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Will the American Mortgage Company Chase My Son to the British Channel Islands? – Linda

“Dear Steve,

I am trying to help my Son/Daughter in law with their American Mortgage

My Son/Daughter in law got caught up in a Florida buy from plan scheme and ended up with an American mortgage for $350,000 They live in Jersey in the Channel Islands, both have lost their high paying salaries and now have a third of the take home pay they had when taking out the mortgage. I have been trying to negotiate with the finance co – the second to have bought the debt after the bank went bust, but am getting very frustrated. Will they chase the debt to the CI if they walk away?

(the house is worth about $150,000) They are debt free at home, can we just give back they keys – I have offered $180,000 to short buy but been refused. We don’t want a Florida house, but do want them free of debt. – what would you do?


Dear Linda,

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I don’t get many questions from people living in the Channel Islands and the baliwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, so thank you for this opportunity.

I can certainly see how handing back the keys would be an attractive solution. interestingly just yesterday I was writing about the process of strategic default.

The reality is that if you let the bank foreclose on the home they could attempt to collect on the debt remaining using a foreign debt collector. But I can’t see how the mortgage company could go after your son and daughter-in-law in the Channel Islands, they have no jurisdiction nor is it likely they would attempt to perfect the debt in court to pursue them legally in the Channel Islands.

A perfect solution to this would be for you to be able to complete the short sale as you had intended. At least in this approach you could close the door on the debt and not have it uncomfortably chasing them.

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My advice would be for you to retain a real estate attorney based in Florida to represent you in this matter. Authorize the attorney to just to keep nicely offering the settlement on the house to get a clear title to it. If the mortgage company doesn’t accept the offer, don’t do anything.

Just let the house flow through the natural process it is in now. The mortgage company will either eventually accept your fair market offer or take the house back and the debt will remain open in the U.S. But that will not block your son from entering the U.S. again on holiday or a business trip.

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Steve Rhode

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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