If you're falling behind on your debts, beware: You don't want to end up one of the millions of Americans who get their pay garnished.
To avoid being hit, call your creditor or the firm collecting the debt and try to negotiate a payment plan, said Robert Hobbs, senior fellow at the National Consumer Law Center.
Explain the details of your financial situation and propose an amount that you can realistically pay each month.
If that doesn't work and the creditor decides it wants to seize your wages, it generally needs to get a court order first. That means you have the right to appeal.
Look at the judgment and make sure everything is correct.