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If I Move Abroad Will All My Debts Be Written Off?

It’s becoming more common for people to move abroad to both live and to work nowadays. Generally people will go for a change of lifestyle, to experience new cultures or simply because they want to work and live in another country. But, a lot of people will make this move for a different reason. They think that it will give them a way of escaping their debts.

So, does this work? If you owe money in the UK will your creditors even bother to chase you if you up sticks and move abroad? To be honest, this isn’t a fixed escape route for you and -- bear in mind -- you may want to come back one day in the future! It’s far better to face up to your problems than try to run away from them.

The only time a creditor might not bother chasing you at all is if you default on a joint account debt. So, for example, if you have a UK mortgage in your name and that of your spouse then you are both considered to be jointly responsible for the debt you incurred. If one of you moves abroad and disappears then the lender may simply concentrate their efforts on getting back their money from the person left behind. Hardly a nice leaving present to leave for them!

In most cases, however, you may find that your creditors will still try to come after you to get back what you owe them. This may not happen in all cases but it still happens a lot. They may make extra efforts to find out your new address or even to trace your spending activity to try and pinpoint where you are sot hey can come after you for payment.

In some cases they will even use local debt collection agencies to come and try to get their money back where you now live. Due to the increasing number of cases of people moving abroad in recent years many UK debt collectors have partners in foreign countries already. This makes it easier for them to track you down and to chase you. So, you may simply switch from UK creditors chasing you to foreign debt collection agencies doing the same job. The end result is the same really.

If you want to move abroad for genuine reasons (i.e. not just to run away from your debts) and you do have some debts over here then you should try and sort these out before you go. This doesn’t mean that you need to pay them all off at once. You can still put in place debt repayment agreements and other debt management solutions that you can manage from your new home.

It is important to make sure that you talk to your creditors before you move. You need them to agree to your proposed solution. If you need help here then your initial step should be to take some impartial debt management advice to see where you stand and what your options are.
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