Creditors have a right to be paid. But debt collectors have to follow the rules in seeking payment. There are a number of illegal debt collection practices, and debtors have a right to object—or file a complaint—if collections agencies try to use them.
Among the banned debt collection practices are following:
Many things that a debt collector can do can only be done with a court order—which means after taking the debtor to court and winning. For example, a debt collector or creditor can't simply take part of your salary or income—that's illegal debt wage garnishment and an illegal debt collection tactic. (Legal wage garnishment requires that court order, and is subject to various limits anyway.) Similarly, they can't automatically put a lien on your home or take your car.
Any course of illegal debt collection dealing with debtors that violates the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act or involves fraud, intimidation, threats, deception, etc. is an illegal debt collections practice. It's not allowed, so don't be intimidated if you're contacted by collections—you have rights.
An experience debt collection lawyer can help you protect and assert those rights. An attorney can also help you negotiate with creditors and their collections agencies. If you owe enough that it's worthwhile for someone to aggressively pursue you, you owe enough to make hiring a lawyer worthwhile.