be sure if any criminal charges have been filed against you.

      I cannot say for sure you may or may not have any issues living and working in any GCC countries. What you are asking is more of a legal issue.

      Our experiences have shown people can fly through GCC countries, but living and working there may be a different matter.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  140. Martin

    Hi Jon, Interesting reading your contributors responses. Just a query regarding UK debt. Before I left the UK to return to NZ in 2007 I secured a 3K loan to pay off my credit cards. I gave the bank my address details in NZ before I left. Unfortunately I lost my job here and couldn’t manage to keep up the repayments. Once the 2k overdraft I had with the bank soaked up the repayments the the bank did send me many reminders but regretfully I did ignore them and after a time they ceased

    The police did contact my brother who was living in the UK at the time inquiring where I was but I never heard from them regarding the debt. I do wish to return for a visit to the Uk but am worried about being confronted at Heathrow about the debt etc. I have even thought of contacting Scotland Yard but think this might be rather silly. In some respects I would like to get this sorted out but if its going to huge amounts of money plus interest to pay off I am reluctant. Well in any case look forward to your response. I lived in London for almost twenty years and had a right of abode to the UK .

    Reply
    • Jon

      Martin,

      Just leaving an unpaid account/debt alone is not a reason to be stopped should you return to the UK. You should be able to enter and leave the UK freely.

      Why the police contacted your brother, if it was the police, is beyond me. It would not be just for an unpaid bill/account.

      After the time that has passed, the account should have dropped off your credit history, and if there has been no contact with a creditor for 6 years the debt can be statute barred, or no longer owed.

      You can inquire as to if any criminal charges were filed against you, but unless fraud was involved or other criminal activity, it would not be related to owing a debt.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  141. david

    Hi ,
    I left dubai in 2008 after losing my job along with many others, I thought i could return to the uk get another job and start repaying my debts of around 80k that i left in dubai. When i tried to negotiate this with the banks in dubai upon my return to the UK they were adamant that they wanted all of the monies repaid in full in one go. Having lost everything the stress became too much and I cut off all contact with the banks as I was still out of work and there was nothing I could do. I took some legal advice about declaring bankruptcy and was told that due to the debts being outside the UK they could not be included or would not be recognized in the bankruptcy. some years have passed since then, I am back working but earning only enough to get by. I have met someone who owns a property in her name and we are looking at getting married, but she is concerned about my past the banks and the impact it may have on her security, which i totally understand. My question is, can she be held liable for any of these debts and can they try to take the capital from her home? We have only been together for a couple of years and she has never been to dubai.
    the banks last contact ( through there uk debt collection company) with me was two years ago, at this time i was still not working and i responded that if they had evidence that i owned the monies then they should bankrupt me , i have not heard anything since.

    Advice would be most appreciated.

    many thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      David,

      You are not alone as many ex-pats go to other countries to work, and for whatever reason lose their jobs and leave debts behind in the other countries and return to the UK.

      The majority of these countries, including Dubai, have no authority to collect an account here in the UK, so they may assign the account to an agent or collection agecy here in the UK to collect the account.

      The account can then be collected in accord with te laws here in the UK. This also allows you all the debt and insolvency options we have here in the UK, one being bankruptcy.

      Even if the account(s) were never transferred to an agent here in the UK, you can still include them in a UK bankruptcy. And the bankruptcy affords you protection from that bank/creditor, but only in the UK and EU.

      So yes, you can include Dubai debts in a UK bankruptcy.

      Regarding the issue about your partner’s property. As long as you are not on the property or have contributed in any way to the property, it should not be an issue in bankruptcy or to a collection agency. Her assets and her property are hers.

      I hope this helps.

      Regrds,

      Jon

      Reply
      • david

        Hi Jon

        Thanks for the advice. I have not contributed anything towards the purchase of the property , but i do contribute towards bills and keep.

        would this be seen as property contribution ?

        all the best david

        Reply
        • admin

          David,

          Paying the bills or contributing to the bills, is not really establishing an interest.

          It would be more if you paid for maintenance on the property, or contributed to some form of improvement.

          It also can depend on how deep the receiver wants to look.

          On the surface, bills and keep, is not an interest.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  142. Barbara

    Hi
    My name is Barbara
    I received letters from EOS debt company in England about debt in my country Poland
    I do not acknowledge this debt
    Can I ask them send for me true copy about this debt ?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Barnara,

      Yes, you can challenge the collection agency and ask for original documentation on the loan, however, if they bought the debt, they may just show what documentation they have.

      You can also inquire with the original bank/lender in Poland as to the status of the debt.

      Why are you not acknowledging the debt?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Barbara

        Hi
        Jon
        Because I live nearly 14 years in England
        I lost my job in my country 2002
        And I don’t remember any debt
        If I’m really have any debt I need to see any documents about it
        If debt is existing is statue barred
        With polish law
        Jon
        I need your advice
        I received again letter from EOS today
        I sent today letter to the company
        I ask them about proof the debt
        If they don’t send me the proof what I have do next ??
        If the debt is existing I’m sure is statue barred

        Reply
        • Jon

          Barbara,

          Wait and see what the collection agency states in their reply.

          It may be a mistaken identity issue or error on their part.

          If they come back and prove it is your account, you can then inform them of the debt being statue barred.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  143. Peter

    Hello. What happens with debts if someobe from abroad had a loan in uk and he dies ? And he has no relatives in the uk. ?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Peter,

      Unless the deceased has an estate of value, and the creditors decide to legally look at the estate to be paid, nothing will happen.

      In the example you give, again, unless the person has an estate of value and the creditor/bank know of it, they may look to seeking an order to be paid, however, if the estate is in another country, especially if outside the EU, the creditor may just write the account off.

      Even if the person had relatives, they would not be responsible for the account.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  144. Sharing research

    Hi,

    I was subjected to very negative and stressful work situations in Dubai and left for health reason. I have a 150,000 Aed credit card that is falling into arears and I am still not in a healthy position to seek employment to repay. I now reside outside of the UAE and GCC countries. I am preparing myself for what action may be taken against me. I have no intention of returning to this region but I hear that getting your debt listed as fraud by the banks with interpol is what they can do as interpol just honor their request without investigagtion that its actually a civil matter. I just wanted to share what I discovered in my research. I do not know the truth of this however…

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi,

      I read the balance of your post and responded to it as well.

      Banks in Dubai use Interpol as a threat and way to attempt to try and collect an unpaid account. As to if Interpol really gets involved, my research and experience has not shown a single case.

