Before you let one nasty creditor force you to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should examine if you have any alternatives. Perhaps you have a way to make good with your creditors. Perhaps you can access funds from another source. You may have the ability to negotiate an amount less than to total amount owed. You may be able to reduce the interest rate owed on the debt. You may be able to convince the creditor to put collection of the account in abatement. Of course, you can always try to duck the creditor and avoid all collection efforts. Each option depends upon whether or not you have assets and whether or not you are working.
If you do not want to file a Chicago bankruptcy case, then you can try to consolidate your debt through a debt settlement company. You are really taking a huge risk though. If all of your creditors do not agree to accept the settlement plan, then any creditor can continue to collect on the debt including filing suit and garnishing wages. If your wages were to be garnished, how would you make good on the payment arrangements with other creditors? Thus, it is basically an all or nothing situation. Are they all in or are some out?
It could be the case where you do not have a good alternative and the best thing to do is claim bankruptcy. It is not that you will never get credit again. Most of my prior clients received offers for credit before the case was even concluded. Creditors know that if you file Chapter 7, you are not eligible to file again under that Chapter for 8 years. The creditors hope that you keep a balance so that they can make money off of the interest charges. Do not think that the creditors are looking out for you when they offer you credit after a bankruptcy case.
If you have explored your options and you just do not think that you can repay your debts, then you must seek bankruptcy advice. There are hundreds of qualified bankruptcy attorneys who can assist in the filing of a bankruptcy case. I would recommend an attorney who is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute. That is an organization that focuses on all aspects of bankruptcy. Members of the organization include attorneys, judges, creditors and other financial professionals. Although membership does not guarantee results, it sure helps to have access to the knowledge base of the entire group.