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No. of Recommendations: 2

To clarify - you've run through savings? The student loan is federal?
On the employee stock option plan or stock purchase plan, is that something he and enroll in once per year?

Do you have other debt other than the $26000 that is in collection? How much do you presently have on student loans? Do you have any type of retirement accounts?

Can you get your current interest rate info and share with us here?

First off, let me state that I think avoiding bankruptcy is a noble pursuit. There is a decent chance it may financially be your best option.

Second, if its federal student loans you are talking about, how you spend that particular money should be done in a way that furthers your education and/or keeps the lights/you and the kiddos fed on while you are doing that.

Have you applied for food stamps or any of the programs that might provide you with assistance?

Do you have a budget?

One thing I would suggest is that when the tax return comes if you can dedicate a little of it to trying to get debt paid off or forgiven. this is something that would take an agreement, in writing, with the collection agencies - basically, say if you have $500 you can put toward the debt after the monthly bills are payed - call up one of the agencies, let them know you think you can pay Y$ on X balance, but they need to be willing to charge off the remainder of the balance. Let them know this is a one time offer, and if they can't do a deal, you'll go to one of your other creditors. Anything you agree to needs to be in writing, just in case they try to not charge something off or otherwise reneg. The goal on this is 2 fold - one stop interest from accurring, and 2, improve your cash flow in future months. My gut is this is more likely be be doable on the medical debt, particularly if the provider already received payment from insurance.

Good luck. Lots of folks smarter than me here.
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