Thank you for your question. The law firm is representing your credit card company. As their attorney, the firm has the ability to file a lawsuit against you to seek the judgment for the unpaid debt.
If they file the lawsuit, you will be served with a copy of it and will have the opportunity to file an Answer, which is a response. You would at this point deny their allegations to make them prove the debt at court. The law firm has to have all the proof that you owe the debt. Also, they have to show that the debt is within the statute of limitations
. In Oregon the statute of limitation is 6 years. This means if you haven't made a payment in 6 years, then you don't owe the debt any more. However, if your last payment was within six years of when they file the lawsuit, the statute of limitations does not help.
Can they put a lien on your person property?
If they get a judgment then yes.
Enforcement of a money judgment may by way of a writ of execution
(ORS 23.030) or a writ of garnishment
(ORS 29.135). Execution may be against the property of the judgment debtor
or for the delivery of the possession
of real or personal property. (ORS 23.040.) All non-exempt property, including franchises, or rights or interest therein, of the judgment debtor, is subject to execution. (ORS 23.160.) Garnishment of wages is permissible but the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek that is subjected to garnishment may not exceed 25% of the individual's disposable earnings for that week; or the amount by which the individual's disposable earnings for that week exceed $170. (ORS 23.185.)
In general, a debtor may claim exemption
of his homestead and certain personal property from attachment or execution or forced sale for the payment of debts.
A debtor is entitled to a homestead exemption up to an amount of $25,000 in value for an individual and a combined exemption of $33,000 if two or more members of a household are debtors whose interests in the homestead are subject to execution. The homestead must be the actual abode of and occupied by the owner or the owner's spouse, parent or child. (ORS 23.240.)
Personal property which are exempt from attachment or execution may include books, pictures and musical instruments to the value of $600; wearing apparel, jewelry and other personal items to the value of $1,800; tools, implements, apparatus, team, harness or library, necessary to enable the judgment debtor to carry on the trade, occupation or profession by which the judgment debtor habitually earns a living, to the value of $3,000; a vehicle to the value of $1,700; domestic animals and poultry kept for family use, to the total value of $1,000 and food sufficient to support such animals and poultry for 60 days; household goods, furniture, radios, a television set and utensils all to the total value of $3,000, if the judgment debtor holds the property primarily for the personal, family or household use of the judgment debtor; provisions actually provided for family use and necessary for the support of a householder and family for 60 days and also 60 days' supply of fuel; all professionally prescribed health aids for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; spousal support, child support, or separate maintenance to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor; the debtor's right to receive, or property that is traceable to an award under any crime victim reparation law, a payment or payments, not to exceed a total of $10,000, on account of personal bodily injury of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent; and a payment in compensation of loss of future earnings of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is or was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor; the debtor's interest, not to exceed $400 in value, in any personal property. However, this exemption may not be used to increase the amount of any other exemption. (ORS 23.160.)
Other exemptions may include qualified retirement or pension plans (ORS 23.170, ORS 23.185), vocational rehabilitation benefits (ORS 344.580), veteran benefits (ORS 407.595), welfare benefits (ORS 411.760) and workers' compensation benefits (ORS 656.234).
If you are able to make any sort of payments, or have enough money to settle the case, then you should contact the law firm and see if they will entertain a settlement of the debt, either as a lump sum at a reduced rate, or at payment plan of a reduced amount of the total currently owed.