Unsecured Debt in Ireland, living abroad

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Mickeyp

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Hi All,

Just looking for some thoughts on a few questions I have regarding personal circumstances.
I left Ireland in 2010 to work in a non EU country and defaulted on unsecured debt of
18K in 2012. The bank had my last known address in Ireland (a rented address) and for
a period had my address in the country I moved to and would send me correspondence
to that address. In 2016 I was contacted by a debt collecting agency locally to say that they
would be responsible for recouping the money as they had been engaged by the Irish bank.
I paid a nominal amount off this for a period of about 18 months and defaulted again in late
2017. My work takes me to different countries and I moved again to another non EU country at that point.
I have since got married and will move again later this year with my wife, again to a different non EU country.

I have had no contact from the bank since defaulting a second time and was surprised the
debt collecting agency made no attempt to contact me either (they did not know I was leaving
that country). The bank in Ireland could probably figure out my parents address as it was the address
I used to open the account way back when I was a student, however to date they have sent no
correspondence there nor are either parents guarantors on my debt.

I do have a separate account with another of the main banks in Ireland which is not linked to any debt
and which I use when I am home and was thinking of building up some savings in this account when I start a new position
in August. I am wondering if putting regular international transfers from abroad into this account could alert
the bank I have debt with? They are independent banks but I am not sure how far things go in terms of data
sharing. Could the bank I have a debt with get an order against me in absence? The last known address they
have for me is in the country I initially left for, however I use my parents address for correspondence on the debt free
bank account and hence have some worries about that.

Bit of a long winded one I know and I expect some criticism for defaulting twice, I had my reasons however and
any advice would be appreciated.
 

Bronte

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Seems odd to me that you've planning on saving rather than paying your debt.

I imagine the bank will no longer chase you. It's not worthwhile. And they have no address for you.

Why do you wish to save in an Irish bank?
 

Mickeyp

New Member
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I just want to have some savings in Euros, we may end up
in Europe in the future, probably not Ireland though.

Engaging with paying the debt is something I can do without
and if I can avoid it I will. That probably doesn't sound great but
the debt cycle I was in was one of the reasons I left Ireland in the
first place, the chances of going back there now the way rents have
spiralled get remoter every year.
 

SBarrett

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Banks can't share information, it's against data protection laws. The bank has sold your debt to an agency, so they've no interest in your debt anymore. The agency bought it at a discount because they know that some of the debts they purchase won't be repaid, yours is one of them. If they can't locate you, the can't come after you.
 

Mickeyp

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Thanks for the info SB. That possibility has occurred to me, however when I was making repayments
I would pay it directly into an account with the bank in Ireland from my account abroad not to an account
of the local agency. The agency in question were a multinational debt collector, I would usually send them
a receipt of the transaction every month to show I'd paid. I have not heard from them at all since, they've
made no attempt to contact me which I have found strange.
 

so-crates

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A couple of thoughts (once i have cleared my head of ...)
The collections agency may not be in contact because have tracked you down again ... yet. However, it may not be worth their while to do so. They would have purchased the loan at a discount, you give no indication of how much you repaid when you were tracked down before but perhaps they have recouped their cost and any further chase is only costing them.

In terms of the € nest egg you would like to build, clearly it is probably easiest to use the EU-base you have in Ireland but have you looked at either euro denominated savings accounts in the country you are resident? Or at online banks such as N26 - where you would? You aren't going to be getting any wildly exciting interest rates for deposits in any Irish bank so there is no overriding incentive to have it on deposit in Ireland.
 

Palerider

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Do Collections agencies purchase debt ?, I have never come across this, they are hired by the Bank to try and recover the debt and take a percentage.

Your Bank may have a judgment against you, check with the credit bureau.

Would like to know your reasons for you walking away from €18000 that you had the use of, you state that you had your reasons.
 

David1234

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I really take issue with people coming on here looking for advice on the best way to not pay a debt especially when they appear to be in a position to make repayment. We are constantly giving out about the high loan and mortgage rates in Ireland and this is one of the main reasons that they are higher than other countries in the EU.


I’m sure there are some very valid reasons why people fell into arrears but the common theme of these threads is- I don’t want to repay the money I owe, do you think I will get away with not paying. We as Irish tax payers are footing the bill for these non-payments in some way shape or form so I can’t comprehend why people are willing to offer advice that isn’t- engage with the banks and try to come to some arrangement to repay the debt.
 

Mickeyp

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Thanks for the comments, I am also looking at that euro denominated account option Socrates.

With regards to the Irish taxpayer, I am aware there is a moral side to all this, we could go on and
on debating its various dimensions and still not come to a consensus and with respect David I think
the point you make about Irish taxpayers footing the bill, while essentially true, is overly simplistic.

