How to get out of debt the Casey Serin way: try not to think about it

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how to get out of debtCasey Serin, an infamous online entrepreneur we previously profiled at Walletpop, has come a long way on the dark road of how to get out of debt -- and he still owes $190,000. That's the amount left over after his crazy year of failing to "flip" houses in Sacramento, succumbing to foreclosures and divorce.

Suffering his own personal financial meltdown while becoming a poster child of the mortgage mess, the last thing Serin can stand to do is look back.

"I'm going through a divorce and I'm unstable where income is concerned. I haven't been doing anything about it," says Serin of his inability to get out of debt. "It's this huge rock you're carrying up a hill and at some point you have to let it go."

Serin is proud that he hasn't racked up a single new dollar of debt in 2009 and has two typically quirky ventures to try to raise some income for paying the rest off: digging for gold in the Northern California foothills and trying to buy an island.

He's launched a Web site, Island2012.com, that tries to incite people to buy into a "community" fund -- small donations adding up to a huge pool of money that can buy a tropical island all can share. That's the theory, anyway. Blogger Josh Davis provides a solid breakdown on why this idea is on par with stomping out a forest fire.

At a time when consumer debt is at an eye-popping $2.5 trillion -- that's $8,000 per person -- it's no wonder living with debt can mean not doing anything about getting out of debt.

With these numbers of people needing to know how to get out of debt, and the fact that a recent Gallup survey found 27% of Americans increased their debt in the last six months -- racking up debt in America has become the norm. But with these out of control numbers, so is sweeping it under the rug until you can no longer stand on it.

"As soon as you take away debt as an option, your creative juices start flowing. I rather continue to heal, not worry about it," says Serin, who's met with a number of bankruptcy attorneys and even Suze Orman, on her show, who advised Serin to file for BK.

But Serin's situation is complicated. If yours isn't, if you've been struggling to pay your mortgage like one in 10 Americans or constantly swipe your blues away with therapy shopping, then you need to sit down with a strategy for dealing with your debt.

Here are some ways to cope and get out of debt?

Should you raid your 401k to pay off your debt?

What about paying someone to help you get rid of your old student loans?

What can you learn from Michael Jackson's debt nightmare that will help you make sense of your own?

The number one rule for debt is dealing with it -- speak with a trusted professional, someone who's been there or seen it all before -- and don't ignore the psychological toll debt can take on your life and well-being.
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