Questions you have before making a decision to go Bankrupt and the Bankruptcy process

Moderators: TalbotWoods, JaneClack

By jimmyt
#248533 I want to start again with a clean sheet but cannot remember my debtors. I was in the UK for a couple of years without contact from them as I moved to another town and I have been abroad for the last 5 years. I have read that the debts cannot be collected after 6 years but this option would leave me unable to start again re credit rating etc.

How do I trace my debtors. I had a couple of credit cards and a bank loan that total around 15k. Plus a few other assorted debts that amount to a couple of thousand pounds.

I have looked at the option of credit reports but they ask for addresses over the last 6 years and I do not have any debt from this period
By nomlas
#248563 Hello jimmy,

I would be very careful if I were you. Debts that have not been acknowledged or any payments made for six years are, as you say, statute barred and therefore legally unenforceable, providing that no CCJ`s have been issued.

Some of the problems you could find if you contact old creditors are, they could hit you with interest and charges (that 15K could be a whole lot more). They could also hit you with default notices and then your credit limit will be shot for years to come. You could well stir up a Hornets Nest.

Credit is very difficult for most people at present and no doubt will be for a very long time. You could get a pre-paid card or even one of the very high interest Credit Cards which dont seem to be difficult to get, as long as you pay it off each month the interest level is irrelevant. Then slowly but surely you will build up a Credit File.

Just my opinion but I would leave well alone. If you are now living at a different address than you were when you left then there is every chance you will never hear about the debts again. Regards. -- nomlas
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By submariner
jimmyt wrote:I have read that the debts cannot be collected after 6 years but this option would leave me unable to start again re credit rating etc.

Just to clarify that a little more... debts that haven't been acknowledged for 6 years can be collected (and are likely to be pursued if they find you...), it's just that they can't start legal proceedings through the courts against you, or unduly hassle you, to collect after that time.

However, as nomlas says, if during your absence some County Court Judgements have been awarded against you, these remove the 6 year limit and can be legally collected (ie by the courts/baliffs) at any time - but again, only if they find you...

Ways of finding you vary - it could be through direct contact of course, or through requesting credit reports, or even through tax collection and working etc. They do have some pretty devious ways, but at the same time, they have to make the effort to look.

However, it's well worth pointing out that all is not lost if they do find you. You are, after all, asking how to wipe the slate clean and finding it difficult to do so without being able to access your credit files.

That's really the point of this forum. We don't advocate debt avoidance (although we also don't necessarily suggest that you wave a big flag either!) but we can and do help those that wish to find a practical way through debt problems.

Nearly all have us have been in the same boat and many of us are successfully through it now.
By jimmyt
#259263 Submariner and Nomlas
Thanks for the advice. My delay in replying is due to my being in the backwoods of India working on a construction project and having hardly any net access.

I have saved some money while I have been away but If the 15k has grown out of all proportion I will still not be able to settle my debts. If I decided to take the bankruptcy route how would not knowing all my creditors affect this option.

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By TalbotWoods
#259313 Hi Jimmy

It is going to depend on when the CCJ was issued. If it was done within that first year and before 6 years ago from the day you do the search then it wont necessarily show, as it wil have come off the CRF under the normal 6 years rule.

If it was issued after the first year, then yes it is very possible that it will show as it is in the 6 years that records are publicly held.

Hope that kind of makes sense

Now did you tell them your new addresses when you moved, especially the one in India, as a CCJ cannot be brought against someone who doesn't live in the UK and ha no UK address. If you didn't then they can go to court and obtain one for your last known UK address.

By jimmyt
#259753 Hi Talbot
Thanks for the info.

I did not give my address when I moved. I had just been divorced and I moved town to attend university. I sold my house (we had 2 so my exwife and I agreed to keep one each.

My plan was to work part time (and continue paying my debts) as well as study but the course (engineering) was a huge struggle as a mature student and I needed all my spare time to ensure that I did not fail the course. I made a few more payments from my bank account, (without giving a new address) but as my funds dwindled I burried my head in the sand and made no more contact with anyone related to my debts.

If I requested a credit report from my brothers address would this start the 6 year period again.

Thanks again

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By TalbotWoods
#259763 The only way the 6 year clock can be restarted (for non CCJ and non mortgage debts) is if YOU acknowledge the debt by either:

:arrow: CONFIRMING it is you debt in writing
:arrow: you or someone else on your behalf making a payment to the debt.

If a CCJ has been issued the owner of it can apply to the court to recommence actions to collect, as they will be able to show you failed to inform them of the new address.

If the debt relates to mortgage arrears the SoL is 12 years not six, but normally reputable lenders follow the CML code and apply six year rules but more and more are not they are going for the full 12 years!

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By JaneClack
#259833 .....and if it is 6 years or over since you last made a payment or acknowledged the debt in writing and there was no CCJ and it is a straightforward consumer debt then the clock cannot be started even if you do make the mistake of acknowledging it.

National Debtline do a superb factsheet on Liability for debt and the Limitations Act and OFT Debt Collection Guidelines also state that they do not look kindly on debt collectors harassing if they have been told it is over 6 years....