I agree with what the others said. The credit card companies will probably eventually sue the business for the debt if it remains unpaid. If you signed a personal gurantee then they could sue you too but yes credit card debt is unsecured and they can't "foreclose" on the business.
For bankruptcy advice on whether to file for the business, you personally, or both it would be best to contact an attorney to get legal advice once all the facts are known.
If te debt was properly listed in the bankruptcy then the creditor should have been noticed by the bankruptcy court that you were in bankruptcy. If the creditor did not object to this debt being discharged then it should have been discharged along with the other debts.
If this is true then the creditor is in violation of the bankruptcy laws by trying to collect on a discharged debt. Have an attorney send them a letter and then if they continue to call you can re-open the case and seek...
I agree that bankruptcy is a good option considering that this debt is greater $10,000. Bankruptcy would also get rid of your other dischargeable debts at the same time. Since you lost your job you should have no means test issues.
Judgment debtor hearings are very invasive and to be avoided in my opinion. I filed a bk for a client the night before his hearing and it stopped the hearing from going forward a gave him an eventual discharge of all of his debts.
At the hearing they will...
Bankruptcy is usually the best way to "erase" a debt if you qualify. When my clients can't or won't file bankruptcy then I do debt settlements for them. I agree that a big law firm will run up big fees. Have a bankruptcy attorney look at the debt and your financial situation to properly advise you on the best course to take. $16,000 is a lot of money to pay back.
I would call the Franchise tax board. I agree that it is unlikely that they took it but this way you could find out for sure. If they did not take it you might want to call the police because it might be stolen. It also might be impounded if you parked illegally. The police should know about that too so I would call them.
The place to start would be the Sheriff's office. See if you can get any paperwork from them to trace this current garnishment back to some court in San Diego. The debt may indeed be legitimate and it may not be.
$9500 is far greater than $2500 so that makes me wonder what is going on. The best thing is to have an attorney look into the situation to devise a strategy for you.
If it looks like the debt(s) is/are legitimate then bankruptcy is usually an option to consider to take care...
Assuming the debt is valid you could have an attorney try to settle the debt for you. If a bankruptcy attorney who represents you negotiates with the creditor then the creditor might realize that there is a chance that you could file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you did file and get a discharge then the creditor would probably receive nothing.
This sometimes helps to get creditors to agree to a settlement that would be more beneficial to you.
I agree with the others to get an attorney right away. It sounds like you personally guaranteed some debt(s) for the Corp. and though the Corp. is bankrupt, you are still on the hook for these debts.
If the creditors sue you personally then you will need to answer the suit and defend it and you will need an attorney to help you with that. Don't let them get a default judgment against you.
Of course if the debts are large enough to justify a personal bankruptcy then the bankruptcy...
I agree with the civil procedures discussed above but depending upon the size of this debt (and any other debts you may have) I always advise people to consider if bankruptcy could help. It will wipe away the debt without having to fight it any further and without having to pay to fight it any further.
If bankruptcy is not a good option then you could proceed with the civil procedure tactics outlined above. I would consult an attorney to help you decide which course is right for you.