While finding relief from debt may be one of the most significant hurdles you will experience in adult life, serious financial duress is usually a symptom of other, larger problems. These usually arise in the form of unexpected and sometimes long-term crises like a major illness or accident that may be debilitating and cause you to miss out on work, a layoff or loss of substantial hours, a difficult (and expensive) divorce, or perhaps an escalation of debt-to include massive student loans.
If you have been experiencing extreme financial distress, it was most likely caused by an unexpected event or series of life events such as illness or unemployment. Unsecured debt like credit cards may have spiraled out of control. Aggressive debt collectors may be calling and hassling you daily, with their activity and threats escalating as they generally have little to take from you except for your credit rating.