As long as you are unemployed and without assets...you are "judgement proof," meaning that if your creditors took you to court and won a judgement against you, the judgment would be meaningless as non existent wages cannot be garnished. Or course if you did later find work and they had an outstanding judgement, then they could start garnishing wages. Wages cannot be garnished for credit card debts in these states: PA, TX, NC, SC. Some states like NY & NJ only allow a max. garnishment of 10% of wages.
Do you anticipate being out of work for a long time? If so, then there probably is not an urgent need to consider filing for bankruptcy right now.
- Another factor to consider: Creditor don't take you to court for being one month behind....you have to be near/at the point of default before they start suing...and not all creditors will sue but will instead charge-off the debt and walk away from it....If you are still current on your cards, you have a good 4 - 7 months before anything drastic like a lawsuit might happen. You could find a good job in that time period.
- Filing for Chapter 7 is not cheap....it's $1,500 on average. Do what you need to do....This is a lot of debt and if they are aggressively coming after you, then filing may be in your best interest. Once you file for Chapter 7 you can't file again for 8 more years, so you'll really have to use extreme financial discipline afterwords if you file.