Nationwide credit is collecting a debt I owe to American Express. We negotiated a settlement amount and when I found out that I wasn’t going to have the amount we had agreed upon I sent them a fax asking to adjust the payment schedule.
Initially a man called and said fine, then two other people called and said I needed to come up with $2,500 that day, which I didn’t have. They then told me that Amex had me scheduled to go for a judgement, and when they won that judgement I would owe a lot more than the amount I owed because there would be attorny fees added. I asked what do they do if they get a judgement, because right now I have nothing, she said that she was reading over the Amex paperwork and they researched and found that in PA they can garnish my wages and my husbands wages even though he isn’t on the card. I told them I didn’t have $2,500 to give them, but I could give them $500 – they said that that wouldn’t work and that they have decided to submit a form to Amex stating that I was refusing to pay. I said all I can do is give you what I have, and they said it wasn’t enough, and that it would be in my best interest to try to borrow the money, because they will win the judgement and it will cost me a whole lot more, and they could even take my car.
That scared me because right now we couldn’t survive if that happened. So I took $1,000 that I owed for my office rent and paid them over the phone, she and her supervisor told me that they need to hear from me before the 15th of next month or I would definately be reported as a refusal to pay. I was talking to a friend about all of this and was told that in PA not only can they not garnish my husbands wages, but they can’t garnish mine either. So I contacted an attorney and found out that it was true you can’t garnish wages in PA.
So, my question is this – the attorney told me that they violated the law by using the wage garnishment as a scare tactic. It cost’s me nothing for the attorny to file a suit against them, but my fear is that if they file a suite against Nationwide, Nationwide will then tell American Express about the situation, and I will loose the opportunity to negotiate a settlement with Amex, because from what Nationwide told me, they would report me to Amex as a refusal to pay (even though I haven’t refused), and that they have everything in the works to get a judgement against me. Should I continue to negotiate with Nationwide, knowing that they are violating the law, or should I let the attorny deal with them and risk a lawsuit with Amex?
I’m so sorry you had to be subject to the lies and illegal scare tactics from Nationwide Credit in collecting this debt. Obviously Nationwide Credit lied to you and violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by their actions.
I think what you have here are two different issues, the collection abuse and the underlying debt, and that you need a lawyer experienced in FDCPA violations to represent you against Nationwide Credit. If you do go ahead with a lawsuit against Nationwide Credit it won’t be their first time at the dance. They’ve done this stuff before to others.
An Oklahoma City couple Monday sued a credit collection company that was fined $1 million in 1998 over its collections practices.
Rick and Ludina Lahodney are also suing American Express, for whom they contend Nationwide Credit Inc., based in Georgia, collects debts, and a specific Nationwide employee.
In October 1998, Nationwide agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to resolve allegations that the firm violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
At the time, the $1 million was the largest civil penalty ever assessed in a debt-collection case.
The Lahodneys contend that Nationwide violated the federal act by failing to give necessary warnings; by misrepresenting the imminence of legal action; by engaging in harassing and abusive conduct; by using false and misleading statements to collect a debt and by failing to stop communicating with the couple after being asked to validate the debt.
The couple alleges that American Express was negligent in hiring Nationwide and violated Oklahoma consumer law by failing to exercise a duty of reasonable care owed to customers in handling their accounts.
At this point you need to let your lawyer handle this. Your lawyer will contact American Express and advise them to deal directly with the lawyer regarding this debt.