Hello, my name is Jim and I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.
It sounds like they have sued for the full amount owed. The county court judgment (CCJ) will be on your credit record for the next 6 years unless you apply to the court to set it aside.
I would recommend you apply if you have reason to set it aside, i.e. the claimant/Amex was wrong to sue for the full amount if they accepted a monthly sum already.
To set aside the CCJ you need the N244 form and a witness statement with a draft order. I attach copies of those which you can tailor to your specific case. With the witness statement, if you want to refer to any evidence such as email correspondence, letters and so on, you can do that and attach them to the statement.
You will need 3 copies of the bundle (N244, statement, draft order) and a covering letter to the court with a fee of £255 payable to HMCTS. If you are on low income or have low savings (or in receipt of benefits) you can ask the court for a fee exemption - so instead of sending payment you enclose a completed form EX160 (copy attached).
You can specify a telephone hearing and you ask the judge for an order that the CCJ is set aside. Assuming they agree to that, it comes off the credit record and you will be allowed to either defend the claim if the debt is disputed or alternatively pay what you owe and there would be no mark on the credit record.
If you have not received any court details (you need the claim number for the purpose of the N244) then you can check the CCJ details at http://www.trustonline.org.uk )
If you want to do the application and send me a copy to check, I would be happy to do that. Bear in mind the court expects these applications to be made promptly. If you want an advocate to do the hearing for you, you can use http://www.lpc-law.co.uk who would charge around £250-£350 and the fee is recoverable from the claimant if your application succeeds.
I would go with the advocate as if your application succeeds (and I think it will) then their fee is recoverable from the other side - in addition to the £255 application fee.
I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (the top right of your screen & then click “submit”), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.