Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Unemployed

Can My Creditors Take My Unemployment? – Esther

“Dear Steve,

I have approximately 10,000 in credit card debt. I lost my job several months ago,when my employer had his own financial issues. I had been paying off my debts at double the minimums or more prior to that time. Now if I pay even the minimums on my cards, I can’t pay for the bare necessities.

I need to know if the creditors can take my pension funds and/ormy unemployment. My pension plan is through PERS. Also, can they access my checking account. How can I stop or delay any of theese actions?


Dear Esther,

Creditors can’t attach your unemployment benefits or seize funds in a qualified pension or retirement plan, but that will not stop them from suing you.

If you see no job prospect on the horizon you need to stop paying those cards. Without any confidence you will be able to continue payments all you are doing at this point is throwing money away you need to live on.

Typically what people do in similar situations is spend down their savings, spend all of their unemployment check and once everything is drained, they get sued anyway. That’s not the smart way to deal with these situations.

If you don’t have a job lined up and you want to avoid being sued, click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to them about seeking protection under bankruptcy.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

1 Comment

  • Thanks Steve, I appreciate your answer. Unfortunately, I have no way to pay for an attorney. If I am sued,I suppose that I will have to deal with it,however,my job prospects are not good, I only have unemployment,a457 retirement-not large and my Pers retirement. With 2 grandchildren to support, I am just making ends meet while not paying my credit cards. Sincerely, Esther

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