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I'm a newbie to this board and I must say I'm impressed with the quality of the questions and and answers.

I'm looking for some alternative opinions about my plans. I hired an attorney to help guide me out of my mess. I always make better decisions after I listen to all sides of an issue. I would like some feedback other than my attorney's.

In brief, I'm 34 years old with over $60K of CC debt. I didn't get there overnight. It took years of mismanagement, stress, floating checks, etc. to get there. I was running with deficit financing for a long time and didn't want to acknowldge it. I wasn't anything fancy either. A few car repairs, dinner here and there once in a while, lots of little things. It was mindless to do. I could make the monthly payments, what is a couple hundred more bucks a month gonna do? Besides, I had a flawless credit record and had never missed a payment in my life.

Over the last three years things got tighter and tighter. Those monthly minimum payments increased until they were over $1000 a month. I found I didn't have enough left over to stock up the fridge and pantry for the month.

The stress of paying my bills was killing me. I found my self having to pay the utilties as late as possible, because I had emptied out the account making a minimum cc payment.

On New Years I decided to get off this crazy credit card machine no matter how much it hurt. I "woke up" in December when I saw that I could't even buy my wife a small x-mas gift without asking for a credit line increase, I decided it was time for a very fundemental change in the way I was running my life.

So, I stopped making credit card payments. I balanced my budget, took that money I was paying, caught up my other bills, and started saving it.

I've ruined my credit, but I'm sleeping at night now. Ironically I much happier now knowing that no one will give me credit anymore.

You might ask, "If you were able to make payments", why can't you now?" (This is what the CC companies are asking me). Simple. I wasn't able to before. I haven't for a long time. I was borrowing to pay debts (not directly).

I don't live an extravagent lifestyle. I drive a 10 year old car with 120K in it. I rent way below market value. I haven't had a vacation in 5 years. I work two jobs, 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. I rarely eat out. I simply don't make enough money to support my debt load.

The only thing that has me worried is my 401K. I managed to save up over $250K to date, mainly through employee matching and some real lucky investments in this bull market. I refuse to touch that nest for 30 more years because no matter how bad things are now, blowing my retirement fund will only make things worse. Since that is my only assest, I'm concerned that I will lose some of it. That is why I hired a lawyer.

My lawyer thinks I should file chapter 7, save up as much cash as I can for the next 10 years, then buy a house with a small mortgage. At this point, I'm inclinded to agree.

So.... am I insane for going AWOL? I never want a loan again. ever.

Any thoughts? Counterpoints?
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