Help. My Wife and I just received a summons to appear in court from American Express. We both had a decrease in income and admittantly ran our debt too high. Once we realized we were over our head, we began the process of working something out with all of our credit cards.
American Express was the only one that wouldn’t work anything out with us. The renigged on an agreement to put us in hardship and sent us to a collector. We asked for proof of debt from that collector and they sent us to another. We once again asked for proof of debt. They were supposed to respond in 30 days, but we heard nothing for 4 months.
Then last week we get a proof letter and a summons within 2 days of each other. We are both scared and feel helpless. We tried to work something out, but with no success. We don’t know what to do. BTW…we have been making successful payments on all of the other credit cards that worked with us.
What if any suggestions do you have for our situation? Thank you in advance.
American Express is one of the toughest creditors I know. They don’t fool around and they don’t take prisoners. Frankly, I’m surprised it took them this long to sue you.
You’ve got a few of choices here.
The first is you can hire a consumer lawyer to try to defend you against Amex. This may get expensive and drawn out.
Second, you could go to the court date and probably lose. Amex will then go for a judgment and attempt to garnish your wages. You could always try to work out a payment plan after they get the judgment but you’d need to make 100% sure you could meet those payments they’d want every single month.
Finally, this might just be the straw that broke the camels back and no matter how hard you’ve tried to dig your way out of this, bankruptcy might be the logical approach. Follow the link to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to one. Bankruptcy is a legal protection you have and it will terminate the debt with American Express.
This would not the the first time I’ve seen the actions of American Express push someone over the edge and lead that person to bankruptcy. It happens frequently. in fact, I know you would not be shocked to learn that collection pressures are the leading cause of bankruptcy filings.
While you are currently feeling scared and helpless it is only because you are paralyzed and not taking action. By following my advice above you will take definitive action and empower yourself. If you decide bankruptcy is the way for you to go then you will have a legal professional representing you and give you protection that you will not otherwise have with any other solution.
Oh yes, it sucks, I know it sucks. I lived through it myself and it sucked then. Take action and move this forward and the suckage will vastly decrease.
Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.
P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.