American Express is one of the common creditors who, aggressively, collect on consumer debt matters pursuing lawsuits and judgment enforcement activity. American Express is more difficult to defend against in most circumstances because they usually do not sell their accounts to debt buyers like Midland Funding or LVNV Funding. This means that they can usually produce the original credit agreement and statements in court which makes it more difficult to defend against. However, they do commonly add penalties and fees that are very difficult to account for and at times are improper. It is extremely important to submit affirmative defenses to dispute these issues. These defenses also provide leverage for settlement negotiations with opposing counsel.American Express is using more debt collection law firms than we have seen in the past to collect on their debt and to pursue litigation. American Express Legal or their in-house attorneys, Doyle and Hoefs, Zwicker and Associates, and Relin Goldstein and Crane are the most common firms that we have seen but now we also see Rausch Sturm handling American Express accounts as well. Whereas American Express was the most difficult creditor to negotiate a settlement with, we are seeing that their parameters seem to have changed recently and settlements of 50% off, and even 60% off or more are possible if the necessary defenses are asserted, a lump sum is available and there is financial or medical hardship asserted by the consumer. However, a significant reduction and an interest-free payment plan of 12-24 months can still be obtained in most situations if the consumer does not have a lump sum.