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I’m Being Sued for My Debt But Can’t Afford a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payment. – Emily

“Dear Steve,

All of our bad decisions are coming to a head. I am 8 months past on 30,000 in debt. One of the five creditors is sueing me. I would file chapter 13 but because my husband makes over the mean for our state I can not afford 633 a month in trustee payments. I have nothing to offer for a settlement. What do I do? If this law suit goes before a judge what can they take from me, I have no assets, no job and I am not a bad person.


Dear Emily,

If the cards are in your name only then you can be sued, have a judgment issued against you and the judgment will sit and earn interest until you pay it. If you own any asset now or in the future, the judgment might wind up as a lien on that property. For specific ramifications you would need to speak to a licensed attorney in your state.

I’m confused, are you saying that you and your husband would not be able to afford $633 to repay towards your debt? It sounds like you are saying that you alone would not be able to afford the Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment on your income alone. Does your husband not want to help you to resolve this financial problem and avoid being sued?

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.


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.


  • We have been trying to lower our debt for a while now and have already cut down as far as we know how. The chapter 13 payments that a lawyer I spoke with told me about is about $400 more a month than we have. That is with only paying our bills, utilities, insurance, gas and food. That is what my problem is. I can’t figure out how to afford the payments. I don’t want to file a bankrupcy I wouln’t be able to pay.

  • Steve,
    Thanks for answering. I hope this clarifies, all the past due debt is in my name only. I do not have a personal income. Our household income (over the mean)covers our living expenses and enough to pay for what we need in cash. If we have $50 left over by time the next pay check roles around we are doing good, but we are not using credit at all anymore. I want to pay my debt but I do not have any cash, property or valuables to sell and no “rich uncle”. As a family we can not afford a settlement or chapter 13. I hope to be working in the next year but by that point the interest will have almost doubled the original balance and I wouln’t know were to begin. I know, a very bad situation! Any advise?

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