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jakekaskey

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Anyone else settle a credit debt but the issuer returns months later for original amnt you settled?
Apologies in advance if I somehow missed any similar question previously answered, but I'm hoping someone might have advice.

Several years ago I got a grip on my debt and settled two credit card balances by settling (with Visa and Amex) my balances, paying (roughly) half the credit card outstanding balances. Visa went smoothly- it never went into collection, I made 3 payments, settled up, and haven't heard from them since. The Amex debt was a bit more complicated- I ignored my problem, let the mailings stack up, allowed the balance to go into collection, but after a year of calls and mailings I FINALLY set up a 6 month payment agreement to settle the balance. I paid each installment (have records from the law firm/collections agency showing the balance toward my settlement amount going to $0) and that was that.

But several months later I received a mailing from Amex (not a collections agency) asking me to pay the amount forgiven by the agreed upon earlier settled balance! I thought this was simply an option I COULD do if I wanted to regain card membership (like the mailer said) and ignored it. But after several mailings from Amex, the remaining balance (again, the forgiven balance amount) is now back to a new collections agency!!!

I'm pulling my hair out over this- I keep calling Amex and showing my documentation, but no one gets back to me and every couple months ill just get a new collections letter. Anyone have a similar experience they successfully resolved or advice? Thanks!

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For the situation like this, forget about calling AMEX after several attempts to resolve the problem but no go.  Write a letter to AMEX along with copies of documentation such as the letter of agreement showing your settlement with AMEX, and copies of payment made to AMEX. Make sure you send the letter via certified mail and retain your receipt. This way can prove that you did respond to AMEX and did not ignore them. Also by calling AMEX most of the time the rep you speak to either has no authority or no knowledge to handle your issue, and will only be forwarding your issue to some other department to follow up. You won't know if there is actually someone taking care of your issue. If you send them a letter by certified mail, however, AMEX must follow up and get back to you.

Many banks have relatively bad internal communication. While you had fulfilled your settement with AMEX, it is possible that somehow no one updated the status on their internal system. An easy track will quickly resolve the issue, but there must be someone from AMEX starting to investigate. Send them a letter and they will have to do it. Good luck!

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I "second" that advice.  Certified letter (and keep a copy for your own records, just in case) with photocopies of the communications from Amex should get proper action and stop this collections attempt which is illegal once you have a clear settlement agreement, and it sounds like you do. 

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