American Express has long been seen as the “premium” credit
card company in the United States. They’re not only known for their
outstanding customer service, but also for their high transaction fees
which prompt a number of retailers not to take them. While
AmEx may be a popular option, especially for those who have a considerable
amount of wealth, they’re also notoriously tough on delinquent accounts.
If you’ve been served notice of
lawsuit from American Express, there are some things you need to know. Because of the way American Express
operates, you have to handle their cases quite a bit different from other
credit card companies.
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Don’t Bother Questioning Who Owns the Debt
Here’s a little-known secret: some credit card companies don’t
actually own your debt by the time collection agencies start coming after
you. Banks may sell your debt in order to recover
some of the money and cut their losses on the remainder. The debt buyer that’s
going after you is doing so purely for their own profit.
However, this isn’t how AmEx works. American Express usually pursues
delinquent accounts themselves with their in-house legal team or works
with a carefully selected group of trusted attorneys and third-party collectors
who work to recover on their accounts. As a result, the strategy of
trying to prove that the debt collector or creditor doesn’t actually
own the debt usually backfires when used against American Express. Unless you can prove unauthorized use, fraud, miscalculation, or the
wrong AmEx entity is pursuing you, it can be an up-hill battle to dispute
the veracity of the ownership of the account.
Don’t Ignore the Problem
Ignoring these notices doesn’t make the problem go away. In fact,
it does the opposite: it usually gives American Express the ability to pursue a
default judgement against you. A default judgement is the name for a judgement that goes
against you when you don’t respond to a summons for a lawsuit against
you or show up on the required court date. In other words, it’s
what will happen if you don’t take action to defend yourself. And
these judgements are not merciful.
American Express may be able to cloud your home title, which makes it nearly
impossible to sell your home, they can garnish your bank account which
means seizing non-exempt funds in the account, and they can seize your
non-exempted property to try and pay off your balance. They can also report
this judgement to credit bureaus which puts a massive hit on your credit report.
How to Fight Back
Fighting back against an American Express lawsuit isn’t always easy,
but it is possible. By putting a qualified
New Jersey debt lawyer on your side, you may be able to settle your debt for less than you owe.
American Express is open to negotiating in many cases, and in some instances
you may be able to settle your debt for a small fraction of what you owe.
Settling your debt is vastly preferable to declaring bankruptcy for a number
of reasons. For one, it doesn't result in a public record. It’s
also far faster to recover from, as those who settle their debt can usually
regain their financial standing in just a few short years. Settling your
debt may save you money without risking losing non-exempted property or
having actions like bank levies or wage garnishments filed against you.
As a result, you could find that you’re out of debt far faster than
you ever thought possible.
Get help from a qualified New Jersey debt relief attorney today! Call the
Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC at (347) 389-0245 to request a
free initial case evaluation and don’t let American Express take control of your life.