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This is my first post. I'm seeking advice around debt and bankruptcy. I've gotten into a situation where the money I make can no longer pay all of my bills. I've been trying to find a second job but having a difficult time. Has anyone been in my position and if so, when do you know if you should go bankrupt? Is there a free organization out there that can help me figure out what to do?


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In my case, I ended up getting sick and couldn't work so I had no choice but to declare bankruptcy. I'm in Canada and I found an insolvency trustee through a relative. She contacted all my creditors for me. I had to attend two counselling sessions and pay her $185/month for a year. My file was finally discharged afterward and all my debts have been erased. It feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

My cousin was in the same situation as you but she opted to work out a payment plan with her trustee where she has to pay hundreds of dollars a month for the next several years in order to pay back all her creditors. She had to cut up all her credit cards and was forced to live on cash/debit card. She's constantly short on cash and often has to borrow money from other family members.

Last edited by HC

Agree with finding a non-profit debt counseling service. It will ding your credit to be on a payment plan but your credit is already suffering probably.

Have you tried negotiating payment plans with your creditors yourself?

Also, I did have to file for bankruptcy back in 2009 and the one thing my attorney told me was "Do not use your 401k to pay off debt".  If you have a 401k, that money is excluded from being seized by creditors, and it's so important to save for retirement. Unfortunately by the time I reached the lawyer/bankruptcy stage, I had already drained all my retirement accounts trying to stay afloat.

Have a look at the Bankruptcy section on, Massachusett's public civil legal information website, for some clear explanations about bankruptcy and help with deciding if it's the right thing for you.

There is a step by step guide to filing on your own which is helpful even if you are able to work with a lawyer.

Try the lawhelp website for your state - legal aid programs in many states help people with bankruptcy.  It is a lot of work and paper gathering but it can give you a fresh start.

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