Question Details:Credit card issuer is suing us for not paying. We owe $18,597.14 but just cannot afford to pay it anymore. My pay was reduced by 15%, and I am a reservist who may deploy soon. I feel very bad about this and very stressed out right now. We are trying and trying but cannot keep up. I might deploy soon and that will help but in the mean time I need to protect my family and my job. What should I do, what can I do? I told them I could make payments later but right now I am trying to keep our house and feed my family. I did not intentionally make this happen. Will they garnish my pay?
Wage garnishment is legal in CA (up to 10%), so this is an option the issuer has. Whether they will or won't is impossible to predict--it depends on their usual policy on these things, how much they think they can collect from you, etc.--but it is a risk.
If you can make any payments, even partial payments, you may be able to work out a payment schedule with the bank you can both live with.
Another option, if you are completely overwhelmed by your debts, is to declare bankruptcy, either a Chapter 7; or a Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy (which will restructure debts while letting you keep your home).
You could benefit from a detailed consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Many will provide a free or reduced price initial consultation.
You might also try contacting your commanding officer or your base and seeing if you can get a referral to any programs or resources, including legal help, that are available for reservists.