Leaving the country with debt

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 03/11/2007 - 10:39

what happens if i have loan to pay and i am relocating to another country for good. can they chase me?Eg. Moving from UK to AUS.Debt is £10k.

what happens if i have loan to pay
and i am relocating to another country for good.
can they chase me?Eg. Moving from UK to AUS.
Debt is £10k.

1. Did they ever prove that you owe the debt?
2. How old is the debt?
3. Did SOL expire?
4. Did they ever get a judgment for the debt?

I had once moved from Washington to SC and
they did not chase me. :D

Tue, 03/27/2007 - 20:02 Permalink
Derby Circuit (not verified)

Actually it is possible to leave the country to avoid debt and it is unlikely that the original country can find you provided you follow these simple rules.

If you have citizenship in the next country you are leaving to and your original country (creditors) in which you have racked up your debt is not aware of this other citizenship then your chances are extremely good that you can escape scott free.

Before you leave be sure that you liquidate all bank accounts, savings and retirement accounts, sell all registered assets and convert it to cash....DO NOT TRANSFER money to your new account in the country you are moving to!...it is traceable....you do not want to leave any information behind.

Ensure that your new telephone number is unlisted in your new life and if possible DO NOT RACK UP NEW DEBT!!!

Remember that if you do leave your debts behind that if you ever come back to work there (vacation does not count if you travel with the passport of your new country) they will most likely come back to haunt you.

Mon, 01/21/2008 - 12:50 Permalink
Maximus (not verified)

How long would you not be safe to return to the country to live, is it 7 years, and slate is wiped clean?

Sun, 02/03/2008 - 17:58 Permalink

I am not very confident about this. I think debts should be paid back. May be some one else can help you out.

Mon, 02/04/2008 - 10:22 Permalink

I dont think they will chase you from one country to another they can write it off as a lost, besides would the other country let them expedite you back? being 10 they might try.

Mon, 02/04/2008 - 17:30 Permalink

If you leave the country, the SOL stops running...
If the debts are significant enough, the creditor can attempt to sue you in your home country.
Debts do not go away because time has passed, anyway.

Tue, 02/05/2008 - 01:54 Permalink

So mrnstar,

Once he returns the SOL starts ticking again? No, i dont understand this part. There must be some transaction to let that happen. How is it going to be?

Tue, 02/05/2008 - 09:33 Permalink

Leaving the country will toll (pause) the SOL; returning will restart (but not reset). The provision exists to deter people from running up debts and leaving the country (as a state, Florida works in a very similar way).

Tue, 02/05/2008 - 11:04 Permalink

Surely you are not leaving the country just to escape debt right? What will you do if you need something in the new country and you have to fall back on your credit history, say they want to pull your history if you decide to buy a home, purchase a vehicle or something like that, what will you show for credit history?

Tue, 02/05/2008 - 22:15 Permalink

great point August about the established credit history, I am sure on a major purchase it would come up, don't see how it could be avoided.

Wed, 02/06/2008 - 01:31 Permalink

Leaving the country will not help you in the long run. If you have to return sometime the SOL restarts as mrnstr mentioned.

Wed, 02/06/2008 - 09:52 Permalink

So if you return to your country just be rest assured that the SOL has started ticking. So its my advice to pay off the debt as soon as you are capable of paying the money back.

Thu, 02/07/2008 - 07:25 Permalink
Kirsty (not verified)

If you were to leave the country (UK) with for example £15k debt and live in a country outside of the EU for a few years on a British passport would you be chased for this debt? If you returned to the UK and they continued to chase you for the debt couldn't you just go bankrupt?

Tue, 02/26/2008 - 17:44 Permalink
working (not verified)

Not a good idea. If you do it now, you will do it in the other country. Its good to pay your debt. Is this the reason you are leaving the country - debt? If you leave now, the SOL stops and when you return it starts ticking again. If you leave for 7 years, your will be able to restart though.

Mon, 03/03/2008 - 20:02 Permalink
banks suck (not verified)

So far there has never been an international agreement to share credit histories and I do not see this happening as it is not feasible.

After you leave the UK, your credit issuer or banks will likely hire a debt collector to chase your debt within 3 months of non-payment. And because you are abroad, the debt collector won't be able to find you, they'll then apply for a charging order at the couny court. A charging order might give the creditor the right to your possessions, such as your mortgage, house, or land, and cars, etc. So make sure you liquidate everything before you leave. Debt collectors might call your home abroad if they somehow got your details, but the court order they have only applies to the UK. So they don't have the rights to take you possessions abroad.

