robert0803

Amex served me what's next?

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Forum members labeled you as the best guy, so please assist me! I was served on 09/21/2016. Attempted morning of but left a letter on my door. I ended up meeting the lady at a gas station because I had no clue what it was, turns out its for an AMEX I stopped paying on earlier in the year. The balance is $5500 and from my reading, I could use the arbitration to fight it from going to court through JAMS? Donald Degrasse firm is the AMEX attorney. I downloaded my agreement and confirmed American Express Centurion Bank issued the card and is the same name on the suit. 

How do I file with JAMS? And who do I send it to? I need help, literally a step by step on what to do. I know I need this before the deadline...which is coming soon! 

 

Any help to steer me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. 

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2 hours ago, robert0803 said:

The balance is $5500 and from my reading, I could use the arbitration to fight it from going to court through JAMS?

That works to scare off junk debt buyers not AMEX.  AMEX is a VERY aggressive original creditor and will follow you into arbitration regardless of the cost.  Despite what you read on other boards the cost of arbitration is not $50k or more.  It is a few thousand dollars and AMEX doesn't care because you will lose in arbitration which will then be confirmed as a judgment with the courts giving them the power to levy bank accounts.  In all but 8 states they can also garnish your wages.  

Depending on how much debt you have bankruptcy may be the best option right now you should do a free consult to discuss all your options.  AMEX will show up to arbitration with all the required documents to prove their case, same with court.  Settling before either is also a viable option.

 

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7 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

Despite what you read on other boards the cost of arbitration is not $50k or more.  It is a few thousand dollars and AMEX doesn't care because you will lose in arbitration which will then be confirmed as a judgment with the courts giving them the power to levy bank accounts.

It might be that $50K is an exaggeratedly high figure, but "a few thousand" is an exaggeratedly low figure.  AMEX is aggressive, but their arbitration contracts have an appeal clause and it is unlikely that the total arbitration costs by the time the appeal is done will be "a few thousand".

You also recommended settling or BK.  Before starting arbitration, there is no leverage to settle.  And BK is available after arbitration too. Why recommend BK right out of the box?

For a 5.5K alleged debt, AMEX might settle for less than 30% sometime during the appeal phase of arbitration. It will take a lot of work, learning, and time, but it can be done. If OP has 30% right now, she can offer it, but they will turn her down because they think they are on the cusp of winning a lawsuit within a few months, not on the very beginnings of a very long two-phase arbitration marathon.

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5 hours ago, Xerxes said:

And BK is available after arbitration too. Why recommend BK right out of the box?

Because it might be the best option right now.  We don't have all of the financial information on the OP but a seasoned BK attorney looking at all the information might recommend it is the best option.  I recommended a BK consultation to discuss ALL the available options.  Go back and read what I said:  

12 hours ago, Clydesmom said:

Depending on how much debt you have bankruptcy may be the best option right now you should do a free consult to discuss all your options.

What part of the words "DEPENDING and MAY" do you not understand?  If the OP is drowning in debt there is no reason to go through the stress of fighting lawsuits and collectors just settle it now by wiping it out.  

6 hours ago, Xerxes said:

For a 5.5K alleged debt, AMEX might settle for less than 30% sometime during the appeal phase of arbitration.

"MIGHT" is a big gamble for many people.  What is your solution if they don't?  While AMEX has settled in some cases I have seen far too many where they simply dug in for the long haul and got the award appeal or not.

6 hours ago, Xerxes said:

It will take a lot of work, learning, and time,

Which some people don't have the patience or fortitude to do.  They need other options other than blindly following strangers on the internet who repeatedly assure them falsely that if they simply follow what they are being told they CAN win.

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Thanks for the replies all. I don't think BK is an option for my situation. I honestly have about $8k in bad cc debt that is in collections. Both are with AMEX, no other cc lines. I don't think It's BK worthy. I would like to make some arrangements with AMEX but through arbitration only because that's what the majority of the folks on this and other boards suggest. I really just need to know how to start that JAMS process. The JAMS site has multiple arbitration options and I'm clueless to which to use. No offense taken on previously posts from other folks. A little drama is worth reading. Thanks again. 

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12 hours ago, Xerxes said:

It might be that $50K is an exaggeratedly high figure, but "a few thousand" is an exaggeratedly low figure.  AMEX is aggressive, but their arbitration contracts have an appeal clause and it is unlikely that the total arbitration costs by the time the appeal is done will be "a few thousand".

You also recommended settling or BK.  Before starting arbitration, there is no leverage to settle.  And BK is available after arbitration too. Why recommend BK right out of the box?

For a 5.5K alleged debt, AMEX might settle for less than 30% sometime during the appeal phase of arbitration. It will take a lot of work, learning, and time, but it can be done. If OP has 30% right now, she can offer it, but they will turn her down because they think they are on the cusp of winning a lawsuit within a few months, not on the very beginnings of a very long two-phase arbitration marathon.

