- Centurion Member
- Posts: 4913
- Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
- Location: WI
I really have to kind of disagree here. No they can't throw you in jail for a debt, but they can get a judgement on you and if you don't cooperate in letting them at your assets and income, they can throw you in jail for that (contempt of court). As djrez pointed out they won't come beat down your door in the night and waterboard you screaming which cave is he hiding in schweinhund, but if you get pulled over there will be a warrant on you and off to jail you go. So in a round about way it is possible to get jailed for debt if you don't play ball with them.
Amex is a funny animal I think. Some it seems they turn over to an agency, Zwicker is one I saw used doing searches on the net about it, and others they keep in house. My debt they kept in house and never went to a third party that I know of (or the third party never contacted me to my knowledge).
It's always a risk they will come after you and no one can really predict when it will happen. It just depends on the agency, and how much they think they can get out of you and how close is it to the SOL (in your case it's a ways off no doubt). But I don't think I'd rest easy here as they can come after you at any time and serve you with a nice lawsuit.
As mentioned you can try to wait it out and see what happens maybe you can negotiate with them, but it's always treacherous water to be in.
My own personal experience with Amex was they never did a thing to me. When the SOL was about to run, they sent me one of their infamous letters saying how if I paid the debt, it would improve my credit with Amex and my credit score. I thought at the time that's ridiculous I stiffed you so I'm a scumbag, what does it make me if I pay you just above a scumbag? I assumed they wouldn't give me a card again so what did it really matter. Likewise it would have had no bearing on my credit score whatsoever unless of course they deleted it, but they weren't offering that. (That's one of the reasons they were sued last year was from their claim that paying these collections improves your credit score - simply paying them does not in any way affect it though it might look better on a manual review but the point is, it does nothing for your score....).
As far as being served, they can get a process server or a local sheriff depending on your state's laws. In my state, I had a very aggressive agency, named Wolpoff and Abramson at the time, hot on my tail. They attempted to have me served at a former address where I no longer lived and hadn't lived for years, simply guessing and hoping I might be there. I know because it was my mom's address - I had moved back in with my family after I lost my job after 9/11 which was a big part of triggering the eventual credit issues (along with me not knowing how the economy works, and being ignorant how dumb revolving debt is and other factors, so some of it was my ignorance and thus fault). She emailed me one night that a man had knocked on the door asking for me and when she told him I didn't live there (which was true) and asked what he wanted, he said he was a process server. I was like wow is that aggressive. I kept a careful eye on the CCAP system in my state after that looking to see if they somehow got around the service, but they didn't, and I had seen a lawyer, who advised me to wait until they served me then come see him and he'd negotiate with them for me, since in his words they don't have a suit until they serve you. Fortunately they never got me, but it freaked me out.
Anyway sorry to ramble hopefully some people find this interesting and useful. I don't advise living this way it's hell take it from me, I did it. I don't ever want to do it again I carry NO revolving debt, I simply won't do it. Hard to get in trouble that way.