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Question about moving to US with debt...

Question about moving to US with debt...

Old Dec 12th 2003, 6:33 pm
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Default Question about moving to US with debt...

Hello. This is my first post. I am an American citizen living in England with my English husband and our son. I have lived here for 2 years, and we are looking to move back to the US some time next summer/fall. We know all about the process (well, I do anyway, that sort of thing is my job!) and would be doing a Direct Consular Filing in London, probably through a lawyer.

Here's a question that keeps coming up though, with my husband and I. We've got a small amount of debt here in England, nothing even close to being huge. We want to move back to the US, but think that it's probbaly impossible with *any* amount of debt, since we'd have to pay it back while in the US and suffer because of the exchange rate.

Has any one else moved to the US with debt, and how did they find a good way to pay it in the US? We were thinking of just keeping our UK bank accounts and paying into it (and thereby direct debits) through our US bank. With a very, very small child between us, we're not hoping to get our debt down by much over here before we move, which is causing a kind of roadblock in our plans.

Other experiences & insight woud be helpful.
Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 12th 2003, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: Question about moving to US with debt...

Originally posted by good_idea_marge
Hello. This is my first post. ..... We've got a small amount of debt here in England, nothing even close to being huge..... think that it's probbaly impossible with *any* amount of debt, since we'd have to pay it back while in the US and suffer because of the exchange rate. .... Other experiences & insight woud be helpful.
Thanks in advance.
If it's a small debt (it would be helpful if you gave us an idea of how small), I wouldn't worry about the exchange rate. For example, if its 2,000 quid, at today's rates that would be about $3,500, versus $3,000 back when it was down at $1.50 to the pound.

As for how to send money back to the UK from US, there are several threads on the topic that you might try searching for (if I find some, I'll post them for you).

A bigger issue than exchange rate is probably bank charges. Some methods might cost $50 for each wire you send, which would add up if you are sending money every months for 2 years.

p.s. Here's one: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...light=transfer - it's about moving money the other way, but discusses some multinational banks that have branches in UK and US.

p.p.s. Here's another: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...ghlight=dollar

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Old Dec 12th 2003, 11:59 pm
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If at all possible I'd stay where you are until the debt was paid. There are too many financial surprises when you move to another country, such as finding work immediately, etc without having to worry about debt........
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Old Dec 13th 2003, 2:23 am
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Default Re: Question about moving to US with debt...

Originally posted by good_idea_marge
Hello. This is my first post. I am an American citizen living in England with my English husband and our son. I have lived here for 2 years, and we are looking to move back to the US some time next summer/fall. We know all about the process (well, I do anyway, that sort of thing is my job!) and would be doing a Direct Consular Filing in London, probably through a lawyer.

Here's a question that keeps coming up though, with my husband and I. We've got a small amount of debt here in England, nothing even close to being huge. We want to move back to the US, but think that it's probbaly impossible with *any* amount of debt, since we'd have to pay it back while in the US and suffer because of the exchange rate.

Has any one else moved to the US with debt, and how did they find a good way to pay it in the US? We were thinking of just keeping our UK bank accounts and paying into it (and thereby direct debits) through our US bank. With a very, very small child between us, we're not hoping to get our debt down by much over here before we move, which is causing a kind of roadblock in our plans.

Other experiences & insight woud be helpful.
Thanks in advance.
Its complex and i could give you my experience. I had around £70,000 in debts from my collapsed business etc i looked at the options and i declared insolvency in the UK. I liquidated what i had and ended up paying around 43p in the £1 on my debts but i cleared them all and i start in the USA with a clean slate. I dont yet know how this will effect my credit in the USA but as i understand it your UK record makes little difference in the USA. Although i will tell you later if thats true if, or when, i try to get a mortgage or other major loan.

