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Hi there,

 

Please note I offer the following detail both to avoid negative comments or judgement about deliberately skipping debt, and to also give sufficient information in the hopes of getting directions on which way to proceed.

 

I have dual Australian/UK citizenship and now reside in England after leaving Australia under a big black cloud two and a half years ago. I owned several properties in Australia, but had a severe mental breakdown following some significant personal events. I fell completely behind in life as a whole and was unable to deal with anything, including my finances. I'm talking not being able to answer phones, open letters, or answer the door. I was under the care of a psychiatrist, but it appears that after being treated here in the UK, that the medication I was on was wrong for me and likely contributed to my behaviour. I bought one house in the height of my mania, and was unable to bring myself to visit the house I'd moved out of or organise its rental or sale. I managed to speak to the bank once or twice telling them of my mental health problems, and they were understanding, but I was unable to follow through and had no one to assist me to sort out my affairs.

 

Somehow I got the idea to move back here. A friend who previously worked in bankruptcy said I could file bankruptcy from the UK, which seemed ideal, but by the time I had gotten my head together, the last house had been repossessed and it was too late to do that. She also told me that the debt could not be chased and that it would be over in six years from any judgement. Again, I was in no mind to dispute or look further for advice. I just wanted away from everything. Other friends, family, and even my psych encouraged it, so in my mind I welcomed it all as good signs for a fresh start. I didn't notify the bank of my move, but my ex did. I received the odd letter through the post at first about things that I don't recall, and never acknowledged or responded to. I was still in a state when I got here, and it took nearly a year for me to get proper assistance, and I am now on medication with suspected diagnosis of GAD or bipolar. I haven't forgotten about the debt, but it also isn't something I allow myself to think about often.

 

Now to the heart of this post. Recently I received a letter from an Australian debt recovery agency saying they now own the debt for one house and have asked me to contact them to arrange a payment plan. There was no mention of court action or anything legally threatening at all. I have not responded to them as yet, but contacted my friend who'd given me the initial advice, and she now only offers very bad news due to legislation changes and cited UNCITRAL and cross border insolvency. After googling madly I came to this site and read some threads, and I am unsure now more than ever how to proceed. My main fear is that they make me go back there. I may be doing better, but the thought of returning is causing me much distress. I'd rather have the court here issue a judgement than return, although I'm unsure if I would be able to cope with actually attending court either and can't in any way afford a solicitor. My job only just covers my monthly expenses. I rent privately and have no debt here other than to the utility companies. I don't get enough for working tax credits, but I do get council housing benefit which is only a few quid more than my council tax bill.

 

After all that background, my question is: As it appears to be in the early stages of any action, would I be better off sending a letter to the agency now outlining my current financial situation, or wait for further correspondence to see what they say? I doubt they'll drop it as it is a very significant amount of money owed, so I guess I'm answering my own question, but any constructive advice will be appreciated.

 

Kind regards

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Hi, welcome to CAG. I cant see they can force you to return to Australia for a hearing. This is a civil debt not a major criminal action.

 

It is my understanding that if you don't contest jurisdiction then a court in this UK could hear the claim.

 

However, I am sure someone will look in on you during the day with some constructive advice.

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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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There was a case highlighted here on CAG where an Aussie debt collector Creditcorp threatened action using a UK Solicitors. They even issued a court claim in the UK. In the end the court claim was dropped. The UK Solicitors would not get involved in mediation about the debt and incur costs they would not get back.

 

So yes it would be a good idea to write back to the Aussie debt collector advising them of your situation. Don't admit to owing a debt. Just mention that you are on limited income receiving UK government benefits, have no assets and are currently under medical supervision for mental health issues. Advise them that if they continue to hassle you in regard to this matter, that you will have to involve the UK Police concerning harassment and will ask them to notify Australian authorities.

We could do with some help from you.

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We could do with some help from you.

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I thought about posting a link, but thought that a long thread might be a bit concerning to them given their current position. But the main point is that after months of hassle, the Aussie debt collectors did not continue.

 

screwloose should inform the Aussie debt collectors of their situation, otherwise how would they know otherwise.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thank you both. I did read the whole of that thread in the wee hours last night, which prompted my post. I would like to do all I can to avoid the lengthy battle she had, but there is the issue that my debts far exceed those of a credit card. I'll draft a letter to them and hopefully it helps.

 

And apologies for the length of my initial post. I only just noticed how big it is!

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Thank you both. I did read the whole of that thread in the wee hours last night, which prompted my post. I would like to do all I can to avoid the lengthy battle she had, but there is the issue that my debts far exceed those of a credit card. I'll draft a letter to them and hopefully it helps.

 

And apologies for the length of my initial post. I only just noticed how big it is!

 

That is all that you can do. Write to advise them of your situation and they have to respond properly. They can't just continue to harass you by sending standard debt collection letters, as you could then complain to the Aussie regulators.

 

They may write back asking for proof of your health situation and your income. It is up to you whether you provide them with this information.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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And apologies for the length of my initial post. I only just noticed how big it is!

