Passport renewal from abroad (court summons for credit card debt)


Registered Users (C)
A naturalized U.S. citizen with credit card debt is living abroad and wishes to renew his passport in a couple of years. While abroad, he was notified over the phone by a friend (non-relative), that a court summons has been glued onto his mailbox. Apparently, a debt collection agency is suing him for unpaid debt. My question is:

Could he have problems renewing his passport from abroad?

I have searched online, and wasn't able to find anything that says he would have problems. I also looked carefully through Title 22: Foreign Relations, PART 51—PASSPORTS, Subpart E — Denial, Revocation, and Restriction of Passports, and found the following:

§ 51.70 - Denial of passports

(a) A passport, except for direct return to the United States, shall not be issued in any case in which the Secretary of State determines or is informed by competent authority that:

(1) The applicant is the subject of an outstanding Federal warrant of arrest for a felony, including a warrant issued under the Federal Fugitive Felon Act (18 U.S.C. 1073); or

(2) The applicant is subject to a criminal court order, condition of probation, or condition of parole, any of which forbids departure from the United States and the violation of which could result in the issuance of a Federal warrant of arrest, including a warrant issued under the Federal Fugitive Felon Act;
It seems to me that none of these can be applied to his situation, but I want to be sure I didn't miss anything.

Can anyone please shed more insight to this? Would the fact that he didn't show up in court have an effect on his passport renewal?

I'm a little confused. Help would be much appreciated! Thanks to everyone on the forum. :)



Registered Users (C)
I mean, if they issue a warrant for his arrest because he didn't show up in court, that wouldn't be a "criminal court order", or would it? And if it were a criminal court order indeed, then I'm not sure if number (2) above applies to his situation at all, because it talks about criminal court orders which specifically forbid departure from the United States. Am I understanding this correctly?

If someone could provide some insight, that'd be great.

Many thanks! :D


Registered Users (C)
My understanding is that when you receive a summons your are being sued. You have to be served personally or by mail (Im thinking that someone tried to served you personally but that person was unable to find you so the plaintiff filed documents so you can be served by mail). Once you are served you have 30 days to respond to the lawsuit. If you DO NOT respond to the lawsuit within the allowed time then the plaintiff can get a judgment against you. The process can take about 3-4 months.

You can be given a bench warrant if you refuse to provide information such as employment information and personal property (vehicles, bank accounts, etc), but this is rare.

You can always ask your friend for the case number on the summons and search the case online.

You should get an attorney or pay the debt.

I am not an attorney and any information should not be considered as a legal advise.


Registered Users (C)
Credit card debt or any other for that matter has nothing to do with your nationality. It isn't a criminal offense but a civil matter. The creditor can put a charge on your property and you cannot be arrested for it. You should only be scared if you committed a fraudulent act.
I am agreed with ninasen that you should pay first your debt then it will be better for getting your renewal passport as soon as possible as it is a matter of abroad .By the way i know a company that can solve your all credit card debts but you should follow their terms and condition. and i know can give you right advice weather you take service or not. thanks
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