My husband and I have about $35k in unsecured debt. We used our credit cards to pay bills and buy groceries for almost 2 years when he was in a dying real estate business and then had a short term disability due to an emergency surgery. We have good jobs now but are struggling to pay old debt. Is debt consolidation a good idea? I already spoke with a few companies. I know they can get the debt down to about 40% with a 10% fee. I am worried about the fact that they want you to do nothing for 5 or 6 months until they come in with a low ball offer for the creditors. I am afraid of being summonsed to court. I am sending out letters to the creditors (2) requesting they stop calling. The phone calls are horrendous. I understand this will still have a negative impact on my credit score. Which effect is worse, bankruptcy or debt consolidation. I want to be responsible and pay my bills. I am not looking for an easy out.
Also, do you know how long it will take to get a reply on a complaint filed with the FTC? I went online earlier this week and filed a complaint because I was sure that a collection agency crossed the line.