I don't think the debt does die as far as I know if a company continues to try and recover the debt by sending a letter to you last home address then the debt stays alive.
Most big firms now will send a letter out every 5-6 years therefore they can continue to chase the debt.
I would imagine most people would return to blighty at some point even if just to visit family and friends.
They maybe in for a nasty shock, as they say what goes around comes around.
As long as a debtor doesn't acknowledge the debt or pay anything toward the debt (and assuming they don't get a CCJ against them which can't happen if you're a non-resident) the debt does become statute barred...I can't remember whether that's after five or six years though. Normally though, a lender would get a CCJ on the debtor based on their last known 'UK' address - although this is technically illegal - but at this stage the onus is on the debtor to get the CCJ set aside and it's all just a little complicated! Once a CCJ is attained, there is no statute barred period and the debt can last forever.
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