The debt cycle I got myself into was due to a combination of factors, my own inability and
incompetence dealing with and understanding money combined with the period of time in Ireland 2002-2007
when access to credit was akin to going to a grocery store and buying bananas. The banks were like drug
pushers at that time in their efforts to dispense credit. I remember logging onto my account one Thursday
morning a week before payday with my balance about 50Euro and seeing that I had been approved for an
overdraft of 1000Euro which I didn't actually apply for! -I helped myself to it of course. My credit card limit
was routinely increased no questions asked. My accounts were all over the place in this period, it was clear
I was an idiot when it came to managing my money. My salary at the time was decent enough by 2006, above
average at around 40K, I couldn't manage that but was still being granted loans for holidays and top ups etc,
which I genuinely did not really understand the long term consequences of.

I think some people are naturally good with money some people are taught to manage it, I was awful with it, certainly
never taught about it and I was too stupidly proud to open up to anyone about it. When I left Ireland initially in 2007 I
returned after a year but then left again in 2010. I did continue to pay the debt until 2012 but new opportunities opened up for me
in what I was doing abroad which required investment in third level qualifications. When living abroad I had no access
to credit, I had learned the hard way about getting into debt and had become a lot more adept at saving. This was also
due to the ability to save, something I could never do at home due to the cost of living.

Given the choice of paying the debt or investing in myself and my own well being ( I couldn't do both) I chose the
latter and I will not apologise for that. You might blithely talk about the Irish taxpayers footing the bill as if I am personally
responsible but I could just as easily say the Irish taxpayers voted for the crooks which enabled the perfect storm between
2002-2007 when I accrued the debt. What advice was I getting from the Irish taxpayers then? If anything the whole culture
of the country was centred around living on dodgy credit.

I've made huge sacrifices in terms of family and friends in leaving the country I am from in order to find a way of life
that works for me and since leaving Ireland in 2010 I have added a couple of qualifications to my name and travelled to 25 countries
all on money I saved and worked for, I don't even own a credit card now. I could not have done most of this trying to pay off the
debt and I am glad I made that choice. The bank gambled on me and the Irish economy, there were no winners ultimately.
 

Palerider

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The Bank did not gamble on you, you were earning around 40k a year and you met their repayment capacity requirements and other credit assessment.

The person in the Bank also backed you as a person who would repay the debt, a debt you could make regular payments on and still can, you had use of the money, had a good time, you walked away.

I was curious what your reasons were, I thought perhaps a serious illness, maybe a relative needing support maybe something else but you don't have reasons, you have excuses, childish ones, it's all me me me but if you were or are a responsible person you would not have walked away when you could pay down your debts albeit at a slower rate than planned, regardless of circumstances with the country, the Banks, the politicians, the weather.

I personally know of many people who found themselves in a mountain of debt and faced it down through repayment, taking on extra work or indeed insolvency.

You keep telling yourself you did the right thing, sure that's all that matters...for you.
 

Bronte

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I get the OP's point. And David I did ask the OP why he didn't pay it back.

There is no doubt in my mind that the banks overloaded young people with no money sense a load of debts. They were sending out credit card cheques unrequested for heaven's sake. OP has explained himself well, I for one appreciate that. So when I'm faced with big institutions bringing the country to it's knees versus a small time borrower I know which side I'm on. The real culprits here are a) the government b) the banks c) the regulator and at the bottom of that pile is d) the borrowers.

It's easy to attack small time d. But he wouldn't exist if it weren't for a to c.

Right now day in day out in the likes of the Indo are article after article basically looking for central bank rules to be loosened. You have politicians giving out that borrowers can't get their hands on money. I can clearly see by how the country is that people are getting their hands on money, examples I see are how many brand new cars they are and how much spending money is floating all over the place.
 

David1234

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Mickey fair play to admitting that the debt arose as a result of frivolous spending and financial recklessness on your part.

You say above you borrowed money to go on holidays. You have defaulted on these loans so technically you got a free holiday. I like many others didn't go on holiday this year because I couldn't afford to.

You came to an Irish forum where the vast majority of contributors are Irish tax payers. You are asking advice on how to put your hand in our pockets and expect people to be OK with that

You are in a position to recommence repaying your debt so why not do so?
 

David1234

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I get the OP's point. And David I did ask the OP why he didn't pay it back.

There is no doubt in my mind that the banks overloaded young people with no money sense a load of debts. They were sending out credit card cheques unrequested for heaven's sake. OP has explained himself well, I for one appreciate that. So when I'm faced with big institutions bringing the country to it's knees versus a small time borrower I know which side I'm on. The real culprits here are a) the government b) the banks c) the regulator and at the bottom of that pile is d) the borrowers.

