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Nationwide Credit Threatens to Sue Me on Behalf of AMEX. – Dee

Dee

“Dear Steve,

Nationwide credit is collecting a debt I owe to American Express. We negotiated a settlement amount and when I found out that I wasn’t going to have the amount we had agreed upon I sent them a fax asking to adjust the payment schedule.

Initially a man called and said fine, then two other people called and said I needed to come up with $2,500 that day, which I didn’t have. They then told me that Amex had me scheduled to go for a judgement, and when they won that judgement I would owe a lot more than the amount I owed because there would be attorny fees added. I asked what do they do if they get a judgement, because right now I have nothing, she said that she was reading over the Amex paperwork and they researched and found that in PA they can garnish my wages and my husbands wages even though he isn’t on the card. I told them I didn’t have $2,500 to give them, but I could give them $500 – they said that that wouldn’t work and that they have decided to submit a form to Amex stating that I was refusing to pay. I said all I can do is give you what I have, and they said it wasn’t enough, and that it would be in my best interest to try to borrow the money, because they will win the judgement and it will cost me a whole lot more, and they could even take my car.

That scared me because right now we couldn’t survive if that happened. So I took $1,000 that I owed for my office rent and paid them over the phone, she and her supervisor told me that they need to hear from me before the 15th of next month or I would definately be reported as a refusal to pay. I was talking to a friend about all of this and was told that in PA not only can they not garnish my husbands wages, but they can’t garnish mine either. So I contacted an attorney and found out that it was true you can’t garnish wages in PA.

So, my question is this – the attorney told me that they violated the law by using the wage garnishment as a scare tactic. It cost’s me nothing for the attorny to file a suit against them, but my fear is that if they file a suite against Nationwide, Nationwide will then tell American Express about the situation, and I will loose the opportunity to negotiate a settlement with Amex, because from what Nationwide told me, they would report me to Amex as a refusal to pay (even though I haven’t refused), and that they have everything in the works to get a judgement against me. Should I continue to negotiate with Nationwide, knowing that they are violating the law, or should I let the attorny deal with them and risk a lawsuit with Amex?

Dee”

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The Answer

 

Dear Dee,

I’m so sorry you had to be subject to the lies and illegal scare tactics from Nationwide Credit in collecting this debt. Obviously Nationwide Credit lied to you and violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by their actions.

I think what you have here are two different issues, the collection abuse and the underlying debt, and that you need a lawyer experienced in FDCPA violations to represent you against Nationwide Credit. If you do go ahead with a lawsuit against Nationwide Credit it won’t be their first time at the dance. They’ve done this stuff before to others.

An Oklahoma City couple Monday sued a credit collection company that was fined $1 million in 1998 over its collections practices.

Rick and Ludina Lahodney are also suing American Express, for whom they contend Nationwide Credit Inc., based in Georgia, collects debts, and a specific Nationwide employee.

In October 1998, Nationwide agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to resolve allegations that the firm violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

At the time, the $1 million was the largest civil penalty ever assessed in a debt-collection case.

The Lahodneys contend that Nationwide violated the federal act by failing to give necessary warnings; by misrepresenting the imminence of legal action; by engaging in harassing and abusive conduct; by using false and misleading statements to collect a debt and by failing to stop communicating with the couple after being asked to validate the debt.

The couple alleges that American Express was negligent in hiring Nationwide and violated Oklahoma consumer law by failing to exercise a duty of reasonable care owed to customers in handling their accounts.

At this point you need to let your lawyer handle this. Your lawyer will contact American Express and advise them to deal directly with the lawyer regarding this debt.

Big Hug!

Nationwide Credit Threatens to Sue Me on Behalf of AMEX.   Dee
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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.
  • Bill Sprague

    I paid off my AMEX card and destroyed it. Now, this Nationwide Credit outfit says I still owe on the card. Makes absolutely no sense. No more AMEX. It’s that simple.

    • Fitz

      Unfortunately this is not unusual. Do not ignore the problem as it will not go away by itself. I strongly suggest you hire a good FDCPA attorney as soon as possible. In the meantime, get the proof you paid this AmEx account. Also have Nationwide send you a letter stating what account they are collecting on and the balance.

