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Notifying a debtor that I'm overseas - What do I need to do?


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I've spent a while reading this forum this afternoon and think I know what to do. However, before I go and do it, I'd like to clarify a few small things.

 

I'm in Australia and have left approx. 25k debt behind, about 10k is an HSBC managed loan and the rest is split between Capital One, Virgin/MBNA and Egg.

 

I've been making minimum payments for the months leading up to moving here and left enough money in the bank to pay them until the end of September. Now we're into October, the money will have run out and I need to tell them I've left the country.

 

Currently I have all my UK mail forwarded to a UK PO Box that scans and sends it to me.

 

I'm living in Australia and wish to notify the debtors that I dont live in the UK, in order to prevent them ligeally applying for a CCJ.

 

Here are the questions:

 

1) Can I contact them by email or does it have to be via post?

2) I dont want to provide them with either my UK PO Box or overseas address - Can I write, simply telling them I'm overseas and can only be contacted via email?

3) Whilst technically possible to persue a CCJ through Aussie courts, would anyone bother doing it for a relatively small debt?

4) Are debts bundled together to make the sum being chased bigger and hence, more worthwhile running around the world for?

5) If I hear nothing back from my letter but receive the signed for confirmation, can I leave it at that?

6) Do I have to tell them where I am? Can I just say I'm " in Asia " ?

 

and finally....

 

7) I'm paranoid about being found so have been paying 6 ponds a month for a proxy web service that I connect through when looking at online banking or receiving email credit card statements where pictures have to be downloaded. This service will show my IP address as being in Singapore. Am I being over cautious??

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What address do they have for you currently ?

 

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1) Can I contact them by email or does it have to be via post?
You can notify them by email but I would use the belt & braces approach & do both.

2) I dont want to provide them with either my UK PO Box or overseas address - Can I write, simply telling them I'm overseas and can only be contacted via email?
You could open a PO a/c in Oz & use that or alternatively tell them you have no fixed abode & can only be contacted by email.

3) Whilst technically possible to persue a CCJ through Aussie courts, would anyone bother doing it for a relatively small debt?
I can't answer that one I'm afraid, hopefully someone else can.

4) Are debts bundled together to make the sum being chased bigger and hence, more worthwhile running around the world for?
The same debt collector may acquire more than one of the debts but they cannot bundle them together and treat them as one.

7) I'm paranoid about being found so have been paying 6 ponds a month for a proxy web service that I connect through when looking at online banking or receiving email credit card statements where pictures have to be downloaded. This service will show my IP address as being in Singapore. Am I being over cautious??

Even if they checked the headers in your email all it would tell them is the city & country it originated from, but they would determine that if you sent them surface mail.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

Most of the debtors have a previous UK address in Devon. We lived with family in Norfolk for 12 months prior to coming here but never told the debtors about that - We simply had a Royal Mail redirection in force which sent it all to the PO Box address (in the UK) where it was scanned and emailed to us. Therefore they all think we live in Devon.

 

(actual locations changed)

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ANother query - I had a big bonfire before we left the UK and dont have any record of account numbers or contact addresses etc.

 

I can look at Equifax/Experian online to get a list of debtors easily enough but how do I identify myself to them when writing???

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Just quote the addresses you had when you used the a/cs. they'll be able to find the a/c from that & your name.

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ANother query - I had a big bonfire before we left the UK and dont have any record of account numbers or contact addresses etc.

 

I can look at Equifax/Experian online to get a list of debtors easily enough but how do I identify myself to them when writing???

 

You know who the money is owed to, so write to the head office customer service address (which you can find online) of each company. All you need provide is the full name shown on the account, what type of account and the address used for the account. They will be able to find you. If you provide a signature, they can also check it matches any they have for the account. In the letter you can just say that you have just moved to Australia and have had to put payments on hold, until you have settled and know what state your finances are in. Advise them that you will be back in contact in due course. It will then not look like you have run away from these debts.

 

Remember to also cancel any UK bank account the money is being paid out of, just in case any items are paid that take it into an expensive overdraft situation.

