You seem to need a hug, as much as you need an answer to a question. So...
That done, bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. Donald Trump did it, and he's a billionaire. Bankruptcy is part of the U.S. Constitution. It's not just permitted -- it's a constitutional right, and it is intended to prevent the establishment of debtor's prisons in the USA -- because the Founders did not want to continue the abhorent practices of their European predecessors.
You have huge debt, and from what you have described, you can get out from under it all, and start a new life with the stroke of a pen.
Life is way too short. What are you waiting for?
Hope this helps.
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A canned answer?
I regret that you feel that what, but the answer was the farthest thing from a canned answer. Ordinarily, I wouldn't go into the emotional content of a question, but your question seemed to beg for it. Apparently I misread your request -- though you really didn't ask a specific question -- you just wanted "thoughts."
That said, there is no better option for you, or for anyone else, than bankruptcy. Every other debt settlement system, in my view, is a scam, because it does not have the power of the court to force lenders to comply.
Short sales, are also a scam, though no real estate agent will ever tell you this. The reason is that the short sale guarantees that the lender can get a deficiency judgment and attempt to collect any unpaid loan balance -- whereas in many state jurisdictions, a foreclosure wipes out the debt and any income tax liability for that debt, as well.
Most homeowners would be far better to tell the bank that they want to try to qualify for a modification, stall foreclosure for as long as possible, save their mortgage payments and then move out and file bankruptcy. The banks have no qualms in doing the reverse, i.e., claiming that they will give the borrower a modification, when in fact it's just a trick to get the borrower to keep paying the mortgage and maintaining the property, until suddenly, the bank forecloses without any warning.
Debt settlement businesses generally charge maintenance fees that far exceed the legal fees for a consumer bankruptcy -- and once again, there is no certainty in outcome, because the creditor can back out of the deal, and the debt settlement company can go bankrupt.
Your income may preclude you from filing Chapter 7 (liquidation), and you may have to file Chapter 13, which means making payments for 5 years on your debt, through the bankruptcy court. But, it's still the cheapest way out of your circumstances. If you want to see whether you qualify for a Chapter 7, you can take the "means test," at this link. There is no other way to know for certain whether or not you qualify.
Note: unlike anyone else you may talk to, I have no vested interest in providing anything other than the unvarnished facts. I'm not selling anything here except the truth -- because that's all I have that's worth anything.
Thank you. That does help. I failed to mention that I've already done a loan modification back in Nov. 2009 but then with reduced child support income and the high interest rates on my cards, before I was able to get a few to lower their interest rates, I've still not been able to meet bills although I'm not in the rears on any but taxes at this point. Why not just a foreclosure?
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