I’m Having Nightmares Because of My Debt in Dubai. – Maria

“Dear Steve,

I used to live in dubai from 2000 to 2009 and i failed to pay the loan and the credit cards before moving to the US and this year 2012 when I was visiting my family in my home country i got a call from a lawyer office telling me that they are the local collective agency and they will follow with me till i pay the full amount. now i am back to the US and i am contacting them by phone only, i didnt tell them that i live outside the country i dont think they are supposed to know??!! anyway i suggested if possible to pay by monthly settlements but they insist in paying a big amout first as advance then they will agree about paying monthly.

my questions are:1- Shall I insist in not paying any advance and to keep paying monthly? especialy that I dont have a job in the US yet. 2- am i going to need a lawyer to help me and to contact the agency back home or to contact the bank in dubai? Do I need a credit conselor? will you advice me one? BTW I live around Greensboro NC.

Please Steve I need your help with this I am having daily nightmares because of all this.

Thank you


Dear Maria,

A couple of important questions for you to answer first.

  1. What country are you a citizen of?
  2. Do you have any anticipation or expectation you will need to travel to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or United Arab Emirates in the future?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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9 thoughts on “I’m Having Nightmares Because of My Debt in Dubai. – Maria”

  1. Dear Steve,
    here is an update about the same case.
    Today I received an email from the bank itself and the amount they mentioned was way too high than what the collection agency and I was told in the email that I will have to contact the bank within 30days. why they are contacting me and not the collection agency? and they mentioned in the email that they can’t reach me in my home country if i am in touch with the collection agency in Morocco? Please tell me what I am supposed to do?
    Thank you.

    • As long as the bank owns the debt, the collection agency is just a contractor of the bank.

      Ultimately the bak numbers are the ones they will go with unless they negotiate a reduced balance with you.

    • Send a debt validation request letter to the collection agency that contacted you.. Do this within the 30 days of them notifying you. Make sure you send it by certified mail. Do a search for debt validation letters , there are plenty of templates out there to use. I am in the same situation. I have mailed about 3 validation letters over the past year and a half to various U.S. debt collectors that First Gulf Bank in the UAE hired. After sending them a letter, they seem to go away because they know they will have a hard time validating the debt from overseas.  

      • Thank you andy for you advice.
        Shall I contact the bank now or the collection agency in Morocco? Now both of them are contacting me, the collection agency gave me one week to start the payment, the bank gave me 30 days to contact them also the amount they are asking me to pay is different and I really dont remember excactly how much money I took and how much the balance is since I was paying my deductable for years.

  2. Thank you Steve for your advice.
    My husband and I will try to work on our budget and pay the loan; since he is the only one working for now it will be difficult but I have to get an agreement with them so they wont bother my family in Morocco and I can enter my country with no problems.
    I hate loans and credit cards.
    And I love it in north carolina 🙂

  3. Dear Steve, I am a Moroccan citizen and I don’t thnik of going to any of the Gulf countries at least at this moment also I am planning to apply for US citizenship and change my last name to my married name just incase I want to go to a gulf country or even to visit my family in Morocco.
    Thank you Steve for all your help and advices

    • Well then if you are unable to repay the debts owed at this time and you are not going back to any GCC country then one option is to do nothing and ignore it.

      Typically ignoring debt is never a good option but debt from GCC countries and specifically the UAE is almost impossible to deal with if you can’t negotiate a suitable solution with the creditor and they are willing to put it in writing before you pay.

      You see in Dubai, creditors can file a criminal complaint against you and if you went to any GCC country you can be arrested and tossed in jail.

      There is no personal bankruptcy in Dubai or the UAE so there is no leverage or protection you have with any creditor.

      When you think you might have a steady source of income to make repayment arrangements then come back and update me on the situation. We can deal with that then.

      By the way, welcome to North Carolina. You are about an hour or two from me.

      • Dear Steve
        Here is the email I got from the bank, I don’t know what to write since I can’t pay now. Do you think I should reply and tell them I am willing to pay but I cant afford it now? I know its ridiculous but I cant think of anything else except killing myself…. I am so depressed
        Ref : Outstanding dues in your Account number –
        This correspondence is with regards to the Credit Card that you have availed from Bank, UAE while you were employed in UAE & as per the terms / conditions you had explicitly agreed to repay overdue as per the terms without any default whatsoever.
        We would like to inform to you that there’s an overdue amount of AED 5499 on your Credit Card account mentioned above as on date and at the time of follow up it has come to notice that you are not available / contactable in any of the UAE addresses or contact details provided in your application form nor the home country address provided by you at the time of availing the facility.
        You have not intimated the Bank in writing on any change in contact details & address for contacting you for the over dues and as per our information you are currently based in another country. You are requested to note that there’s a police case filed against you in UAE for cheque bounce towards repayment of the credit card account.
        Unless we receive letter of intent from you to settle the above account within thirty (30) days upon receipt of this letter, the Bank will exercise its right and initiate legal proceedings by including your name in immigration TRAVEL BAN lists against your passport number xxx
        I hope you will give your full attention to this important matter and awaiting for your soonest revert
        Please contact us on telephone number 00xxxx if you need any clarifications or reply to this mail at the earliest

        • You should certainly contact them if you want. But don’t be surprised if they do not understand your current situation and inability to pay.

          While the situation is stressful, there is no reason to kill yourself.

          Let’s focus first on you getting settled where you are and finding new employment so you could make a repayment arrangement later.


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