Can My Son Go Bankrupt in the U.S. and Come Back to the UK?

“Dear Jon,

My son left his home and job in the UK 16 years ago to marry an American girl. He now lives in Seattle with his wife and two daughters (11 and 8). He had a good well paid job as a graphic designer for King 5 News for 16 years.

Unfortunately, the marriage has irretrievably broken down due to him becoming redundant last year and failure to find work. They are behind with mortgage repayments and in so much debt that it would be impossible to recover from this. They are filing for a corroborative divorce but no plan can be achieved.

If my son went bankrupt in the USA and then returned to UK, how would that affect him. Would he be seen as bankrupt in the UK? He had no debts when he left the UK and has always been in work.

It would be heartbreaking for him to leave his daughters but at the moment, it seems the only way. His wife is controlling and you could say that my son is suffering from domestic abuse and bullying. There seems to be no help for him unless you have money. I am not sure if you can help but if not, perhaps directing us where to get appropriate advice.

Thank you very much.



I am sorry to hear of your son’s plight, and do hope things get better for him. I am unsure where to direct him for advice regarding the divorce and abuse, however, I can address the issue of going bankrupt in America and coming back to the UK.

Bankruptcy in America will only have one impact on your son in the UK, that is if he applies for credit, and he is asked the broad question, have you ever been bankrupt?

The question does not ask what country.

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If he does not disclose the bankruptcy in the US, will it affect him? Who can say. I feel probably not, as long as he has no creditors here that were affected by the bankruptcy in the US.

So it is a double edged sword as to what to do. Disclose or not.

A bankruptcy in the US in all probability will not affect him here in the UK.

I hope this helps.



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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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