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UK Debt, Living in US


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May an American give a bit of advice on how to procede on this end?

 

As far as how to deal with these con men in the UK, I cannot help you at all. The advice you will get from others is what you should pay attention to.

 

Debtors in the US often have more rights than do debtors in the UK, but in this case it appears to be the other way around. If you owe money in the US, but move out before it is statute barred, the time freezes while you are out of the country, and is reset when you return. So, you could leave for 20 years, and still get sued. That does not appear to be the case in the US.

 

If they somehow decide to file suit against you in the US, there are a few things you should know.

 

First, if they sue you, the judge may be completely confused. Most American judges have no idea whatsoever how to handle overseas debt. So, your best bet would be to file a Motion to Dismiss based on the fact that the local court has no jurisdiction over the matter.

 

Second, the statute of limitations on debt varies for different states, and for different types of debt. In Delaware, the debt is statute barred after only 3 years, but Ohio it would be 15 years. So, if you are in Delaware or Virginia or some other state with a shorter statute of limitations than back home, file for dismissal if the debt is any older than the local SOL. Otherwise, file for dismissal if the debt is older than the statute back home. IMPORTANT: The judge will not dismiss the case if you do no bring up the point. If you live in Wisconsin, it is illegal for they to try to collect statute barred debt. You can counterclaim for damages, or $1000, whichever is greater.

 

Third, in virtually every state in the US, you can demand they prove that (a) the debt is real and (b) they actually own the debt. Most of these debt buyers, what we in the states call junk debt buyers, don't HAVE the proof required to win a case in court.

 

Fourth, there is a very good chance they will violate US and state laws in debt collection. Read up on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the corresponding state statutes. They ALWAYS violate the FDCPA. The penalty is $1000, and/or damages, plus attorney's fees. So, if you spend $3000 on an attorney and $500 on court costs to file a claim against a debt collector for FDCPA violations, they will wind up having to pay $4500, of which $1000 goes to you.

 

Finally, realize that a number of judges just plain hate anyone accused of being a debtor, and may well ignore all the laws. In that case, you would need to appeal to a higher court.

 

For more information about American debt laws and courts, I would suggest the forums at

 

http://www.debtorboards.com/

 

http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/social-answers/popular-questions.php

Edited by cerberusalert
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  • 6 months later...

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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  • 4 years later...

Since this stikky was posted, it is assumed that US debt collection laws have changed considerably. It would also appear that the laws are different state to state.

 

We advise you do your own research for the US state that you are concerned about.

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