Perhaps it is the time of year, being the New Year, or there are more ex-pats coming back to the UK from the UAE, but there seems to be an increase in collection efforts with UK collections firms collecting debts that originated in the UAE.

There is one firm in particular that seem to be somewhat aggressive in their collection efforts for these debts.

The main question I always get asked is, can a debt that originated in another country be collected here in the UK?

The answer is yes, many debts that originated outside the UK can be collected here in the UK, but by a UK collection agency. Banks, lenders, and collection agencies outside the UK, usually have no authority here in the UK, that is why a UK collection agency is used.

So how can they do this?

A debt in another country, such as the UAE, can be assigned or sold to a UK collection agency to be collected here in the UK. Many accounts/loans in other countries have in their terms and conditions a “non-jurisdiction”, or “non-exclusive jurisdiction” clause. Which means the account can be collected outside of where the account originated.

For more details on this clause, you would need to speak to a legal advisor. But we can say that loans with this clause can be collected in the UK, even if they were taken out in another country if assigned to a UK agency.

So what happens now, the loan from the UAE is assigned to a UK agency to collect?

The UK collection agency attempts to collect the loan, but they must collect the debt/loan within the rules of UK collections laws. This also gives the UK collection agency all the collection tools here in the UK to do this.

They can look to get a CCJ, make you bankrupt, anything allowed here in the UK to collect a debt.

However, you now also have all the debt management and insolvency options here in the UK to deal with the debt.

You can include the debt in a debt management plan, IVA, or even bankruptcy.

The fact is a debt that originated in the UAE or anywhere in the world has the possibility of being collected here in the UK, but by a UK collection agency.

Just moving back to the UK, or leaving a debt behind, does not always mean it will go away.

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