When you have financial problems, you do have options for what to do to fix them. The two main options are to file for bankruptcy or seek debt relief.
The Federal Trade Commission explains that both options may be helpful for you if you struggle with debt. However, debt relief may often be just a path to bankruptcy.
Many debt relief programs are simply a way to get you started with filing bankruptcy. They do not aim to actually help you consolidate your debt or figure out a good repayment plan. The idea is to put together your bankruptcy paperwork.
There are some legitimate agencies that will work with you to figure out how to get out from under your debt. The bottom line, though, is that you need to be able to pay. If your biggest issue is that you do not make enough money to repay your debts, then debt relief probably cannot help you.
Ideally, you will try other options to regain control over your debt before you file bankruptcy, but if you simply cannot pay your debts, then bankruptcy is the best option. Chapter 13 may be better than Chapter 7 if you wish to retain assets and try to pay back some of your debts. It sets up a payment plan based on your income and ability to pay where you can repay priority debts. Other debts you cannot repay will go away once the court discharges your case.
Deciding between debt relief and bankruptcy requires making a true assessment of your financial situation. You need to be honest about the type of help you need to make the right decision.