Money Matters: 'Should I file for bankruptcy?'

Debt advice from the Kevin Boon of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service

The third in our 'ask the expert' series, which sees Kevin Boon of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) tackle a question about insolvency.

Q. For the last five years I have been living and working in Spain but have large, unmanageable debts in the UK. I now have the option to either return to the UK or to move to the Swiss branch of my company. Advice from my friends varies but I am aware that I can't keep running from my UK debts. Should I return to the UK and file for bankruptcy or should I continue my European interests? David, Seville.

A. The advice would depend on how much money you currently have left over after paying your priority costs, such as rent, mortgage payments, utility bills and such like. Whether you decide to stay in Europe or not, even if you cannot afford to make the full contractual payments to the debts after you have paid your priorities, you could make reduced payments based on a detailed financial statement following a full budgeting process. If this would take an unreasonable amount of time then you could consider bankruptcy.

I have attached a link to the Insolvency Service website that explains what to do if you choose to go down this route and how to deal with this whilst living in another country. I hope this helps in making your decision.

If you would like to discuss any of this in more detail with a CCCS debt counsellor, then you can call our helpline on +44113 2970126 which is open from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday. As you are living abroad, you may also want to consider using our online counselling service, Debt Remedy. CCCS can help with budgeting and income maximisation, and help you prepare a full financial statement to give to your creditors. - Kevin

Having problems with debt?

Every Friday, Kevin Boon of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service will answer your questions and provide expert advice on the best way to deal with debt. Send your questions to with 'Money Matters' in the email subject line.

CCCS is a national charity giving independent advice to anyone worried about debt, delivered free of charge by expert counsellors. Based in Leeds, CCCS is able to help people with debt problems wherever they live in the UK, through its free national telephone service (0800 138 1111), ten regional centres and online debt remedy service (