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Debt dodge


Three years ago my partner exceeded her overdraft. She was in a bad way, financially, and it got to the point where the bank sent the bailiffs to recover the debt. They couldnt get in, however, and she's heard nothing from the bank since then. Now her life is back on track, thanks to the help of a friend who allowed her to bank through her account, but she wants to open a basic account of her own again. By getting back in touch with the branch, could she end up in prison?


There's no reason why your partner can't open a basic bank account. However, it would be advisable for her not just to avoid the branch, but to use a different bank from the one where she had the overdraft.

She may find that some of the big high street banks may not want to offer a basic bank account. If this is the case, try one of the mutual building societies. They may be more sympathetic to her opening a basic account.

For your information, if the bank does not contact you after six years the debt becomes unenforceable.  

Please reassure her that if the debts are only with the bank, she could not be punished by a jail term. When it comes to owing money, the only instance in which a custodial sentence could apply is if you were in debt to the government or the council.

Updated: 13/04/2010

Question answered by CAB

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