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Laws that protect the people are few
Bankruptcy comes to mind.  Just keep in mind that there are a few exceptions to that rule.

  • Child Support
  • Federal Income Taxes Owed
  • Student Loan Debt
The items listed above can not be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

No Debtors Prison is a good protection.  You can not be imprisoned in the USA because of debt, alone.  Many nations have no such law.  In the USA, there are laws that cause the person who declares bankruptcy, some economic pain and hardship.  Some are fair.  Some have unintended consequences.  In the case of Child Support and Taxes, the state can garnish any wages you may earn, up to 50% of the gross pay in some states.
Jerry Spurbeck says, "A good fact can overcome fear most days."

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