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The lead plaintiff in a Capital One apr issue lawsuit against American Express, Inc. has filed suit against the credit card issuer for what she claims is an illegal scheme to force her out of business. The plaintiff claims that American Express offered her a Capital One MasterCard with a pre-determined interest rate of six.9% at the time of her promotion. She had a grace period of four months from the date of the promotional offer to pay the full amount of interest and agreed to a long-term agreement with American Express to pay at least the minimum amount required by the contract. American Express did not automatically approve the card on her application, however, and instead sent her a letter notifying her that her six.9% interest rate was being changed to seven.% and that her credit limit would be eliminated if she did not remove it within a specific period of time. This suit claims that American Express used illegal methods to force Miss Watson to leave the business.

The case was filed by Ms. Watson's attorney, alleging that American Express violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, by requiring that Miss Watson to sign an additional contract that contained inadequate credit card contract terms and conditions. According to the complaint, American Express knew from its own information and data that it's seven.% interest rate was illegally high, yet it did not provide any reason for changing the rate during the term of the original contract. Additionally, American Express knew from its own records that its seven.% interest rate was higher than the maximum credit card rates at the time of Miss Watson's promotion, so it again did not provide a reasonable or lawful reason to alter the rate once the contract was in effect. Finally, American Express repeatedly refused to make any explanation or correction of the illegal contracts until Miss Watson's lawsuit brought this to their attention. There is also evidence that American Express tried to pressure Miss Watson into settling the lawsuit prior to filing suit.

Capital One is an online bank that offers a variety of credit cards and personal loans. The credit card contract that American Express agreed to with Capital One includes many provisions that violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Among these provisions is the language that bars lenders from penalizing a borrower for late payment of debts. The provision also says that lenders cannot increase the interest rate or penalty on a past due account more than three times. American Express, according to the complaint, violated the provision by repeatedly increasing the penalties on numerous accounts. Further, the complaint states that American Express did not inform Capital One that the penalties were legally improper.

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The credit card contract terms and conditions also include a prohibition on providing cash advance services. This provision, according to the complaint, is contrary to the express terms of the agreement because American Express did not provide any explanation as to why it sought to impose a ban on providing cash advances. Further, American Express did not submit any evidence that it has offered any alternative payment options that would eliminate the need for cash advances, such as credit cards. Finally, the complaint indicates that despite the existence of many alternative payment methods, including debit cards and online bill pay, American Express did not include the provisions of these other payment methods in its card contract.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also has specific provisions that require lenders to give consumers detailed information about their rights under the agreement. American Express failed to submit any evidence that it has offered any alternative procedures that would allow consumers to avoid the penalties described in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The complaint notes that this failure to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is illegal. The provisions of the FDCPA provide consumer protection for individuals who are victims of harassment or deceptive practices by credit card companies. The provisions require both the lender and the issuer of the credit card to obtain consumer consent before going through a consumer credit dispute process.

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According to the complaint, American Express charged fees to clients for changes in the APR and did not provide any explanation as to how these fees were calculated. Further, it charged late fees even when a customer had an agreement with American Express to pay the entire balance of the credit card account on a monthly basis. Furthermore, the terms of the contract required American Express to use the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to collect late payments. According to the complaint, these actions constitute illegal credit card practices and also constitute fraud.

A representative from American Express could not be located at its office in Wisconsin but it is believed that the company operates at another location. When a consumer agreed to pay for a credit card with American Express, the representative made the promise that the payment would be applied to the balance of the credit card account when it was paid off. Later, American Express did not make good on this commitment. The failure to apply the full payment resulted in a balance transfer to another credit card in America Express' collection of credit card debts.

The complaint further states that because American Express did not have an alternative procedure in place to avoid the penalties described in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the capitalized one is forced to enforce its terms under the contract. In addition, the complaint maintains that the contract also constitutes fraud because the terms of the agreement require American Express to collect a fee if the consumer does not repay the debt within a reasonable time period. American Express has also been charged with failing to disclose important information to some consumers regarding interest rates and fees associated with credit cards. Finally, American Express has been charged with forcing consumers to enroll in a debt management plan even though they do not qualify for such a plan or need to be enrolled in one. If you are a victim of this illegal credit card practice, you should contact an attorney with experience in contract law.

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