  • Tomnationwide

    As a former manager and long time employee of Nationwide Credit I can ASSURE everyone that people are not trained to break laws or harass people and many steps are taken to ensure compliance including, but not limited to, retraining or terminating employees for illegal behavior. I am not supporting them as a company and saying that what appears here is not accurate but there are usually a lot of layers to both sides and if Nationwide Credit violated the law then contact the original creditor and they will handle NCI.

  • Tomnationwide

    As a former manager and long time employee of Nationwide Credit I can ASSURE everyone that people are not trained to break laws or harass people and many steps are taken to ensure compliance including, but not limited to, retraining or terminating employees for illegal behavior. I am not supporting them as a company and saying that what appears here is not accurate but there are usually a lot of layers to both sides and if Nationwide Credit violated the law then contact the original creditor and they will handle NCI.

    • Guest

      bs

  • Guest

    @Louis — NCI or really any collection agency can’t take money orders for settlements. What if it gets lost in the mail? A lot of people use money orders as a “check in the mail” type of thing. Unfortunately certified funds are needed for any form of settlement.

    – Former NCI collector
    Current Collector for Capital One
    *****NOT ABUSIVE! I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR PROBLEMS! NOT CREATE MORE**

  • Guest

    @Louis — NCI or really any collection agency can’t take money orders for settlements. What if it gets lost in the mail? A lot of people use money orders as a “check in the mail” type of thing. Unfortunately certified funds are needed for any form of settlement.

    – Former NCI collector
    Current Collector for Capital One
    *****NOT ABUSIVE! I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR PROBLEMS! NOT CREATE MORE**

  • Guest

    Oh my goodness, I used to work at NCI… It was my first collection job and I worked in “pre-legal”. Thats so unfortunate Dee.
    I hope things get better.

    Unfortuantely a lot of the AMEX customers are people who are really rude so the managers and collectors get fed up of hearing… Although you were still trying to pay that IS uncalled for!

    Not all collectors are like this. Hopefully your situation gets better!

  • Guest

    Oh my goodness, I used to work at NCI… It was my first collection job and I worked in “pre-legal”. Thats so unfortunate Dee.
    I hope things get better.

    Unfortuantely a lot of the AMEX customers are people who are really rude so the managers and collectors get fed up of hearing… Although you were still trying to pay that IS uncalled for!

    Not all collectors are like this. Hopefully your situation gets better!

  • Louis

    I too am dealing with Nationwide Credit, Inc. regarding AMEX. We have reached a settlement amount, but they won’t let me send a money order. They are demanding that I do it over the phone with routing number and bank account number. The people I talked to are from India…What should I do? They said my deal is only good through tomorrow April 30th.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Did they give you the settlement deal in writing saying that it would be for the full satisfaction of the debt? If not, you have no deal.

      Steve

  • Bill

    Hi Steve,
    I owned a mortgage company in Fl for 10 years. As a result of the failing economy, the business closed in 2009 with approximately 75k in revolving debt. Prior to its close, I used savings to pay bills and finally in 09 I realized that there was no hope and let it all go. I currently have no savings and am working for about 40k per year, one fourth of my usual salary. My home is in foreclosure so I moved out, left Florida and now rent in NC. I have received multiple calls from amex, nationwide, BOA and Chase. Only nationwide has been unpleasant and outright stated that they will sue. The others have stated that they will be forced to move to the next level of collection but have never used the words “legal action”. Reccently, BOA withdrew 1700 from my brothers account that had my name on it even though i have never used it so it looks like things are progressing. I have never avoided a call from anyone and have talked to all creditors multiple times (BOA nearly every single day) I have always been courteous and have told the truth about my financial position and have explained that i am thinking about filing bankruptcy because there seems to be no end i sight. The attorney wants 1650 to start the BK and i just dont have it right now. Do you think this will progress to legal action even though i have no assets and intend to file for bankruptcy protection and if it does, can i represent myself or do i need to hire an attorney?

    Thank you for your help

    Bill

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Bill,

      If BOA already reached into your account that would lead me to believe they already have a judgment against you and received court permission to levy your account.

      I do think it will progress to legal action with at least another bank. You can always fill out the forms yourself. I’m never a fan of that, mistakes are costlier to fix than making sure it is right the first time. The tricky issue here is how to properly file the bankruptcy to cover the foreclosure in Florida.

      If you are anywhere in NC near Raleigh I know of a lawyer there that takes payment plans for bankruptcy filings.

      Cases move ahead, not out of logic, but out of process. Notifying them of your intentions does not stop anything.

      Steve

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