Let’s say you are talking with a third-party agency in a different state and they have agreed to a 40% settlement. I have two accounts with American Express. If the account is presently being reported current standing, then it will probably show as a closed but positive account. One important tip for determining the risk factor is to assess WHERE the assigned collection agency is located. American Express is the contractor. GC Services is the collector working for AMEX as I understand. It’s trivially easy for an original creditor to produce a stack of monthly statements two inches thick and mail it to you. I don’t know who to believe. Debt settlement is just as much about managing risk as negotiating savings. American Express will not take a payoff settlement for a credit card. It’s trivially easy for an original creditor to produce a stack of monthly statements two inches thick and mail it to you. I am currently in the process of trying to kill off my Macy’s acct. Debt validated, and account moved to an in-state legal firm for your troubles! As the negotiation proceeds, resist your initial urge to jump your offer right away, and give it some time to see how things go first. FYI, the settlement mainly pertains to “consumers who paid old debt in response to deceptive promises to report One more important point about settlements with American Express. Where the risk is lower, we can hold out and try to do better on the settlement percentage. If you’re more than three payments late, the odds are good that you’ll be hearing from an outside collection agency. Uncle Sam views "excused debt" as income and wants his cut. If you are facing a default situation with American Express and would like to have some professional assistance in resolving the matter, please read my 5-part series on Tailored Debt Settlement. Other times, a charge-off can remain on your report even after seven years have gone by. This is also called an ACH transaction, and it means you provide them the bank routing number and account number off your checking account. It just has to cover the essentials – the account number, amount of settlement to be paid, any payment installments listed clearly with due-dates, and the transaction has to be defined or referred to as a “settlement,” or “settlement-in-full.” Simple enough! I'm hoping for a 35% settlement offer....I may be able to swing it with help from the taxman, 401k and family. Amex will settle for 50% of the amount in a lump sum.  Glad the information was helpful, and congratulations on your settlement success! What Now? I think the corporate card is owned by my employer with my name on it as stated in the article. If you are negotiating settlements with multiple creditors, it’s better to set up a special checking account for this purpose. American Express denies these claims. American Express also charged late fees on some credit cards based on a percentage of the debt owed, a violation of a 2009 law prohibiting certain credit card practices, the regulators said. Understand that the majority of settlements with American Express are negotiated through these third-party collection agencies. If I can get the money from the account that I have with Freedom Financial, should I try to settle directly with GC Services?  The 36-48 month programs offered by most debt companies have high risk for collection lawsuits. Why did I get a Settlement Notice? Most of them prefer check-by-phone or electronic check (same thing). When it comes to settlement with American Express, there are some specific facts about this creditor that you should be aware of. This isn’t a matter of “trust,” or “distrust.” It’s just simple common sense that any agreement modifying your contract with American Express (or any other creditor) must be in writing. If you are in a financial crisis, that is enough, and you just need to be patient and persistent. Cashier’s check by Federal Express is one method, but you want to be sure that you’ve coordinated payment method with the agency. Do you know if the recent AmEx “late fee” settlement will affect charged-off accounts (given that half of this remaining balance is late fees and interest)? Charge-offs can occur even if … I also have like 500,000 points. Insolvency Calculator for IRS Form 982 Now Available! You can avoid this by shaving off no more than $600 on the debt you owe. That would likely happen if you did sign a personal guarantee on the corporate card, which is probable. A faxed copy is fine, and in fact most settlement letters are just fax copies of the agreement. I think the article will give you the basic answers to your question. Instead of paying fees as high as 20-30% of your TOTAL DEBT, it’s far more affordable to work with a professional consultant who only charges 15% of the SAVINGS achieved via the negotiations. Yet it’s highly unlikely you will encounter this situation with respect to any type of American Express account. American Express is not a “bluff” creditor, so we do take any legal threats from them seriously once a file has escalated to placement with a collection attorney firm (licensed to operate in the client’s home state). We offer training and coaching programs for every budget, and our mission is to help you negotiate effectively and settle your debt accounts quickly and safely. 91st day went to Zwicker....120 days to Apothaker with 0% offer to settle full balance or 55% settlement..lump sum...i'm at 150 days without a payment....close to chargeoff. With your letter in hand, then you can make your payment. Everything was going fine for a 4-5 months and all the sudden the AMX account shows as a Charge Off on my credit report which I think is having a significantly negative effect. It sounds like this account is not actually enrolled, and they are just sending payments in on your behalf. Yes, it is totally possible for you to negotiate with GCS on your own and reach a settlement. We are in a debt mgmt program with consumer credit counseling and American Express is one of our debtors. I do take your point that they are usually lenient with delinquent cardholders seeking to restore the account to good standing. It’s still actively reported as a charge-off on my CR, but, aside from our mortgage, it is my only account with any sort of balance on it. If they are not a law firm and they are in some other state than yours, then the situation is low risk compared to assignment to a law firm in your state. Typically, a creditor will either sell a debt that is more than 180 days overdue to a collection agency or employ an agency to help collect payment. The first rule in settlement with American Express is therefore to avoid any sort of tactical “games” like debt validation, which are generally unnecessary anyway. They normally do not take payments for less than the total amount. The first offer you receive from an agency will rarely be the best offer available, no matter how convincing the explanation that this is “the best we can do.”. The company converted to a bank holding company structure in November 2008 in order to become eligible for Treasury Department assistance under the infamous “TARP” program. Otherwise they are hard to work with. Only $29! Many of those agreements I’ve seen require you to personally guarantee the debt. Normally I recommend bankruptcy because if you are being sued by American Express, chances are … You are happy with the result and you can fund the settlement ok. It just has to cover the essentials – the account number, amount of settlement to be paid, any payment installments listed clearly with due-dates, and the transaction has to be defined or referred to as a “settlement,” or “settlement-in-full.” Simple enough! Settlement with Amex requires steel nerves and precision timing, and is best handled via a customized full service approach. This approach saves you money and creates a win-win scenario. In such situations, the risk is greater, so we accept a higher figure than we might otherwise. It’s simply a part of the collection culture that developed at American Express, which positioned itself over the years as being “different” than Visa or MasterCard. 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