Debt questions from around the world, helping each other by giving and receiving advice on UK based debt.

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#88385 Hi - I moved to Thailand in late 2002 after I separated (amicably) from my UK wife. I have no assets in Thailand. I have an income which is generated from an offshore software business. I use this income to pay my local (low) bills in Thailand, and to pay support to my (now) ex-wife and 3 kids in the UK. (I pay at CSA reccomended levels).

I owe about 200,000 pounds to credit-card and unsecured loan companies in the UK - the result of my UK business going down the pan when my major customer went bust. I have a UK house that has been repossed, but whose sale will not clear the whole debt. (Maybe 50,000 pounds would still be owed)

I have kept my creditors informed of my circumstances and my location...

Now I want to declare myself BR in the UK. But it seems that legislation forbids me to do this - since I have been non-UK resident for more than 3 years.

However, none of my UK creditors seems interested in applying for my bankruptcy! I assume that the cost involved and the fact that I live in a country which has no legal agreements with the UK (re BR, child support etc etc), means that they simply are not bothered to chase the debts.

But I certainly would like to go BR in the UK, if only to remove a worry in my mind. I have no intention of living in the UK again, and all my UK assets were seized years ago by my creditors. That was a stressful time, but I have got over it and want to look to the future.

In any case, does a UK BR consider global assets? I assume the court will want to know how I can afford to pay the divorce agreement payments for child and matrimonial support....

Any advice is much appreciated!

#88389 Hi Simon,
yes all assets must be declared and will be realised. How feasible that may be I know not but I'm sure the OR will try to get his mitts on any funds.

User avatar
#88390 Unfortuanalty the answer is no, the three year limit is fixed, and once you have past that you cna no longer legally apply in the UK, UNLESS

You have stayed in the UK, for a total of 61 days in any calender year, within the last three years.

Now this is the definition used by the govenment and HMRC (Inland Rev) to deterimin if you are a 'noramally' resident in the UK status.

If you have achieved this in any one year out of the last three, then you can file for UK bankruptcy.

If you are able to then, yes the UK bakruptcy will include all your assets but only those where recipricaol agrements are in place.

#88392 OK - thanks for your reply. Based on what you have said, (and my own understanding of all this), I am no longer eligible to apply for my own BR in the UK - in that I have only returned to the UK for about 30 days in each year since November 2002. (This was partly because I wanted to ensure that my offshore income was not taxed in the UK!).

So, if I cannot declare myself BR, what is the best option?

1 - Just ignore my debts. There are (AFAIK), no legal agreements between the UK and Thailand re chasing debts. Each personal loan debt is about 15,000 pounds. Furthermore, I have kept the loan companies informed of my wherabouts etc. But they have either never replied to my faxes and letters, or have simply said that unless I repaid the debts, then they would apply for CCJs etc, (which some of them have since done).

2 - Try to persuade one of my UK creditors to apply for my BR! (Is there any advantage to this?)

Indeed, since I have since remarried a Thai lady, have a young family, and am happily settled in Thailand, should I do anything at all?

Note - I certainly do not to run away from these debts. But it seems that my options are rather limited due to my residence overseas for more than 3 years.

#88394 On (1) the problem with having a CCJ is that they are collectable forever and are not limited by the Limitations Act.
and (2) It will be practically impossible to get a creditor to petition for your bankruptcy. It is a very costly operation with a result of getting nothing in return.

User avatar
#88395 Riggggggggggght

This is a difficult one to answer, you could contact some of your crediotrs and ask them to insigate your bankruptcy, but I doubt they would do this as they would in all reality not get any return.

Currenty there are no recipricol agreemets in place, but debt collection is becoming more globalised and more and more countires are entering into recipricol agreements. So yes it is very possible that they crediotrs are not chasing you now, but they may be able to do so in the future. How soon that will be and if it ever happens is the question.

If a CCJ has been applied for then they are the priority debts, as they will never become Statue Barred, so it may be worth talking to them in the first instance.

However, I am very minded to suggest that you just ignore them, becasue I cant see recipricol arrangements going into place that fast, and when they do they still have to track you down.

As I say this is a difficult one, and I am concerned that ther is no correct advice that can be given, other than to pay your debts.

