Will I Become the Subject of Debt Collection From Citibank and American Express in Hong Kong?


Dear Steve,

I recently moved back to the US after living in Hong Kong for several years. Got a personal loan and credit card loans from Citibank Hong Kong, Amex HK, and a local Chinese bank. Have left my accounts open and am currently making payments on loans per the agreements. These institutions have my passport number, my old hong kong address, but no social security number. Have now moved back to the US and used the proceeds from the above loans to start a new business, but it is not going well.

If I stop making payments on the loans and default, how likely is it that they will pursue me back in the US?



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Dear Ted,

There is a big gap between what a foreign bank may attempt and may be able to execute.

A bank located in Hong Kong or China may certainly attempt to collect by calling you or sending emails. They may even try to hire a U.S. based debt collector. However, this is rather rare.

According to the U.S. Department of State, “There is no bilateral treaty or multilateral convention in force between the United States and any other country on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments.” They go on to say, “Under U.S. law, an individual seeking to enforce a foreign judgment, decree or order in this country must file suit before a competent court. The court will determine whether to give effect to the foreign judgment.” – Source

If you are contacted for collection on this money I would strongly advise you hire a local consumer attorney to advise you about the laws in your state and run interference for you with that collector.

If your business fails and you elect to file bankruptcy, make sure you include those debts in your bankruptcy to prevent any further action on those debts that can’t be envisioned at this point.

See also  Oh China, You So Funny. This is Going to Hurt.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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.
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