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Do I Really Have to Pay My Debt From the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

Written by Jon Emge


Dear Jon,

I was an American expat employed in the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) after some years my contract was not renewed and this I was not expecting. I was forced to leave the KSA owning personal loan debt and credit card debt. Amt of both around USD $50,000. I did not return to USA but instead settled down in Central Europe.

After some years I have been unable to secure employment. My old firm in KSA kept 3 mths salary due to this debt before I left (about USD $14,000). I was under impression that these monies would got towards the outstanding debt. Figure wrong.

Obvious this KSA bank came looking for their money with the matter sent to collection branch in UAE. After about 1.5 yrs I have only gotten email response(s) and never replied back. I have since dropped those accounts and none ever contained my true identity.

The matter was then sent to USA collections but since I did not reside (maintain only a drop box at a mail forwarding firm in 1 State and a simple bank account for a monthly disability check in another State) there it seems they kicked the matter back over to UAE to settle.

I have no desire nor the ability to pay this money back since I do not have a job and have several kids to care for. I have a home in the Central Europa region shared jointly w/spouse that is paid for.

I had savings which I transferred to spouse since the spouse is the one that handles all financial matters, and so I could better deal with taxes with USA each yearly not having to claim a foreign bank account, etc.

QUESTION: Since this matter occurred in the KSA, and I am American with permanent residence now in the Central Europe area WHAT can they really do to me?




I understand what you are asking, and things can get complicated as we move around the world.

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To answer your question, there may be little if anything “they” can do to you.

First, it will depend on if the account is passed or sold onto a collection firm in the country you are now residing. Not knowing that country, so I may not know its collection laws, is what may or may not happen.

A collection firm in the country you reside in usually has to collect an account in accord with the laws of that country. Some EU countries have harsher or stronger collection laws than others. But a collection firm can only collect if you have money or other assets. If you have nothing to pay or liquidate, there is little they can do. With jointly held assets, such as property, usually, only your portion is looked at.

And again, this is if the account gets passed onto a collector in the country you are now living. And you also are allowed access to whatever debt and insolvency options are available in that country.

From all you have said, it is doubtful they may pursue this, and also, they would have to locate you first.

I hope this helps.




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About the author

Jon Emge

Jon 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.


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