Woman changes sex to avoid debts

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What desperate measures would you take to escape debt? A sex change and a new passport might help you gain distance on your creditors initially. But such extreme measures didn't work out for one woman - or rather man, as 'she' became 'he' - planned.

Natalya, now Andrian, is on the run again - and lugging a load of new debt behind him.

130,000 roubles

The 38-year-old debt fugitive is thought to be on the run in Astrakhan, south east Russia, close to the banks of the Volga near the Caspian Sea. Previously, the former woman had debts of 130,000 roubles, or around £2,273.

That doesn't sound an awful lot. The Moscow Times reported in October that Moscow monthly wages averaged $1,800, though most were substantially lower. In the provinces, many people eke out a living on $315-$440, according to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service.

"During our investigation, we found out that the woman doesn't exist anymore, and now a man exists," investigator Yevgenia Zarynsh said, quoted on a Yahoo news site.

Chased forever?

"He will be liable all the same, despite the gender change. It's futile. He'll still have to pay them back. If a debtor thinks he can escape that way, he's very much mistaken," added the spokeswoman.

It's thought Andrian managed to build up the new debt - unpaid taxes - after his sex change. Extreme behaviour in dealing with debt appears to be increasing. But don't think running away will help.

As we've previously detailed, some people still think that debts are written off if you haven't made a payment in six years. They're relying, they hope, on the UK Limitations Act. However, the debt is still a debt and a creditor can chase you for it forever.

Not enforceable in UK

Bankrupt isn't 'free' either; you pay £700 for the process; in England and Wales it costs £175 in court fees, plus then you need to pay £525 to the Official Receiver.

However, as we've also pointed out, those Brits attempting to escape the Spanish property meltdown, for example, who want to declare themselves bankrupt in the UK, can include the Spanish debts within their bankruptcy.

This would mean the debts would not be enforceable in the UK by a Spanish creditor. However, the debt would still likely be enforced in the country of origin.