I just got a notice of civil action regarding some $2800 in unsecured credit card debt. I think it dates back to '99-'00 or maybe '01.

There has never been money to pay this debt or about 4 others totaling >$10k because of illness, unemployment, and student status. I thought about filing bankruptcy, but never did because of lack of funds, changes in the law, and poor records.

Anyway, I just got a job that, in time, will let me get rid of my 13 year old car and maybe even get out of my small apartment. The re are sizeable student loan repayments and ongoing medical costs, so it will take a while.

Today, I got this notice. How likely is it that a judgement would be entered a against me? What happens if I can pay the judgement (at least not right away)? Can they attach my paycheck? I need to pay rent and pay for prescriptions. And pay the student loans.

Is bankruptcy still an option? I mean, I am getting a paycheck now and hope to clear essentials by at least a few hundred. But I sure could use that money to get re-established. I'm almost 50 and spent all my retirement accounts to go back to school.

Do I need to speak to a lawyer?

Thanks