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Drowning with Amex Debt


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Hello CAG,

Bit of a long post, may want to get a cuppa before starting reading... 😁

 

after being a lurker for many years and trying never to get into a mess with credit cards like i did 20 years ago, i've got myself into a mess with Amex... I've tried being open and honest with them, but now getting the feeling they are messing me around. 

 

Its not a chargecard, but a Nectar Credit Card with them.

TAKEN out 2016.

Balance is just under £15k as of today, was almost at £17k. 

Debt still owed by Amex, not been sent to NCO/Arrow etc - YET... 

 

Background (short version):

Was all fine with more than min. payment (£500 or so), being made until April 2020 when a number of things reduced my monthly salary from work (mainly, take a pay cut or be made redundant), so I soon quickly realised i needed to tighten my belt quickly. Phoned Amex, advisor said nothing they could do except Payment Holiday. Was put onto that for 3 months, told that Amex will be in touch at the end to restart payments. I asked about interest being stopped/frozen/reduced - not possible. So agreed to payment holiday to give me breathing space. 3 months came and went, no contact from Amex... No payments made, interest still racking up at around £300 a month... 

 

Rang Amex back (July 2020), we cant do anything today because your in the middle of the statement cycle call back next week. Called back week after, no solution yet (i asked about things i seen on Amex US website = Regain program - basically freeze card, lower interest rate and pay a set amount for 12 months - more about this later) > Not available in UK yet.

 

Want to stay on payment holiday Mister B? I asked if there was any way interest could be stopped as this is making the balance increase and increase. No. Do you want to stay on Payment Holiday? Ok. (Bear in mind, if i came off Payment holiday. Minimum Payment was around £570 per month. 

So, stayed on payment holiday... Didnt hear anything from Amex again. Called back up in September 2020. Please call back in October after 10th and we can assist.

 

Called back after October 10, went through loads of stuff, different options etc, was warned that Payment Holiday might not be extended much longer, but now have a program. Worked out with Amex woman that i could pay around £200 per month. But please stop interest - no we cant but we can reduce this down to 9.9APR instead of 23%... . Amex woman said she needed to submit details to 'Seniors' at Amex, please call back next week for update.

 

Called back week after, advised that first Amex woman was wrong and had made mistakes, shouldn't have told me what she had told me, £200 is too low, minimum would be £389 per month for 12 months or account will default. Told Amex woman 2 that couldn't afford it, went through this last time, etc etc. Amex woman 2 went off, came back, £329.74 is minimum they can possibly accept, 12 months at that amount per month and interest would be lowered, but not stopped. If you dont take out this 'Program' then account will default and will be passed to NCO or Arrow (I hate them both). 

Went off, tried to get loans etc, all refused. Rang Amex back, reluctantly agreed so i can keep credit rating at 'good'. 

So, been paying since Nov 2021 @ £329.74. 

 

Letter arrived in December - due to out mess up with moving accounts around whilst on payment holiday, we are going to give you £3074 back. Logged into account, only £30.74 refunded, not £3074. Phoned Amex cos thought it was a joke/mistake - Spoke to some bloke - Oh dont worry, the rest will be applied to account automatically in 7 days. he advised was genuine but then got cut off during call. Called back, spoke to some other bloke, yes, looks genuine but please hold... Came back 10 minutes later. Oh, its a mis-print, you are not the only customer to receive one of these. Each should have been £30.74 not £3074. Me = Gutted. 

 

Wrote a letter to Amex saying how dissatisfied i was with general customer service and felt they were incompetent, blah blah etc. Final response received, Complaint partially upheld, heres £150 credit because we were a bit silly, but thats it. IF your still not happy, go to FOS. Opened a case with FOS... Have sent them the complaint letter to them and have had a call from them about this... FOS are backlogged though and will take another 3 months for complaint to be looked at by them.

 

Let me make this 100% clear, fully admit to owning the debt, yep, ive spent this money (wish I knew what on, cos having got much to show from it - just general stuff and holidays)... Not trying to shirk out of it, trying my best to keep up with re-payments but im really struggling. After I got paid on 1st April, after paying all outgoings i had £9.83 left in current account so am having to go into overdraft each month which is just a vicious circle. 

I would really like to NOT have to down the default route and trash my credit rating and then have to deal with the morons at NCO / Arrow etc. 

 

Meanwhile, this is where I need the advice of the CAG experts...

- Credit Limit increases... These were coming every few months and it was just being upped and upped and upped. Credit limit eventually was stopped at £15,400. Some of the increases I never even received letter for, just noticed when I logged into account. >>>> Would this be a case for irresponsible lending?

