Topic Wiki

1)   What is a Financial Review?
In short - American Express occasionally freezes the credit card accounts of individuals with high-risk patterns, or for new account holders.
They request a lot of personal information, such as IRS tax returns, bank statements, letters from Banks ectÖ

Letís break it down into 2 different types of Financial Reviews
A)   Mini Financial Review
B)   Financial Review

A)   Mini Financial Review

(please fill in info) This form of financial review, is usually a short process, it could be as short as one phone call. American Express might feel a need to verify your finances for whatever reason, and they could call you to verify information. Your accounts could be suspended from using until you get in touch with them, typically they will restore your accounts after a simple phone call.

B)   Financial Review
This type of Financial Review is very common. It often happens when opening a new account for the first time, usually if you are opening a Charge Card, or a Business Card or if on a new account you start off will a lot of high spending.
American Express will suspend your account/s, they will not remove the suspension until the review is over, which takes around 2 weeks.

If you cannot provide the required information, shut down your account right away.

2)   Triggers

Look below for a list of triggers and links.
 
3)   What will happen?
Your accounts will get suspended. You will be able to log in online, and see account activity, but you will get a message that charging is suspended.

They will contact you via phone and email. Once you get in touch with them, (typically) you will be assigned a specific representative to work on your case.

The will require mainly IRS Tax returns. The point of a Financial Review is to verify your income. They may also require Back statements, a letter from a Bank to verify your address, and other documents. People have reported that they did survive a Financial Review with just bank statements.

As long as you could provide the documents they request you will be fine, they might lower your credit lines, but you should be able keep your account open. Even as low as a $6000 tax return people have been able to survive a Financial Review.

In cases of a Financial Review after opening a Business Card, you will need proof of Business income.

If you cannot provide the required information, shut down your account right away.

As long as you could provide the documents they request you will be fine, they might lower your credit lines, but you should be able keep your account open. Even as low as a $6000 tax return people have been able to survive a Financial Review.

4)   What Steps Should I take?

Get in touch with Amex as soon as you could. Send in the request inform promptly. You will have a rep that will be working with you, and telling you what documents are needed. 4506-t is a transcript request from the IRS for you last tax return. You will need to fill out this form, fax it to Amex, it will take them 24-48 hours until they receive this form, they will request the tax return from the IRS that could take about a week.

Important: you only have 2 attempts to send them the fax, if they reject it after 2 attempts you will get shut down. You don't get more than 2 attempts. (source)
You may be able to get 3 attempts if you ask for a manager.

You need to be on top of it, if you donít follow thru, they could shut your accounts down.


5)   What to do if American Express closed your accounts?

Once American Express closes your accounts, the only way to get back on is if you have the required information needed to pass a Financial Review. They will require you to request a 4506 form from the IRS (which will cost you $57) before they even approve any of your future applications.


To start you may want to read up here:

F/R triggers:
[/color]


Credit line of $25k or more
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=1438.msg10906#msg10906

Family member receiving FR can cause other family members to get Fr'ed as well
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=6223.msg74003#msg74003 http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg24759#msg24759

Living at same address as someone who was FR'ed
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg77046#msg77046

Using majority of CL
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=7526.msg87716#msg87716

Large cash advance
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=5908.msg82906#msg82906

Nothing...
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=2723.msg30062#msg30062

Changing name on business card
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3589.msg38101#msg38101

Mint purchases
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=146.msg22932#msg22932

Amex Gift Card Purchases
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=2422.msg26670#msg26670
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg40106#msg40106

Unusual spending
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg7627#msg7627
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3710.msg39597#msg39597

Amazon payments (possibly)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3657.msg88656#msg88656
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3524.msg42436#msg42436

Using close to reported income
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/2537

Logging in online too much (!)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg13741#msg13741

Prepaying
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=1712.msg13732#msg13732
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3710.msg39725#msg39725

Adding Cardholders (many?)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg49318#msg49318

Refunds exceeding total payments made on the card since it was opened
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=8.msg845606#msg845606
[/font]
Though not exactly F/R, it's worth mentioning that Amex takes returned payments very seriously.
They often shut all accounts without going through the F/R process.

Author Topic: Amex F/R Master Thread  (Read 980792 times)

Offline candona

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #780 on: December 22, 2011, 08:03:29 PM »
i had a fr on my wife and i (seperate representatives) i made up some story for my wife that didnt pass the smell test   so for me i said my i am a student and my parents support me they had me send my bank statements and let me go then i called back for my wife with the same story and they said  they only take the first story and her cards were closed

Offline AsherO

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #781 on: December 22, 2011, 08:10:10 PM »
i had a fr on my wife and i (seperate representatives) i made up some story for my wife that didnt pass the smell test   so for me i said my i am a student and my parents support me they had me send my bank statements and let me go then i called back for my wife with the same story and they said  they only take the first story and her cards were closed

I guess there's a benefit to being reviewed separately when both spouses are F/R'd at the same time:

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #782 on: December 22, 2011, 08:21:28 PM »
I guess there's a benefit to being reviewed separately when both spouses are F/R'd at the same time:
+1.
 Although Dans Fan didn't agree, we still have no explanation from him.
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Offline HelpMe

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #783 on: December 22, 2011, 08:25:18 PM »
There is always the nuclear option. Close all your accounts. Wait 6 to 8 months then apply again. I am only aware of one member that tried this and it did work.
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Offline elikay

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #784 on: December 22, 2011, 08:31:55 PM »
There is always the nuclear option. Close all your accounts. Wait 6 to 8 months then apply again. I am only aware of one member that tried this and it did work.
Well in AsherO's case I'm assuming that if he closes all the accounts and then only reapplies for personal in the future; even if the FR is still there he could prove personal income.

