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What is my legal status?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
5 replies 834 views
ShivaShiva Forumite
26 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
I would appreciate some advice.

Last June, I was unable to make the minimum payments (over a thousand a month). I defaulted on 35K of debt. I have been in California since then - I got married at Niagara Falls to my true love, whom I had met July 4th 2009. This is a marriage of love, not arrangement.

My long-suffering parents have been fending off calls and returning the letters to the Credit-Card companies. I was living with my parents when I took out the credit cards. My Barclays account (3K of debt) directs their mail to me in California, which I ignore, along with the rest of the letters back home. I know from their letters - of course I read them - that this debt has been passed to a debt-collecting agency. I have not responded or tried to contact any of my creditors - I am unsure if this is wise - I would welcome any advice. I have no green card, so do not earn any money, although my support for my wife"s work helps her earn a great deal more than previously - we are just about making it through and we have no credit cards or debts.

My Orange phone was disconnected and they demanded I pay the 600 remaining on the contract - I had tried to work out arrangements but they could not shift from protocol, despite me being a Premier level 5 customer. So I am uncontactable by phone.

I have had no contact from any of them. I am returning to England in April and must stay for 5-9 months while my wife files papers to petition for my change of status in the US after which I can live in the US and get a green card.

What is my status when I return to England in April? Am I a fugitive? Am I a criminal? The money was borrowed with the genuine intent of paying it back, so there was not an attempt to gain money by deception? Do I have to declare bankruptcy? I would welcome any and all advice as to my legal status - and thank you in advance for not judging me.

Many thanks,


  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    76.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    No idea, sure someone will be along to help soon.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    MFW. Finally mortgage free February 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
    16.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Cashback Cashier
    You're not a criminal, don't have to do anything. You're just a person who isn't paying their debts.

    Debt-free Wannabee is a forum for those who want to get debt-free. What do you want to do?
  • ShivaShiva Forumite
    26 Posts
    Thank you - I am in the middle of responding to my dad, who is understandably concerned if I return to England, and visit, and worried that he might be "complicit in my criminality" - your assurance is most welcome. thank you for taking the time:A
  • ShivaShiva Forumite
    26 Posts
    You response is enigmatic and makes little sense - perhaps you could explain further if you do have anything useful to add.
  • Clarie_2Clarie_2 Forumite
    127 Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Hi, you're not a criminal when you return - however you do have a responsibility to sort out the debt situ - not least to help your parents!
    Your parents are right to not accept responsibility for your debt, however you (or a debt charity on your behalf) will need to contact them in writing to sort the situation out.

    I'd suggest you call one of the debt advice charities - CAB, CCCS or someone like that (there is a list in a sticky post at the top of this board).
    They can advise you on your best plan. It might be that you set up a debt management plan, where you pay each of your creditors what you can afford each month. An alternative, as you've suggested, is that you declare yourself bankrupt. Again the charity will advise.

    I don't know how living in a different country affects these plans, but the debt advice charities will have a better idea.

    Good luck,

    Debt Free and Proud!
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