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CAN YOU LEAVE THE UAE WITHOUT REPAYING A LOAN?

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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Moving during a time of financial stress is a gruelling task. It results in significant psychological and financial hardships. People frequently wonder if they can leave the nation without paying back a loan in the UAE, especially when they take out several loans and have several credit cards. 

Different factors that must be taken into account when a person has an active loan, these are: 
- If a borrower or debtor fails to make a payment on time for one of the instalments, the bank will take necessary legal action by filing an "execution by cheques file" with the appropriate court, thereby barring the borrower or debtor from leaving the country.

Additionally, if a person quits their job in the UAE, their previous employer may notify the bank in writing that the employment agreement has ended. In such a case, the bank would freeze the account rather than the outstanding loan balance. Because of this, it is generally best to pay off any outstanding debt before leaving the country. 

In addition, in contrast to popular belief, one is not compelled to repay all loans upon leaving the country. There are methods for leaving the country while still owing money to those who want to go home. A borrower is not legally compelled to live there as long as their payments are unpaid. 

Additionally, if no criminal charges or travel restrictions have been brought against a person, they are free to leave the country. 

As a result, payments can be made by those who live outside the UAE. Even though the process of owing debt might not end at the border, the repercussions of defaulting on such debts after leaving the country are more serious and stressful than if they were defaulted upon while still inside the country. They also include the possibility of the debtor facing legal action.

In essence, banks like to keep clean balance sheets and happy customers, thus it is unlikely that they will reject settlement offers if the debtor has a solid credit history. Banks in the UAE take into account several variables when settling bad debts when a person has trouble paying payments on personal loans, student loans, etc. 

The first factor in a loan settlement is a person's ‘payment capability, which is commonly referred to as their capacity to repay the debt. Additionally, banks will consider the borrower's current financial situation as well as any modifications to the borrower's personal and financial situation after the loan was first obtained.

The debtor's current salary, the history of any bounced checks, the debtor's assets in the UAE or their country of origin, the debtor's maintenance needs for their family, their health, and their age will all be taken into account during the negotiation process. Additionally, banks will consider payment history, present earning ability, and other aspects of an individual's life. The negotiation is significantly impacted by each of these factors.

An event of default may occur if one does not repay their loans in full after three consecutive late payments or six erroneous late payments. When a borrower receives a personal loan in the UAE, banks or other financial institutions may demand checks as collateral for the loan amount. This is in addition to a completed application form with terms and conditions that have been signed. According to Article 4(4) of the Personal Loan Agreement format attached to Notice No. (3692/2012) of the Central Bank of the UAE, failing to pay three consecutive instalments or six non-consecutive instalments on the repayment of your loans or credit card facilities may be regarded as an event of default.

In more detail, this means if these security checks are returned unpaid because there isn't enough money in the borrower's bank account, the financial institution or bank is fully within its rights to initiate a criminal complaint against the borrower. It is important to know that in the UAE, it is illegal to dishonour a cheque. This is under Article 401 of Federal Law No. (3) of 1987 establishing the United Arab Emirates Penal Code.

Depending on the terms of the signed personal loan agreement, the lending bank may also file a lawsuit against the borrower to recoup the outstanding balance. The bank may file a petition with the court to have the debtor or borrower jailed upon return if they are outside the UAE.

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