This is a delinquent account that I would like to take care of; but I am afraid to because of the different numbers attached to the same account. How should I proceed?
Answer: I am not sure what the different account numbers may be a result of; it seems as an account holder, you should have received something in the mail from Bank of America regarding the account number change.
I am purely speculating but perhaps Bank of America acquired a portion of American Express’ credit accounts. If this is the case Bank of America may have re-branded the credit card account to reflect their credit card numbers.
Nevertheless, if the credit card account currently reporting has the same opening date, balance, payment history and other basic information is the same; you are more than likely dealing with identical delinquent account.
As long as the delinquent does not appear on your credit report twice, once under the American Express account number and once under the Bank of America account number you should have no problem in taking care of the one account. The American Express account should not suddenly appear if you decide to contact Bank of America. I just do not see a more adverse issue arising than the current delinquent account.
How to Proceed
Charge off Account. If the account is a charge-off then there are a few strategies you can attempt to get the charge-off removed. One is to dispute the charge-off to see if it is deleted. Another strategy would be to negotiate a pay for deletion of the charge-off. A pay for delete can also be done with a delinquent account that has yet to be charged-off.
You are not guaranteed a creditor will deal with you when you request a pay for deletion but it is worth asking. If you are willing to pay contact Bank of America, requesting to speak with someone in charge and propose payment or payment arrangements in exchange for a deletion of the account from your credit reports.
The creditor is not obligated to accept a pay for deletion but it is the first and best option. If not, request a “paid” status for the account. It is not the ideal notation but it is better than an “unpaid” charge off. Get whatever agreement you come to in writing before any monies are paid.
Delinquent Account not charged-off. If the account is just delinquent and has yet to be charged-off; request account rehabilitation. Most banks will not offer account rehabilitation you will have to ask for it. Rehabilitation involves banks erasing negative marks on your credit reports after a series of on-time payments have been made consecutively, usually 6 to 9 payments.
Dispute the account with the credit bureaus. You can dispute the account with the credit bureaus and see if it comes off through the dispute process. However, it may be verified as accurate which means the date of last activity will be updated making the negative information look more recent. I suggest you read how to dispute negative credit to get an idea on the dispute process. Good luck to you.