What if I just don’t do anything?
Here’s a novel approach to financial problems: Do absolutely nothing. Why? Because you can’t be thrown in jail, and if you have no assets, a creditor likely won’t bother trying to sue you in court, knowing that it won’t receive anything for its efforts. As you can imagine, this is not the best approach for most people: If you have actual property (a house or a car), then failing to make those payments can result in repossession. Likewise, if your debt is in the form of student loans or back taxes, doing nothing is not a very good approach; then again, you can’t discharge these debts through bankruptcy anyhow.
However, if your debt consist of unsecured debts (credit card bills) and you are judgment proof (i.e. flat broke, with no assets), sometime the better approach just might be to stop making payments, your creditors probably will not bring a lawsuit against you, and will likely just write off the debt; if you fail to pay it, after the statute of limitations has passed (four to ten years), then it is no longer collectible. Sure, it will go on your credit report, but it probably won’t hurt you any worse than a bankruptcy would. Furthermore, this approach probably will not stop creditors from harassing you, either by mail or telephone.