Credit card debt

We attemtped to pay our debt through a debt management company for a year and saw little results. Meanwhile, being self emplyed tax liab. skyrocketed. we are paying the irs monthly and are aware they can take property. we have recieved a court notice from a credit care co…can credit card companies legally take our home or other personal property or do they file liens in case of sale of property. We do not want to file bankruptcy.

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A credit card company or other consumer debt is almost always "unsecured," meaning there is no collateral.  A car loan or a home mortgage is "secured."  Someone who holds an unsecured debt you owe can't simply take property, like a car being repossessed or a mortgage foreclosure.  They would first have to sue you on the debt (which the one company seems to have done, from your question), go to trial (or default, if you don't answer) and get a judgment against you.  The judgment becomes a lien against all your property.

A judgment like that can be used to take your property, but it would usually have to start with personal property (not real estate) first.  For the details on how this could affect you, based on all of the facts of your case -- and including, very importantly, your IRS issues -- you need to talk to an attorney in your area, because the law and procedure is not identical from one state to the next.  One place you can find a lawyer is our website,

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