If you have bad credit and you are considering bankruptcy, you may want to look into debt consolidation, debt settlement programs and credit counseling services. These may be viable options to consider.
Debt consolidation generally involves getting one loan and paying off your other debts with the proceeds. The benefit is rather than having a few payments too many, you end up with only one payment, which may make your finances more easily handled.
Often these types of loans are secured by collateral and many times people will use home equity for debt consolidation. However, right now there are many people underwater in their mortgages and actual equity in a home is scarce along with tightened lending standards.
Debt settlement companies try to negotiate with the lenders to reduce or eliminate balances. Many times they will counsel a borrower to stop making payments for a time. This is credit report and credit score suicide, however, if you are behind anyway and you are able to negotiate a smaller settlement, you are still probably better off, but you will end up needing to repair and improve your credit afterwards.
Credit counseling can help you to organize and structure your debt into a more manageable payment plan.