      Even if a case was filed, there are bigger fish to catch by Interpol than some leaving Dubai with an unpaid account.

      If someone has evidence and knowledge of Interpol actually seeking soneone or blocking their travel just from a debt alone, I would like to hear from them.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  145. Pierre

    Hi Jon,

    Need some advise on the following :

    In 2008 i worked in Dubai and bought a villa through a loan. Once the recession hit i lost my job and left Dubai after putting the villa on rent and making sure that the rent went to the bank against the monthly payment. The rent was not enough and so a back log mounted, The bank has now auctioned the property. My question is : Can i go back to Dubai and work there ?? Will the bank still ask for the interest due ?? On a property that is not with me any more.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Pierre,

      You may want to inquire with the bank as to the status of the loan and any outstanding balances. You also may wish to inquire if a warrant was issued by the police.

      If this were to occur, having a warrant issued, you may not want to return to Dubai until the issue and warrant can be resolved.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  146. UJ

    Hi Jon,

    I left the uk in early 2014. I lived there for nearly 4 years with excellent credit history. However, i made a stupid decision and took some phone contracts before left the Uk. My case was forwarded to a collection agency in uk and made a small payment from outside the Uk. The value of my debts would be around £2,000

    My company in UAE is looking to send me to UK for work related purpose. Will my visa be rejected or will i have any problems at the airports ?

    Would appreciate your response.

    Regards,
    Unaib

    Reply
    • Jon

      Unaib,

      I assume your company is sponsoring you for a work Visa here in the UK? Or is it just a short visit?

      Either way, having the debts here in the UK alone will not pose a problem, and you will not be stopped at any airports.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • UJ

        Hi Jon,

        Thank you for you quick response.

        My company in the UAE in sending me for a short visit for some trainings.

        Regards,
        Unaib

        Reply
  147. Sassi

    Hi,

    I have been made bankrupt in the UK by an ex landlord, but currently have no fixed abode so have never spoken to the official receiver. I now need a police check in order to move to Canada. Will this detail the bankruptcy?

    Thanks,
    Sassi.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Sassi,

      Going bankrupt is not a crime, so in itself it will not be an issue with a police check.

      You may have been isssued a BRO/Bankruptcy Restriction Order for not having contact with the OR, but it is rare for the courts to issue any sentencing in bankruptcy cases, there usually needs a crime to be committed.

      If you have no fixed address, how will they do a full police or bankground check?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  148. Nasir

    Hi i have a total debt of £45000. I returned back from the uk since 2011. But i have acquired all this credit since i was in my home country india(2012- Present). I don’t have a Valid uk visa and now i can not afford to pay this back , neither the minimum payments, as my circumstances have changed. I am planning to go to Dubai to look for work soon. Please advise what shall i do regarding the credit and regarding the business or job id be doing in Dubai.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Nasir,

      I am slightly confused by your comments, don’t worry it is just me:)

      You have £45k of debt here in the UK, and are returning to Dubai to look for work?

      Is this is what you are stating, you may wish to look at bankruptcy prior to leaving the UK. I mention this only as it resolves the debt issues and you don’t have the accounts looming out in the unknown.

      Going bankrupt in the UK, to my knowledge, should not impact any jobs you seek outside the UK, and will not affect you returning to the UK as long as you have proper clearance to do so.

      If I have missed anything, please let me know.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Nasir

        No basically i left the UK in 2011 and came back to india, but i was still using the bank account and credit cards while i was here in india from 2011- present. With passage of time the credit cards kept increasing my limits as i am a freelancer and i used to get money via paypal which i used to withdraw in the UK bank.
        Now the problem is i have used almost all the credit limits and bank overdraft and i don’t think i’ll be able to pay it off at any stage because of my current circumstances.
        Further more i was looking to move to Dubai to look for job or to start a new business so will be facing any sort of chase from the uk creditors or bank account in dubai?

        Reply
        • Jon

          Nasir,

          I cannot say as to if the banks would chase you for payment there if you move to Dubai or not. I am reasonably sure if they have your contact details they will attempt to contact you and collect the caccounts, and they may seek out a CCJ against you here in the UK, but they will be limited as to what they can do in other countries outside the UK and EU.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  149. John

    Hi.

    Can collection company chase me in Latvia? i have debt in Bank and elsewhere total of 30K.
    Can they take my property in Latvia.

    Many Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      John,

      If you owe debt in the UK, the bank or collection company may try to chase you outside the UK for the account. For now, the banks and collection agencies do have some authority to collect a debt that originated in the UK and the debtor has moved to the EU.

      There is not much your creditors will be able to do unless one of these two things occurr:

      If the account(s) get sold to a collection agency in Latvia, then it can be collected there using the laws there.

      If you are made bankrupt by a creditor in the UK, any property you have any where in the world can become a part of the bankruptcy. The issues are if you are made bankrupt, and then if the Official Receiver can contact you and is aware you have property.

      There also is the issues of if the OR has any authority there, if not they can request your assistance.

      And lastly, there is the issue of if the property has any value??

      I cannot say as to if you may be chased for the accounts or not, but these are some things that could occur.

      I hope this helps, if you have any other questions or additional information, get back to me.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  150. Ken Ken

    Hi to all,

    I am previously working at KSA way back 2013 and left an unpaid loan of 43K rials and CC amounting to 10K rials and then after they terminated my employment due to undue extension of my vacation leave. I am trying to explain but they terminated my employment. Now one agency here in Philippines invited me to submit my cv to work in UAE and the other is in Qatar.

    Now, there is this collection agency asking me to settle my obligation with the bank. I told the collection agency that I will settle my outstanding payment once I landed again for a job to other GCC countries.

    My question is can I still work in qatar/UAE or other gcc despite I have unpaid loan and cc in KSA?

    Thanks and looking forward on your immediate reply.

    Thanks,
    Ken

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ken,

      You ask a very posing question, and one you may wish to query with a legal professional who works in a GCC country.

      Much will depend on the laws of the specific country where you owe money, Countries in the GCC do have cooperations between the borders on some matters.

      Again, you need to know the exact status of the debt, has a warrant been issued, etc, and get advice from someone there.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  151. Rich

    Hi Jon,

    I am Dutch and living already for some years in Brazil. Right now I have a 9K Euro debt with a Dutch creditcard firm. Because of some personal problems, divorce, Brazilian business bankrupt etc. I have problems with paying back the debt on my Dutch creditcard. I have no assets or finances in Holland anymore. Creditcard firm is threatening now with bankruptcy etc. if I don’t pay back very fast that debt which I can’t do. For sure one day when I am financial back on track again I will pay back that debt but right now I have no financial resources. What is happening when they file me for bankruptcy etc., what can they do by law?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Rich,

      I am no expert in Dutch bankruptcy law, so you may wish to seek advice from someone there who is.

