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1. Dear *****, at the outset, you should realise that there is no such thing as being arrested for owing a debt in Northern Ireland. Debt is purely a civil matter whereas getting arrested has to do with the criminal law. So you should put your mind at ease and know that you won't get arrested should you now return to Northern Ireland.
2. Secondly, before you leave Australia, I would advise you to contact a solicitor or other person in Northern Ireland to find out has the bank proceeded to get a judgment against you and when they got a judgment against you. You should also find out was a judgment obtained against you in relation to the leased vehicle as well. Find out what are the facts before you go home to Northern Ireland.
3. The key point in finding out the facts is that both a judgment and a debt become statute barred six years after the judgment was entered or the debt was due. So, there is a good chance that any debt is statute barred as more than six years have elapsed since you owed the debt. However, if the bank, for example proceeded to judgment, the bank would then have a judgment which was good for six years to enforce against you. However, if for example, the bank got a judgment six and a half years ago against you, it would now be statute barred and the bank could not now enforce it against you. So, given that you have been ten years in Australia, there is a good chance that all these stressful legal woes have resolved themselves over time.
4. If the judgments are nearly time barred, for example, if they are five years since judgment, I would go so far as to advise you to wait in Australia and not come home until they have become statute barred. There is no point coming home prematurely and finding yourself hit with a large judgment. I would advise you to stay away and to wait until time resolves the issues for you. It is for this issue you should find out the facts before you go back to Northern Ireland.
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