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Knowing when a debt collector goes too far

If you woke up this morning with a tension headache or a knot in your stomach because of your financial situation, it is probably not the first time. In fact, you know things have gotten bad if you start your day by planning how to avoid your creditors. Knowing that at a certain time of day the phone calls will start certainly doesn't make it easy to greet the day with any positivity.

Debtors' prisons no longer exist but bankruptcy remains an option

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.

A quick fix may not be best route for addressing debt

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.

Wait on that decision to consolidate

Debt consolidation seems like a pretty great thing when you are struggling to meet your financial obligations. Who wouldn't want to combine everything into one low monthly payment? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but is it? California residents who are considering this option should probably wait on their decision to consolidate until they learn more about it.

Can they really take my stuff?: How repossession works

Financial troubles can lead to various complications, including leaving a person unable to meet his or her financial obligations. When bills go unpaid, creditors start calling, notices of foreclosure start arriving in the mail and threats of repossession may begin. The thought of losing personal property is not only overwhelming, it is embarrassing and a threat to your way of life.

Getting free from the credit card trap

Do you remember the first time a credit card company accepted your application? Maybe you were fresh out of high school or had just landed your first full-time job. It may have been exhilarating to go shopping with that new plastic in your wallet, like a kid in a candy store. Maybe you are a little embarrassed at the things you bought then, but the credit card gave you a sense of freedom.

Was your paycheck less than you expected due to a garnishment?

Like many others here in California, you may struggle with your finances. You feel as though no matter how hard you work or how many corners of your budget you cut, you just can't get ahead. Then you get your paycheck and realize that it's not what you expected.

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