      To my knowledge to be made bankrupt in the Nethelands you must have residency there. How long have you been living in Brazil?

      In addition, if you have no assets, and no means to set-up any repayments, being made bankrupt will simply relieve you of any debts you have there.

      Creditors do use the threat of bankruptcy as a collection tool, so if you have nothing and the creditor(s) would receive nothing, they may not make you bankrupt.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  152. Sunny

    Hi

    I took few contracts from UK as a student but had to leave after studies in 2013 due to personal reason. I did not pay for the contracts as I had no money at that point. I need police certificate now in 2016 to apply for Australian PR. Will unpaid mobile contracts effect my history or will it be shown in my police record.

    Please suggest

    Reply
    • Jon

      Sunny,

      Unpaid bills in themselves are not shown on a criminal background check, so they would have no affect on Visa’s or permenant residency.

      In the UK they do have a good character requirement for final stay/citizenship. Having unpaid bills or debts could be viewed as a character flaw. Silly I know.

      What contracts did you leave behind in the UK, and what were the amounts?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Sunny

        I left phone contracts of three , Vodafone now I don’t knw the amount coz I paid till the month I was coming back , but once I was in India I din hv resources or job to pay so I just din bother to be honest. It was 2 year contract both of which I
        Might hv paid say 6 and 12 month for two. I never got any message about the outstanding either in my mail.

        Reply
      • Sunny

        I’m applying for pr for Australia and I need certificate for that. I’m worried about it reflecting on my letter though it’s been 3 years now

        Reply
        • Jon

          Sunny,

          I doubt the phone contracts in themselves will be an issue for you. So try not to worry.

          If for any reason they did surface and pose a problem, you can address it at that time, but again, I don’t think they will be a problem.

          Get a second opinion and discuss this with who is handling your residency Visa.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  153. Robyn

    Hi all

    I have lived in Australia but permanently left the country and left one month of unpaid fees with the education provider I was studying at the time.

    I am now back in Europe and received a notice from an Australian collector for AUD 750 (USD 570)

    Wondering, given they are not aware of my location, what is it that they can do? Sell the debt to a collector in my home country (Italy) even though I am not living there? Pay the collectors to do a research on where I am to collect the money? Wouldn’t that service cost them more than what I owe?

    Thanks for your help

    Reply
    • Jon

      Robyn,

      It is difficult at best to guess what may occur, but based on the amount you owe, it is doubtful the debt would get sold on to an agency outside Oz to be collected. If it was sold, you could deal with it at that time and within the country you are residing in.

      The creditor may try to locate you, but again, given the amount of the debt, they may not spend a lot of time trying to locate you. Was the notice you received sent to where you are now living?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Robyn

        Hi Jon

        Thank you so much for the advise.

        the notice was sent to my gmail account electronically only.

        Thank you

        Reply
  154. Emad

    Hi
    Recently I received an invoice showing a purchase from overseas which I never did … I went online a found hundreds of people who had the exact same problem with the same company ( looks like scam )
    Now they’re threatening me to send the debt to the collection!!! I live in Canada… can they really do that and will this affect my credit? Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Emad,

      Unfortunately we live in a world and time, when scams are everywhere.

      How was the purchase made? By a credit or debit card? If so, have you notified your bank.

      Document everything you know, and if the purchase was made by a credit or debit card, contact your bank and make them aware. Dispute the charge, and many credit card companies have fraud units to deal with these matters.

      You can also contact the seller, who took the charge. Make them aware of the fraud/scam.

      Who is threatening to send to send the account to a collection agency, the seller?

      If it were to be placed in the hands of a collection agency, you can also make them aware of the fraud, and also contact the credit reporting agencies.

      If hundreds of other people have been affected by the same scam, other banks/credit agencies will be aware as well.

      How much was the charge for, and to whom?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  155. Anto

    Hi I have a big debit of 2 millions Dhs in UAE
    Between credit cards and loan .
    Can I still travel to Australia and live there if my visa is granted
    Will I have problem in Australia for my crime committed In UAE ?
    Will they confiscate, block my money in Australia if I transfer them there ?
    Will Australia be aware of my debt in UAE ?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jon

      Anto,

      Where are you currently living?

      Having debts in other countries is not usually something looked at for a Visa to live in another country. You may want to inquire with who is handling your Visa to Oz and/or who is sponsoring you.

      Criminal acts can be an issue in being issued a Visa, however, just because the owing of a debt in one country may be considered a crime, it is not a crime to owe money in most countries. With that being said, if the debt is due to a fraudulent action, it may be considered a crime.

      The transferring of money can be a whole different matter. From where and to where are you transfering money, and how much are you transferring?

      There are laws regarding the transfer of money between countries.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  156. Sam

    Hi – would you be able to help me? I left France ten years ago with some debt, and I have had a collection company in the UK trying to contact me recently. What’s my position re: debts in France, having lived in the UK for 10 years since leaving. The debt would be 11 years old now, having been taken out in 2006. Can they do anything about it or do I have to find a way of paying it back?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Sam,

      Debts in the UK can be statute barred, meaning no longer owed if there has been no contact from a creditor in over six (6) years.

      I do not know if there is such a statute in France for debts that originated there.

      How long has the collection agency here in the UK had the debt, and how long have they been trying to collect it from you?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  157. sam

    Hi Jon,
    Thanks for your reply 🙂
    There has been no contact from the creditor in France for 10 years – a French collection agency tried to contact me about 4 years ago, but the UK collection agency tried to contact me at work by phone on Friday for the first time (I wasn’t available)…
    Cheers
    Sam

    Reply
    • admin

      Sam,

      You may need to speak to the UK collection agency to inquire as to if they now own the debt or are just an agent collecting it.

      It doesn’t sound initially that the account may be statte barred.

      How much are we talking about, and can you afford any form or repayments?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  158. Sam

    Hi Jon,
    It could be as much as £20k – I suspect that they are just an agent collecting.
    I could make some payments, maybe £500 a month or £5k a year one-off, do you suspect they’d accept that? Or is it common to accept a ‘haircut’ for a one-off payment?
    Not sleeping much over this, thank you for your help so far, I really appreciate it
    Sam

    Reply
    • admin

      Sam,

      Since the account is as old as it is, it may be possible to settle the debt for less than the full mount owed. Again, you are going to need to speak to the collection agency to get the full details of the account, and also discuss a settlement option.

