I moved to Dubai 5 years ago and lived there 2 years. Once my work contract ended I had to move back to the UK as my work Visa to stay in Dubai had expired and I could not find new work. When I left I had a car on finance and a bank loan, both of which I paid for the first few months I was back home, then the money in my account ran out.
I never bothered to contact the bank in Dubai as I have heard horror stories of how they treat those that owe them money. But recently I was contacted by a firm here in England stating I owe them the money I owed to the bank in Dubai and they are collecting it and will make me bankrupt if I don’t pay.
I am not working due to health issues, and I do not own any property.
My questions are:
Can they collect this money?
What can they do to me?
What are my options?
Thanks for any advice you can provide.
You are correct in that banking laws and collection laws in certain countries, Dubai being one of those, are antiquated and harsh.
Many loans carry a non-jurisdictional clause, which means the loan can be collected outside the country the loan originated in, which is what it sounds like in your situation.
In answering your questions:
Yes, loans and debts are sold or assigned to collection agencies in other countries, so yes, the UK firm contacting you can collect the debt. However, they must collect the debt(s) in accord with UK rules and laws. Which also means they could make you bankrupt if you owe more than £5,000, and if they feel you have any assets to collect.
The fact the debt has to be collected in accord with UK laws, gives you access to UK insolvency and debt management options. This means you can include the debt(s) with any other debt you have in a Debt Relief Order, Debt Management Plan, or an IVA and Bankruptcy.
If you have no assets and are not working, there is little the collection agency can do, and making you bankrupt may just be a hollow threat.
If you get back to me with more details, I can look closer at this for you.