American Express is an original creditor that extended credit to a consumer. They files lawsuits against consumers in an attempt to collect the debt they feel is owed to them. They are counting on the fact that you will not respond or show up to court. If you do not then they may take a default judgment against you. In Florida, a judgment can be aggressively collected for twenty (20) years and even longer if they keep renewing the judgment. This gives American Express a long time in which to come after you. You may think that a judgment is just a worthless piece of paper. You may think that they can not force you to pay the judgment. You are wrong. Judgment creditors can garnish bank accounts taking your hard earned money. They can file a motion for receivership which allows them to remove money at any time from your bank accounts. They can stop the sale or purchase of a home or auto. They can try to sell any unprotected assets you may have in Florida. In short, whether a have the money to settle or not right now, it can get more costly the longer you avoid American Express.