Can I Be Chased for Debt From the UAE and India if I’m Living in Canada?


Dear Steve,

I absconded from DXB shortly after graduating from my master’s degree program in 2014. I was working full time for an airline and pursuing my studies during my time off and leave.

I was fed up with the bullying from the company and (some co-workers) and had enough. The working conditions were deteriorating rapidly and I was burned out.

Left behind a credit card, loan, work visa. I am being contacted and harassed by a collection agency that can’t verify the debt. They are using the internet to find organizations and people I associate with to shame me into settling the debt.

I asked them to verify the debt by providing legal documents and not just photo copies. I filled a Consumer Proposal and have a trustee working on my behalf here in Canada.

What are the legal documents needed to verify a debt?

Do you have any knowledge of debt collection fraud and/or money laundering schemes involving agencies from the UAE and India that purchase unverified debts and then try to extort money from people?

The name on the loan in not my legal name, there is a typo. Does that matter in any way?



Dear Marty,

I contacted Scott Hannah for some help with since he is a Canada expert. Scott is the CEO of Credit Counseling Society in Canada.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

Here is what Scott had to say:

“We had a somewhat similar experience from a consumer with a large credit card debt that originated with a bank in the UAE. What the collection agency failed to understand initially was that when they are collecting a debt on a consumer who has relocated to a different country, the collection agency has to respect and follow the legislation and regulations of that country and not the legislation where the debt originated. In this consumer’s case, the legislation that applies is provincial not federal. This means this collection agency will have to abide by the provincial legislation where this consumer resides.

They cannot enforce the debt legally unless they were to obtain a judgement against this person in Canada. This is a costly endeavor. In answer to the consumer’s question if the collection agency went back to the original creditor and had them provide a certified copy of the original loan or credit card agreement with the consumer’s signature, together with a statement from the original creditor with an accounting of all payments and charges along with a letter from an appropriate representative of the creditor confirming that they have assigned or sold the debt to the collection agency this should be sufficient for the consumer to validate the debt. If they want to take legal action against the consumer they would have to get a judgment against the consumer in the UAE and then have legal counsel in Canada go through the appropriate court in Canada and apply for a judgment in Canada against the consumer. Unless the consumer has a lot in the way of assets like a house a judgment is not always easy to enforce and most creditors are not willing to do this unless the debt is substantial and the consumer has assets to realize.

See also  Canadians Drowning in Credit Card Debt. Facing Credit Card Servitude.

With respect to the second question what does happen is that debt purchasing companies buy debts from creditors and typically for a fraction of the outstanding balance on each account (1 – 2 cents on the dollar). Mistakes can and do happen and we have seen many examples of debts that are statute–barred be sold to a debt purchasing company when the debt is for all intent and purpose uncollectable. The statute of limitations in Canada is typically 6 years on most debts and many provinces have adopted legislation to the effect that if a payment has not been received on a delinquent for more than two years, legal action cannot be taken on the debt. It still exists and could be reported on the person’s credit report and it will drop off once it reaches the limitation period. When a collection agency pays a fraction of the outstanding balance of the debt they don’t have to be successful on a lot of the accounts to generate a profit.

With respect to the name on the document I am not sure if this would hold up in court or not. If the consumer signed the agreement in good faith and the signature can be validated that they extended credit to the consumer I don’t believe this would excuse the consumer from being held liable for the debt but I am not a lawyer. I would encourage this consumer to have a detailed conversation with their trustee about this. I would also tell the agency to stop harassing him and if they fail to do so file a formal complaint with the provincial consumer agency responsible for administering the debt legislation in the province in which the consumer resides.”

That is great advice from Scott and it makes perfect logical sense. As always, whenever you have a legal threat from any entity, a good option is to seek out legal advice from an attorney who is licensed in the province you live in but as Scott suggested, talk to your Trustee first.

See also  MY CPP Disability is Not Enough to Live On

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

Follow Me
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
Steve Rhode
Follow Me

6 thoughts on “Can I Be Chased for Debt From the UAE and India if I’m Living in Canada?”

  1. Dear John, Steve, and Nawara,
    Great to read these sensible posts and comments here. I was also in a similar situation. I had debt in the UAE, but lost my job during the Covid downturn and had to return to Canada in 2020. I’ve had the usual nasty emails from Tasheel to my personal and work accounts. They have also emailed HR and a few colleagues with my passport details and requested personal information about me. Everyone has been very supportive and we have all blocked and reported them as spam/phishing at work. I am fully expecting the next wave will begin with D&A Group, icon, etc. at some point. It is my understanding that they really cannot do anything unless they own the debt in Canada. Moreover, it seems prohibitively expensive to get a court judgment to garnish wages, force bankruptcy, etc. for 50-60,000 CA$.

  2. Exactly
    I worked in uae for almost 8 years, supported heat too much politics and grouping inside corporation. I had a loan paid for many years, one day I have been called to HR and been redundant for no reason, they asked me to leave same day didn’t give me a chance to take my personal belongings from my office.
    I was the bread earner of my family kids schools fees too much to solve, I had to sell a new car for half price, lost my remaining rent months because there you have to pay one year rent up front. Sell furniture ship boxes back home to Canada. Explain to my kids why they need to leave their school and their friends.
    I paid what I could, and I left with zero dollars just happy to be back home. This happened in 2018 I stopped paying my credit card in January 2019, D&A collections start sending emails last year 2021 away after 2 years which is limitation in Ontario

    I am still healing from uae inhuman treatment and how they destroyed my career

    • So sorry to hear about this happening to you. I wish it was an isolated example, but it’s not. It is interesting how creditor contracts are absolute but life just isn’t.

  3. Let me set aside some fears to our Canadian citizens and Canadian residents which have left the UAE with defaulted bank debt. If you are to check online for the Civil Court Cases in the Provinces of Canada such as CANLII.org and conduct a Civil Case name search for any one of the UAE banks you find MAYBE 3-8 such UAE banks as a plaintiff. And the defendants in these 3-8 Civil Cases are usually Canadian registered corporations for amounts exceeding 1 Million Canadian Dollars. Now Canadian Collection Agencies are a different matter. Some like D&A Group Collections Canada have worked for UAE banks to collect UAE Bank loans and credit cards for amounts up to 200K Canadian Dollars in various Canadian Provinces. Ignore them!! by first, not answering them, and secondly, if they catch you on the phone you unequivocally deny that you are that debtor person or that they are to leave you alone. They might file a collection on your credit bureau but you can have it removed so long as you dont pay them 1 Dollar or admit to the debt. The collection agencies bought these UAE bank debts pennies on the Dollar and they only make money with those that are easily sacred.

    Now many of you may be questioning my morality or ethics here. So I will tell you why this is not important. I was working happily in the UAE for several years and was given a 150K CAD loan which I was paying dutifully for 3 years so that I could afford a home for my Family in Vancouver. I was let go without cause. Don’t feel sorry for these UAE banks or even the Emiratis in general. They waste money on such things as Gold plated Rolls Royces, personal zoos filled with Tigers and Lions, and yes Villas with solid gold toilets which I have all witnessed. My 150K was well invested in a home for my modest family house (no solid gold toilets) and they made enough money over the 3 years of good repayment and the debt was fully insured…they lost nothing.

    Canada is a safe haven for UAE Bank debtors….other countries like Canada in terms of being practically immune from a Civil Case include Australia and the USA. However if you are a British Citizen or Resident they could go after you there with a County Court Judgement and force you into Bankruptcy. God Bless Canada.


Leave a Comment