I guess the only way bad debt in the UK will get to you is if you apply for a job in a UK company abroad and it runs a background check on you, including your credit history in the UK.

Wed, 07/02/2008 - 16:32 Permalink

yeah banks-suck is right because if you leave UK leaving your possessions like your house, cars etc behind, the creditors can get a court order to get hold of your properties. However, if you sell your possessions in UK and go abroad for a few years, the creditors can do you no harm even if you are staying abroad in British passport. This however will give a negative impact in your credit report which will stay in your report for seven years. But make sure that you close all your bank accounts in UK and transfer your money to a bank in the country in which you plan to reside. Otherwise, the creditors can garnish your bank account by the order of the court to get back the money. If you return after the SOL in your state has expired, then I don't think they can charge you again for the debt.

Thu, 07/03/2008 - 05:42 Permalink

I never heard of a charging order. This would suck for someone stuck over seas in the military. To come home to nothing. You think they would have to contact you before getting one of those orders.

Sat, 07/19/2008 - 18:52 Permalink

No civil or criminal action can be taken on a military person while they are stationed abroad, they are protected by fair debt collection and the soldiers, sailors act.

Sat, 07/19/2008 - 21:39 Permalink

This is a very old law and has been in affect for a long time, I know when I was deployed this law actually cut all the intrest on my loans also, it has a lot of different parts. All I had to do was send my lender a copy of my orders and they had to by law drop the intrest, they all complied, but as soon as I got back the rates shot right back up.

Mon, 07/21/2008 - 02:37 Permalink

That is a good thing for them to have in place. The only thing I believe that should have been added was a grace period. They could have given at the least and in my opinion 6 months before readding interest.

Tue, 07/22/2008 - 18:15 Permalink
Ruth (not verified)

So does anyone know what would happen if you left the UK with debts of say 5k, lived abroad but wanted to return to visit... Would you get pulled at the airport?

Sun, 01/25/2009 - 17:26 Permalink

It would depend on the rules of debt collection. If the can legally have you detained for unpaid debts over there then maybe. Here in the United States that is unheard of but we do not know how the laws work in that country. Maybe someone on this forum maybe familiar with them, I am not sure. Is there a web site on debt collection laws for the United Kingdom?

Sun, 01/25/2009 - 17:33 Permalink
Ruth (not verified)

I've looked everywhere I can. I'm moving to Australia from England with my other half in a few months and I've spent the past 5 years trying to pay off what I owe. The banks have been no help at all, and to try and pay the debts off from Australia would cost even more due to the cost of transferring money between countries. I've looked into going bankrupt but that would affect my chances of getting a job, a house or anything else in the future. Since my debts are relatively small (to the banks) and I've already paid them so much (they're just not going down due to interest and charges), I was wondering if skipping might be the best option, even though it's wrong. I just don't see any other way out at this point since I've been trying to pay them back since I was about 20. Thanks for the quick reply.

Sun, 01/25/2009 - 18:03 Permalink
Ruth (not verified)

Sorry for the double post, but I should add that my partner and I have been paying as much off as we can, but he's just lost his job over here and because of the terms of his Visa it's unlikely he'll find another one before he has to leave. My wages are barely enough to cover rent and food, let alone paying back more so the debts will just go up again and I have no means of paying them.

Sun, 01/25/2009 - 18:07 Permalink
LimitationAct1980 (not verified)

6 years.. if the creditors haven't heard from you for 6 years from the l;ast payment..they can not chase you with the debts anymore!! if they do persist then send them a copy of the Limitation Act 1980. and with an irritated tone that you'd sued them for unlawful harrassment. just google it and print off the pdf file. there problem solved!

Fri, 02/06/2009 - 22:23 Permalink
LimitationAct1980 (not verified)

Don't worry all the Ruths out there, you are not the first one who had this problem. All the money in the banks are all insured..if not enough then governments provide bail out..they never run out. sleep better at night my dears. Don't tell them where you are..because they cant collect from someone they can't locate. so sit back and rest easy and have fun in australia..and forget the english weather!

