You have a couple of options other than bankruptcy to resolve your unsecured credit card debts. Credit counseling is the first option. Credit counseling is a third party managed payoff strategy where your interest rates are lowered to the bank's concession rate and thereby your monthly payments decline. Typically, a credit counseling program runs around five years to getting debt free, but each consumer's experience depends on their own creditors and the size of their payments.
The second option is debt settlement. Debt settlement is a program for negotiating and settling consumer debt to a discount to face value. Frequently, resulting in lower payments, lower debts, and a short period to debt freedom while avoiding bankruptcy.
If you are concerned about your home home or auto and whether a creditor can place a lien against your property I advise you take a look at this link which provides the break down of State Consumer Protection Laws and Exemptions. My understanding, you may want to check with an experienced attorney in your state, is that in Texas there is not much a creditor can do. A home and auto in Texas have unlimited exemption.
The good news for your situation is that you live in a state that provides strong consumer protection laws.
In terms of your credit report most items, positive or negative, remain on your credit report for about 7 years.
If you want to resolve the accounts and not have them linger for an indefinite period of time you can contact a debt relief company and consult with them regarding what options you have. I wrote a blog about a company that specializes in helping people in these situations feel free to take a look at Freedom Debt Relief Customer Review.
I hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.