As the unemployment crisis continues many people are finding that they are running out of options. After 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits, jobless individuals who have been unable to secure employment are faced with the prospect of foreclosure, creditor lawsuits and even destitution. But how do 99ers avoid a financial apocalypse?

Some things that 99ers should do immediately:

Don’t panic. Panicking can make you do things that can do more damage than good. Take a day or two off and give yourself time to fully assess your situation. What are you expenses? Do you have any other sources of income? What are the essentials? What can be cut out completely? What bills can go unpaid without jeopardizing your basic standard of living (i.e. keeping a roof over your head, a car, utilities, food etc.)
If you have debts with the IRS and student loan lenders, educate yourself about their deferment and hardship programs. You do not want to allow these bills to just fall by the wayside without trying to work something out with these creditors. Both the IRS and student loan lenders have incredibly powerful collections abilities and can make your struggle with unemployment just that much more difficult.
If you have a large amount of unsecured debt, consider bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you discharge credit card debts, medical bills and other unsecured debt. It can also help you stop a foreclosure, wage garnishments and lawsuits. For many unemployed individuals filing bankruptcy is exactly the type of financial lifeline they need.