Keith Herie is swamped in debt from medical issues he and his wife encountered starting about a decade ago. Heartland hospital is seizing 10 percent of his paycheck and 25 percent of his wife's wages, and has placed a lien on their home. Steve Hebert for ProPublica hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Hebert for ProPublica

A wall in Buenos Aires, Argentina, displays posters with an image of U.S. Judge Thomas Griesa and a message in Spanish — "Sovereignty or vulture scam" — in support of Argentina's government in its dispute against a U.S. hedge fund, known locally as a "vulture fund." Natacha Pisarenko/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Noelle Johnson has a lengthy commute via bus and train to her job near Washington, D.C. She's been working toward her B.A. for nine years, and when she finally finishes, she says, she'll be able to afford to live closer to work. James Clark/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption James Clark/NPR

After two kids and her husband's bouts with cancer, Claire Shrout's family was wracked with debt. Instead of declaring bankruptcy, they worked themselves out of it and hope to be relatively debt free by spring. Courtesy of Claire Shrout hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Claire Shrout