ObScold: I hope you've taken a lesson from this. You've made a common mistake. If you get out of it with your credit rating intact, please don't make it again, OK? Credit is a double-edged tool that can get you into trouble even faster than it can save your ass in an emergency.
1: Should I just give up, let them foreclose, take my car, etc.. and ruin my credit life? Declare chapter whatever?
You've got separate problems. Let's deal with them separately.
2: Should I complete my certification?
- Car: Definitely get rid of the car. Sell it if you can; if you're upside-down on it this becomes part of "should I let them foreclose." You do need a car, but you do not need a new car. A '92 Toyota Corolla is just as reliable as a 2002 Beemer.
- House: Contact your mortgage company and let them know what has happened. Some companies will work with you to avoid foreclosure; they don't want to foreclose, since they never get all the money. They may be willing to give you some breathing space if you are actively seeking another job.
- Unsecured credit: See if you can get your bills consolidated. If you're running a balance at typical CC interest rates you're getting screwed. Try to shift balances around to low-interest cards. Usually if you're up to your a$$ in CC debt you're getting new card offers all the time; take advantage of those introductory rates and shift balances around.
No. Experience is more important than certifications or degrees; employers who don't see it that way aren't worth working for (trust me). Look outside of IT. You may be able to find a position as a network admin for a smaller company whose primary business is not IT where your experience will be appreciated, and you will be seen as a "bargain" precisely because you don't have that certification. You will not find a job paying $100K this way but you may find one paying $40K and job security will be infinite. In hard times, this is important.
3: How should I deal with my creditors?
Don't let the situation drag out. If you can't make payments write them and explain why. (If you use the phone, ALWAYS back up in writing, phone calls are convenient but do not preserve your rights.) Many will negotiate to give you breathing room. If you are already too deep in, look into declaring chapter 11. This is not the end of the world. You will, in fact, get credit offers out the yinyang because you can't do it again for 7 years. There will be negative repercussions, but they are better than living in a cardboard box. That's why bankruptcy laws exist.
4: Aside from the globally known job boards.. What else is good..
See #2. I personally think we are entering another 80's-style recession and job security will be much more important than salary. Look outside of IT, at smaller local companies who will appreciate what you can do instead of looking for sheepskin. And if you do lose your car and house, when you recover (fingers crossed) live more modestly until you are secure. Just because they are willing to sell you a house with a $1,400 mortgage does not mean it's a good idea to buy one.
I can haz blog!