It's easy to attack small time d. But he wouldn't exist if it weren't for a to c.
I agree a lot with what you say above but when someone has the means to make repayment on loans that they took out and choose not to they should not be looking for advice on the best way to avoid paying in the future.
 

Mickeyp

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The decision I made to default on in 2012 was based on what I would miss out
on if I didn't in the form of funding further education and the opportunities that would
bring. I couldn't continue to work abroad if I did not invest in that education. The other
alternative was to go back home, go back into a similar run of the mill sales job (if I could get
one again at that point after being away for 2 years) and going back to shitty over priced shared
accommodation, struggling to save money and make any kind of progress . I'll be honest the thoughts
of that compared to continuing what I was doing abroad living in my own apartment paled in comparison. I also
knew the repercussions of defaulting - that I was effectively saying goodbye to moving home
again for a long time and all that brought with it with regards family etc.

You might call these excuses and childish reasoning palerider but they were genuine reasons.
It hadn't worked out for me in Ireland, it was working out for me abroad and I wanted to continue
doing what I was doing for my own well being. If I am being accused of stealing from Irish taxpayers fair enough, I don't
see it that way and there are a myriad of different ways you can view things from a moral perspective.

I simply view it that in my current situation I can avoid the debt legally, as long as I continue doing
that I will. If and when I am legally obliged to pay it I will. I don't see any moral issue.
 

Cervelo

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It doesn't matter how you spin it, you didn't have to take the money or spend it but you did and now you choose to make excuses/blame everybody else as to why you can't/won't repay your debt and that's your choice and a choice that you seem very happy to make after all its only your good name that suffers
 

Mickeyp

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I know all that, I would not advise anyone to take the approach I have. It is not an excuse when I say I couldn't manage the money it is just a fact. LIke a gambler who gets into debt betting or a drug addict who keeps going for a hit, it was ridiculous and i had basically nothing to show for it. I am not blaming everyone else either but to say there wasn't a culture in Ireland at that time which encouraged such spending is not true. If it was the period 1992-97, 82-87 or even 2012-2017 theres no way I'd have the access to such pointless credit. The decision I made to default in 2012 wasn't made lightly and was done because I felt i had to at that time for my own well being. That came before the bank and taxpayers, I have no problem admitting that.
 

Mickeyp

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Mickey fair play to admitting that the debt arose as a result of frivolous spending and financial recklessness on your part.

You say above you borrowed money to go on holidays. You have defaulted on these loans so technically you got a free holiday. I like many others didn't go on holiday this year because I couldn't afford to.

You came to an Irish forum where the vast majority of contributors are Irish tax payers. You are asking advice on how to put your hand in our pockets and expect people to be OK with that

You are in a position to recommence repaying your debt so why not do so?
I don't know David, why does the Irish state enable billionaire tax evaders? Why does the Irish state use your tax to keep immigrants in portakabins for years on end?
 

Palerider

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There should be a judgment registered against you, I would be surprised if there wasn't , do check the credit bureau, that will follow you around once/if you ever return.

You didn't have to take the money, you make it sound like it was at gunpoint.

Thankfully most people do address their debts or insolvency.

Your default was made lightly despite your assertions to the contrary, its not all a moral issue, adults need to try and do the right thing, it's clear there was immaturity in all this and maybe you shouldn't have taken the loans but you did, you signed for them and they are yours.

There is a flawed logic in your approach that you have rationalised away but two wrongs never made a right.

I wish you well regardless, you're not getting any more of my time.
 

Mickeyp

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I didn't sit down in 2002 and plan to get myself into debt. It happened due to a number of issues, yes mainly me. I come
from a working class family, never had much money growing up, maybe there was something in that. The toilet attendant
winning the lotto thing. I do know I didn't understand how to manage money and was always chasing my tail with it. The decision
to default was not made lightly despite what you think and I realise there could be repercussions. I would have returned to Ireland in
2012 if it was an option for me career/life wise. It wasn't and I could never even dream to live the independent life I was living abroad
at home. I wasn't going to give that up. Why am I not paying it now? Because I can legally avoid it. Simple as that really. The same way
some individuals avoid paying tax because they can legally avoid it. I did think the post would piss off a lot of people who have gone through life
and done things the right way. That is fair enough, I expect that and can understand their point of view. But as I said I did not make
some pre-meditated decision in 2002 to get into debt and then default on it. You are right about adults doing the right thing, I generally
try my best to but spare me the moralising about Irish taxpayers. They must be one group of people with watertight morals
and flawless character
 
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