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  • American Express, collection, and settlement questions.

    Hello,

    I believe I have posted to this thread before, re: a possible
    bankruptcy due to illness.

    As of now, my debt is still floating and I'm still treading water.
    Things are current and I may or may not resolve things in the near
    future. I am waiting on certain events to see whether or not BK
    becomes my only option.

    However, one debt has managed to get loose: earlier in the year, I had
    charged $1,000 to my AmEx personal card for medical equipment. They
    were able to extend the payments via their Sign and Travel plan.
    Foolishly, I then charged an additional $2,000 in equipment, which was
    a quasi-emergency, and believed they would also extend the payments.

    They did not. Unable to come up with $2,000 quickly, the account
    deferred for over 90 days until it was finally passed over to Allied
    Interstate Collection. Obviously, the $1,000 that was on
    extended-payment has been added to the lump sum owed.

    I am responsible for this debt, although certain circumstances went
    beyond my control. (I needed the equipment purchased and this was the
    only way.) Allied, however, seems to be giving me mixed messages. They
    said they did not actually purchase the debt, and are only acting on
    behalf of AmEx. Therefore, no settlement is possible.

    However, I called AmEx's legal department in New York and recorded a
    representative telling me that AmEx would not prevent Allied from
    agreeing to a settlement offer.

    If I discover that I am able to salvage the rest of my credit and
    debt, I will not declare bankruptcy and will settle this debt. It
    would be easier to do so if I were able to offer them 50% of what is
    owed.

    What are the steps I need to take to offer them a settlement, and make
    this incident as non-invasive to my credit as possible? Would a full
    payment erase any black marks?

    At the time, if I am able to do anything immediately, I could only
    afford a 50% offer. If someone has another idea, I would be happy to
    hear it.

    And please, no awkward Internet preaching about "responsibility" and
    "paying what you owe." It would take years to go through the story of
    how I've arrived in this position: suffice to say it was not due to
    slacking off or avoiding responsibility. As a point of fact, I have
    kept up my financial burdens despite being too ill to work via means
    most people would not find at all pleasant. Thanks.
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