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uk debt when living abroad

Credit and responsible debt management.

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uk debt when living abroad

Post Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:52 pm

Must of editied this way back but the original content of this was the fact that I was living in Australia and could not pay the UK debts on credit cards any more.

 

Last edited by rayer on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:26 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re:

Post Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:21 pm

I will try answer this as best as I can as I work in the Credit Industry and worked in it in Australia for a number of years (up until I moved in 2006).

All Debt Collector’s and Collection agencies in Australia must act by the “Consumer Credit Code 1993” and the “Privacy Act 1988” these act’s cover all debts for every state and territory in Australia.

So if you run up a Credit Card debt in NSW and then Move to WA they can chase you for it. You will need to read up further on TAS as they have special laws, which can exempt them from certain things, like judgements, etc etc.

There are a few Credit Reporting Agencies in Australia, they largest is Baycorp Advantage (recently changed to Veda Advantage), which holds a Credit File on everyone, the second is Dun & Bradstreet – they only really hold files mainly on people who have been reported to them.

Under the Consumer Credit Code and Privacy Act, there is no agreement in place to take action on any debt that was made outside of Australia (except New Zealand).

Some UK Debt Collection Companies may have Partner Companies in Australia, they usually don’t/cant transfer the debt. But if they do, it still does not affect your Australian Credit Rating. All it means is that instead of the UK Company chasing you for the debt then their Australian Partner would, but regardless this would not affect your Australian Credit Rating.

Also remember that the UK has a completely different Credit Reporting System. In the UK if you miss 1 mortgage payment then it shows on your Credit File that you where late with one payment, where as in Australia nothing is allowed to be reported late/unpaid/default on your file unless it is at least 60 days overdue, and for that to happen they also have to send you a Section 80 Notice to let you know that your Credit Rating with Baycorp will be effected if you don’t pay within 30 days.

If you have got Debt in UK and they are chasing you, then you are probably getting calls and letter’s saying that they will damage your credit rating Australia or they will take you to court in the UK. This is all aloud of crap, they cant do squat your credit rating, and no country will extradite someone over a normal debt.

Just remember, the only things that can go on your Australian Credit File are Debts from Australia/New Zealand.

Any UK debt in a rare case may be sent to a partner collection company in Australia, but it still would not affect your credit rating.

So the UK Cannot really “enforce” anything, as they have no jurisdiction over Australia. The worse they can do is threaten you with letters and calls, and then maybe pass you on to a Aussie company who can only send you letters asking for the money or an arrangement.

Remember in Australia it is against the law for any debt collector/collection company to threaten you with an action they cannot legally take. So if you get a letter from an Australian company telling you they will take you to court or take your house etc etc then report it straight to the ombudsman.

I hope that helps if any? But here are some sites.

Consumer Credit Code –
www.creditcode.gov.au/

Baycorp Advantage – Now called Veda Advantage (you can order your own credit file here)
www.mycreditfile.com.a...fault.aspx

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (tell’s you what Debt Collectors can and cannot do)
www.accc.gov.au/conten...temId/5959

Privacy Act 1988
www.austlii.edu.au/au/...pa1988108/

 

Last edited by moc2006 on Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re:

Post Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:31 pm

no message

 

Last edited by rayer on Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re:

Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:47 pm

Rayer,

Please try not to get stressed about it, the one’s who are probably stressed are the collectors in the UK trying to get the money when they know there is not much they can one.

When I was working as a collector in Australia, all the time people would take out a 60K loan and then leave the country, Most went to the UK and India, we never seen the people or the money again, there was nothing we could do, just report them as a “Skip” on their Aussie file, meanwhile they would be in the UK, with their 60k and a nice clean Credit File.

The chance’s are that the UK Collection Agency might even offer you a deal, for example let’s say you owe £10,000.00, they might say “we’ll accept £6,000 to clear the debt” they do this simply because they know there is probably no other way to get money off you and your bank would of sold them your debit for about 3k, so the collection company would still be making 3k profit by accepting 6k instead of the full amount.

