Harry Gross: Business venture with family led to huge credit-card bill

Posted: August 15, 2012

DEAR HARRY: Seven years ago, I started a business with my niece and two nephews. Things did not go well. I was the only one with good credit, so I opened a business credit card with American Express in my name. It was used for cash advances and other expenses. My nephews left some time ago. Then, I became ill and am no longer working in the business. In the last year, the company has flourished and is now successful. Am I still a partner entitled to some profit? I tried to get out of the $15,000 debt with AmEx, but they said no way. How can I fix this?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Your biggest mistake was not having the advice and counsel of a lawyer from day one. Get one now! As to your American Express card: Contact them by phone and mail to tell them you want the card canceled for all future charges. Since this is so important, send that letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested. Unfortunately, you are still personally liable for the balance due unless you and your lawyer can get your niece to pay the debt. Good luck.


Email Harry Gross at harrygross@phillynews.com or write to him at Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, Box 8263 Philadelphia, PA 19101. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

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