      Do you have any other debts in the UK or EU?

      Do you have any assets in the UK, such as property?

      One issue may be that if you cannot come to terms for a repayment arrangement, and if you are working and can afford some for of payments, or have assets, the collection agency moves forward with their efforts. However, if they do this, you also are afforded all the debt options we have here in the UK.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  159. Mari Efleda Garcia

    Hi Jon,

    I still owe credit card payments in a bank in Singapore but I left SG after being offered a job in Australia. Now, I need to travel to Singapore for a few days. Is there a possibility that I will be denied to enter Singapore or be held and not allowed to leave given my financial record?

    Thank you for your quick reply.

    Regards,
    Mari

    Reply
    • Jon

      Mari,

      To my knowledge just for owing money alone you should not have any problems entering or leaving Singapore.

      You can always make an anonymous inquiry with the border agency there.

      For the majority of countries in the world, owing a debt is not a crime, and does not come into play regarding border control. If a crime has been committed, and recorded and a warrant issued, then there can be an issue.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  160. Asim

    Following is my query;

    1) I borrowed a personal loan from UAE AED 102k, after expiry of my visa i resigned from my job to settle in EU (but not in UK ) I left UAE with unpaid personal loan which has secured by undated cheque with bank ( that they will definitely utilize to bounce to initiate any case civil or criminal) as i don’t have enough money to pay back that was not my intention but as I’ve been jobless since then and I’ve already spent that money for living. Further I’m receiving emails Demand Notice and Legal Notice. I’m so scared with these what will you suggest me in this regard or is there any possibility for them to take action against me here in EU as I’m not the citizen of EU.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Asim,

      Banks in the UAE do not have authority to collect a debt if you are outside the country. This does not mean they will not try to collect the debt. However, the only way they could seek legal action to collect the debt from you in the EU, is to either use an agent in the EU to do so, or sell the debt to a collection agency there in the EU.

      What country are you a citizen of?

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
    • Tom

      Asim, just ignore their emails. They will eventually go quiet after a few months. There is nothing they can do. I would advise you to keep your facebook and other social media very private. They will contact all your friends through that. Also if you have linkedin, best to delete it. Any future employment you will take – keep it away from the internet. These debt collectors will try to contact your company and make constant harassment. That is illegal in the western world, but acceptable in the middle east!

      Reply
  161. Ivan

    Hi Jon
    I take a loan 10,000 pounds before 3 months . I was fired 2 months later and i couldnt find a new job. Now im thinking about to go back to my Country (BULGARIA). I dont think to come back in uk in next 10 years , and i think to ignore that loan. But im worried about that i have a property in my country. Can the bank chase me and take my property. I know and soon UK leaves the EU so would be advantage? And will be better before i live UK to make a Debt relief order?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Jon

      Ivan,

      I cannot speculate as to if the UK leaving the EU would be an advantage leaving debts behind in the UK. There is much to work out with the exit from the EU, and who knows how these matters will be handled.

      With that being said/written, you can just leave the UK and the account behind. If you cannot afford to repay it, you cannot afford to repay it.

      As to if the bank/creditor will chase you for payment, I would guess they will do so. As to the extent of chasing you, I cannot say.

      Regarding your property: If you were to be made bankrupt here in the UK, then the Official Receiver could look to whatever assets you have anywhere in the world. So possibly, your property, depending on it’s value, could be at risk.

      In doing a DRO, if you have property, you may not be eligible for a DRO. It depends on the value of the property.

      There are a lot of “if’s” here.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  162. Awais

    Hi there,

    I was in UK on visa for 5 years and just fe months ago left UK and left few phone contract unpaid and Royal Mail unpaid dues. Will this appear on Acro police certificate as i need that for USA immigration. I’m not British citizen. Please advice and will these debts effect me in USA or getting USA visa?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi,

      Have you queried this with who is helping you in obtaining a Visa for the USA?

      To my knowledge, just leaving some unpaid bills or debts in the UK, is not something that shows up on any criminal records checks or police certificates. So you should not have any issues.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  163. Lynna

    Hi Jon,
    my friend is very worried, she is a non-EU citizen and was claiming to tax credits. Unfortunately, she had to leave the UK back to Africa and this move became permanent, she then decided to claim her taxes as she was also working in UK, hoping to get some money to make her move easier. A letter as sent to her about the tax claimed as NIL but further more that she was not entitled to the tax credits she was receiving. Therefore she was instructed to pay this money back more than £1000. She has no job in her home country and is living with her mother, the exchange rate to the £ is very high she can’t afford to make any payments and this would be in several millions in her currency, she is cannot return neither can she afford to return to the UK but is worried that it may hinder any future plans if it so happens to visit the UK, she is scared that she owes the government money and has no means of paying it. What should she do?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Lynna,

      Your friend’s situation is a bit complicated, but owing taxes alone should not hinder her returning the UK.

      However, this does beg the question, how will she afford to return to the UK?

      Should she return to the UK, and begin working, then HMRC may begin to look to collect what they feel is owed.

      I am unsure what future plans she may have that owing taxes in the UK, besides returning to work in the UK may have an issue with?? HMRC is very unlikely to chase her for payment in Africa, so no worries there.

      How was your friend working in the UK if she was living in Africa? ( Unfortunately, she had to leave the UK back to Africa and this move became permanent, she then decided to claim her taxes as she was also working in UK)? Just curious.

      Let me know.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  164. Lynna

    Jon,
    She legally lived in the UK as an international student, then had applied for some work visa and looked forward to permanently settle in the UK but she is African that’s where she’s from originally. In the midst of work, she had a baby and applied for child tax credits. At some point she had to leave for Africa, am guessing some visa complications issues and now she can not come back neither can she afford it since she doesn’t have a job there. She did say that those returning to their homes country can apply to have their taxes refunded hence she applied for some tax returns. She is worried what this means for her, in debt to the UK government. Sounds quite scary.

    Lynna.

    Reply
    • admin

      Lynna,

      Thanks for he update and additional information.

      She can inquire with HMRC, but to my knowledge the only issues she may have is if she is working back in the UK, and she may also face issues in obtaining a Visa to return to the UK. In some instances owing taxes may hinder certain Visa’s to enter the UK. She can inquire with the immigration and border agency to confirm.

      If she has no plans to return to the UK, again, it is doubtful HMRC will chase her for payment.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  165. Steve

    Hi jon

    I had 7 phone contracts. AND total Around 4,000 pounds at least for 6 credit cards.