 

- Stopping interest - I've read something on FCA site that they recommend (not policy) that if a customer is put onto a payment holiday then they recommend freezing interest for customer so the debt doesn't continue to build. I've asked time and time again, Amex just refuse.  >>>> Any tips on how to get Amex to play ball? 

 

- Full & Final/Short settlement I've rung Amex today, told them I might be able to pay it off. Initially they said full balance, i then pushed, they then said they would accept 80% of balance, pushed them a bit more, got it down to 70%. >>> Surprised, and then very surprised they would accept 70%, anyone else think this is a bit odd? Normally they wont budge, or they wont budge from their first offer... Could their be something wrong on account (missing CCA etc?), or do they want rid of me and account as much as I do with them?

 

- Cant really keep going at these £329.74 repayments. Something is going to have to give somewhere. I believe they wont go any lower and they will just default it i send £100 instead of £329 and send it out to NCO/Arrow. This might not be a too bad thing though because this would stop the interest right? Anyone thoughts on this? 

 

Anyone think of anything else I could try with them? Again, its still with Amex, not defaulted or anything yet, yep, its all my own fault, i've spent the money, dont deny that, just feel Amex have took advantage etc.

 

Many thanks for reading. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

 

Kr, Mista B. 

 

 

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Amex as with any creditor must help you

the FOS should go with you and make them remove all interest charged from the very 1st time of asking for help.

the FCA regulations actually almost dictate it, they most certainly clearly state that if the are FCA registered they must help.

 

it's very telling they have no marked your credit file....almost as if they know they are wrong. it's also telling that an irresponsible lending complaint might well be in order hear too, they can just keep upping the credit limit without checking you can pay. and ofcourse covid plays its part here and they've already admitted as they allowed payments holidays until october in line with the rest of the industry and they should be continuing that.

you problem is you keep using the phone, no paperwork no record of things discussed.

i'd get an SAR off to them. and get the comms/account log and all the statements from day one and go nail them.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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yes take control of your money and hit back...

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 1 month later...

Greetings DX, 

Can you give this the once over for me please.

 

A Person

Some Road

Some Place

ZZ1 1ZZ

Complaints Department

American Express Services Europe Ltd

1 John Street

BRIGHTON

BN88 1AH

 

Ref: XXXX-XXXXXX-XXXX

 

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

 

I have had a personal Nectar Credit Card with you since 17th June 2016 and its still active today.

The monthly repayments that you are charging me is such a large proportion of my income that I was forced to borrow again.

Between the
dates of 17/06/2016 and 01/04/2020 my average income was around £2500 a month. As you are aware from my previous correspondence, this changed in April 2020 when I had to take a pay decrease from my employer or face redundancy. This reduced my income to £2085 per month.

My monthly expenses totalled around £2200 a month. This is made up of £460 rent, £79 council tax, £114 bills, £356 transport costs, £50 clothes, £150 supermarket shopping & £970 for other debt repayments.  All the above are approximate, but worked out between 2016 & 2021. Note that the above values do not include any payment to American Express.

Looking at my income and expenses, it’s clear that there is no way I could afford to make the repayments on your credit card. I had to continually use my overdraft with Halifax to ensure that I could pay living expenses for the next month.

As a lender you should have realised when you lent to me and from the number of times I had to borrow more that my level of debt was increasing. It was irresponsible of you to lend to me in the first place and to continue to do so.

Looking at the original credit application form sent to Amex in 2016, I note that my income was £30,000 per year, which correlates to around £2500 a month. This did not change between 2016 and 2020 and decreased in 2020.

 

However, following further credit limit increases in 2017 & 2018, the situation with my finances was only made worse by credit limit increases from yourself.  I shall detail these below.

-          On 13th January 2017 you offered to increase my credit limit from £4,100 to £6,100. This letter was received. This was made active on 27th February 2017. This letter was received.

-          On 18th July 2017 you offered to increase my credit limit from £6,100 to £7,900. This letter was not received (I now have a copy of this from a SAR request). This was made active on 1st September 2017. This letter was received.

-          On 15th January 2018 you offered to increase my credit limit from £7,900 to £11,900. This letter was received. This was made active on 1st March 2018. This letter was not received (I now have a copy of this from a SAR request).

-          On 7th March 2020 you decreased my credit limit to £15,400. This letter was not received (I now have a copy of this from a SAR request).  

Note, I have changed address in February 2020 and you were advised of this so unsure why you sent this letter to my old address.

Note. I have no records (letters, emails etc) and there is nothing in the SAR request of the Credit Limit on the account being increased from £11,900 to at least £15,400. This concerns me.


