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Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > Will Natwest and O2 Arrest Me When I Return to the UK? – Jed

Will Natwest and O2 Arrest Me When I Return to the UK? – Jed

“Dear Jon,

I have a credit card debt from Natwest less than £500 as well as an O2 bill. I left the country a bit more than three years ago. I didnt receive any phone call or letter from them for the fact that i was no longer in the UK. Now i’m going back for a visit.

Would I be arrested at the UK airport if I didn’t pay my bills? How likely it is the lender had sue me? How can I know if I have a warrant to stop me?


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The Answer


While I understand your concerns, you can relax, just for owing a credit card and a mobile phone bill, no one will be waiting at the airport upon your arrival in the UK, and you will not be arrested.

Just by owing a debt is not in itself a crime.

Now it is possible that NatWest or O2 tried to collect what is owed to them, but if they had no forwarding details or address for where you lived, they could not contact you. And it is possible that they may have tried to take the case/account to court to obtain a CCJ, etc.

You can review a copy of your credit report to if anything is there, but that may not be 100% as it can depend on how the bank may have reported the account.

You can also inquire with NatWest and O2 as to the status of the accounts. But are you planning on staying in the UK?

Do you have the money to repay these accounts?

By contacting NatWest or O2 you could be starting things back up again.

If you do not have the means to repay the debts and are only coming to the UK for a visit, then there may not be a need to stir things up again.

I hope this helps.



Will Natwest and O2 Arrest Me When I Return to the UK?   JedJon Emge is an experienced UK debt advisor who has helped thousands and thousands of people in the UK to deal with problem debt. Jon specialises in finding good solutions for problem debt using a variety of UK specific techniques.

If you have a question you’d like to ask about how to get out of UK debt, just use the online form. I’m happy to help you for free.

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  • Krishna

    Hi Jon,

    I am sorry I am posting my question as a comment to this thread but I saw no other option. I really hope you would be able to help me as I am really tensed about my situation.

    My fiance and I had gone to UK to do our postgrad studies in 2011. After our studies we rented an apartment. Unfortunately we had to leave UK in an emergency and left almost all of our bills unpaid. we were not in a situation to come back to UK. We believe we had paid of almost the entire council tax amount we owed for the duration of our tenancy but we are not really sure as we do not have any proof or documents to verify this. We have unpaid electricity and water debts as well as credit card and mobile connection bills. My fiance recently got a job in the UK and we are planning to come back but we are scared that we might be stopped at the airport due to unpaid bills and debt. We will definitely try to pay back what we owe and we do understand our responsibility.

    Could you please let me know if there would be any serious problem at the UK airport? Would be arrested for the non payment of utility bills and bank bills. We are still under the belief that we paid our complete council tax but we have no way of making it sure.

    Please do let me know.


    • Jon


      You do not have to worry about being stopped when entering the UK; just leaving unpaid bills behind is not a crime, so no worries there.

      When setting up your new residence you may have an issue if any of the water, electric or gas providers you look to use are any of the ones you left unpaid. You could just set-up a repayment plan at that time. The same would go for the council if you were to move to the same local council area.



      • Krishna

        Dear Jon,

        Thank you so much for your reply. I really feel a little better now. But I had another concern with the council tax. You said if I were to move to the same local council area, I could set up a repayment plan. But some of my friends have told me that if you haven’t paid your council tax dues there might cases where you would be called to the court and if you do not attend the calling you will be fined. I am not sure if we have any court orders like that because we did not get any email or letters stating such but we are not sure such letters did go to the residence where we were staying at that time. We had given the amount to our landlords to pay in regards of our council tax but I am really not sure what happened after that.

        Will that affect us in anyway to enter UK?


      • Jon


        None of the accounts/debts including the council tax will stop you from entering the UK, even if the council obtained a CCJ or enforcement order.

        The council are just another creditor.

        One thing to keep in mind is that the debts you left behind could still be outstanding, meaning those you owe, including the council, may try to collect the accounts if and when any of them realise you are back in the country. So your options if they do try to collect the debts are to set-up repayment plans or some form of debt management. But you will not have any issues entering the UK.



      • Krishna

        Thanks Jon,

        We will definitely be setting up a repayment plan after talking to our creditors and we will be finishing of our debt. Thank you so much for your replies. It did help us relax a little.


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