    It’s now almost 11 years. AND NOW I have to return back to U.K. WITH my family as a visit.

    NOW i have travelled many Schengen countries without any problem

    WILL I get visa for U.K. IF I get WILL I be stopped at U.K. Airport.

    Thank u.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Steve,

      For leaving debts behind alone, entering the UK is not an issue.

      Since the debts are over six (6) years old, if you have not had any contact with anyone you owe for 6 years, the accounts could be statute barred, or no longer owed. If they are statute barred, then there are no issues.

      Depending on the nature or type of Visa you are looking to obtain, and the status of the accounts, this could be, and I say/write could or may be an issue. You would need to confirm this with who is aiding you in obtaining a UK Visa, or contact immigration.

      Most Visa’s to enter the UK do not inquire about any accounts or debts owed, however, immigration and Visa rules change regularly. If you are seeking citizenship in the UK, there is a good charactor portion of the application, and debts, if you received CCJ’s/County Court Judgments, could be an issue.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  166. Tony

    Hi Jon

    I am a U.K citizen (Northern Ireland specifically) who has been living and working as a freelancer in Germany for two years.

    My problem is that when I left the U.K, I owed around 15k in income tax arrears/fines accumulating since 2006 which I was still attempting to make repayments towards until I left.

    I also still own a property in the U.K which was bought at the height of the property boom and is now in significant negative equity. This I own with my ex-wife with whom I am on good terms with. We are still trying to sell it and it is also partly the reason I am in tax arrears. I have no other assets in the U.K.

    I stopped making repayments to the HMRC when I realised I couldn’t afford to anymore and needed the money to survive in Germany while I looked for work.
    I am already repaying a credit card debt and also a large loan back to my parents in the U.K.

    I currently pay no tax for the earnings I make in the U.K and transfer them to a travel card account to use in Germany.
    However I feel like a common criminal every time I enter the U.K and want to wipe the slate clean but I really am not sure what to do. I keep expecting the HMRC to make me bankrupt but it never happens.

    I have no plans to return to the U.K to live there, but I also realise I’m being risky by continuing to work in the U.K without paying any tax anywhere.
    My U.K tax advisor recently told me that I no longer have to submit a tax return in the U.K as I work there less than 90 days a year and that these earnings are now collectable as tax in Germany.
    I therefore plan to claim any future U.K earnings in Germany.
    While this may clear my conscience for current earnings. What advice do you have about my historical HMRC debt?
    I know in my line of work I will never be able to pay it off.

    In the meantime is it possible that HMRC could confiscate whatever is in my U.K accounts and close them?

    Should I stop working in the U.K altogether to make life less complicated?
    This would be really hard for me.
    I really don’t know what to do about the outstanding HMRC debt, should I just leave it alone for them to chase up?
    I heard that they cannot pursue this after 6 years?

    Many thanks in advance!

    Tony.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Tony,

      One simple solution to it all is to live in the UK re-establish residency here, make the UK the centre of your interests, and then you could file bankruptcy in the UK and have all the accounts/debts, including HMRC discharged.

      And yes, if HMRC made you bankrupt that, too, would make life easier, however, they in all probability will not do this.

      Of course things are not that simple I realise.

      If you cannot repay the accounts and HMRC, you cannot repay them. As to the extent HMRC or any other creditors would chase you or forward the accounts to a collection agency in Germany, if they have not done so yet, it may never happen.

      If you are continuing to earn money in the UK, as long as you are paying tax on these earnings, in the UK or elsewhere, that should be fine. Your tax advisor knows and has advised you on this.

      Regarding any asssets you may have in the UK, HMRC or any creditor for that matter, could seek out CCJ’s and look to enforce the judgment(s).

      You could look into the insolvency laws in Germany, but my limited knowledge of them is they can be harsh. But it may be an option. EU debts can be included in a UK bankruptcy, it may be possible that UK debt can be included in an EU form of insolvency.

      Sorry no real answers or solutions for you, but sometimes if someone cannot afford to repay what they owe, and cannot make use of debt managent or insolvency solutions, there is not much to do unless your circumstances change for the better.

      I hope in some way this helps.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  167. Tony

    Hi Jon

    Thanks for your prompt reply.
    Do I really have to be living in the U.K to file for bankruptcy?
    This seems to be a grey area when researching online.
    Although I now live in Germany, I’m obviously still a U.K citizen and can deal with such things when I visit the U.K or possibly even from a distance.

    I just rang the HMRC in the U.K to inquire about filing any future tax returns there.
    Interestingly they did not mention the arrears I am in (surely this is on my file!) and were helpful in instructing me how to go about de-registering.

    The rest as you say, I will have to wait and see.

    Thanks

    Tony.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Tony,

      When you leave the UK to live in an EU country, you have a very short window of time, just a few months, to file bankruptcy back in the UK. If you move outside the UK to a non-EU country, you have 3 years in which you can still file bankruptcy back in the UK.

      So if you have lived outside the UK in an EU country for longer than 3 months, you cannot file bankruptcy in the UK.

      At least presently you cannot. Much may change in the future.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  168. Roy Hobson

    Hi Jon,

    I worked in American for 4 months and went into my overdraft of around 50-100 dollars this was around 9 years ago. I haven’t heard from the bank or anyone since. As time has gone passed I feel really guilty, i read bank accounts go dormant after 1-2 years of inactivy. My question is will it be likely they will send bailiffs for this and could they charge interest for the outstanding amout over the 9 years.

    Thanks

    Roy.

    Reply
    • Roy Hobson

      I now live in the UK* and also don’t know my ousting bank account details.

      Kind regards.

      Roy.

      Reply
      • Jon

        Roy,

        If there has been no contact from a creditor/bank in over 6 years, a debt can be statute barred, which means it is no longer owed.

        Odds are the overdraft has been written off after all this time.

        You may wish to obtain a copy of your credit history to see if the account is even reported on it. If by chance it was, you would be able to get the details from that.

        If they have not sent bailiffs out by now, chances are they won’t. Again, the amount was probably written off years ago.

