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Debt settlement offer from Amex

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This is a debt of mine that was charged off in 12/07 and I just received a letter directly from American Express today saying they would like to settle with me. It's not for much $291.

Basically they said that I was recently contacted by an Outside Collections Agency regarding this debt and that it has gone unanswered by me. However they said they are willing to work directly with me to resolve this debt.

They said if I paid in full today, it will improve my credit standing with American Express, potentially improving my overall credit bureau rating and I may be able to regain American Express Card Membership.

From reading things in this forum, isn't the only way it's going to improve my credit is if they change my status from "Charged Off" to "Paid Satisfactory"? Should I send them a letter offering to pay if they mark it positively? Also do you think they are serious about regaining Card Membership? Should I just pay this off and be done with it, or is there something else I could do to improve my situation?

I have another charge off with them with another card which is significantly more (10K) in which I'd like to settle also. Hopefully for a lot less. I'd love to hear from everyone. I'm closing on a new condo I just purchased and one of the caveats of the loan is that I settle with both these debts before closing once my unit is completed in the summer.

Thanks,

Sean

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American Express DOES blacklist, so paying then in full DOES take you off of their blacklist, if you ever want to do business with them again.

Personally, I'd PIF if I were you....understand that that DOES possibly change your CR notation to "paid collection," but in this case that may be all you can do.....

As far as the $10K debt, tho, now THATS another scenario...depends on what you are trying to accomplish......a mortgagor (sp?) may require you to clear all these alleged debts, so you may have limited flexibility in your strategic options.

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Thanks astiman! All the mortgage lender is requiring is that I resolve both collections debts. Whether it's a negotiated settlement, or payment in full.

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I'd pay the little one off. What is there to think of?

The bigger, one, throw Amex an offer. Offer to pay it all at once or in 5 payments. They have been flexible. Get the agent's name and extension. It helps to deal with the sme person

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Thanks guys! The little one I'll pay off and see if I can get the to "Paid as Agreed" on my report. If not, then hopefully "Settled".

As for the bigger one, I'm hoping they will settle for 50%. 10k is just too much for me deal with right now.

Anyways since they are the original creditors, it's ok to work with them directly over the phone and negotiate?

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Depends on how much time you have.

If you have a bit of time, a lettre, CMRRR, might be the best as you will have PROOF they received your offer....

good luck! Hope it all goes well for you!

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Anyways today I finally got a chance to settle with American Express in regards to the collection account of $291. They were easy to deal with and I got a "Paid As Agreed" settlement. That's one down and the bigger one of $10k to go.

So I asked them I'd like to negotiate and see if I can settle my 10K debt with them too since I have them on the phone. The Customer Service Rep said it's with NCI and I would have to call them to work things out. So I hung up and thought nothing of it. In checking today's mail, I got a letter from ....you guessed it, American Express. It was one of their "Opportunity to Regain Card Membership" letter. Is this the Oasis program I've been reading about? Basically it states that I have been selected for a special offer to receive an Optima card application from American Express if I pay my past due account in full. My application for the new Optima Card "Will" be approved unless I have filed for bankruptcy, do not make the payment required, or have an existing open American Express Credit or Charge Card relationship.

This offer is supposedly limited and my account is currently collected by them by Nation Wide Credit, Inc and that I would have to call them to arrange for payment and to have the pre-qualified Optima Card sent to me.

Now my question is, since I'm just trying to settle all my collection accounts with them since I'm closing on a house this June, should I pay in full and take advantage of this programs, or should I try to settle for a lesser amount? 10K is a lot of money to sign over. Thoughts?

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The only thing that has me wondering is: why wouldn't AE service their own Optima Card?

NCI is not an overly upstanding company, are they even authorized to provide this to you?

as for the Optima card itself, reviews are mixed...

http://www99.epinions.com/reviews/finc-Credit-Cards-Standard-A-E-American_Express_-_Optima_Cards

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So American Expresses Collection company Nation Wide Credit, INC. just sent me a settlement letter today for 60% of my total debt of nearly 12k. They're will to settle for a little over $7k. At this point since I'm about to close on my house in two months, I'd like to get this settled. Should I call the number given by Nation Wide Credit and try to negotiate an even lower amount? Or should I write a letter to them for a lower amount?

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