Debts and bankruptcy in Tunisia?

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#1
Is there any sort of Citizens Advice Bureau in Tunisia?

I need solutions to a debt problem.

Thanks,
LA
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#2
I very much doubt it LA, are you ok?
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#3
I very much doubt it LA, are you ok?
I'm OK in the sense that it is not my debt.

I'm massively not OK in the sense that I have just discovered that my fiance has this debt. I'm currently staying in a hotel away from our flat and considering my future.
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#4
From what I have been told

Meeting with bank/creditor and then sign a payment plan.

Then bailiff if no payment 3 times

Then jail.

Tunisia has debtor prison you are also expected to pay your sons debts in Arabic culture though that's not legally binding.

If it's any consolation nearly all tunisians are swimming in debt.

During the revolution the bills did not stop even though business did and a lot of people are in trouble and under stress.
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#5
Hi Kris,

Thank you for that - that's really helpful. :)

I know most Tunisians live hand to mouth, and that they need to go into debt when they can't make ends meet. The problem on this occasion is that his debts are substantial in Dinars and several thousand pounds in UK terms.

Are repayment plans likely to be manageable? Based on income?

And what are the likely repercussions for him wanting to leave Tunisia before he has fully serviced the debt? Would he be able to get a visa?

Our plan before I discovered that he had been hiding this debt was to go to France. Certainly in France he could earn more than he could here (I'm in Sousse for the time being) and he could pay off his debt quicker. But would they let him go?
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#6
oh jeez!!! How has he come by thus debt does he have his own business? Have you seen paperwork?
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#7
oh jeez!!! How has he come by thus debt does he have his own business? Have you seen paperwork?
No I haven't seen any paperwork - I only found out about the debt this morning! I left immediately and checked myself into a nearby hotel so I could keep myself sane. We were already rowing about something else, so it seemed prudent to get some space. It's also 39C here and the flat has no air con so I was already frazzled.

No it isn't his own business. He was building a house for his family in his home village. Apparently the debts for this have just come due.
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#8
And no, I didn't know about the house until today either.
 

YouOnlyLive Once!

Active Member
#9
Hope you're ok LA. I'm sure the heat doesn't help to think straight or to keep calm! Getting into debt to build a house seems to be a relatively recent thing in Tunisia, traditionally it would be built as and when the means were there in my experience but like any developing country there is pressure to have the best/quickest/newest etc. If it was me i think my future would depend on how i found out, was the debt there through carelessness or a genuine miss-calculation, miss planning etc. If your partner was building a family home, was this for himself or for his parents and rest of the family? was he under pressure as someone who moved to a big city (that is a presumption on my part) to send money home or provide and therefore it was a shame for him not to have the money they thought he would so the only answer was to get into debt? I am not being nosey, just trying to through out some logical questions that might help you think straight! i don't mind if you don't answer them on here in public :).

rudbelick a la rohak - that is my phoneticall way of spelling take care in tunisian! xx
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#10
Thanks for the thinking points. I'm asking him lots of questions and finding out the answers just now. I hadn't even considered the prestige angle, nor that it is common in Tunisia at the moment to build.
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#11
Hate to say it LA but I would be wondering what other secrets there are :(
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#12
No I haven't seen any paperwork - I only found out about the debt this morning! I left immediately and checked myself into a nearby hotel so I could keep myself sane. We were already rowing about something else, so it seemed prudent to get some space. It's also 39C here and the flat has no air con so I was already frazzled.

No it isn't his own business. He was building a house for his family in his home village. Apparently the debts for this have just come due.
And no, I didn't know about the house until today either.
What were his reasons for not telling you about this before now? Is he suggesting you 'help' him pay? Has he suggested that you go to visit this house? I thought most families built houses as and when they had the resources to do so and that's why it takes such a long time to complete them. Does he owe the debts to a bank?

Think you've done the right thing by distancing yourself from this at the moment.
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#13
Think you've done the right thing by distancing yourself from this at the moment.
Thanks Essem.

Trulymadlydeeply - I agree and that is why I have distanced myself. Looking back he was definitely hiding something for this past year - on my last trip I had my suspicions it might have been another woman! But since he has told me about this mess he has got himself into, things are starting to click into place. The constant cheery phonecalls to his "aunt" were likely about the house, since one of his aunts has lent him money.

And by hiding this news about the house I mean lying by omission, rather than deliberately hiding. I get the impression from what he says that in his eyes this simply didn't concern me. (And yes that raises a whole lot of issues of its own about partnership and what being in a relationship means :meh:)

We've just finished speaking, and it appears that he expected to be able to pay off his debts himself when we got to France. He was a bit taken aback when I explained how long it will take him to pay off what he owes, and that while he is doing so it means our shared income will be less.

