American Express Company
American Express Company (AMEX) is a Fortune 500 Company that provides charge and credit cards, and travel services to consumers. AMEX was founded in 1850 and is headquartered in New York, New York. According to the company’s website, AMEX has $189 billion in assets and a net income of approximately $6.9 billion. Its mission statement is to enrich customers’ lives, have their backs and provide AMEX’s special brand of service.
But instead of having customers’ backs, AMEX often engages in creditor harassment. Consumers have filed numerous complaints against AMEX to the Better Business Bureau. In the past three (3) years, 3,038 complaints have been filed, and 707 of those complaints are related to AMEX’s billing and debt collection practices. Specifically, AMEX has been accused of the following illegal debt collection practices:
- Attempting to collect a debt that is not owed by the consumer;
- Attempting to collect a debt that has been paid;
- Repeatedly contacting a consumer after being informed in writing to cease communication; and
- Refusing to validate or provide proof of a debt.
In 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a Government agency charged with protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive and abusive debt collection practices, ordered AMEX to pay approximately $85 million to over 250,000 consumers for illegal credit card practices. The CFPB found that AMEX violated consumer protection laws at every stage of its consumer experience, including debt collection. As part of its debt collection practices, AMEX deceitfully misled consumers into believing that if they paid off old debt, then the payment would be reported to the credit bureaus and their credit scores would be improved. These were false statements because AMEX did not report the payments to the credit bureaus, and even if they had, most of the debt was so old that it would not have any impact on the consumers’ credit reports.
Both federal and California state law prohibit such deceptive practices. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA) expressly prohibits creditors and debt collectors from making false and misleading representations to consumers.
Creditors and debt collectors should be held accountable for these unethical and unlawful practices. If you are being harassed or subjected to any of these, deceptive, or abusive debt collection practices, it is time to hold AMEX accountable. Please contact our office for a free, no obligation consultation at 1-800-219-3577.