STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF BROWARD
Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority in and for the jurisdiction aforesaid, John M. Cockerham, President of ALL PRO ELECTRIC SERVICES, INC. (ALL PRO), who by me first duly sworn, stated on oath as follows:
I, John M. Cockerham, am the President of All Pro Electric Services, Inc. and make this Affidavit from my personal knowledge.
In my capacity as President of ALL PRO, I was responsible for setting up three ALL PRO credit card business accounts with American Express in the name of All Pro Electric Services, Inc. and in my name, John M. Cockerham.
I possessed the experience of having been the CEO of an international business with over 350 employees, 12 locations and with banking relationships in Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio and Georgia. These banking relationships encompassed various credit agreements (i.e. checking, credit lines, “lock-box” receivables financing, construction and equipment financing, and property mortgages). As such, I was well qualified to discuss with American Express representatives a business banking arrangement and understand what we discussed… that ALL PRO would use of three separate accounts, and when taken together, provided the company with an “unlimited, unsecured credit line”. Two of the accounts with substantial credit limits (estimated between $30,000 - $50,000 each) were to be used principally for managing cash flow for material and daily operational requirements. In discussing the credit cards “perks” with an American Express banking representatives it was suggested that I should have two operational accounts… one for hotel benefits and the other for airline travel points—the third account with “unlimited credit” was to be used principally for large material purchases. Before accepting the offer of unlimited credit from American Express, I contacted American Express concerning one singular issue. I wanted their assurance that the three credit card accounts were independent in the sense that if there was “any type” of problem to arise on one account, that it would not affect the other accounts… specifically, whereby all of my credit could not suddenly be interrupted and possibly bankrupt the business. The American Express representative gave me assurance that this could not happen and that each account would stand on its own merits and as long as I paid the accounts timely my credit would continue to grow. I recall wondering as to how it could grow with one of the cards already being “unlimited credit”. I discussed the matter with my daughter, Stacy Kinney-- principle owner of All Pro Electric and with a long history of using American Express for her other businesses. We concluded that with the three American Express accounts we would have a stable, dependable credit source… sufficiently so, that we would have access to immediate resources necessary to grow the business quickly to meet the growing market demand in South Florida at that time.
American Express was anxious to do business and I do not recall ever signing any contractual agreement… the cards were simply sent in the mail, ready for use. For approximately eighteen months our practice and pattern was exactly as the American Express representatives had promised—we faithfully paid on time (and usually the full amount on each card) and our credit and perks from American Express remained stable and faithful to our understanding.
Nevertheless, one day I received a call from our electricians that they could not buy any gas with the credit cards. Without any notice or reason American Express had cut off all of our credit on all three cards. The results were devastating… the company was not able pay the employees; all employees were laid off; we could not pay for materials nor finish the jobs we were working nor bid new jobs. I personally defaulted on two home mortgages; lost personal credit standing; lost the use of other personal credit cards; had multiple credit reductions from approximately $15,000+ to $500; lost my retirement (never to retire); suffered financial embarrassment and the humiliation of having to accept charity from friends and relatives; months of near sleepless nights; stress rashes, ear peeling and other health problems.
All these things are true. American Express cut off of our company’s credit without warning or any regard to the damages and to this day American Express refuses to disclose who and why they took such a severe adverse action that knowingly would cause the greatest possible harm to ALL PRO and me personally.
Subsequently, the interest rate on the outstanding balances was raised from 0 to 27%.
This the 28th day of July, 2014,
(Original Signed)____ John M.Cockerham
Sworn to and subscribed before me this the 28th day of July, 2014
My Commission Expires: