I Am Being Sued: Can Bankruptcy Help Me?

Woman checking papers

Question: I am getting sued by a debt collector. The lawsuit is for a credit card debt that I had forgotten about from several years ago. I don't remember getting any notification from the debt collector or the court that I was being sued in the past. But now I've been sued in Fulton County. They want over $10,000.00. I don't have that amount of money. I can't get the money for a long time.

The credit card debt is from when I lost my job and I had to use my credit cards for things like food, gas and rent. I don't want to pay the debt. They added a lot of interest, late fees and attorney's fees.

I need to know how to handle the lawsuit. I got served when a man came to our door when I was eating lunch and he knocked on the door. He gave me the lawsuit papers.

I live in Alpharetta with my wife and 3 kids. We own a business in Roswell on Highway 9.

Can I get rid of the lawsuit by filing bankruptcy? Can you make the lawsuit go away completely? I have never been sued before.

Answer: One of the reasons people file bankruptcy is because they have been sued. People fear that a creditor will get a judgment and then garnish their salary, levy bank accounts and place a lien on property.

The "good news" is that, yes, a lawsuit can be included in a bankruptcy. If a suit is included in the bankruptcy, that should end the lawsuit. Under the bankruptcy code, the creditor has to terminate the lawsuit. The debt that is owed is then handled either through a chapter 7 or a chapter 13.

A chapter 7 will fully discharge (eliminate) the debt; a chapter 13 will be a restructuring and the debt, or some portion of the debt, will be repaid over 5 years through a bankruptcy plan.

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