        Regards,

        Jon

        Reply
  169. Emmanuel

    Hi Jon,

    I need your advise on the following matter,
    Between 2006-2013 I was living, studying and working in the UK. I am going back to my home (EU) country at the beginning of 2013 because, it was difficult to find work and pay my bills. The economic crisis was at a peak on that period. My last contract was finished at the end of 2012.
    Moreover I had an insult by three drunk men (East London). Anyway, thanks to God I survived with no harm but all that made me to take the decision and abandon the country.
    What will be the implications of going back to UK after 4 years ( on next March 2017) knowing that the last days before I take my flight back to my home country I had:
    – letter from HMRC to pay tax £2500 and another letter for tax fees £2200,
    – an unpaid overdraft of £2500 from HSBC credit card, £1000 from american express credit card,
    – two different companies registered with my name ( I was working as self employed)
    – unpaid my accountant for almost £1000.
    Now I have an a very interesting offer in UK for work next year, and I really don’t want to miss this chance.
    Is it possible the UK debt that I have to be very much increased in case I will go next year (2017) for work?
    What will be the main charges that I will may have to face in this situation?

    Reply
    • Emmanuel

      Could I call to HMRC office and ask what is my debt at this time? Am I going to be chased for that reason?
      Basically, I would like to go back in UK and work and pay back my debt. But I don’t know if my unpaid taxes/penalties and the HSBC unpaid overdraft has been increased so much that I can’t afford to pay.
      Thank you in advance!!

      Reply
      • Jon

        Emmanuel,

        You can inquire with HMRC and anyone you owe, as to the status and balance on the account(s). The balances may have increased due to interest and charges they may have added.

        The debts in themselves will not be an issue returning to the UK.

        As to if inquiring about an account the creditor/HMRC will chase you; they may want to update your details, which could cause them to begin the collection process.

        When you return to the UK, you could obtain a copy of your credit history before contacting anyone, and see what accounts are showing and what the balances are being reported as.

        Regards,

        Jon

        Reply
  170. Alex

    Hi Jon!
    Congratulations for your website and your work.
    I was receiving housing benefit for the last 3 years in UK, I phoned them that I am moving out of the country, 2 weeks ago so to stop and cancel my benefit. I live now in Spain and for my surprise I received a letter in a uk address ( a friend lives there and I gave it in case they need to communicate with me, although they know that I moved out of the country) stating that I have been overpaid almost £4000 for the last 3 years!!! And I need to pay this amount in 14 days. First of all I think is wrong, but now here, out of Uk I have no papers with me to prove it.If I just ignore this completely, don’t communicate with them can they prosecute me? I don’t plan to go back to UK but if I go for visit would I have any problems in airport? I have almost £600 at my uk bank account, do they have the right to take them? And do you think that they can take money from my Spanish account? I just started a new job here….
    Thanks

    Reply
  171. Jon

    Alex,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    It does seem odd that the housing benefit (DWP or whomever) has made this error and state you have lived outside the UK for 3 years.

    At present you will not have any issues coming back to the UK, and unless they take legal action against you in Spain, your bank account will be OK.

    It is best to get this resolved.

    If you received housing benefit, you should have also received a concession on your council tax. You can get a letter from the council showing this, and it will also show your address in the UK.

    Lastly, you can provide a copy of your passport showing your leaving and/or entering the UK. Local councils use this in some instances to determine if someone is still eligible for a council tax reduction and if they have left the country.

    Regards,

    Jon

    Reply
    • Alex

      Hi Jon,
      Probably I didn’t write it very well…I was not leaving outside the UK the last 3 years. I was leaving in UK for 10 years. The last 3 years I was working part time, so I was getting a help for my rent, housing benefit. The same for Council Tax. Almost 8 months ago I received a letter that I have been overpaid, they reduced the amount of my ongoing housing benefit and they asked me to pay extra council tax, that I did, almost £900 , I paid cash. Now, I left the country, and I informed them so to stop my benefit and I gave them a friend’s address just in case I have some council tax refund as I prepaid every month. While I am abroad, my friend told me that a letter arrived in his house with my name saying that I have been overpaid almost £4000, only housing benefit, no the council tax. So, now I don’t know what to do… The letter says from 2014 till now..???I am sure that it must be a mistake…maybe not…but now I am abroad, I have no P60 or P45 with me, I am not planning to go back to UK, and I was wondering if I do nothing, just ignore it, what can they do me legally? I mean, if I ever want to travel as a visitor to Uk, will I have problems? Can they arrest me? Do they have access in my UK bank account? Or Spanish account ? Can they take me to the court without having a address?
      Many thanks again
      Alex

      Reply
      • Jon

        Alex,

        You can ignore the letter and the fact they state you were overpaid, but that will not make it go away.

        You will not have any issues returning to the UK, just for owing overpaid benefits in itself.

        I cannot say as to the extent the DWP or whomever may try to collect the account, but they could look to seek a CCJ.

        My advice would be to contact the DWP or who paid your housing benefit, which could also be the council depending on which benefit system you were on at the time, and inquire how they came to this overpayment. You can also contact the council as they should be ablel to provide information and possibly documenttion to aid you in this.

        Regards,

        Jon

        Reply
  172. Paul

    Hi Jon
    I’m a UK citizen. My family and I moved from UK to Australia in 2011, for a 2 year contract with my work. We returned owing a substantial amount on 2 Australian credit cards, one was linked to Commonwealth bank where I had my bank account.
    I have been in a voluntary repayment program with them for over 2 years now, with the interest frozen, however just recently I was out of work for a couple of months, i notified the bank that I would not be able to make payments until I was back in work, and offered to restart the repayments, plus a little extra each month to cover the ‘arrears’ once back in work. The bank however have already passed the debt to an Australian agency, who have informed me they will apply interest on the debt and are seeking repayment.
    We are currently using Step Change debt management for UK debt we incurred before going to Australia since rates for my work have dropped dramatically.
    So, here is my question: What would be my options regarding this situation? Involve Step Change? Seek bankruptcy in Australia?
    As a self-employed person, with the debt management program I’m using I already know my credit rating is very poor.
    I have already told the debt agency I will not be able to make the payments amounts they want, let alone bringing the debt down in anyway if they apply monthly interest.
    Thanks
    Paul

    Reply
    • Jon

      Paul,

      Yes, advise Step Change about the accounts and see if they can include them in your debt management plan. They can include the accounts, it just is down to the collection agency in Oz working with them.

      How much debt do you have in total, here in the UK and in Australia?

      If you were to decide on bankruptcy, you could go bankrupt in the UK, and include the accounts that are in Australia. This does not stop the collection process there, but does afford you protection here in the UK. If the accounts were ever sold to a collection agency here, or if the collection agency there in Australia tried to collect the accounts here, they could not do so.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • Paul

        Thanks Jon
        Total debt between UK and Australia is £80k, split around 60 – UK and 20 – Australia. We have around £125k in equity in our home, so I guess bankruptcy would mean compulsory selling of the house to finance the debt? Ultimately that would also mean not being able to get a mortgage again – especially as I’m in my early 50s?
        Thanks again
        Paul

        Reply
        • admin

          Paul,

          Yes, bankruptcy is not an option as you are technically not insolvent.

