Did collector buy debt or are they working for AmEx?

by Irene
(Washington State)

How do I find out if my debt was purchased by the collection company or if they are really working for American Express?

I have been paying on the debt to one collection "lawyer" for about 18 months, a huge amount each month. I can still go into AmEx online and see my balance and it is going down and shows each months payment. However, where it says Minimum Due, it is far lower than what the collection company is asking me to pay.

Now I absolutely can't pay, and a few months back I called to re-negotiate the payment and told them what I saw on AmEx online and she asked me where I saw it, so I told her logged in and there it was. She said "Well, you aren't supposed to be able to see that". Makes me wonder.

Can I just start paying the minimum due to AmEx directly and tell the collection company I'm not paying anymore? What might happen?

Comments for Did collector buy debt or are they working for AmEx?

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Jul 30, 2010
Your Amex Debt
by: Gerri

It does sound unusual that you can get online and view your balance on your Amex account! I doubt the debt has been purchased since Amex still has those records.

Since you can't afford to pay what the law firm is insisting you pay, stand firm. There is no sense in agreeing to pay more than you can afford.

The collection law firm is not obligated to accept whatever amount you can afford, but they ARE obligated to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. So make sure you have at least
read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free so you have an overview of your rights.

If they refuse to work with you to come up with a reasonable payment plan, I would suggest you send them a certified letter stating what you can afford to pay, and asking them to reconsider. Then contact Amex as well (if you can - they may or may not talk with you) and explain what's going on.

If you haven't done so already, you may want to set up a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney so at least you know what your options are if things go south.

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