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What happens if I leave the U.S. permanently with unsecured debt?


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To make a long story short, I have lost my job 9 month ago and have not been able to get a full-time job in my field (biomedical engineer). So, I and my family have lived off from savings account, IRA, and some money made from a part-time delivery job. Now, I have got a job offer and decided to go back to my home country (Japan) in a couple of weeks and will cancel my green card which means it is very unlikely to come back to the US for living in my life time (maybe visiting for a vacation if my situation gets better in the future). One thing really bugging me is that I have some unsecured debts from my credit cards and a couple of P2P lenders (totaling about 65k from 4 different companies). None of them has been in a late payment or unpaid for the last 12 months.

My questions are;

1. What legal consequences should I expect to face in Japan? Could I be sued and my salary be taken by U.S. creditors in Japan?

2. Would it be a good idea to tell the creditors that I am leaving the country permanently, but not able to pay off the debts at this time, and maybe I will try to pay some amount from Japan in the future?

I would really appreciate any advice/comments!

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First off, what is the purpose of getting rid of your green card?  Isn't that a bit premature?  I mean, you only have to visit the US once every couple of years to keep it active.  I'm not saying you would ever want to live in the US again, but at least you would have the option.


As far as what happens to your American debt while you are in Japan --  try using Google.  I found this thread on reddit, for example.


Basically, when you leave the country, there is pretty much nothing they can do about your debts.  I do know of someone who left the US for China to escape his debts.  If your bank accounts are in Japan, and your assets in Japan, they can't do anything.  


The only danger is, in some cases they could get a default judgement against you, which, depending on your state, could follow your for many years.  In some cases the judgement could be active as long as 20 years.  So if you wind up living in the US again, and they can find you, they could garnish your US wages.  


In other words, you could stop paying TODAY, and there is nothing they can do about it.  




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