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My Business Work is Dead and I Defaulted on My American Express Card. – John

“Dear Steve,

i’m a contractor that used my amex c.c. for business. work is dead and i defaulted on paying the balance.

I am asked to sign an agreement from a law firm and pay 2,000 up front on a 6,000. balance and they are adding about 800.00 in court apperance fees,though we havn’t gone to court. I can’t afford the payments at this time what are my options please.


Dear John,

Traditionally American Express has been difficult to work with but like many other things in life, a compromise can only be worked out through negotiation.

It’s not unusual that since the account has been sent out to an outside agency or law firm that they are adding some fees to it.

The unknown right now is if the law firm is acting on behalf of American Express or AMEX charged off the debt and sold it to a debt buyer and the law firm is acting on behalf of them.

That could be easily clarified if you call American Express. If they still owned the account then you could attempt to negotiate something with them and attempt to reduce or eliminate the extra charge. But, don’t be surprised if they are not interested in doing that.

Now, all that being said, it sounds like the real issue is that some level of payment is just not feasible for you right now. Making a promise to pay and then not being able to make it will land you in a worse spot.

After paying all your other expenses and including saving $100 a month, how much do you feel you have available on a monthly basis to pay towards the AMEX debt?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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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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