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How to Resolve American Express Bill and AMEX Debt

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Daniel Cohen
UpdatedJun 19, 2024
Key Takeaways:
  • Contact the original creditor first, even when you receive notice from a collection agency.
  • Attempt to negotiate a temporary low monthly payment or a lump sum settlement.
  • Consider debt settlement or credit counseling -- both can work with American Express.

I have not paid my American Express bill in full and now have a $60,000 AMEX debt that is in collections. Help!

I am the owner of a small trucking company in Texas because of all the rain i have not paid my American Express bill in full. I have been sending $300 a month on a $60,000 bill since June I have been contacted by nation wide credit and told where to get the loan and how much I can pay each month I was never sent any notification that i would be contacted by them and have been called at work once and by cell during working hours. Why am I in collections and what will happen to me?

It is unusual for a person to begin receiving collection calls from a third party collection agency, such as Nationwide Credit, without first receiving written notification from the collection agency. The reason that you are in collection, however, is that you are failing to make the full minimum payments on your American Express Bill and now you have overdue credit card debt. I will explain more in just a moment.

Quick tip #1

If you are considering some professional help to resolve your debt problems, start with a free consultation with one of Bills.com's pre-screened debt relief partners.

Nationwide Credit

Nationwide Credit is a primary collection agency used by American Express. I would suggest you not make any payments to Nationwide Credit before contacting American Express and confirming that Nationwide is handling your account. You should also contact Nationwide to ask them to send you a written statement of your account, including the balance and the account number.

Quick tip #2

Concerned about what is appearing on your credit report now? Check your credit report today and get a free credit score instantly.

It is not too Late to Call American Express Directly

If you contact American Express directly, it may be willing to work with you to bring your account current and resume making payments. American Express may be more willing to work with you than the collection agency in helping you establish a payment arrangement you can afford.

Hopefully, your income has improved enough to let you pay more that $300 per month, as that is quite a small payment on a $60,000 account (in fact, it is negligible... your minimum payment on $60,000 is probably over $2,000 per month... and going up with late fees and jacked up interest rates).

Even if you cannot pay more than $300 right now, Amex may be willing to accept the lower payment amount for a few months if you can commit to larger payments once your income has improved.

You do not mention in your question whether or not you communicated with American Express about your financial difficulties before you started making lower monthly payments. If you did not speak with American Express before they referred your account to collections, then you should definitely do so. Even if you did talk to them before they sent your account to Nationwide, it is worth calling American Express again to discuss what you can do to pull your account out of collections and bring the account current.

If American Express will not offer you an affordable payment arrangement directly, you can ask Nationwide what repayment terms they can offer you, as they may be able to work out a payment arrangement with you as well.

If you can raise a lump sum, you may also be able to settle the account with either Amex or the collection agency. For example, if you can raise $20,000, American Express may be willing to accept that amount to resolve the account and forgive the remaining $40,000.

While the settlement amount AMEX will accept will vary depending on the status of the account and your financial circumstances, it is likely that Nationwide or AMEX will accept a settlement on the account if you can raise enough money to offer a reasonable amount.

Consider Debt Settlement

To assist you in negotiating a settlement, you may want to retain the services of a professional debt negotiation firm, which specialize in negotiating settlements for their clients with the creditors.

A settlement agency may be able to establish a payment plan to help you build a lump sum to offer to AMEX as a settlement. There is one major drawback to debt settlement programs. They will significantly damage your credit while in the program and for a period afterward. Given that you are already delinquent, your account has been assigned to a third-party collection agency, and the size of your debt, your credit is likely already severely damaged.

As you are currently unable to afford to pay AMEX, the impact of debt settlement to your credit may be worth the benefit of ridding yourself of the credit card debt. To learn more about various debt resolution options, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com Debt Help page.

Future Considerations

Another issue you must consider when deciding how you should resolve this debt is whether or not you will need this credit to continue operating your business.

If you are able work out a repayment arrangement with AMEX to bring the account current and pay if off, AMEX will likely allow you to maintain your account for future use. However, if you decide to try to settle the account, AMEX will almost certainly close the account.

In addition, the damage to your credit rating caused by not paying the account off in full could cause you significant problems in obtaining future credit from AMEX and from other creditors. If you need credit to operate your business, you probably should work with AMEX to bring the account current, in order to minimize the negative impact of this delinquency.

