Legal Question in International Law in Massachusetts

Repayment of foreign debt


A friend of mine recently moved from Ireland to the US, and is now living in Massachusetts.

He is a green card holder and is here legally.

Apparently when he left Ireland he owed one of the Irish banks approx. $40,000.00, and was and is unable to repay the loan.

He has now received a letter from an attorney based in Mass. demanding repayment of the loan ammount.

My question is: Can a debt owed to a foreign bank, in a foreign country be recovered through the local court system?

How should he respond to this demand letter?

Any help you can provide would be appreciated.


Mike Finnegan

Asked on 10/13/08, 1:10 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Re: Repayment of foreign debt

Assuming the bank obtained a judgment against him in Ireland, they can retain an attorney in MA to sue on the judgment. Moreover, they can sue him here on the note and seek to collect the funds from him here.

As to how he should respond, without more information it is not appropriate for me to comment on it.

If your friend wants assistance, he can call me directly.

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Answered on 10/13/08, 1:29 pm
Lawrence Graves Coolidge & Graves PLLC

Re: Repayment of foreign debt

If the debtor's domicile is now MA, he would be amenable to the jurisdiction of MA courts irrespective of where the claim arose. Quite different if his place of habitual residence were not in MA....

Best wishes,


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Answered on 10/13/08, 3:10 pm

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