Personally i would look at offering a settlement of some kind on the amount you owe in the UK if you can stump up a lump sum they may settle for a lesser amount if they think you are escaping to the USA. Be aware they will play hard and will threaten all and sundry but they are actually pretty toothless if its unsecured debts. An industry secret by the way is that the average return on bad credit card debts is 3p in the £1 so if you start offering 50p in the pound they will bitch and cry but ultimately you may find they will accept once they have no choice but to try to pursue you legally to the USA.

regards,

Duncan

Last edited by Duncs; Dec 13th 2003 at 2:31 am.
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Old Dec 13th 2003, 9:09 am
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Legally a UK company would have to expend a lot of money to sue you for the debt in a US court, any UK CCJs are null & void when u emigrate.

I'd send them a nice letter explaining that you are emigrating & that regrettably they will have to either wait or whistle.
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Old Dec 13th 2003, 12:11 pm
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Don't use a lawyer to DCF, it is an easy process and you really don't need the added expense of a lawyer when the move itself and everything asscociated with it is so expensive. Which beg the next question - if you can't afford to pay off your debt how can you afford to move back to the states, its not cheap?

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Old Dec 13th 2003, 2:02 pm
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Default Pay your debts

I don't know how much we're talking about here, but I disagree with the advice to declare insolvency unles there's good reason. I'm not against the idea of bankrupcy/insolvency/paying pennies on the pound for debt in some situations, but I think it should be a last resort, e.g., where there's no other solution without bringing financial ruin on yourself. It shouldn't be a way of absolving your responsibiity to pay debts in full if you are capable of doing that. Marge's post seems to indicate that it would be difficult, not impossible.

Bankrupcies in the US are an epidemic that the government is working to reduce. Too many people are getting themselves into debt and then simply declaring bankrupcy so they can start over. I ask, "What about the people you owe money to?" Please don't say that they're businesses and can swallow the loss.

I'd suggest that if the debt really is small (we still don't have an idea how much it is), looking for ways to pay it off should be the help given, not ways to shirk on part of that debt. That seems to be what Marge was asking for. Good for you Marge.

And before some people get hot under the collar, let me say again that I agree bankrupcy/insolvency is an appropriate solution at times - it just doesn't seem appropriate here.
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Old Dec 13th 2003, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: Pay your debts

Originally posted by dunroving
I don't know how much we're talking about here, but I disagree with the advice to declare insolvency unles there's good reason. I'm not against the idea of bankrupcy/insolvency/paying pennies on the pound for debt in some situations, but I think it should be a last resort, e.g., where there's no other solution without bringing financial ruin on yourself. It shouldn't be a way of absolving your responsibiity to pay debts in full if you are capable of doing that. Marge's post seems to indicate that it would be difficult, not impossible.

Bankrupcies in the US are an epidemic that the government is working to reduce. Too many people are getting themselves into debt and then simply declaring bankrupcy so they can start over. I ask, "What about the people you owe money to?" Please don't say that they're businesses and can swallow the loss.

I'd suggest that if the debt really is small (we still don't have an idea how much it is), looking for ways to pay it off should be the help given, not ways to shirk on part of that debt. That seems to be what Marge was asking for. Good for you Marge.

And before some people get hot under the collar, let me say again that I agree bankrupcy/insolvency is an appropriate solution at times - it just doesn't seem appropriate here.
Thanks for the moral lesson about debts and of course youre right Barclaycard deserve to make a £500m profit every year and MBNA need that money so they can give $300,000 to Bush's re-election campaign. No youre right charging an APR of 15-20% when base rates are at 2% is totally fair why shouldnt they make a 13-18% profit on you whats unreasonable about that?

I wasnt suggesting Insolvency/bankruptcy actually the point was that in lots of cases if you can not pay back the whole amount a lesser amount will, after lots of moaning and threatening, probably be grudgingly accepted. So if you wish to clear off the debt and start in the USA clean its worth trying. The choice depends on how much you owe. If its only a couple of thousand you could just default and let them get a CCJ then bugger off to the USA. They will not spend money chasing you to the USA its not economic. In fact on low amounts whilst they will threaten they wont even get a CCJ because it costs them to much money. You have lots more power than you realise in these debts situations and dont let their threats and bullying get to you. The down side of course is your UK credit record goes to shit if you default but if youre in the USA that wont really make much difference to you.

But hey do what you feel you can live with.

regards,

Duncan
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Old Dec 13th 2003, 5:41 pm
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Wow... didn't mean to start a fight!

