Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The most commonly used type of bankruptcy is Chapter 7, which is a general or full bankruptcy. This is the type of bankruptcy most people think of that discharges almost all unsecured debts that a person has (bills, most judgments, credit cards etc). The chapter 7 bankruptcy does not discharge student loans, government debts for the most part, child support or alimony. Other than those limited exemptions, the debtor can protect some assets from bankruptcy, like a car or house, and still have bankruptcy on other debts.
The other type of bankruptcy is chapter 13, which is where the trustee in the bankruptcy court reorganizes and renegotiates the debt to get a payment plan in place for all of the debts to be paid by the debtor and creditors settle to take less on the amount due and stop interest and penalties.
Here is the best pro se bankruptcy guide out there and while it is from the MA Bankruptcy Court, it is the same in every US bankruptcy Court and it will walk you through the steps and the forms filed. See: http://www.mab.uscourts.gov/pdfdocuments/masspsguide.pdf