Fri, 02/06/2009 - 22:31 Permalink
joe (not verified)

well, i would say go for it. at the end of the day cover your tracks, make sure you have closed your bank accounts in uk. just for safeness change your name when you get there with your passport. I too have 14k worth of debt and im not worried. if they find me i will tell them i am broke sorry you cannot have any money. what will they do then, they cannot arrest you. all they can do is put you on another debt payment plan so your no worse off if they find you.
there are lots of ins and outs of how to do this porperly, obviosly we should pay these debts first as we all try to do. for some people though. you get trapped in a debt circle mostly due to the fact the cost of living in uk is stupidly expensive. there is enough information on the web to find. just a few more tips i have gathered for anyone who wishes to leave the country with debt and immigrate. close your accounts ,cancel direct debits write a short letter to all your debters(people u owe money to) stating that you have moved to another address in another province or state or county wichever applies. say that you will be intouch soon to give you this new address as i do not have details as yet.
by doing this, they will not try and find you becouse its costly, instead they will wait about 6 months for your reply. giving you plenty of time to change your name . uk experian fortunatly is only in the uk, reejoyce lol. so if you have a bad credit rating it does not matter. good. make sure you tell only family or people you trust where you have gone . or they may slip up if a debt collecter knoks at there door if you lived with parents for example. they are under no obligation to give information to a strange man in a suit, best not to arswer the door or shout through the window. you may find its best to get a loan out in your new country with a better apr to pay back your existing debt. go back to uk. then pay it off and no worries right, just pay back what you can afford, like turning a new leaf. the more people that do this the better. debt recovery is very high at the moment so £10k is not a lot for you. dont worry theres bigger fish at this point in time with the recesion. nows the best time :D

Tue, 03/17/2009 - 12:22 Permalink
tooty (not verified)

Im thinking of going travelling and have around 6K worth or credit card debts.. Does anyone know how i would stand on that?

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 09:21 Permalink
lenny (not verified)

I can't repay the debt, I can't stay in the UK, I have some cash that I want to use to leave the country and leave Europe as well, and start a new life.
will they be able to trace me in South America?
What if I want to open a bank account or buy a house?
They will be able to see my country of destination through my passport number?
For this sum, will they chase me internationally?
Can I get arrested if I come back to UK (which I do not intend to)
Can I be extradited?

Thu, 04/23/2009 - 13:15 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Lenny
As far as I know, once you leave the Country, the credit laws of that country will not apply to another country. Moreover, since defaulting on your credit is not a criminal offense, I don't think that the International criminal law will be applicable in tracing you. But if you come back, there is every possibility that the creditor can sue you.

Fri, 04/24/2009 - 07:29 Permalink
sunny4141 (not verified)

if i leave country with loun,credit cart,visa cart than after what they can do?they can came to back our my country?also i am in not urop

Sat, 06/27/2009 - 09:06 Permalink

Hi sunny,

You cannot get rid of your debts by leaving the country. If your creditors are able to trace you, they may garnish your wages or bank accounts. The creditors can also sue you for non-payment of debts. However, in any of the above situations the credit laws of the state where the debt was incurred, will apply.

I would suggest that you pay off your debts, before your leave the country. You can at least try to settle the debts, if you cannot afford to pay down in full. Your debt amount will keep increasing because of the accrued interests. So it will be better, if you pay it off as soon as possible.

Mon, 06/29/2009 - 06:06 Permalink
blair (not verified)

My brother is getting married in australia,and is paying for myself,mum and dad to go over for it.i owe child suport.inland revenue are giving me the run around,by not telling me if i can leave the country to attend..could you help me out with a bit of insight to my problem..thanks

Mon, 08/10/2009 - 04:39 Permalink

I am unsure of the New Zealand laws on owing child support but can they really keep you from going out of country for a wedding? Is there an office you can visit and see what the true rules are for leaving the country if you owe child support? Owing child support is like owing taxes and the rules that apply to that are more than likely really different than the ones that apply to credit card debt.

Mon, 08/10/2009 - 14:38 Permalink
prang (not verified)

hey, just trying to get my head around this... I am currently living in England and have unpaid debts in australia approximately $8000-10000. I made an attempt to sort it out last time I was back but ran out of time as I was coming back to live permanently in the uk with my husband. My debts there have still not been sorted out and I'm worried that when i go back to visit I will be stopped at the airport.. is this true? And does it wipe clean after 7 years?

