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Can a foreign debt be collected in the UK?

2021-01-07

Recently we have seen a large increase in enquiries from people who have mortgages overseas, specifically in Cyprus and Spain asking the question of “Can a foreign debt be collected in the UK?”. Many are concerned with some loan sales now being undertaken by Banks across Europe, as the Banks at last look to clear all problematic debt and tidy up their ‘books.’

Such problematic debt cases include:

  • Those in arrears, be it one month or multiple months behind on mortgage payments.
  • Unaffordable repayments brought about as mortgage products moved from interest-only to Capital repayment.
  • Negative Equity on Property.

Many people think merely ignoring a foreign mortgage debt problem will see it go away. Yes – a lot of time has elapsed since the 2008 crash but like elephants, these Banks do not forget! 

Banks are still relatively civil in most instances providing there is engagement in some form, but across the board – their patience is wearing thin. They are employing the following approaches to close troublesome mortgage accounts, to name but a few:

  1. Applying for European Enforcement Orders,
  2. Appointing strong legal firms to enforce in the UK,
  3. Making their own enquiries as the people’s worth/assets, and
  4. Most worryingly for our clients, the sale of loans to Vulture Funds…the name should be a clue as to how they conduct themselves…not so civil!

Foreign Banks in the main are still approachable. As ever it’s a case of the right type of engagement, usually undertaken by a trusted party.

You need someone like EU Property Solutions because:

  • You need someone trusted by the Banks. They appreciate straight-talking and know we perform on cases. We only act for the client but know the different parameters that each and every Bank works within.
  • Sometimes Banks are not fully truthful. EU Property Solutions cut through and call out any discrepancies from any financial institution.
  • Even though we are looking to alleviate the problem here, Banks and their advisors need to be driven.

Some people believe that this ability to chase foreign debt in the UK, as provided for under Cross Border Claims EC 44/2001, will diminish with Brexit.

We do not see this happening as the EU will still be our main trading partner and such provisions ensure safer trade conditions for all.

Under law, anyone, including Bank’s and any other foreign trading entity can secure a Judgement in their country and then bring this to the UK and apply for a European Enforcement Order.

This Order when granted, and they usually are, enables the creditor to pursue clients here in the UK, which can, in turn, see UK assets such as homes, businesses and in some instance’s pensions, come under threat.

The legal costs in such recovery actions can be horrific and payable by the debtor as well.

As ever we use the mantra of #KnowtheWorstAchievetheBest.

Definitive advice is imperative. Relying on uninformed opinions is no good for those facing this sort of situation. Relying on ‘bar room’ legal opinions is dangerous – especially when these opinions that may suit your arguments, are wrong.

In conclusion, if you face foreign mortgage problems, get the best advice you can. If it goes wrong, then you will be pursued at some time. Do not ignore the issues, seek out professional help to know your options.

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