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Overseas and overwhelmed, what are my options?


greenparrot
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I have been doing a lot of research and it has only left me more confused because there is so much uncertainty in this process. I accepted a teaching position in Dubai moving from NY 2 years ago after being laid off and accruing several 1000$ on my credit cards while unemployed. I fully intended on paying them in full and have been making payments here and there- as of 2 months ago they were all current. I applied for a loan here to pay off the credit cards in addition to some debt which I had accrued moving and settling here. If I had received the loan in a timely manner it would have been enough, however it took 7 months for the loan to be processed and the funds released. In that time interest has gone up and I am not able to pay the monthly instalments on the UAE loan plus my US credit cards- as much as I run the figures and have cut expenses it is impossible.  Since you can go to jail for a bad check here the UAE loan takes priority.

I have looked into filing bankruptcy but seems like it is impossible from outside the US. No matter what, my credit is going to be shot so I wish I could just have it over with in one go and start the 7 years while I am overseas but it looks like that is not a possibility. I have no assets which could be taken after a judgment so am not really concerned about losing anything, but am concerned about receiving 1099Cs and not being aware I received them and then getting in trouble with the IRS. Also I have read that a judgment can be made against you even if you were not there to be served and then afterwards an 'examination of judgment debtor' can be requested. If you are unable to attend then I have read the judge can issue a bench warrant and I could be arrested when visiting the US and coming through JFK. How likely is this to happen?

My US debts are as follows: AmEx 12000 60 days overdue,  Cap1 6700(current), First National 2900(30 days overdue)

I will have to return to the US eventually unless I can move to another country because I cannot work here over 60 and cannot get permanent residency. I am 49 and hoping I can stay here another 10-11 years. My creditors have my old address in NY but not my phone number. My old roommate has been receiving my mail.

What are my options at this point? 

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Everything that I have read both on this forum and elsewhere seems to indicate that it is nearly impossible to file BK from overseas since I will not be able to attend the meeting of creditors which is mandatory. I even inquired from a paralegal I know who prepares BK documents and he had never heard of anyone filing from abroad. Also it seems I need to be residing in NY(or any state) for 180 days prior to filing.

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9 minutes ago, greenparrot said:

I know who prepares BK documents and he had never heard of anyone filing from abroad.

While it is not easy you can file BK while living overseas.  The reality though is if you are out of the USA and have no assets within the US like a home/car etc. then there is no point to filing as domestic creditors are not going to go to the expense of trying to take assets or garnish wages in a foreign country.

3 hours ago, greenparrot said:

What are my options at this point? 

Notify the creditors that are past due that your permanent residency is outside the US.  Close the accounts and negotiate payment arrangements with them.  One thing to keep in mind is that if you are in too much debt and the UAE finds out they may cancel your Visa.  Some of the criteria for remaining employed in countries like that are extremely rigid.  As long as creditors don't hound you while there you should be okay but you will have to deal with the creditors.

If you still have debt problems when you return to the USA THEN you can file BK if you still need to.  I would not pull that trigger until it is absolutely necessary.

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7 hours ago, BV80 said:

@greenparrot

Do you still have a permanent residence in NY?

Not sure what is the definition of permanent residence in this instance, but my mail is still continuing to be sent to my old address and my former roommate is holding it for me. I do not drive however my NY state ID is in my old address. I last filed NYS taxes for 2014. My federal tax returns show my UAE address(PO box). I have a US bank account which I have been transferring money to to pay the CC bills and gave my old address for that.

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7 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

While it is not easy you can file BK while living overseas.  The reality though is if you are out of the USA and have no assets within the US like a home/car etc. then there is no point to filing as domestic creditors are not going to go to the expense of trying to take assets or garnish wages in a foreign country.

Notify the creditors that are past due that your permanent residency is outside the US.  Close the accounts and negotiate payment arrangements with them.  One thing to keep in mind is that if you are in too much debt and the UAE finds out they may cancel your Visa.  Some of the criteria for remaining employed in countries like that are extremely rigid.  As long as creditors don't hound you while there you should be okay but you will have to deal with the creditors.

If you still have debt problems when you return to the USA THEN you can file BK if you still need to.  I would not pull that trigger until it is absolutely necessary.

The UAE has recently formed its own credit reporting system 'al Ittihad Credit Bureau' and there are now limits as to how much debt someone can take on however they do not consider foreign debt as part of that amount. Debt is only a problem with regards to UAE visa when it is UAE debt, which if past due can put me in jail. A lot of people simply leave the country if they think they will be unable to pay their UAE debt. 

I simply have no way to pay them so don't know how I can make any payment arrangements at this point. After I have paid my UAE loan I could make payments however that would not be until Nov 2019 and not sure if they would get a default judgment before then. If I notify the OCs that I am living in the UAE and have no way to continue paying them what actions would they be likely to take? What sort of time frame am I looking at as far as collections and legal action?

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