#88398 Thanks Mel/Tim - it sounds like I'll just have to try to make lots of money offshore so that I have the means to repay these debts. (Will interest be frozen on these debts if I don't make a settlement offer, or is it only frozen if I DO make a SO? - I don't want to get a knock on the Thai door in 15 years time with a demand for 10,000 pounds plus 20,000 pounds interest..)

Unless you can think of a better solution....

User avatar
#88399 Simon

I've PM'd you

#309753 Hello Tim or other Mod.

I know this is an old thread but it almost exactly mirrors my own situation. I have just had letters from Lowell trying to recover £17.000.00.

I've been living in Thailand with my Thai family for nearly 4 years and also have no current plans to return to UK. I have no UK assets, well, my ex-wife does!

I'm just curious about the PM you sent to the OP, Simon.

Thanks for any help on this.

User avatar
#309783 The advise remains the same, as there is still no reciprocal agreement between the UK and Thailand in regards to financial matters, and as there is unlikely to be an agreement, then currently you are fairly safe.

Lowells letter will be inviting you to repay the debt, as they cannot enforce it over there.

#472548 Sorry to bring up again.

My near 40K a year job in UK at risk. Live with parents as can't afford mortgage. Was hoping to get 15K loan over 5 years to reduce payments and clear 12K from my credit cards. Plan was in a year I'd then have a deposit for a house and apply for settlement VISA for my Laotian partner of 2 years and her two daughters. My job is now at serious risk though. So at present stuck with carrying on paying minimum repayments on credit cards to keep my credit rating. Worse case scenario, which is likely, I will have to move to Thailand or Laos to find a teaching job. Very unlikely I would ever return to UK then other than family visit every 3 years or so. But what about leaving a possible 12K debt across 3 credit cards. Will my credit rating if I ever returned to UK be forever bad? Any advice or answers? Really stressful time. I need to support my family and be with them. The Conservatives are destroying my life killing UK steel industry doing deals with China and making non EU spouse immigration very costly and difficult.
#472549 Hi Flashpanther,
I am sorry to hear you are having such a stressful time at the moment.
Re your credit rating if you can't pay your debts: An entry on your credit reference will last for 6 years. There is some really useful information on credit references and how they impact on your ability to get credit here:
You should be aware that making minimum payments on your credit cards will reduce your credit score as it is an indicator that you may be having financial difficulties, so you may struggle to get further credit anyway.
If you decide to leave UK and live in Thailand or Laos, your creditors can apply for county court judgments in your absence but are unlikely to be able to enforce those judgments as long as you remain abroad and have no assets in this country. However, CCJs are enforceable for ever (in theory) and therefore if you returned to the UK, you could find yourself being chased for payment.
Have you gone to a free debt advice provider for some comprehensive advice? There are various solutions available to you to start repaying your debts at a rate you can afford even if you then decide to move abroad.
Click the link in red text below for details of free debt agencies who may be able to help you.
If you lose your job and take some time to find a new one, you may need help to deal with your creditors in the interim, so do try and get some face to face advice as we are limited on this forum as to how much help we can give you. Good Luck
#472550 Thank you for your advice.

Unfortunately an average £600 a month wage abroad will not go far.
User avatar
#472551 You could also think of bankruptcy to clear all your debts before you go abroad.

This will affect your credit rating obviously as would sit on your credit file for 6 years and then you would have to rebuild but if you are out of the country you would not be trying to obtain credit anyway.

It would not affect your return to the UK but you would need to check with the Thai government/embassy hypothetically to see if it would affect your immigration/work status over there. This we cannot answer for you.

If you wish to read more about bankruptcy there is a Guide to Bankruptcy which you can find at: ... bankruptcy
#472552 Thank you. Gets difficult as have a non EU family. So with no money or income I can't provide for them. The UK is very good at separating families. Money is key to everything in this cronyism capitalism state. Bankruptcy advice appreciated. Ironically costs money to file for it. But if assets seized no money to leave country. Something have to look into. But just leaving my cards and account going abroad guess will destroy my credit rating as it continued in UK to register defaults each month on failed repayments. In a bad situation for sake of a small affordable loan. But need a job to repay, house to live, family to support and very expensive visa process if they are to join me in UK.
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