Offline HelpMe

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #785 on: December 22, 2011, 08:39:25 PM »
Well in AsherO's case I'm assuming that if he closes all the accounts and then only reapplies for personal in the future; even if the FR is still there he could prove personal income.
The thinking for the nuclear option is not to have Amex close your accounts and risk being blacklisted for a certain amount of time.
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Offline AsherO

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #786 on: December 22, 2011, 08:46:19 PM »
There is always the nuclear option. Close all your accounts. Wait 6 to 8 months then apply again. I am only aware of one member that tried this and it did work.

It's not an option I'm considering at the moment, I want to exhaust my other avenues first. I had an understanding with the F/R rep that if they're shutting me down she'll give me a heads up so I can close the accounts.

Well in AsherO's case I'm assuming that if he closes all the accounts and then only reapplies for personal in the future; even if the FR is still there he could prove personal income.

I guess so, but I like my business accounts...
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Offline Dan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #787 on: December 22, 2011, 08:55:52 PM »
So, I'm under F/R and my reviewer is on vacation, so I called and picked the brain of another F/R rep who told me as follows:

Amex has my personal tax info (2010), but there's no schedule C for my business. If they cannot verify my business they'll sever the entire relationship (meaning both my consumer and business cards). She did ask if the business was new, saying that that might explain why there's no income listed. I don't have a schedule C in 2010, but I do have one in 2009 with very little business income. The way I see things, my options are as follows:

1. Tell them to pull my 2009 and see a schedule C was filed, but with low income (but I have no way to explain why there's no schedule C for 2010... I could try saying it's an error, but they won't buy that, will they?)

2. Tell them it's a business that only recently became mine, though I'll have a hard time proving that if they ask (the LLC has been in my name since it was formed in '07/08).

3. Try to get by with sending them paypal records showing some ~$20k income.

4. Close my business accounts and plead with them to let me keep my personal accounts.

Or some combination of the above? What do y'all think? Are there any other options I should consider?

Thanks for your advice.
What do you think would happen if you filed an amended 2010 schedule C showing no profits?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline AsherO

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #788 on: December 22, 2011, 08:59:07 PM »
What do you think would happen if you filed an amended 2010 schedule C showing no profits?

Hmmm, isn't that an audit risk, especially if I'm going to show decent ($10k+) income and an equal amount in expenses?
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Offline elikay

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #789 on: December 22, 2011, 09:00:37 PM »
What do you think would happen if you filed an amended 2010 schedule C showing no profits?
I'm assuming that he would have the same option for 2011, but he doesn't want to do no profit as then he would need to justify using the card by claimign expenses matching business income.
I see AsherO already posted :)

Offline Dan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #790 on: December 22, 2011, 09:05:26 PM »
Hmmm, isn't that an audit risk, especially if I'm going to show decent ($10k+) income and an equal amount in expenses?
Talk to a tax person I guess.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline AsherO

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #791 on: December 22, 2011, 09:05:41 PM »
I'm assuming that he would have the same option for 2011, but he doesn't want to do no profit as then he would need to justify using the card by claimign expenses matching business income.

Exactly.

I'm in a bit of a pickle, how would you proceed?
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Offline Blazer

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #792 on: December 22, 2011, 09:57:19 PM »
Hmmm, isn't that an audit risk, especially if I'm going to show decent ($10k+) income and an equal amount in expenses?
Talk to a tax person I guess.
I don't think if you file a first year Sch C 9for that matter even a 2nd year Sch c with no net income (Income=Expenses) will trigger an audit, It's common for people not to make any income the first few years of the business, but if you go like this for a few years your going to have a problem, the only problem, if on the 1% chance you do get an audit you are a little stuck.

Offline elikay

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #793 on: December 23, 2011, 01:11:07 AM »
Exactly.

I'm in a bit of a pickle, how would you proceed?

Is there any way to claim that your super creative accountant has worked this out for you. That you don't need to file a schedule C, as you are somehow carrying the expenses forward blah blah (just make it sound like this makes total sense)?

Offline AsherO

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #794 on: December 23, 2011, 01:12:26 AM »
Is there any way to claim that your super creative accountant has worked this out for you. That you don't need to file a schedule C, as you are somehow carrying the expenses forward blah blah (just make it sound like this makes total sense)?

I can try. I wonder if claiming it's a new business will sound more plausible, or maybe both arguments together with some business income via paypal...
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