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I Hate American Express.

“Dear Steve,

Currently paying off about $75,000 in credit card debt taken on during the economic slowdown last year when my consulting business tanked; current income of about $150,000. Not sure that debt relief is a viable option for me without severe negative credit rating consequences, so I’m paying down debt on most cards with a “hardship” agreement worked out with creditors – reduced or zero interest for a period of time with fixed monthly payments.

All creditors are reporting accounts under these agreements as “being paid as agreed” except for American Express which lists the account as an R9 charge-off even though all payments have been made on time and the original balance of $8,700 has now been paid down to $1,200 with two more payments left. Is this legal? What steps can I take to ensure that this won’t continue to show “was charged off” once the balance hits zero? Will NEVER again carry an American Express card as long as I live – worst credit company I have ever encountered – even worse than Bank of America (2nd worst~).”

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The Answer

American Express isn’t the friendliest creditor, that’s for sure. But the real issue here is how long this payment plan has been going on and what the original agreement with American Express was before you entered a special repayment plan.

For example, generally a creditor must report as charged off if it is 180 days delinquent, as mandated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). So if American Express was looking for a full payment but instead a payment plan was agreed to, after six months the account would have to be listed as charged off and that’s really out of the hands of American Express.

With other credit cards that allow for a minimum monthly payment the card would not have to be reflected as charged off until the less than agreed payments added up to six months of delinquency.

This is why special repayment plans from creditors normally don’t last longer than six months.

If American Express did charge off the account, which it sounds like they did, the charge off will remain as a statement of fact after the account reaches $0. That statement will remain on your credit report for 7.5 years from the date first reported by American Express.

Big Hug!

I Hate American Express.
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Donpetteypab

    Ultimately u r 2 blame….enuff said….when you charged the balance of 8700$ ..(probly of porno and buying hookers drinks at the bar). You new u was gonna hav to pay that money back… bottom line if u don’t have any cash don’t use the plastic…credit cards want their money just as bad as anybody else

  • Donpetteypab

    Ultimately u r 2 blame….enuff said….when you charged the balance of 8700$ ..(probly of porno and buying hookers drinks at the bar). You new u was gonna hav to pay that money back… bottom line if u don’t have any cash don’t use the plastic…credit cards want their money just as bad as anybody else

    • dissatisfied customer

      Leave a message…your ignorant, American express charges higher interest rate and don’t tell you or send you an itemized statement that starts out balance forward are Crooks and dishonest with the total balance.

  • Hugh J

    I hate AMEX… I have been a cardmember since 1995 and used to love Membership Rewards.

    I have now cashed out my Membership Rewards, and I have my staff asking our customers for another form of payment when presented w/ an AMEX card. I wouldn’t pee on an AMEX Exec if he were on fire!

    My account showed on their website as having a closing date of Sept 27. My business gets settlements several times a month from our billing company. Our biggest settlement into our account occurs on the 25th of the month. Since it fell on a Saturday, we wouldn’t have it in our account until monday. Since our closing date was Monday I thought no problem, I’ll make the online payment on Monday morning first thing, which I did at about 7:30 am.

    I have spoken to a myriad of people in that bumbling bureaucracy. Everyone tells me something different. They appear to just be incompetent! No wonder they had to feed at the public trough of TARP…. they should have gone the way of Lehman Bros…

    They admit that their system shows the bill closing date of Sept 27 in their system (which is what their website stated when I made my payment), yet my billing statement has printed at the top that the closing date is Sept 26th. This is what made my payment show as late…

    No one can explain why there is this date discrepancy between the 2 systems, and as the customer, how was I to know? B/c the system flagged my payment as late, their software program put a spending limit on my account of $6500! Even though they ADMIT that there is a discrepancy between their 2 systems, they won’t do anything about it and are instead punishing me and my small business instead…

    AMEX is OPEN for business… right… AMEX is an OPEN SEWER TRAP for business!

  • Hugh J

    I hate AMEX… I have been a cardmember since 1995 and used to love Membership Rewards.

    I have now cashed out my Membership Rewards, and I have my staff asking our customers for another form of payment when presented w/ an AMEX card. I wouldn’t pee on an AMEX Exec if he were on fire!

    My account showed on their website as having a closing date of Sept 27. My business gets settlements several times a month from our billing company. Our biggest settlement into our account occurs on the 25th of the month. Since it fell on a Saturday, we wouldn’t have it in our account until monday. Since our closing date was Monday I thought no problem, I’ll make the online payment on Monday morning first thing, which I did at about 7:30 am.

    I have spoken to a myriad of people in that bumbling bureaucracy. Everyone tells me something different. They appear to just be incompetent! No wonder they had to feed at the public trough of TARP…. they should have gone the way of Lehman Bros…

    They admit that their system shows the bill closing date of Sept 27 in their system (which is what their website stated when I made my payment), yet my billing statement has printed at the top that the closing date is Sept 26th. This is what made my payment show as late…

    No one can explain why there is this date discrepancy between the 2 systems, and as the customer, how was I to know? B/c the system flagged my payment as late, their software program put a spending limit on my account of $6500! Even though they ADMIT that there is a discrepancy between their 2 systems, they won’t do anything about it and are instead punishing me and my small business instead…

    AMEX is OPEN for business… right… AMEX is an OPEN SEWER TRAP for business!

    • Bsmith_5678

       They just want your money, do not care about CUSTOMER SERVICE at all to help you out. I know I worked for them for many many years and they laid me off for the CUSTOMER SERVICE of INDIA…..Good luck with them and they do not care and will not care … All they look for is your money to keep them a float on AMERICAN’S back as they need money and went to the SMALL BUSINESS for more money… Should call the CARD INDIA EXPRESS…….

  • Huanyang88

    American express credit card sucks.

  • Huanyang88

    American express credit card sucks.

  • Huanyang88

    American express card sucks.

  • Huanyang88

    American express card sucks.

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