As mentioned previously, I encourage you to contact AMEX to discuss the options available to you to repay this credit card, hopefully allowing you to maintain the credit you need to successfully operate your business.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

Dealing with debt

Mortgages, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, and auto loans are common types of debts. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q1 2024 was $17.69 trillion. Housing debt totaled $12.82 trillion and non-housing debt was $4.88 trillion.

According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 8% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.

The amount of debt and debt in collections vary by state. For example, in Massachusetts, 17% have any kind of debt in collections and the median debt in collections is $1580. Medical debt is common and 4% have that in collections. The median medical debt in collections is $408.

Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.

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10 Comments

JJessica Lewis, Nov, 2023
My score has hovered around 726-740 for about a year now. I have no negative marks, no late payments, no fees for balance carries. I have one credit card for that has a credit line of 7,450 I do have a student loan that I’m paying on for 35,000 and this keeping my credit score from going. I want to apply for a loan but I need a score in the 800’s. I needed my score to get up quicker, fair enough a very close relatives informed me about Michlex114 @gmailcom who I emailed if he could help me out. He replied and assure me he’ll get my credit fixed he explained how he’ll get it done and to my surprised he keep to his promise, my credit increase to 830 in few weeks. I re-apply for the loan and I was granted. Apparently there are professional who can help you repair your credit fast and I can boldly say Michael is a credit expert
EEvelyn Brignoni, Nov, 2019

I have a judgement against me recorded 10/19/2010 for the amount of $8179.91, with a Ref number 10civ21178. This is 9 years old. Is this account still active?

DDaniel Cohen, Nov, 2019

Your question isn't clear. If think you are asking if the judgment is still enforceable. That depends on the laws of the state in which you live., as it is state law that governs how long a judgment lasts and whether it can be renewed or revived. In whcih state do you live?

You included a reference number for the debt. This causes me to think you may feel you addressed your question to AmEx. You did not.

JJR Riles, Apr, 2014
i have been harassed by American Express and the debt collectors working for them. A company called First Source Advantage, acting on AMEX behalf called me last year at Work after I told me not to call me at work. That was the third time they called me at work. I also sent them a letter in 2013 telling them not to call me anywhere. Last week, they called my Brother looking for me. I took the number ((877) 443-0144) and spoke to AMEX and told them not to call my brother looking for me. Yesterday, they called my brother again on his cell looking for me. I have in the last 4 years sent letters directly to American Express, First Source Advantage, and Nationwide Credit each informing them of my rights and if they needed to communicate with me, then they needed to do so by Mail. I am thinking of taking action. Any advice would be appreciated.
BBill, May, 2014
Consult with a lawyer who has experience in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits.
CCreativeLogic, Oct, 2023
American Express will not call you outside of the legal timeframes . They will call quite a bit, yes. You owe them money, after all. But they want to work with you. In fact, there are fairly lenient in terms of giving you the maximum amount of time to get things worked out before they will finally make the move to officially put your account in default . So they will call you for quite some time before this happens. Not sure why you would want to complain about that. But if you continue to ignore them , they will eventually stop calling. At that point you can be sure you have just earned yourself a sizable dent in your credit . Your choice
DDave, Mar, 2014
Hi, i have a 45K debt with amex on my company that is no longer in business I got a let saying the will send it to collection if i dont respond within 14 days. is it better to negotiate with amex of the collection agency?
BBill, Mar, 2014
I consulted with the top negotiator at the largest debt settlement firm in the US. He advised that letting your American Express account go to a collection agency is ALWAYS better…unless AmEx sends it to Zwicker and Associates, a law firm that does collections. The best settlement that Zwicker will give, as a rule, is 70%. They typically sue debtors. Unfortunately, there is no accurate way to predict exactly where you account will end up. So, erring on the side of caution, I recommend that you call AmEx, with your hardship information in hand, and plead your case for a low settlement paid over time.
BB.C., Jan, 2014
My company has an AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card with a $50k balance due (I've never been late with payments and it was due last Friday). My company is closing it's doors and I'm trying to avoid personal and corporate bankruptcy. Will AMEX settle for a reduced payoff of say 65% ? If they do, will this still affect my personal credit? My new employer will be issuing me an AMEX for travel expenses. Would that be affected as well?
BBill, Jan, 2014
Impossible to answer your question without knowing if you have personal liability for the business account. I realize that's the point of your question, but you have to go back to the contract for the business account to see if you (or someone else in your business authorized to do so) agreed to have personal liability for the account. This question is something only the signer, American Express, and someone who read the original cardholder agreement can answer.