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AMEX Default judgement from 2008

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I live in Massachusetts and I received in the mail a collections notice from a collection agency called NCO financial.

 

They are trying to collect $2,000.00 from a default judgement obtained against me by American Express back in 2008, from a credit card.

 

I pulled my credit report for the fist time and found that this Default is being reported by two of the of the three credit reporting agencies. I then went to the courts and obtained a copy of the judgement. I was served with notice of the hearing at an address I wasn't living at, but i'm afraid i can't prove i wasn't living there because I was in fact homeless at the time.

 

I would like to know the best course for getting the judgement vacated ASAP. Should I reach out to AMEX directly and see if they will cut me a deal and remove the judgement? Or should I deal with this collection agency that has contacted me? Third option would be to try to get it vacated in court, but i'm not sure i would win in court if the hearing were to be done all over again.

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NCO is a bottom feeder that typically tries to collect on zombie debt.  They can't prove squat.  For right now I would DV them and question whether they are even legally entitled to collect on a judgment owed to AMEX.

 

Unfortunately most courts set a time frame of one year in getting a judgment vacated.  For a judgment from 2008 it may be far too late to get it vacated for improper service.  However, there is sometimes a loop hole that gives you some time if you just discovered it which you might be able to exploit.  I would speak to a consumer attorney first thing Monday to determine the best way that might be successful to vacate the judgment if it is possible at all.

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From my research NCO - Nationwide Collections is the usual collection agency that AMEX turns to for collection activity.  As I understand AMEX is tenacious in their collection attempts.  They normally do not sell their debt, usually handle them inhouse with NCO as their middleman.  That being said since there is a judgement against you from 2008 it is good for 10 years (and it can be renewed indefinitely).  

First as mentioned by Clydesmom you should DV NCO within 30 days from the date on the collection letter as a means to set up a paper trail and verify that the debt is yours.  Second if you are in a position to make payments then don't make any agreements with NCO but call AMEX, they are easier to work with than other debtors.  They may take a reduced amount if you have the funds but to setup a payment agreement they will probably require the full amount plus interest and fees.  NCO may have the authority to negotiate but my belief is it is better to call the OC when offering a payoff.  GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!!  Make sure you send all your correspondence CMRRR and KEEP EVERYTHING!

As for vacating the judgement, if AMEX agrees to remove it after you satisfy your debt then you will have a minor victory.  Don't expect that they will though, once the judgement shows satisfied then it's another 7.5 years until it drops off.  After settlement your FICO score will improve each year as long as you keep your nose clean.  

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I got two judgments vacated after 5 years because they were served to someone who wasn't me at my home based on the description given.

I'd say try to get it vacated on the grounds that you weren't personally served. Tell the judge you were homeless at the time and make sure you tell him you would like your day in court as you are guaranteed due process under the constitution, that worked for me.

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