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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I've returned to the UK, after living in Dubai + years

Resolved Question:

I’ve returned to the UK, after living in Dubai for 5+ years after having split up from my partner [10+ years] and being made redundant and unable to find a job for 2 years prior.
I had an HSBC cc which I continued to pay until my money ran out and my [now ex] Partner continued to service it, on the understanding that he would pay off the debt in return for me having paid for all our outgoings for the past 3 years. Our apartment rental, services and the credit card were all in my sole name as he didn’t have a residency visa.
You can imagine that once I left Dubai he stopped paying and HSBC are now chasing me to make a settlement. Unfortunately, I returned home with nothing, having sold anything of any value over the years, so I have no assets, no property, savings and work only 2 days a week. I live with my elderly Father, we aren’t rich so I couldn’t and wouldn’t ask him to help me as the debt that HSBC are asking for is about £20K.
I have written and spoken to HSBC in Dubai. I was an employee in London and Dubai for 13+ years and explained that I deeply regret the situation but I’m not in a position to pay them more than a few hundred pounds that I may need for a bankruptcy in the future.
I don’t know what action they will be able to take. Obviously I will be black-listed from going back to Dubai which Ive no intention of returning to. I’ve heard stories of UAE banks selling debts to UK agencies.
I’ve been completely honest with the Bank but I don’t want to bring debt collectors to my 82 year old Father’s door as he’s suffering with early stage dementia and it worries me that they could barge in and start taking possessions, which all belong to him.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Is any agreement signed governed by UK law?

Customer:

I dont think so. I took the cc out in Dubai.

Alex Watts :

Ok. Then the good news is that generally it can not be enforced in the UK

Alex Watts :

Debts can be sold to UK agencies, but they can't be enforced here.

Customer:

Today they wrote to me about the settlement amount and said 'the account qualifies for legal contract as well, which we may initiate if payment processed as per settlement offered' - Ive no idea what that means

Alex Watts :

If proceedings were issued it could be disputed on the grounds of jurisdiction, that is its not a UK contract

Alex Watts :

As such that being the case it can not generally be enforced here.

Alex Watts :

It looks like they are trying to get you to agree to a UK contract

Alex Watts :

If you do, it could be enforced here

Alex Watts :

If you do not, then it would be very difficult for you to enforce it here

Customer:

That's a relief. I gave me [ex] Partner power of attorney to deal with sorting this out but needless to say he hasnt and wont even reply to me now.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

Indeed/

Customer:

Is there some sort of reciprocal agreement that HSBC /banks have about chasing you around the world tho?

Alex Watts :

Not that I have seen. There has been talk of an agreement between the UK and UAE but its not law.

Alex Watts :

In any event unless you agreed for UK law to apply or to be enforced here then it can't be

Alex Watts :

You needed to agree to that

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Yes Alex, thanks.

Customer:

So if eventually a credit agency gets in touch I should, ignore them?

Customer:

tell them Ive got nothing?

Alex Watts :

Yes indeed. It cant be enforced

Customer:

Sounds so straight forward and Ive been stressing about it for months

Customer:

Thanks Alex, you've put my mind at ease. I dont think I have anything else I need to ask you right now.

Alex Watts :

Happy to help. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

I will - thanks. OK, noted

Alex Watts :

Thanks

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