I am a US military member who had a significant reduction in pay about 5 years ago (lost a bonus). At the same time my wife lost her job because of a transfer. I tried to get out of the military, but my resignation was denied. My wife could not find work at our new duty station, and we lived apart for two years where she could find work. We have a house that is worth half of its mortgage that we had to support, that we also could not rent
for the mortgage, and we were forced to support three households. Because of my clearance I floated the difference on my credit card, which gradually inflated. Then we were transferred again. Before this, I spoke to a real estate agent who advised a short sale, and to stop paying on the mortgage to facilitate this. This freed up money and we started to pay down bills.
We had an offer on the house, and we thought we were out of the water, but it fell through after 10 months of negotiations. My wife has not found another job, we transferred again, and things are difficult. I can start paying down my debt without the house, but it is still out there. I still pay electricity, water, taxes and HOA dues, just not my mortgage, and it has been a year and a half since I stopped paying it (on the advice of a real estate attorney and the realtor). My credit is now damaged, and I just want to recover, but nothing is happening on the house, and to their credit, the mortgage companies (two mortgages) do not want to foreclose on a service member. But I feel like I am stuck, I cannot recover until the house is gone, and it is hanging around my neck like an albatross. Should I just declare bankruptcy?