If repaying any portion of your balances is out of the question due to extreme financial hardship you may ask the courts to relieve you of your obligations by filing bankruptcy. This process is not immediate nor guaranteed but is often the only option for many people.
There are several different categories of bankruptcy filings and the one you use is dependent on your situation.
Bankruptcy used to be a more straightforward process than it is currently. To prevent people from filing bankruptcy to eliminate debts at will, new laws were enacted several years ago. These included a more drawn out review process by the courts to see if you qualify as well as mandatory participation in a credit counseling program.
All the new requirements were heavily lobbied by the banks to make bankruptcy more difficult.
If you determine that bankruptcy is an option you need to seriously consider it’s best to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer who ca guide you through the process.