I’m Living in South Africa and Traveling to the U.S. But Have Unpaid NatWest UK Debts. Will I be Arrested at Heathrow? – Warren

“Dear Jon,

I was living in London in 2004/2005 on a 2 year working holiday visa. I left to come back to South Africa and never closed my Natwest Account or cancelled my vodafone contract (the guy on the customer service line said I can just let the contract run out, it was for 18 months, but he was misled and I still received bills for months after that time). I had a 500 pound overdraft and had a debit order on my contract. I have not received any communication from either, my last bill received was in 2006 I think. Im now planning to travel to New York via London and was wondering if I will be in trouble at Heathrow Airport?

Wondering If theres any chance of being arrested or detained due to the slight debt history I have in London?

Can you please help me and also give any advice on what I would need to do to clear my situation.

Many Thanks!



You can relax, you will not be arrested at Heathrow when you land, not just for owing a few debts in the past.

If you have received no communication from the bank or any creditors for a period of six (6) years, you may no longer owe the debt(s). If a creditor has had no contact with you, or made no attempt to contact you for six years, a debt can be statute barred, meaning it is no longer owed. The tricky part is if the bank or creditor has tried to contact you, but doesn’t have your current details.

But from what you said, you’ll be fine passing through London.



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. I’m happy to help you for free.

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