If you would have checked my credit file, you would have seen that I had other loans and credit cards and a general overview of my financial health. I cannot understand how you thought giving me more credit was okay to do, when the level of borrowing was only increasing and the payment amounts against the account balance was either static or reducing each month.

Given all of the above, it’s clear that I should never have been approved for this credit card with an initial limit of £4,100 from the outset as it was clearly unaffordable.

By then allowing subsequent credit increases this only further made the situation worse.

 

Please refund all interest and any charges that I have paid to this account, along with an amount of your choosing as goodwill gesture by way of an apology. This refund should include statutory interest.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Someone

Sent electronically.

 

 

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That will end up in the bin.

 

Dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

Also if none of this works, and it looks like this is causing you serious financial hardship, and you do default. In my experience, Amex just send lots of letters, and don't do court.  Sure it won't be great on your credit file for a while but it sounds like this isn't sustainable financially.

 

Do you need to rent a house or get a mortgage in the next few years? Or if you have to rent do you have a guarantor?

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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4 hours ago, dx100uk said:

That will end up in the bin.

 

Dx

Hmmm. Can you point me towards a template then? 

 

4 hours ago, London1971 said:

Also if none of this works, and it looks like this is causing you serious financial hardship, and you do default. In my experience, Amex just send lots of letters, and don't do court.  Sure it won't be great on your credit file for a while but it sounds like this isn't sustainable financially.

 

Do you need to rent a house or get a mortgage in the next few years? Or if you have to rent do you have a guarantor?

Already renting...

They did talk about it being sent to NCO Europe which I said I didn't want to happen so agreed to their Financial Relief Program... 

 

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A friend of mine I’ve been helping out has been in debt with Amex for 6 years plus now, they defaulted him years ago, it’s a few months away from statute barred.

 

Someone else I know is £60k under with them, and all they have been getting is angry letters for years.

 

It’s worth considering just stopping paying them, it sounds like you are struggling with everyday bills. They might sell it to a rubbish DCA eventually,  maybe or maybe not you will get a claim form, but that could be years down the line.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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our IRL guide is in the general section of our Payday loan forum...

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites
On 26/05/2021 at 18:12, London1971 said:

A friend of mine I’ve been helping out has been in debt with Amex for 6 years plus now, they defaulted him years ago, it’s a few months away from statute barred.

 

Someone else I know is £60k under with them, and all they have been getting is angry letters for years.

 

It’s worth considering just stopping paying them, it sounds like you are struggling with everyday bills. They might sell it to a rubbish DCA eventually,  maybe or maybe not you will get a claim form, but that could be years down the line.

I did ponder doing this... Didnt really want to trash credit rating though... 

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Oh God they are still charging you interest!!?  It's going to take you a decade of paying off £300 pm.  You have already said it's unsustainable for you, and they could still default you on a whim anyway at any time. 

 

That £9.86 you have left over every month because of this, is that going to cover, a new set of tyres for your car, Dental treatment, new shoes, clothes, one of life's hundreds of potential emergencies that need money in reserve?. It's making you financially vulnerable.

 

If you have a guarantor to cover you in case you need to rent again in the next few years, and you aren't planning to apply for a mortgage any time in the next 2 years, you're not bothered about car leases etc, I'd stop payment, and wait for the mountain of letters. It will be over quicker that way, and be far easier on your finances.

 

Naturally you would need to keep your creditors informed whenever you change address though, important so that if , and it's a big if they send a claim form, you can respond and defend.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Exactly... I've asked them multiple times to stop... They have reduced the amount from 19% APR to 9.9% APR, so better than nothing... But around £100 per month is just interest, so only about £229 each month is paid off the balance.

 

Honestly, i've felt sick about this multiple times.

Yup, hold my hands up... I spent the money... I should have been more careful, and things were 'okay' before Covid... But once my salary was reduced or be made redundant, then things got serious... 

 

I've found the Irresponsible Lending templates last night and sat up till 1am writing it all out... Sent this morning to them.

Ill see what happens with that.

 

If they refuse ill send to FOS. But that will be months.

If FOS dont allow then I will default it. 

 

Im going to ask then to put it back onto a Payment Holiday until the complaint is decided... 

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Just come off the phone. Wont put it on hold/payment holiday even whilst there is an open complaint.


Wish id never taken it out... All for some Nectar points!!! 


Apparently a 'manager' will call me back next week to discuss.

Next FRP payment is due 7th June...

 

Im seriously thinking about not paying it but they have warned today on phone that it will show as defaulted... 

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Yup. Some on credit file, some being paid to family... I just thought bugger it, I'll include the full outgoings and throw the kitchen sink in... 

 

I've gone through my credit file with a toothcomb and I can't see amex doing any soft let alone hard searches of me on the dates they increased the credit limit(s). 

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