They have to sue you and win in order to garnish or seize your money
However, there MIGHT be a clause in your credit card or checking account agreement authorizing them to take the money if it’s in their bank. I heard of this once on some radio show so I don’t have any firsthand knowledge, but just be careful and maybe read all of the fine print in those agreements. Unless you have agreed to the contrary, they must sue you to prove that you owe them money…thank God this is the United States of America…where they have to prove you’re guilty before they can take your money.
One thing to consider regarding your other post; credit card companies almost never sue for the balance owed. They threaten like hungry wolves but bite like teething chihuahuas. They know it’s a cost of doing business and we all know they aren’t starving. Listen to all the stories from people who’ve had credit card companies charge off thousands of dollars in debts. Now, I would caution that if the debt is over $5k they *might* actually go through the trouble of suing you, but it will be *at least* a year before they actually start anything. For the first year all of those “collection agencies” and “lawyers offices” are actually companies inside of the credit card company themselves. They won’t sell your debt or hire someone to collect it until well after the first year of non-payment.
They are very good at the game…you need to be strong and smart in order to win.
BTW, thanks for the compliments, but the real reward is “hearing” the difference in your emails when you don’t “sound” so defeated. Make sure you and hubby forget about the debt for one evening a month and have a Date-Night. The only way to come through all of this with your sanity and marriage intact is to be united with your spouse against the debt. That means investing in your relationship even more in the tough times.
Have a great day.