Acquired debt in Dubai. Could not pay and moved to US w/o settling. Can they still collect? What are my rights if I can't pay?

I moved here end of 2008 and stopped making payments to my loan and credit card. Did not hear from them at all until now, almost 4 years later. They have sent a final notice email and contacted a family member in Redondo Beach threatening INTERPOL action. I didn't think they had jurisdiction in the US to criminalize me, though I understood that I could never go back to the UAE. What can I do if I cannot pay back? Is it better to ignore any calls and deny my identity or should I hire a lawyer, and if so, what kind? And when does their right to pursue me expire?

Encino, CA -

Attorney Answers (4)

Richard Scott Lysle

Richard Scott Lysle

Debt Collection Attorney - Los Angeles, CA
Answered

They will have a difficult time suing you in California. First of all, non payment of a debt is a civil matter, not a criminal matter. Secondly, if the creditor is a business entity, it must be licensed and registered with the California Secretary of State in order to file a lawsuit in the courts of California. Third, if they sue you here, you can make a motion requiring them to post a bond under CCP 1030 to cover your court costs. Fourth, if they sue you here, you can counter sue them for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by threatening criminal prosecution. Fifth, if they sue here, they will need to bring witnesses from Dubai or wherever.

Sandra Maria Nutt

Sandra Maria Nutt

Bankruptcy Attorney - Van Nuys, CA
Answered

Have you contacted a lawyer in Dubai. I would contact a lawyer there who is familiar with Debt Collections and include them on any Petition you file here.

Kevin Samuel Sullivan

Kevin Samuel Sullivan

Debt Collection Attorney - San Francisco, CA
Answered

Sit back and wait for the lawsuit. They may not even sue you since they are out of the country and you may have a statute of limitations argument.

Marc Gregory Wagman

Marc Gregory Wagman

Bankruptcy Attorney - Chicago, IL
Answered

This is a question for a lawyer in Dubai. An American lawyer is not familiar likely with Dubai laws of collection and enforcement unless he or she is an international lawyer. Further I believe that there are serious ramifications of owing money in Dubai from one article I read about a Ferrari Enzo left there in the desert because of a debt owed and it sat in the desert and deteriorated because of the rich guy had to leave the country because he owed a debt. You can likely look up about this on the Internet.

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