A little history here .. I'm trying to get me out of financial dire straits. I was 22 when my husband and I bouught our first house (which is backwards) and began accumulating debts. I live in Las Vegas, where the housing market has plummeted. My husband and I are separated, and have about 45,000 in debt bewteen the two. We played back and forth between doing a bankruptcy or simply paying our bills setlements off.I have gotten 3 of my accounts, so I would bring $ 30,000 in debt approximately also offered to do a loan modification POSSIBLY approved after six months of indulgence in our house. Take our payment of $ 2,500 a month to about $ 1200. But four months you will not know if that is still approved and could go either way. I'm in the reserves and trying to go in a display of 7-9 months which would be about $ 38,000 tax-free by the end of the year. If I do a Chapter 7, I think most, if not all, of that money is protected. I could save it, and use half of it to buy a house investiment, but I will not be able to buy one until after the statute of limitations is 2 years minimum? If I do then I think a bankruptcy liquidation pay bills first, while paying others consecutively (monthly) to restore history.after 6 months to 1 year of rebuilding my story, then I will buy an investment home. Now I have 25 years and basic needs now to be sure. As emergency fund of 3-6 months, 0 - minimal debt as possible, and values to help me survive or take advantage of the recession, my choice is real estate and I've studied it, I enjoy it, and I strongly I know how to make money on it. And I do not know much about any other market, such as the stock market, orinvesting.Please help. We have been traveling on the fence for about 7 months, wasting time because our minds are still changing. We are separated but which ever way you decide to go with this is going to help others. I want to build my wealth, become confident, with a long-term investment. I want to start a business (home staging) within the next three years too.