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Failure to Verify & Validate - What next?


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AmEx claims that I owe $2,700 related to charges on a corporate credit card that several employees in my former company held. Upon receipt of a telephone collection call demanding payment in March 2002, I requested verfication. They responded by sending me copies of the statements. I requested the original signed credit application and they never sent it to me. Instead, they put me up for collection. In August 2003, I sent them a letter requesting verification and validation of the debt within 30 days. They responded by calling me and telling me that I needed to call another number. As this was a verbal communication and not provided to me in writing, I never followed thru. In my opinion, they failed to provide verification and validation. Today, they consider the debt to be a charge-off and have reported it as such to the various Credit Agencies. It is the only negative mark on my credit -- yet a serious one. What do I do to fix it? Can I sue them for not responding and hurting my credit? Am I still responsible for payment even though they failed to verify and validate? How do I handle the Credit Agencies? I wrote letters to the agencies contesting the AmEx mark and they failed to remove it citing varification from AmEx. How should I handle the Credit Agencies?

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The FDCPA does not protect Corporate Accounts, only private. The only thing I can think of is contacting them to work out a form of settlement amicable to each party. If there is a way to have any other users of the card held liable for their part, go for it.

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How do you prove they are corporate accounts? And is the business aactually a corporation or some lesser form? Did you personally guarantee the cards? That's the only thing I can see, i.e., Amex calling the debt your personal debt when it belongs to something else. You might be able to sue them under a deceptive trade law, or the FDCPA. But there are short SOLs for these. Go see a lawyer.

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The point is that AmEx is claiming that the account was actually mine. Each of the individual accounts under the corporate umbrella were tied to me personally.

Did you read their contract to see if this is indeed the case?

If it is, then I would say you've got no choice but to pay, because you could have (and certainly should have) known that you were responsible for all users of the account.

In your defense, I do think our justice department needs to do something about the issue. Recently I tried to use my paypal account and was informed that I had agree to their new user contract within the next 180 days "or else." They didn't say exactly what that meant. But implied it wouldn't be good. Following the link to read the new contract I quickly realized that it would take several hours to read this huge document, and many times that much time to understand it. There wasn't a way to download the document, or even print it. It was a lengthy heirarchy of linked pages. When I called them to request a printed copy they weren't sure they had one. That call ended with the representative promising to look around for one and email it to me. I imagine I'll end up with a link to their online version.

Most the of mainstream credit cards offered online don't make their contracts available until you have applied for and been accepted to have the card. At that time you are sent the card and the contract--activating the card indicates you acceptance of the contract. But you have a relatively short period of time (less than a month) to review the contract before the card is deemed lost in the mail for your having failed to activate it. I have called many of these companies to explain this and asked for a copy of the contract before applying so that I had time to determine what it said. They had no way to meet this request.

I posted a note here explaining this and recommending that a section be created to hold the actual contracts for the various credit cards so that the public could more easily determine the differences between them and very few people even noticed it.

While I am grateful for the existence of this forum, I am puzzled by their failure to provide this information since it seems to me that the difficulty of determining the salient details of the various agreements is what gets a lot of people into credit trouble in the first place. Certainly you would agree with that.

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Recently I tried to use my paypal account and was informed that I had agree to their new user contract within the next 180 days "or else." They didn't say exactly what that meant. But implied it wouldn't be good.

For PayPal??? Sheesh, they went from a convenient way to pay for eBay auctions to using Mafia tactics??? I call BS on them.

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