American Express does not mess around when it comes to collecting on their delinquent accounts. The list of famous-but-not-so-rich people like Tori Spelling ($87,000 and $38,000 respectively), Li’l Wayne ($86,000), ex-NBA star DeShawn Stevenson ($384,000 and a bank levy when he blew off the lawsuit), and the mom of the “Cash me outside” girl Danielle Bregoli ($7,600 and a claim of unjust enrichment) is just the tip of the iceberg, as American Express filed lots of lawsuits to collect on those delinquent accounts. If you’re being sued by American Express, there are something you need to know.
American Express is Different
Unlike a number of other credit card companies, American Express tends to pursue delinquent accounts themselves instead of farming it out to debt collectors. For that reason alone, the tactic of requiring the company to prove that they own the debt may backfire. Unless you can prove the purchases or advances on your account were not made by you or made without your approval, you’re on the hook for the bill. Remember, if you are contacted by American Express no matter how friendly their representative sounds, their goal is to get you to pay – or at least to get you to agree to pay – whether or not you can realistically afford it.
Look at the Larger Picture
Getting that summons served is a rude shock, but it could also be a wakeup call. Getting in over your head in credit card debt can happen for many reasons. First, take a good look at your financial situation, not just your credit card balances, and ask yourself if it’s realistic to arrange a payment plan. If you don’t have enough income to cover your bills right now – and this is one of the main drivers of credit card debt – you are not going to be able to wedge another payment in there. Second, do not blow off that summons, it’s only going to give the judge the go-ahead to rule in favor of American Express. American Express is going to have an attorney fighting for them, and you should have one fighting for you.
Getting Out of Debt
Very often, being in debt is not just a matter of one large credit card balance, or one student loan, or one car loan, or one job loss. Debt occurs over a period of time when your basic pay does not stretch to cover everything it needs to. When you need to use your credit card to buy groceries, keep the lights on, and keep the car gassed to get to work it’s easy to take a deep hole very quickly, and be in over your head before you know it. If you are being sued by American Express, make an appointment at our Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach office for free initial consultation. There are lots of different alternatives to getting out of debt. We can discuss them with you and provide our best legal advice on how to proceed.