Another situation is one that my Brother was in, he went to the UK, racked up a lot of debt (about £22,000.00) and then left and came back to Oz, he never paid it back – Now I’m not saying what he did was right, but he knew they couldn’t do anything and couldn’t effect his file in Australia. The UK company did have his Australian Contact details and from time to time would send letter’s or call him, saying they would take him back to the UK and take him to court – it never happened, they also even told him on the phone that they where getting people from their Australian Partner to come around and “sort him out” that never happened either, and I can assure you if it did the “Australian” partner would have been in a lot of trouble.

The point I’m trying to make is there is not much they can do, my brother now has a terrible rating in the UK (doesn’t worry him as it wont go back) and his credit in Australia is as clean as anything.

You could sign up for that “My Credit Alert” that Veda (Baycorp) offer. Basically they send you a copy of your credit file, and then for a year they email you with anything that go’s on your file, or any changes made to it. Such has Credit Enquiries, Defaults, Change of Details, when someone access’s your file, etc etc.

It’s a good system to sign up for; more so because you know if anyone has used your name to apply for anything.

Well good luck with it all and don’t stress about it too much.

Micheál

 

Last edited by moc2006 on Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:32 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re:

Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:06 pm

Thanks Michael,

 

Last edited by rayer on Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What is the agreement with the UK and Australia on debt

Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:09 pm

Thanks Michael,

 

Last edited by rayer on Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What is the agreement with the UK and Australia on debt

Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:57 pm

Ok, First thing is regarding the money in your Australian Bank account.

No one, No company, nothing at all is allowed to be taken out of your Australian Bank account without your prior permission, weather linked or not.

They are also not allowed to check how much you have in your bank account without your permission; this is due to the strict privacy act in Australia. So not only can they not take your money, they also can’t see how much you have.

Regarding your UK Credit Card, well it’s treated the same as other debts. I mean if your Card is still active and not yet cancelled then it means they have not even started the real “collections” on the account.

If your card has been cancelled and they are now demanding the money, all they can do is send letters and call, the bank that issued the card may sell it on to a collection agency in the UK or Australia (very unlikely it would be Australia) and then all that collection agency can do is send letters and call (only a certain amount a month is allowed, if they go over that it is then legally considered harassment).

In all honestly speaking from Personal Experience, nothing will probably ever happen regarding your UK Credit Card for the simple fact that the Cost in paying an overseas collections agency to try recover the debt will in most cases far outweigh the amount that is owed. But even then the most they can do is send you the letters and calls.

Also remember that no collection agency (UK or Australia) can tell any of your friends, family or anyone else that you “owe the debt” its against the Data Protection Act in the UK and against the Privacy Act in Australia.

In general Credit Card debts under £5,000.00 are usually written off, as it’s not worth the hassle. Anything Over is usually sold to a collection agency, who then do their thing (the letters and calls).

Your money in your Australian bank account cannot be touched by anyone by you.

Even if you ran up say a $20,000.00 debt in Australia, they still cannot touch your bank account.

The only people who can touch money in your Australian account is YOU, anyone else named on the account, and anyone you have given permission to take money out (ie: a direct debit).

If you don’t mind me asking, what stage is the debt collection at? Are you getting Letters from the UK saying they will be taking you to court, repossessing your stuff and you will have to pay all court costs? Or they will be getting their Solicitors in Australia to act on their behalf?

If that is they case, turn around to them and say ok, Give me your Australian Solicitors contact details and I will contact them to make an arrangement. Chances are they don’t even have a partner in Australia.
At the end of the day, the amount is probably a lot to you, 5k, 10k or 20k, but to a Bank it’s not much, so they will try their best to get it, but after a while it’s not cost effective. It will usually just sit there, and then the second your living back in the UK and look for Credit they will start trying to collect it again, after 5 years (7 years for a skip) it is automatically written off anyway. (Some companies will write it off a lot sooner).

Micheál

 

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