Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
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Chapter 7, sometimes called “straight bankruptcy“, is a quick process where one files their case, surrenders any unprotected assets to the trustee (very rare), gets their discharge about three months later, and immediately begins rebuilding their credit. Chapter 13 is a much longer process, where one files their case and then, over a 36 to 60 month process (depending on his or her income), makes payments to the trustee under a plan of re-organization, where some debts are paid (home arrearages, car loans, IRS taxes, etc.) and some debts are wiped out (medical bills, credit card debt, payday loans, etc.) and, upon completion of their plan, gets their discharge.