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Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  13 years experience in criminal law, BA in criminal justice
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I currently have 35,000 in debt to American express. Over the

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I currently have 35,000 in debt to American express. Over the past I have been able to pay off balances in full totalling 10,000 to 69,000 in some months. Recently, I had an out of court settlement, leaving me with little to nothing. This Amex debt has been charged in the past 2 months and was charged with every intention of paying it back just like in previous months. American Express has begun to call me as I am now in default. As a sign of good faith, I made a 500 dollar payment (though it was small it was what I could do).
My question is, will American Express perceive my recent charges as fraud? (these charges were mostly on clothing and luxury goods, but thats no different than months past as this card was primarily used for that affect) I have no assets and I am being relocated to the United Kingdom. I dont want this to affect my immigration. and can they pursue my debts if I am out of the country? (proper service, collections, etc.)

Also my near future prospects for repayment are grim. (we are talking approx 5 years)

Hello there.


It is very rare for a credit card company to pursue a consumer for fraud under circumstances like these because you can show a pattern of using the card in this manner for quite some time before your financial difficulties. While it will certainly be more difficult to get the notices and information to you in the UK, Amex can sue you in the county of your last address in the US and then obtain a default judgment against you. They can then either wait until you return to the US to try to collect on the judgment or they can take the judgment into a UK court and have it certified by that court and try to collect from you there (you would have to ask a UK lawyer what the collection efforts are like there on a US judgment being brought into the UK -- Just Answer DOES have a very large UK section so you can seek that out after this). If at all possible, you might consider bankruptcy as an option before you leave the US and that will either wipe out the debt (Ch 7) or let you structure a payment plan over 5 years for unsecured debt (CH 13 - they are paid a few cents on the dollar and then you are written off). Whether you can declare a Ch 13 or Ch 7 bankruptcy depends upon your income.



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