 

We have had far longer, believe me :lol:

 

Plus you gave all the relevant information thereby saving the question and answer frenzy that normally follows :)

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Thank you. I have no issue providing them with the income/mental health proof, although I would prefer to keep my employer out of it. Just in relation to your previous reply recommending to threaten police involvement etc if they continue harassment, this is the first letter I've had from anyone for over 18months at least, and I've had no calls or people turning up on the doorstep. I'm concerned making such a threat might seem aggressive and might bait them into becoming more aggressive in turn, precipitating any further action. I do understand that they might realise they can't get blood from a stone, but don't want them to make an example of me. There must be a 'right' way for them to go about trying to retrieve their money. I don't want to push them into finding out how to go about that. Apologies if that sounds paranoid, but I am a little.

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Certainly keep any communication low key in the first instance. However, if they start to become aggressive, then you do need to start focussing their attention by mentioning the regulators and other authorities that protect the consumer in this country :)

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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That is something I'm more comfortable with at this stage, but I'm happy to defer to the advice given if it might be more successful. I've read a lot of sound, logical advice on the threads here from those of you who have replied. The only difference now is that it is me, and I'm pretty scared right now.

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Thank you. I have no issue providing them with the income/mental health proof, although I would prefer to keep my employer out of it. Just in relation to your previous reply recommending to threaten police involvement etc if they continue harassment, this is the first letter I've had from anyone for over 18months at least, and I've had no calls or people turning up on the doorstep. I'm concerned making such a threat might seem aggressive and might bait them into becoming more aggressive in turn, precipitating any further action. I do understand that they might realise they can't get blood from a stone, but don't want them to make an example of me. There must be a 'right' way for them to go about trying to retrieve their money. I don't want to push them into finding out how to go about that. Apologies if that sounds paranoid, but I am a little.

 

The mention of the Police, is if it gets out of hand with them continually contacting you. Others have had early morning/late night phone calls.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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That is something I'm more comfortable with at this stage, but I'm happy to defer to the advice given if it might be more successful. I've read a lot of sound, logical advice on the threads here from those of you who have replied. The only difference now is that it is me, and I'm pretty scared right now.

 

If you would like to run your draft past us before you send it, then feel free to do this. It needn't be lengthy, just to advise them of your current financial situation and let them know how fragile your health is.

 

Can they not sell your property and use the proceeds to recover some of the debt ?

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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The mention of the Police, is if it gets out of hand with them continually contacting you. Others have had early morning/late night phone calls.

 

Yes, I did see that has happened to others. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

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If you would like to run your draft past us before you send it, then feel free to do this. It needn't be lengthy, just to advise them of your current financial situation and let them know how fragile your health is.

 

Can they not sell your property and use the proceeds to recover some of the debt ?

 

Thank you, that would be very much appreciated. I would think they all sold. There was decent equity in two of the properties, so even if they sold the property in question at a lower than market price they would've covered it. The amount owing is more than that house was worth though.

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Thank you, that would be very much appreciated. I would think they all sold. There was decent equity in two of the properties, so even if they sold the property in question at a lower than market price they would've covered it. The amount owing is more than that house was worth though.

 

Ah righto, well lets get this initial letter out to them in the first instance and see what their response is and we can take it from there. :)

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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For information, I saw a link on this site for an article citing a UK Supreme Court decision in Oct 2012 relating to foreign insolvency judgements and wanted to see if there had been any changes since then. I haven't been able to find anything as yet, however located a page, dated May 2013, which listed information and implications of the 2012 decision. I'm not able to post the link as I'm a newbie, but of interest is the following summary contained within:

 

"The judgment in Rubin makes it clear that if an English defendant takes no part in proceedings in foreign courts—be they bankruptcy or otherwise—any judgment in default of appearance will not be enforceable in England. The result is that a party trying to enforce judgment must enter into costly enforcement proceedings. Defendants, however, will not be required to defend all overseas proceedings in order to protect their position. Overall, there is now greater certainty on these issues, but the position for a foreign party trying to enforce judgment where the defendant has not entered an appearance remains potentially costly and difficult."

 

Obviously it's not to be taken for granted, but the information might be helpful to anyone in early stages of any action.

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From what I can see Rubin still seems to be the precedent. Because it is a Supreme court judgement and fairly recent, I don't expect there to be any case in the pipeline to change the situation. I believe it can take years to get anywhere near the Supreme court and very very expensive.

 

There are probably other ways around this. In your situation, the creditors could just go straight to a UK court to gain a normal judgement and then if you did not pay this, they could go down the bankruptcy route. But they probably would not bother, unless they thought they had a really good chance of obtaining a good chunk of the debt back. As long as you dealt with any court claim received, by defending it and if necessary agreed to mediation, then I suspect that the claimant would decide to withdraw.

 

I think you need to try to stop worrying about this and to just keep an eye on the post you receive. Perhaps don't keep reading all the information online, as it can get confusing. Wait to you receive further communications from the Aussie debt collector and then post back for further advice.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Who is the debt collector? Credit corp are the only ones I know of that will chase overseas making a lot of effort. The others seem to call a couple of times and give up. Just based on the people I have spoken too and read of.

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