Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Identity Theft

I Was Given an AMEX Card With The Business and My Name On It. – John

“Dear Steve,

A family member (father) owned a business that I helped operate for a short period of time. My sister worked in the office at this time. I was given a AMEX business credit card with the business and my name on it. Eventually, my father retired and closed the business. Soon there after, I learned that the card was actually guaranteed under my name and social. (Futher investigation found it was applied and ordered online by my sister). I called AMEX and told them of the situation and to avoid legal issues and police reports that I would pay off the card. At the time they had not reported the card to my credit report and told me that I had 80+ days to pay off the balance ($3,000) before they would negatively report to my credit. Roughly 2-3 weeks later I had the money and was going to pay. Before I called AMEX, I pulled all 3 of my reports and AMEX had charged off the card on all 3 bureaus. I call AMEX and they told me that they had sent it to collections and that I would have to talk to the collection agency. I told them of what I was told previously and that I would pay it but I can’t have it on my credit. They said again that I would have to talk to the collection agency. Through several phone calls with AMEX and the collection company I have gotten no where. Technically, I didn’t even take the card out. I know that I nor Amex can prove this either way. All I want to do is resolve this. I have disputed with all 3 bureaus and to no avail. I really hope you have a good suggestion. Thanks for your time.

John”

Dear John,

It’s a horrible situation but one I see quite regularly. Essentially you are the victim of identity theft by your sister. You could have been absolved of this debt but as the credit card company stated you’d have to file criminal charges against your sister to do that.

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So how far delinquent was the debt when it was charged off? It sounds like the business closed and this debt was still hanging out there for a while.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.




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.

2 Comments

  • From my research I found it was 60 days past due when charged off. But, payments were being made prior to me finding out. What I don’t understand is why don’t they take my money? I called and said, “I will settle this debt in full!” their answer was no, talk to our collection company, which was in India somewhere.

    • John,

      That’s just what American Express does. They certainly are not going to entertain any “pay to delete” offer. Did you have anything in writing showing they would accept partial payments? I’m assuming this was a full balance due on statement account.

      Steve

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