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Does debt follow you if you go to another country?

Do provincial and national student loans follow you if you move to another country?

I used OSAP for my undergrad and racked up about $50,000 in loans. If I moved to another country would they follow me?

If I just stopped paying them back, what would be the consequences?

Victor Fong, Licensed Insolvency Trustee responds:

In theory, they can. Here’s how it would work:

  1. They perform a Google search on your name and review the search results. You’ll probably show up on LinkedIn or on your employer’s website.

  2. They review what your job and title are and where you work.

  3. If you’re a potential high-income earner such as an engineer, medical doctor, lawyer, MBA graduate etc., they’ll conclude that pursuing you in another country is worth their time and money.

  4. They’d hire a local lawyer in your current country of residence and that lawyer would make an application for an Order in the local Court recognizing the Canadian proceedings to collect on the debt you owe to OSAP. This process is quite straightforward if you happen to reside in a common-law jurisdiction such as the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, etc.

  5. The lawyer will also seek an order to garnish your wages, freeze your bank accounts, put a writ on any real estate you may own, etc.

Victor is the President of Fong and Partners Inc. He is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Chartered Professional Accountant. With many years of experience in the insolvency field, Victor has been involved in both corporate and consumer insolvency engagements. Previously with a large national firm, Victor founded Fong and Partners Inc. so that he could dedicate his professional life to help people from all walks of life to deal with their debt.