Don't let creditors win a default judgment against you

We've warned you about this before: If you rack up big credit card debts, it's perfectly legal for those credit card companies -- or the debt collection firms they sell the debts to after they've been written off -- to sue you to try and reclaim what you owe them. What happens then is unsettling: You can have your wages or even your bank account garnished (government benefits and accounts that contain only those funds are exempt).

And the number of Americans who've found creditors dipping into their paychecks is on the rise, according to this article from The New York Times. This makes it even harder for Americans who are already struggling to get or stay current on their bills to stay on track.