Thanks for all the perspectives, everyone. We've got about £4000 in debt, and in my mind anyway that isn't enough for bankruptcy, especially since we're capable of paying it off, just not as quickly as we'd like to. We both agree that it would be better to get it paid off before we move, which is why our move is being delayed, I was just wondering how other people dealt with it. Looks like we're in for a wait then.

And: I was asked "Which beg the next question - if you can't afford to pay off your debt how can you afford to move back to the states, its not cheap?"

Well, obviously we can't afford it yet, which is why we're still here and not considering moving for at least another year. As for how we'll manage once we're there, we've got a plan and family to help, so we'll manage...

Thanks everyone...
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Old Dec 13th 2003, 6:07 pm
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Originally posted by good_idea_marge
Wow... didn't mean to start a fight!

Thanks for all the perspectives, everyone. We've got about £4000 in debt, and in my mind anyway that isn't enough for bankruptcy, especially since we're capable of paying it off, just not as quickly as we'd like to. We both agree that it would be better to get it paid off before we move, which is why our move is being delayed, I was just wondering how other people dealt with it. Looks like we're in for a wait then.

And: I was asked "Which beg the next question - if you can't afford to pay off your debt how can you afford to move back to the states, its not cheap?"

Well, obviously we can't afford it yet, which is why we're still here and not considering moving for at least another year. As for how we'll manage once we're there, we've got a plan and family to help, so we'll manage...

Thanks everyone...
Hey, good luck. I hope you find a convenient way to pay off your debts. And don't worry about starting a fight - you weren't responsible for that, you just asked for advice. Some people on this site get pissed off easily (including myself), and sarcasm is the easiest response. Personally, I think that if you don't like how much a credit card company charges you can always decide not to use them. Nobody's forcing me to use my Barclaycard. Get ready for the next barrage....
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Old Dec 13th 2003, 6:28 pm
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Well done on wanting to do the decent thing. I know an awful lot of people who actually funded their moves to Spain by taking out loans in the UK and never repaying them. And no, I'm not one of them.

Good luck with your move.
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Old Dec 14th 2003, 3:35 am
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Sorry if i havent bought into the its a moral obligation to pay back the money lie.

How come the little man should stump up the £4000 and yet Citibank can set up a shell corporation sell stock in this company to unsuspecting buyers then dump its entire $4bn of Enron liabilities on these companies so that when Enron goes pop Citibank dont get left holding the bag and instead lots of small investors end up with no life savings and no pensions. By the way yes they were caught on for it and were fined around $200m. Ok so $200m for $4bn thats a good deal. In fact its around 5% of the real total they ****ed people for. Yep i feel real bad knowing i only gave back 43% of what citibank and barclaycard to name a couple had lent me.

And for the second time i was not proposing bankruptcy. I was suggesting a lump sum settlement of the debt for lesser figure than the total. Move to the states and say balls to them then offer 50% they will take it or be powerless to pursue you. thats my suggestion but if you feel better about it then wait a year or two then move and know that you helped make fat cat bankers a tiny bit richer.

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Old Dec 14th 2003, 8:43 am
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Originally posted by Duncs
Sorry if i havent bought into the its a moral obligation to pay back the money lie.

regards,

Duncan

Just how much did the Queen Mum owe when she died ? 4or 5 million quid ? She could have returned all the empty gin bottles & paid off the debt with a few bob to spare.

You leaving owing a few thou is a piss in the ocean in comparison.
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Old Dec 14th 2003, 3:49 pm
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If you feel that you can leave debt behind then that's your perogative, but if you think more long term can you honestly say you'll never return to Britain to live? What effect would that decision have then?
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Old Dec 14th 2003, 5:54 pm
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Originally posted by RoB1833
If you feel that you can leave debt behind then that's your perogative, but if you think more long term can you honestly say you'll never return to Britain to live? What effect would that decision have then?
No of course not but I dont anticipate returning anytime soon and in 6 years my credit record is cleared so whats the problem.

Besides a great credit record is not the be all and end all of life you know.

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