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Oz debt, living in the UK


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Hi,

 

Sorry if these things have been covered elsewhere, but I was hoping that someone might have a little bit of advice for me in regards to my particular situation.

 

I am a dual Australian/UK citizen. I grew up in Oz, but about 5 years ago came over to the UK to go 'travelling'. I left behind a bank loan of roughly $7000, but at the time I had enough in my oz bank a/c to keep up with the payments for around a year, IE the time I planned to 'travel' for. As it happened, I decided to stay, and being a UK citizen was able to do so. I maintained the payments in my Australian bank account until about January 2008, when I could no longer afford to keep up with the payments (UK financial situation was terrible at the time).

 

The thing is, I am not entirely sure what has happened with the debt, and thus am unsure of what I should do about it. I know my bank in Australia had a UK address that I lived in when I first arrived, but as far as I know, nothing has been sent to me there. Over the years since, I have had missed calls and voicemails coming from somewhere in Australia, but it has always been at about 6am (I could never work out why they'd do this, surely they could work out the time difference and realise it was unlikely someone would answer at that time of day!), and the voicemails have never said who they were from, they were simply asking for a call back, so I have never followed it up. I can't remember a call of this nature I have received in the last 12 months.

 

So what I want to know is:

 

- What is likely to have happened to this debt in my absence? Could they have applied for a court judgement without my knowledge/acceptance? Does it sound like they might have given up re not a massive amount of money?

 

- I would like to have the option to return to Australia at some point in the future, but realistically this isn't going to be for at least 5 years, probably more. Will leaving this debt result in problems for me should I return (IE a shocking credit file), or will the fact that it will probably be >10 years since the debt stopped being paid mean that any trace would be gone?

 

- Is travelling back to Oz in the next 6 months or so likely to cause me any problems? Would it be better to travel on my UK passport, or am I being massively paranoid to think that immigration is going to know anything about a $7000 debt?

 

- If I wanted to try to resolve it, what would be the best course of action? I am a little bit worried that making enquiries will make them reopen the case (if there even is a case!).

 

Thank you in advance for any advice, it will be gratefully appreciated.

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Do you know which company is calling you?

 

If we know that it will help us give better advise.

 

Dont worry about going back to Aus for a visit, there wont be a problem with immigration and use your Aus passport. As a citizen you can not use another passport as visas can not be issued to an Australian citizen. You might get through with a uk passport but it wouldnt be worth the risk IMO.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

No, I have no idea which company it is contacting me, or if indeed the missed calls have come from an agency or the bank. They never said who they were, simply to call a Sydney based number, which I didn't do. What do you think the 'normal' process for a situation like this would have been?

 

Cheers for the advice re passport, I'll make sure I use my Australian one. I have actually been back before without any issue, but I guess I wondered if the situation had 'advanced' in my absence (IE through the courts or something), that there might be issues. I guess you can tell I am massively naive about all of this.

 

Thanks again.

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Debt is a civil matter not a legal one.

I doubt there would be any court action taken as they knew you were overseas anyway. Normally the debt would be sold to a DCA (credit corp for example) for a fraction of it value and then the DCA chase you for the full amount, plus charges and interest. The debt would be more than it was because of interest. DCA's will settle for less than the full amount if you decide to settle the debt.

If not then just dont answer their calls or at least refuse to answer the security questions and tell them you want everything in writing. Of course if they dont have your address then thats another problem for them :-)

 

If its credit corp then they might pass on your details to Stevens Drake solicitors who might start court action in the uk to scare you into making an offer. Again though if they dont have your address they cant do much at all.

 

Hope that helps a little

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Thanks again for your advice, you're making me feel a bit better about the situation.

 

So realistically (if not morally very wrong), if I hear nothing from them over the course of the next few years, I have no real motivation to make enquiries about it?

 

And in terms of the statute barred law, say I were to go to Oz when this is clear, it shouldn't be flagged on credit/job applications and I shouldn't face any restrictions in that sense (obviously my credit profile will be rubbish having no record of living there, but I won't have the debt showing?).

 

Appreciate the help and advice.

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