 

These companies will probably just write to you for a period asking you for your payment proposals for a period. If these are then not received, they will then go down their normal debt collection process, using internal/external debt collection. If you do your research online, most creditors don't appear to be very good at chasing debts abroad. However, given the current debt amount, they could make you bankrupt in your absence and see what UK assets you have. They could also try to go after any assets you have in Australia, so any creditors in Australia may then become aware of bankruptcy in the UK.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks for the helpful information.

 

I have sent a number of letters via a friend in the UK who helpfully provided tracking and proof of delivery for them all. Most have now been delivered.

 

One of the banks has sent me an email to the address I provided saying they would like me to contact them as a matter of urgency on a given telephone number.

 

What would be an appropriate response to this?

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Thanks for the helpful information.

 

I have sent a number of letters via a friend in the UK who helpfully provided tracking and proof of delivery for them all. Most have now been delivered.

 

One of the banks has sent me an email to the address I provided saying they would like me to contact them as a matter of urgency on a given telephone number.

 

What would be an appropriate response to this?

 

Just reply to the email saying that you prefer all contact to be in writing, email or post, due to the time differences, cost of phone calls and for record keeping purposes.

 

Never discuss this over the phone as they will try to persuade you into a payment arrangement. That is the purpose of the request to call them.

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

An update for you, and some more questions.

 

The bank that emailed me have not responded further since I said I will only communicate via email.

 

I thought the letters I sent to the others had done the trick as my UK PO Box had no post for a week or so. However, I've had 8+ letters there today from various banks, none of which I bothered to have scanned, I just clicked "shred" on all of the items listed (the PO Box company scans the envelope and asks what I'd like them to do with it)

 

So my question is this.............

 

Given I have notified them that I am no longer able to accept postal communications because I am out of the country, how can I say to them "I know you're still sending me post, please stop it"

 

If I say friends or family have told me about it, will they see that as an avenue by which they could serve a CCJ?

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Next time you receive any post you don't want to your UK Post box, I would suggest that they return to sender, if that is an option.

 

You don't have to acknowledge that post had been received to the UK box. You could send an email or letter saying that you have not heard from that since your last letter to them and can you have an update.

 

If you have given your address abroad, ask them to respond to the address or via email.

 

What you are really wanting is for these companies to acknowledge that you live abroad and for this to be noted on your credit record. If you have proof of your address, perhaps you will need to send them a copy of this.

 

Remember that for debts over £750 they can apply for bankruptcy in your absence using your last known UK address. Some debt companies are doing this rather than apply for CCJ's.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

I'm reluctant to use the return to sender option because envelopes received at the UK PO Box have a Royal Mail redirection sticker on them, giving away the new address.

 

I do like the idea of writing to say I've not heard anything from them and reminding them of the email contact address though.

 

I have looked at bankruptcy myself and have been in contact with a number of solicitors in the UK who offer this via a power of attorney. However, their costs along with what I'd have to pay a local solicitor to witness me signing the paperwork at this end make it a less attractive option.

 

If a creditor is happy to make me bankrupt in my absence, I'd be more than happy with that.

 

Do you think it would be unwise to suggest they go ahead and do this at some point in the future?

 

Additionally, is it possible to put a "gone away" note on my credit file myself? Could I contact the credit reference companies to notify them that I'm no longer a UK resident?

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I have looked at bankruptcy myself and have been in contact with a number of solicitors in the UK who offer this via a power of attorney. However, their costs along with what I'd have to pay a local solicitor to witness me signing the paperwork at this end make it a less attractive option.

If push comes to shove you can apply for bankruptcy in Oz and include all foreign debts.

Additionally, is it possible to put a "gone away" note on my credit file myself? Could I contact the credit reference companies to notify them that I'm no longer a UK resident?
A credit reference agency will only add or alter information provided by the finance industry.

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

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Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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Thanks for the replies.

 

I'm aware of the topic of that other thread but am also wary of debtors contacting family in the UK during their search. Its been 14 years since I lived with my parents but one debt is owed on an account I opened when I lived there - There is a slim chance they still have a record of that address and the fact I was "living with parents".

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If they do contact your parents there is no legal requirement for them to reveal your whereabouts. All they need to do is tell them you do not live there and to stop contacting them. If they continue to do so they should complain to their local Trading Standards department.

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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