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leaving UK for AUS, what happens with my debts?


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Hi I'm really interested in this, not because I want to completely avoid debt but because I want to gain some leverage in negotiations over a loan that I'm struggling to pay.

At the moment the lender has rejected any attempts I've made to reduce the monthly amount and are now threatening court action.

 

I'll be leaving the UK for Australia soon to rejoin my family so I'm considering this option.

 

Just a question to clarify,

 

I understand that a CCJ is enforceable in the courts in Aus so need to avoid this by being out of jurisdiction.

 

What I don't understand is why,

once the debt is sold to an Aus collection firm,

they can't start proceedings in Aus to recover the money.

 

Surely if they own the debt,

they can legitimately start a court action in Aus for the debt.

 

Do they not just because it's too expensive it is there a legal reason why not?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I think the main reason is that Aussie courts are much more fussy and old fashioned ( i have heard this from someone who has practised in Aussie courts) . If Aussie Lawyers really wanted to get involved in this by commiting money, they would have done so by now. And there are probably not many former UK residents taking debts to Aus, as financial stability would be part of the Visa application. Australia is now more expensive cost of living wise, than most parts of the UK, but depending on job type, they can pay more.

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I'm trying to understand the risks involved in leaving a UK debt if I move to Aus.,not because I want to completely avoid debt but because I want to gain some leverage in negotiations for a loan that I'm struggling to pay.

 

At the moment the lender has rejected any attempts I've made to reduce the monthly amount and are now threatening court action.

 

I'll be leaving the UK for Australia soon to rejoin my family so I'm considering this option.

 

Just a question to clarify, I understand that a CCJ is enforceable in the courts in Aus so need to avoid this by being out of jurisdiction.

 

What I don't understand is why, once the debt is sold to an Aus collection firm, they can't start proceedings in Aus to recover the money.

 

Surely if they own the debt, they can legitimately start a court action in Aus for the debt.

 

Do they not just because it's too expensive it is there a legal reason why not?

 

Thanks in advance!

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What type of debt ?

 

When did you take out the account with the lender e.g. Before April 2007 or after ?

 

Approx how much is the debt ?

 

Is the debt still with the original creditor ?

 

You do know that it is pretty uncommon for original creditors to issue court claims themselves, as they prefer to apply default to credit records, then write off against tax, before selling the debts on to Debt Collection Agencies. It can be years after a default, before any court claim is ever issued and sometimes there are so many debts being chased that they don't bother. So don't presume that an unpaid debt always results in a CCJ.

 

Best advice is to advise creditors of your Aussie address once this is available, so they can stay in contact with you. This should avoid sneaky CCJ by default using last known UK address. You could get an Experian account or other credit reference account before you left the UK, so you can keep an eye on it. Just ask them whether you can access from outside the UK. If a default is added, you can ask credit reference agencies to add a note that you reside in Australia. Creditors will note Aussie address on your credit record.

 

UK courts are very well known as being helpful to creditors over a long period and this includes foreign ones. But Aussie courts are not as helpful, even though there is a commonwealth debt agreement. Aussie courts seem to need a UK CCJ, before they will look at UK debts. Perhaps they don't have any case law or rules in Australia that allows foreign debts fo be heard in an Aussie court, unless the foreign debt has already been considered by the foreign court. I have not come across Aussie court cases reported online regarding UK debts, but this is not to say they don't exist.

 

Very unlikely a UK debt would follow you to Australia. UK creditors struggle enough to collect debts in the UK and probably would never bother to strike deals with Lawyers in other countries. It might be different if the debt was for say £100k or it was a business debt.

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi unclebulgaria,

 

you mentioned that financial stability will affect the visa application process. I thought that a person has to be of "good character" (i.e, without criminal convictions), but his/her credit record back at home will not be questioned. Have things changed recently and do AU immigration officials now also ask for a credit record?

 

Thanks

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Please give more details on the debt. There is various advice depending on the debt itself. FOr instance, your creditor should generally NOT refuse a reduced rate of repayment on an amount owed if you can show that you are in financial difficulty as it would be a breach of their credit licence and guidance on debt collection. Then theres the whole thing of irresponsible lending if you qualify for it.

 

Note generally as it all depends on the debt

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Hi unclebulgaria,

 

you mentioned that financial stability will affect the visa application process. I thought that a person has to be of "good character" (i.e, without criminal convictions), but his/her credit record back at home will not be questioned. Have things changed recently and do AU immigration officials now also ask for a credit record?

 

Thanks

 

Last time i looked into the process, which was a few years ago, you had to go through a full financial check, just to make sure that you were able to afford to live in Australia. Therefore if you had continuing UK financial commitments, these would be taken into account. I am not sure they check UK credit records, but they ask for Bank statements etc.

 

If you are looking to go through the process you need to contact Aussie immigration for more information, as it is complicated and always changing.

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can confirm that credit records are not checked. I have been through the application process three times now (2007, 2011 and 2016) and what they are looking at is health requirements and criminal convictions. The immi website explains it further.

 

I have been through similar to yourself. I made minimum repayments (5 GBP per month) for a good five years after moving and then let them know of my new address. One of my creditors was sending annual statements for a while but this has now stopped, as have my payments.

 

I am waiting for them to ask for payment and then I will happily offer them a reduced settlement. From memory, I have paid off two out of four using this approach but the others, for some reason, are happy to not contact me, even though they have my address and I am not making payments.

 

Student Loan was a different story however and I put a lot of effort in to paying this off.

 

I checked my credit report a few years ago and it was completely blank. Maybe the debt collectors have applied for CCJs since then, but I doubt it. If they have then I can deal with it in the future as I have proof that they were aware of my AUS address.

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Can't figure out how to edit my above post but I just wanted to add that my comments around them not checking financial aspects relates to family visas (spouse etc). They do check bank statements for working holiday visas and a few others (such as retirement visas).

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Guest Mrs Hobbit

Credit records aren't checked. Bank statements and proof of income are. Just let them know your Aussie address and leave it at that.

 

Debts ar civil not criminal. i have not known of a UK debt being heard in an Aussie court. Don't forget each state has it's own jurisdiction and only if it is a Federal matter would it be heard in a federal Court.

 

To open an Aussie bank account you need a 100 points and these all relate to Aussie domicile; this is why the banks here are so eager to open an account for you in Australia before you leave. only catch is you wont have access to the funds for six weeks after arriving in OZ. This is what we checked out 6 months ago when back home and checking Hobbit's residency status and visa for Australia.

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