Bankruptcy is a strange thing. I did it about 15 years ago.
I talked to 2 people who weren't professionals and one had the "yeah, wipe out your debt" response and one had the "OMG, you'd be a BANKRUPT!!!!! people used to go to jail for that, that's horrible, never ever ever do that" stigma response.
I was overwhelmed by a combination of medical bills and consumer debt. Most of the consumer debt was from compulsive shopping and I knew I had to change my habits drastically. I knew that bankruptcy alone wasn't a solution.
So I talked to a bankruptcy lawyer and got what I thought were the facts. It sounded serious enough that I figured I wouldn't get back into the trap again.
I decided to go through with it. I realized people wouldn't know about it like some Scarlet Letter B on my forehead. It's true that after the formal court discharge after one year there was very little difference compared to being broke. I could get credit cards, department store cards (but not at the same stores where I used to shop). The interest rates were higher, the limits lower, and my credit score lower than if I had managed to get myself out of debt but I was sent a thing for buying a car and I had money to do that because I wasn't spending all my money on paying credit cards and hospital bills. Plus I had cash left over to pay for things so I didn't need cards anymore. I got one secured card and it was all I needed for a few years.
I'm still driving that '94 Ford. I paid for it in 4 years and probably got a high interest for it but at the time, without the bankruptcy -- I had no idea how i was going to get a car at all.
Later I regretted the bankruptcy. I realized it was done out of panic and I hadn't sat down and thought carefully that with my salary I could have been out of debt in maybe 3 or 4 years. (i wasns't even sure -- maybe 5 or 6 but without panic does it matter, really?) I didn't know creditors will lower the interest rates - if you ask. Instead I've had years of high interest and still have low credit scores. I didn't have a source of real facts of bankruptcy info, just someone who was going to profit from it if I did it.
What everyone needs is advice from COMPLETELY NEUTRAL, non emotional sources that give facts. Maybe handsome SO guy had no interest (other than being on tv) but he didn't lay out much info for her. (not that she would sit still and stay awake and listen)
I know she decided against it for now. I wonder if she knows enough about it to make an informed decision if she changes her mind.
After awhile, her internal drive to do it all on her own may wear thin. The pull of a few shopping sprees or the cost of school may be all it takes for her to reconsider. The new bankruptcy laws might actually make it a more reasonable choice for people -- less of an all or nothing. I haven't seen the facts myself.