Mon, 08/10/2009 - 15:49 Permalink

Hello Prang,
I am unsure of how debts overseas work. I know here in the United States that there is a statute of limitations on collecting credit card debt. It varies by state on how many years. If the SOL is 4 then a company can not come back to sue you and legally win. It does stay on your credit report for 7 years but after that it falls off or can be disputed and removed.
You may have to look into how these things work in your country. Gppd Luck

Mon, 08/10/2009 - 23:46 Permalink
silly when younger (not verified)

Hi, i'm Australian currently living in NZ, i have debt in Australia that has been un-paid since my last visit last year, which i have not been contacted about as yet. i'm heading back and want to know if they can stop me at the airport when I want to return back to NZ?

Tue, 10/13/2009 - 20:40 Permalink
Mary Ann (not verified)

I moved to another country.
Due to unexpected expenses, I missed two months of credit card payments.
As soon as possible, I contacted a debt consolidation agency to arrange for repayment.
My debt was $15000.
In the following eighteen months, I paid $7000.00.
Of this two thirds went to interest. It would take four more years to pay the debt. This is too much!

So, I cancelled the arrangement.

My only income is SS and a pension.

I do not plan to return to the United States to live.

I have begun to receive mail from credit agencies regarding this.
They cannot contact me directly.
Should I respond to them, or ignore them?

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 14:43 Permalink
andreas shizzzzem (not verified)

if i leave spain to go back to england and i owe 4000 will i be tracked down and have to pay that money... what should i do if i carnt afford to stay here anymore

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 22:19 Permalink
as before (not verified)

im in spain and i have a debt of around 4000 k i have just lost my job and i carnt afford to go back to the uk as i have no money what so ever... i am slowly getting deeper and deeper into debt .. but i carnt afford to go back to the uk.. do i get more into debt and run to the uk or aus... i really dont no what to do i have been looking for help but just seem to find people that want to help me get into more debt what is the best thing to do

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 22:51 Permalink
john doe (not verified)

i am thinking of leaving the country to evade my debt problem i owe approx £18.000.00. have i a chance of getting away with it

Sun, 11/15/2009 - 19:42 Permalink

You many end up with judgements against you if you are not here to recieve them when creditors sue if they choose too.

Wed, 11/18/2009 - 11:24 Permalink
helpful (not verified)


You should just pay what you owe! How can you use someone else's money and decide not to pay, leave the country and sleep at night-what is wrong with you all????? In Australia, the statute of limitations on a debt which has been filed with regulators is 12 years. If you have left, don't come back! You don't deserve to live here, no matter what sad story you think you have. You owe a debt to someone. Pay it!

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:09 Permalink
milm (not verified)

they can't chase you if you live and have citizenship in another country. if u were to do a credit on ur country of citizenship, the debt won't show up since it would be from a different country.

Mon, 03/15/2010 - 18:37 Permalink
john773 (not verified)

hi ermm maybe a stupid thing to ask but i am getting a macbook pro at around 2k but i am only in the country for a few more months b4 leaveing for good never to return. is it possible to track me down at all in anyway if i close my bank accounts cuz thats all i own to my name. and is it possible that the other country and see what i have done ?

its on finance btw 4 got to tell u all

Wed, 04/07/2010 - 02:51 Permalink

Hi John,

Your bad or good credit will not affect your credit in another country. However, if you leave your country with debt, it may toll. That is, the Statute of Limitations will start ticking whenever you come back in your own country.



Wed, 04/07/2010 - 04:14 Permalink
john773 (not verified)

so basicly i can just like run away with a £2000 macbook pro and there is nothing they could do at all it would be just like i had vanished off the face of the earth :P xD

Wed, 04/07/2010 - 09:42 Permalink

Why would you purposely do that? Most people here have come here because they have had an unfortunate turn in times, not intentional.

This is bad, real bad. Don't do it.

Wed, 04/07/2010 - 20:16 Permalink

Hi John,

I completely agree with goodnatured. If you really owe the debt, you need to pay it.



Thu, 04/08/2010 - 09:05 Permalink
Ukoz (not verified)

Me and the missus have/had debts in the UK totally at least 25-30,000 possibly more. We had no way of paying them back as we where both made unemployed. This was 4 years ago. We are now back on our feet in Australia with minimal debt (lesson learned!).

Since being in Australia i've heard nothing about anyone chasing payments (once my mum in the UK had a call for me, but thats it.)

If you are leaving the country and not coming back like myself and you have no way of paying back debt, wheres the harm? All money I owe is to huge corperations who have no doubt cried themselves to sleep over me *rolls eyes*.

As for being stopped in airports for debt, thats not going to happen in *most* countries although i'd avoid UAE lol

Tue, 04/20/2010 - 06:01 Permalink