I too considered bankruptcy before I ultimately decided to do my own settlements. My only option was to file a chapter 13 based on income, which would mean paying back all my debt, plus interest, plus attorney's fees, plus court costs. And they were expecting my husband and I to live on a budget of $2,000 a month for five years while making our BK payments. Our rent is $1,300, so that was completely unrealistic and ridiculous. Settling my debts has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Also it is not true that settlements has the same effect as BK. It's been reported by many around here that after settling their debt their credit immediately began to rebound with some banks allowing them to get credit a few years later.
Plus I'd rather say 'no' when asked if I've ever filed BK
This is my feeling too!
I considered bankruptcy but was able to avoid it and I'm glad I did. I know that sometimes it's the best choice and worth it. But I don't regret that I was able to avoid it.