          Selling the property to pay off all the accounts, while not a pleasant option, is one way to be rid of the debts. Mortgage lenders and banks are removing age restrictions, but that is not what one wants to hear in their 50’s.

          The debt management plan is your best option, however, as you may be aware, it is not a formal arrangement. At anytime a creditor could seek out a judgment and look to enforce it through a charging order against the property.

          Speak to Step Change and let me know what they say.

          Sorry I don’t have a clear path for you to follow.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  173. Artur

    Hello,
    Can you please tell me, can a person ask for a visa extension if he has a bank debt in that country? For example I have a 12.000€ debt in Austria and I am a Bosnian resident and Bosnia is not a EU member. Can I ask for a visa in Austria because of the fact I can’t get the money back from Bosnia?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Artur,

      Different countries have different rules and guidelines for Visa’s and immigration. I would suggest you query this with the Austrian immigration control or whomever is helping you in getting a Visa.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  174. Lau

    Thanks for this useful information! Just a question:

    Who should pays the bills if Home Office forces you to leave the country before any service contract ends (eg. Virgin Media broadband service).

    I have the debt from Virgin Media over 3 years since being force to leave the country. So Do I have to pay this debt by law?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Lau,

      You ask a great question, and while maybe the question is more of a legal nature, I will try to answer and address it to the best of my experience and knowledge.

      There are companies, and I cannot say Virgin is one of those, that if you leave the country, move abroad for work or other specific reasons, they simply close the account, and do not charge any futher fees or cancellation charges.

      You will need to speak to Virgin Media about this.

      Speak to Virgin and let us know.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  175. Tomas

    Hi Jon,

    I am a Lithuania citizen living in UK for about 5 years. My mother got sick and i feel the need to go to Lithuania and look after her. And I am not planning to come back to UK. I have a barclaycard debt of £3000. I also have a two mobile phone contracts. I am not able to pay my debt and probably i won’t be able in future. I am thinking of closing my bank account and ignoring my credit card. Do you think my creditors would go after me? Or I should make a bankrupcy or something to avoid it?

    Kind regards

    Tomas

    Reply
    • Jon

      Tomas,

      I cannot say as to if your creditors would chase you to Lithuania for payment, based on the amount(s) you state, they may not as it would not be worth it.

      How much do you owe in total?

      Resolving the accounts prior to moving is an option, however, unless you have £20K or more in debt, you may wish to look into a Debt Relief Order as opposed to bankruptcy.

      DRO’s are for people wh have less than 20K in debt and have no assets, and very little surpus income.

      It is always good to speak to a professional and they can review your full set of circumstances.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  176. Gallacher J.

    Hello,

    I’m currenly living in an EU country, but have maintained an AMEX credit card in the UK – due to a work situation, the CC has fallen into arrears (£9) and the account has now been closed and passed to a DCA. My work situation is not likely to improve in the near term, but I am able to offer around a 40% full and final settlement. Is this likely to work/the best way forward.

    Regards,

    Reply
      • Jon

        Hi,

        Is the AMX card your only UK or UK/EU debt?

        Are you in arrears with any other accounts?

        I ask to get a full picture of your situation.

        Yes, a full and final settlement is a good way to cure an account in arrears or in default. The question will be, how much will the collecton agency accept; what percentage of the debt will they settle for.

        As the account becomes more in arrears and deliquent, the more a collection firm may entertain the idea of a settlement, and also how much they may accept.

        You may need to show that this is the best offer you can make, and that you have no surplus income after expeneses to make the offer and still make payments.

        Speak to the collection agency and let me know what they say.

        Regards,

        Jon

        Reply
        • Gallacher J.

          I also have a mastercard account which has not yet defaulted, but is in arrears.
          I have a call with the collection aganecy tomorrow

          Reply
  177. JuniorSenior

    I lived in the USA for 5 years on an l1 visa and left with about $2000 in medical bills. I’m planning on travelling to the USA again (9 months later) for one week. Should I be worried about immigration forcing me to pay the debt or denying me access?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi,

      There is no connection in the USA between owing a debt and being allowed or denied entry. As long as you have the proper access forms, either a Visa or ESTA form, you will not be stopped or denied access.

      Just owing a debt/account is not a problem.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  178. Adz

    Hi Many thanks for above,

    I currently have a loan in Dubai approx £80K. I currently live in the UK. what can they currently do? what law works here in the UK? I do want to pay it but with small instalments. is that possible?

    Many thanks

    Reply
  179. Jon

    Adz,

    You can contact the bank in question to inquire about setting-up a repayment plan, unfortunately, banks in Dubai are not receptive the these arrangements.

    The banks in Dubai have no real authority to collect an account here in the UK, except in some instances.

    If the account has a non-jurisdiction clause, the bank can attempt to collect the debt by using an agent or third party here in the UK. This agent then can collect the account in accord with the laws here in the UK. You also have the rights and insolvency protection that is provided here in the UK.

    If you have any assets here in the UK, such as property, it can be an issue.

    THis link will help explain the matter in more detail: https://www.buddyloans.com/blog/living-in-the-uk-with-debts-in-other-counties/

    Regards,

    Jon

    Reply
  180. d

    hello Jon,
    Hope You can help me!
    i have been living in scotland, i havent paid the council tax for a year, as i had many problems, then my family member death and i ve got a cancer, so i moved back to my country, the last step in uk was that they wrote a letter to my past employer to deduce money. I have no job now, no any money. in three-four months i will move on temporary visa to nz( i still need to apply for one), as i got a good position , and i want to pay off everything then. should i worry now?

    Reply
    • Jon

      Hi,

      If you are concerned that owing the council tax in Scotland will affect getting a Visa in NZ, you may wish to inquire with immigration there, or who is sponsoring you for the Visa.

      My research did not turn up anything negative.

      Do you owe any other debts in Scotland or the UK?

      You can also contact the council you owe to inquire as to the status of the debt, and advise them you will make payments once you are back to work.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  181. Andy

    Hi Jon,

    I am hoping you can confirm what I believe to be true in respect of this case.

    A family member bought some land in France around 2005 and used a French bank to help her with the purchase. She always remained a UK citizen. By around 2007 she became too ill to work and her finances suffered greatly. She wrote to the French bank concerned and told them to reclaim the land as she was unable to pay her loan (not mortgage) due to her health. Her last payment was made in 2007. She has heard nothing from the bank for almost ten years and assumed they had recovered the land. Recently, out the blue, a British debt recovery company appears to have bought the debt and has traced her via her credit file. Not that she tried to hide herself.

