Just bought a house in FL- AMEX is harrassing me

(Palm Beach Gard, FL, USA)

Can AMEX threaten to collect/ file a lien on my property if they have a credit card debt that is 12 years old in FL? And they can "rant and rave" all they want- REAL question is- CAN they collect?

Worst case- they somehow managed to get a judgment against me at some point in the past (but there are NONE on my credit report) and then it falls within the 10 or 20 year period allowed by the state of FL?

Should I talk with these people? Thus far, I haven't spoken to them- but the callers are now leaving a message like "I need your input before we escalate this matter". I thought 5 years was the limit to collect on credit card debts in FL (according to fair debt collection practice laws). PLEASE ADVISE me....

Comments for Just bought a house in FL- AMEX is harrassing me

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Sep 17, 2010
old debt in Florida
by: Gerri & Mary


It sounds like you have been doing your homework. This debt certainly sounds like it is outside the statute of limitations in Florida. Keep in mind that in addition to the statute of limitations issue, this debt also sounds too old to be reported on your credit reports (unless they are able to get a judgment against you).

It would be unusual for American Express to be contacting you about a 12-year old debt, so we assume you are being contacted by a collection agency. It also sounds like you have not actually talked with them yet, correct?

It's probably time for you to talk with them. You don't need to have a lengthy discussion with them. You just need to ask them to put the debt in writing. As we explain in our e-book Debt Collection Answers they are required to send your written notice of the debt within five business days of their initial phone call. (We would recommend that you at least read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free so you have an overview of your rights first.

Please make sure you are keeping records of every phone call, letter or conversation you have with the collector. You can use our Free Debt Collection Worksheet to take notes.

If you believe the debt is too old, you can send them a cease and desist letter telling them that the debt is too old, and asking them to stop contacting you.

If they contact you again after they get your letter, or if they say anything you think may be illegal, don't hesitate to contact a consumer law attorney for advice. The fact that they are already threatening to get a lien on your house makes us think this is a pretty aggressive agency. It would be a good idea for you to read our advice if it turns out you need to sue the collection agency.

Let us know how this turns out!

Sep 17, 2010
next step...?
by: Artie

You are correct. I have not yet spoken to them and the calls stopped after a week. One of their messages related to "we want your input before WE decide what to do from here" rather threatening and ominous sounding. Soo, I looked the number up and it seems it MAY be AMEX.
At this stage I have no idea what to do- should I open the proverbial "can of worms" or just ignore it? It is NOT on my credit report- it was for years, but now is gone, at least as far as I can tell....(I do look) I spoke with a friend who works in the "debt- consolidation" industry (a total scam) and he said that I should just ignore the calls as he felt there was nothing they could do, so nothing could be gained. I guess the next step is a "cease and desist letter" at the very least. I will have to check out more of YOUR info...at the very least.
Thanks, and any other suggestions are greatly appreciated....

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