Friday, March 07, 2008

American Express and NCO- A New Lawsuit- Robert Paisola Investigates

Robert,

I am copying an email sent to the executive office of American Express regarding our AMEX Corporate Gold card. We were recently sent to NCO, formerly Risk Management for collection, even though we have continued to pay on the account on a daily basis. I am working with through my attorney to try to deal with these people now. I would like to get your opinion and see if you think you might be able to help us. We have paid the account down from 177K balance to 64K in 6 months.

Thanks,
Gerald
________________________________________________


Mr. Chenault,

I am writing to ask for your help regarding an issue with our Corporate AMEX account #XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. I realize you are very busy, but I have tried to contact someone about this issue and I am just running into roadblocks. If you could give me a contact in a position that could help me it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Without going into a ton of details, our credit limit on the account was lowered from approximately 200K to 50K in September of 2007. We used this card for all our day to day business expenses, including inventory, utilities, advertising, etc. With such a severe decrease in our available credit, we had to start using cash to pay for these daily expense while still trying to pay our AMEX account balance, which at the time was 177K.

I run a small, but profitable company, but we were unable to meet our obligation to pay the balance in full and continue to operate our business.

We wanted to work out a payment schedule right away and communicated that with our account rep. She was reluctant to do so stating that it would cancel our account and suggested we just pay as much as we can for the next 90 days and we would see how it looked then.

By December 2007 we had knocked off about 90K of the 177K. Our rep advised us that if we were unable to pay the remainder within the next 30 days our account would be reported to the credit bureaus. I once again requested a payment schedule, but was told that it would be to our benefit to just keep paying.

Last month we agreed to a payment schedule of 8K per month over the next 9 months to cover the remaining balance. We were advised that this would be kept in house and no more late fees would be charged. I continued to pay on a daily basis on the account, about 10K over the last 30 days, but yesterday I received a call from NCO, a collection agency.

The agent informed me that I would be sued and suggested I borrow the money to pay off the debt. If I could borrow the money I would have paid this off months ago. We are struggling like most small companies in this economy right now. I have always intended to meet our financial obligation with AMEX and always communicated our situation and kept paying on an almost daily basis.

I spoke to an AMEX account services rep last night and she stated that AMEX would gladly take the account back from the collector, as there was a miscommunication regarding the payment arrangement we had made. Our rep did not inform us that it was not okay to make multiple payments over the 30 day period, you are required to make 1 single payment for the agreed amount per month. No more, no less. So the account services rep stated that AMEX would gladly take our account back and work with us on a new payment plan.

Of course, I spoke to Patrick at NCO, 888-217-9861, ext 5024, and he stated that AMEX would not take the account back, and whomever I was talking to did not have the power to make that decision. He advised that I call and attorney and “get educated” on the law in regards to collections, and that AMEX will sue me in a heartbeat. Why am I being sued if I am paying?

AMEX was very helpful with growing my company, and I appreciate it, but being sued by a collector will hurt my wife and I’s personal credit, and limit my business further from being able to ever repay our debt to AMEX. I have paid about 110K over 6 months, I think that proves that I am really trying to get this thing put behind us. I just need a little help here before things spiral out of control.

Thank you for your time,

Gerald

1 comment:

Jim said...

Actualy the same exact story happend to our company. We arranged payment schedual of $5K for 12 month. They collected the 1st $5K over the phone and told us we will be able to keep 1 of our AMEX cards, and by tdoing this we will avoide reporting this to credit or sending the account to collection. 2 weeks later we get a call from NCO telling us the exact thing you wrote. NCO told us AMEX lies to customers all the time the same way, but that our account is now in the hands of NCO and there is nothing we can do. They told us we have to pay 100% of the money NOW to avoide the "court clark". NCO told us that the rep at AMEX has no clue about this, and only they can handle our accoutn now.

You can reach me at jimgamba@gmail.com