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  • Writer's pictureDetained in Dubai

Saudi, Oman, Bahrain & Qatar are increasing their international enforcement efforts, in line wit

Members of the GCC have followed the UAE's example in actively seeking to enforce debt, as well as civil judgments.

Enforcing debt in a number of countries has become quite simple and therefore it is advisable to tackle the issues as soon as possible. The UK is one particular jurisdiction that has made it quite simple to obtain local enforcement orders; and we are dealing with a range of disputes from several gulf states.

We have seen agents successfully obtain charge orders over assets, CCJ's and even bankruptcy in one case, where the individual didn't even know he had debt. The debt was a mere $5,000 but had escalated with charges and interest over time. No attempt had been made to contact him. When he discovered the proceedings, he tried to pay the debt but the local lawyers felt that they were too far along the process to settle. The bankruptcy proceedings weren't fruitful as they'd hope so the UK law firm decided to open proceedings against his wife (who was not a signatory to the credit agreement), a matter that is still in progress.

While customers of the banks are not expecting their debts to be forgiven simply because they have left the jurisdiction, they are certainly expecting (often mistakenly) that banks and their agents will try their best to resolve matters in a dignified and professional manner.

Some debts are simply unavoidable and have arisen due to wrongful terminations, ill health or other unexpected occurrences. It is a surprise to many that their bank will use intimidation tactics, illegal harassment, defamation and other "dirty tricks" to recover funds. If that doesn't work, they are ever happy to bankrupt a customer. Their branches in other countries do not employ the same recovery methods because they fall under the laws of their location. In the gulf region though, there is limited accountability and they use tactics designed to maximise their negative impact on someone's life, especially if it means getting them fired.

It is important to swiftly address the banks and their agents before things get out of hand.

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