I left the UK in 2012 after my Visa expired, and when I left I owed a mobile contract, a credit card and a small loan. In total I owed maybe £5,000.
I am coming back to the UK on a work Visa which my employer has obtained for me.
My questions are:
Will I be stopped at the airport for the unpaid bills?
Do I still need to pay these accounts?
Will I be hounded for payments once I return to the UK.
I understand your concerns, and the fact you have been granted a work Visa in itself shows the accounts must not be an issue any longer.
When was your last contact with any of those you owe?
In the UK a debt is said to be Statute Barred if there has been no contact with a creditor for a period of six (6) years.
The real question is of course has any of those you owe attempted to make contact with you? They may have sent post to an old or previous address; this could be seen as trying to make contact.
As it has been 9 years since you were in the UK, odds are the accounts have been written off.
You will not be stopped at the airport for unpaid accounts. You state you have a current work Visa, which will allow you entry into the UK and to live and work here for the specified time period of the Visa.
As to if you will be chased for payments on the accounts, again the odds are you will not be chased for payment. Due to the age of the accounts, they have been charged off or written off.