But if I understand correctly, a credit can't go after my bank account unless they have received a judgment, which can only be achieved if I am successfully sued, which can only occur if I can be successfully served.
A: I believe I covered this issue in my original answer, but to be clear, your understanding here is correct.
Before I came here to XXXXX went to London and stayed for a month in a short-term rental. The London address is the one the credit companies have. I never changed my address with them again when I moved to Central America. And I left no forwarding address in London. Does that make me essentially unservable?
A: Unless the creditor can somehow match a new credit report entry to you in your new jurisdiction, then you would appear to be beyond the ability of the creditor to locate. Here again, Latin America is rife with graft, so bribing officials as a means of locating someone can be accomplished. But, the creditor would have to know where you are located in general, before this could be done, and at this point, I don't see any means of accomplishing that goal -- other than to subpoena your ex.
If I look at this from the credit card company viewpoint, are they just out of luck?
A: Most likely, yes.
I mean, short of knowing where I am, is there any way that they are allowed to sue me?
A: In theory, a person can be sued by publication, but the creditor must obtain a court order, after showing that the publication has some reasonable probability of reaching the defendant (you). I don't see a court granting a publication order without some knowledge of your whereabouts.Is it possible that in the same way that they never even call me because I have a London number (and they are not allowed by company policy to call outside the U.S.) that they possibly just write-off any cardholder that is living outside the U.S.?
A: The creditor will almost certainly charge off the account after about one year, because otherwise, the creditor can't deduct the debt from its taxable income. After that, it will sell the debt to a debt collector, and that debt collector will probably just hang on to the debt (or sell it to another debt collector to cut its losses), forever.
Because you are outside the reach of any court, the statute of limitations
on a lawsuit is "tolled" (suspended) indefinitely. So, the debt will always be collectible, in the event that you are ever located by a debt collector.
As a practical matter, you're pretty safe from being sued. But, there is always a small risk that cannot be mitigated.
Hope this helps.