If a U.S. judgment entered against you and you leave the country, the creditor has no right to sue you or collect from you while you are abroad.
15
March
2012

What is the significance of a judgment if the debtor has left the US? Can a judgment be enforced in a foreign land? If you go on addressing the first issue, we should initially discuss whether or not a debt contract is enforceable outside the US. The answer is simply ‘No’. Again, if a U.S. judgment entered against you and you leave the country, the creditor has no right to sue you or collect from you while you are abroad.

You might not know but there is no bilateral agreement or multilateral international convention in effect between the United States and any other country on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments. Though there are many reasons behind the absence of such a treaty, the principal reason seems to be the common belief of many foreign states that the U.S. money judgments are excessive as per their notions of liability. Moreover, some foreign nations have raised objection regarding the extraterritorial jurisdiction asserted by courts in the United States. Now, in absence of such a treaty, whether foreign courts would put into effect judgments issued by U.S. courts completely depends upon the internal laws of the foreign countries and international comity. In many foreign nations as well as in most US jurisdictions, local domestic law and the principles of comity, reciprocity and res judicata govern the acknowledgment and enforcement of extraterrestrial judgments.

 

Situation Affect on Credit What if You Come Back
You have outstanding credit card, auto or mortgage balances and you leave the country. The creditors charge off the debts and sell to CAs. Your credit report will experience a severe negative mark, which will remain there for 7 years.

However, if you’re away for more than 7 years, there will be no effect on your credit score unless a judgment is entered before the completion of the SOL period.

If you return and see that the Statute of Limitations period has not expired, you could be sued.
You have unpaid debt in collections. Your credit report has already received a negative mark. Chances are there that you could be sued and have a judgment entered against you. If you arrive after the SOL period, the collection agency can sue you, but would never win the case. If the CA still try to collect from you, send them a ‘cease and desist letter’.
You are sued for an unpaid debt after leaving the country. If the lender wins and receives a judgment against you, your credit report will have a blow. However, a judgment can only stay in your credit report for 7 years. If the lender gets a judgment against you, and if you return after a long gap, it may be too late to appeal for the judgment as the average time period to appeal is 1 year depending on your state.

You have to pay the debt as per the judgment if the SOL period has not expired.

You get a judgment against them while out of the country. You’ll see a black spot on your credit report. However, the judgment will stay in your credit only for 7 years. If the lender gets a judgment against you, and if you return after a long gap, it may be too late to appeal for the judgment as the average time period is 1 year depending on your state.

You have to pay the as per the judgment if the SOL period has not expired.

You already have a judgment against you when leaving the country. You’ll see a black spot on your credit report. However, the judgment will stay in your credit only for 7 years. By the time you return, you may have to pay off the judgment if it has not passed the statute of limitations period.

 

Can a creditor sue you when you're in a foreign land?

If you are staying out of the country, your lenders may face several problems while suing you. In a few cases, keeping in mind the loan arrangement and local laws, the server might required to serve you the judgment in that specific county where the loan arrangement was actually made. In some cases, a loan agreement may specify in which state legal arguments and court cases must be settled.

Logically, it’s not legal if a creditor sues you in a county or state where you do not currently reside. Now, why is this prohibited? Actually, in most cases, according to state court rules, a creditor must sue in the county and/or state of the debtor’s present residence.

If you know that you have unpaid debts, and you are thinking of returning to the U.S., it’s wise to keep an eye on what is happening with your debts. If there are chances of harassment and lawsuit in case you come back, you should better stay abroad for some more time.

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