Unpaid debt

(22 Posts)
gabsdot45 Mon 11-May-15 08:38:44

The other day myself and a friend of mine were chatting and she mentioned that when she moved to this country herself and her husband left behind a lot of unpaid debt in their home country. Credit cards, medical bills etc.

She said for the first few years her dad got regular phone calls from debt collectors and he passed on her new address but they never contacted her.
She's been here for about 5 years now and she said that the debt will be written off eventually.

AIBU to feel quite uncomfortable about how blase she was about this. IMO not paying off your debts is dishonest. I know there are circumstances where people become bankrupt etc but in her case I got the impression that some of the debt was run up knowing that they were leaving the country. Or is she just lucky that she's got away with it.

FarFromAnyRoad Mon 11-May-15 08:41:55

My SIL did this. DH and I found it so reprehensible that we've not spoken to her since. She furnished a house, got all the tech gear - the lot on HP and then legged it. We all pay for that in the end.

NRomanoff Mon 11-May-15 09:21:37

Imo it is dishonest. Besides which the price of everything goes up to take people not paying.

Its the same with water bills. Alot of people don't pay for their water and they can't be cut off. So everyone else bills go up to replace the losses.

SquinkiesRule Mon 11-May-15 09:32:14

MIL did this too, her new address in new country was given to all the debtors and they tried to bill her in new country she just ignored them. She's quite proud of the fact, that told me more about her than I wanted to know.

Eltonjohnsflorist Mon 11-May-15 09:36:35

It depends. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt- if I were struggling with debt I wouldn't go out of my way to clear it all before leaving the country, no.

That said im sure many people do want to screw over creditors- since so many debt providers are desperate to screw people
Over I struggle to care that much to be honest. Although would I want her as a friend? Possibility not, she sounds slippery.

Sallyingforth Mon 11-May-15 09:40:01

Elton
Would you feel the same if that debt was owed to you, or a friend of yours?

AuntyMag10 Mon 11-May-15 09:43:48

Elton great morals you have there.

Marynary Mon 11-May-15 11:11:35

I know more than one person who has done this. Your friend is being naive to think that the debt will eventually be written off. She has really burnt her bridges as if she ever wants to go back to live in her home country it will come back to haunt her.

OfaFrenchMind Mon 11-May-15 11:18:35

Elton ... and then don't complain if loans are not granted to young people, or anybody that really needs it, or to you, and then the only choice is payday loan sharks...
Every default goes into a statistical database that tighten the bank willingness to offer a loan.

Eltonjohnsflorist Mon 11-May-15 12:26:22

Every loan has a risk built into it- that's why I can borrow at a low rate from a high street bank but someone with a low income, no assets and catalogue debt might only be able to get a pay day loan at stupid rates. Obviously rates are high because repayment levels are low amongst their target market (who arguably, they should not be lending to at all)
The creditors understand people do this- they even design products for such people. Don't be a mug and feel sorry for them angry

People also need to realise that such companies get people into situations where they can't pay their debts back. That's exactly why we have bankruptcy- legal acknowledgment that you can't get blood out of a stone and the debts have to be slowed/ substantially written down at some point because that person can not pay.

Who knows whether OPs friend was in this situation? Only them I suspect.
Asking whether I'd feel differently if it were me is totally irrelevant.

Theycallmemellowjello Mon 11-May-15 12:38:14

Well the debt people can contact her can't they? If her details have been passed on the balls in their court. I wouldn't lose any sleep over major financial institutions! They've done a cost benefit analysis and decided it makes more sense to write off the debt than go through the hassle of chasing her abroad. As others have said, the risk of default is priced into every loan.

Grapejuicerocks Mon 11-May-15 12:44:17

It's horrid that some people can behave like this. It would certainly affect my friendship and how I viewed her.

Grapejuicerocks Mon 11-May-15 12:45:27

And it's horrid that some people defend it or wouldn't worry about it. Like false insurance claims, the cost is passed directly to the rest of us.

Noellefielding Mon 11-May-15 12:53:51

Haven't most of the banks done that and left us to pick up the bill? Aren't we that country that got dumped with a massive bill that was driven up by an effectively unregulated financial greedfest? Sorry it just seems comparable to me.

bedraggledmumoftwo Mon 11-May-15 13:14:32

Pretty sure I know people that emigrated without repaying their student loan. But given it is income contingent and many are written off eventually anyway, I don't know whether I would pay it off voluntarily if it didn't go through paye. My attitude may be slightly skewed by the fact that my year group was the first to get fees and loans instead of grants, so had I been born a year earlier i wouldn't have had one to pay back at all, or nowhere near as much. Soon to pay my final payment woohoo

BifsWif Mon 11-May-15 13:17:02

Doesn't the debt get wiped after 6 years or something? I remember hearing the phrase statute barred, not sure if that's right or not.

Buxhoeveden Mon 11-May-15 15:02:30

Was the friend boasting or abashed?

Marynary Mon 11-May-15 15:12:42

Doesn't the debt get wiped after 6 years or something? I remember hearing the phrase statute barred, not sure if that's right or not.

In this country, I don't think you can be taken to court over it after six years but the debt isn't "written off" i.e. you still owe money and fat chance of getting any kind of credit, mortgage or maybe even bank account again so it would be very difficult for the friend to live in her home country should she want to in the future. She may not want to anyway but most people would probably like to have the choice...

Bluetonic123 Mon 11-May-15 15:17:33

I don't think you can be taken to court over it after six years but the debt isn't "written off" i.e. you still owe money

^^correct

and fat chance of getting any kind of credit, mortgage or maybe even bank account again so it would be very difficult for the friend to live in her home country should she want to in the future.

^^ wrong

Your credit rating goes back 6 years. If you default it drops off the 6 years after the original date of the default.

So after 6 years your friend will get a clean slate.

Eltonjohnsflorist Mon 11-May-15 15:22:44

You can get all those things whilst in default also. Most places only look the last couple of years and anyway, forrin debt won't be on her credit file here

hedgehogsdontbite Mon 11-May-15 15:23:47

Depends which country the debt is in. Where I am the debt is owed forever. If you don't pay what you owe the debt gets passed to the official debt collectors who will squeeze you for everything they can get until you pay it off or die.

Eltonjohnsflorist Mon 11-May-15 15:29:53

The official debt collectors can't do anything here though. Unless you mean they lodge a new debt in the uk.

It's not even guaranteed credit files get updated with debt here let alone outside the uk. It takes the company finding you and uploading the data. I have a few things missing from mine.

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