What happens when your luck runs out? You go into backup mode, and start working through your assets. Then, it’s time to tap your retirement savings, even though your golden years may be just around the bedn. But what happens after your 401(k), 403(b), 457 retirement plan IRAs are depleted? How do you keep food on the table and your house out of foreclosure?

According to a new survey from Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Greater Atlanta, some foreclosure prevention clients are deciding between draining their retirement accounts to pay the bills now, and going through bankruptcy now, in order to preserve assets for the future.

The survey said 29.6 percent of people who called CCCS of Greater Atlanta for foreclosure prevention assistance had taken an early distribution from a 401(k) within the prior 6 months. More than 90 percent of those surveyed are younger than 59 1/2, which means they also paid a 10 percent penalty in addition to taxes on the withdrawal.

Nearly half of foreclosure prevention clients are worried about their future retirement, and some 15 percent don’t believe they’ll ever be able to retire.

If you find yourself struggling, the best thing to do is seek help early. Call a housing counselor or a credit counselor for free budget or housing counseling. Or, if you’re behind in your mortgage payments, contact the HOPE NOW hotline, at 888-995-HOPE.