The best thing to do is consult a consumer attorney before you start falling behind on credit card and other bill payments.
The next best thing is to consult a consumer attorney as soon as you start falling behind on your bills.
Almost the worst thing you can do is wait until after the card company has filed a lawsuit against you to consult a consumer attorney.
THE WORST thing you can do is not consult a consumer attorney when you're being sued on a debt and letting the other side win by default. Every day, creditors and debt collectors file countless lawsuits that have absolutely zero merit. That is because, every day, collection agencies and creditors sell mountains of bad debts to each other in a massive shell game of "Whack-a-Mole," with each one gambling a few pennies for the chance to try and squeeze dollars out of you on debts that the prior collectors could not collect. What this means to you is that you might get sued on a debt you never owed, a debt owed by someone else entirely, a debt that is time-barred, a debt that you discharged in a bankruptcy, a debt that they cannot prove to exist, or even a debt that a court already voided before!