I am not sure where the figures for arbitration on this board come from and why people think it cost so much.   I have only seen one "5 digit arbitration" cost amount and that was on this board.   Collection attorneys work on a CONTINGENCY so all these $250/hour figures about what it is costing a  JDB to go through arbitration is just plain wrong.

Sometimes bankruptcy is advisable "right out of the box" because that person is beyond help financially and probably should have filed bankruptcy months, if not years ago.

I have never had AMEX settle for 30% .   The lowest settlements come from Discover at around 35%-40% at times.   AMEX is kind of in the middle at 50%.

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My first round of JAMS arbitration was somewhere between $15K-$20K and that was a 1 day hearing. An appeal has case management fee of $2500 and then a retainer bill for at least $15K. 

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Just now, bonedaddy77 said:

My first round of JAMS arbitration was somewhere between $15K-$20K and that was a 1 day hearing. An appeal has case management fee of $2500 and then a retainer bill for at least $15K. 

Collection attorneys work on a contingency.   I promise you.   Because if they do not, JDBs will find someone who will.

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1 hour ago, neweuquol said:

Collection attorneys work on a contingency.   I promise you.   Because if they do not, JDBs will find someone who will.

None of the fees just mentioned by bonedaddy77 are collection attorney fees.  They are all arbitrator fees and arbitration forum administrative fees and expenses.

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Just now, Xerxes said:

None of the fees just mentioned by bonedaddy77 are collection attorney fees.  They are all arbitrator fees and arbitration forum administrative fees and expenses.

I saw the word "retainer" which has a certain connotation with me.   In any event, I hope he does not live in a state that allows those fees to be taxed as costs when the arbitration award is confirmed with the state court.

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2 minutes ago, neweuquol said:

I saw the word "retainer" which has a certain connotation with me.   In any event, I hope he does not live in a state that allows those fees to be taxed as costs when the arbitration award is confirmed with the state court.

Only the arbitrator can award costs.  It can't happen as a matter of law in California.  It can happen in other states, but as a practical matter it rarely happens in consumer cases.  The arbitration forums fear regulatory backlash as happened to NAF, so they tread lightly in consumer cases as far as awarding costs against a consumer.

A consumer, or his attorney, should still evaluate his or her exposure in the unlikely event that the arbitrator does award costs against a consumer.  But if the consumer was headed towards bankruptcy already, this is usually not an undue risk.

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1 minute ago, Xerxes said:

Only the arbitrator can award costs.  It can't happen as a matter of law in California.  It can happen in other states, but as a practical matter it rarely happens in consumer cases.  The arbitration forums fear regulatory backlash as happened to NAF, so they tread lightly in consumer cases as far as awarding costs against a consumer.

A consumer, or his attorney, should still evaluate his or her exposure in the unlikely event that the arbitrator does award costs against a consumer.  But if the consumer was headed towards bankruptcy already, this is usually not an undue risk.

California is not the only state in the country.    Many states allow courts to tax costs in that manner, many do not.   There is absolutely no risk to intentionally racking up legal bills when you know you intend to file bankruptcy if you lose?     Please stop giving horrible incorrect advice.

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6 minutes ago, Xerxes said:

The arbitration forums fear regulatory backlash as happened to NAF, so they tread lightly in consumer cases as far as awarding costs against a consumer.

NAF was shut down because it was essentially wholly owned by FIA.   They did not even have an appearance of impartiality.   Arbitration forums are in no worried about being treated like NAF unless they are also wholly owned by a major credit card issuer.

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12 minutes ago, neweuquol said:

There is absolutely no risk to intentionally racking up legal bills when you know you intend to file bankruptcy if you lose?     Please stop giving horrible incorrect advice.

I didn't say "absolutely no risk".   But what decision in life has that sort of description?

The party that initiated the lawsuit and drafted the contract is the party that is racking up the legal bills and it was foreseeable to them for those costs to be incurred.

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33 minutes ago, neweuquol said:

NAF was shut down because it was essentially wholly owned by FIA.   They did not even have an appearance of impartiality.   Arbitration forums are in no worried about being treated like NAF unless they are also wholly owned by a major credit card issuer.

What action did AAA take exactly when NAF was shut down?  They announced a moratorium on consumer debt collection arbitration cases.  And to this day, they will only accept them from a consumer and not a creditor, unless under court order.

JAMS took similar actions at the time of the enforcement action against NAF, which they later incorporated into their policies.

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@Xerxes

@bonedaddy77

I know its been stated that the reason for a MTC arbitration is due to the fact that most JDBs and some creditors will not arbitrate and will dismiss a lawsuit due to the cost of that forum.

It's also been stated that in the event creditors or JDBs agree to arbitration, one can drive up their costs because the arbitrator will not order certain costs and fees to be paid by the consumer.

What has not been mentioned is the fact that the cost of litigation (which includes arbitration) are tax deductions for those businesses. 

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