Bankruptcy worked great for me!
I've never tried to re-establish my credit though. I live within my meager means and owe nothing to anyone. Except for my ex-wife...I owe her a lot, but she gets my house when I die.
My debt was business-related credit card debt. They won't take your house, but they won't make your mortgage go away either. My house was paid for. If you have payments on a car you keep the car and the payments. My custom off-road Jeep was paid for, so they took it.