    They are demanding payment of astronomical sums. It appears to me to be a total bluff as this debt is well beyond the statute of limitations and I have no idea why they didn’t chase her before. It was somewhat telling that the letter sent to her made no threat of legal action. It feels to me that this is just a bit of hit and hope.

    If this matter can be pursued in this country which I highly doubt, then she will happily make herself bankrupt as her circumstance has not changed. This is making her ill.

    Many thanks, Andy

    Reply
    • Jon

      Andy,

      You bring up some good points, and I hope I can clarify some of them.

      If the loan your family member was not a mortgage, or secured against the land, the land may not have been repossessed. It would depend on what laws and actions the bank had at their disposal there in France.

      Regarding the statute of limitations, this will also depend on French law, and how they handle these matters. As the loan was recently purchased by a UK agency, the statute of limitations would begin here in the UK now, and it is a six year period of no contact.

      This also brings up the question, did the French bank try to contact your family member, but did not have any current details?

      If the account has indeed been bought by a UK agency and they now own the debt, they can collect it in accord with the laws here in the UK. This also allows your family member to make use of the insolvency laws here in the UK, and yes, she could discharge the debt in bankruptcy.

      Your family member may wish to speak to this agency and see what their full intentions are. She also may wish to seek legal advice from someone in France as to the time limitations on debts.

      She doesn’t need to rush out and make herself bankrupt if the debt can be collected here, which it sounds as it can. If she has no assets and no means to pay, there is little the collection agency can do.

      Let me know how she gets on.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  182. Andy

    Thank you Jon, that is most helpful. She did use the services of some debt charity years ago and managed to pay much of her UK debt over the last nine years or so. This has just hit her hard, almost digging up bad memories.

    At the moment she is out of work, doesn’t own her own home and is looking after a terminally ill family member.

    I may seek legal advice on her behalf. Thank you for your advice, much appreciated.

    Reply
  183. John

    Can you provide advice about having moved from Australia to Cambodia? I will need to renew my Cambodian visa Nov 2017. Can the bank stop this internal renewal if I have signficant outstanding CC debt?

    Reply
    • Jon

      John,

      Unfortunately I cannot answer your query as I am not knowledgable regarding Cambodia’s immigration and Visa procedures.

      I would suggest you query this with who sponsered you, or helped you with the Visa. You can also inqire with the Cambodian immigration office.

      Are the debts in Cambodia or Australia?

      Are you in arrears or have defaulted on any of the accounts?

      I would think just having debt(s), is not an issue in renewing a Visa, especially if they are current.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  184. emil

    Hello Jon,
    I have this situaton: My girl friend had 3 Amex Card & 1M&S : Total 18400 pounds spend
    She’s back in Romania ! She lived in Jersey (Channel Islands) !
    question is ; is qoing to be an Judgement ,? if it so will be in Uk or in Jersey! are the creditor going to look for her in Jersey or in Romania!
    What is the procedure from now on? How they going to locate her ! cause they have no address from back home!?
    As far as you know there are any agreement between the countries in this matter !?
    Thank you so munch for everything what you !!
    Kind regards!

    Reply
    • Jon

      Emil,

      We need to look at your girl friend’s situaton not so much as where she lived and is now living, but more as the basics; she has these acounts and is she paying them or not?

      The bottom line is that AMEX and M&S are going to try and collect the accounts to what extent they have authority to do so. That fact she has moved to Romania is yes, a part of this, but doesn’t change the basic facts.

      As to if her creditors will seek judgments against her, one cannot say, but we can speculate they may.

      If the accounts are sold to an agent in Romania, they may be collected there using the authority and laws of Romania.

      Does your girlfiend have any intention of repaying the accounts?

      Can she set-up any form of repayment for the accounts?

      As to locating her, they may try, they may not. People skip, and lenders skip trace all the time.

      Are you on any of the accounts either as a co-signer or joint card holder?

      Let me know and if need be, we will look more at this.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
      • emil

        Jon
        Thank you so much for your answers .
        I ‘m not co -signer on any of this cards & not a joint card holder to!
        Can you tell me if they can still trace her if she change the name true a marriage?? They could block any bank account on her name in Romania ?? Or they could block any proprieties on her name?
        how long this will take?
        So sorry for so many questions : Let say she’s moving and live in Spain! How they could find her /?
        Thank you so much ,Jon
        Regards

        Reply
        • Jon

          Emil,

          I cannot really say as to how or if her creditors may chase her for payment. As to how they may locate her, there are ways, and if she were to change her name, then it would make it more difficult.

          In order to close any bank accounts or demand payment in other countries, her creditors would need authority to do this, or have agents in that country.

          The same applies to place a charge on any properties in other coutries.

          I hope this helps.

          Regards.

          Jon

          Reply
      • Andy

        Hi Jon,

        My friend lives in Japan and signed a 24 month phone contract but left the next month. He left enough money in his bank account there for 3 months payment.

        Can he be arrested back home in Ireland? Is it a crime what he did?

        Thanks,

        Andy

        Reply
        • admin

          Andy,

          Just leaving an unpaid phone contract alone is not going to get him arrested back in Ireland.

          Your friend can travel without worry.

          Regards,

          Jon

          Reply
  185. Mandy Kaur

    Hi,
    I was in uk for 2 years on student visa n have not paid half tuition fee n had to leave country go back to home country. Now, I’m planning to travel France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Amsterdam for honeymoon. Do you think I can be caught n called for unpaid fee n bills back in UK?

    Reply
    • Mandy Kaur

      You think I will be caught for Uk unpaid bills and tution fee while travelling to France, Belgium, Amsterdam, Switzerland and Italy. I am not travelling to Uk though.

      Reply
    • Jon

      Mandy,

      For unpaid bills alone, you will not have any trouble travelling in the EU.

      Have a nice honeymoon.

      Regards,

      Jon

      Reply
  186. Laurie

    Hi,

    I live in Australia and haven’t been able to make my mortgage payments for over a year due
    to ill health. I am a single mum with 2 children. I am a dual citizen of Australia and USA and
    want to move to America with my children to be close to my family for support and they
    offered to pay for our flights. I don’t want to leave debts behind but my health is more
    important. What is the likely hood of the bank declaring me bankrupt? And if they do would I
    and my children be able to leave Australia on our American passports?