It may be tempting to ignore UK based debt collection firms acting on behalf of UAE banks. This is why you should never do so:
UAE banks are known worldwide for irresponsible lending, backed up by ruthless debt collection.
In the UAE, unlike the Western world, debt is a criminal matter rather than a civil one. They have no need to lend responsibly because if debt victims miss payments, the banks can throw them in jail. They can literally lock somebody up for being unable to make their payments. Even those who are released from jail will have a travel ban, which means they can never leave the UAE until the debt is paid in full; with the added factor of being unable to legally work because the debt cases mean that they can not obtain a work permit.
UAE debts caused by irresponsible lending
Unsurprisingly then, expats who have a drastic change in circumstances (like illness, redundancy etc) often escape the country secretly so they can attempt to restructure and negotiate from safety. Their trouble is not over at this point as the UAE banks usually bombard them with unbearable (often illegal) pressure, including everything from abusive Interpol Red Notices, to harassment of friends, family, new work colleagues, clients and bosses. The subject has been covered extensively, including a comprehensive article by Detained in Dubai.
Often the banks then turn to debt collectors in the UK such as IDRWW (IDR or International Debt Recovery World Wide), CWD (Coyle White Devine) or others.
At this point, many debt victims have had enough and ignore the communication attempts. This is the wrong thing to do, and can have devastating consequences for the debtor. Not replying is seen in many instances as an agreement to the intended actions and assertions of debt collection firms, and they use this to their advantage against the victim.
Two examples are:
- They can issue a County Court Summons. If a summons is received, ignoring it is not an option or a chain of events will lead to a CCJ default judgement against you, opening the door to enforce bankruptcy proceedings;
- They can issue a Statutory Demand. Again, if this is ignored the debt becomes accepted and bankruptcy proceedings can be lodged.
These are not the only potential risks. It is also extremely important to say or do nothing which can incriminate, or disadvantage the victim.
Dealing with the debt collectors on your own can be daunting for many debt victims, and not without reason: Saying or doing the wrong thing can have life changing consequences. The calls or emails are generally recorded and the debt collector has only the best interests of the creditors in mind, regardless of the effect on the victim’s life.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai advises: “If you don’t have experience in international debts, UAE debt law or debt negotiation in general, it is generally advisable to seek consultation from a law firm, or organisation like ourselves at Detained In Dubai. Ignoring the problem will only result in it worsening.”
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