Will Amex settle or should I just Bankrupt?
In April 2008 Amex won a judgement against me for a debt of $16,000 with an accruing interest of 29% (outside what's allowable in the state of CO). I discovered this judgment through the attempt to sell my condo I purchased in 2005 (been renting it out for 6 yrs) as they have attached a lien to it. In the time since the judgment the debt has escalated to $43,000+ with interest and attorney fees, etc. There is absolutely no way I can pay this amount off, no savings of that nature, no retirement I could borrow from, too much overhead to save that amount of money. I could however potentially come up with about $8000 or $9000 (half of the original loan amount). Another possibility is to try and negotiate with Amex their receipt of the profits from the sell of the condo (they would have to lift the lien to do so) - I have about $14,000 equity IF I can sell it for the amount I would be asking which is reasonable. It would be nice to keep SOMETHING from the sell to put toward a home for my husband and myself as we're stuck in the vicious rental cycle. However, from debt and credit counselors I've spoken with they do not feel Amex will even bother accepting a settlement of that amount and it could potentially wake up a "sleeping giant" where they could subpoena me for income information and place of employment and begin garnishment proceedings. So do I even try to negotiate or do I just bankrupt? I would obviously like to do pursue the smartest avenue with regard to my credit. I have miraculously gotten my credit score up to 700 again, but with a bankruptcy I would start all over. But if I could negotiate something, then I could get this settled and off my record and sell my property and keep the credit score improving it as it is paid off. Any advice would be greatly appreciate? Anyone out there that has worked with Amex in negotiations? Should I try to negotiate myself or have an attorney do the negotiation with ending result, if they're unwilling to work with me, to bankrupt? Thanks for reading my post.