Use your money to pay for your family’s needs first. Food, clothing, shelter, and utilities are the most important bills. A debt collector can only take your income or things if there is a court order. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created a tool kit to help you decide which bills to pay first.
You may have already told a creditor they can take your stuff if you do not pay-- like with a car loan or a mortgage. If your debt is a credit card, a debt collector must get a court order to take anything that is yours. And the debt collector cannot take things that are “protected.”