You've probably read a novel or two set in the 1800s (perhaps Dickens?) where one or more characters were tossed into debtors' prisons for being unable to satisfy their debts. Such fiction stories are typically full of tragic circumstances, such as families living in cold, dark and damp dwellings while their breadwinner husbands and fathers spend months or years behind bars simply because they couldn't earn enough income to make ends meet. Thankfully, such tales of old are far from today's reality although certain aspects may remain.
You may have always considered yourself someone who took proactive approaches when it came to handling your finances. You may have saved, budgeted and taken other actions that would help keep you on track with expenses. However, unexpected situations can hit anyone, and you may now find yourself with considerable debt due to medical expenses, job loss or any number of other significant life changes.