American Express Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts

American Express is Not Being Reasonable and Won’t Work With Us. – Bob

“Dear Steve,

We are being sued by American Express. We had a Flex Pay balance of about 8K along with the monthly charges we paid off with each statement. We routinely paid 2000-3000 per month to Amex of which 10% went to the Flex Pay. Amex would put some of our charges in the Flex Pay although we didn’t instruct them to do so. In January 2009 they stopped the Flex Pay account and our payments were running between 3000-5000 for a couple of months. We could not keep making payments like this and contacted them to set up a payment plan while not using the cards. The plan they offered was not possible with a reduced income. Although we tried to reach a compromise they were inflexible.

For a couple of months we paid what we could while they charged fees that were three times what our payment was, so we quit paying. Now we are being sued for 33K plus attorney fees. Initially the court date was set for April 2010 and now they are filing a motion to move the date up 5 weeks to mid March. We just recently asked for and were give a 30 day extension on the Discovery paperwork.

Everything I’ve read tells me this is something we can’t win. I don’t want wage garnishment, the amount they are suing for is ridiculous but since they are the big boys with all the money we feel like we have no options.

Thanks and I will be anxiously awaiting your response.

My question is can I request that the trial date not be moved up? Is it possible Zwicker will work within our budget for a negotiated settlement or should we file bankruptcy in the next 30 days and deal with the fallout?


Dear Bob,

I’m not sure how the fallout from bankruptcy is worse than the fallout from a lawsuit, and garnishment. You can easily rebuild your credit following bankruptcy.

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I also don’t see a big advantage is stalling this. The way I understand your question is that you don’t have cash on hand to settle this right now and American Express is coming after you with a suit for the debt.

Click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to them. The bankruptcy will stop the suit and allow you to regroup. Either way American Express is not going to give you a card again so you’ve nothing to lose there.

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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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