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If you are a loan defaulter foreign expat who lived in UAE in the past, and want to return now without getting arrested at the airport, this article will give you a basic guideline on how to get it done.
First off, you will need to find a representative, either a lawyer or other authorized person to talk to the bank and other authorities on your behalf. The representative will also need to check whether an arrest warrant has been issued against you and what kind of consequences you can face on your return.
Since the payment terms, especially the credit terms are fully flexible. The main priority of the banks is to get their money back. So when someone goes default, banks are open to options that will ensure them getting their amount back, even if it makes them lose on initial interest rate.
“It is possible to appoint a representative other than a lawyer to assist you (unless the particular case is likely to involve the courts and/or the public prosecutor, in which case it would be advisable to engage a lawyer,” said Paul Hughes, legal director of commercial litigation at Addleshaw Goddard Middle East.
Once you reach to an agreement with bank through your representative, it is critical to have it written down and signed. The documents should be signed/released before you make the payment/installment.
“Based on our experience, those who were promised discounted fees, after paying, were again being asked to make additional payments. The bank agent would claim that the discount was not approved by the management, and therefore, the customer had to add more money,” explained Almazar.
“The customer will find it difficult to prove the agreement with the bank, as it was not in writing. Usually, the demand for additional payment is made after sometime, and the agent who made the agreement has already resigned or been transferred to another department, and the customer is left problematic.”
Once you make the payment or finalize the modified payment plan with the bank, you need to seek at least 2 documents from the bank. First one, is the clearance letter, which you will get only in case you have settled all the dues with the bank in full. This document is required by the police to withdraw any charges against you, which means this document will ensure you don’t get arrested upon your arrival.
“If your negotiation with the bank includes the bank itself clearing your records with the police on your behalf (meaning, you don’t need to go to their lawyers and the police, the process may take about two weeks as they do these in batches. If your representative will do it personally, clearance from bank may take a day or he can even wait for the bank to issue it on the same day. Release from lawyer can also be secured personally on the same day you go to the lawyer’s office,” said Almazar.
After obtaining the release and clearance paper from the bank, the representative is required to go to the police station where the case is registered and hand over the document, so police can release the charges filed against you.
This step is optional, but if you want to be 100% sure that you won’t be arrested on arrival, than you should get a Police Clearance Letter from Police HQ, once the charges are released.
Once you secure all the documents, you can easily arrive in UAE anytime without facing any issues, as your police record would have been totally clean after the steps mentioned above. However, you need to make sure you have all the above mentioned documents in hand at the arrival passport control.