How Do Debt Collectors Find You

How Do Debt Collectors Find You

If you are under a lot of debt, the thought of just disappearing one day might be crossing your mind on a regular basis. You do know it is wrong but there is this idea that who can track you if you move to a different place, change your name and speak with an accent! Well, it looks good in thriller movies but, practically, there is every chance that you will be tracked. The World is shrinking and how!

Moving To A Different Place

The idea of moving to a completely strange place seems nice in theory. You may also create a radio silence by not opening a bank account, not paying your car insurance or mobile contracts. You may also decide not to move any credit. All this may create a thin fog over your identity but not for long. Here is why-

- For your housing needs, you do need a credit verification. The housing records will easily give you away. Most private housing agencies do not rent or sell to people with a hidden or non-existent credit record.

- More payments are nowadays being included in credit records. Your utility bills like electricity and grocery will very soon be seamlessly connected to your credit records. You may have to give up on certain essential commodities to maintain the information blackout. Some housing associations have already started it and soon it will be applicable to private renting too.

- You may have to say bye-bye to benefits as they are directly credited to your account. Revealing your credit information on the other hand may make you susceptible to being tracked down.

- After you move, you may wish to take up a new job. In case you choose an employer who does not wish to make a credit verification and pays you in cash after the job is done, you walk into a trap yourself. Such employers can easily exploit you and also stall your payment at any juncture leaving you to starve.

There is another option that you get a new credit record somehow and try to start afresh. Only problem with that is that photo verification in these processes make it very easy for the debt collectors to track you down. Even the collaboration between different law enforcement agencies has been growing over the years. Before the six year period, you would most likely be served a notice that would make you regret your decisions.

What If Six Years Pass?

If you go in hiding from the creditors for six years and do not receive a notice from their side, you might think that you have ‘won’ by outsmarting them. Well, the case might just be the opposite. Yes, in cases when you made your last payment to the debt six years ago or more, the creditors might be ‘statute barred’ from legally enforcing you to pay up. But, chances are that the creditors would have gone and gotten a County Court Judgement seeking legal action against you. So, you have to worry more about paying your debt and less about how do debt collectors find you.

Now in a case where you did not try moving or hiding, you would have had the excuse that you were not served a notice. But now, that you were missing for all these years and it was not a short vacation or illness but a genuine case of running away from creditors, you might be pushed to bankruptcy via strict legal action.

What If I Move To A Different Nation?

Again, not as easy as it sounds. There is a good chance at the present scenario that you might get away from your creditors if you go into hiding to an obscure location by picking a spot on the globe. But it is a less smart option in the long run. Only in the movies do they have hassle-free identity changes while in real life, things are slightly more complicated. So complicated that you wish you had declared bankruptcy in UK before you made the move.

Although information sharing legislation is still in the initial stages both in UK and abroad and it is difficult to track your credit information once you move to a separate continent or country, this may change in the very near future. Once such legislation is passed and your creditors pull the right strings, you may end up with a lifelong and costly regret. Of course large amounts are more likely to be tracked down than smaller debts.

One major problem might be opening a new account in a bank that belongs to the new country you have chosen. It is much easier if you go to the sister bank of the UK bank that you were using earlier. Of course, it is only possible if you have a clean credit history.

Three months after you move to a European Union country and three years after you move to a non- EU country, your option of declaring bankruptcy in England expires. And with it expires your option to avail the benefits provided by debt charity institutions. It cannot really be considered a smart move in the long run.

What If I Go By A Different Name Now?

Well, with all due respect, this is not the first time someone has thought of that idea. It is of course difficult to track people who change their names but it all the more makes them guilty in the eyes of law once they are caught. Your name on your driving licence or your passport cannot be changed that easily for the simple reason that the UK law understands debt frauds since their inception. To change your name officially you need a valid marriage licence or a deed poll.

The credit reference agencies check first for signs of fraudulent activities before approving credit applications. The names and identity details of absconding debtors are registered in a database named GAIN. This GAIN can easily become your loss if you take any of the illegal pathways.

So, What Are My Options?

Bankruptcy or a Debt Relief Order are much easier choices. You can always start afresh and build yourself back. Debt charities like National Debtline or StepChange can help you with the process. Implementing various shenanigans instead would rather prolong the process of your redemption. It is always better to abide by the law than trying to look for escape routes.

Do talk to us more about how you can start the process.

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