In fact, having always been very pessimistic about his chances of getting a decent job in France, now it suits his argument he says that he can easily get a job earning €2,500 per month. :rolleyes: I have told him fine - he can get his job, sort out his visa and I will meet him over there. :D
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#14
Also, Essem, he owes it to two men in his home village and one of his aunts. They shook hands on it apparently, so there is no paperwork. I realise this also means he has no evidence to show me, and that's a red flag. However I have no intention whatsoever of helping him financially even if I could.

Personally I would have insisted on a contract at the very least, but he didn't tell me about any of this so I couldn't advise him. I've advised him now, but it's a bit too late. While I am helping him find a way out, I'm looking for non-monetary solutions only - debt management, equity sharing, selling the property or the land to recover assets, declaring himself bankrupt etc. (I'm guessing that last one doesn't exist in a country where everyone is one paycheck away from bankruptcy though :()

If
we stay together it will only be after he sorts this mess out for himself first. There's a very good chance that I'm going to fly back to the UK in the next few days and leave him to get on with this on his own. He's said he can't be himself while he has this problem to solve, and I can't be around him when he is so preoccupied with his debts that he buys me half a set of souvenir coasters for my birthday (the cause of the original row!).
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#15
Wow bet you weren't expecting all that to come out?! Is the house finished LA? Have you seen it? I agree with Essem money is rarely borrowed to build a family property, usually built above the existing home. Even if he thought he would pay it off when he got to France why the urgency to have it built in the first place? I'm sure you've asked all these questions already :(
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#16
Wow bet you weren't expecting all that to come out?! Is the house finished LA? Have you seen it? I agree with Essem money is rarely borrowed to build a family property, usually built above the existing home. Even if he thought he would pay it off when he got to France why the urgency to have it built in the first place? I'm sure you've asked all these questions already :(
No I was not! It was quite a shock. :eek:

The house is not finished. It needs another 150% more money than has already been put into it in order to finish it. I haven't seen it - I was supposed to go back to his home village for Eid, but at this rate I'll be back in the UK by then. I'm not sure what the urgency was to build the house - I still don't know a lot of the family politics.
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#17
Also, Essem, he owes it to two men in his home village and one of his aunts. They shook hands on it apparently, so there is no paperwork. I realise this also means he has no evidence to show me, and that's a red flag. However I have no intention whatsoever of helping him financially even if I could.

Personally I would have insisted on a contract at the very least, but he didn't tell me about any of this so I couldn't advise him. I've advised him now, but it's a bit too late. While I am helping him find a way out, I'm looking for non-monetary solutions only - debt management, equity sharing, selling the property or the land to recover assets, declaring himself bankrupt etc. (I'm guessing that last one doesn't exist in a country where everyone is one paycheck away from bankruptcy though :()

If
we stay together it will only be after he sorts this mess out for himself first. There's a very good chance that I'm going to fly back to the UK in the next few days and leave him to get on with this on his own. He's said he can't be himself while he has this problem to solve, and I can't be around him when he is so preoccupied with his debts that he buys me half a set of souvenir coasters for my birthday (the cause of the original row!).
It's so easy to say that he owes it to other people and that there is no paperwork. Sorry, but I feel something isn't right with this story and I guess you do too by your reaction. He was building a house for his family - his parents and siblings or a new family for him? Aren't there other members of the family who can pay up or accept some sort or responsibility for this debt?

Are you sure this 'aunt' is not a wife or gf? Have you met her? Can you go visit this house?

I'd be very suspicious as I think alarm bells are ringing. It's not unusual for them to lie about their status and also for them to feather their nests at the expense of someone else.

Half a set of souvenir coasters, does that mean 3 then? LA I'd run for the hills.
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#18
Half a set of souvenir coasters, does that mean 3 then? LA I'd run for the hills.
Ha ha yes! He thought 3 coasters was an acceptable birthday gift for his fiance of 3 years. That's why we were rowing in the first place and then this debt of his came out!
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#19
I have to say I'm thinking along the same lines as Essem :(

Even a nice card would've been better than half a set of coasters, what was he thinking? :eek:
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#20
3 years together and he hasn't mentioned something so important as this until now is beyond strange. What else hasn't he mentioned?

I can only imagine the stress and strain you are going through. Emotional roller coaster never mind drinks coaster!

So if the house is just being built and he can't pay, can't he sell what he's built to pay the debtors off and forget about building?

If it's a new house for the family, the obviously are living in an old one at the moment - why do they need a new one?
 
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