Debt Settlement

Why Didn’t Americor Prioritize My American Express Debts?

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

Americor took my debt about 18 months ago, after health issues and litigation for my land, and destruction of property, I had found myself in significant debt.

Now after sending a warning letter from Marvin Dang, Honolulu attorney and debt collector for Amex they combined my two accounts and now at 50k. No response from Americor even when I called, but the letter was sent and everyone I discussed with on phone said not to worry when I asked if they could respond.

Every review I read had a response that if the account went to legal if you sent it in, then they would help. if you didn’t send in in time, then that’s why there was damages.. so last weekend I had a summons, now Americor is saying they will accept a $100 fee to respond to the summons, and now they are saying I will have to represent myself in court,

Shouldn’t they have prioritized Amex for debt negotiation and at this point do I need my own bankruptcy attorney?

Now they are saying with this size debt I may have to take this off their negotiating team and negotiate myself with the attorney.

Any suggestions at this time? thank you

Roxanne

Answer:

Dear Roxanne,

It would be impossible for me to accurately guess why Americor did not prioritize any specific debts. There are a number of reasons this can happen and any debt where the creditor is not getting contractual payments without agreeing to an alternative payment plan is exposed for litigation. American Express is particularly quick when it comes to litigation.

I’m not saying Americor does this but I have seen companies prioritize settlements based on who they can get a payment plan with the fastest to begin collecting fees. Under the current rules, getting the best settlement or settling debts in a way that is best for the consumer is not the goal.

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“The new Rule says you can’t collect any fee from a customer until you meet these three requirements:

  1. You must have reached a successful result for your customer. You must have renegotiated, settled, reduced or otherwise changed the terms of at least one of the customer’s debts.
  2. There must be an agreement between your customer and the creditor. Your customer must agree to the settlement agreement, debt management plan, or other result reached with the creditor due to your service. According to the Rule, the agreement from the creditor must be in writing, although your customer may agree to it orally. You can’t take your fee in advance by getting your customer to agree to a blanket “pre-approval” of any settlement you might be able to negotiate in the future.
  3. Your customer must have made a payment to the creditor. Your customer must have made at least one payment to the creditor or debt collector as a result of the agreement you negotiated. – Source

The issue about potentially leaving you on your own to deal with Amex is concerning. Without seeing your client agreement with Americor that describes the services they sold you it might just be they will drop any creditor who sues you.

Does your client agreement provide any legal protection plan or do you have to pay extra fees or always find your own attorney in situations like this?

You asked about a bankruptcy attorney. You can find a good local bankruptcy attorney and have a free discussion about what bankruptcy would mean for you. Bankruptcy is the fastest way to get a fresh start for the least amount of money.

Talking to a bankruptcy attorney does not mean you are filing bankruptcy. It just means you are gathering information to make a more informed choice about how to proceed.

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About the author

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.

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