One thing you should know is, bankruptcy is not free and you must have some money to pay for the court proceedings, attorney and other legal fees. The proceedings may also take some time before completion. After bankruptcy, your credit rating will get affected for about ten years and it will not be easy for you to acquire credit cards or even car loan. Also, you will not be allowed to file bankruptcy for the next six years. In some states however, people who have filed bankruptcy are allowed to keep equity for some assets such as homes and vehicles. After bankruptcy, your creditors will not confront you and, you will still continue earning your salary.
In debt consolidation, all your bills will be put together and depending with your monthly total income, you will pay just one single payment each month that will suit your case. You will only need to sign a contract with a reputable consolidation service who will then pay your creditors on your behalf. One good thing with this method is, you will not receive any phone and your creditors will not harassment you any more. Your monthly payments will be distributed to all your creditors and your interest charges will be lowered. After every payment, you will receive a statement showing the balances therefore keeping you updated.
When you consolidate your bills, the information will appear on your credit report. During this period, you will not be allowed to have credit cards to avoid any new bills. Similar to bankruptcy, not all your bills will be consolidated. In fact, only unsecured bills such as credit cards will be consolidated. Therefore, you will have to continue paying other secured debts such as home equity loan and car loan. Again, you will charged some fee which will be included in your monthly payment. This method could take some time depending with each individual total bills but whichever the case, you will finally end your bills and become a free man. However, it's good to learn from your past mistakes to avoid falling in the same trap ever in future.