When you are in the trenches there may and probably will come a time that you will not be able to meet all of your obligations and committments. Times have changed and as much as you may want to pay all the bills that come in there are some that you cannot pay. In earlier entries I talked about setting priorities and keep the best, sell the rest. For those committments that you simply can't follow through with above all else keep your integrity.
If you cannot make your car payment and do not foresee that you will be able to in the near future than speak to your creditor. Find out your options. Can you sell it? Will they renegotiate? If all your possible solutions do not pan out then clean up the car and turn in the keys. Don't make them track you down. You can only do what you can do but don't string someone else along or make promises you know you can't keep. Do you have to walk away from your home? Clean it up. Did you get laid off? Remember that this was necessary for the employer and go with a good attitude and keep your relationship such that they will want to hire you back if possible or give you a good reference.
This advise does not include those who would badger, bully, or seek deceptive means to get your money. Unfortunately some credit collection agencies and even worse, banks and credit card companies have resorted to these tactics and in fact profit from them. This is a different subject and my linked blog America For Fair Banking addresses this subject.
Do all you can to go the extra mile and keep your integrity. This downturn is temporary and what goes around comes around. After winter comes the spring and the hard times now can be turned to a blessing if we respond in a righteous way.