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Worried about money?

We can help. Use our free online debt advice tool.

Get help now

Dealing with debts from abroad

You may not know what to do about debts you took out in another country. In most cases, you still need to deal with them.

Can the people I owe chase me for debts in another country?

People you owe in other countries can take action to collect a debt, including:

  • Using a debt collection agency in the country you live in
  • Starting court action in the country you live in
  • This can be complicated
  • The process depends on which countries are involved
  • It is not always possible
  • Taking action in their country
  • For example against assets or bank accounts you hold in that country

The people you owe may not chase you for a debts in another country. But there is no guarantee.

They may be able to make you bankrupt in their country.

  • Bankruptcy is recognised across borders in most European countries
  • Other countries' court and insolvency services have agreements to cooperate internationally
  • This means you could be made bankrupt in another country
  • Assets or property you own in your home country could be at risk

What can I do about debts abroad?

How to deal with overseas debts depends on:

  • Your situation and
  • What money you have after paying essential living costs

You can usually keep making payments to debts abroad, either:

  • At the full amount, or
  • At a lower amount

Making the payments may be harder if:

1. You need to transfer money from your bank account.

  • This is done across borders using an IBAN transaction
  • There is usually a fee
  • Talk to your bank for more details

2. The country you are making payments to has sanctions on it

Bankruptcy may cover debts abroad depending on the countries involved.

mum at the table with bills

Worried about debts?

We can help. Use our free online debt advice tool.

Get help now

Getting help with debts abroad

We can help if you have debts from another country.

But we can only advise you on UK law.

I live in the UK but I have debts from other countries

We can advise on the actions the people you owe can take.

We cannot advise on the actions creditors could take outside the UK.

I have some debts from the UK, but I live in a different country

We may be able to help you, but this depends on whether:

  • You lived in UK at some point in the last three years
  • All your debts are from the UK
  • Your pay goes into a UK bank account
  • You are living in another country temporarily
  • You plan to return to the UK in the next 12 months

We can advise you on the actions your creditors could take to collect debts within the UK, but not on the actions they can take in the country you’re now living.

I do not live in the UK, and none of my debts are from the UK

Contact an advice agency in the country you live in. Unfortunately we cannot recommend agencies outside the UK.