A guide to
Travelling Abroad With Debt

Guide Chapters


What Happens If I Move and Leave My Debts Behind


Moving and
Having Debt


Can I Go Bankrupt in The UK if I Move Abroad?


Can My Creditors Chase Me for Payment in Other Countries?


What if I Move Back to The UK & Leave Debts in Other Countries?

Chapter 3

Can I Go Bankrupt in The UK if I Move Abroad?


This topic has been written about, and asked many thousands of times, and it never grows old as it is a very real question, and one that people live, and can affect their lives.

However the answer to this question, which is a broad question, has a few facets, as does the question itself.

  • What country are you now residing in?
  • How long have you been outside the UK?
  • How much debt do you have in the UK?
  • Are you working and can you afford to repay anything?
  • Do you own any assets, such as property?

There is no need to go over all the aspects of bankruptcy here in the UK, the real issue is that you now live outside the UK.

The first order of business, besides do you qualify for going bankrupt is, what country do you now live in and how long have you lived there?

If you are residing in the EU and have been for over three (3) months, you cannot just go bankrupt here in the UK. You will need to explore insolvency options in that country.

If you have been living outside the UK in a non-EU country, you have a three (3) year window to go bankrupt here in the UK. After 3 years away you still may have options to go bankrupt, however, you may need to return to the UK or have a representative handle this for you.

So yes it is possible to go bankrupt back here in the UK, whilst living outside the UK.

Burning Money


Can I Do An IVA If I Live Abroad?


Entering into an IVA/Individual Voluntary Arrangement whilst living abroad is not as simple as going bankrupt while living outside the UK or abroad.

There are those companies that state you can do an IVA and not be living in the UK, however, there are also the issues of the following:

  • Will an IP/Insolvency Practitioner put forth the proposals for someone outside the UK
  • Will your creditors accept the IVA
  • Dealing with the currency rate exchange issues
  • Is the UK the "centre of your interests"

As you can see, these obstacles that must be overcome, so you can do an IVA, but there is going to be a strict criteria to met.

And one of those if not the main criteria can be the centre of your interests.

This is not just trying to establish a residency requirement, which it may in the instance of going bankrupt in the UK, but in establish as to if an IVA or other UK insolvency option is available to someone who is living outside the UK.

One must keep in mind that at the time of this guide, the UK was just in the beginning stages of discussing leaving the EU. Article 50 had been invoked, but nothing has been put forth as to how the exit from the EU will be dealt with, let alone the issues of insolvency in the UK, or debts here or abroad.


Debt Management Plans

What Can I Do With My UK Debts If I Live Abroad?


A Debt Management Plan is another option for someone who may be struggling with accounts and payments, and may be in arrears, be they residing in the UK or outside the UK.

There are issues even with this form of repayment, once again due to the currency exchange rates, and just exchanging currencies, getting money from one country to another.

However, a DMP is an option for someone living outside the UK with debts back in the UK.