Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow you to discharge your unsecured debts (Iike credit cards), which should free up a lot of your monthly cash flow.
Also, student loans are difficult, but not impossible, to discharge in bankruptcy.
To do so, you must show that payment of the debt "will impose an undue hardship on you and your dependents."
Courts use different tests to evaluate whether a particular borrower has shown an undue hardship. A common test is the Brunner test which requires a showing that 1) the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a "minimal" standard of living for the debtor and the debtor's dependents if forced to repay the student loans; 2) additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and 3) the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans.
It is generally hard to get a complete discharge, but you may be able to reduce the debt somewhat and only repay a portion of the student loan debt.
The only problem with the student loans is if your mother signed along with you.
Even if you get a discharge of the debt, your mother would still be responsible for the entire balance of the loans, so you would have to deal with her issues as well. Your mother would likely have to also file bankruptcy and seek a similar discharge of the debt based on a hardship claim as well.
Bankruptcy will be helpful to get rid of your unsecured debts (like credit cards and other debts that don't have collateral attached) and secured debts (debts secured by collateral - like a mortgage loan, car loan, etc.) that you choose not to keep (reaffirm).
Freeing yoursel of these debts should allow you to be able to better manage your finances with your income.