The best $20.00 you may spend this year: The National Consumer Law Center’s “Guide to Surviving Debt”
Don’t wait..don’t walk…don’t meander…but RUN!!!! to your computer and buy this book: "Guide to Surviving Debt", by the National Consumer Law Center, with principal author Deanne Loonin. See www.consumerlaw.org to order it directly from the NCLC.
What is the National Consumer Law Center? It is a group of people who care about you! "NCLC is the nation’s expert on the rights of consumer borrowers. Since 1969, NCLC has been at the forefront in representing low income consumers, before the courts, government agencies, Congress, and state legislatures.  NCLC publishes nationally acclaimed series of manuals on all major aspects of consumer credit and sales" – Excerpted from the 2010 edition of "Guide to Surviving Debt".
Frankly, how can you go wrong with a book that offers the following chapters (this is just a sampling, not an exhaustive list of the 21 Chapters of the 493 page "Guide to Surviving Debt"):
-Choosing which Debts to Pay First
-Establishing a Budget
-What You Need to Know About Your Credit Report – How to Obtain a Home Mortgage with a Blemished Credit Report
-Credit Counseling and "Debt Relief" Companies
-Responding to Debt Collectors
-What You Need to Know About Your Mortgage
-Defending Your Home From Foreclosure – Your Rights in the Mortgage Foreclosure Process
-Automobile Repossessions – Your Rights When the Creditor Makes a Mistake
-Student Loans – Pros and Cons of Consolidation and Rehabilitation
-Many, many more topics and chapters beyond just the preceding!!!!!
Here are some of the "Guide to Surviving Debt" reviews, excerpted:
"A gold mine on topics like how to handle collectors, which debts to pay first and how collection lawsuits work" – U.S. News and World Report
"Great advice, from the nation’s experts, on how to pull yourself out of debt." – Jane Bryant Quinn
This book has been around for many years, but is updated every couple of years, with the most recent udpate completed for 2010. Prior editions were completed for 1992, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008. Make sure you nail down the 2010 edition.
This book is helpful to me as an attorney (even though it is clearly written for "the man/woman on the street") – because it is so well written in its approach. It really tells you step #1, step #2 etc, in its "what to do/what not to do" approach, that you will find much assistance.
This book is great. Even if you should file bankruptcy with our office, when your bankrutpcy is all done, gone and settled, I can assure you that you will find helpful info that will keep you out of bankruptcy court again.