I had mounted $40,000 in debt, having been forced to make mortgage and car payments on credit cards because my employer was nearly six months behind on paying me. I searched for another job for over a year with no success. I was virtually unemployed and my home was valued at $100,000 less than what I owed on it--now it's in a short-sale.
I filed for bankruptcy and moved to New York, and after six months, I found work at a non-profit energy conservation organization funded in large part by stimulus money. Because of the bankruptcy, I am free of credit debt. I don't even have a credit card, and I am enjoying a cash-based lifestyle.