Do Unpaid Debts In The US Affect My UK Credit Score?

Question

Hi and thanks for this forum and way to get some answers.

I am a British citizen who has lived in the USA for many years. I recently moved back to the UK and am not earning the same income as I had in America. I had a few debts in America and can no longer afford to pay them. In total, I owe $10,000 between 2 credit cards, and a small loan I had.

I am now receiving emails from the banks demanding payments, and how it is going to affect my credit. My questions are this:

Can a bank in the USA collect an account here in the UK?

How does this affect my credit?

Cheers,

Ian

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Answer

Hi Ian,

You ask 2 very good, and frequently asked questions, as in the past we had been moving and travelling around the world, and also having accounts or debts in other parts of the world.

A bank or creditor in the USA can attempt to collect a debt that originated there in the USA, here in the UK, however, they have no real authority here in the UK. So they can make threats and try to collect the account, but there is very little they can do.

Should the account be assigned or sold to a UK collection agency, then the account can be collected here in the UK, however, the account has to be collected in accord with the laws and rules here in the UK. In addition, you now then have access to any debt management or insolvency options here in the UK to deal with the debt(s).

Unless the accounts are assigned or sold to a UK collection agency, they will not be reported on a UK credit file. Lenders and creditors in the USA do not as a matter of course report to credit bureaus outside that country.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Jon

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