Q: A person maxes their credit cards, defaults, then moves overseas. Is that a crime?
Will there be criminal charges waiting for them if they ever return to the United States?
A: Unlikely. Intent might be hard to prove. I've not seen a criminal case based on the facts you provided. They use civil not criminal courts. The reality is that they will attempt to locate you, contacting friends and family anyone they think might assist their search. It may get so bothersome that you eventually have to work out a payment plan (negative credit mark on top of your unpaid bills) or declare bankruptcy (negative as well).
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